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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Witch Bolt Fix: Speed Reduction



TripleD
2017-02-13, 08:32 PM
Witch Bolt
1st Level Evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
During: Concentration, up to one minute

A beam of crackling, blue energy lances out toward a creature within range, forming a sustained arc of lightning between you and the target. Make a ranged spell attack against that creature. On a hit, the target takes 1d12 lightning damage, and its speed is reduced by half its maximum value. On each of your turns for the duration, you can use your action to deal 1d12 lightning damage to the target automatically and sustain the speed reduction. The spell ends if you use your action to do anything else. The spell also ends if the target is ever outside the spellís range or if it has total cover from you.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you may reduce your opponent's speed by an additional 10 feet for each slot level above 1st.


There is no cooler looking spell with a weaker hitting effect than Witch Bolt. People describe it as "getting your Palpatine on" which made me think of a way to improve it.

In the movies Palpatine's lightening doesn't just hurt, it makes it difficult to move. Full paralysis at level one is too powerful, to say nothing of no save. But turning it into a controlling spell affecting speed for a single creature gives it a niche that is useful, without completely overshadowing stuff like Hold Person.

Potato_Priest
2017-02-13, 10:16 PM
Also helps with the issue of enemies who walk out of range and then right back in. Good one.

Flashy
2017-02-13, 10:23 PM
I actually think this is a really elegant solution. As Potato_Priest said, it's sort of a double fix on the two major issues.

JRDS
2017-02-14, 12:05 AM
Love this idea, I think it's great!

TripleD
2017-02-14, 12:26 AM
Thanks for the kind feedback!

One open question though: has it ever been conclusively ruled whether "Twin Spell" can target the same creature twice (i.e. Making the 'second creature' the same as the first one)? If so, then 'Twin Spell' would allow you to set a creature's speed to 0 with a single level one slot and a single sorcery point. That feels a bit overpowered to me.

I'll leave in an optional wording: if your table allows twin spell to target the same creature twice, then the speed reduction is half the creatures remaining speed. Thanks to the magic of calculus vs algebra, this means you will have to use higher level spell slots to have a speed of 0.

Potato_Priest
2017-02-14, 12:32 AM
One open question though: has it ever been conclusively ruled whether "Twin Spell" can target the same creature twice

I'm not sure it would need to be. A second creature means there are two by definition, and when RAW and RAI line up it's pretty hard to make an argument against it.

Flashy
2017-02-14, 12:47 AM
Given that the specific wording on Twinned Spell is "When you Cast a Spell that Targets only one creature and doesnít have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spellís level to target a second creature in range with the same spell" I don't think there's any ambiguity there. A second creature axiomatically can't be the same creature twice.

TripleD
2017-02-14, 07:43 AM
Given that the specific wording on Twinned Spell is "When you Cast a Spell that Targets only one creature and doesnít have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spellís level to target a second creature in range with the same spell" I don't think there's any ambiguity there. A second creature axiomatically can't be the same creature twice.

Good point. Not sure why I was interpreting it differently. Optional wording for the spell is unnecessary.