log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Too Much Spellcasting in Your D&D? Just Add a Little Lankhmar!

I understand why people who like to play casters (in the interest of full disclosure, I prefer playing martials) want to be able to do something "magic-y" every round but cantrips are the thing I dislike most in 5E because, to me, magic is supposed to be a rare and finite resource. Spammable cantrips completely "de-magic" magic in my mind.

I'm actually a little surprised that people who like the notion of being magical are fully on board with making magic so...mundane.
Fantasy fiction has changed a lot since D&D was created. The folks who started with 1E and grew up reading all the Appendix N stuff have very different expectations than the D&D players for whom Adventure Time, Minecraft and Harry Potter are their fantasy fiction touchstones. Neither are wrong, but they are definitely different visions.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I ply a spellcaster because--shockingly--I want to cast spells.

Yes! And I suppose there's a ton of threads not devoted to the topic of "too much spellcasting in D&D" and reducing the amount of spellcasting in combat that will help you adequately express your love of casting spells in combat!
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
On the margins, sure they can be helpful. But no, I don't think spellcasters would have much fun; it's the big reason why 5E made clerics more than just healers, as buffing and healing isn't usually much fun. People like to make stuff explode and kill the bad guys, and this would remove that for spellcasters. Most players who enjoy spellcasters would not enjoy such changes to weaken them.
I mean, I normally play gishes, so I'm certainly not opposed to magic in my combat. But if a DM proposes a variant D&D type game with less overall magic and some thoughtful rebalancing of magic to make it less combat useful and more focused on non-combat utility, I can certainly get on board.

I might even play a fighter! (Which I never do.)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Fool, you've only but increased the awesome power of 5e Bards, by nerfing direct combat damage magic, the type of magic they are weakest in and use the least of all casters. Now all spell casters are just a little more Bard-like.

Or maybe, by turning all spellcasters into Bards, I have performed the greatest trick of all ... making Bards understand that they aren't special and unique, but rather just like their anagram- DRAB.

Q. How do you know if a Bard thinks he's super special?

A. Just talk to him for a second- he'll be sure to tell ya.
 

Yes! And I suppose there's a ton of threads not devoted to the topic of "too much spellcasting in D&D" and reducing the amount of spellcasting in combat that will help you adequately express your love of casting spells in combat!
I'm not trying to derail you, I was responding to a comment about how I'm someone who want to, as was dismissively described, 'pew pew'.

If your intent is to address an issue, it behooves you to understand the people you're trying to address. Your idea isn't just going to effect blaster magi.

Edit: And with all the bard jokes and tongue in cheek humor, who was to know this was a Dead Serious topic that couldn't be questioned?
 

But no one will want to play spellcasters anymore, because they would become far less fun. Low-level spellcasters are already kind of boring to play, making them even worse will add to that. I understand nerfing high-level spellcasting, but these changes are far too broad to make spellcasters useable by players. They're far more likely to decide "Boo that sucks, I'm playing barbarian!"
I don't get the backlash. The specific goal is to limit spell casters in general and specifically for a low magic game. In that case: "Boo that sucks, I'm playing barbarian" is a desired outcome.

But they will still have all their spell casting, just it is more onerous to use it in combat. D&D is not just about combat... spell casting classes would still be extremely effective in exploration endeavors.

It sounds like you just dislike the premise, which is completely fine but the original poster specifically didn't ask for that kind of criticism.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I’m a bit surprised at the backlash at this, there were several supplements back in at least 2E that used this (notably, all the Historical Reference supplements).
2E was the era when TSR was frantically cranking out mountains of product, much of it poorly vetted and untested. The average official supplement in 2E was on par with the average PDF off the DM's Guild today.

But yes, if you're the type of person who wants a spellcaster to be able to pew pew pew with spells the same as a martial character does with a sword in combat...
I'm used to hearing the "pew-pew-pew" silliness in reference to attack cantrips, but to hear it applied to all combat spellcasting is a new one on me. I've seen some interesting proposals to replace at-will cantrips, and I'd be on board with trying them. What you propose is far, far beyond that.

I would actually like a system that made magic feel more rare and special. But this change would not only fail to accomplish that goal, it would fail in a uniquely unpleasant way. Spellcasters would be near-useless in combat, and at the same time they would be pushed to make even more use of the worst offender in the "magic doesn't feel rare and special" category: Cheap utility spells that trivialize everything from wilderness travel to information-gathering to death itself.
 
Last edited:

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
If your intent is to address an issue, it behooves you to understand the people you're trying to address. Your idea isn't just going to effect blaster magi.
But the intent isn't to address an issue, the intent is to propose a house rule to promote a different type of play. If you're not interested in that style of play, than obviously the house rule doesn't work for you.
 

I'm not trying to derail you, I was responding to a comment about how I'm someone who want to, as was dismissively described, 'pew pew'.

If your intent is to address an issue, it behooves you to understand the people you're trying to address. Your idea isn't just going to effect blaster magi.
He's not addressing an issue, he's offering an alternative mechanism to change the flavour and tone of the game. I for one think it's worth exploring.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I would love to play through a D&D campaign world where all spells are cast as Rituals, except for:
  • Cantrips
  • Spells that are cast as Reactions
  • Metamagic (Quickened) spells
  • Spells cast from magic items
I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea, and I'm fine with that. I promise not to show up at your game table and complain about how you run things. :D I just agree with @Snarf Zagyg that spellcasting has gotten out of hand in the newer editions of the game, and I think this would be an elegant way to pump the brakes on it.
 

What is even the tone of this thread?

It starts out with 'I'm obviously right and will brook no argument' jokes and then right turns into actually brooking no argument.
 

My approach to limiting spell casters so far has been to implement one week long rests. I keep short rests at an hour which benefits the more martially inclined short rest classes. I also require a long rest only in a place of civilization with an allied faction. If you want to long rest and get spells back, you have to set up stakes in the community.

Currently, I still do allow cantrips in my current campaign. If start a new 5e game, I would probably remove cantrips completely and make certain classic cantrip spells into 1st level (light for example). I'd also borrow from classic D&D and have a 'spell declaration' phase. You have to declare you are casting before the round starts and if you are damaged before your turn you have to make a concentration check to not lose the spell. (Players will know when monsters are casting and can take action to disrupt them).

I consider that a more soft discouragement to casting in combat.

I don't see the need to add anything to make up for it. Spell casting classes are still very powerful outside of combat and if they have a decent Dex, they can be just as good at a crossbow as any other character.

D&D is not only about combat, I don't see any need to balance classes solely by that metric. It is ok that fighter and barbarian are more effective in combat because sometimes spell casters are more effective outside of combat due to their spells and special skills. That is an acceptable balance to me.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Spellcasters would be near-useless in combat, and at the same time they would be pushed to make even more use of the worst offender in the "magic doesn't feel rare and special" category: Cheap utility spells that trivialize everything from wilderness travel to information-gathering to death itself.
Which seems weird to me, because those are the exact kind of spells that make magic feel special and different. Spending my 6th level spell to do 70 damage is nice, but spending it to say "That three weeks of travel to cross the desert? We're going to turn into clouds and get there in 6 hours" is some real magic.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I don't get the backlash. The specific goal is to limit spell casters in general and specifically for a low magic game. In that case: "Boo that sucks, I'm playing barbarian" is a desired outcome.

But they will still have all their spell casting, just it is more onerous to use it in combat. D&D is not just about combat... spell casting classes would still be extremely effective in exploration endeavors.

It sounds like you just dislike the premise, which is completely fine but the original poster specifically didn't ask for that kind of criticism.

What I'm saying is, if you really just don't want people to play spellcasters, don't beat-around-the-bush by putting in these onerous restrictions. Just ban the classes or spells you don't want to see. Or preferably, pick a different game that has less magic usage.
 

What is even the tone of this thread?

It starts out with 'I'm obviously right and will brook no argument' jokes and then right turns into actually brooking no argument.
I believe the focus of the thread is to present a set of rules to limit spell casting for a low magic style game and get criticism and advice on them. Its getting a little diluted by those who are rejecting the premise of the thread instead of responding to it.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
What is even the tone of this thread?

It starts out with 'I'm obviously right and will brook no argument' jokes and then right turns into actually brooking no argument.
Because the OP explictly stated at the end of the post that they weren't asking if they SHOULD nerf spellcasting, they were asking about good ways TO nerf spellcasting. Saying "But I like spellcasters the way they are" is beyond the boundaries of the discussion.
 

What I'm saying is, if you really just don't want people to play spellcasters, don't beat-around-the-bush by putting in these onerous restrictions. Just ban the classes or spells you don't want to see. Or preferably, pick a different game that has less magic usage.
It is possible to want to have spell casting but just have be more limited and less of a focus of the game. If the tone of my campaign is to have weaker less ubiquitous and less easy magic then changes would need to be made.

Of course, playing a different game also works and there are tons of better games that suit that style as well.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top