Larian Studios
Posted By: asabourin Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 07/10/20 04:32 AM
Let me tell you a story of woe. On turn 1 I cast firebolt with my wizard. On turn two I cast Web, and the entire web was destroyed. I know that the Web spell does have this in 5e, but because of this lingering effect, the spell is essentially ruined. If we could remove this effect on cantrips, I feel like it would empower other higher level spells further down the line.
Reducing firebolt to d6 damage and giving it a DoT seems so backwards, too. The whole point of firebolt is that it's a powerful cantrip with no other bells or whistles, with a commonly resisted damage type. It shouldn't be outdamaged by shocking grasp.
+1
Ray of Frost, targeting a person, not a surface, still creates a surface under the character anyway, and can knock them prone instantly, which means they lose half their movement and melee attacks have advantage against them. That's super-powerful for a cantrip.
Posted By: Tarorn Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 07/10/20 09:38 AM
Yes cantrips appear to be a bit overdone
Posted By: XANi Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 07/10/20 09:43 AM
At the very least the duration should be just one round, maybe scale like the damage scales (5th for 2, 11th for 3)
Posted By: Sagaz Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 07/10/20 09:45 AM
+1
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Ray of Frost, targeting a person, not a surface, still creates a surface under the character anyway, and can knock them prone instantly, which means they lose half their movement and melee attacks have advantage against them. That's super-powerful for a cantrip.



Never created a single surface for me.
Originally Posted by Tarorn
Yes cantrips appear to be a bit overdone


Cantrips seem way more powerful then they should be both mechanically and visually imo.
If they want flashy cantrips they should just make the visual effect scale with cantrip leveling. Makes it look stronger as the game goes on. That way it dosnt overshadow all the other spells which take slots.

As for the secondary effects. Why not have an alternative casting pop-up for the spell. You can do the basic normal cantrip as written in 5e, or choose the secondary effect. Eg: Ray of frost targeting the ground and not a person causes the ice on the floor. Tho on second thoughts even that is kinda to strong, however it would prevent unintended spell effect interactions if you so choose.
I did have the dot effect and the ice surface from cantrips. (I Iced a skeleton in the crypt and it created a ice sheet below him which he fell from). I can understand if you are house ruling it, but maybe make the dot and ice slick only on crit? Also I agree firebolt should be d10, but if they changed the spell to a DOT spell, I can understand it being less.
Posted By: malks Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 07/10/20 02:28 PM
I think it should ignite surfaces not create one. Same for the glacial. They could still apply burn and chill to target though.
I would say "please remove surface effects unless the original spell/ability in 5e explicitly states it creates a surface effect." Example: Fireball says it ignites things, Sleet Storm says it freezes the ground, etc.
Originally Posted by porrage
I would say "please remove surface effects unless the original spell/ability in 5e explicitly states it creates a surface effect." Example: Fireball says it ignites things, Sleet Storm says it freezes the ground, etc.

But even then, Fireball doesn't result in PCs taking a status effect that makes their HP continue to drop, I get the idea but the mechanics of D&D aren't really setup to handle it, PCs have too few HP at the start of a campaign.
There are literally cantrips that do create surface effects, and even they're noted as not being used to harm people (control flames/water etc)
+1. Cantrips are supposed to be weak. They should have no "surface" interaction.
Originally Posted by blindhamster
Originally Posted by porrage
I would say "please remove surface effects unless the original spell/ability in 5e explicitly states it creates a surface effect." Example: Fireball says it ignites things, Sleet Storm says it freezes the ground, etc.

But even then, Fireball doesn't result in PCs taking a status effect that makes their HP continue to drop, I get the idea but the mechanics of D&D aren't really setup to handle it, PCs have too few HP at the start of a campaign.



I'll agree with that. Fireball was designed to be a huge blast of damage. There are other effects/spells for dealing sustained damage.
Agreed. I'm constantly wondering what the hell should I do with my wizard in minor fights that doesn't fuck up my melee characters. If I use Fire Bolt or Ray of Frost, my own frontline starts burning or falls down. Not at all how those cantrips work in 5th ed.

Also:
Quote
A missile from Gale missed Barton.
Barton received Condition: Burning.
Barton was hit for 4 Fire damage.
Barton burned to ashes.


Gale rolled a natural 1 (a critical miss) on a Fire Bolt cantrip, and... killed his target? Riiiight.
Cantrips should be as written in the 5e rules. Spells in general should be. They cover any situation you want and you should be able to choose your own unique toolkit. Want sustained damage? Use cloud of daggers. Want big aoe? Use fireball. Want X choose Y. The spell selection covers anything you want, including surfaces. Your choices hence matter with 5e rules.

Right now the player choice matters less. You are a surface-mancer.
Agreed: There are specific spells in D&D that (can) effect surfaces... they really should leave it at that.
Honestly I have to say I prefer these ones. The 5th edition cantrips are intensely boring to me and at least these ones do something additional to make them a bit more interesting.
Originally Posted by unknown5
Honestly I have to say I prefer these ones. The 5th edition cantrips are intensely boring to me and at least these ones do something additional to make them a bit more interesting.



They're not supposed to be mechanically complex/interesting. They exist to allow casters to have a "basic attack" that scales with them, similar to how fighters will get weapons with +2d6 fire damage. Casters already get hundreds of interesting and complex spells that allow them to alter the terrain and create crazy effects on the battlefield (at least in 5e). They don't need to also do it on every single spell they cast.
They're not supposed to be mechanically complex/interesting. They exist to allow casters to have a "basic attack" that scales with them, similar to how fighters will get weapons with +2d6 fire damage. Casters already get hundreds of interesting and complex spells that allow them to alter the terrain and create crazy effects on the battlefield (at least in 5e). They don't need to also do it on every single spell they cast. [/quote]


That is where we disagree. I think they all should be interesting/complex and I'd rather the game be interesting than entirely faithful to the rules. If they came up with a way to make the fighter's basic attack more interesting I'd support that too.
Originally Posted by unknown5


That is where we disagree. I think they all should be interesting/complex and I'd rather the game be interesting than entirely faithful to the rules.


I never said I want a game that's entirely faithful to the rules. In fact, I've said elsewhere that I think it would be a mistake to do a 1 to 1 adaptation. But right now we have a situation where every single battle turns into The Floor Is Lava. Oops, I used my Acid Splash on an enemy, which means I better not enter melee combat with him because my ally will inexplicably lose 2 AC. Having an AOE cantrip is already fantastic.

It's just too much.

Posted By: Meril Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 08/10/20 12:06 AM
I like the surface creation. It makes these spells more interesting than if they would just deal normal damage.
I get that and I can see where you are coming from. I just happen to enjoy the system as it is but if the majority of people want it changed and it is I am not going to complain about it.
Posted By: Shanks Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 08/10/20 12:18 AM
Originally Posted by asabourin
Let me tell you a story of woe. On turn 1 I cast firebolt with my wizard. On turn two I cast Web, and the entire web was destroyed. I know that the Web spell does have this in 5e, but because of this lingering effect, the spell is essentially ruined. If we could remove this effect on cantrips, I feel like it would empower other higher level spells further down the line.


I agree, I love the creativity, and maybe allow creating a surface if you target a surface instead of a creature, but otherwise firebolt should just be 1d10 damage.
Posted By: Shanks Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 08/10/20 12:19 AM
Originally Posted by Maxximenez
Reducing firebolt to d6 damage and giving it a DoT seems so backwards, too. The whole point of firebolt is that it's a powerful cantrip with no other bells or whistles, with a commonly resisted damage type. It shouldn't be outdamaged by shocking grasp.



This.... so much this...
Posted By: Jbabs Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 08/10/20 12:21 AM
Give Sacred flame something as well....
+1
Spells need to be 100% accurate to the source material. Ergo, firebolt lighting a desk on fire: awesome! Firebolt creating a puddle of scalding hot terrain: inaccurate and a big nope from me dawg.
I thought I would be clever and flank the goblin village to the left, went into timed mod or whatever you call it, you have to if not as soon as one person jumps up the hill the other 3 run off and right into the middle of the ambush and bam, acid arrows and fire arrows that leave 12x12 pools of acid and fire? WH all that from a arrow tip? way overpowered.

This is off topic but for the Love of God, give us a command option for the companions like I dont know ... STAY HERE DONT MOVE! lol
Originally Posted by 00zim00
Originally Posted by Tarorn
Yes cantrips appear to be a bit overdone


Cantrips seem way more powerful then they should be both mechanically and visually imo.
If they want flashy cantrips they should just make the visual effect scale with cantrip leveling. Makes it look stronger as the game goes on. That way it dosnt overshadow all the other spells which take slots.

As for the secondary effects. Why not have an alternative casting pop-up for the spell. You can do the basic normal cantrip as written in 5e, or choose the secondary effect. Eg: Ray of frost targeting the ground and not a person causes the ice on the floor. Tho on second thoughts even that is kinda to strong, however it would prevent unintended spell effect interactions if you so choose.

Posted By: Akari Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 08/10/20 08:22 AM
I like this version, I think the only reason why they dont have those effects in p&p is for the nightmare that will be to calculate surface effects, thats why a lot of dms have house rules for it.

Either way, this should be an easy thing to mod if we wanted to have the "no surfaces" option.
Originally Posted by Akari
I like this version, I think the only reason why they dont have those effects in p&p is for the nightmare that will be to calculate surface effects, thats why a lot of dms have house rules for it.

Either way, this should be an easy thing to mod if we wanted to have the "no surfaces" option.


Not if the combat is balanced around it...
Please don't tone down the cantrips visually! I love seeing Eldritch Blast and the sacred fire priest one...
Really need this honestly. One Firebolt is pretty much 1d6 + (Unavoidable) 1d4 from the fire ground spawning + (Unavoidable) 1d4 at start of turn since they're standing in fire + 1d4 if the fire isn't put out before the start of their next turn. You've hit someone (and possibly others) with a 1d6 and a full 3 shots of magic missile using a CANTRIP.
Originally Posted by Medirby
Really need this honestly. One Firebolt is pretty much 1d6 + (Unavoidable) 1d4 from the fire ground spawning + (Unavoidable) 1d4 at start of turn since they're standing in fire + 1d4 if the fire isn't put out before the start of their next turn. You've hit someone (and possibly others) with a 1d6 and a full 3 shots of magic missile using a CANTRIP.


Enemies rarely stay in just one point however
Originally Posted by Dark_Ansem
Originally Posted by Medirby
Really need this honestly. One Firebolt is pretty much 1d6 + (Unavoidable) 1d4 from the fire ground spawning + (Unavoidable) 1d4 at start of turn since they're standing in fire + 1d4 if the fire isn't put out before the start of their next turn. You've hit someone (and possibly others) with a 1d6 and a full 3 shots of magic missile using a CANTRIP.


Enemies rarely stay in just one point however


The problem is they've already taken the 1d6 + 1d4 from the initial cast and at the beginning of their turn before they can even move they take an additional 1d4 from the fire ground. If they move and cannot put the fire out they take an additional 1d4 because of lingering burn damage they had because of the fire ground they were forced to get hit by.
I think that there's a happy medium to be had here. I rather like the surface interaction because of the utility and flexibility they provide; one of my most triumphant feelings I got in this game was in the crypt when I realized I could use ray of frost to put out fires. But I think that surface effects do need to be toned down because it causes a lot of chaos in combat. Like acid damage-I don't think there should be an acid surface effect both because it apparently doesn't exist in D&D from what I've heard and logically it doesn't make sense that there should be a negative effect from standing in a puddle of acid. I think if an acid attack hits you it should do that reduced armour thing and if it doesn't either nothing happens or it becomes a surface you can ignite or freeze, just for that extra cool dynamic problem solving.
Urgh frown I really hoped they stick with the PnP rules.

I played DOS1 and I liked it. There I Tried to avoid surface effects and focussed on stuff that hit characters.
I never finished DOS2, partly because way too many effects. Half of the map is filled with necrofire or similar stuff after the first round of every combat. Even regular weapon attacks can cause crazy chain reactions ( enemies bleed poison or fire) and even in the most simple case a regular attack spills huge amounts of blood that could be frozen, electrified or cursed.

- Only spells that mention a surface effect in the PnP description should have such an effect (e.g. grease)
- Only spells whose PnP description mentiones an over time effect in PnO rules should do something in the next round.
- Cantrips are the basic attack for casters, not something that produces crazy effects.
- Please do not put oil barrels and similar stuff everywhere. This makes absolutely no sense ( unless maybe you have a fight in a harbor of a town that has oil as main export product).
In my life I have never seen barrels with oil, water or whatever standing around in the environment, except for industrial areas.
+1

Cantrips are basic attacks, I don’t want my non-AoE spells causing issues for my melee fighters.
+1 The effects are either too powerful or simply alters the cantrips too much. 5e is a perfectly fine ruleset and tampering should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Also, fewer oil barrels please.
Posted By: mahe4 Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 08/10/20 11:37 AM
+1
Originally Posted by Slapstick
+1 The effects are either too powerful or simply alters the cantrips too much. 5e is a perfectly fine ruleset and tampering should be kept to an absolute minimum.
Also, fewer oil barrels please.


Like most things, 5e isn't perfect, which is why it should always be read in conjunction with supplements like DMG and Volo.
Remove Cantrip ground effects and input them exactly as the Rulebook intended.

Eldritch Blast proves a Cantrip just having damage can feel fine; it doesn't need an additional AoE attached.
Warlocks get to customize theirs because it's literally the baseline foundation of their kit.

Wizards/Sorcerers do not need this; they get many more spells than Warlocks do, therefor giving them more options to adapt to the situation.

If you want a ground on fire, you cast that Fireball, or that Wall of Flame, or that Bonfire. You don't need to give them that much battlefield control in a Cantrip.

If your argument is "Yeah but they'll feel weak at low levels otherwise if we don't give it to them.", well that's the entire point of playing a spellcaster. You outsmart, maybe sometimes struggle, but you get through it and it pays off at later levels with hugely impacting spells.

If you think it's bad now with Cantrips, wait until we hit level 5 and beyond. Who knows how figgin crazy they're going to make Fireball or other spells.
I will not have fun if a Fireball creates a gigantic 10 foot fire patch on the stone ground beneath it.

Remove ground effects from spells unless otherwise stated, or unless you're targetting something specific (ie. Patch of tall grass, bushes, oil barrels, etc).
Ditto, hear the feedback and remove effects for cantrips. Keep spells as close to 5e as possible.
+1

good middle ground would be: cantrips (maybe also spell that doesnt specifically create surfaces as of 5e ruleset) dont create surfaces, but if cast on elegible surface or entity (ie oil barrel, water pond) they interact as they do now (destroy / set ablaze flammable, freeze)
Originally Posted by Akari
I like this version, I think the only reason why they dont have those effects in p&p is for the nightmare that will be to calculate surface effects, thats why a lot of dms have house rules for it.

Either way, this should be an easy thing to mod if we wanted to have the "no surfaces" option.


Personally I don't have an issue either, but is sounds like they shouldn't have so many surfaces or explosive barrels around. I think you take care of the later, the issue is greatly reduced. That said I'm fine with cantrips not able to spark surfaces to. I'd be fine with both, no to cantrips and less surfaces and barrels that go boom. It was over the top in the DOS's as well. Great, your programming marvels did something great technically with surfaces, but you still have to masterfully stroke gameplay.
To echo what's already been said:

Cantrips should work as written, but also allow for player creativity.

The cleric cast create water making a puddle of water. Cool. The wizard targets the puddle with ray of frost. NOW it should create the icy surface, but probably no more than a small radius. The game should reward creative intent.
Originally Posted by smalvarado
To echo what's already been said:

Cantrips should work as written, but also allow for player creativity.

The cleric cast create water making a puddle of water. Cool. The wizard targets the puddle with ray of frost. NOW it should create the icy surface, but probably no more than a small radius. The game should reward creative intent.



Basically this.

If an enemy is standing on stone, using Fire Bolt on them should not create a fire surface. If they're standing on oil, targeting them should probably ALSO not create the fire surface. But targeting the OIL should create the surface (but no direct damage to them).
Originally Posted by Madscientist
Urgh frown I really hoped they stick with the PnP rules.

I played DOS1 and I liked it. There I Tried to avoid surface effects and focussed on stuff that hit characters.
I never finished DOS2, partly because way too many effects. Half of the map is filled with necrofire or similar stuff after the first round of every combat. Even regular weapon attacks can cause crazy chain reactions ( enemies bleed poison or fire) and even in the most simple case a regular attack spills huge amounts of blood that could be frozen, electrified or cursed.


This!
Posted By: XANi Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 08/10/20 07:51 PM
I'd like to test version where cantrips only put single turn worth of surface, and you don't get free prone from the frostbolt. I *like* the utility, throwing frostbolt at fire makes sense regardless of what PnP purists might think.

Also, damaging surfaces in general need changing, you shouldn't get more damage by running for 6 seconds than for standing 6 seconds in it

IMO half move in fire or more = single instance of damage should be fine, so you can run thru any tiny fire surface without any damage but not thru burning building
+1
Originally Posted by WarBaby2
Agreed: There are specific spells in D&D that (can) effect surfaces... they really should leave it at that.


THIS. Imagine aoe-damage-surface 5e spells PLUS surfaces from every other imaginable source. If you want aoe effects from spells, there are already specific spells for that be it for CC or damage. It's already in the 5e system.

Cantrips also scale with level keeping them viable. They are quite decent for sustained pew-damage in 5e. That's how they should be.
+1. I know Larian's all about the ground effects, but I've repeatedly seen Firebolt's leftovers do more damage than the spell itself. And Ray of Frost is hilariously broken against ogres with their terrible Dexterity saves.
What I find a bit strange, that I shoot melf s acid arrow, it leaves surface effect, I go back to the area after 15 min and it is still there. I think these effects should disappear after a while. I am not sure if it ever disappear.
Honestly I would love it if the surface effects were toned down a lot. Make it so the elemental arrows just do elemental damage with no surface effects. Same for most spells.

There are house rules for terrain effects in 5e but those are to make some encounters special, not as it is in BG3 with how every encounter seems to be played.

Just to add to this, from the 5e rules.

Bomb

Type: Adventuring Gear Cost: 150 gp Weight: 1 lb

As an action, a character can light this bomb and throw it at a point up to 60 feet away. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 fire damage.

You'll notice there nothing about leaving a pool of burning oil on the floor after using this bomb.
+1 x 100000000
This is my biggest gripe with the game so far (The larger issues are obvious EA issues). I am fine with spells being able to ignite stuff like grease (That is something you would ask your GM if you could do in a TTRPG). But puddles of acid under my feet killing me because of an arrow? Now that just feels very much like a videogame feature and not something from a TTRPG. And why add these effects to low level stuff anyways? 5e has higher level spells for that kind of thing. Fireball explicitly states that it ignites stuff. Cloudkill creates a poison cloud.

5e is not a perfect system, but adding DoS elements to everything does not fix anything, it just makes it a mess.
That a good rule to use to think about this. Would a Human DM allow it.

I expect most DM would veto stuff like

Acid Slash leaving a puddles of acid ( rules state you can target 2 people if within 5 feet )
Firebolt setting the floor on fire ( nothing about clothes catching on fire or extra effects. )
Ray of Frost making a patch of ice ( rules state speed reduce by 10 feet for a round )
etc.

I been looking through the books and can not find any arrows like what are in BG3.

There is

Alchemist's Fire (flask)

Type: Adventuring Gear Cost: 50 gp Weight: 1 lb

This sticky, adhesive fluid ignites when exposed to air. As an action, you can throw this flask up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. Make a ranged attack against a creature or object, treating the alchemist's fire as an improvised weapon. On a hit, the target takes 1d4 fire damage at the start of each of its turns. A creature can end this damage by using its action to make a DC 10 Dexterity check to extinguish the flames.

Notice no puddle of fire and if anything was going to leave a pool of fire, you would think it would be Alchemist's Fire (flask)

I expect the elemental arrows should be like that, hit you with an extra 1d4 elemental dot for a few rounds, not better then many spells.
I would say that most spells should not create a "surface", unless they are AOE, and even then it should be limited.

A fireball might cause a fire surface if there was an accelerant (like grease), but most of the time it would explode and fizzle out while maybe catching some dry wood or papers on fire. Casting fireball should not ignite a stone surface, and if cast on ice should make a water surface. Acid/poison should only make a surface if it's an AOE... and should disipate within a small handful of turns. AOE ice spells could create an ice surface on stone or water surfaces (probably not on dirt), but should quickly change to a water unless the environment is cold.
From Fireball "The fire spreads around corners. It ignites flammable objects in the area that aren't being worn or carried." so yes, Fireball may leave a burning area.

My point is yes, the higher level spell can do terrain effects but not the cantrips or arrows. Save the fancy surface effects for higher level spells to make them special.

Adding to this.

About grease:

Jeremy Crawford
@JeremyECrawford
If the grease spell created a flammable substance, the spell would say so. It doesn't say so. #DnD

Well, that cancels casting grease then lighting it on fire with firebolt.

Now, Web could be fun.

The webs are flammable. Any 5-foot cube of webs exposed to fire burns away in 1 round, dealing 2d4 fire damage to any creature that starts its turn in the fire.

I really do want the surface effects for the higher level spells, it is in the rules, hope they use them.
As I said in another thread, I think a game mode more in line with 5e would solve the issue. No surfaces from cantrips, arrows etc, no bonus action disengage or shove and similar stuff. I do not think removing the surface effect from firebolt and making it a D10 again would require much work on Larians part. And those of us who prefer to play something that is closer to what we play with our friends at the table, would be happy.
Having cantrips only create surfaces if targeted at the ground seems like a fair middle ground. Firebolting an enemy is a normal 1d10. Firebolting the ground leaves a little flame patch. I'd also be fine with full 5e, no surfaces from cantrips at all, but different behavior for targeting ground vs enemies seems like a compromise.
I've thought about this. "Save or Suck" style cantrips make sense. Essentially thats what you are doing with a dex save, you are getting out of the way of something hitting where you are at. However Fire Bolt needs to be designed how it is in DND. Ignite where applicable (oil puddles) but balanced around just hitting hard. Produce Flame / Create Bonfire can fill the void of surface effect generators. In fact just rename the current iteration of Firebolt to Produce Flame, and make the D10+lights oil Flame Bolt for the sake of balance and choices.


I feel like there needs to be a lot more cantrips and they need to balance them better. but I do see value in some of them leaving surface effects. I would like to see as much of the pencil and paper game in this as possible. That includes Green-Flame blade, Booming Blade, Thorn Whip (which is pretty much in game mechanically as Lae'Zels Illithid power move). I'd even like to see poison surface effects if they just use the same mechanics as DND (disadvantage on checks and saves rather than damage)


Honestly if dex saves where more involved with surface effects, I think balance would be less of an issue. Part of the overtuned feeling comes from the effects just automatically hitting and/or doing so for full damage.
+1
Originally Posted by crabsmack
Having cantrips only create surfaces if targeted at the ground seems like a fair middle ground. Firebolting an enemy is a normal 1d10. Firebolting the ground leaves a little flame patch. I'd also be fine with full 5e, no surfaces from cantrips at all, but different behavior for targeting ground vs enemies seems like a compromise.


I love this compromise, and this idea reminded me of a certain druid cantrip. "Produce Flame" would be a perfect cantrip that allows you to make a fire surface, in PnP it kinda sucks. You take an action to make fire, and then you have to spend another action to hurl it, which is really firebolt that costs two actions to use. Now creating fire surface would be interesting.



I agree that the cantrips are too loaded now. But I wouldn't completely the remove the surface effects since they do add tactical depth and fun choices to the game. The most elegant solution would be to..

1) Keep cantrips exactly as they are in 5e

2) Add the option of targeting the ground instead of a creature.

With Firebolt you would have a choice: 1d10 to character OR target ground to create small fire surface (1d4, Dex save).

Same with Ray of Frost: normal effect OR target ground to potentially create an ice surface.

These surfaces need to remain small with probably a duration of only 1 round.

edit: I saw this was already discussed.. so +1
Posted By: Tarorn Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 10/10/20 09:33 AM
I find myself wondering if in a game sense they bring some balance - some pretty tough scraps at level 3 in the blighted village - got my ass handed to me in the under dark. With next to no spells cantrips may be there to counter the high level monster abilities ?

Up until this point I agreed whole heartedly - but you get a pack of big boys amongst your characters and things can go sideways real quick.

In saying that getting wiped once makes you think very much more about the second attempt & just reading these forums there are some really good hints & tips

So now I’m in two minds about cantrips ......
Posted By: rfuzzo Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 10/10/20 09:41 AM
Originally Posted by 1varangian
I agree that the cantrips are too loaded now. But I wouldn't completely the remove the surface effects since they do add tactical depth and fun choices to the game. The most elegant solution would be to..

1) Keep cantrips exactly as they are in 5e

2) Add the option of targeting the ground instead of a creature.

With Firebolt you would have a choice: 1d10 to character OR target ground to create small fire surface (1d4, Dex save).

Same with Ray of Frost: normal effect OR target ground to potentially create an ice surface.

These surfaces need to remain small with probably a duration of only 1 round.


this! +1 Don't wholesale remove surface creation, it really adds to the game
Posted By: Koshea Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 10/10/20 12:15 PM
When playing Tabletop, your DM is trying to a specific number of encounters in front of you during your normal daily rest. In a video game (at least BG1&2) I expect that number of encounters to increase dramatically per rest (how easy it is to rest is a completely different subject). As such I do think that Cantrips could use some tweaking because without ability being added to damage, cantrips really fall off as useful tools in tabletop from around level 7 and up (and 11 and up even if you have your attribute adding, it in no way compensates for the extra attacks that melee, ranged and Eldrich Blasters get). In tabletop you effectively have enough spells not to worry about needing to cast a cantrip at this point, you have reached a number of spells you could cast over the course of a normal night of gaming without ever having to rely on a cantrip, cantrips just fill the gap when you don't have something better you could be doing or want to preserve spell slots.

That said the changes made to Ray of Frost seem awfully OP as you scale up your DC to resist the fall down will keep going up.

The changes made to Firebolt seem to make it only useful when explosive canisters are near however. I can't think of a time after 5th level when it's doing 2d6 with no modifier I would want to use it, will the fire damage for the patch of ground the enemy is in go up as well, I don't think so, just like burning a web spell doesn't go up.

Acid Spray on the other hand goes completely against the design of 5e. They wanted to get rid of all the +1, -1, +2, -2 bonuses that plagued 3.5. In 3.5 it was extremely common for someone to add up their attack roll, tell the DM a number and be told they missed, then say "Oh yeah, forgot to count Bless/Bard Song/Prayer/Flank" and add 2 to their number and now it's a hit. Now Bless and Bard Song are dice you have to remember to roll, most other buffs give advantage, Prayer was removed. If you have to add +2 to something, like say dualist or expertise for a rogue, it's an always on thing, it can be factored in and written down on your sheet and you should be able to trust your sheet. Shield of Faith is quite the standout here as it does give a flat bonus but it also requires concentration so a player somewhere is actively remembering to tell the person their AC is increased.

The best debuff you can get out of a cantrip in 5e was the bard's Vicious Mockery and it had to be d4 damage to get the ability to make 1 attack be done with disadvantage. Not even all attacks if say a beast had 2 claw attacks.

I really don't like the direction of Acid Spray and while I don't mind some creative liberty being taken with cantrips (people are stuck at level 4 and below, where these spells are a disproportionally large percentage of your normal spell casts) to make them interesting later. Make sure they stay in the spirit of the 5e rules
+1 to removing this and/or reverting to PnP spells.

Cantrips are supposed to be the mechanical equivalent of a non-spellcaster's basic action in combat, spellcasters already have a bunch of other abilities/spells that can have far more exotic effects and adding these into the cantrips seems greatly unbalanced.

I'd still be in favour of effects where they make sense, and where the spell specifically calls for it. Taking Firebolt for example, the PnP spell description states that:

"You hurl a mote of fire at a creature or object within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 fire damage. A flammable object hit by this spell ignites if it isn't being worn or carried."

I think the undelined elements are the most important part here, at the moment Firebolt can set people, stone, rocks, trees and grass aflame with equal capability. If this was limited to cases where it makes sense then I don't think as many people would have a problem with it.
Originally Posted by praxidicae


Cantrips are supposed to be the mechanical equivalent of a non-spellcaster's basic action in combat, spellcasters already have a bunch of other abilities/spells that can have far more exotic effects and adding these into the cantrips seems greatly unbalanced.

I think the undelined elements are the most important part here, at the moment Firebolt can set people, stone, rocks, trees and grass aflame with equal capability. If this was limited to cases where it makes sense then I don't think as many people would have a problem with it.


+1 to it at least making sense. Firebolt lighting actual flammables instead of everything. Ray of Frost may not seem so broken if it only actually froze water under its target rather than leaving a patch of ice that knocked them prone every time. Similar to the shocking pool mechanic in DoS where two elements create a strong control effect. Acid Splash in Baldurs Gate 3 should have the same radius as Poison Dart in DoS, shift the big radius armor debuff function into a spell slot. They can code the "cleave" mechanic to have it hit a second target within range like in 5e and then they will have the infrastructure to add in Green-Flame blade as melee version of the mechanic wink
Originally Posted by 1varangian
I agree that the cantrips are too loaded now. But I wouldn't completely the remove the surface effects since they do add tactical depth and fun choices to the game. The most elegant solution would be to..

1) Keep cantrips exactly as they are in 5e

2) Add the option of targeting the ground instead of a creature.

With Firebolt you would have a choice: 1d10 to character OR target ground to create small fire surface (1d4, Dex save).

Same with Ray of Frost: normal effect OR target ground to potentially create an ice surface.

These surfaces need to remain small with probably a duration of only 1 round.

edit: I saw this was already discussed.. so +1


+1 ;to this
no please don't remove this
I agree with the OP
I have been making posts on this issue myself and once again i would advocate for a simple tagbox in setting thats says 5E correct spells & cantrips on/off
My most current opinion here is to keep surface effects on cantrips but tune the surface effects. Firebolt feels so strong because it hits so many times now; it hits so many times because fire surface does damage on hit.. then at the beginning of the targets turn, then the moment the target tries to move if they dont jump and/or a proc from burning debuff (which was rarely seen in 5e at these early levels). Dex saves should be possible on fire surfaces, like it is for Fireball and other area based effects in 5e. Part of the problem is all of the surfaces need to follow 5e rules, not Divinity rules; and 5e usually does hit rolls for single target effects, and save rolls for area effects. Fire surface is an area effect that is currently only reducible with niche racial/class features whereas the other effects can be avoided with a successful save roll.

Adjust fire surface to 5e rules, give us save rolls against fire, even if its just a "half damage on success" roll

I believe it would please both the "exactly as in PHB" camp and the "surfaces can be good" camp if they would just separate the surface creation from the damage dealing. Choose one, not both.

I think the only problem is that Fire Bolt and Ray of Frost are overpowered when they do both damage AND surface for more damage or prone. And having to spread surfaces as a side effect where you don't want them is frustrating. Like the Web example.

Also Fire Bolt would feel great if it could hit face for 10.
I fought High Priestess Gut in her quarters and I could absolutely not hit her at all. It was miss after miss after miss.

One of the misses was a Firebolt. It completely missed her, and it did 12 damage from the Burning status from the surface effect hitting her immediately, then being re-applied after she runs out of the fire. That's 1/3rd of her total health from a complete miss.
Originally Posted by rfuzzo
Originally Posted by 1varangian
I agree that the cantrips are too loaded now. But I wouldn't completely the remove the surface effects since they do add tactical depth and fun choices to the game. The most elegant solution would be to..

1) Keep cantrips exactly as they are in 5e

2) Add the option of targeting the ground instead of a creature.

With Firebolt you would have a choice: 1d10 to character OR target ground to create small fire surface (1d4, Dex save).

Same with Ray of Frost: normal effect OR target ground to potentially create an ice surface.

These surfaces need to remain small with probably a duration of only 1 round.


this! +1 Don't wholesale remove surface creation, it really adds to the game


I disagree entirely.
Firebolt shouldn't cause any kind of Surface Fire. It would still end up dealing damage to people around if when you ignite the ground below them, and as their turn begins, as it does now.

It's nonsense that Cantrips have been considered to do this at all to begin with at all.
Posted By: Akunu Re: Please remove surface effects on cantrips - 23/10/20 03:52 PM
Originally Posted by crabsmack
Having cantrips only create surfaces if targeted at the ground seems like a fair middle ground. Firebolting an enemy is a normal 1d10. Firebolting the ground leaves a little flame patch. I'd also be fine with full 5e, no surfaces from cantrips at all, but different behavior for targeting ground vs enemies seems like a compromise.

+1

This. So much this.

Larian could with this put their efforts into an environment thats actually interactive instead of the generic tiles with a different texture. In some areas only certain surfaces should be possible (no fire in a blizzard) and in most only last a very limited time. In others, they should be more powerful. Like a fireball into a barn full of hay. A short strong fire, that leaves back ash. Ash that actually inhibits putting flame surfaces on it.

This could be easily paired with missing a target. Failed attacks interact somewhere in the direction of the target with the environment.
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