Wizard Feats

trentonjoe

Explorer
My group feels like there aren't any good feats for wizards to take which leads to all wizards (and sorcerers) to pretty much always take the ASI and jack up their spell casting stat. I am tinkering around with ideas and I want them to be good enough that a 4th or 8th level wizard would take this instead of the +2 INT.

I was looking for some constructive criticism on the feat below. It is based around the idea that spell casters can trade damage for an additional effect. The one concern I have is that it feels a bit like casting 2 spells at one time but personally i am okay with that....


Enhanced Spellcasting
Prerequisite: Can cast at least one 2nd level spell (is this even needed?)

Skilled in manipulating eldritch forces, you can replace some of the damage dice from a spell with an effect. When you cast a spell with an instantaneous effect that causes damage and targets one creature you can:

swap out 2 dice of damage for the ability to restrain the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 4 dice of damage for the ability to blind the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 6 dice of damage for the ability to paralyze the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)

The target of the spell must take damage for the secondary effect to occur.
 
So, cast fireball, swap out 6 dice to paralyze all targets: You still do 2d6 damage, and all targets in an area of radius 20 ft need to make paralysis DC saves.

The next best thing is Hypnotic pattern (which some people argue is already game-breaking), but the area of effect of Hypnotic pattern is only 30 ft cubed, whereas this is a 20 ft radius (40 ft diameter). Also, hypnotic pattern only incapacitates creatures, whereas you now paralyze them with the Fireball. And you get to do damage on top of it.

I would limit the effect to 1 creature, chosen by the caster, otherwise it sounds a little overpowered to me.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
When you cast a spell with an instantaneous effect that causes damage and targets one creature you can:
So, cast fireball, swap out 6 dice to paralyze all targets: You still do 2d6 damage, and all targets in an area of radius 20 ft need to make paralysis DC saves.

The next best thing is Hypnotic pattern (which some people argue is already game-breaking), but the area of effect of Hypnotic pattern is only 30 ft cubed, whereas this is a 20 ft radius (40 ft diameter). Also, hypnotic pattern only incapacitates creatures, whereas you now paralyze them with the Fireball. And you get to do damage on top of it.

I would limit the effect to 1 creature, chosen by the caster, otherwise it sounds a little overpowered to me.
It doesn't look like that is going to be too much of an issue if it only works on single-target spells.

I can't see too much of an issue, but this will depend on the duration of the status effect, and the save that it targets, neither of which are in the feat description.

Worst potential for abuse that I can think of might be Acid Arrow, or Magic Missile, but neither of these seem more powerful than other similar spells.
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
I would do this;

ENHANCED SPELLCASTING

You may modify a damaging spell by using your Bonus Action in addition to the Action used to cast the spell. Note that these modifications cannot be made to Cantrips.

Modifications possible;

Cold Damage: Spell does -1 damage per die and target(s) that didn't save and take damage from the spell are at -10ft to their Move until your next turn
Fire or Acid Damage: Spell does -1 damage per die in the first round, and target(s) that didn't save and take damage from the spell take 1 damage per damage die for the next 2 rounds
Lightning Damage: Spell does -1 damage per die and target(s) that didn't save and take damage from the spell lose any Bonus Action or Reaction normally available to them until your next turn
Poison Damage: Spell does -1 damage per die and target(s) that didn't save and take damage from the spell are poisoned until your next turn
Necrotic Damage: Spell does -1 damage per die and target(s) that didn't save and take damage from the spell are Frightened until your next turn
Radiant Damage: Spell does -1 damage per die and target(s) that didn't save and take damage from the spell are 'dazzled', suffering the standard penalties associated with Dim Light conditions until your next turn if they normally use light to see
Thunder Damage: Spell does -1 damage per die and target(s) that didn't save and take damage from the spell are Deafened until your next turn

You may also modify area by adding +5ft radius, or side of a square area, or an additional 10ft range for a cone for -1 damage per die.

You may also add +50% range to a spell for -1 damage per die (round down).
 
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5ekyu

Adventurer
My group feels like there aren't any good feats for wizards to take which leads to all wizards (and sorcerers) to pretty much always take the ASI and jack up their spell casting stat. I am tinkering around with ideas and I want them to be good enough that a 4th or 8th level wizard would take this instead of the +2 INT.

I was looking for some constructive criticism on the feat below. It is based around the idea that spell casters can trade damage for an additional effect. The one concern I have is that it feels a bit like casting 2 spells at one time but personally i am okay with that....


Enhanced Spellcasting
Prerequisite: Can cast at least one 2nd level spell (is this even needed?)

Skilled in manipulating eldritch forces, you can replace some of the damage dice from a spell with an effect. When you cast a spell with an instantaneous effect that causes damage and targets one creature you can:

swap out 2 dice of damage for the ability to restrain the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 4 dice of damage for the ability to blind the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 6 dice of damage for the ability to paralyze the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)

The target of the spell must take damage for the secondary effect to occur.
If I were going to do this, I would steal and repackage the Martial Maneuvers feat.

Give them one Arcane Powers die.
Allow them to choose two maneuvers from that list of battle master maneuvers repackaged for spell attacks.

I would not go with what you have here because it seems way too versatile as it provides three different conditions that are each huge in their own right. That's more than one feat given it can be applied with every spell.

But as another approach, look at the tests other classes are taking before/in- lieu-of the ASI-to-20 for their primary stat and see if there aren't equivalents for spell users - can you follow those as a guide.

I mean if it's the case ghstvdverybody is going AS-to-20, no need to empower the wizzies with more powerful fest, right? If the others are using feats before 20 regularly, that shows you what is seen as valuable enough in your games - so following that lead seems a better starting place than some shot in the dark.

So, what feats are the others using before maxing their dex or strength?
 

Satyrn

Villager
My group feels like there aren't any good feats for wizards to take which leads to all wizards (and sorcerers) to pretty much always take the ASI and jack up their spell casting stat. I am tinkering around with ideas and I want them to be good enough that a 4th or 8th level wizard would take this instead of the +2 INT.

I was looking for some constructive criticism on the feat below. It is based around the idea that spell casters can trade damage for an additional effect. The one concern I have is that it feels a bit like casting 2 spells at one time but personally i am okay with that....


Enhanced Spellcasting
Prerequisite: Can cast at least one 2nd level spell (is this even needed?)

Skilled in manipulating eldritch forces, you can replace some of the damage dice from a spell with an effect. When you cast a spell with an instantaneous effect that causes damage and targets one creature you can:

swap out 2 dice of damage for the ability to restrain the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 4 dice of damage for the ability to blind the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 6 dice of damage for the ability to paralyze the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)

The target of the spell must take damage for the secondary effect to occur.
No, the prerequisite isn't needed. Spellcasting, sure, but any specific level feels pointless.


I wouldn't take this feat. I don't like that I have to pay a cost in damage everytime I use it. I'd much prefer that using the feat gives me some real boost when I use it.

Doing something like 5ekyu suggests, making the feat work like Martial Adept, would be much cooler.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
My group feels like there aren't any good feats for wizards to take which leads to all wizards (and sorcerers) to pretty much always take the ASI and jack up their spell casting stat. I am tinkering around with ideas and I want them to be good enough that a 4th or 8th level wizard would take this instead of the +2 INT.

I was looking for some constructive criticism on the feat below. It is based around the idea that spell casters can trade damage for an additional effect. The one concern I have is that it feels a bit like casting 2 spells at one time but personally i am okay with that....


Enhanced Spellcasting
Prerequisite: Can cast at least one 2nd level spell (is this even needed?)

Skilled in manipulating eldritch forces, you can replace some of the damage dice from a spell with an effect. When you cast a spell with an instantaneous effect that causes damage and targets one creature you can:

swap out 2 dice of damage for the ability to restrain the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 4 dice of damage for the ability to blind the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 6 dice of damage for the ability to paralyze the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)

The target of the spell must take damage for the secondary effect to occur.
Couple of thoughts. First I echo other's concerns about this on multi-target spells.

Second, Paralysis is really strong because of the auto-crits. The spells that grant it like Hold Person grant a save every turn.

Third, I'm a bit leery of stepping on sorcerers toes. Their niche is that they can adjust spells - this gives out that concept to anyone.

Fourth, we already have a mechanism for granting power to spells - using higher level slots. That would also help keep things in line with expected power levels.

Fifth, I would restrict this to spells 1st level or higher (not needed with point #4, only with how it is now). Because otherwise being able to dothis at high levels with cantrips gets ugly.

Sixth, I think you are undervaluing the potency of some of those conditions. There are whole spells geared to giving those out, and being able to do it while still having (reduced) damage and other effects is very potent.

Seventh and most important, the ongoing conditions need to put the Concentration modifier on the spell, otherwise it breaks the whole 5e debuff paradigm.

Okay, that was more thoughts then I thought I had when I started writing them. :)

EDIT: Eighth, this system also allows a lot more flexibility in picking spells that target weak saves for the appropriate foe. Perhaps each effect has a separate, static save. (Blind vs. CON, Paralyze vs. WIS, etc.)
 
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Krachek

Explorer
Some ideas to explore and adjust.
Expanded mind : you can prepare 5 more spells.
Improve arcane recovery. When you use arcane recovery you regain 1d4 additional spell points.
Magic sharpness: increase your spell DC by 2.
 
How about:

Spell Sense:
If you see or hear a spell being cast, you can use your bonus action to determine the level of the spell.

Good for all the counterspell/dispel users. You would still need to use an action to make an arcana check if you want to determine what the spell is, but you can "feel" the power level being used.

Edit: [MENTION=158]Henry[/MENTION]'s comment made me think this would be better as
Spell Sense:
+1 wis
If you see or hear a spell being cast, you can use your bonus action to determine the level of the spell.

+1 wisdom to help with the passive perception so you are better at noticing that a spell is being cast.
 
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Henry

Autoexreginated
Also, don't forget as a balancing mechanic that you don't have to give away the farm in a feat; you can always say, "+1 to {STAT} and plus the following effects:" That way, you can limit the scope of the extra powers a bit more and not feel like you have to give tons of abilities to make a feat worthwhile.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Being able to paralyze anytime you cast a reasonable damage spell in exchange for 21 (or even just 15) damage is not really balanced. I would *always* do that when casting any single target damage spell of 6 dice or more.

You'd also need to specify how the blind/paralyze/etc... ends.

I think this would be better handled by not introducing a feat, but instead introducing spells they can prepare that do these things. For example, a 3rd level spell that deals 2d6 damage, and continues to do a d6/ round and paralyzes certain types of creatures on a failed save (save ends both) would be reasonable.
 
I will probably regret even thinking about this one, but something that would be useful for just about any caster (perhaps especially sorcerers) is:

Sorcerous Aptitude:
Prerequisite: the ability to cast a 2nd (or higher) level spell
You gain the know 1 metamagic effect picked from the metamagic list and have 2 sorcery aptitude points to power it. You regain the sorcery aptitude points after completing a long or short rest. If you have access to sorcery points, you can use them on this metamagic in addition to the sorcery aptitude points, but the sorcery aptitude points cannot be used on a metamagic not chosen by this feat or for spell slots or to power class features.

A common complaint on the forums is that sorcerers don't get to pick enough metamagics, so this helps with that.

There could probably be a similar warlock-derived feat that gives you one invocation, and if it the invocation takes a warlock spell slot to use, you can use a spell slot from any class.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
Although it’s often overlooked, The best wizard feat is alert. Going first for a wizard is that important.
Indeed!

Also, don't overlook:

Tough or Durable or Resilient = less squishy wizard
Actor or Linguist or Skilled or Prodigy or Observant = excellent for the other pillars of play
 

Satyrn

Villager
I will probably regret even thinking about this one, but something that would be useful for just about any caster (perhaps especially sorcerers) is:

Sorcerous Aptitude:
Prerequisite: the ability to cast a 2nd (or higher) level spell
You gain the know 1 metamagic effect picked from the metamagic list and have 2 sorcery aptitude points to power it. You regain the sorcery aptitude points after completing a long or short rest. If you have access to sorcery points, you can use them on this metamagic in addition to the sorcery aptitude points, but the sorcery aptitude points cannot be used on a metamagic not chosen by this feat or for spell slots or to power class features.

A common complaint on the forums is that sorcerers don't get to pick enough metamagics, so this helps with that.

There could probably be a similar warlock-derived feat that gives you one invocation, and if it the invocation takes a warlock spell slot to use, you can use a spell slot from any class.
I'd prefer to just make them plain ol' sorcery points, for simplicity if nothing else. And then it also works just like Martial Adept, which gives a plain ol' Superiority Die.
 
I'd prefer to just make them plain ol' sorcery points, for simplicity if nothing else. And then it also works just like Martial Adept, which gives a plain ol' Superiority Die.
I thought about that, but I was trying to get around "you can never have more sorcery points than shown on the table for your level." :devil:

Edit: Maybe "temporary sorcery points"? :devil::devil:
 

Satyrn

Villager
I thought about that, but I was trying to get around "you can never have more sorcery points than shown on the table for your level." :devil:
That is indeed an annoyingly worded restriction. I'd probably just have the feat explicitly tell the reader to ignore it.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Feat - Arcane Master
+1 to Int, Wis or Cha
When you use a reaction to identify a spell being cast, you may use that same reaction to cast Counterspell (provided you can) regardless of the succes or failure of the roll to tell which spell it is.
 
My group feels like there aren't any good feats for wizards to take which leads to all wizards (and sorcerers) to pretty much always take the ASI and jack up their spell casting stat. I am tinkering around with ideas and I want them to be good enough that a 4th or 8th level wizard would take this instead of the +2 INT.

I was looking for some constructive criticism on the feat below. It is based around the idea that spell casters can trade damage for an additional effect. The one concern I have is that it feels a bit like casting 2 spells at one time but personally i am okay with that....


Enhanced Spellcasting
Prerequisite: Can cast at least one 2nd level spell (is this even needed?)

Skilled in manipulating eldritch forces, you can replace some of the damage dice from a spell with an effect. When you cast a spell with an instantaneous effect that causes damage and targets one creature you can:

swap out 2 dice of damage for the ability to restrain the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 4 dice of damage for the ability to blind the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)
swap out 6 dice of damage for the ability to paralyze the target of the spell (spell DC to negate)

The target of the spell must take damage for the secondary effect to occur.
A 6th-level wizard casts a fire bolt at a fleeing enemy 100 feet away, swaps out both damage dice to restrain the target. The flames deal no damage but...uh... somehow wrap around the target and bind it in place. Huh, that seems a little weird narratively – fire ensnaring a creature? and dealing no damage while wrapped around them?

But wait! How long does the restrained condition last on the target? Is it concentration, up to 1 minute (which is typical)? Then we've just allowed out wizard to replicate entangle (a 1st level spell) at a greater range than entangle itself can accomplish using only a cantrip!

Upon attaining 7th-level, the wizard learns and casts wall of fire in a battle against a solo villain, hoping to trade out 4 of the damage dice when a creature passes through to blind it. However, because the wall of fire doesn't have a target, this feat cannot be used with that spell. Even though the narrative makes perfect sense.

I feel like this falls into the trap may homebrew feats do: the story behind it doesn't serve to further clarify the character's theme/personality/style.

I mean vaguely it's a "control" mage, but "control" really doesn't correspond to anything in the fiction.

An opposing example would be back in the playtest that had "implement feats" (IIRC one was called Golden Wyvern Adept or something) which were to spellcasters kind of what like Crossbow Expert, et cetera, are to warriors.

There's also a red flag right there in your title: Enhanced Spellcasting. Who wouldn't want Enhanced Spellcasting? So many characters in this game have spellcasting ability. This would be so hugely attractive that it would start to edge into that territory of "must take." And that's something to be avoided in feat design.

EDIT: Not to leave with just a critique, but to contribute something positive, I'd suggest starting with the story first...

For example, let's say True Names play a significant role in your game – not just of fiends but of other fey and other spirits. You might devise a True Namer feat that grants the PC benefits to spellcasting when it knows a creature's True Name, and conversely can be used to help a friendly creature whose True Name is known to the caster shake off charm/possession/shapeshifting effects.

Another example, let's say you have a player who loves to blow stuff up with magic – I've heard those types of players are out there. ;) You might create a Concussive Magic spell that allows them to upcast evocation spells in a way unique to the feat, forcing Strength/Constitution saves to remain standing and not be pushed backward and/or knocked prone. You could even include bits about dealing extra damage to untended objects to simulate blowing stuff up. Possibly give them a reaction feature to absorb kinetic energy that would knock them prone/push them, requiring the expenditure of spell slots to use.
 
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