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UA Unearthed Arcana: Starter Spells; Plus UA Returning To Monthly & Sage Advice Returning

Chaos Bolt is the first Sorcerer-only spell. Interesting.

What I've read so far looks really good. I like the idea of Ceremony quite a bit, but some of the effects (Investiture!) might be a little overpowered.
 

Comments

Bishop_

First Post
Robert J. Schwalb is credited as a writer in the original 5e Player's Handbook. Maybe they've brought him back to help write "Midway."
I know. This is why I asked about his influence. If we can glimpse something new or this fact is just credits for a previous work. Maybe all those "villainous" material from past UAs are under influence of the Shadow of the Demon Lord & Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of Nine Hells author?
 

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Desh-Rae-Halra

Explorer
I know people are digging debating the merits of the spells, but something completely different bothers me.
The head of the figure in the art looks way out of proportion to the rest of the body....it's like she has a big 'ol Water-Head.
It creeps me out.

Oh, and the "Banner" for this article focuses on her :):):):)...
 


Brodie

Explorer
Having read everything Shadow of the Demon Lord related, these spells all have a very similar feel to them. It might be the way they're worded, given that Schwalb wrote this particular UA. That's not a bad thing, though. In fact, my group currently has a 5E game (run by someone else) and a Demon Lord game (run by me) and the group likes both games.
 

machineelf

Explorer
Not sure if I like Healing Elixir for wizards. I love adding more new spells, but when you give additional abilities to classes that mimic abilities other classes have, you begin to muddy the distinction between various classes to some degree. And I think those distinctions are important and need to be upheld. They are what makes a wizard feel different than a druid, different than a Bard, and so on.

The material component is alchemist supplies, but can't that be ignored with a casting focus?

Ceremony is a fantastic spell.

Puppet is cool, but might be overpowered for a 1st-level spell. Imagine a 3rd level wizard casting it on CR 15 creature, which rolls a 1 on the save and is forced to run off a 200' cliff.
 
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machineelf

Explorer
I like the idea of healing elixer just for the material component of alchemy supplies.
Doesn't a casting focus make them unnecessary, or am I missing something? I would like the spell better if the alchemy supplies were required even with a casting focus.
 

cbwjm

Hero
Doesn't a casting focus make them unnecessary, or am I missing something? I would like the spell better if the alchemy supplies were required even with a casting focus.
I don't think so. A casting focus only removes the need for material components with no cost. Not sure on how much it is but alchemy supplies do have a gold cost so it would be a required component of the spell.
 

machineelf

Explorer
I don't think so. A casting focus only removes the need for material components with no cost. Not sure on how much it is but alchemy supplies do have a gold cost so it would be a required component of the spell.
Oh? I thought the cost rule only applied if the cost was listed next to the required component in the spell stat.
 

cbwjm

Hero
Oh? I thought the cost rule only applied if the cost was listed next to the required component in the spell stat.
Generally it is. I wondered when I read this ua if they didn't include it next to it because the cost is listed in the equipment chapter.
 

machineelf

Explorer
To be fair, by the time Wizards can spam this infinitely A) 2d4+2 is very little healing and more importantly B) Most groups could just as easily buy a metric ton of 50 gold potions that have the same effect.
Be prepared for your 2nd- and 3rd-level players to constantly be saying, "Oh, last night before the long rest I used all my spell slots to cast elixirs, and now I hand them out to my party members."

Also, your second point is valid, except in campaigns where healing potions (and/or gold) are hard to come by.

Please, WOTC, ditch healing elixir for wizards. (And I love wizards, I'm trying to protect their distinctive flavor.) Let healing spells be the domain of clerics, paladins, druids, and bards.
 
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AriochQ

Adventurer
Ceremony - A nice flavor spell that adds to RP but the bonuses seem contrived.

Guiding Hand - Considering exploration is one of the "Three Pillars of Adventure", I am not a fan of this spell. Sure it is a straight line path, and that can lead to obstacles and such, but it just seems unnecessary.

Infestation - We seem to be drifting back into the chess piece battles of 4e with the movement controlling effects that are appearing. I would prefer to not travel down that road as I did not enjoy it in 4e.

Puppet - Seems a tad overpowered with the ability run someone off of a cliff. Also, like Infestation above, we are drifting back into the chess piece type battles. I also think the movement and disarm effect is a tad overpowered for a 1st level spell, even if they limited the movement effect with some caveat about not being able to cause damage to the target or some such.

Unearthly Chorus - Can we say awkward? You are being followed around by music of your choice and you get advantage on Charisma checks? I would think everyone in 100 feet would be wondering wtf was going on and probably ignore you while trying to find the source of the music! I like the concept, just not the implementation. I would have rather seen the spell fashioned after the 'Voice' from Dune (Frank Herbert). i.e. You cast the spell and your voice takes on harmonic tones making it difficult to resist, you get advantage on Charisma (Performance) checks.

Wild Cunning - Most of the effects seem pretty useless given the range is 120 feet. If you are an adventurer and unable to recognize someplace you could use as shelter within 120 feet, it is time to find a new profession. Keep the part about spirits setting up and breaking down camp, but turn it into a cantrip. No one is going to burn a first level spell because they are too lazy to spend the time walking 100 feet to look for water!

Zephyr Strike > True Strike - True Strike is a near useless spell and they should just replace it with Zephyr Strike.
 

AriochQ

Adventurer
On the other hand, if they do add Unearthly Chorus to the game, you can count on my PC broadcasting the 'A-Team' theme every session as we implement our cunning plan!
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I would not be surprised if the Healing Elixir spell is really meant to be a spell that'll appear strictly on the Artificer spell list, but they assigned it to the Wizard in this playtest just so people would be more likely to test its viability (since odds are good there are a crapton more wizards out there right now than UA Artificers.)
 

GobiWon

Explorer
Regarding the marriage ceremony.... there are things I would much rather be doing during the first 24 hours of marriage, and none of them involve AC. Well maybe...
You'd think you'd want something that would increase the chances of penetration, not decrease them.
 

I don't know if people mentioned this but how might hobgobling react as their campsite is instantly broken down by the Wild cunning spell?

it also doesen't state how much you can pack up so can you instantly break down a a army camp as it does not specify how big the campsite can be .
 
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GobiWon

Explorer
Zephyr Strike is too powerful to be a first level spell. It needs to be second level. I like it though. Guiding Hand violates a 5e guiding principle. It destroys story line. It is the reason that Know Alignment was eliminated and Detect Lie was modified in fifth edition. Ceremony (Atonement) is also too powerful at first level and also has the power to destroy important story telling elements of a campaign. Atonement is an epic quest and the backbone of many stories. It should NOT be solved by a first level spell. Ceremony (Coming of Age and Marriage) spells are mechanical cheese that 5e was designed to eliminate. The component cost of Ceremony needs to be consumable. Healing Elixir steps on the toes of clerics and druids and should also have a consumable component cost. Puppet needs a rider to eliminate moving opponents into damaging squares. Toll of the Dead is great thematically, but I think instead of doing a d12 it should do an extra d8 but only if a creature is at lower than half of its hit point maximum (I'm being nit picky). Unearthly Chorus is great thematically, but should also be bumped up to at least second level. It allows you to cast charm person for up to 10 rounds as bonus action. Why would I take charm person if this spell exists?
 
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GobiWon

Explorer
Dude, you're missing the forest for the trees. Magic shouldn't be throwing those kind of secrets out at first level, which is "barely trained apprentice" level. That's why spells like Find the Path, Divination, Contact Other Plane and Legend Lore exist. It ruins an adventure staple simply because a writer seems to think the only thing that should separate an archmage from a few weeks of wizard school is the amount of d6's they roll for damage. Non-combat effects should also be gated by tiers, and "find any secret location if it's on a map, somewhere" is inappropriate for a first level spell.

Sure, I CAN fix their crappy design, but I shouldn't have to. Hell, even guiding someone to a known location for 8 hours strikes me as too much and stepping toes in the exploration pillar.
Truth! ... Preach on!
 

Xeviat

Adventurer
Supporter
There's roll d20 vs DC, of course, that's it. But, there's a number of ways to use that (shy of inventing your own).

le'see, dramaticized arm-wrestling could include:

Intimidate Check to 'psych out' your opponent
STR check to beat him quickly
CON check to wear him out as you struggle
Bluff check to feign weakening so he makes a final push while you're still able to handle it.
STR check to put it to bed.

By spreading it out over 5 checks, you can even out the swinginess of an opposed check, and ratchet up some drama.

OK, in a sense that's a complexity 1 skill challenge for a single character, or 3e 'complex skill check,' just using different skills, but whatever. It's shy of making up your own resolution systems, it's just applying the d20 resolution system in more detail.
That sounds like 4th Edition!


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phantomK9

Explorer
Zephyr Strike is too powerful to be a first level spell.
I've seen others say this as well and after looking at Zephyr Strike again, it looks like this might be a bit too powerful.

I immediately wanted to compare this to Haste which has the following:
- +2 AC
- Double move speed
- Extra action (limited) per turn

Now Zephyr Strike we have:
- No attacks of opportunity against you
- Advantage on first attack per round
- +30 ft move speed

This is really powerful, and considering that most races have a 30ft move speed, adding +30 to that is essentially doubling it. Even better than doubling for small races and Dwarves. Zephyr strike seems like it might have a better home as a 2nd level spell, it might even be powerful enough for a 3rd level spell.

Also, looking at Virtue, there aren't any rules for when you reach 5th, 11th, 17th levels. I'm thinking that +1d4 at each of those thresholds seems appropriate.
 

Been thinking on Chaos Bolt. The problem to my eyes is that the Bolt doesn't split often enough.

By my estimation it is worse than Chromatic Orb if it never splits, equal if it splits once, and superior if it splits three times, but if it is too likely to split then it will probably end up hitting every available target making it a very powerful spell overall.

My gut says a 25% chance to split is just about right, but I'm not sure how to achieve that.

Do the following get close? (I am bad at statistical analysis)

If you roll both evens or both odds (pick one of the two)

If you roll consecutive numbers (1 and 2 or 6 and 7)

Something else I'm not thinking about?
 

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