Thursday, September 13, 2012

D&D Next: Warlock & Sorcerer

I know I said that I was going to talk about Kings of War today, but I'm not done writing that post, and I am done writing this one, so here it is.

Mystic Scholar left a comment in my last post about D&D Next, and I wanted to follow it up here. First, his comment:

I agree with your overall view, but I've always felt that Magic Missile did too little damage. I've always felt that it should be a 1d6+1 damage.

As your level increases, you get more usage of the spell, certainly, but I also think that, as you reach certain levels your character should get more damage, to reflect his/her growing power.

For instance: 2d6+1 at 5th level. 3d6+2 at 10th level, 4d6+2 at 15th level and 5d6+3 at 20th level.

Behold the power of the Archmage!

But that's just me. ;)
I’m actually ok with magic missile only doing 1d4+1 points of damage, but only because it’s an auto hit. Every round you’ll nail someone for 2-5 points of damage, guaranteed! I expect that it’ll scale with level, but the playtest only covers low levels. If it doesn't scale, then that's a different story. However, should you want it to do more damage, then you have to make the wizard roll to hit, otherwise it's a win button for wizards at first level.

While we’re on the subject of magic I want to bring up the 2 extra classes that WotC released for D&D Next - Warlock and Sorcerer.

The sorcerer has a neat mechanic that as he expends his willpower shaping spells, the magic temporarily reshapes the sorcerer, giving him a variety of draconic aspects. I can easily see how you could adjust that to other backgrounds besides the draconic. Elemental would be easy, fey as well. Demons and angels too... I can see a random chart in the future for this sort of thing... What I'd really like to see is a mechanic that allows the sorcerer to use magic even after tapping out of willpower for some negative effects. HP loss, ability score loss, penalties to hit and saving throws, or permanent mutations?

The Warlock also manages to be mechanically different from the other spell casters with their pact boons, restriction on spells to ritual casting, and invocations. One thing that really stood out for me was a minor invocation that they get called Eldritch Blast. Being minor it means that you can use it every round. It’s much like magic missile or ray of frost. Pick a single target within 50 feet. On a hit cause 3d6 force damage.

3d6?!?! For an every round first level ability?!? WTF?!?

At level 3 it goes to 4d6...

Forget wizards, I’m playing a warlock next game...

I haven't checked to see if that was a typo, or if WotC has issued an errata on it, or if they figure it's just a playtest and that they'll clean it up for the next round.

Lastly, there is a new poll about D&D Next on the right! Have you checked out D&D Next yet?


  1. I appreciate what you're saying and understand where you're coming from, but in truth, such a stance relegates Magic Missile to "low level magic" status.

    For example: Archmages certainly have high level spells to use in combat, therefore Magic Missile is a waste of time for them. Why?

    Because even 25th level Magic Users do no damage. Such high level Magic Users are more likely to face Balors, Pit Fiends and Dragons. A 25th level Magic User can hurl Magic Missile at a such a creature and the creature won't even notice, because Magic Missile does no damage. Not to a creature with such high hits points.

    So, Magic Missile is a great spell for 1st to 5th level Magic Users. After that, it's a waste of their time.

    Unless the damage is pumped up.

    1. I wasn't entirely clear. I'm ok with magic missile doing 1d4+1 points of damage at the levels contained in the playtest. Above 5th (or even at 3rd or 5th) I would want to see it start to bump up. Either 1 missile that does more damage of numerous little missiles.