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

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.
 

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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.
 

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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