D&D General Thinking about Cantrips (building from 3.5/PF/4e/5e/A5E)


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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
did you read what I responded to? I was responding t someone that wanted them to never outstrip leveled spells... I think I accomplished that by making eldritch blast (an exception for warlock) do just that...
Your suggestion does not generally accomplish that either Look at the math, you just replace a d8*x firebolt (avg4.5*x) with d8+int mod (generally flat 4 or 5) or 2d8+int mod.

Cantrips don't exceed leveled spells at times because they are too good, they exceed them because low level spells no longer scale with caster level and because spell slots no longer accumulate at the more generous rates that would have supported upcasting better.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Your suggestion does not generally accomplish that either Look at the math, you just replace a d8*x firebolt (avg4.5*x) with d8+int mod (generally flat 4 or 5) or 2d8+int mod.
I didn't replace 1d10 with 1d8+stat mod, I replaced 2d10 with 1d8+ stat mod...

2d10 min 2 max 20 average 11
1d8+4 min 5, max 12 average 8

I then replaced 3d10 with 1d10+ stat mod

3d10 min 3 max 30 average 16
1d10+5 min 6 max 15 average 11

I then replaced 4d10 with 2d8 + stat mod

4d10 min 4 max 40 average 22
2d8+5 min 7 max 21 average 14

BUrning hands does 3d6 fire and magic missle does 3d4+3 auto hit force (I think we can all agree auto hit + less ressited type is better)
3d6 min 3 max 18 avrg 10 (or 1/9/5 with save)

the only time my average damage in my version tops better then burining hands is when it hit and burining hands misses the save, at 17+ level... but even still the fire bolt can miss 0 damage, and burining hands is save for half so 1/9/5 fire damage on a 'miss'.

Cantrips don't exceed leveled spells at times because they are too good, they exceed them because low level spells no longer scale with caster level and because spell slots no longer accumulate at the more generous rates that would have supported upcasting better.
edit: I am sure someone can make even better math... but its a darn good start for an off the cuff answer from a non game designer
 

Joshy

Explorer
It really depends on what you are looking for.
Mechanically it works fine as is. If casters didn't have cantrips they would be using weapons and doing about the same damage.

If it is about casters using cantrips in town, how is that any different then a warrior intimidating random people or a rogue using sleight of hand.

If it is about the thought that casters should have limited magic then question becomes why.
Why must they run out of their lowest magic? A fighter can swing his blade near unlimited times why not just put the same limitation? Casting a firebolt might take less energy than swinging a weapon.

Why must their lowest magic be finite? It's all about the fluff. The 'mana' could regenerate at the same pace the cantrip uses it. Or they use magic in the air and there are no resource cost to a cantrip.

If you just don't like how it sounds then just refluff it. It seems like a lot of people that don't like unlimited cantrips seem to have a problem with the fluff not the mechanics.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
It really depends on what you are looking for.
Mechanically it works fine as is. If casters didn't have cantrips they would be using weapons and doing about the same damage.

If it is about casters using cantrips in town, how is that any different then a warrior intimidating random people or a rogue using sleight of hand.

If it is about the thought that casters should have limited magic then question becomes why.
Why must they run out of their lowest magic? A fighter can swing his blade near unlimited times why not just put the same limitation? Casting a firebolt might take less energy than swinging a weapon.

Why must their lowest magic be finite? It's all about the fluff. The 'mana' could regenerate at the same pace the cantrip uses it. Or they use magic in the air and there are no resource cost to a cantrip.

If you just don't like how it sounds then just refluff it. It seems like a lot of people that don't like unlimited cantrips seem to have a problem with the fluff not the mechanics.
I guess the pick-pocket risks getting caught, the ruffian runs out of folks to bully or picks the wrong one, and the perpetual light maker runs into the enforcers from the lamp oil guild. :)

I think part of it is just the inspirational literature informing a given world. Some of the literature (and PF/4e/5e) have inexhaustible cantrips, and some of the literature (and 1e/2e/3e) have much more limited spells.
 

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