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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Eldritch Bolt/Blast "cantrip"

    A thought on something from 5e that could be used for any version of D&D. If the version allows cantrips, this is a cantrip; otherwise it can be a class feature.

    Eldritch Bolt/Blast/whatever creates a bolt of force, similar to a magic missile. It does either 1D4 or 1D6 damage, equivalent to an arrow or a crossbow bolt. In it's pure form, that's All it does; but it can be extended.

    Any level of spell/"spell slot" can be expended to create a more powerful bolt. Each spell level expended adds another D4/6 to the damage done. This way, if all a MU/wizard has left is a Web or Read Magic spell, and s/he Needs to blast something, it can be done. I see this as similar to the 3.x model of cleric healing.

    Obviously, this has diminishing returns as one's spell levels increase; but I think it could be handy at lower levels.

    Any thoughts?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Eldritch Bolt/Blast "cantrip"

    So, in your conception, would these upcast versions be memorized? Or would it just be a thing you could do... get rid of Stinking Cloud to do 2d6 damage to someone?

    I'd be inclined to make it a class ability of wizards... burn a spell to do xD6 damage to a single target, where X = the level of the spell. It is about on par with Magic Missile at 1st and 2nd level (where magic missile does 1d4+1 damage), but at 3rd level, where magic missile does 2(d4+1) damage for a single 1st level slot, it falls behind, and becomes a "Oh, <expletive deleted>" option. There's no situation, after 1st level and 2nd level, where Eldritch bolt is the best option for damage... so it works for me.

    I might be inclined to expand the concept a little bit, though. Is it a touch attack, a saving throw, or an auto-hit? What's the range? What defends against it? I'd probably rule it as an auto-hit, but it is blocked by Shield and other spells that block magic missile. This would make Magic Missile kind of a refined version of the ability.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Eldritch Bolt/Blast "cantrip"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    So, in your conception, would these upcast versions be memorized? Or would it just be a thing you could do... get rid of Stinking Cloud to do 2d6 damage to someone?

    I'd be inclined to make it a class ability of wizards... burn a spell to do xD6 damage to a single target, where X = the level of the spell. It is about on par with Magic Missile at 1st and 2nd level (where magic missile does 1d4+1 damage), but at 3rd level, where magic missile does 2(d4+1) damage for a single 1st level slot, it falls behind, and becomes a "Oh, <expletive deleted>" option. There's no situation, after 1st level and 2nd level, where Eldritch bolt is the best option for damage... so it works for me.

    I might be inclined to expand the concept a little bit, though. Is it a touch attack, a saving throw, or an auto-hit? What's the range? What defends against it? I'd probably rule it as an auto-hit, but it is blocked by Shield and other spells that block magic missile. This would make Magic Missile kind of a refined version of the ability.
    This is Exactly what I had in mind. Kind of a last resort for a low-level caster who only has a utlilty spell left. It wouldn't need to be memorized, so definitely a class-feature for classic or AD&D, or a cantrip for 3.x+

    Probably no more range or accuracy than a magic missile; and Definitely blocked by Shield, etc.

    I can also see this as a fall-back for casters that have specialized (2e+) in a school. Even if you're an illusionist, if your back is to the wall, you can still blast something (at cost).

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Eldritch Bolt/Blast "cantrip"

    I don't think it is needed in 5e. It's not like wizards in old editions where you prepared 2 webs, 1 magic missile, 2 fireballs, and 1 fly spell. You prepare all of those spells and use your slots however you like.

    If a PC didn't bother preparing multiple damage types, then they resort cantrips. I just don't see the need to make a wizard have even more options.



    Now a 3.5 or earlier wizard... Sure, go for it.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Eldritch Bolt/Blast "cantrip"

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    I don't think it is needed in 5e. It's not like wizards in old editions where you prepared 2 webs, 1 magic missile, 2 fireballs, and 1 fly spell. You prepare all of those spells and use your slots however you like.

    If a PC didn't bother preparing multiple damage types, then they resort cantrips. I just don't see the need to make a wizard have even more options.

    Now a 3.5 or earlier wizard... Sure, go for it.
    Where it might help a 5e wizard is if you have only, say, firebolt prepared as an attack cantrip, and you're facing something that is very fire-resistant or immune. Again, it's meant to be a last-resort option.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Eldritch Bolt/Blast "cantrip"

    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    Where it might help a 5e wizard is if you have only, say, firebolt prepared as an attack cantrip, and you're facing something that is very fire-resistant or immune. Again, it's meant to be a last-resort option.
    That's why there are support spells, crowd control spells, battlefield control spells, and the help action. I just don't see it as necessary. If you want to run it in your campaign though give it a shot. It probably won't break anything.

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