D&D General Wishing Away The Adventure

But if you don't want a certain sort of magic in your game, then you remove it! Eg, if you want overland travel to be an important focus of play, then don't include teleportation magic.

That is different from the idea of "bypassing potentially interesting stuff". There is endless potentially interesting stuff that does not depend up on overland travel being a focus of play.
These literally are the same thing. Potentially interesting stuff and an an important focus of play refer to the same thing. And yes, the fix is to remove the offending sort of magic, which is what I have done.
 

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jgsugden

Legend
This thread is ripe with people denying the PCs the use of their abilities ... making ti clear that there are more powerful magics that can reverse or negate the wish ... having enemies wish proof themself ... twist the wording of wish to punish the players maliciously ...

You're giving someone a race car and then telling them they can't drive it.

In improve there is an idea that you never say no. Instead, you say yes to whatever your scene partner gives you and add onto it. That is a cornerstone approach to high level D&D that is - in my experience - necessary to make a high level game work well.

What do I mean? Build upon what the PCs do rather than negate it. Instead of diminishing the abilities of the PCs through homebrew limitations specifically designed to negate the abilities of the PCs, let the abilities function as written and then ask what will happen next in the story. Try to anticipate what the PCs might do with their high level abilities and set up the fallout should they do it - not as a punishment, but as a way to further the story and make it interesting.

Obviously - I am not saying that you can never negate. We have Counterspell in the game. We have Anti-magic auras. We have Displ Magic. What I am saying is that these tactics should be short term challenges for the PCs, not ways to force a storyline to run in the longterm in ways that negate PC abilities. If a PC gets an ability, a good DM is looking for a way to let them use it in a cool way that advances the story.

Situation: The PCs use a wish to recover the lost artifact instead of venturing into a dungeon to recover it. Good! Dungeon delving is kind of beneath 17th level PCs. They should feel awesome that they could bypas the dungeon that way using powerful magics! Make them feel like it was an awesome deed - even if it only took a few seconds. Then, figure out what happens next. Is someone going to try to take it? Did you set up the item so that having it comes with problems (regardless of whether the PCs fought to get it or wished it into their hands)? Does the King think it is in the right hands when the PCs have it? Is someone else looking for it?

I have a bunch of elements of my campaign setting that are there specifically to support high level play. I have an organization in my setting that tracks artifacts and makes sure they do not end up getting concentrated in the wrong hands. I drop hints about this organization into the game from an early level - but the storylines that involve the organization do not kick in until high level. The group is ruled by 5 individuals covering much of the spectrum of alignments and interests. They put aside their agendas in order to make sure that no universe ending thing happens because artifiacts gather in the wrong hands. It is like Marvel's Illuminati if they had Doctor Doom and Thanos on the team. This group has a flexible reason to take an interest in high level PCs as the PCs get involved with powerful artifacts. It is one of a few dozen sources of story hooks that allow me to adapt to the things the high level PCs do. These are the types of high level tools that give the DM the ability to adapt to the powerful abilities of the PCs and carry their story forward while capitalizing upon the powers of the heroes.
 

Reynard

Legend
Situation: The PCs use a wish to recover the lost artifact instead of venturing into a dungeon to recover it. Good! Dungeon delving is kind of beneath 17th level PCs. They should feel awesome that they could bypas the dungeon that way using powerful magics! Make them feel like it was an awesome deed - even if it only took a few seconds. Then, figure out what happens next. Is someone going to try to take it? Did you set up the item so that having it comes with problems (regardless of whether the PCs fought to get it or wished it into their hands)? Does the King think it is in the right hands when the PCs have it? Is someone else looking for it?
You would still have all of these things if the PCs hadn't wished themselves out of the fun. It isn't a solution, it is just what happens next regardless.

If the McGuffin is buried in the Dubgeon of Doom to protect it from randos getting their hands on it, it stands to reason that bypassing the dungeon should be hard. But sure, Wish is powerful. They can wish the thing into their hands. Rather than just shrugging and moving on, I think it is reasonable and good to have the guardians of the McGuffin or the forces that put it there respond accordingly. Did powerful Devas originally seal it away? Well, they might be miffed that people that did not pass the Five Trials of the Righteous now possess it.
 

I played a Fire Genasi, arcana cleric to level 20 a couple of years ago.
At level 17 he got access to Wish, so by 20 he could cast Wish and automatically use Divine intervention, which isn't too shabby.

I never used Wish for anything but replicating other spells.
I played it that he could only 'grant' wishes for others as part of his Genie heritage. I thought that was more interesting and thematic.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
You're giving someone a race car and then telling them they can't drive it.
Precisely. Hence why I have said that the only real responses to a number of these things are:
  1. Actually just ban them, often requiring long-term experience to know just how many spells have to be banned
  2. "Allow" them in name only, but actually riddle them with restrictions or formal limitations so they are rarely worth using
  3. Adversarial DMing, where the spell is allowed but gets twisted/subverted/"literal genie" etc. so that it sucks
  4. DM/player arms races, where each side is pursuing magical MAD and putting up infinity-plus-one shields to block infinity swords
I just look at that and think, "...but why though?" Because there are better ways, done by multiple other games, which allow these tools to exist harmoniously and in s controllable fashion, rather than always being either massively broken or nearly worthless.

And people wonder why players learn not to bother using creative tactics. It's this! This right here. This is literally "if the players get too clever, I have to stop them or hold them back." As much as I dislike banning stuff, at least that has the honesty of doing it up front and in the open, but all of the others scream perverse incentive, dousing creativity when they are meant to foster it by inducing players to look for solutions that aren't instant "I win" buttons.
 

Oofta

Legend
When it comes to wish in 5E, the rules are pretty explicit in what it does. It is a powerful spell, but it has limits. The primary reason to cast it is to replicate a spell of 8th level or lower. After that? The examples are pretty limited in the scope of what they do.

The basic use of this spell is to duplicate any other spell of 8th level or lower. You don't need to meet any requirements in that spell, including costly components. The spell simply takes effect.
Alternatively, you can create one of the following effects of your choice:
  • You create one object of up to 25,000 gp in value that isn't a magic item. The object can be no more than 300 feet in any dimension, and it appears in an unoccupied space you can see on the ground.
  • You allow up to twenty creatures that you can see to regain all hit points, and you end all effects on them described in the greater restoration spell.
  • You grant up to ten creatures that you can see resistance to a damage type you choose.
  • You grant up to ten creatures you can see immunity to a single spell or other magical effect for 8 hours. For instance, you could make yourself and all your companions immune to a lich's life drain attack.
  • You undo a single recent event by forcing a reroll of any roll made within the last round (including your last turn). Reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result. For example, a wish spell could undo an opponent's successful save, a foe's critical hit, or a friend's failed save. You can force the reroll to be made with advantage or disadvantage, and you can choose whether to use the reroll or the original roll.

You might be able to achieve something beyond the scope of the above examples. State your wish to the GM as precisely as possible. The GM has great latitude in ruling what occurs in such an instance; the greater the wish, the greater the likelihood that something goes wrong...
That last sentence in what I quoted is basically how wish was handled in older editions, you can cast wish but it was up to the DM to find a loophole and screw you over. I can see how this is a powerful spell and can easily turn the tide, it's rarely going to bypass entire campaign arcs.
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
This thread is ripe with people denying the PCs the use of their abilities ... making ti clear that there are more powerful magics that can reverse or negate the wish ... having enemies wish proof themself ... twist the wording of wish to punish the players maliciously ...
To be clear, as a heavily improvisational DM, I have no problems with wish or any other high level spell "disrupting the adventure", since I don't really have any adventure to speak of. I object to considering wish as the ne plus ultra of spells purely on worldbuilding and thematic grounds.
 

Oofta

Legend
To be clear, as a heavily improvisational DM, I have no problems with wish or any other high level spell "disrupting the adventure", since I don't really have any adventure to speak of. I object to considering wish as the ne plus ultra of spells purely on worldbuilding and thematic grounds.

A lot of issues, at all levels of play, go away if you don't plan a story ahead of time.
 

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