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

Sithlord

Adventurer
I'm going to- hoping to see what I'm missing first (notably, issues involving half casters and specifically Paladins ... that's what I'm seeing).

I'd like to the rule to be simple and easy to implement - I liked the way @NotAYakk was thinking, but I prefer simplified rules, and that proposal was a little too finicky.
There are people out there that want this. They are limited. I’m no online gamer but some like that and it will be easier.
But I wish people would take me seriously when I tell them that hellboy for d&d 5E pretty much does this already. If you could use their magic system you would be very very pleased. At least I think so. A
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
There are people out there that want this. They are limited. I’m no online gamer but some like that and it will be easier.
But I wish people would take me seriously when I tell them that hellboy for d&d 5E pretty much does this already. If you could use their magic system you would be very very pleased. At least I think so. A

I'll give it a look-see when I get the chance.

It's just that I have tried others before (the usual go to AIME) and they have always been lacking; I am not looking for a re-skin, just a few mechanical nudges, and I love me some home-brewed rules! :)
 

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.

I literally quoted your opening post. If your opening post isn't the premise of the thread, how do you expect anyone to know what it is?
 

p_johnston

Explorer
So addressing the rules changes I can see it going a few different ways and a lot of it will actually depend on what you have trained your group to expect from your games.

1) If you run games with a lot of combat (as many people do) and are planning to continue this then most groups will simply not pick any spell casters. At best you might get a Battle Bard.

2) If you run combat light games or are telling your group that the coming game is going to be combat light then the effect will be closer to what is intended. That being said this also requires a lot more work and prep on the DM side which is important to keep in mind. It also requires that your group trusts you to actually keep the games combat light. If this is the case I would also be inclined to make other rules changes to make combat more deadly and encourage PC's to avoid it but that might be beyond the scope of the thread.

I will also say a lot of this will depend on the group. I as a DM and player like this idea and would enjoy running/playing a more magic light game. I know as a DM that my players don't tend to feel the same way though.

Also when addressing the half casters
Rangers- Probably require a rebuild of some kind. Get rid of the spells and give them something else in its place. It's been tried a few times so maybe just steal one of those ideas.

Paladins- Maybe go back to 3.x style and restrict smiting to actual evil? undead/outsiders/etc. Make their divine sense a bonus action also. This rules change seems to be built to give diffrent classes the ability to really shine in different circumstances so letting the paladin just go to town whenever a demon shows up seems in line with that.
 

Also when addressing the half casters
Rangers- Probably require a rebuild of some kind. Get rid of the spells and give them something else in its place. It's been tried a few times so maybe just steal one of those ideas.

Paladins- Maybe go back to 3.x style and restrict smiting to actual evil? undead/outsiders/etc. Make their divine sense a bonus action also. This rules change seems to be built to give diffrent classes the ability to really shine in different circumstances so letting the paladin just go to town whenever a demon shows up seems in line with that.
Castles & Crusades does this by default.

I know there's a gravitational pull toward 5E, but on every single page, people are recommending changes that are already built into the game balance of games related to D&D, most of which are extremely well supported.
 

p_johnston

Explorer
Castles & Crusades does this by default.

I know there's a gravitational pull toward 5E, but on every single page, people are recommending changes that are already built into the game balance of games related to D&D, most of which are extremely well supported.
I read (or at least skim) through a lot of other RPG system rule books to get ideas (and for fun). There is a reason most people tend to gravitate to 5E though. This thread is 9 pages long because it's about a rules change to 5E. If I created a similar thread with ideas about a rules change to say Fantasy Age/Fate/Cypher It would likely have less than 10 replies.

In addition I have run 5E since it came out nearly weekly. When I make I change to 5E I can see what effects it has fairly quickly and see if it's making the game better or worse. In short I have a "feel" for 5E that I wouldn't have for any other game. Plus any other game I tried would require not only me but all my players to read an entirely new rules system. It's much easier for me to say "here's another page of Homebrewed rules to remember" rather then "read this 200 page rulebook."
 

I read (or at least skim) through a lot of other RPG system rule books to get ideas (and for fun). There is a reason most people tend to gravitate to 5E though. This thread is 9 pages long because it's about a rules change to 5E. If I created a similar thread with ideas about a rules change to say Fantasy Age/Fate/Cypher It would likely have less than 10 replies.
You're on the most popular 5E website. If you posted this thread on one devoted to Free League's Alien it would have no responses at all, other than maybe someone poking gentle fun at you in Swedish.
In addition I have run 5E since it came out nearly weekly. When I make I change to 5E I can see what effects it has fairly quickly and see if it's making the game better or worse. In short I have a "feel" for 5E that I wouldn't have for any other game. Plus any other game I tried would require not only me but all my players to read an entirely new rules system. It's much easier for me to say "here's another page of Homebrewed rules to remember" rather then "read this 200 page rulebook."
I dispute that the learning curve is particularly steep on Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Dungeon Crawl Classics or any OSR ruleset if one knows 5E. Yes, there are definitely differences, but they all share so much DNA that getting to a high level of mastery very quickly is relatively easy. My campaign moved from 3E to C&C to 5E without much of an issue beyond recreating the characters in each system. And we're talking about starting a side game of DCC run by one of my players and everyone is excited about the possibility.

But yes, if someone was to switch their D&D game over to Runequest or GURPS Basic Fantasy, it would be hard for them to know how it would go and it'd be a big ask of the players. But I don't think that's what anyone would recommend here.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
You're on the most popular 5E website. If you posted this thread on one devoted to Free League's Alien it would have no responses at all, other than maybe someone poking gentle fun at you in Swedish.

I dispute that the learning curve is particularly steep on Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Dungeon Crawl Classics or any OSR ruleset if one knows 5E. Yes, there are definitely differences, but they all share so much DNA that getting to a high level of mastery very quickly is relatively easy. My campaign moved from 3E to C&C to 5E without much of an issue beyond recreating the characters in each system. And we're talking about starting a side game of DCC run by one of my players and everyone is excited about the possibility.

But yes, if someone was to switch their D&D game over to Runequest or GURPS Basic Fantasy, it would be hard for them to know how it would go and it'd be a big ask of the players. But I don't think that's what anyone would recommend here.
I kinda agree with you. But I also dm at a flgs (not saying you don’t) but I also see many players that week after week I have to do this with every roll

1) roll 1d20
2) add your ability score modifier. No just the modifier. Not the entire ability score. It’s written write here on your character sheet
3.) if you are proficient add your ability score modifier
4.) tell me the result.

Also. No u don’t add your proficiency bonus to weapon damage. Jesus. Roll your weapon damage not 1d20. And all that is after they played 5 or 6 sessions. And there are several people like that. I could not imagine them learning ad&d or pathfinder.
 


I kinda agree with you. But I also dm at a flgs (not saying you don’t) but I also see many players that week after week I have to do this with every roll

1) roll 1d20
2) add your ability score modifier. No just the modifier. Not the entire ability score. It’s written write here on your character sheet
3.) if you are proficient add your ability score modifier
4.) tell me the result.

Also. No u don’t add your proficiency bonus to weapon damage. Jesus. Roll your weapon damage not 1d20. And all that is after they played 5 or 6 sessions. And there are several people like that. I could not imagine them learning ad&d or pathfinder.
I've got those players, too. But I'm not sure what the functional difference is between reminding people how 5E works and reminding them how Castles & Crusades or Dungeon Crawl Classics work.
 

Stalker0

Legend
So I'll agree with others that all this does is remove casters from the game, its far too hard of a hammer. I would just remove spellcasting classes instead personally.

If you really do want to lessen casters without removing them, let me recommend some tweaks:

  • Non-cantrip action spells take 2 actions to cast (not 4). This allows casters to do SOME offense in combat with their cantrips. Further, remember that even with 2 actions, you have cut caster's offensive power in half...that is still a MASSIVE nerf. Also, considering the average duration of a 5e combat is about 3 rounds, you could actually argue this is a 66% nerf, as a caster could only get off 1 spell in those 3 rounds instead of 3.
  • I wouldn't increase the duration of the longer casting spells. No need there, they are already either going to be used or not used depending on how much time the DM alots them, increasing that isn't going to do much.
  • Double the number of caster spell slots.
So now your nerfing casters on actions but at least they will feel more free to try and cast spells, especially out of combat. There in combat effectiveness will still be incredibly hindered, but at least their out of combat utility could still be fun and interesting.
 

CubicsRube

Adventurer
I don't think it's going to meet your criteria, but my settings rule for 5e is that casting spells age you prematurely. This is inspired by earlier edition spells and is purely cosmetic.

1 day aging when casting a cantrip.
1 week when casting a spell level 1 - 5
1 month when casting a spell level 6+

This isn't going to do much in terms of how a PC would play a spellcaster, but it keeps it thematic to me in how magic is dangerous, why NPCs don't fling spells around willy nilly in the world, and even why elves might be more inclined to use magic (since they have years to spare)
 

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.
This is incorrect. Mouser does not use magic in combat. Mouser does not use cantrips. Mouser does not use spells to aid his thieving. Mouser is a failed apprentice (and one of the greatest swordsmen in the universe) with a few pretensions of adepthood, who occasionally uses a little magical knowledge, and one or twice casts (and screws up) a powerful spell from a scroll. He has nothing like the day to day magical power of an Arcane Trickster, because such easy, day to day magic is contradictory to the setting Leiber created.
 
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I literally quoted your opening post. If your opening post isn't the premise of the thread, how do you expect anyone to know what it is?
It is. You've just misunderstood it, despite his repeated attempts to explain it, alas.

The premise definitely changes the nature and assumptions of the setting and game from the ones embodied by the baseline 5E rules. Given how commonplace, powerful, and reliable PC magic is in 5E, doing this represents a bigger departure from 5th than it does from some earlier editions, but even compared to 1E, Lankhmar as a setting nerfs combat magic hard.

And that's ok! If the DM is trying to emulate that setting, magic is still going to be badass, in part because it will be more rare. Enemies will be less prepared for it, and fewer of them will have it in turn. PC casters will be more special, in part because the hurdles they face will be higher. But a higher percentage of PCs will no doubt be non-casters, which is also a success for genre emulation. In Swords & Sorcery, the protagonists are normally the Swords half of that, with the occasional magical ally, and the Sorcery is usually for the most part found among bad guys.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
And that's ok! If the DM is trying to emulate that setting, magic is still going to be badass, in part because it will be more rare. Enemies will be less prepared for it, and fewer of them will have it in turn.
If I had a musket in a world of machine guns.... sure I have a rare weapon.... a rare and crappy weapon.... doesn't matter how rare it is....its still crappy.

As outline, spellcasting has been made "crappy" from a combat perspective. If that's is the OP intention, to remove spellcasting from combat, that's fine.... but if that is the goal I would just go with a more simple..... "spells cannot be cast during combat". Simple and done. If the goal is "spellcasting should be a little trickier in combat than it is right now"....than the rules presented are way way way too harsh.

I think another simpler method to get this kind of low magic feel is just use this rule:

"You can only take 1 level of a spellcasting class for every 2 levels of a non-spellcasting class you have". So for example: Fighter 2/Wizard 1, Barb 4/Sorc 2. This would mean you would need to be 15th level (10/5) to have 3rd level spells....so yes magic is very rare and precious now.
 

jerryrice4949

Adventurer
If I had a musket in a world of machine guns.... sure I have a rare weapon.... a rare and crappy weapon.... doesn't matter how rare it is....its still crappy.

As outline, spellcasting has been made "crappy" from a combat perspective. If that's is the OP intention, to remove spellcasting from combat, that's fine.... but if that is the goal I would just go with a more simple..... "spells cannot be cast during combat". Simple and done. If the goal is "spellcasting should be a little trickier in combat than it is right now"....than the rules presented are way way way too harsh.

I think another simpler method to get this kind of low magic feel is just use this rule:

"You can only take 1 level of a spellcasting class for every 2 levels of a non-spellcasting class you have". So for example: Fighter 2/Wizard 1, Barb 4/Sorc 2. This would mean you would need to be 15th level (10/5) to have 3rd level spells....so yes magic is very rare and precious now.
Agreed.
 

jerryrice4949

Adventurer
I may have missed this. But for whomever started this thread…… Do you currently have spell casters in your group and have you run this idea by them? I imagine if/when you do, they will just look at another class anyways.
 

This is incorrect. Mouser does not use magic in combat. Mouser does not use cantrips. Mouser does not use spells to aid his thieving. Mouser is a failed apprentice (and one of the greatest swordsmen in the universe) with a few pretensions of adepthood, who occasionally uses a little magical knowledge, and one or twice casts (and screws up) a powerful spell from a scroll. He has nothing like the day to day magical power of an Arcane Trickster, because such easy, day to day magic is contradictory to the setting Leiber created.
Mouser is a Thief with the Ritual Caster feat and a player who refuses to let a mediocre Arcana score stop him.
 

It is. You've just misunderstood it, despite his repeated attempts to explain it, alas.
You mean his consistent refusal to explain it.

I get that he wants to make magic in combat less of a thing. I don't have an issue with that in theory. I have run low magic campaigns myself successfully.

I just think his suggestion for doing so is really REALLY terrible. There have been a lot of much better suggestions in this thread.

But I'm getting the impression that agreeing with him, is a requirement for partaking in the discussion. And I can't be alone in that.
 

Dioltach

Legend
But I'm getting the impression that agreeing with him, is a requirement for partaking in the discussion. And I can't be alone in that.
That's because the discussion is "I have an idea, what are your suggestions for making it workable?", not "Please tell me how bad my idea is and what I should be doing instead."
 

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