D&D 5E would you let a PC learn a non spell magic power?

Some new monsters replace action attack spells with magic abilities that are close to (and in some case exact dup) of spells. If you have a monster/npc with a firey blast that duplicates fireball but doesn't count as a spell, and a player makes friends with them, can they learn firey blast?

if so would the character have to be a caster?

Can my 9th level fighter make friends and spend downtime learning Fiery blast ?

in some cases it seams like it would just be a boon like a magic item (maybe use an attunement slot maybe not) but if so and if not WHY?


side question: what would you think if someday there was a sorcerer (or other name but sorcerer like) class that just did this as there class thing... semi duplicate spells but not count as spells?
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Some new monsters replace action attack spells with magic abilities that are close to (and in some case exact dup) of spells. If you have a monster/npc with a firey blast that duplicates fireball but doesn't count as a spell, and a player makes friends with them, can they learn firey blast?

if so would the character have to be a caster?

Can my 9th level fighter make friends and spend downtime learning Fiery blast ?

in some cases it seams like it would just be a boon like a magic item (maybe use an attunement slot maybe not) but if so and if not WHY?


side question: what would you think if someday there was a sorcerer (or other name but sorcerer like) class that just did this as there class thing... semi duplicate spells but not count as spells?
No I would not allow it. Monsters are built differently and the new set-up is intended to allow DMs to run them at their proper CR and perhaps to avoid some things being counterspelled. The changes are not for PCs.

That said, a wish granted by a genie or some other similar in-fiction circumstance might allow something along those lines.
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
This gets into the spells-that-are-not-spells debate. For instance, having a Fighter-class mighty leaps and bounds feature which allows you triple your jump distances for 1 minute, usable once per long rest. It is really just the jump spell mechanically, but requires no component, can't be countered, etc.

Frankly, it just depends on the power level you want your game to have and how open you want such things to be. Personally, not my cup of tea, but I know it would appeal to many groups so YMMV.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Sure. I already have a variety of home brew / third-party stuff in my current campaign. So long as it doesn't detract from the style of game the group wants to play, I would consider it.
 


Learn from an NPC? No, never.

But PCs already have the ability to learn powers/abilities through classes that are often spell-like or even mimic spells while not being spells. So they can learn those.

And as mentioned, Wish can always change any of that.
 



HammerMan

Legend
Some new monsters replace action attack spells with magic abilities that are close to (and in some case exact dup) of spells. If you have a monster/npc with a firey blast that duplicates fireball but doesn't count as a spell, and a player makes friends with them, can they learn firey blast?
Yes not an issue if it fits the story. No big deal I would let them kill one and take a wand of fireballs so instead they befriend and learn… I would most likely make it a daily though
if so would the character have to be a caster?
Nope
Can my 9th level fighter make friends and spend downtime learning Fiery blast ?
Sounds like fun
side question: what would you think if someday there was a sorcerer (or other name but sorcerer like) class that just did this as there class thing... semi duplicate spells but not count as spells?
I already think sorcere fluff fits this
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
I'd just make those actions spells, but then I'd have to look up the spell lists to find out which one it's based off, then get the level and components, which defeats the point of making it more simple.

So, prob just wouldn't use those monsters.
 


HammerMan

Legend
Would you allow a pc to learn "Petrifying Gaze" from a friendly medusa?
In 2 e I ran a game with a PC drow wizard who was able to find out in an alt world drow had different spell like abilities and it was due to slightly diffrent magic radiation

The party built a Dr manhatten esk room to keep giving themselves new spell like abilities and each quest was to find new magic radiation. I was maybe 15 or 16 running that I would enjoy doing it again I’m my 40s
 


reslly is there a reason, even just with feats. skills, spells and class features we already RP learning things from NPC friends/mentors alot
It depends...
In our games, we learn "Class" things from NPCs all the time, but I can't ever think of giving an NPC unique ability (i.e non "Class" things) to a PC.

As pointed out, would you allow a PC to learn a medusa's gaze? I wouldn't unless it were part of a wish or otherwise intrical to the campaign.

Would I allow a PC to learn a fireball non-spell? Probably not, because the only point of it would be to prevent it from being counterspelled.

It seems to me this all comes from this NPC spells that are not spells thing. And honestly I need to see how this actually comes out before I figure out what I think of it.

I already have done things like have monsters that have abilities that are spell like but are not spells. The most recent was a death orb that is similar to a flameskull but is a magic/necrotic creation. More like a sentient artifact. And it's fireball ability did necrotic damage and wasn't a fireball or a spell.

And would I allow a PC to learn that ability? Probably not. It's something innate to the creature. Might there be other abilities that they could learn? Yes, but again, would have to be integral to the story.

Otherwise it seems more like a means to characters to just make their PCs more powerful by skirting around the rules, and that's something that I do not like or enjoy.
 

In 2 e I ran a game with a PC drow wizard who was able to find out in an alt world drow had different spell like abilities and it was due to slightly diffrent magic radiation

The party built a Dr manhatten esk room to keep giving themselves new spell like abilities and each quest was to find new magic radiation. I was maybe 15 or 16 running that I would enjoy doing it again I’m my 40s
not exactly the same but we had a 3e game like that where a necromancer was taking souls and with it powers from monsters.
 

bloodtide

Adventurer
Sure. But it will come with a cost and a booklet of legalese rules.

So some magic like this will likely cost most or all the characters abilities, depending on the power and how often it can be used. It might even replace future abilities. I'm also a big fan of such magic damaging or draining Constitution. Maybe throw in a "if the ability is a 3rd level spell that equals 3 Con drain".

I like long lasting debilitating effects that can not be cured or 'easy buttoned' away. And I'm fine with giving powerful abilities....at great cost.

Then will come the legalese, where I will define what the power is, what it can do, what it can't do and other such rules.

And some normal house rules apply to this as well:

*You may not at any time during the game play attempt to pause or stop the game to ask game rule related questions. Such questions are for before or after the game.

*Should you dare to ask if your character can "try" something, you will lose your turn as your character stands there and thinks.

*At the start of any encounter, even more so combat, you have three seconds to state and take your action or you will lose your turn as your character stands there confused.
 

In our games, we learn "Class" things from NPCs all the time, but I can't ever think of giving an NPC unique ability (i.e non "Class" things) to a PC.
I give boons instead of items that are unique abilites all the time already
As pointed out, would you allow a PC to learn a medusa's gaze? I wouldn't unless it were part of a wish or otherwise intrical to the campaign.
I don't see a reason not to (but It would be rare to both make that friend and want that power)
Would I allow a PC to learn a fireball non-spell? Probably not, because the only point of it would be to prevent it from being counterspelled.
that is what I am asking... and I am leaning toward if the NPCs can have it yes.
Otherwise it seems more like a means to characters to just make their PCs more powerful by skirting around the rules, and that's something that I do not like or enjoy.
yeah I mean it would be a cool upgrade for a single ability (This one isn't counterspellable even though all the others are)
 

Honestly, this is best handled via DM judgement. On terms of balance, they are plenty of NPC abilities that PCs can no problem. Telling them apart from the abilities they shouldn't have may be more of an issue though.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Honestly, this is best handled via DM judgement. On terms of balance, they are plenty of NPC abilities that PCs can no problem. Telling them apart from the abilities they shouldn't have may be more of an issue though.
Yeah. Wish once per day stands out we know better but would a 6d4 cone of cold be too much at level 7. (It would at level 2 for sure)
 

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