Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,594
Reaction score
8,247
I don't understand why a spell would have to be directed like a conventional projectile weapon simply because an attack roll is made. Typically, the spell's success is determined by the caster's skill at sorcery and the target's ability to resist.
Okay I think I understand now. If a spell is meant to be able to target an inanimate object it will say so in the description. "Target" is very literal and tied to the nature of a spell. Noted.
The way 5e damage types are presented is a good example of exception-based design which has been the gold standard since Magic the Gathering was released. The main purpose of having different damage types in the core rules is facilitating resistances, vulnerabilities, and immunities. Making it more granular than that in the core rules would be both needlessly complex and restricting.
I don't have an issue with the damage types, only that they are meaningless outside of the spell's description (ie, a firebolt spell won't set something inanimate on fire). That's fine, I just didn't realize that the system was so specific. I expected it to be looser for some reason. I assumed that there'd be some flexibility with non-combat damage use of those damage types. I was wrong.
Special exceptions can be presented in the relevant spell or weapon description. For example, in this case if you read the spell description you will see that fireball lights things on fire.
My bad. I think that I've seen too many forum debates about earlier editions where this was more ambiguous.
What would you change?
Honestly I'm not sure anymore. The things that I want to change about D&D would make it not-D&D. It's better for me to just move onto a different system instead of griping about this one.
 

Telok

The eggnog is one third rum.
Joined
Jun 20, 2022
Messages
186
Reaction score
446
Huh, I had the opposite experience with illusion spells. My GM made me make Deception checks every time to make sure that the illusions were “convincing”. Yes, even with Major Image.

Also, charm magics: NPCs always knew after that they’d been manipulated (regardless if the spell said so or not). Always had negative repercussions with those spells as a Glamour Bard.

I’ll never make an illusion/charm spellcaster again.
Yeah, thats typical in my experiences. Illusions other than invisibility & mirror image are soft banned. Mislead and invis have issues with the stealth rules in 5e too.

Personally I solved all my illusion spell issues with two statements (not that it matters in D&D 5e since I'm not DMing, but helps in other games).
1. The illusion starts at a default level of believability, including shadows, reflections, grass not poking up through the feet, and any other teeny minor effects required to not instantly fail.
2. Illusions never "go transparent" for anyone.

5e casting pretty well screws most of the charm spells. As written the caster has to basically make a big gesture or two while saying something like "i-ay ast-cay harm-cay erson-pay" and then the target knows they made or failed a wisdom save. So outside sorcerers with subtle spell anyone you target with a charm knows you cast a spell to screw with their mind and should pretty instantly call up a lynch mob. That said, a good disguise and the Friends cantrip (especially sorcerer subtle) are hilarious powerful in social situations to make someone an absolute pariah.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
I don't have an issue with the damage types, only that they are meaningless outside of the spell's description (ie, a firebolt spell won't set something inanimate on fire). That's fine, I just didn't realize that the system was so specific. I expected it to be looser for some reason. I assumed that there'd be some flexibility with non-combat damage use of those damage types. I was wrong.
Incidentally, firebolt does set things on fire. That said there are spells specifically designed to affect inanimate objects such as shatter and heat metal.

Each damage type is very general so it's hard to make a one-size-fits-all effect tied to each of them. Radiant could mean laser beams or weaponized divine sunlight. Necrotic could mean bleeding or literally stealing life force. Poison includes traditional toxins like snake venom but also weird stuff like radiation.
 

Ladybird

TRAHR
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
3,972
Reaction score
10,233
Not Necrozius, obviously, but the first thing I'd change is fireball. It is the hammer in wizards toolbox, and all problems start to look like nails.. I eyeballed the DMG rules for creating own spells, and noticed that fireball would be a fifth level spell if designed through those guidelines. :shock:
iirc fireball was explicitly overpowered for it's level because it's iconic, because apparently that's good game design. But it also makes other attack spells worse by comparison, meaning there's less reason to take them and so fireball will remain popular... and wizards, of course, need more buffs like that.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
5e casting pretty well screws most of the charm spells. As written the caster has to basically make a big gesture or two while saying something like "i-ay ast-cay harm-cay erson-pay" and then the target knows they made or failed a wisdom save.
Charm person is a 1st level spell so I wouldn't expect too much. It's meant to temporarily turn an enemy into a friend or get what you want from someone quickly before moving on. You're not meant to walk through your home town charming everyone into giving you a blowjob.

That said, the target knows it was charmed by the person you appear to be. So, if you want to mitigate the risk of charm person, change your appearance with disguise self.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
Charm person is a 1st level spell so I wouldn't expect too much. It's meant to temporarily turn an enemy into a friend or get what you want from someone quickly before moving on. You're not meant to walk through your home town charming everyone into giving you a blowjob.

That said, the target knows it was charmed by the person you appear to be. So, if you want to mitigate the risk of charm person, change your appearance with disguise self.
See, I think there's a story here and I just wanted to say that I'm here to listen brother, no judgement.
 

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
12,681
Reaction score
24,808
iirc fireball was explicitly overpowered for it's level because it's iconic, because apparently that's good game design. But it also makes other attack spells worse by comparison, meaning there's less reason to take them and so fireball will remain popular... and wizards, of course, need more buffs like that.

Fireball has always been OP in D&D even taking into consideration the danger of blowback in tight spaces, etc.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
See, I think there's a story here and I just wanted to say that I'm here to listen brother, no judgement.
There's no story but I will say that charm person use in conjunction with disguise self can enable a lot of consequence-free dirtbag behavior. That puts a lot of power in the hands of a freshly-minted apprentice and is of the many reasons sorcerers tend to be feared and hated by the hoi polloi in my settings,

Check out the philter of love, it's nuts!

Fireball has always been OP in D&D even taking into consideration the danger of blowback in tight spaces, etc.
Another mitigating factor is that fire is one of the most commonly resisted/immune damage types. Firebolt is a newbie trap IMHO. For general purpose "all weather" damage I will take psychic, force, or radiant over fire any day even if it's a little less.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
There's no story but I will say that charm person use in conjunction with disguise self can enable a lot of consequence-free dirtbag behavior. That puts a lot of power in the hands of a freshly-minted apprentice and is of the many reasons sorcerers tend to be feared and hated by the hoi polloi in my settings,

Check out the philter of love, it's nuts!
Yeah, I have a deep and abiding love of disguise self. I especially love it at-will on a Warlock. Woot. I'll bring the fucking fire to any urban campaign that way, let me tell you. :grin:
 

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
2,153
Reaction score
4,935
Yeah, I have a deep and abiding love of disguise self. I especially love it at-will on a Warlock. Woot. I'll bring the fucking fire to any urban campaign that way, let me tell you. :grin:
Some great villains can be built from warlock invocations. Throw on a cloak of many fashions for additional confusion. Not the raw power of some builds but likely to create confusion and mystery.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
Yeah, I have a deep and abiding love of disguise self. I especially love it at-will on a Warlock. Woot. I'll bring the fucking fire to any urban campaign that way, let me tell you. :grin:
Yea the charm person + disguise self combo will wreck a DMs campaign if they are unprepared.

I have no idea why setting writers don't explain how spells impact a particular setting. I would pay good money for this! A lot of DMs don't think through the implications of spells on their own and get totally blindsided when PCs are clever. So either the campaign gets wrecked or the DM pushes back with nerfs as illustrated upthread with complaints about illusions.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
Some great villains can be built from warlock invocations. Throw on a cloak of many fashions for additional confusion. Not the raw power of some builds but likely to create confusion and mystery.
I think you seriously underestimate how much shit I can stir with just Disguise Self and Charm Person. Mechanically it doesn't have the same impact on the NPC side, it's just more shitty and frustrating for the players.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,594
Reaction score
8,247
I've played 2 characters (Warlock Glamour Bards) using Charm and Disguise self (at-will). Lots of fun, but you're at the mercy of the GM's interpretations of illusionary magic.

I was lucky to have put expertise into Deception, I can tell you! I made so many ability checks (to the point where I questioned the actual power of magic).
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
I've played 2 characters (Warlock Glamour Bards) using Charm and Disguise self (at-will). Lots of fun, but you're at the mercy of the GM's interpretations of illusionary magic.

I was lucky to have put expertise into Deception, I can tell you! I made so many ability checks (to the point where I questioned the actual power of magic).
See, I wouldn't even play this build without talking to the DM first and getting a feel for how they'd adjudicate it.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,594
Reaction score
8,247
See, I wouldn't even play this build without talking to the DM first and getting a feel for how they'd adjudicate it.
The first part was done: all character concepts were approved first. The second part, however...

Two different DMs made calls on this stuff very differently. But that's an issue with any RPG, I suppose.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
The first part was done: all character concepts were approved first. The second part, however...

Two different DMs made calls on this stuff very differently. But that's an issue with any RPG, I suppose.
Yeah, and especially with Illusion. I find a lot of GMs fade conservative there because they don't trust themselves to be able to keep up.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
Yeah, and especially with Illusion. I find a lot of GMs fade conservative there because they don't trust themselves to be able to keep up.
The first part was done: all character concepts were approved first. The second part, however...

Two different DMs made calls on this stuff very differently. But that's an issue with any RPG, I suppose.

This does not make sense. It isn't 1981 where you have to send questions in a SASE to the publisher along with a prayer for an answer. The 5e rules have been discussed to death by a huge, active online community AND the actual developers are still alive and answering rules questions.

Edit: Is there something I am not getting?
 

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
2,153
Reaction score
4,935
I think you seriously underestimate how much shit I can stir with just Disguise Self and Charm Person. Mechanically it doesn't have the same impact on the NPC side, it's just more shitty and frustrating for the players.
I've used it not so much against players as setting up a mystery, like a serial killer warlock that needs to be caught. By power, I meant along the lines of DPR, which how many players and DMs think when judging how tough something is. The point I was trying to make is that you can test players in ways other than combat.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
This does not make sense. It isn't 1981 where you have to send questions in a SASE to the publisher along with a prayer for an answer. The 5e rules have been discussed to death by a huge, active online community AND the actual developers are still alive and answering rules questions.

Edit: Is there something I am not getting?
Yeah, once you've played with someone, like me, who really knows how to use the basic illusion spells, a lot of GMs get gun shy. Adjudicating that character is hard, but it's constant, and it's way outside what you need to do for most D&D characters. So while that PC, and my comments and experiences playing it, are based in pretty standard RAW readings of the rules, it just adds up to a lot of bother.

What Necrozius Necrozius is talking about is, I think, a level past that and it indexes laziness and bunch of other things I'd probably use 4 letter words to descibe.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
I've used it not so much against players as setting up a mystery, like a serial killer warlock that needs to be caught. By power, I meant along the lines of DPR, which how many players and DMs think when judging how tough something is. The point I was trying to make is that you can test players in ways other than combat.
DPR is, IMO, some whiteroom bullshit, but I does carry some information. DPR build are usually only a balance issue if the group is, at the same time, trying to manipulate the rest rules to load up on a nova style encounter paradigm.

I think we agree that DPR is only a small part of the equation.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,594
Reaction score
8,247
This does not make sense. It isn't 1981 where you have to send questions in a SASE to the publisher along with a prayer for an answer. The 5e rules have been discussed to death by a huge, active online community AND the actual developers are still alive and answering rules questions.

Edit: Is there something I am not getting?
We all make off-the-cuff rulings in different ways. I like to dish out Advantage to players when they do cool stuff (ignoring Feats or other rules for when, exactly, you should have bonuses to these tasks). Some like to call for Deception checks when a PC casts an illusion spell.
 

Moracai

Probationary Member
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
270
Reaction score
635
Fireball has always been OP in D&D even taking into consideration the danger of blowback in tight spaces, etc.
IME the tactic where tank(s) draw the crowd and the artillery fires into own positions has remained unchanged since AD&D2.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
Yeah, once you've played with someone, like me, who really knows how to use the basic illusion spells, a lot of GMs get gun shy. Adjudicating that character is hard, but it's constant, and it's way outside what you need to do for most D&D characters. So while that PC, and my comments and experiences playing it, are based in pretty standard RAW readings of the rules, it just adds up to a lot of bother.
Hmm that makes a lot more sense! I guess it depends on the player's approach. I have a player who pairs their creativity with rules knowledge and respect for the settings we play in; 19 out of 20 times I am saying "yes" to whatever he's asking for because it's awesome. In fact, we frequently collaborate on house rules, especially ones that reinforce genre. It is a true joy to have players like this at the table.

On the other hand I went through a shitty experience earlier in the year with a player who seemed to have zero trust in me as a DM, zero interest in the setting, poor rules knowledge, and yet was constantly making big asks. Pausing the game to adjudicate a player's frequent and audacious attempts push the envelope of what a spell can do gets old fast (after a certain point I'm like "dude, read the rules" and "it's just a fucking cantrip!"). The same player would also do things like ask for rulings on three separate issues then try to gotcha me by stringing those three unrelated rulings together into an unsinkable plan. I kept telling him to just tell me what he wanted to do and I would show him the path to make it happen but I guess he didn't trust me. None of the other players liked playing with him very much so after a couple sessions of this I decided to stop inviting him.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
3,594
Reaction score
8,247
I understand why it's helpful shorthand, but I personally really dislike talking about RPG characters using WoW-like terminology (tank, DPS/DPR, nova strike etc...). The information is important to some, I get it, but I don't like it at all.
 
Last edited:

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
8,496
Reaction score
21,676
I understand why its helpful shorthand, but I personally really dislike talking about RPG characters using WoW-like terminology (tank, DPS/DPR, nova strike etc...). The information is important to some, I get it, but I don't like it at all.
Well, that's how people white room 5E optimization. I suppose you don't have to like it though. I find it ... tiresome.
 

TJS

Legendary Member
Joined
May 5, 2018
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
5,475
I've played 2 characters (Warlock Glamour Bards) using Charm and Disguise self (at-will). Lots of fun, but you're at the mercy of the GM's interpretations of illusionary magic.

I was lucky to have put expertise into Deception, I can tell you! I made so many ability checks (to the point where I questioned the actual power of magic).
Honestly the 5e Arcane Trickster can absolutely dominate the non-combat parts of a campaign with a clever player.

They have access to the incredibly useful low level spells. In addition to those mentioned Minor Illusion and Unseen Servant are also incredible as are fog cloud, invisibility and find familiar, and they have the skills and expertise to back up any shennigans.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
Honestly the 5e Arcane Trickster can absolutely dominate the non-combat parts of a campaign with a clever player.

They have access to the incredibly useful low level spells. In addition to those mentioned Minor Illusion and Unseen Servant are also incredible as are fog cloud, invisibility and find familiar, and they have the skills and expertise to back up any shennigans.
Emily Dresner wrote a fun article about the Knowledge Bard, Eldritch Knight, and Arcane Trickster forming a highly effective fantasy infiltration team. Besides being an entertaining read in and of itself, she highlights the utility of oft-overlooked low level spells like message, illusory script, and unseen servant.
 

Mankcam

Coiner of Thread-Falls, & Inadvert Founder of Swo'
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
10,611
Charm person is a 1st level spell so I wouldn't expect too much. It's meant to temporarily turn an enemy into a friend or get what you want from someone quickly before moving on. You're not meant to walk through your home town charming everyone into giving you a blowjob.
I dunno, a successful Persuade skill roll on somebody who is already under the effect of a Charm Person spell, I'm sure it's got possibilities...
Just sayin, heh heh :grin:
 

raniE

Big Bearded Guy
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,438
Reaction score
2,641
Charm Person is significantly toned down in 5e. It makes someone treat you like a friendly acquaintance, makes them unable to attack you and gives you advantage in social interactions with them. Unless your definition of acquaintance is very different from mine, that's not going to be enough to make someone jump into bed with you, unless they were already inclined to do that.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
I dunno mate, a successful Persuade skill roll on somebody who is already under the effect of a Charm Person spell, I'm sure it's got possibilities...
Just sayin, heh heh :grin:
The charmed creature regards the charmer as a friendly acquaintance and grants them advantage on social checks. So yeah, will totally work on people who do not object to giving sexual favors to a friendly acquaintance who talks a good game.

On the other hand, charm person isn't mind control and charmed creatures are unlikely to comply with anything that violate their core values
 

Mankcam

Coiner of Thread-Falls, & Inadvert Founder of Swo'
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
3,996
Reaction score
10,611
On the other hand, charm person isn't mind control and charmed creatures are unlikely to comply with anything that violate their core values

It's a skill roll of WIS (Insight) first, then perhaps a CHA (Persuassion) second...
I'm sure it's valid, heh heh :grin:

1660217285240.png
 
Last edited:

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
It's a skill roll of WIS (Insight) first, before that second CHA (Persuassion) skill roll...
I'm sure it's valid, heh heh :grin:

View attachment 48598
The setting's culture and sexual mores probably has a lot to do with it as well! For what it's worth, I imagine that without the pressure of disease and unwanted pregnancy, promiscuity would be the norm in many fantasy settings or at least more socially acceptable. The original purpose of marriage wasn't love but to ensure a man's progeny were his legitimate heirs. If you eliminate the possibility of unwanted pregnancy through sorcery and allow divination to determine paternity it opens up a lot of possibilities for how things might develop.
 

raniE

Big Bearded Guy
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,438
Reaction score
2,641
The setting's culture and sexual mores probably has a lot to do with it as well! For what it's worth, I imagine that without the pressure of disease and unwanted pregnancy, promiscuity would be the norm in many fantasy settings or at least more socially acceptable. The original purpose of marriage wasn't love but to ensure a man's progeny were his legitimate heirs. If you eliminate the possibility of unwanted pregnancy through sorcery and allow divination to determine paternity it opens up a lot of possibilities for how things might develop.
I don't know, that sounds like our world today and although we'd probably be seen as very promiscuous in general by certain societies in the past, I still don't think being a friendly acquaintance of someone is often a direct gateway to sex.
 

Brock Savage

Cosmic Barbarian
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
4,526
Reaction score
12,560
Roguelite approach to character death.

Character death sucks but the possibility is absolutely necessary for the Weird Fantasy Survival-Horror campaign I am working on. I am considering incorporating Roguelite game design, ensuring that PC death leads to progression and opportunity. As always I appreciate thoughts, criticisms, and feedback.

Inheritance (from OSE Tules Tome)

Faced with the possibility of character death, players may wish to create a will for their characters, to leave wealth behind for an heir.
If the referee allows this, the following stipulations apply:
▶ Tax: Any treasure left as an inheritance will be taxed at 10%.
▶ Heir: A character’s heir must be a new 1st level character.
▶ Once only: A player may only leave a character inheritance once

Maybe the rules could use some tinkering but I like this.

Faction Rewards
At the start of the campaign only Fighters, Thieves, Clerics and Wizards with basic backgrounds are available. Through play the party can complete milestones with various factions to open up rare race, class, and background options. Depending on the faction it could be a lizard man, psion, monk or cyborg.

Yes the mechanic title is video gamey but that's just a shorthand working title for the DM and not player-facing.

Gear rewards
The last option is starting gear. Subsequent characters get the chance to start with something cool. Improved mundane gear. Improved starting spells. More starting gold. Magic or hi tech items. Again I imagine most will be developed through faction milestones

Additional XP to start
The good thing about 5e is that new characters catch up fast if the level range is 1-5. I don't think it is necessary for new characters to start with additional XP so long as the levels are soft capped at 6 based on the projected length of the game.
 

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
2,153
Reaction score
4,935
I like the idea of unlocking races/classes. It would allow the campaign to start vanilla-ish and get more exotic over time instead of starting kitchen sink. I can imagine factions/guilds collecting and keeping secret knowledge/spells/gear and/or forming alliances with weird groups.

Starting out with even 10% of the max XP in the group would get people to 2nd or 3rd which would save them a session or two in levelling.

One thing I liked about NetHack was how you could come across the corpses of your former runs and harvest their gear.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top