Bards and Cantrip question

Hey gang,

 

If a bard is level 5 or 6 (no multiclass) and has a cantrip that increases potency "when you reach a caster level of 5th..." like ray of frost does the damage increase for the bard as well or would it increase at level 10 since they are considered a half caster (at least in terms of multiclass document goes).

 

Thanks for any input!

SublimeBW wrote:

Hey gang,

 

If a bard is level 5 or 6 (no multiclass) and has a cantrip that increases potency "when you reach a caster level of 5th..." like ray of frost does the damage increase for the bard as well or would it increase at level 10 since they are considered a half caster (at least in terms of multiclass document goes).

 

Thanks for any input!

 

The rules as written are not clear on this point. But the current ruling from a Q&A post is that you use your character level. 

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/dndqa/20131205

 

 

1 What exactly does “caster level” refer to, in the context of cantrips?

This is something that we’ve been admittedly vague about, largely because we hadn’t made up our own mind about how we wanted it to work. Right now, we’re leaning toward changing all instances of “caster level” to simply refer to character level, allowing cantrips to scale up based on your character’s total amount of experience. We believe that will be simpler to understand and use, especially in cases where, as with the high elf, a racial trait needs to remain relevant for the character’s lifespan.

 

 

Posted for reference.

 

 

The only reference to half of anything is in the spells per day to match up with the slower progression used by bards, paladins, and rangers.  Spell progression charts were changed in the SEP package when multi-classing was introduced, obviously to make the multiclassing charts work with those rules.  The effects of each spell do not differ from a bard to a mage or to a druid or cleric, and a paladin's spells also do not.  Casting thunderwave does the same thing for the same damage using the same DC, for example.

 

 

The multi-class document does't calls anyone a half caster. 

 

 

There was a comment a long time ago about changing cantrips from scaling in one of Mike's tweets, iirc.  There are a few concerns on things like self-hasting cantrip spamming evokers, rogues using cantrips for sneak attack or assassination, and bards using cantrips as a swift action on top of multiple attacks and adding call to battle damage to the cantrip plus 3 weapon attacks.  I'm a fan of simply having higher base damage and allowing some casters the ability to cast 2 cantrips per round instead of 1 more damaging cantrip.

Ashrym wrote:

bards using cantrips as a swift action on top of multiple attacks and adding call to battle damage to the cantrip plus 3 weapon attacks.

 

I have found my next character concept. Totally sweet

Too bad there are no damage dealing Bard Cantrips.

DemoMonkey wrote:

Too bad there are no damage dealing Bard Cantrips.

 

 

You can add them by playing an elf, using a feat, splashing a mage, or as part of the spell secrets ability.  Take your pick of the option you want and plan around it.  The cantrip needs to roll damage and have an attack roll to qualify for call to battle mechanics so ray of frost or chill touch work.  Chill touch has the added benefit of preventing healing.  Battle magic allows the bard to cast the cantrip and swift action so we can get up to 4 attack which apply the call to battle bonus damage.  3d6+10+5d8+4d12 is possible in that attack sequence that way at level 20.

 

 

Planning it is more a problem than having it because of stat distribution, but if warlocks and sorcerers run CHA damage cantrips it's an easy splash.  The other options are generally give up +1 to hit with the cantrip, play DEX/INT elf, or DEX/CHA bard and take it at the capstone.

"Chill touch has the added benefit of preventing healing.  Battle magic allows the bard to cast the cantrip and swift action so we can get up to 4 attack which apply the call to battle bonus damage. "

 

Maybe I'm missing something.  How do you get 4 attacks?

DemoMonkey wrote:

Maybe I'm missing something.  How do you get 4 attacks?

Dual-Wielding? Standard attack, off-hand attack, Extra Attack attack, and Battle Magic swift cantrip attack, from what I can tell. Of course, Battle Magic is limited to bard spells, which mean you have to add them via Magical Secrets at level 20 rather than just getting it for free at level 11.

The metagame is not the game.

DemoMonkey wrote:

Too bad there are no damage dealing Bard Cantrips.

 

I actually think that is a good thing. It further distinguishes them from mages.

 

And if you really want a damage dealing cantrip as a bard there are ways to get it. Such as multiclassing, taking a feat, or being a high elf.

Saelorn wrote:

 

DemoMonkey wrote:

Maybe I'm missing something.  How do you get 4 attacks?

 

Dual-Wielding? Standard attack, off-hand attack, Extra Attack attack, and Battle Magic swift cantrip attack, from what I can tell. Of course, Battle Magic is limited to bard spells, which mean you have to add them via Magical Secrets at level 20 rather than just getting it for free at level 11.

 

 

Yes, to get all 4 attacks a person does need to use battle magic with magical secrets for the cantrip.  In order to add call to battle the cantrip needs to have an attack roll and a damage roll.