## The Reality of Spell Slots (Some Spells are Never Used)

This always happens.
The player with the Cleric always choses Cure Wounds for all 1st level spell slots.
And Hold Person for all 2nd level spell slots.
He will never use Aid, Command, Bless..

This is what happens when you limit spell use.
We need all powers to be at-will so that players can chose them when they need them.
If you think they are over powered at-will then reduce the dice rolls.
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
Ah, the Cleric can prepare Cure Wounds at 2nd Spell Level. Look at this goodness.
Cure WoundsX2 heal 7d8+7, hurt 7d8

Edit: Per Carl's Math. 1d8+4 at 1st level slot, then 1d8+4 + 2d8+1 = 3d8+5 at 2nd level slot.
Completely disagree. If the Cleric is a healbot and designers don't want this then actually deal with this problem rather then making it OP. Making every spells at-will will remove a great part of the fun of resource management.
I actually would like a return to classic Vancian (perhaps with at-wills cantrips), but this time with modules that changes the spellcasting system. I will talk more about it later.
But this idea. No, a thousand times no. I actually talk every now and then about removing at-will cantrips from the game while maintaining balance. This would exacerbate the problem millions of times. That change would be a complete deal breaker for me.
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
Great. Then every 4th Level Cleric will just figure out how economical it is to have;

3 Cure Wound 1st level spell slots heals 1d8+3, hurts undead at 4d8 radiant
2 Cure Wound 2nd level spell slots heals 7d8+7, hurts undead at 7d8+7 radiant

Any Cleric would be a fool not to chose these spells.
maclar
Joined Dec 1969
you only need to prepair a spell once now you can cast it to your out of slots

Great. Then every 4th Level Cleric will just figure out how economical it is to have;

3 Cure Wound 1st level spell slots heals 1d8+3, hurts undead at 4d8 radiant
2 Cure Wound 2nd level spell slots heals 7d8+7, hurts undead at 7d8+7 radiant

Any Cleric would be a fool not to chose these spells.

What this have to do with anything? Neither with the current system or classic Vancian, in both you cannot trade low level spells for high level ones. But if there is a problem balancing spells, so deal with it.
Pelinor
Joined Dec 1969
When my group moved to spell slots instead of pure Vancian prepartion, we found many more spells to be used.  Under Vancian magic, I've found most players feel the need to be overly prepared for combat and are unwilling to select other spells or situational use spells.  I would prefer to see magic users as flexible as possible even if it gives up some of their damage potential.  All spells are useful though some are highly situational and unlikely to be prepared and thus unlikely to be available when needed.
kill_the_wiz_first
Joined Jan 2012
1440 Posts
This always happens.
The player with the Cleric always choses Cure Wounds for all 1st level spell slots.
And Hold Person for all 2nd level spell slots.
He will never use Aid, Command, Bless..

This is what happens when you limit spell use.
We need all powers to be at-will so that players can chose them when they need them.
If you think they are over powered at-will then reduce the dice rolls.

Preparing spells (x amount) is completely irrelevant to using spell slots(y amount).

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

Yeah I've been saying minor/swift action healing has been OP forever. The designers don't seem to care, wanting to create another heal spam edition like 4E.
I already stated my opinion. If Vancian Magic has so much history in D&D, ok, even make them default I say, and then the modules about changing it. Back when the Wizard was Vancian-Only, people complained not about the Wizard being Vancian-Default or just being Vancian, they complained about being Vancian-Only.

Yeah I've been saying minor/swift action healing has been OP forever. The designers don't seem to care, wanting to create another heal spam edition like 4E.

Making leaders OP is a solution for people not wanting to play leaders, but one that I'm completely against.

Yeah I've been saying minor/swift action healing has been OP forever. The designers don't seem to care, wanting to create another heal spam edition like 4E.

Wait, so all this time with 2E's fill-all-your-slots-with-heal and 3.x's Wands of Cure Light Wounds did not cause them to be "another heal spam edition"?  So where does the term "healbot" come from anyway, if not from heal spam?

4E was "heal spam" not by the existence of minor/swift action healing, but by the sheer number of healing options available on a per-battle basis — basically think of how vancian daily slots were turned into encounter resources by virtue of number of prepared slots for a particular spell, except for healing.

4E actually mitigated the Cure Light Wounds phenomena by restricting most non-Divine Cleric healing to consume healing surges, which was a daily resource.  What 4E failed to do was ensure that the limitation was, in fact, a limitation (some classes had too many surges [especially when feats and races came into play], basically).

Regarding the original post, the only problem I can see with his suggestion is that he limits the spells to just two extremes: at-will, and daily.  Why not scale each spell's use according to power, have the powerful spells (like Cure Wounds) as daily spells, perhaps the less powerful spells like Bless as encounter or recharge spells, then the minor or lesser spells as at-wills, so that even though they're all occupying the same level, the differences of scaling in power within each level is mitigated by frequency of use?  Those who want to stick to "old school" can pick dailies only, while those who want to do more interesting stuff on a per-combat basis instead of a per-day basis can pick encounter/recharge/at-wills instead.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
Here's another one.

4th level ElfWizard

Burning Hands 15ft. cone all targets take 3d8 fire
All 4 1st level spell slots.
4xPerDay

Burning Hands all 2rd level spell slots do 6d8 fire.
3xPerDay

Over powered and any player playing a Wizard would be a fool not to choose Burning Hands for all spell slots listed in the Pre-Gen.

Kira3696.Tripod.Com

edited to say: Carl corrected my math. I was adding caster level and not spell slot level. So Burning Hands should do 3d8 damage at 1st level spell slot and 4d8 at second level spell slot.

Wait, so all this time with 2E's fill-all-your-slots-with-heal and 3.x's Wands of Cure Light Wounds did not cause them to be "another heal spam edition"?  So where does the term "healbot" come from anyway, if not from heal spam?

Well yes, between combats, but 4E figured out how to fix that with the short rest. But you didn't see much combat healing spam in 2E/3E (well at least until clerics actually got the heal spell, and those tended to be limited), but you didn't see people spamming Cure X wounds in combat. In fact you'd see a lot of clerics get spells that weren't healing those editions, especially once the party got a wand of CLW, almost nobody ever bothered doing combat healing, because there were better uses of your slots.

4E I call the heal spam editon, simply because of the mass amounts of combat healing that people dropped. It just made healing a no brainer, because it was a minor action. D&DN has done the exact same thing. At least in older editions if you wanted to heal you had to give up your round and that wasn't always a good move.

4E was "heal spam" not by the existence of minor/swift action healing, but by the sheer number of healing options available on a per-battle basis — basically think of how vancian daily slots were turned into encounter resources by virtue of number of prepared slots for a particular spell, except for healing.

It was both. Basically minor action healing makes healing a must-take. It's so good because it costs you virtually nothing to do it. 4E basically didn't even pretend it was a choice. If you were a leader you just got healing word or some derivative. Further everyone tended to gravitate towards the healing powers, because healing was incredibly good, especially when it was a minor or happened as part of your attack.

4E actually mitigated the Cure Light Wounds phenomena by restricting most non-Divine Cleric healing to consume healing surges, which was a daily resource.  What 4E failed to do was ensure that the limitation was, in fact, a limitation (some classes had too many surges [especially when feats and races came into play], basically).

Surges really didn't work IMO. I realize the concept, but 4E combats were so slow that surge attritition often took too long few DMs had the patience for it. It also felt really really grindy. Like maybe 3-4 combats down the line it might matter to a party that heal spams, but I never saw anyone really run out of surges commonly and even then there were rituals to trade surges, and no group I played with really wanted to play the surge grind game.

CarlT
Joined Dec 1969
Here's another one.

4th level ElfWizard

Burning Hands 15ft. cone all targets take 3d8 fire
All 4 1st level spell slots.
4xPerDay

Burning Hands all 2rd level spell slots do 6d8 fire.
3xPerDay

Over powered and any player playing a Wizard would be a fool not to choose Burning Hands for all spell slots listed in the Pre-Gen.

Kira3696.Tripod.Com

Um - your numbers are wrong.  Perhaps if you used the correct numbers you might find it more balanced.

Burning Hands does 4d8 as a 2nd level spell slot - not 6d8.

Less if they save, of course.

I don't have a clue where you are getting 6d8 from.  You would need to be casting it as a 4th level spell for that damage.

On a related note:

Cure Wounds as a 2nd level slot cures 3d8+6 or does 5d8 damage to undead.  Not 7d8 as you claim (that would take a 7th level spell slot as well.

Carl
kill_the_wiz_first
Joined Jan 2012
1440 Posts
Um - your numbers are wrong.  Perhaps if you used the correct numbers you might find it more balanced.

Burning Hands does 4d8 as a 2nd level spell slot - not 6d8.

Less if they save, of course.

I don't have a clue where you are getting 6d8 from.  You would need to be casting it as a 4th level spell for that damage.

Carl

I often find that if I open my 4e manual I can figure out what they're talking about. No clue, if this, yet, another one of these cases.

Sometimes you have to be in the secret treehouse meeting to know what they talk about.

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
So Level is not refering to Wizard Level but rather Spell Level.. That would explain it.

So it is clear "using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher" but then when I speed read it, I read only "1d8 for each level above 1st", that makes me think it is caster level.

This is not entirely my problem. The wording of these spells also to blame.
CarlT
Joined Dec 1969
Um - your numbers are wrong.  Perhaps if you used the correct numbers you might find it more balanced.

Burning Hands does 4d8 as a 2nd level spell slot - not 6d8.

Less if they save, of course.

I don't have a clue where you are getting 6d8 from.  You would need to be casting it as a 4th level spell for that damage.

Carl

I often find that if I open my 4e manual I can figure out what they're talking about. No clue, if this, yet, another one of these cases.

Sometimes you have to be in the secret treehouse meeting to know what they talk about.

Reading the spell description is a pretty good way to tell how it works.

Carl

Here's another one.

4th level ElfWizard

Burning Hands 15ft. cone all targets take 3d8 fire
All 4 1st level spell slots.
4xPerDay

Burning Hands all 2rd level spell slots do 6d8 fire.
3xPerDay

Over powered and any player playing a Wizard would be a fool not to choose Burning Hands for all spell slots listed in the Pre-Gen.

Kira3696.Tripod.Com

Again, if spells in the same spell list are unbalanced, fix it. Unbalanced spells in the same spell list are a problem even with spell slots. Unbalanced spells in the same spell list are a problem in any system.

Wait, so all this time with 2E's fill-all-your-slots-with-heal and 3.x's Wands of Cure Light Wounds did not cause them to be "another heal spam edition"? So where does the term "healbot" come from anyway, if not from heal spam?

Well yes, between combats, but 4E figured out how to fix that with the short rest. But you didn't see much combat healing spam in 2E/3E (well at least until clerics actually got the heal spell, and those tended to be limited), but you didn't see people spamming Cure X wounds in combat. In fact you'd see a lot of clerics get spells that weren't healing those editions, especially once the party got a wand of CLW, almost nobody ever bothered doing combat healing, because there were better uses of your slots.

4E I call the heal spam editon, simply because of the mass amounts of combat healing that people dropped. It just made healing a no brainer, because it was a minor action. D&DN has done the exact same thing. At least in older editions if you wanted to heal you had to give up your round and that wasn't always a good move.

4E was "heal spam" not by the existence of minor/swift action healing, but by the sheer number of healing options available on a per-battle basis — basically think of how vancian daily slots were turned into encounter resources by virtue of number of prepared slots for a particular spell, except for healing.

It was both. Basically minor action healing makes healing a must-take. It's so good because it costs you virtually nothing to do it. 4E basically didn't even pretend it was a choice. If you were a leader you just got healing word or some derivative. Further everyone tended to gravitate towards the healing powers, because healing was incredibly good, especially when it was a minor or happened as part of your attack.

4E actually mitigated the Cure Light Wounds phenomena by restricting most non-Divine Cleric healing to consume healing surges, which was a daily resource. What 4E failed to do was ensure that the limitation was, in fact, a limitation (some classes had too many surges [especially when feats and races came into play], basically).

Surges really didn't work IMO. I realize the concept, but 4E combats were so slow that surge attrition often took too long few DMs had the patience for it. It also felt really really grindy. Like maybe 3-4 combats down the line it might matter to a party that heal spams, but I never saw anyone really run out of surges commonly and even then there were rituals to trade surges, and no group I played with really wanted to play the surge grind game.

Interesting point of view. But yes, surge attrition takes a while. That's is ironic to how combat was supposed to work.
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
Um - your numbers are wrong.  Perhaps if you used the correct numbers you might find it more balanced.

Burning Hands does 4d8 as a 2nd level spell slot - not 6d8.

Less if they save, of course.

I don't have a clue where you are getting 6d8 from.  You would need to be casting it as a 4th level spell for that damage.

Carl

I often find that if I open my 4e manual I can figure out what they're talking about. No clue, if this, yet, another one of these cases.

Sometimes you have to be in the secret treehouse meeting to know what they talk about.

NO NEED TO BE RUDE.

The spell is poorly worded in addition to me not reading carefully enough.

Ren, you also don't need to choose which spells are used for each spell slot. You can prepare a variety of spells, and cast the spells you need using the spell slots you have.
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
Ren, you also don't need to choose which spells are used for each spell slot. You can prepare a variety of spells, and cast the spells you need using the spell slots you have.

Thanks. This entire thread is a mistake. These spells are refering to higher spell levels not caster levels. My math is wrong.

So as Carl corrected,

Cure Wounds heals 1d8+4 and an additional 2d8+1 for every spell slot above 1st level spell slot.
That means the Cleric would cure 3d8+5 at 2nd level spell slot.
Haldrik
Joined Dec 1969
So Level is not refering to Wizard Level but rather Spell Level.. That would explain it.

So it is clear "using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher" but then when I speed read it, I read only "1d8 for each level above 1st", that makes me think it is caster level.

This is not entirely my problem. The wording of these spells also to blame.

Heh. Like people say elsewhere.

Please, WotC. Stop using the phrase “spell level”.

It is awkward to discuss character “level”, caster “level”, and spell “level”. It requires semantic juggling to keep the terms clear.

And sometimes, the context is uncertain or confusing, even for experienced players.

It is unfriendly for newbies.

Stop calling them “levels”.

lawrencehoy
Joined Oct 2009
2548 Posts
So Level is not refering to Wizard Level but rather Spell Level.. That would explain it.

So it is clear "using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher" but then when I speed read it, I read only "1d8 for each level above 1st", that makes me think it is caster level.

This is not entirely my problem. The wording of these spells also to blame.

Heh. Like people say elsewhere.

Please, WotC. Stop using the phrase “spell level”.

It is awkward to discuss character “level”, caster “level”, and spell “level”. It requires semantic juggling to keep the terms clear.

And sometimes, the context is uncertain or confusing, even for experienced players.

It is unfriendly for newbies.

Stop calling them “levels”.

I agree, it can be confusing; but, what would you suggest calling them instead of character level, caster level and spell level?

4E I call the heal spam editon, simply because of the mass amounts of combat healing that people dropped. It just made healing a no brainer, because it was a minor action. D&DN has done the exact same thing. At least in older editions if you wanted to heal you had to give up your round and that wasn't always a good move.

While I do agree that there are way too many healing options available on a per-battle basis, the existence of heal as a minor action isn't that problematic because not everyone has it; in fact, the basic form of healing in-combat (Second Wind) took up a standard action; either as your action or as someone's heal check on you.

Leaders getting a default, 2/battle minor action healing that was the problem.  It was the overload of minor action per-battle healing that was the problem.

It was both. Basically minor action healing makes healing a must-take. It's so good because it costs you virtually nothing to do it. 4E basically didn't even pretend it was a choice. If you were a leader you just got healing word or some derivative. Further everyone tended to gravitate towards the healing powers, because healing was incredibly good, especially when it was a minor or happened as part of your attack.

That's strange, because if you mosey over to the CharOp boards, some of the most powerful leaders do not have healing as a major priority; instead, the biggest priority is being able to give the party so many boosts — bonuses to attacks and damage, as well as free attacks in particular — that enemies are quickly slain before they get a chance to even deal damage. See: Killswitch.

Here's how I see it:

• Healing as a minor action is not a problem because regardless if it's minor or standard, if someone needs healing, he'll be healed.  What healing as a minor action does is allow the healer to not be shackled by "healer duty" because he'll be able to do something more pro-active, like actually attack during his turn.

• Healing as a per-battle resource is not a problem because it's a decent balance between "infinite healing" (at-will) and "avoiding healing until the absolute last minute" (daily).

If healing is not an optimal action to take, then regardless if it's a minor or a standard action then no one will take it.  From what I can see, the main issues with healing — particularly leader (cleric) healing — involve two other issues:

• Too many healing powers

• Too many of those healing powers granting more hit points than what healing surges normally grant

If that is the case, I would suggest two things:

• Limit players to only basic leader healing, second wind, and daily type healing

• Reduce basic leader healing to that of the Leader Character Companion (see DMG2), wherein his healing simply grants the ability to spend healing surges, and nothing more

Surges really didn't work IMO. I realize the concept, but 4E combats were so slow that surge attritition often took too long few DMs had the patience for it. It also felt really really grindy. Like maybe 3-4 combats down the line it might matter to a party that heal spams, but I never saw anyone really run out of surges commonly and even then there were rituals to trade surges, and no group I played with really wanted to play the surge grind game.

I understand how that would frustrate you, but as far as I can tell the main problem here is more of "taking too long for healing surge limitations to matter".  My suggestion: limit everyone to 6 healing surges a day, 8 if you're feeling generous (and remove all modifiers to number of surges per day).
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
So Level is not refering to Wizard Level but rather Spell Level.. That would explain it.

So it is clear "using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher" but then when I speed read it, I read only "1d8 for each level above 1st", that makes me think it is caster level.

This is not entirely my problem. The wording of these spells also to blame.

Heh. Like people say elsewhere.

Please, WotC. Stop using the phrase “spell level”.

It is awkward to discuss character “level”, caster “level”, and spell “level”. It requires semantic juggling to keep the terms clear.

And sometimes, the context is uncertain or confusing, even for experienced players.

It is unfriendly for newbies.

Stop calling them “levels”.

Or if they're going to use the term "level", they really ought to do it right, and make it a universal construct (as done with 4E).  If they're so intent on keeping the classic 9 spell levels, then why not adjust the entire system so that you're level 9 by the time you get your 9th spell level?  The caster/spell/character level has always been this huge disconnect for me in D&D ever since I first saw Vancian magic — seriously, why is it that I'm casting a third level spell at fifth level? Why is my spellbook progressing slower than me? — and it's only in D&D itself that restricts itself to just 9 spell levels when the rest of the game functions at 20+ levels.

I suppose the issue primarily involves spellbook tracking; assuming 1 spell slot per level that's already at least 20 spell slots.  4E somewhat solved this problem by basically having the spell slot "level up" at certain points (for encounter spells that'd be levels 13, 17, 23 and 27, while for daily spells that'd be levels 15, 19, 25 and 29), but apparently spellcasters didn't want to be shackled and so we're back to having a truckload of spell slots for a spell system that's designed with half as many spell levels as there are character levels.

- - - - -
Even when assuming that spell level = slot level, there's still premise in what ren1999 stated: some spells will likely hardly get used since you're far better off turning certain daily spells into per-battle spells by filling up your spell slots with those important spells. The solution that makes most sense to me is to not allow players to prepare more than one of any spell, then change some spells to per-battle, rechargable, and at-will, because then it'll give incentive to take "weaker" spells, as opposed to just taking all the powerful spells all the time.
Show

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
Good ideas. Keep them rolling.
Haldrik
Joined Dec 1969
So Level is not refering to Wizard Level but rather Spell Level.. That would explain it.

So it is clear "using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher" but then when I speed read it, I read only "1d8 for each level above 1st", that makes me think it is caster level.

This is not entirely my problem. The wording of these spells also to blame.

Heh. Like people say elsewhere.

Please, WotC. Stop using the phrase “spell level”.

It is awkward to discuss character “level”, caster “level”, and spell “level”. It requires semantic juggling to keep the terms clear.

And sometimes, the context is uncertain or confusing, even for experienced players.

It is unfriendly for newbies.

Stop calling them “levels”.

I agree, it can be confusing; but, what would you suggest calling them instead of character level, caster level and spell level?

As a matter of fact, today it occurred to me. Refer them as “energy”.

Different spells require different amounts of magical energy to fuel them: energy 1 spells, energy 2 spells, energy 3 spells, and so on.

The reason for calling them energy is, the spontaneous spells are prepared independently from the slots. The slots are nothing except packets of magical energy.

Calling them “energy” helps the beginner players understand more clearly what the slots actually are.

Of course, spell points as “energy points” seems simpler and more straightforward as fuel. But still, this is what “energy slots” are too.
Haldrik
Joined Dec 1969
Also, I would delete the concept of “caster level”. All mages cast spells according to their normal character “level” ... or rather according to the amount of “energy”.

Otherwise, multiclassing will never work well.

Level means level means level.
ren1999
Joined Dec 1969
'Energy' or 'points' would be better than calling it spell level and spell level slot.
Haldrik
Joined Dec 1969
Heh, or “spell level spell slots”.
As a matter of fact, today it occurred to me. Refer them as “energy”.

Different spells require different amounts of magical energy to fuel them: energy 1 spells, energy 2 spells, energy 3 spells, and so on.

The reason for calling them energy is, the spontaneous spells are prepared independently from the slots. The slots are nothing except packets of magical energy.

Calling them “energy” helps the beginner players understand more clearly what the slots actually are.

Of course, spell points as “energy points” seems simpler and more straightforward as fuel. But still, this is what “energy slots” are too.

Wouldn't that be a subtle, yet significant shift from Vancian to mana system, if not a hybrid of the two as seen in Dungeons & Dragons Online?
Show

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Haldrik
Joined Dec 1969

The playtest Wizard is a spontaneous spellcaster.

The slots ARE fuel. Calling them this only clarifies the mechanics for newbies.

The playtest Wizard is a spontaneous spellcaster.

The slots ARE fuel. Calling them this only clarifies the mechanics for newbies.

Apparently Mike Mearls still wants to give the illusion that the system still uses Vancian magic as in pre-4E systems.
Show

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Gnarl
Joined Dec 2002
2266 Posts
This always happens.
The player with the Cleric always choses Cure Wounds for all 1st level spell slots.
And Hold Person for all 2nd level spell slots.
He will never use Aid, Command, Bless..

This is what happens when you limit spell use.
We need all powers to be at-will so that players can chose them when they need them.
If you think they are over powered at-will then reduce the dice rolls.

There's multiple things here.

1) Clerics memorize healing spells only.  In my experience, this was only true in AD&D and that's because characters did not have enough hit points to complete a dungeon crawl without those healing spells. As soon as you include some way to heal outside of combat that doesn't use the cleric's precious daily resources, it stops. In 3rd edition, you had cheap wands of cure light wounds, in 4th edition, you had healing surges.

2) If even after fixing that problem, you still end up having spells that nobody uses, it just means that some spells are either boring, underpowered or too situational to be worth a spell slot.

In the 2) case, making sure that all spells of the same level are roughly balanced is a good start. The situational spells aren't really an issue with the current spellcasting system because you don't "forget" your default attack spell. You have enough prepared spells to be able to prepare some situational spells. I'm not sure what to do with "boring" spells. Some of my friends have fun with spells that only give mechanical bonuses so I guess some people like them.
JRutterbush
Joined Aug 2010
538 Posts
The fact is that, with the way spells are handled now, we don't need the term "Caster level" anymore, at all. Character Level and Spell Level are the only things we actually need as terms, as the power of a given spell isn't based on the level of the caster anymore (except cantrips, and I think that's a mistake as it is). Character level is rarely referred to in actual rules, so there's no reason to change Spell Level as a term.
Lawolf
Joined May 2008
6654 Posts

For the love of simplicity.

Get rid of "caster level" and "spell level".

If you need to label spells, call them tiers. Tier 1 spells, tier 2 spells, and so on. Calling everything levels is bad design.

mellored
Joined Jul 2008
23489 Posts
For the love of simplicity.

Get rid of "caster level" and "spell level".

If you need to label spells, call them tiers. Tier 1 spells, tier 2 spells, and so on. Calling everything levels is bad design.

I like "circle" better.  Though i suppose it could depend on the class.

Arcane:
Spell of the first circle.
Spell of the ninth circle.

Divine:
Prayer of the first divine.
Prayer of the ninth divine.

Nature:
Call of the first spirits.
Call of the ninth spirits.

Also, i'd kinda prefer it to be counted the other way.  Where the first circle is the most powerful, and the 9th, less so.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Leaders getting a default, 2/battle minor action healing that was the problem.  It was the overload of minor action per-battle healing that was the problem.

Yeah. The minor action healing is what made healing super powerful. It basically meant that you could heal pretty much for free in addition to doing whatever else you wanted to do.

That's strange, because if you mosey over to the CharOp boards, some of the most powerful leaders do not have healing as a major priority; instead, the biggest priority is being able to give the party so many boosts — bonuses to attacks and damage, as well as free attacks in particular — that enemies are quickly slain before they get a chance to even deal damage. See: Killswitch.

I can't speak for what the Char Op boards are doing, but I know in every 4E game I've run, it's been nothing but heal spam. Everyone is carrying potions of healing, and leaders end up taking a lot of healing powers. It made the game very unfun for me to play or DM. As a PC I never really felt worried at all until the healers were out of heals, the rest was just boredom. As a DM it felt like I spent the past hour rolling for monster attacks that were just nullified via healing anyway, and I was just wasting my time.

• Healing as a minor action is not a problem because regardless if it's minor or standard, if someone needs healing, he'll be healed.  What healing as a minor action does is allow the healer to not be shackled by "healer duty" because he'll be able to do something more pro-active, like actually attack during his turn.

Well no, see the thing is that you don't want to make healing so good such that healing wounded people is always the best option. There should be cases where the enemy is dealing more damage than you can heal, and you're better off trying to kill them as opposed to trying to continually sit there and heal. It was surprising especially in 4E where they were trying to create this rich tactical environment, and yet, healing is both overpowered and tactically dull. You're wounded, I heal you. It's boring, because it works every time, and with minor action healing, it's a no-brainer. All it's doing is prolonging the battle needlessly. It doesn't even require tactical positioning because it's got a good range and it doesn't provoke AoOs.

At least with standard action healing you have a choice. You can choose to attack the enemy or you can choose to heal. So sometimes if you balance the game right, PCs will sometimes choose the attack over the healing. And that's a good thing, because I want to give the PCs meaningful decisions and I want to allow clerics to play concepts other than healer.

• Healing as a per-battle resource is not a problem because it's a decent balance between "infinite healing" (at-will) and "avoiding healing until the absolute last minute" (daily).

I don't have any problem with encounter powers in general, and that includes healing spells, however I want healing to be a tactical choice, and not a no-brainer, and that means setting its power level to the point where it's not always in your best interest to cast a healing spell. If the correct tactical choice when someone is injured is always to drop a heal, then healing needs to be nerfed to the point where it's not always the correct choice. Second wind is a pretty good example of that in 4E. Just because you can second wind doesn't always make it a useful option. Sometimes you end up taking a second wind and getting damaged more than you healed.

That's not to say it should become so weak it's a non-choice, but people should be able to play the game as a cleric without preparing a single healing spell and do fine.

If that is the case, I would suggest two things:

• Limit players to only basic leader healing, second wind, and daily type healing

• Reduce basic leader healing to that of the Leader Character Companion (see DMG2), wherein his healing simply grants the ability to spend healing surges, and nothing more

I may try that if I ever run 4E again, since my main complaint with the game was healing getting out of control and combats getting ridiculously long because of it.

I am voting for "Spell grade" (Fits nicely with the geraman translation...)
Yeah. The minor action healing is what made healing super powerful. It basically meant that you could heal pretty much for free in addition to doing whatever else you wanted to do.

I think that was the point.
I can't speak for what the Char Op boards are doing, but I know in every 4E game I've run, it's been nothing but heal spam. Everyone is carrying potions of healing, and leaders end up taking a lot of healing powers. It made the game very unfun for me to play or DM. As a PC I never really felt worried at all until the healers were out of heals, the rest was just boredom. As a DM it felt like I spent the past hour rolling for monster attacks that were just nullified via healing anyway, and I was just wasting my time.

Yeah, that's definitely a group issue (overly cautious) combined with system issue (too many healing abilities that grant too much healing for the resources available to the PCs on both a per-turn and per-combat basis).

Well no, see the thing is that you don't want to make healing so good such that healing wounded people is always the best option. There should be cases where the enemy is dealing more damage than you can heal, and you're better off trying to kill them as opposed to trying to continually sit there and heal. It was surprising especially in 4E where they were trying to create this rich tactical environment, and yet, healing is both overpowered and tactically dull. You're wounded, I heal you. It's boring, because it works every time, and with minor action healing, it's a no-brainer. All it's doing is prolonging the battle needlessly. It doesn't even require tactical positioning because it's got a good range and it doesn't provoke AoOs.

At least with standard action healing you have a choice. You can choose to attack the enemy or you can choose to heal. So sometimes if you balance the game right, PCs will sometimes choose the attack over the healing. And that's a good thing, because I want to give the PCs meaningful decisions and I want to allow clerics to play concepts other than healer.

No, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.  Keeping fellow PCs alive is ALWAYS a no-brainer, especially when considering how death & dying of the opposing team is the default victory/loss condition of D&D in general.  That's kind of the point of making healing minor action in the first place.

I don't have any problem with encounter powers in general, and that includes healing spells, however I want healing to be a tactical choice, and not a no-brainer, and that means setting its power level to the point where it's not always in your best interest to cast a healing spell. If the correct tactical choice when someone is injured is always to drop a heal, then healing needs to be nerfed to the point where it's not always the correct choice. Second wind is a pretty good example of that in 4E. Just because you can second wind doesn't always make it a useful option. Sometimes you end up taking a second wind and getting damaged more than you healed.

Second Wind technically is Total Defense (which is also a standard action) + healing.  Total Defense is at-will, Second Wind is 1/battle.  So yeah I blame the devs and e-mag editors on this one, especially when you talk about the pacifist cleric (which is the epitome of leader healing).

That's not to say it should become so weak it's a non-choice, but people should be able to play the game as a cleric without preparing a single healing spell and do fine.

Ah.  So that's why you have so much grief towards 4E's healing system.  I'd be pissed too if the group had a heal-centric cleric and took heal-heavy abilities too, and I'm saying that as someone who plays a heal-centric pacifist paladin.

I may try that if I ever run 4E again, since my main complaint with the game was healing getting out of control and combats getting ridiculously long because of it.

• The less the tracking done, the better.  Tracking conditions is something I loathe with a passion in 4E, which is why most of my character builds avoid (save ends) and (until start/end of your/target's next turn).  Here are a bunch of suggestions to do this:

• One saving throw to remove all conditions, instead of one per condition. Especially with ongoing damage.

• Limit or remove "until X of Y's next turn" abilities.  When limiting those abilities, perhaps a creature is immune to such conditions for one round, preventing perma-daze or the like.

• Minions, minions, minions. Throw enough of them around and position them in ways that limit PCs from killing them en masse, and they can be quite deadly.

• In one instance I had sahuagin minions that have area effect attacks surround the PCs, and with 10+ minions that each deal like 5 psychic damage, it turned into a bloodbath pretty quickly.

• Average out monster damage unless you want to dramaticize the attack. Have it rounded up if you want a bit more deadliness.

• You could also simplify crit damage in this setup by having it as double the averaged damage.

• Half hit points, double damage.  That's one houserule I often see floating around the boards.

• Alternate victory conditions. Diplomacy skill challenge anyone?  How about combat simply being a distraction when the objective of the enemy is actually to steal this artifact that the PCs also need?

• Faster death saving throw resolution. Adapted from 13th Age: 15 or less on the death saving throw counts as a failure, 16-19 is a success (can spend a healing surge), 20+ not only counts as a success, but also lets you take your turn as normal.

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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
No, I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.  Keeping fellow PCs alive is ALWAYS a no-brainer, especially when considering how death & dying of the opposing team is the default victory/loss condition of D&D in general.  That's kind of the point of making healing minor action in the first place.

Well, returning them to combat is a no-brainer if the rules set allows you to do that easily like 4E does. In prior editions it was a lot tougher to bring someone back into combat, at minimum the guy had to waste one round standing up and recovering his dropped weapon (possibly drawing AoOs in the process), so it wasn't really a no brainer.

If you're simply stabilizing a dying PC without contributing to combat, now it becomes a much tougher decision, because it's a strategic gamble. Do you want to save one man and risk the group, or do you want to focus on winning the fight and risking the one dropped PC possibly die if he botches a death roll?

I actually liked the 4E death roll mechanic a lot. It was nice having an extra layer of uncertainty on there, and if healing was done right, it could have promoted some degree of gambling and tension as the cleric is forced to weigh the needs of the many over the needs of the few. That creates all sorts of roleplaying opportunities where you can get the brash cleric or paladin who bravely puts himself in danger to save the life of a dying comrade. It creates situations where a healer can be heroic. That's something I felt 4E lacked. 4E healing was just too safe, too effortless. You weren't the brave combat medic running into a firefight to heal the wounded soldier.  There's just no heroism or soul to 4E healing. It's not even a well-designed tactical ability, because the decisions of when to use it are no-brainers.

I felt healing as a whole in 4E was very botched.