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

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
For someone who claims to dislike elves, this certainly makes them a better option than many races.
Spellcasters able to fight decently without casting spells will be the best choice: Bladesingers, Valor Bards, Swords Bards and Moon Druids.
You'll be up to your pointy ears in trilling fops, and furries.

Any other casters will have to make sure they get a decent ranged and/or Finesse weapon from their race in order to have an effective action during combat. The sort of race commonly found frolicking through the woods singing roundelays.

Also Paladins. They can burn their spell slots just fine, and laying on hands isn't a spell, so they're good there as well. These rules aren't going to limit your average elven paladin when they can just smite away with both rapiers just as soon as they mince up to their opponent.

So Elves and Bards are like the Dark Side of the Force. It's the power that tempting; never mind the evil. No matter how much you try to tamp them down, they will still be there. Doesn't give you license to succumb and murder all the younglings.

But I am relatively unworried about the idea of people making spell casters that are competent in melee without spells. That's the idea.

The issue of half-casting melee classes (Paladin, Ranger) is something I haven't really thought about yet- I think many people enjoy the various ranger variants that do not have spells for a reason. As for Paladins, the issue is primarily smite; honestly, other than not allowing smite but continuing to allow them to use spells for other reasons, I can't think of a better proposal. But that's why we have the wisdom of crowds, right? :)
 

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Increasing the casting time, or reducing the damage of spells, are all going to break the balance of the game. If you break a class, no one wants to play it... like at all, and for the worst reasons. If you don't want players to play specific magic-using classes, you can just run a non-magic campaign. Ban those classes, but don't break them.

The best way to go about this, is to either find a way to discourage magic, or add a consequence to using magic. But for goodness sake, find a way that does not break the balance of the game, and/or make certain classes basically useless. That is only going to piss your players off.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Increasing the casting time, or reducing the damage of spells, are all going to break the balance of the game. If you break a class, no one wants to play it... like at all, and for the worst reasons. If you don't want players to play specific magic-using classes, you can just run a non-magic campaign. Ban those classes, but don't break them.

The best way to go about this, is to either find a way to discourage magic, or add a consequence to using magic. But for goodness sake, find a way that does not break the balance of the game, and/or make certain classes basically useless. That is only going to piss your players off.

1. I understand that you do not agree with the premise of the thread; do you think that if you keep saying that you disagree with the premise, I will suddenly be moved to agree with you, despite what I wrote in the OP?

2. Is it possible that there are other tables and other modalities of play that do not agree that reducing the amount of magic in combat is the equivalent of making "certain classes basically useless." If it's possible that there are other tables and other modalities of play that do not agree with you, then maybe your best way to do something isn't the best way for every table to do something?

3. Building on (1) and (2), I must assume that you met my mother, who always told me, "Snarf, if you can't be a part of the solution, become a part of the problem." :)
 

1. I understand that you do not agree with the premise of the thread; do you think that if you keep saying that you disagree with the premise, I will suddenly be moved to agree with you, despite what I wrote in the OP?

2. Is it possible that there are other tables and other modalities of play that do not agree that reducing the amount of magic in combat is the equivalent of making "certain classes basically useless." If it's possible that there are other tables and other modalities of play that do not agree with you, then maybe your best way to do something isn't the best way for every table to do something?

3. Building on (1) and (2), I must assume that you met my mother, who always told me, "Snarf, if you can't be a part of the solution, become a part of the problem." :)
Your solution just seems passive aggressive. Like if casting magic missile takes four rounds why not just remove it from the game altogether as no one is gonna cast it anyway? And if combat spells are effectively eliminated, it just leaves the casters (assuming anyone would still play one) to use all their spells outside the combat, which is the area of which most caster dominance complaints are actually about.

I'm sure no one is against people running low magic campaigns, it's just that your proposed method of achieving it is frankly terrible.

Furthermore, if you don't want your ideas to be criticised, that is super easy to achieve: don't post them on public message boards.
 

For 5E, this is actually untrue.

In old-school D&D, Magic-users (what we called Wizards back in the day) were indeed pathetic in combat when they weren't casting spells. In modern day D&D, however, a Wizard (if "built" in a certain way) is really only slightly less effective using weapons than other classes.

An Elf wizard in 5E is proficient with bows, assuming the player bumps the wizard's DEX up as the second highest score for the PC, one could easily have a 16 DEX granting a +3 bonus to hit and damage with bows. This elven wizard would have a total of +5 to hit and +3 to damage with a longbow at first level. Not really that far off of what a rogue or fighter would be capable of.

Honestly, this makes the fact that casters get ad infinitum spammable damage cantrips even more perplexing in my mind.
That’s logic until fighter get level 5 or 11! Or the paladin start smiting all attacks three rounds in a row. If you remove combat spell and cantrip Wizard need some way to be effective. A kind of arcane smite spending spell slot on a hit could be a solution.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Your solution just seems passive aggressive. Like if casting magic missile takes four rounds why not just remove it from the game altogether as no one is gonna cast it anyway? And if combat spells are effectively eliminated, it just leaves the casters (assuming anyone would still play one) to use all their spells outside the combat, which is the area about which most caster dominance complaints are actually about.

I'm sure no one is against people running low magic campaigns, it's just that your proposed method of achieving it is frankly terrible.

Furthermore, if you don't want your ideas to be criticised, that is super easy to achieve: don't post them on public message boards.

I assume you didn't read the entire post. Or, maybe, you just don't care for the premise (which is cool).

But it wasn't "passive aggressive." So allow me to provide you the annotated OP in respond to your agressive-agressive post.

1. This is a specific solution modeled after a prior example used in D&D. Not just by TSR, and not just in D&D, but by me in prior campaigns. It worked really well, and I was seeing how it would be adapted to 5e.

2. I don't want to remove all combat spells- instead, as I wrote in the OP (and pace Lankhmar) "To be clear- changing the casting time, extending the casting time, would have a massive and deleterious effect on spellcasting within combat. It would make martial characters much more important for combat, and make spellcasting more of a utility and out-of-combat experience, with only limited uses for combat." There would still be occasions for the big blast- but they would have to be considered (such as the hidden spell caster, or ambushes).

3. I love having the idea criticized, and I have responded to criticisms- such as "What to do about Elves, and Bards, and the Paladin smite-y thing." I don't have answers for all of that. That's why I posted- I was looking for 5e-specific feedback on implementation, But repeated catcalls of, "Your idea is stupid, because I want my spellcaster to be awesome in combat with spells," is... well, it's definitely an opinion!

But to quote my OP-
What do you think? And by that, I don't mean, "I LOVE SPELLS! SPELLS ARE WICKED KEWL! YOU ARE A BAD BAD MAN FOR EVEN SUGGESTING THIS!"

I know I'm a bad, bad man. Just call me Leroy Brown. But I'm more interested in feedback as to whether you think that specific implementation would be successful at the goal of creating a campaign feel, in 5e, similar to that of the prior Lankhmar setting.



I'm deeply sorry I hurt your spell caster feels. Leroy Brown out.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
That’s logic until fighter get level 5 or 11! Or the paladin start smiting all attacks three rounds in a row. If you remove combat spell and cantrip Wizard need some way to be effective. A kind of arcane smite spending spell slot on a hit could be a solution.

Apart from the sanitation spells, the medicine spells, education spells, wine spells, public order spells, irrigation spells, road spells, the spells that created a fresh water system, and the healing spells, what have the Roman Spellcasters ever done for us outside of combat?
 

I assume you didn't read the entire post. Or, maybe, you just don't care for the premise (which is cool).

But it wasn't "passive aggressive." So allow me to provide you the annotated OP in respond to your agressive-agressive post.

1. This is a specific solution modeled after a prior example used in D&D. Not just by TSR, and not just in D&D, but by me in prior campaigns. It worked really well, and I was seeing how it would be adapted to 5e.
Older editions of D&D were often horrible unbalanced messes and furthermore you can't just insert mechanics from other edition and expect it to work.

2. I don't want to remove all combat spells- instead, as I wrote in the OP (and pace Lankhmar) "To be clear- changing the casting time, extending the casting time, would have a massive and deleterious effect on spellcasting within combat. It would make martial characters much more important for combat, and make spellcasting more of a utility and out-of-combat experience, with only limited uses for combat." There would still be occasions for the big blast- but they would have to be considered (such as the hidden spell caster, or ambushes).
But you wrote rules which effectively remove combat spells. Seriously, would you expect anyone to use their spell selection on magic missile or firebolt under these rules?

3. I love having the idea criticized, and I have responded to criticisms- such as "What to do about Elves, and Bards, and the Paladin smite-y thing." I don't have answers for all of that. That's why I posted- I was looking for 5e-specific feedback on implementation, But repeated catcalls of, "Your idea is stupid, because I want my spellcaster to be awesome in combat with spells," is... well, it's definitely an opinion!

But to quote my OP-
What do you think? And by that, I don't mean, "I LOVE SPELLS! SPELLS ARE WICKED KEWL! YOU ARE A BAD BAD MAN FOR EVEN SUGGESTING THIS!"

I know I'm a bad, bad man. Just call me Leroy Brown. But I'm more interested in feedback as to whether you think that specific implementation would be successful at the goal of creating a campaign feel, in 5e, similar to that of the prior Lankhmar setting.



I'm deeply sorry I hurt your spell caster feels. Leroy Brown out.

I'm super fine with limiting casters. They just need to get something else in return! Also I'm against nerfing certain things to uselessness without actually banning them. This just creates trap choices and trap choices are terrible game design. Again, no one is against your basic premise of having low magic game, only your specific implementation.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Older editions of D&D were often horrible unbalanced messes and furthermore you can't just insert mechanics from other edition and expect it to work.


But you wrote rules which effectively remove combat spells. Seriously, would you expect anyone to use their spell selection on magic missile or firebolt under these rules?



I'm super fine with limiting casters. They just need to get something else in return! Also I'm against nerfing certain things to uselessness without actually banning them. This just creates trap choices and trap choices are terrible game design. Again, no one is against your basic premise of having low magic game, only your specific implementation.

You have a very wordy way of continuing to say, "I reject the premise of the thread." Again, good for you! I get it. You don't like it. Do you wish to write more words on the subject? Do you think I am unclear on your position? Will it help if you continue to explain this to me?

What you lack is this- an understanding that I know what you are saying, and I disagree wholeheartedly! So to repeat myself, for the fourth time now-
"But I'm more interested in feedback as to whether you think that specific implementation would be successful at the goal of creating a campaign feel, in 5e, similar to that of the prior Lankhmar setting."

I am interested in translating a specific rule into 5e- not in your thoughts about what you think is best practices for game design. If you don't have thoughts on the subject, but just objections to the premise over and over again, they have been noted. Thanks!
 

You have a very wordy way of continuing to say, "I reject the premise of the thread." Again, good for you! I get it. You don't like it. Do you wish to write more words on the subject? Do you think I am unclear on your position? Will it help if you continue to explain this to me?
What's the premise? If you want to create a game that is an imbalanced mess full of trap choices and in which no one who can understand the implications of the rules plays spellcaster, and people who don't understand are constantly disappointed by wasting their choices on useless things, then you just should say so. Is that your goal? If it is, grats, perfect success!

What you lack is this- an understanding that I know what you are saying, and I disagree wholeheartedly! So to repeat myself, for the fourth time now-
"But I'm more interested in feedback as to whether you think that specific implementation would be successful at the goal of creating a campaign feel, in 5e, similar to that of the prior Lankhmar setting."
It won't produce Lankhmar feel as in Lankhmar spellcasters exist. So do you care about emulating Lankhmar, or do you care about shoehorning your specific rule in? Because you certainly don't get Lakhmanr with it, but you can do Lankhmar without it. Hell, there literally is Arcane Trickster in PHB which produces pretty decent Mouser-like character.

I am interested in translating a specific rule into 5e- not in your thoughts about what you think is best practices for game design. If you don't have thoughts on the subject, but just objections to the premise over and over again, they have been noted. Thanks!
But if you don't care about balance, about good game design practices, to what sort of build decisions your rule incentivises or apparently even producing the feel you say you want, then what basis is there for any discussion? Like if the question is can this rule be put in place, then of course the answer is yes. You can implement any houserule if you don't care about its implications. So there really is nothing to discuss and there is no point for you to post it here.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
So Elves and Bards are like the Dark Side of the Force. It's the power that tempting; never mind the evil. No matter how much you try to tamp them down, they will still be there. Doesn't give you license to succumb and murder all the younglings.

But I am relatively unworried about the idea of people making spell casters that are competent in melee without spells. That's the idea.

The issue of half-casting melee classes (Paladin, Ranger) is something I haven't really thought about yet- I think many people enjoy the various ranger variants that do not have spells for a reason. As for Paladins, the issue is primarily smite; honestly, other than not allowing smite but continuing to allow them to use spells for other reasons, I can't think of a better proposal. But that's why we have the wisdom of crowds, right? :)
Without smite you are better off reworking paladin as a fighter archetype. Smite is their core feature that the entire class is built around. Heck or just make it a background.
 

1. I understand that you do not agree with the premise of the thread; do you think that if you keep saying that you disagree with the premise, I will suddenly be moved to agree with you, despite what I wrote in the OP?

You misunderstand. I don't disagree with the premise of the thread at all. I just think that your idea for achieving it is... well, frankly terrible. Which is why I've offered alternatives.

The base classes of 5e, unmodified, are relatively balanced. Each class can for the most part perform on an equal level. The classes may differ in the amount of base damage they deal, but they don't differ greatly.

What you are proposing, is to make all spellcasting classes deal an inferior amount of damage, in comparison to all other classes. How is that not rendering that class useless? Why would anyone want to play that class? Why would anyone want to choose to be the fifth wheel of the group?

Hey, here is another "great idea"! How about we add a rule that whenever a paladin attacks, they lose 1d6 gold. Hey, I'm not saying you can't play a paladin.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You misunderstand. I don't disagree with the premise of the thread at all. I just think that your idea for achieving it is... well, frankly terrible. Which is why I've offered alternatives.

Fair enough- what do you think the premise of the thread is? Because I've seen your alternatives (such as eliminating classes) and, well ... I already addressed that in the opening of the thread when I say that I've seen those proposals. If I've seen them, and I'm proposing something different that has a different and specific effect, is it possible that maybe you don't understand the premise of the thread?
 

Fair enough- what do you think the premise of the thread is? Because I've seen your alternatives (such as eliminating classes)

You misunderstand again. That was not my suggested alternative to what you are trying to do. What I said, was that if you choose to make classes so unfun, broken and unbalanced to play, you might as well eliminate them from your game entirely.

Which to be fair, is a thing you could do, but not what I would suggest you do. I merely was trying to illustrate that breaking a class with house rules, is on the same footing as eliminating it. Which raises the question, then why not just eliminate it? Because no one is going to play that class with what you suggested.

What I proposed instead, was:

-a cooldown on individual spells
-a corruption rule (similar to the Conan RPG), where spellcasting risks corruption of the soul
-making spellcasting a crime in the setting.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
The base classes of 5e, unmodified, are relatively balanced. Each class can for the most part perform on an equal level. The classes may differ in the amount of base damage they deal, but they don't differ greatly.

What you are proposing, is to make all spellcasting classes deal an inferior amount of damage, in comparison to all other classes. How is that not rendering that class useless? Why would anyone want to play that class? Why would anyone want to choose to be the fifth wheel of the group?
I thought the premise was that for a certain game, some players would accept being less useful in combat in exchange for having a bunch of utility outside of combat. I'd accept that trade, certainly.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You misunderstand again. That was not my suggested alternative to what you are trying to do. What I said, was that if you choose to make classes so unfun, broken and unbalanced to play, you might as well eliminate them from your game entirely.

Which to be fair, is a thing you could do, but not what I would suggest you do. I merely was trying to illustrate that breaking a class with house rules, is on the same footing as eliminating it. Which raises the question, then why not just eliminate it? Because no one is going to play that class with what you suggested.

What I proposed instead, was:

-a cooldown on individual spells
-a corruption rule (similar to the Conan RPG), where spellcasting risks corruption of the soul
-making spellcasting a crime in the setting.

No, I don't misunderstand. At all.

None of that is what I want. Again, what is the premise of the thread? Not what problem do you want to solve with your solutions... what was I looking at, and why do you think your proposed solutions don't really address it?

If you can't be bothered to understand what the thread is about, you might want to stop saying that the OP is misunderstanding your proposals.

EDIT: @TwoSix gets it.
 


Again, what is the premise of the thread? Not what problem do you want to solve with your solutions... what was I looking at, and why do you think your proposed solutions don't really address it?

You think there is too much magic in 5e, and you want to limit spellcasting in 5e. You want to make martial characters much more important for combat, and make spellcasting more of a utility and out-of-combat experience, with only limited uses for combat.

As I understand it you think that the best way of accomplishing this, is the Lankhmar Solution, by introducing ludicrous changes to spellcasting, that make spellcasting in combat basically not an option.

And you handwave away criticism that this would break spellcasting classes to the point of uselessness.
But there are other (better) ways to accomplish this, without your ludicrous new rule, and without breaking those classes.

If that is not the premise of the thread, maybe you should do a better job stating what the premise is?
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You think there is too much magic in 5e, and you want to limit spellcasting in 5e. You want to make martial characters much more important for combat, and make spellcasting more of a utility and out-of-combat experience, with only limited uses for combat.

And you think that the best way of accomplishing this, is the Lankhmar Solution, by introducing ludicrous changes to spellcasting, that make spellcasting in combat basically not an option.

And you handwave away criticism that this would break spellcasting classes to the point of uselessness.
But there are other (better) ways to accomplish this, without your ludicrous new rule, and without breaking those classes.

One final time- no.

If you don't get it now, you won't. Thanks for your input, which has been no help whatsoever, but I appreciate that you continue to explain to me that you understand what I am doing so much better than I do.
 
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