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

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
[MENTION=58172]Yaarel[/MENTION] I was brief because I was at work. The other thing I didn’t get to is; it really isn’t about how many fights are in a day. There are a thousand things other than fights that can preclude having 10 spare minutes to recast a ritual spell. Every time mistwell talked about it being unusual to reliably be able to recast it, or to not need to recast it at all, you kept talking about the absurdity of 16 hours straight of combat, which was a total non sequitor. Neither of us contended that an unending stream of fights is why it’s unusual to only need to cast mage Armor once, or to reliably have time to ritually cast it twice. The contention is that the many and varied activities of adventuring are why one usually needs armor for more than 8 hours a day, and will regularly not have time to cast it ritually more than once per day, or at all.


That is is what I was trying to address. I had considered the exchange about balance quite decidedly concluded, since you finally clarified that balance wasn’t actually the issue you had with mage Armor as a ritual, but instead with “combat spells” of any kind being rituals, regardless of balance concerns. That is an objection I’m happy to simply passively disagree with.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
@doctorbadwolf

To clarify regarding balance.

I agree always-on Mage Armor is nonbroken.

At the same time, Mage Armor is very powerful, ultimately as powerful as Plate Armor.

Plate Armor too is nonbroken.



Warlock has always-on Mage Armor as an invocation, and no one seems overly fascinated with it. At least in the context of a Warlock, it seems balanced. I feel the Wizard can get it for free. At level 1, to anticipate Eldritch Knight, a Fighting Style should be able to swap the medium armor and heavy armor proficiency for always-on Mage Armor and a Wizard cantrip.

I feel Mage Armor can be a more normal part of the D&D experience.



My concern is, this mainstreaming of Mage Armor and its defacto improvement of Dexterity versus Strength, needs to come with a rethinking of the heavier armors generally and ensure Strength Fighters remain competitive.

In the dynamic of 5e, attacks seem more valuable than defense. Moreso than earlier editions. Not exactly sure why. I agree with you that the armor feats feel less valuable than they ‘should’ be. The value of all of the armors − including light, medium, heavy, and Mage Armor − needs to be understood and quantified more accurately.

Say, a feat is worth 8 points, and a half-feat is worth 4 points. The relative desirability seems something like the following.

• 4 ability score +1
• 2 shield
• 3 light armor
• 2 medium armor (prereq light)
• 3 heavy armor (prereq med)
• 4 Mage Armor

In short, it seems like a single feat granting proficiency with all armors would feel adequate, and all armors plus shield would be appealing.

Meanwhile, Mage Armor by itself would be worth about a half-feat. It is appealing yet balanced.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Explorer
[MENTION=58172]Yaarel[/MENTION] I agree with the first half of your post. Where we disagree is on the actual value of gaining an improvement to one’s armor.

The feats value that incorrectly. Even directly inconsistent. Heavy armor is one tiny fraction of what a War Cleric gets at level 1. Same with medium armor and Hexblades, or the various armor boosting benefits of taking Bladesinger. The intent of Unarmored Defense seems to be that it be about as strong as Mage Armor, eventually better (max both stats, for AC 20).

In your points system, I’d say that a feat that only gives Mage Armor as a ritual would be completely terrible compared to most feats. Light armor gives 1 less AC and that feat gives a +1 to a stat!

Another way to look at it is viewing it as a feat that gives +1 AC while wearing light armor. That’s the direct equivalent.

Now, separately from that, there is the issue of the value of strength builds. I personally don’t think there needs to be any incentivisation to build for strength, beyond heavy armor and big weapons and barbarian rage damage bonuses requiring Strength. Those are things people want to play, and they are perfectly viable. They are in fact quite strong (pun intended). However, for those who feel that strength should dominate, or should be just as robust a choice in classes with no preference otherwise, I don’t think this is a good space to accomplish that.

Mage Armor either is or isn’t effectively always on regardless of ritual status, for most characters who’d consider taking it. It isn’t going to change the percentage of Dex vs Str builds.

Instead, I’d suggest some special weapons that require certain Str scores to wield without disadvantage, or perhaps give extra range on bows and thrown weapons for strength modifier, or even consider increasing movement speed by 5ft per strength mod when you dash or something.

The problem with Strength in 5e is that many of the things that rely on it are boring things that get handwaved, or that groups prioritize getting magic items to be able to ignore, etc. How often does carry, lift, drag, push, etc weights come up? How many groups actual run jumping correctly?
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
That's my point. If you up the time it becomes an actual cost. If it took 2 or 3 hours to mage armor the whole party it would lose some luster, wouldn't it? That applies generally to ritual spam, and it's a easy way to prevent a bunch of abuse if you decide to make more spells into rituals. i'm comparing that to the non-ritual spell slot cost.
Ok, but then if you change rituals to take 2-3 hours, you make a whole bunch of them useless. Detect Magic taking 2-3 hours to cast for example would not be worth bothering with as a ritual as it only last 10 with concentration.

Now if you mean to suggest that the time to cast the ritual should be proportionate to the duration of the effect then ok. But then the complexity goes beyond 5e's normal boundaries. It would be simpler to change it to if Mage Armor is cast as a ritual it is a self only spell.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
2 or 3 hours to mage armor on the whole party. Not 2 or 3 hours to cast mage armor period. The suggestion being that upping the ritual duration to half an hour or whatever would keep it reasonable for one person while making it awkward for a group. Scaling ritual duration could be a great gate and it doesn't have to be super complicated.
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
2 or 3 hours to mage armor on the whole party. Not 2 or 3 hours to cast mage armor period. The suggestion being that upping the ritual duration to half an hour or whatever would keep it reasonable for one person while making it awkward for a group. Scaling ritual duration could be a great gate and it doesn't have to be super complicated.
Right, but unless you are going to create ritual specific rules for each spell, it doesn't seem to make sense for just this one. What I suggest for those that want to make it a ritual is to change the target to self. For most parties this will make little difference since very few martial classes want to give up their armor anyway.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
In your points system, I’d say that a feat that only gives Mage Armor as a ritual would be completely terrible compared to most feats. Light armor gives 1 less AC and that feat gives a +1 to a stat!
Note, the feat with Mage Armor includes a +1 to an ability.

(8) feat = (4) Mage Armor + (4) ability score improvement.



Alternatively, a feat might give Mage Armor and two Wizard cantrips.

Or Mage Armor plus proficiency with longsword and longbow.

Or so on.




Another way to look at it is viewing it as a feat that gives +1 AC while wearing light armor. That’s the direct equivalent.
I agree. Light Armor + 1 AC = Mage Armor.

That flat +1 bonus to AC that also allows for full Dexterity, is worth 2 points, about the same as a Shield.

If someone already has Light Armor, then the +1 AC is worth 2 points. If someone is gaining both Light Armor and the +1 AC, then it is worth about 5 points.

In other words, Mage Armor is really worth about 5 points. More than 4.

So, a feat that gives Ability Score +1 and Mage Armor is an appealing feat, worth about 9 points, where a standard feat is 8 points.
 
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Fenris-77

Explorer
So changing the target of the spell is somehow less difficult than changing duration? I'm not sure I follow your logic there, not when the stated goal was to disincline parties from going the all mage armor route for no cost via a ritual. I don't think the obvious answer there is remove the ability of the spell to affect someone else, nor is that solution one that necessarily transfers well to other spells that might suffer from a spam treatment as rituals. However, changing duration does transfer well as a mechanical concept to other rituals and it does so without changing the actual spell in question.

I think we're really talking about different things. I don't actually care about Mage Armor at all, it was just an example. I was suggesting ritual duration in the context of a vastly expanded field of ritual spells as a mechanism to prevent spam.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
Now, separately from that, there is the issue of the value of strength builds. I personally don’t think there needs to be any incentivisation to build for strength, beyond heavy armor and big weapons and barbarian rage damage bonuses requiring Strength. Those are things people want to play, and they are perfectly viable. They are in fact quite strong (pun intended). However, for those who feel that strength should dominate, or should be just as robust a choice in classes with no preference otherwise, I don’t think this is a good space to accomplish that.

Mage Armor either is or isn’t effectively always on regardless of ritual status, for most characters who’d consider taking it. It isn’t going to change the percentage of Dex vs Str builds.

Instead, I’d suggest some special weapons that require certain Str scores to wield without disadvantage, or perhaps give extra range on bows and thrown weapons for strength modifier, or even consider increasing movement speed by 5ft per strength mod when you dash or something.

The problem with Strength in 5e is that many of the things that rely on it are boring things that get handwaved, or that groups prioritize getting magic items to be able to ignore, etc. How often does carry, lift, drag, push, etc weights come up? How many groups actual run jumping correctly?
(Ultimately, to protect Strength, merge it with Constitution − so Strength becomes the source for toughness. Also formally correlate Strength as a size prerequisite, so a Large creature must have at least 18 Strength. Then via Large size, a high Strength might gain reach.

Compare monster stats. Strength is typically near identical with Constitution, and Large and Huge creatures are typically exceptionally strong.

‘Brute’ Strength includes size and toughness.)



Until then, all Heavy weapons can require a minimum Strength prereq in order to gain proficiency with them. Finesse weapons are smaller and allow Dexterity, and in this sense, there is already a kind of mechanic in play to separate Strength weapons from Dexterity weapons, but maybe the Heavy weapons can be more appealing. Note Greatweapon Fighter build combos are already enviable, but more can be done to shore up Strength generally.

Heavier armors already have a Strength prereq relating to speed, and I am happy with this.

I feel strongly that a shield is more like Medium Armor in the sense that anyone using a standard shield should only be able to gain a maximum +2 Dexterity bonus while using it. Realistically, it is a shield, it gets in the way of extreme athletic agility.

A ‘light shield’ such as a buckler (that punches weapons out of the way) would grant +1 AC and full Dexterity.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Explorer
I agree. Light Armor + 1 AC = Mage Armor.

That flat +1 bonus to AC that also allows for full Dexterity, is worth 2 points, about the same as a Shield.

If someone already has Light Armor, then the +1 AC is worth 2 points. If someone is gaining both Light Armor and the +1 AC, then it is worth about 5 points.

In other words, Mage Armor is really worth about 5 points. More than 4.

So, a feat that gives Ability Score +1 and Mage Armor is an appealing feat, worth about 9 points, where a standard feat is 8 points.
No, you’re ignoring vital data.

There are only two classes that don’t have light armor or better, and both of them have Mage Armor already on their spell list.

So it’s always just a +1. The fact that it allows full Dex is irrelevant, because so does adding +1 onto some light armor.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think mage armor on a mage ought to be based on Intelligence/Wisdom/Charisma ... its only dex based when you cannot tweak it.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
No, you’re ignoring vital data.

There are only two classes that don’t have light armor or better, and both of them have Mage Armor already on their spell list.

So it’s always just a +1. The fact that it allows full Dex is irrelevant, because so does adding +1 onto some light armor.
So, you are saying that having proficiency with Light Armor is a baseline that every character has. Even the classes that have the ‘flaw’ of lacking it have something comparable in its place.

In other words, proficiency with Light Armor = 0 points. It is free. It is already assumed into the math of the gaming system.



I probably accept that argument. But all the more reason to make Mage Armor an always-on class feature for the Wizard.



I get it, that you would accomplish the always-on, via making it a ritual.

However, so far, all of the rituals are ‘safe’ noncombat choices.

I am leaning toward allowing anyone to cast any ritual via the Arcana skill. Personally, I feel that if magic exists, then it is more ‘realistic’ for people to have casual exposure to it. Notice the Eberron-esque feel.

If so, I prefer no combat options to be available, and rituals to be for social and exploratory situations.

The difficulty would be high, maybe something like 20 + spell level to cast a ritual. With proficiency and decent ability, at least the lowest level rituals would be serviceable.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
@doctorbadwolf

Assuming light armor is baseline. It is probably still worth a skill to gain proficiency with it. The Wizard class did not get it and, if it wants it, could reasonably swap something like a skill for it.

Note proficiency with one or more simple weapons is also a baseline. Together, light armor and one or more simple weapons, plus shield, total 4 points for basic self-defense − what typical people look like when they get drafted for a battle.

• 2 shield
• 1 light armor
• 2 Medium Armor (prereq light)
• 3 Heavy Armor (prereq medium)

• 2 flat +1 bonus to AC (full Dexterity)
• 3 Mage Armor (light +1)
• 4 ability score +1
 
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WaterRabbit

Villager
So changing the target of the spell is somehow less difficult than changing duration? I'm not sure I follow your logic there, not when the stated goal was to disincline parties from going the all mage armor route for no cost via a ritual. I don't think the obvious answer there is remove the ability of the spell to affect someone else, nor is that solution one that necessarily transfers well to other spells that might suffer from a spam treatment as rituals. However, changing duration does transfer well as a mechanical concept to other rituals and it does so without changing the actual spell in question.

I think we're really talking about different things. I don't actually care about Mage Armor at all, it was just an example. I was suggesting ritual duration in the context of a vastly expanded field of ritual spells as a mechanism to prevent spam.
I get what you are saying, but increasing the duration for a number of rituals where they cannot be used frequently pushes them toward the useless category. I think Mage Armor is fine without the ritual tag, but I could also see it being a class feature where the caster renews it when they prepare their spells.

I don't see ritual spam in general as a problem -- cantrip spam is much more problematic to me.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
@doctorbadwolf

Assuming light armor is baseline. It is probably still worth a skill to gain proficiency with it. The Wizard class did not get it and, if it wants it, could reasonably swap something like a skill for it.

Note proficiency with one or more simple weapons is also a baseline. Together, light armor and one or more simple weapons, plus shield, total 4 points for basic self-defense − what typical people look like when they get drafted for a battle.

• 2 shield
• 1 light armor
• 2 Medium Armor (prereq light)
• 3 Heavy Armor (prereq medium)

• 2 flat +1 bonus to AC (full Dexterity)
• 3 Mage Armor (light +1)
• 4 ability score +1
I just don’t agree at all that it’s worth the same as a skill proficiency. Medium armor, maybe. Heavy Armor certainly. Light armor is not a value add for any character. Its like tool proficiency before Xanathar’s, except even those had utility in the hands of a DM whose goal is fun.

The ability to gain a +1 AC as a ten minute ritual, as one of a few rituals, or later paying the time and gold to scribe a new ritual, is simply in line with other ritual spells.

edit: also 20+ spell level is much too high a DC for even 1st level rituals to ever be worth planning on the use of for anyone that does not have expertise. Even 15+ would be restrictive, but at least low levels wouldn’t be in the range of things you only try when desperate.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
Can Fighter Extra Attack cast a cantrip ‘Spell Attack’?

@doctorbadwolf

Maybe Arcana skill casts ritual at

DC 13 + *character level* of spell



character level = (spell level x2) − 1



Many noncombat cantrips make great rituals: Light, Shape Water, etcetera.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Can Fighter Extra Attack cast a cantrip ‘Spell Attack’?

I think it should be able to.

I am guessing the official answer is no, but where is the precise wording?
Casting a cantrip is generally an Action, which means it can’t be combined with the Attack Action.

Eldritch Knights get to Attack as a bonus action after casting a cantrip, at level 7
 

Yaarel

Explorer
Casting a cantrip is generally an Action, which means it can’t be combined with the Attack Action.

Eldritch Knights get to Attack as a bonus action after casting a cantrip, at level 7
Right, but is a spell description that says ‘make a spell attack’ considered an attack?



Note that the description of Extra Attack never mentions the need to use a weapon, and includes other kinds of attack such as ‘brawling with fists’.
 
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