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D&D General why do we not have an arcane half caster?


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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
which is?
Medieval Fantasy Wilderness Batman

The problem is the Batman part. Attempting to design a Batman for a PnP, board, or video game without major sacrifices to Batman requires major sacrifices to one's mental health.

Pile on how D&D handles magic and well... roll on the insanity table.
 

Medieval Fantasy Wilderness Batman

The problem is the Batman part. Attempting to design a Batman for a PnP, board, or video game without major sacrifices to Batman requires major sacrifices to one's mental health.

Pile on how D&D handles magic and well... roll on the insanity table.
batman is 20th level rogue with stupid amounts of feats and loot plus way to high stats.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
batman is 20th level rogue with stupid amounts of feats and loot plus way to high stats.
Batman is also one of the top 10 unarmed and unarmored martial artists in his universe. Some can argue top 5.

But that's not the problem.
The issue is Batman has access to every tool available on his universe. The only reason Batman doesn't use something is because he literally can't, doesn't want to, or the item is secret to him.

Now roll that down to rangers. Rangers wouldn't be just divine casters. Rangers woud dabble in arcane, divine, druidic/primal and magic as well as psionics. All while being skilled and a competent warrior. The 0e ranger casted 2 kinds of spells. They want to find and defeat their favored enemies and defend their territories by any means necessary. That's why 5e sorta mumbles when it talks about ranger magic. Because it you really think about it, it would be a mess.
 

Batman is also one of the top 10 unarmed and unarmored martial artists in his universe. Some can argue top 5.

But that's not the problem.
The issue is Batman has access to every tool available on his universe. The only reason Batman doesn't use something is because he literally can't, doesn't want to, or the item is secret to him.

Now roll that down to rangers. Rangers wouldn't be just divine casters. Rangers woud dabble in arcane, divine, druidic/primal and magic as well as psionics. All while being skilled and a competent warrior. The 0e ranger casted 2 kinds of spells. They want to find and defeat their favored enemies and defend their territories by any means necessary. That's why 5e sorta mumbles when it talks about ranger magic. Because it you really think about it, it would be a mess.
remind me to make a monk thread as I might have solved the martial arts problem.

the rest of this says confused concept go back to the drawing board as it lacks both story and proper mechanics.

could get a basic list of the parts for the solution in one post if you want?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
remind me to make a monk thread as I might have solved the martial arts problem.

the rest of this says confused concept go back to the drawing board as it lacks both story and proper mechanics.

could get a basic list of the parts for the solution in one post if you want?
Again the concept is not not confused. Rangers have a clear concept. The problem is the rest of the game and getting that and ranger's concept to mesh.

It all boils down to the point of this topic: What is arcane magic? What would a arcane half caster half warrior be able to do that is currently not possible?

If your answer is "Arcane magic allows for elemental blasting and an arcane half caster would be able to fight and blast."
Well Lightning Arrow. Ranger are your arcane half caster and the low amount of new attack spells for the class criminal.

If your answer is specifically stuff that arcane magic cannot do then you are asking for stuff D&D moved away from.

If your answer is something else then you have to start defining stuff.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Again the concept is not not confused. Rangers have a clear concept. The problem is the rest of the game and getting that and ranger's concept to mesh.

It all boils down to the point of this topic: What is arcane magic? What would a arcane half caster half warrior be able to do that is currently not possible?

If your answer is "Arcane magic allows for elemental blasting and an arcane half caster would be able to fight and blast."
Well Lightning Arrow. Ranger are your arcane half caster and the low amount of new attack spells for the class criminal.

If your answer is specifically stuff that arcane magic cannot do then you are asking for stuff D&D moved away from.

If your answer is something else then you have to start defining stuff.
My answer is sword magic, which no class specializes in. Lightning arrow is great, no let me throw my weapon that isn’t normally a thrown weapon, further than thrown weapons normally go, elecrocuting everyone it goes by, and then return it to my hand.

let me send my sword flying in an arc to hit multiple targets within 60 ft.

Let me mark an enemy and teleport into their face sword-first when they trigger the mark.

none of that is weird in D&D, and it’s the kind of stuff that would make them feel like they were actually built to be a magical weapons master, not someone who trained in two different academies and switches back and forth between the two traditions.
 



Scribe

Hero
I prefer to use Primal for Rangers and Druids.
This is what I would do, but since its not a thing in the rules, I dont have a problem with saying its Divine really. Is it an issue of the Spell list, or the source of the magic?

I dont know, I've never had issue with the Ranger's definition honestly.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Can you restate that in a way that can be parsed?
Autocorrect mangled that badly lol. 5e gets screwy with magic b/p/s and elemental (magic or not) damage due to how it over uses resistance and largely avoids using vulnerability. Having elemental damage added is often less helpful than adding bludgeon pierce or slash damage. Paladins mostly adding radiant damage falls into a loophole just because groups rarely fight celestials
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Autocorrect mangled that badly lol. 5e gets screwy with magic b/p/s and elemental (magic or not) damage due to how it over uses resistance and largely avoids using vulnerability. Having elemental damage added is often less helpful than adding bludgeon pierce or slash damage. Paladins mostly adding radiant damage falls into a loophole just because groups rarely fight celestials
Okay. Got it.

On the other hand, being able to switch elements pretty much avoids this, and it’s thematic as hell.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
My answer is sword magic, which no class specializes in. Lightning arrow is great, no let me throw my weapon that isn’t normally a thrown weapon, further than thrown weapons normally go, elecrocuting everyone it goes by, and then return it to my hand.

let me send my sword flying in an arc to hit multiple targets within 60 ft.

Let me mark an enemy and teleport into their face sword-first when they trigger the mark.

none of that is weird in D&D, and it’s the kind of stuff that would make them feel like they were actually built to be a magical weapons master, not someone who trained in two different academies and switches back and forth between the two traditions.
And to me that feels like ranger magic. Rangers always had the elemental weapon enchant spells. The trouble was always that the designers forgot this and stopped making weapon spells specifically for rangers, paladins and other half casters.

Designers: Hey we got a new book. It has new spells in it!
Paladin: Sweet. Do ranger and I get new spells?
Designers: Yes!
Ranger: Are the spells made for paladin and ranger tropes or are they just low level cleric and druid spells?
Designers: Ummmm.... NEW SPELLS!
Ranger: Son of a-
Paladin: Aw man. I wanted angel wings.

---
On another note. If D&D were to really combine wizard type magic and weapon usage, it should really try to describe how the 9 schools would enhanced weapon and armor individually. This would make a true arcane half caster feel new and ifferent. The 4e swordmage kinda did this with its aegises.


  • Abjuration: Hardening one's armor and shields
  • Conjuration: Teleporting to enhance movement
  • Divination: Prediction of weapon attacks
  • Enchantment: Charming fores to mark them and force them to attack you
  • Evocation: Good ol' weapon AOE
  • Illusion: Summoning false flankers
  • Necromancy: Drainng health to last longer
  • Transmutation: Changing the properties of weapons.
The real reason why we don't have an arcane half caster is that spells are mostly only designed for PCs who don''t attack with weapons and wear armor. Overall Arcane is the magic of spells created use mortals and those mortals (wizards) only create magic they have use for. Not for their fighter buddy.

And this goes back to the ranger. In a logical D&D setting, rangers would have paid wizards to design new spells to help kill their favored enemies.
 


Undrave

Hero
Rangers and paladins not getting cantrips by default tends to throw off the 1/2 caster 1/3 caster arguments when arcane tricksters and eldritch knights do gain cantrips by default. It brings into question the value of cantrips compare to slightly better spell progression.

The entire 1/2 or 1/3 caster concept is just math for the multiclassing table and the rules don't actually call those classes such. Defining classes in that single aspect is something players do, but it doesn't look at the whole picture.

I would point out that warlocks already replicate divine smiting with the eldritch smite invocation. Unlike divine smite, eldritch smite doesn't have the 5d8 damage cap so warlocks using it are gaining higher level spell slots for smiting earlier than paladins and renewing them on short rests instead of long rests. 9 6d8 smites at 11th level with 2 rests is way more smite damage than a paladin can do over the day. I think we've already got something in place to demonstrate just giving smites or smite spells isn't enough to step on the paladin's toes.

I don't think the smite spells or cantrips (look at artficers) necessarily cause too many issues unless it's over done. The hexblade has access to eldritch smite, smith spells, and cantrips for comparison. That also includes faster access to higher level slots and invocations so it's worth a look to help gauge a hypothetical swordmage.
The biggest pitfall is ending up in a Wizard/Sorcerer situation where the spell list end up being WAY too identical.

That's why I said not to give the new guy all the Smite spells just because they're magical weapon attack.

The real arcane half-caster was all the rangers we made along the way.

All ribbing of the poor Ranger aside, I feel like DnD lost some depth to its magic and lore by leaving Primal as a power source in 4e. It had such an amazing backstory that integrated perfectly into the creation of its world...
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The biggest pitfall is ending up in a Wizard/Sorcerer situation where the spell list end up being WAY too identical.

That's why I said not to give the new guy all the Smite spells just because they're magical weapon attack.
The biggest pitfall is that D&D still mostly makes all its magic for wizards and clerics and just hands the other classes wizard and cleric spells.

There is so little "I'm creating a spell for bards/druid/paladins/rangers/sorcerers/warlocks" going on in the WOTC offices.
Heck, few of the 4e powers were converted to 5e spells.
It's easy money sitting on the WOTC bookshelves.
 

Ashrym

Hero
The biggest pitfall is ending up in a Wizard/Sorcerer situation where the spell list end up being WAY too identical.

That's why I said not to give the new guy all the Smite spells just because they're magical weapon attack.

I think that's a matter of perception. I see the sorcerer as an alternative to the wizard for players who want that alternative. The similarities in the spells doesn't bother me because the distinctions are made in other ways, and that's not different than the similarities with a fighter and barbarian.

We still end up with hex blades demonstrating that smite spells and smiting didn't step on paladin toes because the other differences are important. Just name sure there are other differences.

All ribbing of the poor Ranger aside, I feel like DnD lost some depth to its magic and lore by leaving Primal as a power source in 4e. It had such an amazing backstory that integrated perfectly into the creation of its world...

Rangers left lore behind in energy edition.

Most groups still use primal as an energy source, the n my experience. It's pretty cosmetic.
 

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