Unearthed Arcana 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.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
The hour would start when the first person finishes casting Ceremony, but before the second person can start casting. We are scrutinizing a span of time that is less than a turn long, and you may be able to convince a DM to rule in favor of it, but a strict reading would prevent any spell of one hour casting time or longer from working.

There are only two people in the turn order and the order they take their turns is Ceremony 1 and Ceremony 2. So Ceremony 2 begins casting on second 1 of the hour, right?
 

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tuxgeo

Adventurer
Any reason you can't use Ceremony spell to transfer the Ceremony spell to a Wizard, who transfers back a Find Familiar spell?

The issue of timing has already been addressed, but there's also this (already mentioned by someone else): the Cleric can take the feat "Magic Initiate (Wizard)" to get one casting of Find Familiar per day; then can invest anyone with that casting.

Familiars for everybody! Having a familiar becomes no longer a Wizard-only schtick, and more of the flavor of the game leaks out through the cracks. . . .
 

schnee

First Post
Nah, Wizards should totally get to heal.

And also heavy armor!

And also martial weapons!

It's the power creep that has been happening in all D&D and Pathfinder since 2000. With every single product release, add new Wizard spells and abilities, about 2x as much as for any other class.

SO damn tired of the makers of this game worshipping arcane casters.
 


thedjally

First Post
Here are some thoughts on other spells:

Toll the Dead.
It's nice to have another necromancy combat spell. I suspect d12 is too much (even if it is contingent on the target already being wounded) -- esp. since the Death cleric's Reaper ability means that it can be twinned. This will make for a very nasty villain.

Guiding Hand.
This is remarkably powerful, and seems to take away (or at least reduce) a big part of the Exploration dimension -- or rather, changing the nature of the challenge, and forcing the DM to stymie the spell effect: "The hand stands 5' off shore on the quicksand sea..."

Primal Savagery.
It seems odd to me that the wisest druid in the forest does the most savage fingernail damage. I would much prefer to see it as a weapon attack and not a spell attack. Interaction with Shapechange hard to predict just reading it.

Puppet.
Easy way to disarm an opponent (drop a magic wand, magic sword, etc.). Combined with Luck or disadvantage, major combats might be over quicker than intended. Curiously, it will be disproportionately adverse vs. opponents who have already acted in the round (high-initiative), since once dropped another character can scoop it up, or whatever.

Sense Emotion.
With no save, I would expect public figures to have this being cast whenever in public -- instant detection of anyone wishing them ill.

Sudden Awakening.
I think it's meant to be a spell to deal with wandering monsters at night, but it's pretty cool as an anti-Sleep spell too.

Healing Elixer.
Replaces goodberry as the way to burn through remaining spell slots at the end of the day.

Unearthly chorus.
Bardic performance checks now amped up significantly, with 100 attempts to beguile your target for each song. It needs to have a clause adding that anyone who makes a save is immune from the effects of the spell.

Zephyr Strike.
This is an excellent spell, if only because (as has been noted) it offers a different way of rangering than Hunter's Mark. However, it makes you fast. Too fast. A regular Dash will now take you not 60' but 120'; a Rogue 2 with cunning action would be able to move 180'/turn.
A rouge 2 with a Haste spell can move (((30' + 30' [Zephyr]) x 2 [Haste]) x 4 [move, action, bonus action, additional action]) = 480', 520' if you are a Wood elf. zoom! 59 mph/95 kph!
Hey with regards to the doubling of movement. I had always understood it that when you have two things (or more) that double your movement they actually only add. So for example a tabaxi rogue can dash cunning-dash and tabaxi racial for the equivalent of 3 "double your movement".

I had understood this to mean instead of being base movement+2^3 base movement it's base plus 3x base, as every "double" only adds your base movement again.

I
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Yes




It takes a full 3600 seconds to finish casting the spell. You would need to be able to start on second 0, not second 1.

How are you not starting on second 0? NO time passes between the end of the first casting and the beginning of the second casting, so I am not seeing any missing time there. There is no time spent between turns. It's not like there is a second that ticks by before your casting can begin representing a shift from one turn to another, that I am aware of.
 

Lanliss

Explorer
Hey with regards to the doubling of movement. I had always understood it that when you have two things (or more) that double your movement they actually only add. So for example a tabaxi rogue can dash cunning-dash and tabaxi racial for the equivalent of 3 "double your movement".

I had understood this to mean instead of being base movement+2^3 base movement it's base plus 3x base, as every "double" only adds your base movement again.

I

The tabaxi feature "Doubles your speed", while movement and dash allow you to move up to your speed. If you double your speed, each dash and movement will be twice the size it would have been before.

EDIT: The only other variable that might conflict with the tabaxi skill is the Haste spell, as it also doubles your movement. That is when the two double= 3x movement speed comes into play, and each movement and dash will then be 3 times the original size.
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
Nah, Wizards should totally get to heal.

And also heavy armor!

And also martial weapons!

It's the power creep that has been happening in all D&D and Pathfinder since 2000. With every single product release, add new Wizard spells and abilities, about 2x as much as for any other class.

SO damn tired of the makers of this game worshipping arcane casters.

Well, having new spells is logical, Wizards do magic research and study all the time.

On the other hand, there are not many ways you can swing a weapon.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I hope they include the weapon feats in the big book of crunch. Although anyone can take them, they will benefit the more martial inclined classes/subclasses and provide interesting options above the usual swing and hit.
 

Geeknamese

Explorer
I hope they include the weapon feats in the big book of crunch. Although anyone can take them, they will benefit the more martial inclined classes/subclasses and provide interesting options above the usual swing and hit.

You could also check out Kobold Press' Beyond Damage Dice PDF. It gives additional properties to each weapon in the PHB to help differentiate all the weapons. A lot of the options are very cool and thematically correct for the weapons. Gives martial character types more tactical options rather than roll, hit and damage.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app
 

The obvious reason to exclude healing spells from the Wizard's list is, of course:

View attachment 83177


And, really, that's all the reason 5e needs to (not) do anything...
... in the PH.
In something as peripheral as UA? Not so much, as long as something is opt-in optional, tradtionalists can just not opt in (and look down upon, mock and deride anyone who does).


But, there is a game-play-dynamics reason, too. The Wizard, more than any other class, /is/ his spells, the spells he knows define him (and he can know more and more varied & situationally-useful spells than his close relatives, the Sorcerer & Warlock), the spells he actually casts are his primary contribution to the success of the party. Healing spells are critically important in 5e, so slots can be used for them, they often will be. When a Cleric uses his slots to heal instead of cast something more spotlight-grabbing, he still has channel divinity and he's still a bit tougher and able to contribute in combat than the Wizard. When the Druid blows his slots on healing, he can still shapechange. Similarly, the Valor Bard run out of slots by healing needs still fights, and the Lore Bard is still a skill monkey.

So 'letting' a Wizard heal wouldn't be doing him any favors.

While I love the Tevya reference, I think you're overstating the case a bit on two points:

(1) Healing spells are not critical in 5E, in the general case. Some parties hardly ever cast one at all, relying primarily on temp HP or bonus HP (Polymorph, wildshape, etc.), short rest HD, and/or long resting. Healing spells are in fact AWESOME when you leverage them properly, but they're hardly critical, especially against DMG default difficulty encounters (though I will refrain from beating that dead horse).

(2) A well-planned wizard who uses up all of his spell slots still has utility similar to the cleric. If you're a Fighter 1/Enchanter X, when you run out of spell slots you can still wade into melee and tank with Hypnotic Gaze + Instinctive Charm + melee cantrips. If you're a Bladesinger, you still have Bladesong and some minor melee capability. A Necromancer probably still has a bunch of skeletons and zombies even when his spells are gone. An Illusionist undoubtedly has a bunch of illusions still hanging around that he can shape with Malleable Illusion. Since efficiency requires that you have a way to contribute effectively even against threats too minor to justify spell slots in order to conserve spell slots, you probably already have a decent go-to strategy in place that you can use when you run OUT of spell slots. That puts you in probably a better position than the cleric who has only a couple of uses of Channel Divinity after his spells are gone.

(Of course, I am biased against clerics, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. :))
 

I still have a knee-jerk reaction to wizards getting a healing spell, even one that just creates a potion.

For me it just breaks one of the big distinguishing factors of Arcane Magic. Arcane Magic does not heal.

That's what makes it different from Divine and Primal magic, and the more I think about it, I'd rather just have the crafting of potions be in the crafting rules so anybody can do that with the correct time and resources (really, we desperately need those new crafting rules to replace the crappy ones we have)

Yeah, I don't think I'm going to allow this spell. Potions need to be crafted, you can't just create one magically (barring the artificer who is the crafting master and therefor makes it look like magic due to his speed)

It would be idiomatic for wizards to get a potion-creating spell that consumes costly material components. If the Healing Elixir spell cost 25 gp per casting, THAT would fit the wizard idiom. Wizards are all about foresight and preparation. Just ask Harry Dresden.

Although, like you, I'd rather just create actual alchemy rules. Doing potions via a spell is the cheap and kind of boring way of incorporating alchemy into your game. It would be interesting to have alchemy rules wherein (1) every potion has the same set of basic requirements (e.g. a base liquid, one speical ingredient for each sense, one for the mind, one for the spirit); (2) players get to come up with their own recipes using appropriate ingredients, with the DM assigning modifiers to the final Alchemy roll based on how well-chosen each ingredient is; (3) no ingredient can be deliberately copied for a second potion: if you're aware of someone using vampire blood for a Potion of Regeneration attempt at some point in the past, then using vampire blood for a Potion of Regeneration simply cannot ever work for you. (Thus, alchemy is a solitary creative endeavor--recipe-swapping isn't something that happens. Also keeps players from falling into a rut with repeated potions.)
 
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Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
How are you not starting on second 0? NO time passes between the end of the first casting and the beginning of the second casting, so I am not seeing any missing time there. There is no time spent between turns. It's not like there is a second that ticks by before your casting can begin representing a shift from one turn to another, that I am aware of.

Well yeah, that's the line of reasoning you could use on the DM to get them to see it your way. But it's also the same argument that was used to make the Peasant Railgun.

We know combat rounds aren't exact representations of time, and are considered chunks of "simultaneous" actions. But we also know that you can't cast the second Ceremony until after the first one is finished, and that would logically require a non-zero amount of time to enable, even if it's the same round.

Really though, I had assumed you wanted a reason why it wouldn't work because you wanted to prevent it from happening. If you actually want it to happen in your game, then go have at it. Rulings, not rules, after all.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
(3) no ingredient can be deliberately copied for a second potion: if you're aware of someone using vampire blood for a Potion of Regeneration attempt at some point in the past, then using vampire blood for a Potion of Regeneration simply cannot ever work for you. (Thus, alchemy is a solitary creative endeavor--recipe-swapping isn't something that happens. Also keeps players from falling into a rut with repeated potions.)

I was with you until this point.

With that sort of rule in place you could never create the same potion twice (if I understand your phrasing) meaning you have to find increasingly strange ingredients to make basic healing potions, and no one would ever want to discuss or teach alchemy, because as soon as you know something works it never works for you.

It just creates an incredibly weird system
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Well yeah, that's the line of reasoning you could use on the DM to get them to see it your way. But it's also the same argument that was used to make the Peasant Railgun.

We know combat rounds aren't exact representations of time, and are considered chunks of "simultaneous" actions. But we also know that you can't cast the second Ceremony until after the first one is finished, and that would logically require a non-zero amount of time to enable, even if it's the same round.

Really though, I had assumed you wanted a reason why it wouldn't work because you wanted to prevent it from happening. If you actually want it to happen in your game, then go have at it. Rulings, not rules, after all.

I was trying to point out that they probably should make some changes to the spell before going to publication. It's a flaw with the spell. It should require that any spell you cast with it have a casting time itself of 10 minutes or less I suspect.
 

While I love the Tevya reference, I think you're overstating the case a bit on two points:

(1) Healing spells are not critical in 5E, in the general case, especially against DMG default difficulty encounters (though I will refrain from beating that dead horse).
I get that encounter difficulty isn't all that difficult for many groups, and that healing isn't terribly important when you're not being challenged, it becomes more a matter of managing day length than keeping allies fighting or even alive.

But healing does provide a critical safety valve to let the party recover a downed PC, or to prevent one from going down in the first place. Without healing options, a party could be subject to a death spiral in which one PC goes down unexpectedly or earlier than expected, reducing the party's strength, which prevents them from downing the next enemy as quickly, which leads to another PC going down from the higher-than-expected enemy aggregate DPR.

There are certainly cases where having slots that could be used for healing won't often lead to them being used for healing, though. When you have multiple healers in the party, for instance, or when your 'days' are short/easy enough that you only go through half your HD per day.

A well-planned wizard who uses up all of his spell slots still has utility similar to the cleric.
Cantrips certainly help in that department, but the wizard is still a d6 HD class that isn't typically wearing armor and has a poor choice of weapons. That's never counted for as much, in practice, as the game seems to factor into class designs, but it's there. FWIW.

(Of course, I am biased against clerics, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. :))
Just a teeny little grain. ;)
 
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jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
My comments on the survey, since I know everyone will be interested :)
Cause Fear: Should specify if caster is source of fear (for frightened condition)

Ceremony: Great spell, but I think component should be consumed for Bless Water. Might be interesting if each application had it's own component, some consumed some not. IE, Bless Water consumes 25 gp of silver. Marriage requires a 10 gp gold ring for each recipient (not consumed), atonement requires a 25 gp gem (consumed) etc. I might also change "Marriage" to be "Marriage/Fellowship," since it could be applied well to a fellowship commitment. (If that is not somehow too political...)

Chaos Bolt: Neat concept, but damage is low; people will use chromatic orb instead

Healing elixir: I like to think of mixing up the elixir and imbuing it with magic, rather than having it magically appear. To that end I think you could assume the vial is included as part of the alchemist's supplies. And I'd rather the school were transmutation.

Infestation: Random movement doesn't seem that useful, to burn a cantrip slot on.

Sense Emotion: Doesn't seem very useful

Snare: I would add that the target is "magically suspended" to avoid confusion about whether the rope itself is holding them up (and thus subject to being cut etc). Also kind of strange the creature is considered prone here. Ranged attacks on the target would have disadvantage?

Sudden Awakening: Awfully situational. How about adding an effect that any surprised target can act normally on their first turn of combat (if that turn hasn't yet passed).

Toll the Dead: Not sure about the name, but the mechanic is fine. Maybe "Death's Call"?

Virtue: Seems like a pain to keep track of, also not sure it would often be worth an action to cast.

Wild Cunning: I don't like how this steps on the toes of skills. It is also pretty situational. I'd rather it gave a bonus or advantage on a variety of skill checks related to wilderness.

Zephyr Strike: I like this, but there is a wording issue. For quite a while I was reading it that you got advantage (and the speed boost) only once per casting, not once per turn. I think the language is genuinely ambiguous. Try "On each of your turns until the spell ends, the first time you make a weapon attack you have advantage on the attack roll. Whether the attack hits or misses, your speed increases by 30 feet until the end of that turn." Assuming that is what you meant :)
 

Cantrips certainly help in that department, but the wizard is still a d6 HD class that isn't typically wearing armor and has a poor choice of weapons. That's never counted for as much, in practice, as the game seems to factor into class designs, but it's there. FWIW.

Not just cantrips--subclass abilities. I mentioned several, of which the Enchanter is a stand-out because he's got both an at-will magical action (Hypnotic Gaze) and an at-will reaction (Instinctive Charm). But the illusionist and the necromancer are also quite good even without expending spell slots--they just require you to have expended spell slots previously, as both classes are likely to have done. I mean, who would play an Illusionist and not bother to pre-cast a Major Illusion VI or two? Having permanent versatile illusions to play with is sort of the whole point of playing an illusionist.

A good wizard is already going to be heavily leveraging at-will or virtually-at-will abilities. Not only does this help after he runs out of slots, it also helps him not to run out of slots in the first place.
 

I was with you until this point.

With that sort of rule in place you could never create the same potion twice (if I understand your phrasing) meaning you have to find increasingly strange ingredients to make basic healing potions, and no one would ever want to discuss or teach alchemy, because as soon as you know something works it never works for you.

It just creates an incredibly weird system

Yes, you've correctly identified the intent of the rule. You could never create the same potion twice without changing the recipe, and you'd have to do your own recipe creation amongst the players instead of getting them from NPC sages. Creating a potion then becomes a creative activity for the players and a plot point for the PCs, and the DM can allow arbitrarily-powerful effects for potions. You want a Potion of Destroying the World or a Potion of Eternal Youth? Come up with a good recipe and gather the ingredients, and I'll tell you the modifiers for your ingredients and then watch with interest as you roll the final Arcana/Alchemy skill check.

Not everybody will want that in their alchemy system--some people will want something more repeatable and plug-and-chug--but I do want that.

P.S. Using a slightly different alchemy system, I once had a player inquire after both a Potion of Destroying the World and a Potion of Eternal Life using his Hermit background feature. Due to a miscommunication during the followup, he THOUGHT he was making a Potion of Eternal Life but it was actually a Potion of Destroying the World.

He wanted to conceal his potion recipe from the others, so next session he just asked me, in front of the other players, "So, about that potion?" and I misunderstood which potion he meant and gave him the recipe right then and there. It involved lots of pixie feathers and other delightful things which you had to pour down a volcano--said volcano actually being, unbeknownst to him, the nostrils of the World Serpent. The potion in fact induces a massive sneezing fit.

A few sessions into that campaign he and I discovered the miscommunication. His reaction was... vehement. Like discovering a tarantula in your pants. :) It did explain why he had been so gleeful about gathering up the correct ingredients--I had been wondering about that. :)
 
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Hussar

Legend
[MENTION=6787650]Hemlock[/MENTION] - that's HILARIOUS!!!!

I wonder what people's thoughts are about this spell in light of the latest UA article that lets anyone with Herbalism bang out healing potions 1/day for 25gp.
 

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