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D&D General When to know a rule?


Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
So what's the minimum information here? Can I say that the Priests of Arkhan in my campaign setting have a cantrip that deals force damage? Do I have to say what it's target area is? Do I have to say what components it has, or what rider effects it has?

Let's say Firebolt wasn't in the PHB. Could I say "there's a rare arcane cantrip that does fire damage" and have that be enough?
First: We are of course dealing here with tastes and preferences--whatever everyone around a given table is cool with is cool for that table. Second: I think different people will have different minima, and I think even the same person might want different minima in different contexts--what makes for an intelligent decision will, of course vary with context.

Speaking only for my self, my tastes and preferences, I think your priests' cantrip is probably fine at "it does force damage." If there's a rider, that does seem like something that'd be out there, if not necessarily its precise mechanical expression. Given the other cantrips in the PHB, I think firebolt might be more or less clear from "arcane cantrip that does range fire damage." Again, in both these cases, I think there's a difference between "I wanna know what this caster is doing" and "I wanna know if this is a thing I should go after." While as DM I will tell the players DCs and riders and other effects I don't think that's the right answer for every table; but if someone wants to chase down a spell, or an item, I think they should have a good idea what they're going to get, so they can judge where it sits in their priority queue.

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Divine casters are a bit different. The player will get a handout of common faith spells for their deity.

But my gods micromanage the use of divine power. Each time a spell is cast the caster might get a divine sign indicating if the god likes or dislikes the use of the spell. These are minor, but can still be big effects. And if the divine spellcaster does good following the gods ethos, they may get a big reward per spell...and if they don't follow the gods ethos they can expect the spell not to work, backfire or worse.

This is great for realign in some players: they can't just pick a god and then do whatever they want with that gods divine power. They must be a flower of the god....or else.

And it works out as a great way to teach a player all about the gods religion, far more then just a handout can ever do. The average player will pick up quick on what their god wants them to do, and not to do. And there is a lot in the middle most gods just don't bother with or care about.

Kelemvor for example will give a positive for hunting and destroying undead, but should a caster try and help an undead, they will get a negative. Kel wants to help others, cure others, and over see deaths and burials. All of them can get good positives.

And as a caster does positives, the god will reward them with more faith based spells along that goal. Kel has a bunch of anti undead spells, for example.

I've used this for years and it works out great. Some players just "don't role play and just be themselves", and they just use the offical game spells. The other players that role play a divine spellcaster, can get access to all sorts of special divine spells.

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