D&D 5E Why Green Flame Blade is Over Rated- And You Are Doing it Wrong.

Yunru

Banned
Banned
I've made them d12 cantrips in my games. After all, if you're going to be casting the best melee cantrip, it should do more damage than thr best ranged cantrip.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

RulesJD

First Post
There are builds/classes that benefit from GFB significantly, notably Draconic (Fire) Sorcadins. Getting to drop your Charisma bonus to your 1 melee hit is pretty nice.
 

gyor

Legend
With quicken spell you can use Green Flame Blade multiple times in a turn.

With Warcaster you can also use it for opportunity attacks
 




Ovarwa

Explorer
GFB: Smack something that's easy to hit. Automatically damage something that's hard to hit.

Something to be said for that.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
I suspect the OP forgot that rogues get cunning action, and how not using an off-hand weapon frees up its use.

I'm sure he hasn't. But if you read enough of his posts it'll be clear that Zards obsessed with maximizing damage.
If whatever you're doing doesn't max damage? Then it's some sort of trap/not worth it.
BUT! If you do max that damage it becomes OP....


GFB and BB's problem is not necessarily with its damage (which is still a bit high considering it has a rider and it stacks on top of weapon damage), it is its weird progression. It falls into this weird niche where generally only characters with one attack like it; for some characters, the cantrips are a redundancy, but are no-brainers for other characters. That's bad design.

So it's bad design if an option is sub-par for one character I make but a great fit for another? ???

I play a 1/2ling with a str of 7. Does this make long swords bad design?
 

ccs

41st lv DM
It's best for (I'd even say essential to take full advantage of) Eldritch Knights. It is your best attack at levels 1-4, excellent at levels 7-10, still the best choice at 11-16th level when used against multiple targets, and at levels 17-19 it is simply the best option. The only levels where it isn't much use to an Eldritch Knight are 5-6, and 20 (and even then it can rock against multiple targets). The rest of the time, if your Eldritch Knight isn't using it they are doing it wrong.

This is as stupid as the claims that EB is essential to warlocks.

Does GFB fit the character your playing? If so, use it. If not, use whatever does.
 


Ganymede81

First Post
So it's bad design if an option is sub-par for one character I make but a great fit for another? ???

I play a 1/2ling with a str of 7. Does this make long swords bad design?

You're not familiar with the basic game design precept that upgrade/advancement options should represent difficult choices in lieu of no-brainer choices?

Ok, imagine you had the choice between two abilities. The abilities are essentially the same, but the first ability does double the damage of the second ability. This is an example of poor game design because players will generally make the easy decision to pick the first, more damaging, ability. Granted, that choice gets messier in a game like D&D because the available upgrades are not perfectly fungible, but it is still possible to identify when an upgrade suffers from this design flaw.

One example is the greataxe compared to the greatsword or maul. Outside of certain corner cases (half orcs, etc.), the latter weapons are simply better. Setting the greataxe at 1d12 damage instead of 2d6 damage was simply a bad design choice. (Then again, even that straightforward example can be messy since someone can say "greatswords are expensive" or "mauls can't cut ropes.")
 

It's best for (I'd even say essential to take full advantage of) Eldritch Knights. It is your best attack at levels 1-4, excellent at levels 7-10, still the best choice at 11-16th level when used against multiple targets, and at levels 17-19 it is simply the best option. The only levels where it isn't much use to an Eldritch Knight are 5-6, and 20 (and even then it can rock against multiple targets). The rest of the time, if your Eldritch Knight isn't using it they are doing it wrong.

Levels 3-4, surely?

@OP, the best thing about Booming Blade and Greenflame Blade is the fact that it lets you take a full or nearly-full spellcaster (e.g. Fighter 1/Necromancer X, Life Cleric 1/Illusionist X) and still have good melee damage, competitive with a somewhat-underspecialized fighter. If you can tank and fight in melee AND heal and cast Simulacrum/Wall of Force/True Polymorph/etc., you're getting the best of both worlds. Your DPR still won't be as good as a specialized fighter like a Sharpshooter, but it will be good enough instead of mediocre, thanks to Booming Blade.
 
Last edited:

You're not familiar with the basic game design precept that upgrade/advancement options should represent difficult choices in lieu of no-brainer choices?

Ok, imagine you had the choice between two abilities. The abilities are essentially the same, but the first ability does double the damage of the second ability. This is an example of poor game design because players will generally make the easy decision to pick the first, more damaging, ability. Granted, that choice gets messier in a game like D&D because the available upgrades are not perfectly fungible, but it is still possible to identify when an upgrade suffers from this design flaw.

One example is the greataxe compared to the greatsword or maul. Outside of certain corner cases (half orcs, etc.), the latter weapons are simply better. Setting the greataxe at 1d12 damage instead of 2d6 damage was simply a bad design choice. (Then again, even that straightforward example can be messy since someone can say "greatswords are expensive" or "mauls can't cut ropes.")

Unless the objective is to make certain technologies objectively better in the game, e.g. because it's more realistic.

D&D is after all a roleplaying game, not an MMORPG. 5E has simplified things quite a bit--and some of that is good, because who really cares about the difference between a ranseur and a spetum?--but there is no requirement that all options be DPR-balanced against each other; they just have to be different enough to be genuinely interesting.
 

Ganymede81

First Post
Unless the objective is to make certain technologies objectively better in the game, e.g. because it's more realistic.

I suppose, and I could certainly see a game purpose for a delineation between low-quality and high-quality weapons (though isn't that just simple vs. martial?), but something tells me that 1d12 was not selected as the greataxe's damage die for simulationist reasons.
 

I suppose, and I could certainly see a game purpose for a delineation between low-quality and high-quality weapons (though isn't that just simple vs. martial?), but something tells me that 1d12 was not selected as the greataxe's damage die for simulationist reasons.

Yes, I think it was selected for aesthetic reasons at the metagame: some people really love the shape of d12s, and don't care about the 0.5 expected value difference relative to 2d6. (Or they like huge crits.)

The d12 greataxe is a defensible design choice, if a rather metagamey one.
 


schnee

First Post
You're not familiar with the basic game design precept that upgrade/advancement options should represent difficult choices in lieu of no-brainer choices?

I think these cantrips actually allow the 'difficult choice' of being a ranged attack cantrip user or a martial attack cantrip user.

Before, there wasn't one. Shillelagh doesn't scale past level 5, and there was no other option for a single attack caster to engage in melee past that. Ranged cantrips, however, do scale. So this now fills that hole in capability, and - for me at least - seems a compelling path for what to rely on when your spells give out.
 

Ganymede81

First Post
I think these cantrips actually allow the 'difficult choice' of being a ranged attack cantrip user or a martial attack cantrip user.

Before, there wasn't one. Shillelagh doesn't scale past level 5, and there was no other option for a single attack caster to engage in melee past that. Ranged cantrips, however, do scale. So this now fills that hole in capability, and - for me at least - seems a compelling path for what to rely on when your spells give out.

Shocking Grasp and, arguably, Poison Spray are cantrip melee options.

Granted, I agree that there is design space for cantrips that enhance melee weapon attacks, I just think the Sword Coast cantrips do a poor job of it. I would prefer those cantrips use a bonus action so that the caster can use their action attacking.
 

schnee

First Post
Granted, I agree that there is design space for cantrips that enhance melee weapon attacks, I just think the Sword Coast cantrips do a poor job of it. I would prefer those cantrips use a bonus action so that the caster can use their action attacking.

Given that you have to avoid horrifying multi-class multi-attack cheese, how would you do it then?

I mean, it's easy to posit a 'design space', but do you have any ideas?

I know I have a few house rules of my own for things I don't like. When I don't like something, I think it's a stretch to say a given thing is a 'poor job' until I can come up with better.
 

Warpiglet

Adventurer
Yes, I think it was selected for aesthetic reasons at the metagame: some people really love the shape of d12s, and don't care about the 0.5 expected value difference relative to 2d6. (Or they like huge crits.)

The d12 greataxe is a defensible design choice, if a rather metagamey one.

I really love rolling d12s. In fact, I want to like poison spray more just so I could use this die more. If I could exchange it for 2d6, I would like greatswords more.

And I think you are right, it is defensible. I think it speaks to all or none of big axe swings (1 or 12 possible).
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top