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D&D (2024) What Spells do you feel are Missing?

Yaarel

He-Mage
So running a couple summer 5E games for players I don't normally game with..... Nearly all the players are the "by the books" type: they think the whole game is only yhe couple things published by WotC. So when they made their characters, they picked from the offical WotC list of spells.

I have a massive collection of spells for 5E, from third party sources, converted from other editions, and homebrew. During character creation, only the players I already knew even looked at my list and/or asked for spell recommendations.

So the games start. All the NPC spellcasters in my games use some spells from the big list. I like my spellcasters to have lots of useful spells. And the players start to notice. While my NPC spellcasters nearly always have a spell to cast to solve a problem or do something....often the players sit there not having their characters spellcasting for hours. Mostly as the character has few, or none, spells to cast that can "do" anything.

I do offer to let the players switch spells around....and they show some interest. But have the problem of what spells to pick. The list is 5,000 some spells long, so it's a bit of a hard read.

I'd try to make recommendations, but I'm not on the same wavelength as most of these players. I think Animate Dirt is a very useful spell, as it gives you a small non combat 'dirt' elemental-like effect: but my players laugh at the spell. Friendly Fire summons a freindly fire elemental to be a 'camp fire' that can do small things like guard the camp: but my players think it's dumb. At the same time though.... They love the spell, from 3.5E Spider Hand: your hand falls off and becomes a spider you can control and move around. They also really liked the even older spell from 2E Know Customs: it lets a cleric know the local customs. So it leaves me at a loss as to what they "like".

I tried to ask and did not get much of any answer. I sent out an e-mail, but only have some of he players e-mails. And only a few responded anyway. I want to make a handout "Uncle Trapsnapper's book of useful spells", but need some spells to put in it.

So, internet, what spells do you think are missing from 5E? What spells would you find useful on an adventure? If you have a set spell from some place other then a WotC book, what is it? But more so, beyond just a "spell description", what type of vague magical effect do you wish there was a spell for?
I want more spells that feel psionic in process and effect.

There are no spell components.

The effect is easy to visualize and mechanically simple to deploy.

Spells that are too complex with too many moving parts, or too dependent on external sources or components, feel nonpsionic.



The best way to present very many spells is to have a clear (thematic and nonoverlapping) way to organize them. Make sure each spell really is worth its spell slot.
 

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Yaarel

He-Mage
Not combat spells. If anything, I'd strip those way back and just allow players to reflavor those by various means.

What D&D does need, IMO, are spells like in Metal Weave Games' Incantations sourcebook, which allow all characters (through a form of ritual casting) to do things like create a place safe from scrying, create a dream space where characters can perform downtime actions without having time advance in the real world, imbuing mounts with magical abilities, creating planar gateways or linking unconnected doorways together across long distances, etc.

But I also don't think one can make players try new stuff if they're not interested in it. I don't get why some people want to stick with WotC content only (especially as many of them complain about the quality or lack of variety in that content), but they exist.

Maybe just get a copy of Incantations or Kobold Press' Deep Magic and let them look at the books for themselves.
Yeah.

Maybe 5e is in less need of more spells, and more specifically in need of more rituals.

I would love any character to be able to attempt a ritual by making an ability (skill) check to determine the success of a ritual. Plus have the ritual say what happens if the check is a "fumble", a critical failure.

A spellcaster can spend a slot to guarantee success, but most would risk the check to save the slots for combat anyway.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
I think that at the very minimum there needs to be at least 2 spells of each spell school for each spell level, that are available to wizards. (2 divination spells for each spell level, for instance.) If those spells are appropriate for other classes, great!

Currently, there are Wizard school subclasses that when they gain a level, they don't have the ability to select a single spell of their preferred school.
Same goes for Druid plant spells − great until slot 6 or so, then suddenly no spells at the highest level.

Every theme must have at least two solid spells to choose from at every level.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
Would be nice to get spell options of different damage types. I'm lucky and my DM lets me pick the damage type of the spell to suit the characters theme when I first select it (as in no changing the damage type once it's picked). However more 'raw' DM's and adventures league won't allow that.

I'd also like true polymorph to get split into two spells. The turning enemies into things to remove them as a threat, and the turning yourself into something to fight as should be two separate things.
I compromise.

Some damage types are strictly better than other damage types. Force and Radiant are the best because there is little or no resistance. So players can always "downgrade" for the sake of flavor.

For example, a Paladin can have Thunder and Lightning replace Radiant. No problem.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I compromise.

Some damage types are strictly better than other damage types. Force and Radiant are the best because there is little or no resistance. So players can always "downgrade" for the sake of flavor.

For example, a Paladin can have Thunder and Lightning replace Radiant. No problem.
i think you could fill out alot of spell/damage coverage if more spells were written in the format of 'when you pick this spell choose if it deals X, Y or Z damage, with the damage types in a loose tier grouping system so any damage type you would be able to pick would be of roughly equivilant value, like fire and poison being similar common tier due to being widely resisted, then like you say force and radiant being higher up on their own teir, psychic and necrotic just below them and cold, lightning, thunder and acid in a group? or acid with fire and poison?

edit: so that 'fireball' could be an 'acidball' or 'poisonball', and 'call lighting' be 'call hail' or 'call thunder'
 

I compromise.

Some damage types are strictly better than other damage types. Force and Radiant are the best because there is little or no resistance. So players can always "downgrade" for the sake of flavor.

For example, a Paladin can have Thunder and Lightning replace Radiant. No problem.
Yeah when I was playing as a fire genasi forge cleric my DM let me switch my abilities for fire damage (most were radiant by default).

Heavily backfired as I'd written the fire cult into his backstory, so when it came to fighting them I couldn't really damage most of them.

10/10 would do it again though.
 

Yaarel

He-Mage
And for the record, I use these approximations. A player can swap for any comparable or lower damage type. Poison is pretty much stuck with being Poison. But Force and Radiant can swap for anything. I prefer the swap to be permanent, such as rewriting a spell with the new damage type in mind.

Best Damage Types to Inflict
• Magic Weapon, Force, Radiant
• Weapon (Slash, Bludgeon, Pierce)
• Psychic, Thunder, Necrotic
• Acid, Lightning
• Cold, Fire
• Poison
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Maybe 5e is in less need of more spells, and more specifically in need of more rituals.
I honestly think one of the best things ever in 3E was the Unearthed Arcana's rules on incantations. I was thrilled to see a version of it show up in 5E as rituals, but they don't go anywhere near enough with them. Whole swaths of the spell list should be rituals and rituals should be weird. (Bring back stuff like Chariot of Sustarre, for instance, and let druids ride across the sky in a flaming chariot pulled by a pair of flaming horses.) If someone wants to cast one of them in combat, let them put it on a scroll.

If the in-combat spells were a smaller and more focused list, they could be balanced much more easily, much as 4E ability math was balanced pretty easily. 5E spells shouldn't be as limited as 4E abilities, where unless it fit into a very narrow paradigm, the spells didn't exist (the 4E versions of "illusions" were one of the reasons I never wanted to play the game), but one can get a long way with baseline damage spells that are single target, or cones, or lines, or explosive spheres, and then having all the variables be understood. Heck, publish the spreadsheet so everyone can see how the spells should be built. (The same argument goes for monsters, too. I'm considering releasing a spreadsheet of the monster math in Shadowdark, since everyone should feel empowered to homebrew stuff for their games.)
 
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Vael

Legend
Basically, I think the less popular schools need a touch of love. Especially Illusions, I'd like some that are more focused and easier to use, and Abjuration spells.

Also, love the idea of more gonzo ritualistic magic. Fewer cast in combat spells, more 10 minute rituals
 

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