Overpowered Spells = Return of Caster Supremacy

Since noone responded to it in the wizard thread, and this is really important, I'm starting a new thread about it and reposting my post over there over here.

Personally, I like the nerf to wizards; if anything, they didnt' nerf them hard enough. Polymorph is even more overpowered than it was in 3.5; it's as bad as Shapechange was, on top of having a Save-or-Lose effect added on top of that. The set list of alternate forms that showed up with things like the Wild Shape variants from Unearthed Arcana, or the various polymorph spells that showed up in later materials would be much better; less flexibility means less brokenness. Of course, care would need to be taken to preven the

Web is, again, area effect Save-or-Lose, by denying enemies mobility, Hold Person/Monster are Save-or-Die, Dominate Person is Save-or-Lose, et cetera. They've nerfed a few spells like Sleep, and seem to have removed others like Grease or Glitterdust, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

This is a problem Clerics have, as well; Divine Power makes them flat-up-better at fighting than fighters. A +7 bonus to hit/+4 damage is better than +4 to hit/+7 to damage for all monsters with an AC of less than 21 + Strength bonus, which is to say, it is superior for all published monsters, since the highest AC any of them possess is 18. A possible solution for this particular case would be to make a maneuver that lets Fighters add their Expertise dice to their attack rolls; this would give them +7.5 to hit/+3.5 to damage, which would make them roughly comparable.

If the goal is to make fighters and rogues as useful and powerful as clerics and wizards, they need to get rid of overpowered spells that let them do the jobs of those fighters and rogues better than they can!

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Allot of these spells are not only traditional D&D but part of standard fantasy lore.

I mean wizards are supposed to be able to turn someone into a frog... I don't think we should change it just because some players want perfect class balance.

I like Polymorph
I like Power Word Kill
I like Wish

These are the sort of things 1000 year old wizards do in my eyes... they don't just throw spells that do X damage... they can do things which can literally obliterate someone in a single word or change the Geographic’s of a region.

Also I still don't think people understand that a wizard's spells are LIMITED, so obviously they will cause more havoc then an equivalent fighter when they are at full power... it’s when they run out of that power that their weakness shows.

The spells need to be there for story-telling ... it’s up to the DM to have the wisdom of when and when not to use them.


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FYI, my favourite class is and will always be a Fighter, but don't change wizards just because you want your fighter to be just as 'bad ass'. Wizards are supposed to be overpowered at high levels... its the nature of magic.


That's my thoughts.

Since noone responded to it in the wizard thread, and this is really important, I'm starting a new thread about it and reposting my post over there over here.

Personally, I like the nerf to wizards; if anything, they didnt' nerf them hard enough. Polymorph is even more overpowered than it was in 3.5; it's as bad as Shapechange was, on top of having a Save-or-Lose effect added on top of that. The set list of alternate forms that showed up with things like the Wild Shape variants from Unearthed Arcana, or the various polymorph spells that showed up in later materials would be much better; less flexibility means less brokenness. Of course, care would need to be taken to preven the

Web is, again, area effect Save-or-Lose, by denying enemies mobility, Hold Person/Monster are Save-or-Die, Dominate Person is Save-or-Lose, et cetera. They've nerfed a few spells like Sleep, and seem to have removed others like Grease or Glitterdust, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

This is a problem Clerics have, as well; Divine Power makes them flat-up-better at fighting than fighters. A +7 bonus to hit/+4 damage is better than +4 to hit/+7 to damage for all monsters with an AC of less than 21 + Strength bonus, which is to say, it is superior for all published monsters, since the highest AC any of them possess is 18. A possible solution for this particular case would be to make a maneuver that lets Fighters add their Expertise dice to their attack rolls; this would give them +7.5 to hit/+3.5 to damage, which would make them roughly comparable.

If the goal is to make fighters and rogues as useful and powerful as clerics and wizards, they need to get rid of overpowered spells that let them do the jobs of those fighters and rogues better than they can!




Currently I don't see a lot of these spells as being a problem. A wizard or cleric only gets 2 spells for lv 1,2,3 ect spells. Which means some of these spells are replacing guarenteed damage spells or defensive spells. Also most of them are at high enough level the player has a good chance of pulling something else instead, so if they weren't good they would be worthless options compared to the attack spells and defensive spells

I'll take web as an example... actually I don't even see what you are referring to with this one. It can only be used if it can be "anchored between two solid masses or layered across a floor, wall, or ceiling" So in an open plain nothing happens. Also, if caught in the Web a creature can make a Strength check to free itself, now if it stays in the web it has to make a Dex save again, but the area is small enough most enemies could get out. The Web is still also flamable. Yes if you fail a Dex save you get restrained, but if you didn't... well web wouldn't do anything. Same thing with Hold person and Monster, if you fail the first save you can reattempt, and since you are paralyzed I doubt you'd do much else.

Dominate is powerful, however the target gets a save if it takes damage or is given an order contradictory to it's alignment. Sure, if you play it right Dominate is incredibly powerful, but it is a 5th level mind control spell. What do you think it needs to be to make it less offensive to you?

I'll look at Polymorph too as that seems to be a really controversial spell. First things I notice: Unwilling target with more than 150 hp, completely unaffected, shapechangers, completely unaffected. Less than 150 hp, target makes save or is transformed for 1 minute. New form must be a beast, and HD cannot excceed that of the original target (ie no turning into an ancient dragon or Tarrasque until you are very very high level). Again, this is powerful but the Hp total of the target remains unchanged. So turning a creature like a dragon into a toad only makes it easier to hit, and since the spell is a concentration spell if the wizard takes damage they could lose it. It also only lasts for 1 minute. I know that is 10 rounds, but an intelligent enemy like a dragon might be able to retreat until the spell wears off. Then unless it is a lv 10 wizard who prepared polymorph twice, they don't need to worry about that spell again. It is powerful, but all it boils down to is canceling an enemies major abilities (breath weapon,ect.) and lowering their armor. You change a dragon into an owlbear and the fight will be easier, but you might still get beat up if the dragon rolls lucky or gets out of there. For such a high-level spell I'm not seeing a major problem, though I think I would include the option to take a turn and attemt another saving throw to reverse the magic. However, running away might be a better option overall


While I don't know that anything is overpowered as of yet, I do know that Slygamer's attitude, if evinced in the product, would cause me to boycott this edition...


Balance is paramount. I don’t need them to remove (most) of these spells. But, I do need them to make sure that they design them in a balanced manner this time around. 


While I don't know that anything is overpowered as of yet, I do know that Slygamer's attitude, if evinced in the product, would cause me to boycott this edition...


Balance is paramount. I don’t need them to remove (most) of these spells. But, I do need them to make sure that they design them in a balanced manner this time around. 




I think he was more saying, "High level spells should be incredibly powerful" more than "Wizards should be gods of the game by level X"

Personally on spells like "Power Word:Kill" I'd prefer not to see them in the normal spell list. Something this powerful should be possible, but it would be an incredibly well-guarded secret. After all, a guy who can kill with a single word is dangerous and people would try to contain that sort of dangerous power. If they did put it in though is should be a save or die. It makes no sense otherwise.

While I don't know that anything is overpowered as of yet, I do know that Slygamer's attitude, if evinced in the product, would cause me to boycott this edition...


Balance is paramount. I don’t need them to remove (most) of these spells. But, I do need them to make sure that they design them in a balanced manner this time around. 




I think he was more saying, "High level spells should be incredibly powerful" more than "Wizards should be gods of the game by level X"

Personally on spells like "Power Word:Kill" I'd prefer not to see them in the normal spell list. Something this powerful should be possible, but it would be an incredibly well-guarded secret. After all, a guy who can kill with a single word is dangerous and people would try to contain that sort of dangerous power. If they did put it in though is should be a save or die. It makes no sense otherwise.



Yeah, that is what I am saying... powerfull old wizards should be able to do powerfull things.

I can certainly live with these spells being "Optional" or in a Epic Level moodule... but they need to be there... I mean without them you can scrap just about half of the Forgotten Realms' novels.

I mostly DM and need these spells for storytelling... its what mages in fantasy do
Yeah, that is what I am saying... powerfull old wizards should be able to do powerfull things.

I can certainly live with these spells being "Optional" or in a Epic Level moodule... but they need to be there... I mean without them you can scrap just about half of the Forgotten Realms' novels.

I mostly DM and need these spells for storytelling... its what mages in fantasy do


I disagee. Wizards shouldn't be any more powerful than a fighter or a rogue of equivalent level. The balancing factor of "well, they'll only have so many spells" isn't really a balancing factor, since they'll never truely totally run out of spells; when they do, they'll just go "I'm out of spells so we need to rest."

And yes, Web is broken. It immobilizes large numbers of enemies, disrupting their formation and allowing the party to deal with them peicemeal. Once a wizard casts it, the encounter might as well be over. All that's left is rolling a bunch of dice. Sure, it only works where there are objects to anchor it off, but how often will your PCs be fighting in a perfectly empty plain? Almost never; it's called Dungeons and Dragons for a reason. If it only immobilized XdY HP of enemies like Sleep, that'd be one thing, but as it is it is horribly broken.

And Save-or-Die and Save-or-Win shouldn't exist. They make the fighters and rogues little more than the wizard's pack mule. The wizard casts the spell to end the encounter, and they're just there to mop up what's left and haul his loot around.
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While I don't know that anything is overpowered as of yet, I do know that Slygamer's attitude, if evinced in the product, would cause me to boycott this edition...


Balance is paramount. I don’t need them to remove (most) of these spells. But, I do need them to make sure that they design them in a balanced manner this time around. 




I think he was more saying, "High level spells should be incredibly powerful" more than "Wizards should be gods of the game by level X"

Personally on spells like "Power Word:Kill" I'd prefer not to see them in the normal spell list. Something this powerful should be possible, but it would be an incredibly well-guarded secret. After all, a guy who can kill with a single word is dangerous and people would try to contain that sort of dangerous power. If they did put it in though is should be a save or die. It makes no sense otherwise.



Yeah, that is what I am saying... powerfull old wizards should be able to do powerfull things.

I can certainly live with these spells being "Optional" or in a Epic Level moodule... but they need to be there... I mean without them you can scrap just about half of the Forgotten Realms' novels.

I mostly DM and need these spells for storytelling... its what mages in fantasy do

So, what you need is NPCs to be able to do this, not PCs. Additionally of course there may be times where a PC gains something quite powerful (IE a potion, scroll, some sort of ritual or special thing that only works once in a specific situation, etc). This is of course perfectly cool.

I have to agree with the sentiment that wizards should NOT (or other casters) uniquely have access to powerful plot changing or encounter ending magic. Its fine again if such things exist to some extent but ALL CLASSES of character need to be able to access this sort of thing equally.

I also think that Chaosmancer understates the potency of a lot of these "Save or Suck" type magics. Getting hit by a web and failing your save is pretty much a TKO. Same with anything that puts you out for a whole 1 minute. The monster might as well just be dead pretty much. You can of course come up with scenarios where the monster manages to survive, but those are really corner cases and not typical. Again, if non-casters are going to be able to also do these things then fine, but at that point you can't really justify the monsters not ALSO being able to do the same stuff, and then things start to rapidly break down.
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I don't even much like wizards and I don't think they are OP. They have spell cap's that need to be prepaired per day. So yeah you COULD rest after every encounter, but clever DM's have a way of getting around this weather it be through time limits to complete the event. (NPC x is dying of poison. You need to get back within 4 days. Assuming 1 day of travel there and 1 day back this means that the mage can only really recharge twice.) Its just part of the game to learn to deal with and/or prevent 5 minute workdays. 
I get that no everyone values balance. And I get that some people will want spells that are broken.

But what does Wotc intend for those who like balanced systems. Am I, as dm, required to balance it myself? Because that doesn't feel like the kind of fun I enjoy.

Please, Wotc, you don't need to cater only to me. But don't make me do your job for you. I mean, I don't care if you tag every broken spell as "broken" but leave them in - I don't need you to make my style default. But, at least give me a rule I can convey to my players.

While I don't know that anything is overpowered as of yet, I do know that Slygamer's attitude, if evinced in the product, would cause me to boycott this edition...


Balance is paramount. I don’t need them to remove (most) of these spells. But, I do need them to make sure that they design them in a balanced manner this time around. 




I think he was more saying, "High level spells should be incredibly powerful" more than "Wizards should be gods of the game by level X"

Personally on spells like "Power Word:Kill" I'd prefer not to see them in the normal spell list. Something this powerful should be possible, but it would be an incredibly well-guarded secret. After all, a guy who can kill with a single word is dangerous and people would try to contain that sort of dangerous power. If they did put it in though is should be a save or die. It makes no sense otherwise.



Yeah, that is what I am saying... powerfull old wizards should be able to do powerfull things.

I can certainly live with these spells being "Optional" or in a Epic Level moodule... but they need to be there... I mean without them you can scrap just about half of the Forgotten Realms' novels.

I mostly DM and need these spells for storytelling... its what mages in fantasy do

So, what you need is NPCs to be able to do this, not PCs. Additionally of course there may be times where a PC gains something quite powerful (IE a potion, scroll, some sort of ritual or special thing that only works once in a specific situation, etc). This is of course perfectly cool.

I have to agree with the sentiment that wizards should NOT (or other casters) uniquely have access to powerful plot changing or encounter ending magic. Its fine again if such things exist to some extent but ALL CLASSES of character need to be able to access this sort of thing equally.

I also think that Chaosmancer understates the potency of a lot of these "Save or Suck" type magics. Getting hit by a web and failing your save is pretty much a TKO. Same with anything that puts you out for a whole 1 minute. The monster might as well just be dead pretty much. You can of course come up with scenarios where the monster manages to survive, but those are really corner cases and not typical. Again, if non-casters are going to be able to also do these things then fine, but at that point you can't really justify the monsters not ALSO being able to do the same stuff, and then things start to rapidly break down.



The things not all classes wield magic. It doesn't make sense that a fighter can kill 5 goblins ina split second, but it does make sense that a wizard can cast a ball of flame that engulfs a score of goblins. That's the difference... so no they can't be expected to do the same. That being said, a wizard's spells are limited and that is precisely what you are forgetting when doing your DPR mathematics. The fact is, the classes are balanced if you can accept the fact that wizards don't go to sleep after ervery spell encounter. The wizard thruthfully never unleashes his entire repetoire of power unless he is completely cornered. Szass Tam doesn't go around town carelessly using Power Word Kill, he needs to save to those spells for the assassins waiting for the right opportunity to strike and take his place.

Wether you represent that limitation with a vancian system, mana system or other, its a limitation thus a counter measure for balance, and you can't factor that balance into DPR or whatever other mathematic method you are using.

But yeah, I need these spells to be in the game in some form, perhaps they can introduce another mechanic that further limits ground-breaking spells. Who knows, but removing them completely would essentially exclude all of 2E/3E concept of spells and wizards including all Forgotten Realm's novelist's vision of the world and magic as a whole.
I get that no everyone values balance. And I get that some people will want spells that are broken. But what does Wotc intend for those who like balanced systems. Am I, as dm, required to balance it myself? Because that doesn't feel like the kind of fun I enjoy. Please, Wotc, you don't need to cater only to me. But don't make me do your job for you. I mean, I don't care if you tag every broken spell as "broken" but leave them in - I don't need you to make my style default. But, at least give me a rule I can convey to my players.



I want those so called 'broken' spells.

And in fact I do value balance... I just happen to think the game IS balanced and always has been if you just take into account that a caster's abilities are limited.
I get that no everyone values balance. And I get that some people will want spells that are broken. But what does Wotc intend for those who like balanced systems. Am I, as dm, required to balance it myself? Because that doesn't feel like the kind of fun I enjoy. Please, Wotc, you don't need to cater only to me. But don't make me do your job for you. I mean, I don't care if you tag every broken spell as "broken" but leave them in - I don't need you to make my style default. But, at least give me a rule I can convey to my players.



I want those so called 'broken' spells.

And in fact I do value balance... I just happen to think the game IS balanced and always has been if you just take into account that a caster's abilities are limited.


Same here.
I've run games since AD&D and the one time I saw a wizard blow all his spells and demand the party stop immediately, they told him to suck it up and not waste spells. Also, as a DM I know its the DMs job to balance out some of this. Players will always find ways that no developer or playtester ever thought up to abuse even the most balanced system.
Keep the so called broken spells. Web is fine, save or suck is something that should be there. 
I think it's obvious that WoTC has taken measures to decrease the potency of the "save vs. die" and most other spells for that matter.  Characters using the maneuvers system now have any easy and very effective way of doing so, if you care to create a character with that in mind - just look at the Lightning Reflexes, Great Fortitude, and Iron Will maneuvers and you will understand how.

With these 3 maneuvers, Fighters & Rogues have a very powerful ability that allows them to reduce and/or negate most effects that require a saving throw by using expertise dice to boost their saving throws.  Effectively, a martial class with these maneuvers can, as a reaction, sacrifice any number of expertise dice to add their top numeric die (1d10 at 10th level!!!) to their d20 save roll.

Unfortunately, your Fighter/Rouge might have to sacrifice some damage output for one round to do so, but this GREATLY reduces the "problem" you perceive.  Personally, I am actually concerned with the degree to which martial classes are able to do this at higher levels (i.e. adding 1-10 to a d20 save seems a bit excessive) because I feel that the increase in die size could "break" the static DCs of a bound accuracy system, IMO.

A savvy player can always find ways to counter most perceived threats, you just have to look for them...
I have to agree with the sentiment that wizards should NOT (or other casters) uniquely have access to powerful plot changing or encounter ending magic. Its fine again if such things exist to some extent but ALL CLASSES of character need to be able to access this sort of thing equally.

I also think that Chaosmancer understates the potency of a lot of these "Save or Suck" type magics. Getting hit by a web and failing your save is pretty much a TKO. Same with anything that puts you out for a whole 1 minute. The monster might as well just be dead pretty much. You can of course come up with scenarios where the monster manages to survive, but those are really corner cases and not typical. Again, if non-casters are going to be able to also do these things then fine, but at that point you can't really justify the monsters not ALSO being able to do the same stuff, and then things start to rapidly break down.


It need not be magic, either; something along the lines of a "Knockout Blow" Maneuver that forced a Constitution save vs 10 + Expertise Die roll and caused Unconsciousness for one minute on a failed save would also work. Besides, it's not like monsters don't already have at-will Save-or-Die/Save-or-Lose effects already (Basilisk, Carrion Crawler, Dryad, Air Elemental, Gelatinous Cube, Ghoul, Harpy, Kopru, Medusa, Mind Flayer, and Mummy).

Besides, it's not just Save-or-Dies or other similar encounter-enders that are broken. Polymorph is also highly broken, because it grants you all the monster's powers. It's better than 3.5's Shapechange spell, and that was 9th Level, and for good reason! For instance, in 3.5, one of the more common creatures to take the shape of in 3.5 was the Choker, since it gave you and extra standard action to cast a spell with. As far as the monsters that are published so far, the most powerful ones are probably the Basilisk, Medusa, Mind Flayer, and Air Elemental, thanks to their area-effect, at-will Save-or-Die/Save-or-Lose. Almost just as bad, though, are things like the Hydra - with five attacks every round and infinite Reactions, a wizard who takes the form of one will probably be out-Fightering the Fighter - and small utility forms like birds or mice, which let them sneak ahead unnoticed and out-Rogue the Rogue.

Note, however, that it's perfectly fine for monsters to have at-will, area-effect Save-or-Die/Save-or-Lose, since that just makes the encounter more challenging, but it's not okay for a PC to have such power, since it just results in that PC trampling all over everything and making the other PCs useless. This is in addition to being able to be used as a Save-or-Die spell directly, and allowing the wizard to impinge on the roles of other PCs by taking an appropriate form.
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I did some numbercrunching on each class's damage potential, trying to figure out if it was balanced, and if not who came out ahead. 

My conclusion: the classes are all balanced to be equal in damage. Wizards and Clerics get slightly better damage, offset by only being able to do it 2/day instead of every round. A theoretically fixed rogue will do slightly more damage than the fighter, with the offset of needing Advantage first. 

There's still contention over whether caster ability bonus adds to spell damage. If it doesn't, that's an even further mote weaker. 

 
I have to agree with the sentiment that wizards should NOT (or other casters) uniquely have access to powerful plot changing or encounter ending magic. Its fine again if such things exist to some extent but ALL CLASSES of character need to be able to access this sort of thing equally.

I also think that Chaosmancer understates the potency of a lot of these "Save or Suck" type magics. Getting hit by a web and failing your save is pretty much a TKO. Same with anything that puts you out for a whole 1 minute. The monster might as well just be dead pretty much. You can of course come up with scenarios where the monster manages to survive, but those are really corner cases and not typical. Again, if non-casters are going to be able to also do these things then fine, but at that point you can't really justify the monsters not ALSO being able to do the same stuff, and then things start to rapidly break down.


It need not be magic, either; something along the lines of a "Knockout Blow" Maneuver that forced a Constitution save vs 10 + Expertise Die roll and caused Unconsciousness for one minute on a failed save would also work. Besides, it's not like monsters don't already have at-will Save-or-Die/Save-or-Lose effects already (Basilisk, Carrion Crawler, Dryad, Air Elemental, Gelatinous Cube, Ghoul, Harpy, Kopru, Medusa, Mind Flayer, and Mummy).

Besides, it's not just Save-or-Dies or other similar encounter-enders that are broken. Polymorph is also highly broken, because it grants you all the monster's powers. It's better than 3.5's Shapechange spell, and that was 9th Level, and for good reason! For instance, in 3.5, one of the more common creatures to take the shape of in 3.5 was the Choker, since it gave you and extra standard action to cast a spell with. As far as the monsters that are published so far, the most powerful ones are probably the Basilisk, Medusa, Mind Flayer, and Air Elemental, thanks to their area-effect, at-will Save-or-Die/Save-or-Lose. Almost just as bad, though, are things like the Hydra - with five attacks every round and infinite Reactions, a wizard who takes the form of one will probably be out-Fightering the Fighter - and small utility forms like birds or mice, which let them sneak ahead unnoticed and out-Rogue the Rogue.

Note, however, that it's perfectly fine for monsters to have at-will, area-effect Save-or-Die/Save-or-Lose, since that just makes the encounter more challenging, but it's not okay for a PC to have such power, since it just results in that PC trampling all over everything and making the other PCs useless. This is in addition to being able to be used as a Save-or-Die spell directly, and allowing the wizard to impinge on the roles of other PCs by taking an appropriate form.



There are a few details about 5e's polymorph you are forgetting. Most importantly is that it is limited in only allowing the transformation into a "Beast" class monster. No Hydra, no Mindflayer, no elementals, no dragons. Taking a quick glance through the bestriary I'd say your best options to transform into would either be a Allaosaurs (big dinosaurs are always good) or a Basilisk (petrification). Also if the caster transforms himself the concentration rules apply, so any time he takes damage there is a chance of losing the spell. Even if there is a beast they can transform into that outdamages a level 9-10 fighter (which I doubt, but I'm not positive) They had to use one of their most powerful spells to be able to do this for 1 minute, and if they take damage they could find themselves back as a squishy wizard. Also, Hp totals do not change, you have 36 hp as a wizard, you have 36 hp as a T-Rex. I'd say the same thing for out-sneaking the rogue, 1 minute duration and you used one of your most powerful abilities to pull it off.. Don't pay attention and those giants you were spying on suddenly have a wizard to squish, with no allies nearby.

Also, just out of curiousity how did turning into a choker allow you spells? From what I remeber they have tentacles for arms, so even if they could speak (which I don't think they did) you wouldn't be able to make the hand gestures.

Also to your earlier comment about Web. It stops monsters I'll say for two turns. This allows the fighters and rogues to manuever and kill them, it breaks up their formations, ect. Also, I understand we play in dungeons a lot, but since the web fills a 20 ft area only, being in, let's say a large dome that has a radius of 50 ft and a ceiling 25 ft tall means you might only be able to cast web on the walls and entrances. But let's ignore all that. I'm curious what you would prefer web to do? If creating a zone that can potentially stop monsters for a turn or two, perhaps longer is completely unacceptable, what should the web spell do? If wizards aren't allowed to do anything a fighter or rogue can't should it just create a lightly obscured area? Should fireball only deal a 1d8 damage? I don't see what you are proposing as an alternative to what they have that wouldn't defeat the entire purpose of the spell. For a daily ability restraining creatures like Web does seems perfectly reasonable, but if it isn't what would be? How many spells do we need to take away or weaken before you feel the wizard and cleric are equivalent to the Fighter and Rogue? And if we did make them equivalent, would this not lead to the same thing that everyone complains about for 4e? I'm asking these questions out of genuine curiousity, because I cannot seem to figure out your position. Finally though, what should happen on a failed save? if it isn't "save or suck" as some people put it, what should it be "save or... nothing?" If there aren't penalties to saving throws what's the point of saving throws?
Polymorph: Yeah, it's broken.  Effectively up to 150 HP of damage in one spell with "Polymorph: goldfish."

Web: First of all, it can be cast on an open plain.  It creates a pile of webs, layed on the ground, 5 feet deep.  However, it's save or be restrained, so it's not like it suddenly wins a whole fight.  But against melee-only creatures without the Str to break free easily, it is pretty much an AoE save or die.

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Polymorph: Yeah, it's broken.  Effectively up to 150 HP of damage in one spell with "Polymorph: goldfish."

Web: First of all, it can be cast on an open plain.  It creates a pile of webs, layed on the ground, 5 feet deep.  However, it's save or be restrained, so it's not like it suddenly wins a whole fight.  But against melee-only creatures without the Str to break free easily, it is pretty much an AoE save or die.



True they do appear and layer the ground, but then they disappear at the start of your next turn. I doubt most people would use it that way, except in the "Aaaah, monster in my face" moments. I did miss that detail though so thank you.

I hadn't thought of turning something into a fish, but would that count as a "Beast" or would it be "Fish" or "Aquatic"? With no fish listed I wouldn't say definetivly
There are a few details about 5e's polymorph you are forgetting. Most importantly is that it is limited in only allowing the transformation into a "Beast" class monster. No Hydra, no Mindflayer, no elementals, no dragons. Taking a quick glance through the bestriary I'd say your best options to transform into would either be a Allaosaurs (big dinosaurs are always good) or a Basilisk (petrification).


*checks* Yeah, you're right. I missed that because the word "Beast" wasn't capitalized, so I didn't realise it was a system term, rather than a description of monsters in genera. It could stand to be clearer in the future. The fact you can turn into a Basilisk is still horribly broken, though, and some of the bigger dinosaurs like Allosaurs and Ankylosauruses can still out-fight Fighters. My overall point remains, even if it's somewhat less powerful than I thought it was.

Also if the caster transforms himself the concentration rules apply, so any time he takes damage there is a chance of losing the spell. Even if there is a beast they can transform into that outdamages a level 9-10 fighter (which I doubt, but I'm not positive)


It'll come damn close. The Ankylosaurus is roughly equivalent, at the very least, once the Fighter loses an Expertise die to achieve something comparable to its auto-knockdown. Not that raw damage matters when he can spam area-effect Save-or-Dies every round by turning into a Basilisk.

They had to use one of their most powerful spells to be able to do this for 1 minute, and if they take damage they could find themselves back as a squishy wizard. Also, Hp totals do not change, you have 36 hp as a wizard, you have 36 hp as a T-Rex. I'd say the same thing for out-sneaking the rogue, 1 minute duration and you used one of your most powerful abilities to pull it off.. Don't pay attention and those giants you were spying on suddenly have a wizard to squish, with no allies nearby.


And that one minute is the one minute that matters, thanks to them just resting once out of spells.

Also, just out of curiousity how did turning into a choker allow you spells? From what I remeber they have tentacles for arms, so even if they could speak (which I don't think they did) you wouldn't be able to make the hand gestures.


They spoke Undercommon, and they had tentacle-arms that ended with hands covered in tiny little barbs.

Also to your earlier comment about Web. It stops monsters I'll say for two turns.


Longer than that. It lasts until they make a successful Strength check, and if they're still in the web at the start of their next turn, they need to make another save.
 This allows the fighters and rogues to manuever and kill them, it breaks up their formations, ect. Also, I understand we play in dungeons a lot, but since the web fills a 20 ft area only, being in, let's say a large dome that has a radius of 50 ft and a ceiling 25 ft tall means you might only be able to cast web on the walls and entrances.

Oh, no. You can only web half of the room, instead of all of it.
But let's ignore all that. I'm curious what you would prefer web to do? If creating a zone that can potentially stop monsters for a turn or two, perhaps longer is completely unacceptable, what should the web spell do?


Affect XdY HP of enemies like Sleep does.

If wizards aren't allowed to do anything a fighter or rogue can't should it just create a lightly obscured area? Should fireball only deal a 1d8 damage?


Oh, no, a Fireball is fine. With only 5d6 damage (an average of 17.5), save for half, it's doing roughly the same amount of damage as a Fighter's 1d8+2d6+4. Damage isn't the problem. Crowd control and utility spells are the problem.
I don't see what you are proposing as an alternative to what they have that wouldn't defeat the entire purpose of the spell. For a daily ability restraining creatures like Web does seems perfectly reasonable, but if it isn't what would be?


HP-damage equivalents like the new Sleep.

EDIT: For some reason the following quote blocks aren't working properly.
How many spells do we need to take away or weaken before you feel the wizard and cleric are equivalent to the Fighter and Rogue?


All of them, if they're more powerful than the options Fighters get.

And if we did make them equivalent, would this not lead to the same thing that everyone complains about for 4e? I'm asking these questions out of genuine curiousity, because I cannot seem to figure out your position.



Personally, I liked 4e, but even so, making Fighters and Wizards equally powerful does not equate to making them the same, even to the degree that 4e did (which, frankly, wasn't very much; "fighters and wizards are the same" is a surefire way of telling that someone hasn't actually played a proper game of 4e). I don't want to say too much more on the subject, however, lest I wind up crossing the line into Edition Warring and getting smacked by the moderators....
Finally though, what should happen on a failed save? if it isn't "save or suck" as some people put it, what should it be "save or... nothing?" If there aren't penalties to saving throws what's the point of saving throws?


Half damage.
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You did a long post, and I'm heading off to dinner so I don't have time to write responses to everything, so I'll just hit some highlights.

Web affecting an Hp amount of creatures is.... wierd first off. The spell doesn't actually target the creature so why would the creatures stats matter. For example, with the current web spell you can web up a door and slow down pursuers. With your version you can attempt to web some of the pursuers as long as they have an hp total under X, and then I'd assume they get a save as well. This makes the spell more complicated and the hp element would seem arbitrary. I'm also against many of the current Hp caps, because they don't make a lot of sense. Why is a monster with less than 30 hp more suceptible to mind control than a monster with 33? If a highly intelligent wizard can be manipulated why can't a stupid ogre, because the ogre has 40 "hit points" and the wizard has 10? how do these correlate with their mental strength? How can we catch more goblins (3 hp) with webbing than Imps or Quasits ( 7 hp) when goblins are so much larger? The use of Hp as a cap makes very little sense for non damaging spells.

Also, if a spell doesn't do damage the half damage on a failed save won't work. I should have made myself clear but I was mainly refering to the utility spells we've been discussing.

Despite the fact that a wizard might be able to rest after using a spell, I would say it is much rarer for a party to deal with a wizard who uses all their best spells by resting all the time than telling the wizard to stop wasting spells. A 4th level spell like Polymorph or Ice Storm should not be something minor, it is a major act of magic. It is usable once per day (the rules do state you can't take more than 1 extended rest per day) and it should reflect a great deal of power. It may need a little more balancing, but I don't see it as this horrible game breaking event. If the wizard out damages the fighter for 1 fight because of Polymorph, then the wizard did a good job with his spell. He could have also turned the fighter into a giant dinosaur and let the fighter rampage. He could turn the the giant into a horse. I won't say it isn't a powerful spell, but I feel with all the wizard loses to gain access to spells, they need to be a little spectacular towards the higher levels.
 Wizards are supposed to be overpowered at high levels... its the nature of magic. 


No it isnt ... not in the vast majority of myth, legend and fiction.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 Wizards are supposed to be overpowered at high levels... its the nature of magic. 


No it isnt ... not in the vast majority of myth, legend and fiction.


Indeed. Conan carves his way through evil sorcerors like a hot knife through butter. The magicians in the Arthurian cycle primarily use their magic for the creation of magic items, trickery, or wise planning and advice; the closest thing to a wizard throwing fireballs is King Arthur throwing energy blasts with Excalibur. Greek myth, again, just advice and trickery; the heroes of the legends are Manly Men Doing Manly Things. In Norse myth, it's mostly item creation; Odin doesn't use his Runic magic in combat, but a magical spear. Cu Chullain, an Irish hero, trained in magic, and developed an auto-hit technique with his magic spear as well the power to go Super-Saiyan and lay magically-binding oaths, but he doesn't throw magical attacks. The closest thing I can think of are the legends of Buddhist martial artists using their ki to perform superhuman feats, and the ninja performing similar techniques with ninja magic; the depiction of ninja in Naruto is actually fairly close to the way they were depicted historically.
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 Wizards are supposed to be overpowered at high levels... its the nature of magic. 


No it isnt ... not in the vast majority of myth, legend and fiction.


Indeed. Conan carves his way through evil sorcerors like a hot knife through butter. The magicians in the Arthurian cycle primarily use their magic for the creation of magic items, trickery, or wise planning and advice; the closest thing to a wizard throwing fireballs is King Arthur throwing energy blasts with Excalibur. Greek myth, again, just advice and trickery; the heroes of the legends are Manly Men Doing Manly Things. In Norse myth, it's mostly item creation; Odin doesn't use his Runic magic in combat, but a magical spear. Cu Chullain, an Irish hero, trained in magic, and developed an auto-hit technique with his magic spear as well the power to go Super-Saiyan and lay magically-binding oaths, but he doesn't throw magical attacks. The closest thing I can think of are the legends of Buddhist martial artists using their ki to perform superhuman feats, and the ninja performing similar techniques with ninja magic; the depiction of ninja in Naruto is actually fairly close to the way they were depicted historically.



While this is true for traditional myths and legends (which are awesome, and I feel inadequate since I'm only mostly familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse) an overwhelming majority of more recent fanatsy culture is a lot more... blasty. Stunning blasts, gouts of flame, gusts of wind, deth curses, reflection magics, lightning bolts. A lot of this probably has some roots in DnD and other popular fantasy from "back in the day", also superheroes are another example of people using mystical powers for more combat oriented purposes.

I have no idea where it came from, but the idea that a powerful mage can rip your heart out of your body and make you eat it from a half mile off (requires hair folicle, nail clipping, or other physical link usually) is now firmly lodged in the Fantasy genre. Should it be... Maybe that example is extreme but highly destructive, powerful magic is fun in small doses, or when in a magicians duel with an equally powerful foe.
While this is true for traditional myths and legends (which are awesome, and I feel inadequate since I'm only mostly familiar with Greek, Roman, and Norse) an overwhelming majority of more recent fanatsy culture is a lot more... blasty. Stunning blasts, gouts of flame, gusts of wind, deth curses, reflection magics, lightning bolts. A lot of this probably has some roots in DnD and other popular fantasy from "back in the day", also superheroes are another example of people using mystical powers for more combat oriented purposes.


I'll point out that the majority of superheroes (and almost all of the most popular and iconic ones) fight by punching people with their fists. I mean, there's, like, Cyclops, and maybe Spiderman depending on how you define "blast", and that's it; Superman has his laser vision and super breath, but he doesn't usually use it to fight people with.

I have no idea where it came from, but the idea that a powerful mage can rip your heart out of your body and make you eat it from a half mile off (requires hair folicle, nail clipping, or other physical link usually) is now firmly lodged in the Fantasy genre. Should it be... Maybe that example is extreme but highly destructive, powerful magic is fun in small doses, or when in a magicians duel with an equally powerful foe.


I think that particular curse came out of a Conan story, actually; Conan proceded to stab the guy to death before he could use it on him. Now, I don't have a problem with highly destructive rituals, especially if you need a material link to cast spells on a person, but flat-up combat magic? Eh. Now that I think of it, though, a lot of the sorcerors from Conan made heavy use of alchemical poisons and explosives to make up for a lack of blasty magic; I remember a story where Conan and a bunch of not-Indian allies of his attacked a tower where some demonic sorcerors had holed up with a princess they captured, and they threw magic, flying balls that exploded when they touched anything (Conan and company got through by shooting them all with arrows).

I think we're getting sort of off topic, though. I don't mind the blasty sort of magic; it's really not all that overpowered. What I care about is the encounter-ending sort of stuff.
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The default magic system for D&D has always been High Magic (Forgotten Realms) where mages can do those sort of wild crazy things.

Though I also enjoy low magic settings such as Conan, those arn't the default and never have been.

In fact all these low fantasy settings are spin offs... Conan d20 was written by Mongoose from the OGL. Low fantasy settings such as the AD&D 2E Historical Refrence books (A mighty fortress, the glory of rome etc.) were all supplements.

I would be dissapointed in they realeased DDN with not even a module for spells like Power Word Kill and Polymorph. perhaps those sort of spells can be introduced in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting? I can live with that, but like I said, those encounter ending, world shaping spells should be somewhere
I think it's obvious that WoTC has taken measures to decrease the potency of the "save vs. die" and most other spells for that matter.  Characters using the maneuvers system now have any easy and very effective way of doing so, if you care to create a character with that in mind - just look at the Lightning Reflexes, Great Fortitude, and Iron Will maneuvers and you will understand how.

With these 3 maneuvers, Fighters & Rogues have a very powerful ability that allows them to reduce and/or negate most effects that require a saving throw by using expertise dice to boost their saving throws.  Effectively, a martial class with these maneuvers can, as a reaction, sacrifice any number of expertise dice to add their top numeric die to their d20 save roll (1d10 at 10th level!!!).

Unfortunately, your Fighter/Rouge might have to sacrifice some damage output for one round, but this GREATLY reduces the "problem" you perceive.  Personally, I am actually concerned with the degree to which martial classes are able to do this at higher levels (i.e. adding 1-10 to a d20 save seems a bit excessive) because I feel that the increase in die size could "break" the static DCs of a bound accuracy system, IMO.

A savvy player can always find ways to counter most perceived threats, you just have to look for them...



I hope someone was paying attention to this post, mechanically it seems to adequately "fit the bill" with respect to counter-balancing "save vs. suck" spells...
The default magic system for D&D has always been High Magic (Forgotten Realms) where mages can do those sort of wild crazy things.

Though I also enjoy low magic settings such as Conan, those arn't the default and never have been.



There's a few AD&D modules that would argue with you on that...

You're trying to claim that "a few AD&D modules" are the default?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The default magic system for D&D has always been High Magic (Forgotten Realms) where mages can do those sort of wild crazy things.

Though I also enjoy low magic settings such as Conan, those arn't the default and never have been.



There's a few AD&D modules that would argue with you on that...



Also, wasn't FR pretty low magic pre 3rd? That's what I've been lead to believe.
My two copper.
The default magic system for D&D has always been High Magic (Forgotten Realms) where mages can do those sort of wild crazy things.

Though I also enjoy low magic settings such as Conan, those arn't the default and never have been.

In fact all these low fantasy settings are spin offs... Conan d20 was written by Mongoose from the OGL. Low fantasy settings such as the AD&D 2E Historical Refrence books (A mighty fortress, the glory of rome etc.) were all supplements.

I would be dissapointed in they realeased DDN with not even a module for spells like Power Word Kill and Polymorph. perhaps those sort of spells can be introduced in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting? I can live with that, but like I said, those encounter ending, world shaping spells should be somewhere


Maybe, but if the wizard can end encounters with a word, I want my fighter to be able to develop a one-hit-instant-kill technique like Cu Chullain did.
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True they do appear and layer the ground, but then they disappear at the start of your next turn. I doubt most people would use it that way, except in the "Aaaah, monster in my face" moments. I did miss that detail though so thank you.

Uh, no, they stick around.  They only disappear if not anchored or layered on the ground.
I hadn't thought of turning something into a fish, but would that count as a "Beast" or would it be "Fish" or "Aquatic"? With no fish listed I wouldn't say definetivly

All natural animals, and things close to them, seem to be beasts.  I'm sure in the actual Monster Manual, I'm sure it will define the creature types, and I'm sure that goldfish other than mutant goldfish, extraplanar goldfish, or hyperintelligent spellcasting goldfish will be type Beast.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
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I hope someone was paying attention to this post, mechanically it seems to adequately "fit the bill" with respect to counter-balancing "save vs. suck" spells...


Not really.  Because the big concern of the save or dies in my opinion is PCs vs the adventure.  Okay zippy if the wizard duels the fighter his save or die spell may fail, but if the wizard can throw a wail of the banshee and drop the entire encounter with one spell since the monsters don't come with maneuver dice then there is a problem if fighters can't do something similar.  
 
Maybe, but if the wizard can end encounters with a word, I want my fighter to be able to develop a one-hit-instant-kill technique like Cu Chullain did.


He could function like a monstrous lawn mower... the chariot feat I tag as being able to attack all adjacent enemies even while moving ... mounted or otherwise. In fact if he was in his daemon warp spasm berserk state that would be all adjacent creatures or things for that matter ally or enemy.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 



I hope someone was paying attention to this post, mechanically it seems to adequately "fit the bill" with respect to counter-balancing "save vs. suck" spells...


Not really.  Because the big concern of the save or dies in my opinion is PCs vs the adventure.  Okay zippy if the wizard duels the fighter his save or die spell may fail, but if the wizard can throw a wail of the banshee and drop the entire encounter with one spell since the monsters don't come with maneuver dice then there is a problem if fighters can't do something similar.  



Awesome defense is insufficient. Being utterly lacking at utility or mobility is not good either.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 
Maybe, but if the wizard can end encounters with a word, I want my fighter to be able to develop a one-hit-instant-kill technique like Cu Chullain did.


He could function like a monstrous lawn mower... the chariot feat I tag as being able to attack all adjacent enemies even while moving ... mounted or otherwise. In fact if he was in his daemon warp spasm berserk state that would be all adjacent creatures or things for that matter ally or enemy.


I was referring to his auto-kill technique with Gae Bolg, actually. His feats with his chariot, his general abilities as a duellist, and the way he had himself chained to a boulder so he could keep on killing even after being mortally wounded and incapable of standing normally are all other things fighters should be able to do, yeah. His Super Saiyan-style powerup (the riastrad, or warp spasm) probably isn't, though.
Come visit Dark Side of the Moon, the new home to the Nasuverse fandom!
 
Maybe, but if the wizard can end encounters with a word, I want my fighter to be able to develop a one-hit-instant-kill technique like Cu Chullain did.


He could function like a monstrous lawn mower... the chariot feat I tag as being able to attack all adjacent enemies even while moving ... mounted or otherwise. In fact if he was in his daemon warp spasm berserk state that would be all adjacent creatures or things for that matter ally or enemy.


I was referring to his auto-kill technique with Gae Bolg, actually.



Yes I recognize the reference.

His feats with his chariot, his general abilities as a duellist, and the way he had himself chained to a boulder so he could keep on killing even after being mortally wounded and incapable of standing normally are all other things fighters should be able to do, yeah. His Super Saiyan-style powerup (the riastrad, or warp spasm) probably isn't, though.


That I think was tied to a magical oath (*not eating dog) similar to Samsons strength and others who take oaths which bind and grant power. Rather like paladin abilities.. in wierd umm forms.
 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Looking over this discussion, and remembering discussions from a year or so back, I feel a little like the wizard gets a little more harsh treatment. He can't have Web or Polymorph, because those make winning encounters too easy and step on the fighter's toes. He can't have invisibility and silence because then he steps on the rogue's toes. We don't want him to just have fireball and lightning bolt, where are all those cool wizard tricks and utility spells we like. And on and on and on.

Wizards are the physically weakest members of any party. They recieve the smallest amount of hp, worst weapn choices, and no armor. I've been told this is because wizard's spells are powerful, and at higher levels wizards become one of the more powerful classes. I get we need balance, otherwise it is no fun for anybody, but I sometimes get the feeling people are pushing too far in the other direction. Web is not too powerful, and the fact that it breaks up formations and always fighters and rogues to manuever and kill the enemies is a bonus to me, it screams of Teamwork. Polymorph... what can honestly be done to the spell other than adding a "the target can take an action to make another save" clause? Sure you can turn a dragon into a dog, but the Hp does not drop, only the AC and attacks. It is powerful, it could make that tough dragon encounter easy, if the dragon fails his save with advantage, but.. isn't that kind of the point of magic? Don't we expect wizard spells to be one shots that dramatically change the course of battle? Isn't that why they are so penalized in combat otherwise?

I've seen threads that magic missle is too powerful. That 0-level spells should deal less damage. That wizards should get even fewer spells per encounter. Maybe only one daily per day. Should wizard's have Knock since it unlocks doors and interferes with the rogue's job? I may see this at an extreme (it is 3 am and I'm exhausted), but if we keep cutting back there isn't going to be anything left. We'll have Fighters who can cleave foes in half, Rogues who can talk their way through a room and slit a man's throat, Clerics who call down the Wrath of the gods upon the darkness, and that guy in the robe who plays with fire. I'm exaggerating, I know, but if magic becomes something that can't turn the tide for the party, then why would we even want it? If we are just as well off, heck maybe even better off,  picking up a sword or mace, why choose the staff?

@Chaosmancer: I agree with your post completely. Wizards need to be able to bend reality. And end some encounters with a single spell. If a DM can't handle even that little strain, he should step down and let someone else DM, instead of tormenting his players with inept DMing. I've heard enough whining on these forums (mostly from noobs who have only played 4E, and never a wizard) about the awesomeness of wizards, or that the Rogue does not deal enough sneak attack damage now, or that lance of faith is too damaging, or whatever.
If the wizard player can't understand when to stop breaking things, or if the DM can't handle a little wizardry, the group is broken and no amount of rules balancing will fix that. Unless we prefer to have D&D degenerate to the rules level of Hero Quest, and again, if the group can't go along smoothly, even that fails.
The default magic system for D&D has always been High Magic (Forgotten Realms) where mages can do those sort of wild crazy things.

Though I also enjoy low magic settings such as Conan, those arn't the default and never have been.

In fact all these low fantasy settings are spin offs... Conan d20 was written by Mongoose from the OGL. Low fantasy settings such as the AD&D 2E Historical Refrence books (A mighty fortress, the glory of rome etc.) were all supplements.

I would be dissapointed in they realeased DDN with not even a module for spells like Power Word Kill and Polymorph. perhaps those sort of spells can be introduced in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting? I can live with that, but like I said, those encounter ending, world shaping spells should be somewhere


Maybe, but if the wizard can end encounters with a word, I want my fighter to be able to develop a one-hit-instant-kill technique like Cu Chullain did.



I am fine with it really. As long as the 'maneuver' makes sense realistically.

In 3.5, the assassin had a Death Attack that could do precicely that, and it didn't intefere with logical sense of what a deadly assassin could do against an unsuspecting foe.

We just have to remember that this sort of thing is high level stuff. Personally I always thought too many wizards in FR could cast 9th level spells for instance.
The default magic system for D&D has always been High Magic (Forgotten Realms) where mages can do those sort of wild crazy things.

Though I also enjoy low magic settings such as Conan, those arn't the default and never have been.



There's a few AD&D modules that would argue with you on that...



Also, wasn't FR pretty low magic pre 3rd? That's what I've been lead to believe.



Not really, but AD&D 2e in general wasn't as high powered as 3e assumed.  It had this 'baseline' assumption about 'power level' so that no matter which setting you chose to play (at least before the Powers & Skills series of books) it was more or less the same game.