D&D 5E The Weakest Spells in 5e - The Quick Fix

Stalker0

Legend
Also, I fixed Daylight. If you decide to concentrate on the spell, the light produced is sunlight.
I do like the concept of using concentration is a form of "upcast". Cast X, get Y. Cast X (and use concentration) get Y + Z.

I think its opens up a lot of good design space for abilities, especially at high levels when your concentration has high competition so you can come up with some pretty solid upcasts and keep it balanced.
 

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Chaosmancer

Legend
I do like the concept of using concentration is a form of "upcast". Cast X, get Y. Cast X (and use concentration) get Y + Z.

I think its opens up a lot of good design space for abilities, especially at high levels when your concentration has high competition so you can come up with some pretty solid upcasts and keep it balanced.

Yeah, I mainly used it because I acknowledge that sunlight against a vampire is very very good, and a 5th level cleric shouldn't have an easy time in a fight against a CR 13 creature. Make it concentration, and the Vampire just needs to get his daily recommended dose of cleric juice to snuff out that pesky light.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I had a thought for Immolation. Two things.

1) Remove Concentration.

2) Reverse the order of the damage and save for the follow-ups

3) Potentially: Successful follow-up saves reduce the next damage by half.

So, the spell ends up working like this.

Initial save -> 8d6 on a fail, 4d6 on a success and spell ends

Next turn, take 4d6 damage, then save. If you succeed, reduce the damage to 2d6

Next turn, take 2d6 damage, then save. If you succeed, reduce the damage to 1d6

Next turn, take 1d6 damage, then save. If you succeed, the spell ends.


So, this could be HUGE damage. But, assuming the enemy succeeds every save except the first, you are dealing 15d6 damage, which is 52.5. Which is about the same as hitting two targets with fireball. Non-con means that it continues anyways. This makes that first save the really big part, and it compares then to stuff like contagion which once it works is poisoned condition for 3 rounds minimum, or things like Heat Metal that just auto-deal damage and cause disadvantage on all targets with armor. (which does take concentration, but is a level 2 spell)

Too much? Or about right for a single target save or suck damage?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Took a look at Flesh to Stone as well.

Flesh to Stone
6th-level (Transmutation)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 ft
Components: V, S, M (a pinch of lime, water, and earth)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You attempt to turn one creature made of organic material that you can see within range into stone. The target is immediately grappled as their body begins to turn to stone, and they make a Constitution Saving Throw. They repeat these saving throws at the end of their turn, until they either fail or succeed three times, just like death saves. If they succeed three times, the spell ends.

If the grappled creature is a flying creature without the ability to hover, they are forced to safely land at the start of their turn. If they are restrained, regardless of hover, they fall.

Once a creature has failed one saving throw, they are restrained until the spell ends.

If a creature has failed two saving throws, they can speak and breath (allowing for verbal spells and breath weapons), but they cannot take actions until the spell ends and automatically fail dexterity and strength saves.

If the creature has failed three saving throws, they are petrified until the spell ends.

If the creature is physically broken while petrified, it suffers from similar deformities if it reverts to its original state.

If you maintain your concentration on this spell for the entire possible duration, the creature is turned to stone until the effect is removed.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 7th level or higher, you may force one additional saving throw for each spell level above 6th. If you cast this as a 9th level spell, and the creature fails three saves to become petrified, you do not need to concentrate on this spell, and they are turned to stone until the effect is dispelled.

Basically? I started with the idea of it being the same as Otto's dance, but I realized that a restrain that lasted for a minimum of three rounds was too much, so if you made the first throw, you are only grappled, but you are grappled for the entire duration at a minimum which sucks.

Then as you fail saves, you go to restrained, unable to take actions, then petrified.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
In this thread, the goal is to address some of the weakest spells in dnd with quick simple changes. Again, our goal is not to revamp the spell and change it entirely, just a slight adjustment that fixes the biggest issue. I'm not all of the really weak spells here, just a personal top 5 of mine.

Weird: Remove the saving throw.
Now weird goes the worst 9th level spell in the game to a spell of unshakable fear. The spell can now do incredible damage if it applies long enough, and applies a long standing condition that cannot be resisted. The only way to beat weird is to endure it, to be immune to it, or to stop the caster's concentration.... aka a real 9th level spell.
Counterpoint:
Remove the initial saving throw. Have it require 3 successful saving throws for it to end the fear, and a success means half damage. Damage occurs regardless of fear status.

I think that makes it good enough. It violates the rule that debilitating conditions are gated behind 1 save, which 5e mostly follows.

Mordenkainen's Sword: Remove the attack roll, the sword automatically hits.
What is one of the lamest damaging spell in the game now turns into magic missiles big brother. An irresistible force effect, that while still doesn't do a lot of damage, now can affect a creature no matter their AC, giving it a decent niche.
Counterpoint:
Remove concentration.

Give it a speed of 60'.

Have it approach and attack the last target if not given an order.

Make the order an action. But when given the order, it attacks twice.
Immolation: The target takes 1 exhaustion on each failed saving throw.
Currently immolation requires two failed saving throws just to get to the damage of a fireball....and its one target....and its concentration. This spell needs to do a lot more bang for the buck. Adding in exhaustion creates a nasty secondary effect, and makes failed saves painful beyond the mediocre damage.
Exhaustion is a bit of a meh mechanic.

Counterpoint:
The spell doesn't end with a successful saving throw. While you are concentrating on the spell, you can expend an action to force a creature to make a dexterity saving throw or take 8d6 fire damage and start to burn. If they succeed, they take half damage.

While burning, they must make a constitution save at the end of each of their turns or take 4d6 fire damage. On a successful save they stop burning, or if you use your action to attempt to make a target burn.

This, again, lets you expend more actions and burn more targets for the 1 minute. You can also hit the primary target again and again at the cost of your action. Or you can let it coast on the last target.
True Strike: Change duration to 1 minute (concentration). The target may gain advantage on any 1 attack roll during the duration.
This gives True Strike a niche as a "buff and break down the door" spell. By allowing it to be used at some point during the minute, it provides much needed flexibility to the spell, allowing you to use it when you need it.
I think it should have more use than that.

True Strike: Increase range to line of sight. And, if the attack hits, it deals an extra 1d12 damage. At higher levels: The damage is increased to 2d12 at level 5, 3d12 at level 11 and 4d12 at level 17.

This is enough to makes it decent, but not stellar, DPR.

Circle of Death: All creatures in the spell area are poisoned until the beginning of your next turn (no save)
This spell just doesn't do nearly enough effect to justify its spell level, so now we add an automatic status rider (though a fairly weak condition at this level) to sweeten the deal.
I'd give it a duration of 1 minute, and have the radius start at 60' and grow by 5' every round. Creatures who start their turn in the area, or enter it on their turn for the first time, make the save.

It becomes a concentration-free area denial with enough bite to make it worth shoving foes into it. The growing circle of death is also nice nightmare fuel.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Wow, I had never truly understood the depths of suck that came from Dispel Good and Evil. For example, it doesn't give you resistance to fear, charm or possession effects, making you more vulnerable if you are using it instead of Protection from Good and Evil.

I tried fixing it, but... gods it was such a trash spell.

Dispel Evil and Good
5th-level (Abjuration)
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (holy water or powdered silver and iron)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Shimmering energy surrounds and protects you from fey, undead, and creatures originating from beyond the Material Plane. For the duration, Abominations, Celestials, Elementals, Fey, Fiends, and Undead have disadvantage on attack rolls against you. Additionally, you are immune to fear, charm and possession effects from such creatures.

Once per minute, you can use each special function of this spell.

Break Enchantment: As your action, you touch a creature you can reach that is possessed by an abomination, celestial, an elemental, a fey, a fiend, or an undead. The creature you touch is no longer possessed by such creatures.

Calming Prescence: As your action, you emit a radius of calm in a 15 ft sphere. All creatures that were charmed or frightened within the sphere are no longer charmed or frightened.

Dismissal: As your action, make a melee spell attack against an abomination, celestial, an elemental, a fey, a fiend, or an undead you can reach. On a hit, you attempt to drive the creature back to its home plane. The creature must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be sent back to its home plane (if it isn't there already). If they aren't on their home plane, undead are sent to the Shadowfell, and fey are sent to the Feywild.

I still don't think it is ever worth it to cast, but at least now it isn't an utter waste of your time.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Blade ward fix?

Blade Ward
Cantrip (Abjuration)
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Self
Components: V,S
Duration: 1 Minute (Special)

You extend your hand and trace a sigil of warding in the air. You have resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. At the start of your turn after you have taken bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage, this spell ends.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Witchbolt Fix?

Witchbolt
1st-level (Evocation)

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30 ft
Components: V, S, M (a twig from a tree that has been struck by lightning)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

A beam of crackling, blue energy lances out toward a creature within range, forming a sustained arc of lightning between you and the target. Make a ranged spell attack against that creature. On a hit, the target takes 1d12 lightning damage, and on each of your turns for the duration, you can use your action to deal 1d12 lightning damage to the target automatically.

On a miss, you can spend your action on following turns within the spell’s duration to make another ranged spell attack. The first time you hit within the spell’s duration, you deal the spell’s initial damage.

Alternatively, you may switch to a different target, making a ranged spell attack and dealing 1d12 lightning damage (this is secondary damage) to that target, and may automaticaly damage them as an action on subsequent turns, as above.

You cannot deal damage to a creature that is more than 30 feet away from you or has total cover from you.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the initial damage increases by 1d12 for each slot level above 1st. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the secondary damage increases by 1d12 for every two slot levels above 1st
 

Archlogus

Villager
Witchbolt Fix?

Witchbolt
1st-level (Evocation)

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30 ft
Components: V, S, M (a twig from a tree that has been struck by lightning)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

A beam of crackling, blue energy lances out toward a creature within range, forming a sustained arc of lightning between you and the target. Make a ranged spell attack against that creature. On a hit, the target takes 1d12 lightning damage, and on each of your turns for the duration, you can use your action to deal 1d12 lightning damage to the target automatically.

On a miss, you can spend your action on following turns within the spell’s duration to make another ranged spell attack. The first time you hit within the spell’s duration, you deal the spell’s initial damage.

Alternatively, you may switch to a different target, making a ranged spell attack and dealing 1d12 lightning damage (this is secondary damage) to that target, and may automaticaly damage them as an action on subsequent turns, as above.

You cannot deal damage to a creature that is more than 30 feet away from you or has total cover from you.

At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the initial damage increases by 1d12 for each slot level above 1st. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the secondary damage increases by 1d12 for every two slot levels above 1st
Its the low secondary damage (which you address), the action, and concentration that make the spell bad... But maybe too good if all those parameters changed.. That being said, if it was touch your familiar could cast it :) (holding concentration for the spell, I assume, and using its action (which witch bolt does require an attack but only initially, so a familiar would be able to use its action to deal damage automatically, would be cool if something like call lightning was touch for same reason).
 

Archlogus

Villager
Wow, I had never truly understood the depths of suck that came from Dispel Good and Evil. For example, it doesn't give you resistance to fear, charm or possession effects, making you more vulnerable if you are using it instead of Protection from Good and Evil.

I tried fixing it, but... gods it was such a trash spell.

Dispel Evil and Good
5th-level (Abjuration)
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (holy water or powdered silver and iron)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Shimmering energy surrounds and protects you from fey, undead, and creatures originating from beyond the Material Plane. For the duration, Abominations, Celestials, Elementals, Fey, Fiends, and Undead have disadvantage on attack rolls against you. Additionally, you are immune to fear, charm and possession effects from such creatures.

Once per minute, you can use each special function of this spell.

Break Enchantment: As your action, you touch a creature you can reach that is possessed by an abomination, celestial, an elemental, a fey, a fiend, or an undead. The creature you touch is no longer possessed by such creatures.

Calming Prescence: As your action, you emit a radius of calm in a 15 ft sphere. All creatures that were charmed or frightened within the sphere are no longer charmed or frightened.

Dismissal: As your action, make a melee spell attack against an abomination, celestial, an elemental, a fey, a fiend, or an undead you can reach. On a hit, you attempt to drive the creature back to its home plane. The creature must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be sent back to its home plane (if it isn't there already). If they aren't on their home plane, undead are sent to the Shadowfell, and fey are sent to the Feywild.

I still don't think it is ever worth it to cast, but at least now it isn't an utter waste of your time.
Being able to dismiss a creature is good.. If cast on a steed found by the find steed spell (which a bard can get) then both rider and steed can 1\min attempt to banish any fiend etc... Also, game world wise, this spell allows a lv 9 character be able to turn back even a balor (one at least)... Break enchantment is rareish...
 

True Strike shines when there are more non-cantrip attack roll spells and consumable attack roll items in play.

Unfortunately, in the base game (at least after early levels), there's a general lack of viable non-cantrip attack roll spells and consumable attack roll items.

If more non-cantrip attack roll spells and consumable attack roll items ARE added to one's campaign, then True Strike can potentially become a really great spell without tweaking its mechanics.
 

Dausuul

Legend
True Strike shines when there are more non-cantrip attack roll spells and consumable attack roll items in play.

Unfortunately, in the base game (at least after early levels), there's a general lack of viable non-cantrip attack roll spells and consumable attack roll items.

If more non-cantrip attack roll spells and consumable attack roll items ARE added to one's campaign, then True Strike can potentially become a really great spell without tweaking its mechanics.
High-level spells that used attack rolls would give true strike a niche... but a very narrow one. The action + concentration requirement kills it in most circumstances, even as a pre-combat buff (because it prevents you from using any other buffs). And "narrow niche" is not what you want in a cantrip.

My fix for true strike would be to remove concentration and allow you to choose any creature within 60 feet and give it advantage on one attack roll before the end of its next turn. Turn it into what someone described as a ranged Help action. That would have a fair bit of use in combat, without being consistently stronger than other cantrips.
 

High-level spells that used attack rolls would give true strike a niche... but a very narrow one. The action + concentration requirement kills it in most circumstances, even as a pre-combat buff (because it prevents you from using any other buffs). And "narrow niche" is not what you want in a cantrip.

My fix for true strike would be to remove concentration and allow you to choose any creature within 60 feet and give it advantage on one attack roll before the end of its next turn. Turn it into what someone described as a ranged Help action. That would have a fair bit of use in combat, without being consistently stronger than other cantrips.

I wrote "at least after early levels", which would include mid levels.

Adding high risk, high reward consumable options in a progressive manner from early to high levels would give True Strike more than just a narrow niche. It would fit many different themes, as this is not just about damage on hit but other effects that can fit an infinite variation of themes.
 

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