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What spells should have had the ritual tag, but don't?

Yaarel

Explorer
Officially, those feats are wildly overvalued. By far. They’re garbage feats.

Mage Armor teaching AC 18 requires 20 Dex. By the level at which a character would have that, they can also have +1 Studded Leather, reaching the same AC, which only loses 1 AC while fighting beholders.
"+1 studded leather"

I prefer the design that keeps magic items out of the balance equations.

The +5 Dexterity happens automatically, because the benefits from investing in Dexterity fighting incentivize it.

Mage Armor = Plate Armor



So, no, Mage Armor isn’t equal to Plate.

Further, by the time a Dex character has a 20 Dex, the Strength guy probably has their Plate.
That is the point. When the Str character gains Plate Armor 18 AC, the Dex character would have Mage Armor with an equal 18 AC.

Mage Armor = Plate Armor



Lastly, you’re mixing comparisons ina way that obfuscates the truth.

If wearing medium armor requires two feats for you, you aren’t playing a class that can have Mage Armor without taking a specific subclass or a feat. Fighters, Clerics, Druids, Barbarians, Paladins, Rangers, all have medium armor. Everyone but wizards and sorcerers get at least light armor.

So, for half the classes, Mage Armor is a couple extra AC, at most. If they wanna be a Dex character.

That confirms the other point. "Mage Armor is a couple extra AC."

In other words, Mage Armor makes Dex fighting strictly better than Str fighting for "half the classes" that lack heavy armor proficiency.



For 4 other classes, it’s the same as a +1 to AC.

For Wizards, it’s 1 less spell slot used per day. For Sorcerers, it’s the ability to take a feat in order to burn 1 first level spell slot per day.

For warlocks, it saves them an Invocation.

Don't oversell it.
A spell that lasts for 8 hours, is effectively equivalent to ‘always on’. Virtually, the Wizard is swapping out a level 1 spell slot for armor proficiency.

At this point, the design might as well have made Mage Armor a class feature of the Wizard class.




In bounded accuracy, a feat that grants +2 attack rolls would be a huge deal. Notice, such a feat doesnt even exist in the Players Handbook.

Conversely, because of the exact same math, +2 AC is a big deal.

The design math is, roughly:

Light armor +2 AC → 12 AC
Medium armor +2 AC → 14 AC
Heavy armor +2 AC → 16 AC

Meanwhile Plate Armor 18 AC is pretend-balanced by high gp cost.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
Medium armor seems useful enough at low levels, but becomes strictly inferior at high levels, being outclassed by better heavy armor for Strength or light armor for Dexterity. For this reason, I think it is ok to lump medium and heavy armor together into the same feat.

The original design goal was to have Light Armor max out at AC 17, and Medium Armor max out at AC 17, and the only way to reach AC 18 was Heavy Armor via plate armor.

When one adds the +2 shield, Heavy Armor comes out to an even AC 20. A number, which the design intended for light and medium to be unable to reach.

Mage Armor can reach this AC 20, if with a shield, but a Wizard rarely uses a shield.



[edit]
 
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Blue

Orcus on a bad day
There are many spells that can't be cast in combat or are irrelevant to combat. Any spell that takes a long time to cast, for instance.
Gee, my exact example I was attempting to find out if you meant several posts ago that you wouldn't clear up. Thank you for eventually answering the question.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
"+1 studded leather"

I prefer the design that keeps magic items out of the balance equations.

The +5 Dexterity happens automatically, because the benefits from investing in Dexterity fighting incentivize it.

Mage Armor = Plate Armor
No, that is false.

Firstly, the characters that can gain Mage Armor without taking a feat will have stats that are either more important than dex, or just as important.

Secondly, even if we imagine the sort of CharOp edge case that the game should never balance around, and assume a character with Mage Armor who got it from their class, but isn't putting anything on the same or higher priority level as dex, they won't have a 20 until level 4 at the earliest, and level 8 is much more likely.

So, what, they're 1 AC above Studded Leather. Scary.




That is the point. When the Str character gains Plate Armor 18 AC, the Dex character would have Mage Armor with an equal 18 AC.

Mage Armor = Plate Armor
Except most characters won't have a 20 Dex until noticeably later. The fact that two characters can both eventually reach the same AC does not mean that they are the same. for the erroneous statement, "mage armor=plate armor", to be true, it would have to provide 18 AC to any character who uses it, without having to dedicate 2 ASIs on top of a feat to get Mage Armor as a ritual. (classes that have mage armor and have ritual casting are going for heavy armor with extreme rarity, so the majority of characters who are actually relevant to a comparison between Mage Armor and Plate are pretty much Fighters. And melee dex fighters can get to that AC level without Mage Armor. Archers too, actually, if they take Defensive instead of Archery, but that's niche.


That confirms the other point. "Mage Armor is a couple extra AC."

In other words, Mage Armor makes Dex fighting strictly better than Str fighting for "half the classes" that lack heavy armor proficiency.
No, it makes it better for classes that lack medium and heavy armor, which it already is, and always will be. So, it doesn't change that dynamic at all. Your argument may as well be that the Dual Wielder feat is broken because that +1 to AC allows a Dex character to get the same AC as plate, thus making dex and dual weilding better for half the classes. Yet, no one I've ever seen in any forum considers that feat too strong, and most consider it not strong enough.

A spell that lasts for 8 hours, is effectively equivalent to ‘always on’. Virtually, the Wizard is swapping out a level 1 spell slot for armor proficiency.

At this point, the design might as well have made Mage Armor a class feature of the Wizard class.
This is the same issue and argument as Hunter's Mark and Hex and Eldritch Blast. I don't care. They didn't make them class features, they made them spells. It is what it is. Making it a ritual does a similar thing, which is fine, and also allows other gish type characters to look and feel right for the player.



In bounded accuracy, a feat that grants +2 attack rolls would be a huge deal. Notice, such a feat doesnt even exist in the Players Handbook.
The game isn't as reserved with AC boosts. Dual Wielder gives +1 AC. There are plenty of other sources of AC boosts. This is a molehill.

Conversely, because of the exact same math, +2 AC is a big deal.
if the designers agreed with you, there would be as few AC boosts as there are attack boosts.

The design math is, roughly:

Light armor +2 AC → 12 AC
Medium armor +2 AC → 14 AC
Heavy armor +2 AC → 16 AC

Meanwhile Plate Armor 18 AC is pretend-balanced by high gp cost.
18 AC is easy to get. Every heavy armor guy with a shield reaches it without plate, and surpasses it with. +1 armor is uncommon. The most common magic item type in the DMG.
5e isn't intended to be as tightly numerically balanced as you seem to think.

Medium armor seems useful enough at low levels, but becomes strictly inferior at high levels, being outclassed by better heavy armor for Strength or light armor for Dexterity. For this reason, I think it is ok to lump medium and heavy armor together into the same feat.
Better to combine medium armor proficiency and medium armor mastery into 1 feat, possibly still a half feat.

The original design goal was to have Light Armor max out at AC 17, and Medium Armor max out at AC 17, and the only way to reach AC 18 was Heavy Armor via plate armor.

When one adds the +2 shield, Heavy Armor comes out to an even AC 20. A number, which the design intended for light and medium to be unable to reach.

Mage Armor can reach this AC 20, if with a shield, but a Wizard rarely uses a shield.
So, the only characters who can get AC 20 with Mage Armor are the guys who are already, at most, 1 feat away from it? Seems pretty fair to me.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
[MENTION=6704184]doctorbadwolf[/MENTION]

To be clear, Mage Armor is balanced. AC 18 cannot break the game.

The problem is. D&D 5e depends on the math of bounded accuracy. It is necessary to stay sober and curb the intoxication temptation and habit of piling on endless bonus numbers.

AC 18 is the highest armor AC possible in D&D 5e.

Getting access to the highest AC possible is worth a half feat. Officially it is worth two half feats, and by allowing an unlimited Dex bonus on top of it, it is equivalent to three half feats. Requiring only one half feat to gain Mage Armor seems generous.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
A spell that lasts for 8 hours, is effectively equivalent to ‘always on’. Virtually, the Wizard is swapping out a level 1 spell slot for armor proficiency.
It's really, truly not "always on". It can be easily dispelled (it's so low level it's auto-dispelled by dispel magic). And it only lasts for 1/3 of the day. If somehow you are never getting challenges for 2/3rd of every day, I suspect your DM is going very easy on you. There are entire spell categories (of good spells) which are specifically just to manage 1/3 of the day to get a long rest in somewhat safety. Those spells just would not exist if it's expected there are no challenges for 2/3rd of the day.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
So, what, they're 1 AC above Studded Leather. Scary.
This isnt about being broken.

The issue is bounded accuracy.

An 18 is high, but within bounded accuracy, and is acceptable.

But piling on bonus numbers without considering the systemic impact is unwise.

The related issue is:

Dexterity Fighters are increasingly obsoleting Strength Fighters.

Mage Armor adds to this trend.

Dexterity Fighters already seem overrepresented at least in D&D Beyond statistics.



Every character build that depends on Dexterity maxes it out as soon as possible. So, Mage Armor is a bonus number sitting on top of this. It equals AC 18.

As mentioned earlier, the shield turns this AC 18 armor, into an AC 20.



No, it makes it better for classes that lack medium and heavy armor, which it already is, and always will be. So, it doesn't change that dynamic at all. Your argument may as well be that the Dual Wielder feat is broken because that +1 to AC allows a Dex character to get the same AC as plate, thus making dex and dual wielding better for half the classes.
You mention Dual Wielder, but the point makes less sense. The Dual Wielder as given up the ability to use a shield, thus is inferior to Plate Armor + Shield, and inferior to Mage Armor + Shield.



Anyway, if wanting to play to around with Mage Armor, it is necessary to analyze the entire D&D 5e design for armor.

I am open to rethinking the D&D 5e armor table and its gaming system. But this must be done comprehensively, while paying attention to Strength versus Dexterity, and while strictly avoiding number inflation.

The value of a +1 bonus to AC versus a +1 bonus to an attack roll, but also become more clearly quantified.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
Regarding combat spells.

I define ‘combat’ effects as anything relating to:

• attack roll / dealing damage
• AC / healing

• mobility during combat (fly speed, haste, teleport, etc)
• immobility during combat (wall, hold, etc)

• detecting hostile creatures, traps (see invisibility, initiative, etc)
• stealth (concealment, invisibility, etc)

• gaining combat ally (conjure, summon, clone, simulacrum, undead, etc)
 

Yaarel

Explorer
It's really, truly not "always on". It can be easily dispelled (it's so low level it's auto-dispelled by dispel magic). And it only lasts for 1/3 of the day. If somehow you are never getting challenges for 2/3rd of every day, I suspect your DM is going very easy on you. There are entire spell categories (of good spells) which are specifically just to manage 1/3 of the day to get a long rest in somewhat safety. Those spells just would not exist if it's expected there are no challenges for 2/3rd of the day.
A person is only awake for sixteen hours each day. Mage Armor is half of this.

In our games, the number of combat encounters per day depends entirely on the narrative. A setting that has alot of social encounters or exploration might not have any combat.

In our games, combat works out to be about one to four combats per day.

The only time there are more combat encounters is when entering some kind of old school ‘dungeon crawl’ where the characters are literally going from room to room, with a separate encounter in each room, which seems rarely realistic.

Anyway, keeping combat to 8 hours and less enjoys verisimilitude.



If the armor is on for one encounter, then it is an encounter power. If for an other encounter after that, ok. And even a third encounter. But if by the fourth encounter the armor is still probably on, I treat it as if it is virtually a daily power for the purpose of assessing its worth compared to other powers. Close enough anyway.

For example, if a player already has Mage Armor, and wanted it always on, I would consider the improvement no more than a skill or two, if any.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
[MENTION=58172]Yaarel[/MENTION] you are focused on a couple things that I don’t care at all about, and never will.

If it isn’t about being broken or not, why spend so much time railing against it? I don’t care about protecting the relevance of strength fighters. People who want to play guys in heavy armor but don’t like Paladins will still play strength fighters. Character optimization doesn’t matter.

If it doesn’t make one character obscure or overshadow other characters, it isn’t a problem. All options don’t need to be numerically perfectly balanced.

I also don't care about this discussion of how many parts of a feat something is worth.

Mage Armor is worth what it’s worth to a given actual character. To a character that would otherwise use plate, it’s worthless. To a high Dex character, it is +1 AC.

To a wizard, Mage Armor as a ritual is 1-2 1st level spell slots saved.

To a Sorcerer, it’s only even that if they spend a feat on it. Many days, it will the same as getting a 1/day use of the spell from Magic Initiate.

For a Warlock, it’s a freed up Invocation.

For a character that takes ritual caster rather than Magic Initiate, it’s trading two cantrips for a second use of Mage Armor.

Any discussion that doesn’t involve what it actually means for the character taking it, isn’t a useful discussion.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Wizards are not typically walking around with a 20 Dex. First priority for a Wizard is Int, because spellcasting is their thing. Second priority is their concentration checks, because concentration spells are their best spells. Which means a feat (War Caster, Lucky, whatever) and/or boost to Con (and you cannot dump Con). Which means your THIRD priority is Dex. You're not maxing your third priority at anything aside from very high levels, if you're using standard array or point buy.

If I had to venture a guess, I'd guess a majority of Wizards have a 14 dex for most of their wizarding adventure days. Which means AC 15. Which is NOT PLATE ARMOR. And if you instead increased that Dex, it was at the expense of intelligence and constitution (and a feat to help concentration saves) which means you've just made yourself highly vulnerable in another area (hit points, concentration saves, potency of spell attack bonuses, damage bonuses, and save DCs, etc.) to make yourself less vulnerable to this area of AC. Which seems a really bad strategy for a spell which is easily dispelled and which only lasts 1/3 the day.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
If it isn’t about being broken or not, why spend so much time railing against it?
Mage Armor is non-broken.

However, it matters because changing it changes the entire gaming *SYSTEM*.


It makes Dexterity AC strictly equal to Strength AC. Because Dexterity has so many other benefits, this in combination with other options can potentially obsolete Strength builds.

It creates an arms race for higher and higher bonuses, eventuating in bounded accuracy becoming untenable.

It causes design space, like rituals, that was meant for out of combat challenges, to be reused for combat boosts. This makes noncombat options less appealing in comparison. Thus ultimately it reduces freedom of choice.

And so on.

Changing Mage Armor cannot be done thoughtlessly, without considering all of the consequences to the D&D 5e game.
 

Mistwell

Adventurer
Anyway, keeping combat to 8 hours and less enjoys verisimilitude.
It sooooo does not. If combat only happens conveniently in the 1/3 of the day where you happen to have a spell up to protect from attacks, that's not verisimilitude. I know of no kind of setting where that just happens to work out that way because it's more believable. It's far less believable than the randomness of life causing some encounters when you're not expecting them. If you're somehow never attacked when sleeping, your game is very odd. Again - entire spells are in this game due to the expectation you will be attacked while sleeping, and random encounter tables have been included in the core books in anticipation of having to roll on them for just such a wandering encounter.



If the armor is on for one encounter, then it is an encounter power. If for an other encounter after that, ok. And even a third encounter. But if by the fourth encounter the armor is still probably on, I treat it as if it is virtually a daily power for the purpose of assessing its worth compared to other powers. Close enough anyway.
Leave that 4e stuff at the door, Yaarel. It was a fine system for that version of D&D but has no applicability to this version. 8 hours is 8 hours, not a "daily power". A believable world will not conveniently only challenge you when you are prepared to be challenged and leave you be for the 2/3rds of the day you're not prepared.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
@Mistwell

Normally, fights happen when you go out looking for a fight. When you are doing something else, they normally dont happen.




When I say ‘encounter’ it is roughly per short rest. When I say ‘daily’ it is roughly per long rest.

I almost never have six or more combats per day. Even in reallife warfare that rarely ever happens.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Also, it isn’t the number of fights in a day.

Last time I had to recast Mage Armor on my Bladesinger, it was a day with only 2 fights. Most of the day was investigation and social interaction, and then some travel.

Another time had a shopping interlude and my character dissected an ettercap.

The day is long. Sometimes you’re gonna get attacked at camp, when you don’t expect to need to reconstitute your magic armor.

Or your going to be very busy all day and spending ten minutes on a ritual just isn’t going to happen.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Mage Armor is non-broken.

However, it matters because changing it changes the entire gaming *SYSTEM*.
No, it doesn’t.

it does nothing more than I enumerated in my list of what it means for individual classes. That’s it.

It is a +1 AC and light armor proficiency. At most.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
[MENTION=6704184]doctorbadwolf[/MENTION]

It is balanced for the Wizard to have Mage Armor always on. Casting and dispelling as an action at-will. As a class feature. Without spending slots on it.

(As is, the Wizard class is underpowered at level 1, compared to Fighter and Cleric at level 1. The boost of Mage Armor can help fill this gap. It balances.)

If other classes want to multiclass to dip into the Wizard to pick up Mage Armor, that is balanced too.



Regarding rituals, I prefer to keep the ritual design space separate for noncombat.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
@doctorbadwolf

It is balanced for the Wizard to have Mage Armor always on. Casting and dispelling as an action at-will. As a class feature. Without spending slots on it.

(As is, the Wizard class is underpowered at level 1, compared to Fighter and Cleric at level 1. The boost of Mage Armor can help fill this gap. It balances.)

If other classes want to multiclass to dip into the Wizard to pick up Mage Armor, that is balanced too.
then allowing it as a ritual is also balanced.



Regarding rituals, I prefer to keep the ritual design space separate for noncombat.
This is very much a separate issue, which I have no particular interest in. It’s a matter of preference. As they say, you do you.
 

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