D&D 5E Would making powerful enemies immune to cantrips make the game more or less fun?

aco175

Legend
I am generally against it. Most of the higher level baddies have magic resistance already or give them immunity to things like fire or polymorph. I feel the cantrip serves the purpose of not having the mage pull out a crossbow when he is low on spells.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
As stated above, Rhakashas already have extraordinary resistances.

With werewolves having immunity to normal weapons, I think cantrip immunity is fine as a game construct. I've even made a few homebrew monsters who have complete spell immunity (against anything that has a save, at least). As long as they are rarely used, and if meant to be fought PCs have other methods to defeat them, I feel it's fine. Not every monster should be something that can be taken head-on.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Definitely less fun.

If the party is out of spell slots and abilities and down to their last and throw out one final try with the cantrips they have...only to be completely ineffective that isn't fun.

But finishing off the big boss with a cantrip would be a lot of fun.
 

Less fun. If a high level non-warlock spellcaster is spending their action casting a cantrip at a major enemy it's because something is already going wrong. Either they lack the right spell, lack the spell slots, are maintaining concentration and lack another non-concentration option, or are stalling until their next turn for some reason. Needing to spend their action just casting a cantrip in a high level fight is already a bummer without making it a complete waste.

It also really disproportionately screws over warlocks. I'm generally okay with screwing over warlocks, but this seems punitive.

And it eliminates the possibility of the bard slaying a dragon with an insult, which is just a shame.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I've read this three times now and can't figure out what you're saying.
I think that they're saying that it will exacerbate the 15 minute work day rather than solving it.
Out of all the reasons that spellcasters are problematic in 5e, their cantrip damage is rarely an issue.
Kobold has it right. It just encourages casters to go nova and rest quickly, since they will burn through spell slots quicker if their options become cast a spell or do nothing of value.
 

Grantypants

Explorer
I see this as being roughly equivalent to requiring martial characters to use silvered or cold iron weapons in certain situations. Which is perfectly fine, as long as those characters have a way to get the right weapons eventually or have something else important they can do in a fight.
If you're going to do this, I'd suggest you also give the PCs a way around it. Maybe PCs that use particular spellcasting implements have their spells do full damage?
 

I think it's a great idea, one I have used in fact.

While it doesn't help with cantrips, when I've had creatures immune to 2nd level spells, for example, upcasting magic missile to a 3rd level spell allows for the protection to be bypassed. I also endeavour to have creatures with this immunity rare.
 

Used for some special monsters, I would like it.

I think the warlock won't have eldritch blast as cantrip for much longer, and instead have an equivalent class ability

So yes. Go all for it.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Less fun. Making it strictly at the Cantrip level makes me think it's more about DMs who just don't like cantrip magic because they want "low magic" campaigns than it is about any sort of worthwhile immunity.

If I'm going to make a new monster immune to spells, then I'm going the Rakshasa route and start at like 3rd level and down or 4th level and down. "Cantrips only" just feels more cheesy to me than anything else.
 


grimslade

Krampus ate my d20s
I see this as being roughly equivalent to requiring martial characters to use silvered or cold iron weapons in certain situations. Which is perfectly fine, as long as those characters have a way to get the right weapons eventually or have something else important they can do in a fight.
If you're going to do this, I'd suggest you also give the PCs a way around it. Maybe PCs that use particular spellcasting implements have their spells do full damage?
This is an interesting tack to take. What if you required certain foci to cast spells at the creature? You need the Book of Ashanti to cast spells/cantrips at Demon Lord Zrag'gt. Pennythimble, Marquis of the Unseelie Court requires a cold iron wand to break his spell immunity. This makes the challenge able to be overcome and gives some life to arcana checks and research. Alternately, the True Name of extraplanar creatures could lower their defenses.
 

toucanbuzz

No rule is inviolate
I did something like that for the named Demon Lords in Out of the Abyss: they're immune to 2nd level and lower spells unless they want to be affected, immune to nonmagical attacks, and anything less than +3 weapons or another demon lord-type attack, they're resistant.

It may sound harsh, but they're supposed to be badass eons old demigods that have survived the Blood War and intervention by gods. When a group of PCs run along after roughly 6 months of on-the-job training and confronts one, it seems silly they'd take them out in a typical 3 round D&D combat.

In short, I'm a big fan of using certain AD&D-style monsters more like puzzles to be solved than a big bag of hit points to be whittled down. It gives individual classes a chance to shine and can lead to innovation, such as the magic-immune iron golem being tricked into stepping onto an illusory bridge, or clever use of a Dig spell (created a big pit) against a 90% magic resistant creature. Sometimes you had to outthink rather than outpummel, and you had to take special care to collect a variety of weaponry to overcome resistances.

Side note: I ran the finale of Out of the Abyss by giving each PC a demon lord to control, then let them fight it out. The PCs then took on the survivor, a weakened demon lord but a very serious threat nonetheless. There was no warlock character at the time, but in future campaigns, I'm using the A5E version where eldritch blast is a class feature, not a cantrip, solving any future issue if we run into Demon Lords.
 

Composer99

Adventurer
Side note: I ran the finale of Out of the Abyss by giving each PC a demon lord to control, then let them fight it out. The PCs then took on the survivor, a weakened demon lord but a very serious threat nonetheless.
That sounds like a blast; if I ever run that adventure, I'll be doing that!



On topic, I think that a sparing use of cantrip immunity would be more fun, probably as long as there are diegetic ways of bypassing it à la silvered weapons for lycanthropes.

Overusing it? Definitely less fun.
 

Irlo

Hero
I have a few times used creatures that could reflect cantrips back onto the caster (usually on a reaction, sometimes triggered by being targeted or else on a missed attack roll/failed saving throw). The ability didn't come into play much, and I'll always regret that the Minor Boss never got a chance to send back a Vicious Mockery while shouting, "I know you are, but what am I?"

To answer the question at hand, I think that immunity to cantrips would add to the fun if used sparingly, but, if implemented as a standard ability for high CR creatures, it would not be fun.
 

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