Level Up (A5E) Vampersan's Rules Inquiry Thread

Vampersan

Explorer
Hello All.

I have a few rules questions I'd like to get some clarification on. I do not, however, want to clutter up the forum with multiple threads asking just one question. So, I figured the respectful thing to do would be to gather all of my questions (that I have now, and those that I might have in the future) into this personal thread. :)

1. The Mending Cantrip: Upon reading the spell, it sounds largely similar to the O5e version. However, now that maintenance and damage/broken are a mechanic in A5e, I was wondering if this cantrip is capable of repairing "broken" weapons/armor/shields to their normal functionality? For example, could a PC use mending to repair a broken longsword (and thus returning it to full damage potential), or use mending on a shield broken by a critical hit (and thus making capable of absorbing a future critical hit in the same combat)?

By RAW, the spell does not explicitly state that either scenario is possible. I'm just curious if a RAI view on this cantrip would unbalance it. I'm inclined to believe that it would, given that it would seemingly invalidate the maintenance sub-system. But, then again, the cantrip states that magic items and constructs can be repaired (although their magic is not restored), and the argument could be made that most constructs at least are built from materials such as wood, stone, metal, and so forth (the same as weapons, armor, and shields).

2. The Armor of Agathys Spell: Was this spell not included in A5e due to copyright/OGL issues? I think I recall another thread here stating that certain spells were not part of the OGL and thus could not be re-printed. Would including this O5e spell upset A5e's balance? Or could it, and the other spells that have been omitted, be added as "rare" spells for PC's to obtain or research?

3. Eldritch Scythe and Free Hands: Forgive me if this has been explained already, or if I missed it during my read through, but I was wondering if it's possible to use Eldritch Scythe while your hands are full (such as from holding a two-handed weapon). Can the blast by "channeled" through your weapon? Obviously the weapon provides no base damage increase, I'm just curious if it can be done for roleplaying purposes. Full disclosure: I've converted my O5e Warlock to the A5e version, and during one of her previous adventures, her family heirloom greatsword was broken by an attack. Rather than repair the weapon, I thought it would be cool if she incorporated her broken sword into her Eldritch Scythe attack(s), with the missing pieces of the weapon being briefly replaced by ghostly, ethereal energy whenever she swings it.

I'm just not certain if this is permissible by RAW.

Thank you to anyone able to answer these questions for me.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Given persistent mending(ag296) I think mending could often help with damaged gear, but broken gear is more advanced problem. Given the material DCs it would also be reasonable for the GM to require either an arcana check against that DC or the caster needing to have a spell save dc that exceeds the DC of the material needing repair
 

Vampersan

Explorer
Given persistent mending(ag296) I think mending could often help with damaged gear, but broken gear is more advanced problem. Given the material DCs it would also be reasonable for the GM to require either an arcana check against that DC or the caster needing to have a spell save dc that exceeds the DC of the material needing repair
I do like the idea of performing an Arcana check against the DC of a broken item, as if you were trying to repair it using the appropriate mundane tools.

This seems like a reasonable solution, keeping both the damage sub-system and the cantrip relevant. :)
 

2. The Armor of Agathys Spell: Was this spell not included in A5e due to copyright/OGL issues? I think I recall another thread here stating that certain spells were not part of the OGL and thus could not be re-printed. Would including this O5e spell upset A5e's balance? Or could it, and the other spells that have been omitted, be added as "rare" spells for PC's to obtain or research?
Yep. There's a surprising amount of content that isn't in the OGL. All of the paladin "smite" spells except Branding Smite, Armor of Agathys, and a bunch of others. All the feats except Grappler. Almost all of the subclasses. Someone has probably compiled a list and put it up somewhere.

That said, Level Up is backwards-compatible and you can use O5E spells without much worry unless they were unbalanced in their original incarnation. Armor of Agathys is not one of those and should be fine.

EDIT: this is a minor soapbox of mine and YMMV, but I do think it's worthwhile for anyone who is buying 3PP stuff that depends on an OGL to familiarize themselves with what's allowed by that OGL. The 5E SRD is up and accessible in multiple places online; I personally like 5thsrd.org, but there are other places, including WotC's own website where it can be downloaded as a PDF.

Knowing what can and can't be used by other publishers helps set expectations and explain limitations.
 

Vampersan

Explorer
Yep. There's a surprising amount of content that isn't in the OGL. All of the paladin "smite" spells except Branding Smite, Armor of Agathys, and a bunch of others. All the feats except Grappler. Almost all of the subclasses. Someone has probably compiled a list and put it up somewhere.

That said, Level Up is backwards-compatible and you can use O5E spells without much worry unless they were unbalanced in their original incarnation. Armor of Agathys is not one of those and should be fine.

EDIT: this is a minor soapbox of mine and YMMV, but I do think it's worthwhile for anyone who is buying 3PP stuff that depends on an OGL to familiarize themselves with what's allowed by that OGL. The 5E SRD is up and accessible in multiple places online; I personally like 5thsrd.org, but there are other places, including WotC's own website where it can be downloaded as a PDF.

Knowing what can and can't be used by other publishers helps set expectations and explain limitations.
Thank you for the reply. I figured it had something to do with the OGL.
 

Vampersan

Explorer
A new question that has come to mind:

Strongholds: How do you upgrade a stronghold? Is there a specific cost from going from Grade 1 to Grade 2? Is it a matter of increasing the size of said stronghold, or increasing it's luxury? Or both?
 

A new question that has come to mind:

Strongholds: How do you upgrade a stronghold? Is there a specific cost from going from Grade 1 to Grade 2? Is it a matter of increasing the size of said stronghold, or increasing it's luxury? Or both?
Size. To upgrade a stronghold, just buy more square footage. To change its luxuriousness, pay the difference between its current and desired luxury values.
 

Vampersan

Explorer
Mask of Many Faces Invocation: This invocation states that you may cast the disguise self spell without using spell points. Does this allow you to cast the spell at higher levels (since the A5e version allows for higher-level castings of this spell) without spending spell points, or is it restricted to the 1st-level version base version?

I am assuming the spell is restricted when gained via the Mask of Many Faces invocation, I'm just checking to make sure given the re-written nature of disguise self.
 

Xethreau

Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
Mask of Many Faces Invocation: This invocation states that you may cast the disguise self spell without using spell points. Does this allow you to cast the spell at higher levels (since the A5e version allows for higher-level castings of this spell) without spending spell points, or is it restricted to the 1st-level version base version?

I am assuming the spell is restricted when gained via the Mask of Many Faces invocation, I'm just checking to make sure given the re-written nature of disguise self.
When you cast a spell without spell points, it follows the same rules as a spell cast without spell slots--it is only at its lowest possible level. You have no resource by which the spell can be up-cast.
 


Xethreau

Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
1. The Mending Cantrip: Upon reading the spell, it sounds largely similar to the O5e version. However, now that maintenance and damage/broken are a mechanic in A5e, I was wondering if this cantrip is capable of repairing "broken" weapons/armor/shields to their normal functionality? For example, could a PC use mending to repair a broken longsword (and thus returning it to full damage potential), or use mending on a shield broken by a critical hit (and thus making capable of absorbing a future critical hit in the same combat)?

By RAW, the spell does not explicitly state that either scenario is possible. I'm just curious if a RAI view on this cantrip would unbalance it. I'm inclined to believe that it would, given that it would seemingly invalidate the maintenance sub-system. But, then again, the cantrip states that magic items and constructs can be repaired (although their magic is not restored), and the argument could be made that most constructs at least are built from materials such as wood, stone, metal, and so forth (the same as weapons, armor, and shields).
If you snap your sword in half, that can be repaired by the mending spell per its stated effect. If a shield were shattered, that damage is probably longer than 1 foot in length in any direction so that damage would not be repaired (although your Narrator might say you can cast it multiple times). Put another way, mending does what the spell says it does, and in light of equipment that becomes damaged and broken, it is an exceptionally good cantrip! In O5e there was no reason to take mending, and in A5e there is.

A casting time of 1 action is costly in combat, so I'm not too worried about crit-kiting in combat. That said, a Narrator who has difficulty with that might prefer to up the casting time of mending to 1 minute.
3. Eldritch Scythe and Free Hands: Forgive me if this has been explained already, or if I missed it during my read through, but I was wondering if it's possible to use Eldritch Scythe while your hands are full (such as from holding a two-handed weapon). Can the blast by "channeled" through your weapon? Obviously the weapon provides no base damage increase, I'm just curious if it can be done for roleplaying purposes. Full disclosure: I've converted my O5e Warlock to the A5e version, and during one of her previous adventures, her family heirloom greatsword was broken by an attack. Rather than repair the weapon, I thought it would be cool if she incorporated her broken sword into her Eldritch Scythe attack(s), with the missing pieces of the weapon being briefly replaced by ghostly, ethereal energy whenever she swings it.
No spells in A5e require free hands. Furthermore, even though Eldritch Blast acts like a spell it isn't one, meaning Eldritch Scythe has no vocalized, seen, or material components. You can use Eldritch Scythe even while bound and gagged, carrying something in both hands, or wielding a two-hander. On top of it, you can flavor it however you like. What you are describing sounds plausible.
 

Vampersan

Explorer
Rural Strongholds and "Staff": When constructing a rural stronghold, are staff considered to be anything appropriate? For example, say you've constructed a 45-acre farm of luxurious quality. That yields 45 staff. Are these staff considered to be peasants working the land? If so, does the farm assume these individuals have homes to live in (with the quality of said homes dependent on the quality of the farm)? If not, would you need to spend additional gold to build multiple "house" strongholds (again, with the quality dependent on the quality of the farm)?
 

johna_thr33

Explorer
Rural Strongholds and "Staff": When constructing a rural stronghold, are staff considered to be anything appropriate? For example, say you've constructed a 45-acre farm of luxurious quality. That yields 45 staff. Are these staff considered to be peasants working the land? If so, does the farm assume these individuals have homes to live in (with the quality of said homes dependent on the quality of the farm)? If not, would you need to spend additional gold to build multiple "house" strongholds (again, with the quality dependent on the quality of the farm)?
Most of the staff would be peasants working the land, and if there is a structure there, you may have some house servants or a majordomo. The living arrangements of your staff are assumed as part of hiring them.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Rural Strongholds and "Staff": When constructing a rural stronghold, are staff considered to be anything appropriate? For example, say you've constructed a 45-acre farm of luxurious quality. That yields 45 staff. Are these staff considered to be peasants working the land? If so, does the farm assume these individuals have homes to live in (with the quality of said homes dependent on the quality of the farm)? If not, would you need to spend additional gold to build multiple "house" strongholds (again, with the quality dependent on the quality of the farm)?
I would definitely assume that those staff are whatever you want them to be. They're basically "free" labor, so you could make them house servants, your personal guard (I think; I need to go reread the rules), or farmers. If you make them all farmers, then you'd have to hire extra people to be your house servants and guard.

I'm pretty sure, however, that you don't have to build extra house strongholds. For starters, you can only have one "main" stronghold at a time, IIRC, and anyway, the stronghold is your personal stronghold, not a stronghold for everyone. You could just assume that somewhere on those 45 acres are your worker's lodgings. I imagine you could say they are of a lower quality, as long as your main building and trappings are luxurious.
 

Vampersan

Explorer
Lifestyle: As this provides either a prestige bonus or penalty (or neither if you choose the middle of the road approach), should PC's pay for their lifestyle on a day-to-day basis, or as an annual lump sum?

For Poor, this would be 73gp per year. For Modest, this would be 547gp and 5sp per year. And for Rich, this would be 1,825gp per year.

Personally, it seems as though it would be best to pay this all as a lump sum, since prestige affects the number of followers you can retain. If your prestige is fluctuating on a day-to-day basis, it could conceivably cause issues with your followers, right? For example, say you are 5th level (+2 Prestige), and are enjoying a Rich lifestyle each day (+1 Prestige), if I am reading the rules correctly you may have up to 3 followers. But what if you suddenly have a day where you choose a Modest lifestyle instead of a Rich one? Does your 3rd follower leave due to the loss of prestige?

Maybe I'm thinking about it too much (a very real possibility)?

What does the community think? How are you going to handle Lifestyles in A5e?
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I wish it had a per level multiplier but will probably do it more towards a month or vague period of plot. I'll probably impose penalties appropriate to players who want to jump between tiers regularly too. per day really only makes sense for a situation like rolling into a town the players expect to leave in the morning to continue towards their original destination
 

Vampersan

Explorer
Garrisons: How are soldiers (or, for that matter, staff in general), replaced if they are lost in battle or otherwise killed? Is that something the DM should handwave? For example, if my theoretical stronghold has 70 staff and 35 soldiers, and 25 soldiers die due to a raid on the stronghold, how can I replace those soldiers by the rules?
 

Vampersan

Explorer
Arcane Appropriation Invocation
Prerequisite: 5th level
"When you use a magic item, you ignore any requirements related to class, culture, heritage, or level."

So, this invocation intrigues me quite a bit. On the surface, it doesn't seem too overly powerful, since there's really not a lot of (base) magic items that have any of the described restrictions. But, how does this invocation interact with scrolls?

Scrolls are magic items by RAW, and they are generally restricted to a certain spellcasting class. And while not generally restricted by level (given that Level Up allows you to cast spells from scrolls that are beyond the level you can cast), attempting to cast beyond your level carries the risk of expending the spell without any affect.

Does Arcane Appropriation allow Warlocks to cast spells from any scroll, regardless of whether it's a Wizard, Druid, Herald, etc spell on the scroll? And as a secondary concern, does it allow a Warlock to ignore the risk that normally comes with casting a spell that is beyond their current level?

I'm inclined to believe that, RAW, it does allow a Warlock to cast virtually any spell they come across in scroll form. That would considerably boost the value of this invocation if true, however, and the power any Warlock that selected it, so it I'm still a bit conflicted as to whether this was intended or not, or if I'm misreading it. I don't think it would allow such a Warlock to ignore the risk of casting a spell beyond their current level, however, as that seems more like it would be a RAI ruling since it doesn't explicitly state that.

If a designer could step in and clarify whether is actually true, I would appreciate it. Or if anyone wants to hazard a guess of their own? ^.^
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Arcane Appropriation Invocation
Prerequisite: 5th level
"When you use a magic item, you ignore any requirements related to class, culture, heritage, or level."

So, this invocation intrigues me quite a bit. On the surface, it doesn't seem too overly powerful, since there's really not a lot of (base) magic items that have any of the described restrictions. But, how does this invocation interact with scrolls?

Scrolls are magic items by RAW, and they are generally restricted to a certain spellcasting class. And while not generally restricted by level (given that Level Up allows you to cast spells from scrolls that are beyond the level you can cast), attempting to cast beyond your level carries the risk of expending the spell without any affect.

Does Arcane Appropriation allow Warlocks to cast spells from any scroll, regardless of whether it's a Wizard, Druid, Herald, etc spell on the scroll? And as a secondary concern, does it allow a Warlock to ignore the risk that normally comes with casting a spell that is beyond their current level?

I'm inclined to believe that, RAW, it does allow a Warlock to cast virtually any spell they come across in scroll form. That would considerably boost the value of this invocation if true, however, and the power any Warlock that selected it, so it I'm still a bit conflicted as to whether this was intended or not, or if I'm misreading it. I don't think it would allow such a Warlock to ignore the risk of casting a spell beyond their current level, however, as that seems more like it would be a RAI ruling since it doesn't explicitly state that.

If a designer could step in and clarify whether is actually true, I would appreciate it. Or if anyone wants to hazard a guess of their own? ^.^
I think it would probably apply to scrolls, there aren't that many class restricted magic items & it's a big cost unless they are taking it to use something like the +5 holy avenger a group with no one capable of using it found.
 

Xethreau

Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
I wrote that invocation. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't apply to spell scrolls. Its a highly conditional benefit, so I say reap the benefit. If anybody deserves to exploit loopholes in the rules, its the warlock who takes this invocation.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top