Call Lightning Question

Hello!

 

In the spell description of "Call Lightning" it is said that you choose the point of impact "When you cast the spell". Later it is said that you can redo the attack as an action once per round. The big question: Will the lightning strike at the same spot, if you use it again? Or will you also be able to choose a new spot?

 

Personally I would say you only choose the spot at the START of the spell, so further lightning strikes would be at the same spot. I think this would make most sense with the way the spell is formulated. Also the other way round would make this spell waaaaays too powerful, basically giving a 4d10 cantrip which is something other classes in the same field of expertise (especially the evocation mage) do not have.

 

MagicSN

 

It specifies you can call down another bolt, not repeat the attack.  And since the spell Moonbeam, a 2nd level druid spell, does a very similar effect with a very similar amount of damage, and moves the AoE each time I think it is safe to say you can choose a new AoE each time.

 

Please remember that the equivalent level Mage (evocation) spells are much much larger areas. So while this does give you a super cantrip, it is much more difficult to damage multiple targets per round.

. . . plus lightning doesn't strike the same place twice.

 

/rimshot

 

BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS, the group I'm running has a land druidess, two fighters and an evoker, and call lightning is her go-to spell for when she needs to lay down damage.  It lets her be a damage dealer when she needs to, but she's not in any danger of being called the DPR powerhouse of the group, even with the campaign providing stormy conditions to boost the spell half the time.

"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider

It is a strong spell, but definitely does not seem like an overpowered spell.  The 5ft radius means you're only hitting two enemies at most, and as Kaganfindel said, you are not beating out the physical classes for raw damage output.  It's also got the Druid 'outdoor only' limitation on where it can be used.

Well, at least with my DM I won't hit more than 3 enemies with a fireball either ^^

 

And where is the - strictly by the word - limitation "outdoor only"? Sure, an indoor cloud is weird, but it is nowhere in the spell-description :-)

 

And I am not about comparing this druid with the PHYSICAL classes. I am about comparing with an Evocation Mage. Summed together, the druid has more spells (due to the free slots he gets every few levels - okay, not all of them combat-relevant, but at least two of them, and one of them is even Call Lightning) and in a fight (if the Call Lightning is read like the "position freely every attack") there is NO WAY the mage can come close to this damage.

 

 

BTW: I asked Mike Mearls on Twitter on the issue. He said "Text can go either way - I'd keep it to the same spot, since 4d10 is about equal to a fireball".

It feels overpowered to me. Of course Mearls' suggestion of keeping it to the same spot would pretty much make calling down more than one additional bolt useless, since enemies aren't going to stand around waiting to get struck again after it happens twice.

An Evoker can use a 3rd level spell (Haste) to match Call Lightning's DPR in a 5th level slot, starting around level 10.  The Evoker then continues to scale up to 20th level, without ever needing to waste more than a 3rd level slot to self buff with Haste.  A Druid could try to keep up by continuing to scale Call Lightning up past 5th level, but those slots are not routinely available.

 

Mearl's interpretation takes a strong, but not overpowered spell, and makes it worthless.  Just use Moonbeam in the same spell slot and you can continue to do damage if the enemies move.  If they don't move, you get that action to do something else.

Yeah, and Moonbeam does a probably better damage type with an additional rule against a rare monster type.

Not completely useless. Think of the combination of an Entangle spell (lvl 1 ^^) and Call Lightning.

 

Moonbeam - yes, it uses the same mechanics (which I think is caling too well), but is using a lower damage dice at least.

 

4d8 on lvl 3 with a 65% chance of saving throw fail is 12 damage avg. And you can see where the spot is and try to move somewhere which is "too far away" for the damage spot to reach you.

Still don't like the mechanics, though, as long as only one caster class has it. Damage in further rounds in my opinion would be more ideal to be more of a "dot", not the full damage amount.

And I think if one spell scales like that it will replace spells of higher levels PRINCIPIALLY this is an issue. Taking a lower spell at higher spell level should be the exception - not the rule. And as it is

taking moonbeam at higher level is better than taking a damage spell of higher level PRINCIPIALLY. Due to the "ongoing effect" mechanics.

 

 

 

Moonbeam is a terrifying little spell...

Praise the Sun.

 

Using the spell call lightning and being forced to keep it on one spot makes it almost complete garbage.

Nobody with a sane mind would memorize it any more.

And using a second spell to provide the possibility to making it useful (since when don't we have saves, or strength checks against entangle)

is doubtful at best.

 

Please read the rules again. Circles give druids more choice but not more spells to cast.

 

Envy in the face of one spell of one level which could in some situations be better than what the mage may come up with?

Well each to their own.

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Also Entangle actually works better with Moonbeam as it frees up your action on each turn, since they cannot move.

 

So Moonbeam would be doing 3d8 + a cantrip each turn (for a 2nd level spel slot) versus 4d10 for Call Lightning.

 

And when they break free, Moonbeam is still better because you can follow them. And they don't even want to walk through the Moonbeam, oh no.

DSZ wrote:

Please read the rules again. Circles give druids more choice but not more spells to cast.

 

Citing from the rules "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day". So a Land Druid of Lvl 5 has 4 spells extra each day, additionally to the ones from his daily list.

 

Envy in the face of one spell of one level which could in some situations be better than what the mage may come up with?

Well each to their own.

 

Not about Envy, but about class balance (personally I think the "damage each round" is a very bad concept and leads to inbalance, be it Call Lightning or Moonbeam.

 

And there are still some issues there in classbalance (not always for druids, BTW, for example Moon druids could use a buff, in my opinion - they

have a hit issue).

 

MagicSN

I think that perhaps DnD Next is aiming to give Druids a focus on small area, damge over time and single target spells, where as Mages are clearly being given a consistent bag of large bangs, with much higher areas, initial damage, and better defensive and utility spells, as well as save or lose spells for every flavour of opponent.

 

Such as Mirror Image, Haste, Shield, yadda yadda.

 

EDIT: Infact by 5th level an Evocation mage can remove 4 party members from his Fireball AoE and always does 1/2 damage on a miss/save with his cantrips.

"Citing from the rules "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day". So a Land Druid of Lvl 5 has 4 spells extra each day, additionally to the ones from his daily list."

 

Correct citation, wrong conclusion. Spells you can prepare = 1+lvl + (in case of druid) spells from circle <> spells of a given lvl you are able to cast per day

given by the spells per day table. The only possible enhancement for a caster druid is Natural Recovery which has its counterparts for mages in Arcane Recovery.

 

That means the effect of: "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day" is that you will have a larger variety of spells at your disposal but not that you can cast more spells!

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 ""damage each round" is a very bad concept and leads to inbalance, be it Call Lightning or Moonbeam."

I, personally, have a different opinion on that. I think that because the small amount of spells a caster has at her/his disposal it is necessary to have such spells

if they should even remotely be able to keep up with non casters in terms of balance and efficiency.

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DSZ wrote:

"Citing from the rules "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day". So a Land Druid of Lvl 5 has 4 spells extra each day, additionally to the ones from his daily list."

 

Correct citation, wrong conclusion. Spells you can prepare = 1+lvl + (in case of druid) spells from circle <> spells of a given lvl you are able to cast per day

given by the spells per day table. The only possible enhancement for a caster druid is Natural Recovery which has its counterparts for mages in Arcane Recovery.

 

That means the effect of: "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day" is that you will have a larger variety of spells at your disposal but not that you can cast more spells!

 

I'd like to see arcane casters get an option to have more spells prepared also. It seems odd that (most) divine casters get a significant amount of free spell preparations, while arcane casters are stuck with the base amount.

 

It's like they are trying to say, "divine spells suck, so you can prepare more of them."

[quote="DSZ"]

 

That means the effect of: "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day" is that you will have a larger variety of spells at your disposal but not that you can cast more spells!

 

Ah! Thanks for the clarification, DSZ. I always wondered on the contradiction between the 1+lvl thing and the table illustrating 4 of that level + 3 of that level + andsoon.

I had assumed the 1+lvl thing would be outdated information by mistake left in from an earlier version of the PDF. But with your explanations it makes sense.

 

Well, under that light, ignore all my earlier comments on "Druids have too many spells". It all was based on a misunderstanding of the rules.

 

Thanks for clearing that up ^^

 

I, personally, have a different opinion on that. I think that because the small amount of spells a caster has at her/his disposal it is necessary to have such spells

if they should even remotely be able to keep up with non casters in terms of balance and efficiency.

 

Yes, I agree compared to noncasters. But I still think that this should be a feature available to all casters going into "damage-spells". True, starting at some level Haste will scale better,

but in earlier levels, the comparision with Moonbeam will make the Evocation Mage look quite bad in comparision to the druid. So I think there IS a balance issue. Actually there might

be also an issue for the Druid. As spells like "Ice Storm" from the Druid list will be less desirable to take compared to a "levelup" version of Moonbeam. I now saw though that more druid

spells use this mechanics (Sunbeam) so it seems to be on purpose like this. It will be interesting to see how this gets balanced once the final version of the game comes out

 

I think I said my point, and not much point to go deeper into this discussion at the current time.

 

MagicSN

Yeah... have to disagree with Mearls here.  If the spell's area was bigger, sure, let it only hit the space in which it was targetted originally, but given the tiny area and overall mobility of Next monsters?  If it only hits the space where it was originally cast, it's nigh-useless.

 

Plus, it's just a neat image to have a druid cast a single spell, then spend the rest of the fight calling down bolts on her enemies.  Gives a very different aesthetic to that spell, and the Druid as a whole, from the other casters.

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TiaNadiezja wrote:

Yeah... have to disagree with Mearls here.  If the spell's area was bigger, sure, let it only hit the space in which it was targetted originally, but given the tiny area and overall mobility of Next monsters?  If it only hits the space where it was originally cast, it's nigh-useless.

 

Plus, it's just a neat image to have a druid cast a single spell, then spend the rest of the fight calling down bolts on her enemies.  Gives a very different aesthetic to that spell, and the Druid as a whole, from the other casters.

 

It is just very hard to balance. Personally I am wondering, if the way to balance it would be to give such a spell to EVERY druid spell level, but without a "sizeup in level" mechanics? Not saying this would be for a houserule or anything, just idle wondering ^^

 

It is not hard to balance.  In fact, as it stands, it is reasonably balanced.  Druids spend a limited resource to deal low, but competitive damage over a full combat.  Forcing them to burn multiple prepared spells to achieve a similar result would hurt their versatility, for no good reason.

Sword_of_Spirit wrote:

 

DSZ wrote:

"Citing from the rules "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day". So a Land Druid of Lvl 5 has 4 spells extra each day, additionally to the ones from his daily list."

 

Correct citation, wrong conclusion. Spells you can prepare = 1+lvl + (in case of druid) spells from circle <> spells of a given lvl you are able to cast per day

given by the spells per day table. The only possible enhancement for a caster druid is Natural Recovery which has its counterparts for mages in Arcane Recovery.

 

That means the effect of: "Spells that you always have prepared once you reach certain druid levels. These spells don't count against the number of spells you can

prepared each day" is that you will have a larger variety of spells at your disposal but not that you can cast more spells!

 

 

I'd like to see arcane casters get an option to have more spells prepared also. It seems odd that (most) divine casters get a significant amount of free spell preparations, while arcane casters are stuck with the base amount.

 

It's like they are trying to say, "divine spells suck, so you can prepare more of them."

 

Not really. Mages are supposed to more than make up for that with the features of the school they specialised in.

If this holds merit or not is up for another discussion.

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A little bit of good will is a big step towards making this planet a better place

With all due respect to Mr. Mearls Call Lightning has never been a single spot spell. That's the fun factor!

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