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Hi all,

Apologies if this is beating a dead horse, but in playing I've run into a few spells (two for certain) that are too clunky to use well due to them using up your Action for the turn for arguably weak effects.

Main offenders are Blade Ward (which is a forced choice for Wyll) and True Strike.

Neither are totally useless, but losing an entire turn's Action for their relatively minor benefits never really makes them a great option.

Spells like Hex are a Bonus activation cost, and are all the better for it.

True Strike would be fine if set to 1 turn Duration. A sort of "Forgive me sensei, but I'll have to go all out just this once!" You lose your Bonus each time you fire it.

Blade Ward could be changed to only last 1 turn, but this would still give you a good defensive option while letting you perform an Action while in melee. Again, you lose your Bonus each turn it's used.

As the spells currently are, there's little incentive to use these spells when instead going on the offensive can mitigate way more damage by killing an enemy. Bodies don't fight back.

I'm sure I've missed a few underperformers that could benefit from an activation cost tweak, if you guys have any thoughts.

Cheers!

Edit: Silly me was remembering older D&D where True Strike burned a spell slot... Fixed the post.

Last edited by SableShrike; 15/11/20 10:46 AM.
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You do realize having Blade Ward as a Bonus Action would be incredibly overpowered?

You would have a permanent 50% resistance to all weapon damage from a cantrip.

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True Strike and Blade Ward would be broken as a bonus action. They're cantrips so you'd be able to use them every turn and just have permanent advantage or damage resistance.

As-is I actually do use True Strike with an Eldritch Knight Lae'zel occasionally. Whenever she's running at someone but can't quite make the full distance to attack I pop it and forgo a crappy ranged attack attempt. Then use Great Weapon Master's "All In" ability for two turns to make those huge +10 damage swings actually connect. It is also useful as a pre-cast when you know you're about to be in a fight so she can take off some heads right away.

I think it could stand to last three turns, though. Especially with how fast "turns" pass outside of combat, as I often lose entire turns when I pre-cast just because it takes a few seconds to move into position.

Blade Ward is useful when Wyll is surrounded or you know he's going to get hit a bunch before his next turn. The point of the cantrip is to sacrifice a turn of Eldritch Blast in exchange for reducing incoming and potentially fatal damage to more manageable levels. IF it needs a buff at all I'd just give it a two or three turn duration so it is something you can keep up by sacrificing damage every other turn, but I'm not convinced it really needs the buff.

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If blade ward lasted more than 2 rounds...maybe 5? I think it would be more worth it...even 3 would be nice, but casting it once, having one reduction feels subpar. Apparently True Strike is a meme on how bad it is for 5e pen and paper players.
I think true strike for bonus or true strike for at least 2 rounds would be ok. Kind of like a setup round and a power attack round for burst...but even at 2 rounds I don't think it is worth it for some advantage as there are easier ways to achieve that.

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But why? It's just a cantrip.

Leave it more like 5e, stop changing things.

Last edited by VhexLambda; 16/11/20 03:21 AM.
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The only spell that I've come across recently that needs to be changed from an action cast into a bonus action cast is hail of thorns. For some reason this spell takes both your action and bonus action to cast it, when it should only take your bonus action.

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Originally Posted by VhexLambda
But why? It's just a cantrip.

Leave it more like 5e, stop changing things.


+1

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Originally Posted by CMF
If blade ward lasted more than 2 rounds...maybe 5? I think it would be more worth it...even 3 would be nice, but casting it once, having one reduction feels subpar. Apparently True Strike is a meme on how bad it is for 5e pen and paper players.
I think true strike for bonus or true strike for at least 2 rounds would be ok. Kind of like a setup round and a power attack round for burst...but even at 2 rounds I don't think it is worth it for some advantage as there are easier ways to achieve that.


It is meme bad on the tabletop because it only gives advantage for your next attack, meaning you sacrifice an attack action (which can be two attacks at level 5) to make one other attack more likely to hit. Terrible action economy.

In BG3 it now gives all your attacks advantage for the next two turns like you suggested. Which makes it significantly better than in 5e.

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In the PnP, blade ward and true strike are, legitimately, the least effective and hardest to use effectively cantrips that exist... they're legitimately bad. Bladeward only lasts until the end of your next turn, so you get one round of enemy turns to have resistance, with the dubious inclusion of an Opportunity attacks you take on the turn you cast it, and on your next turn as well. In almost all cases where this effect might be beneficial to you in a meaningful way, there will be better or more effective options for you to use.

Truestrike is worse, since it also consumes your concentration while you hold it, for a single advantage attack roll next turn. If you'd used that action to actually make an attack instead, as well as attacking next turn, then you've gained functionally the same benefit (two attack rolls although with the possibility of both hitting, so, better in fact), without needing to hold concentration.

The changes they've made to these cantrips makes them last a turn longer, so you can actually gain their benefit while you do something else for a turn or two, and I've had times where I've actually used them, albeit very rarely.

As others have mentioned, making them into bonus actions would be exceptionally over-powered for cantrips - but giving bladeward an additional turn of duration wouldn't be a bad idea. Truestrike continuing for *all* your attacks for the next two turns is already, I would say, significantly powerful for a cantrip. It doesn't need to last any longer... Imagine an EK at level 20 doing a quick cantrip to take auto-advantage on eight attacks - that's pretty damn powerful.

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Originally Posted by Niara
In the PnP, blade ward and true strike are, legitimately, the least effective and hardest to use effectively cantrips that exist... they're legitimately bad. Bladeward only lasts until the end of your next turn, so you get one round of enemy turns to have resistance, with the dubious inclusion of an Opportunity attacks you take on the turn you cast it, and on your next turn as well. In almost all cases where this effect might be beneficial to you in a meaningful way, there will be better or more effective options for you to use.

Truestrike is worse, since it also consumes your concentration while you hold it, for a single advantage attack roll next turn. If you'd used that action to actually make an attack instead, as well as attacking next turn, then you've gained functionally the same benefit (two attack rolls although with the possibility of both hitting, so, better in fact), without needing to hold concentration.

The changes they've made to these cantrips makes them last a turn longer, so you can actually gain their benefit while you do something else for a turn or two, and I've had times where I've actually used them, albeit very rarely.

As others have mentioned, making them into bonus actions would be exceptionally over-powered for cantrips - but giving bladeward an additional turn of duration wouldn't be a bad idea. Truestrike continuing for *all* your attacks for the next two turns is already, I would say, significantly powerful for a cantrip. It doesn't need to last any longer... Imagine an EK at level 20 doing a quick cantrip to take auto-advantage on eight attacks - that's pretty damn powerful.



Agree on all counts. They're cantrips, they're highly situational, they definitely don't need to be made bonus actions though.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

Agree on all counts. They're cantrips, they're highly situational, they definitely don't need to be made bonus actions though.


I would say that they are less useful than shove even if they were bonus actions. If shove remains a BA, then I see no reason not to make these two BAs.

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Originally Posted by benbaxter
I would say that they are less useful than shove even if they were bonus actions. If shove remains a BA, then I see no reason not to make these two BAs.


Perhaps Shove should be an attack and not full action or bonus action. Level 5 fighter might want to use Shove twice, not being limited by single bonus action.

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Agree. Do not make bonus action, because then they could be used every turn at ~0 cost.
The increased duration is fine, given that BW/TS are almost laughably useless in PnP. In BG3:
-TS requires concentration, which is pretty easy to break. This limits its power but allows you to possibly have it for multiple turns
-BW lasts 2 turns but requires no concentration. You spend 1 turn to protect yourself for 2 turns.
As a rules purist myself, these changes by Larian are good and make the spells more viable options.

Somewhat off-topic, but
Originally Posted by mg666
Perhaps Shove should be an attack and not full action or bonus action. Level 5 fighter might want to use Shove twice, not being limited by single bonus action.

If Larian keeps Shove/hide/etc as bonus actions, then they should probably also be usable as standard actions for this very reason.
Generally, I would like to use a bonus action and shove/disengage/hide in my turn, which works in PNP but not BG3 /:

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Pretty much none of the balancing changes that Larian made helped the game (exception being the ranger). I really wish they would stick closer to the 5e combat and balancing because these changes lead to requests like this. Advantage/Disadvantage cantrips are too underpowered suddenly because you get advantage/disadvantage far too easily as it is in the game. But breaking more systems to balance out other broken things is not the way to go, especially when you had a far more solid system to begin with before you started tweaking it with extremely short sighted changes.

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Originally Posted by biomag
Pretty much none of the balancing changes that Larian made helped the game (exception being the ranger). I really wish they would stick closer to the 5e combat and balancing because these changes lead to requests like this. Advantage/Disadvantage cantrips are too underpowered suddenly because you get advantage/disadvantage far too easily as it is in the game. But breaking more systems to balance out other broken things is not the way to go, especially when you had a far more solid system to begin with before you started tweaking it with extremely short sighted changes.


This, exactly.

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I don't actually like the changes Larian have made to Ranger. But i feel like i'm an outlier here, because I have played ranger with the replacement class features that wizards released in the 2019 class features UA, which I strongly feel is the best and most solid version of ranger (less front loaded than revised ranger too, which was an issue).

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Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by biomag
Pretty much none of the balancing changes that Larian made helped the game (exception being the ranger). I really wish they would stick closer to the 5e combat and balancing because these changes lead to requests like this. Advantage/Disadvantage cantrips are too underpowered suddenly because you get advantage/disadvantage far too easily as it is in the game. But breaking more systems to balance out other broken things is not the way to go, especially when you had a far more solid system to begin with before you started tweaking it with extremely short sighted changes.


This, exactly.



The exact opposite of this. I think that most of Larian's changes DO help the game. They might not help it for fanatical 5e rules purists who somehow believe that 5e is the One System To Rule Them All and that it can do no wrong, but they help it for the much larger number of regular folks who know nothing about D&D and just want a video game that feels good to play.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by biomag
Pretty much none of the balancing changes that Larian made helped the game (exception being the ranger). I really wish they would stick closer to the 5e combat and balancing because these changes lead to requests like this. Advantage/Disadvantage cantrips are too underpowered suddenly because you get advantage/disadvantage far too easily as it is in the game. But breaking more systems to balance out other broken things is not the way to go, especially when you had a far more solid system to begin with before you started tweaking it with extremely short sighted changes.


This, exactly.



The exact opposite of this. I think that most of Larian's changes DO help the game. They might not help it for fanatical 5e rules purists who somehow believe that 5e is the One System To Rule Them All and that it can do no wrong, but they help it for the much larger number of regular folks who know nothing about D&D and just want a video game that feels good to play.


Even some of us that have been playing DnD CRPGs since Pool of Radiance in 1989 like what Larian has done overall. Yeah, there are things I hope they change (actions vs bonus actions, Hotbar, Movement/Jumping/party control at the top of my list) but overall it's really OK as is, especially for EA.

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Originally Posted by SaurianDruid
True Strike and Blade Ward would be broken as a bonus action. They're cantrips so you'd be able to use them every turn and just have permanent advantage or damage resistance.

As-is I actually do use True Strike with an Eldritch Knight Lae'zel occasionally. Whenever she's running at someone but can't quite make the full distance to attack I pop it and forgo a crappy ranged attack attempt. Then use Great Weapon Master's "All In" ability for two turns to make those huge +10 damage swings actually connect. It is also useful as a pre-cast when you know you're about to be in a fight so she can take off some heads right away.

I think it could stand to last three turns, though. Especially with how fast "turns" pass outside of combat, as I often lose entire turns when I pre-cast just because it takes a few seconds to move into position.

Blade Ward is useful when Wyll is surrounded or you know he's going to get hit a bunch before his next turn. The point of the cantrip is to sacrifice a turn of Eldritch Blast in exchange for reducing incoming and potentially fatal damage to more manageable levels. IF it needs a buff at all I'd just give it a two or three turn duration so it is something you can keep up by sacrificing damage every other turn, but I'm not convinced it really needs the buff.


100% agree.


Originally Posted by Piff
The only spell that I've come across recently that needs to be changed from an action cast into a bonus action cast is hail of thorns. For some reason this spell takes both your action and bonus action to cast it, when it should only take your bonus action.

This too.

Another problem is the timings are wrong. If I give another example, maybe the problem will become more apparent. So it's my turn in the round. I cast Hold Person on a mob that has not acted yet in the round. When it gets to their turn, they make a save and are free from hold person. So even though they lost their initial save, I still got no benefit. Spells like Bladeward and Truestrike are supposed to give me 2 full rounds yet because they end at the beginning of my turn in the round, I only get 1 round on some mobs. This makes them even less effective than intended.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by Stabbey
Originally Posted by biomag
Pretty much none of the balancing changes that Larian made helped the game (exception being the ranger). I really wish they would stick closer to the 5e combat and balancing because these changes lead to requests like this. Advantage/Disadvantage cantrips are too underpowered suddenly because you get advantage/disadvantage far too easily as it is in the game. But breaking more systems to balance out other broken things is not the way to go, especially when you had a far more solid system to begin with before you started tweaking it with extremely short sighted changes.


This, exactly.



The exact opposite of this. I think that most of Larian's changes DO help the game. They might not help it for fanatical 5e rules purists who somehow believe that 5e is the One System To Rule Them All and that it can do no wrong, but they help it for the much larger number of regular folks who know nothing about D&D and just want a video game that feels good to play.


No mate D&D 5e is the evolution of 47 years experience balancing a combat system that has been successfully imported into 30 years of PC games. Pretty sure 10 minutes input from a DOS2 intern isn't going to improve the D&D 5e combat system. With one or two "slight" changes to please DOS fans they managed to screw up the entire class advantage system. The current mechanics don't resemble 5e implementation. You cannot pass judgement on a combat system if it hasn't been tried yet. As BG3 is supposed to be based off the 5e ruleset I don't think it is unreasonable to ask to...you know... implement it first.

If they try the 5e rules and it sucks balls.....make changes, no complaints here. I actually don't care about barrelmancy (make barrels heavy) or cantrips that do 2d4+1d6 AoE fire damage or ray of frost ice patch, makes them useful at higher levels NOT 5e rules. The high-ground/backstab advantage/disadvantage system needs changing to flank/cover bonus of +1+2. It needs to change so barbarians, rogues etc. get proper use of their skillset.

Cantrips like bladeward are difficult to balance, adding an extra round would be ok as it seems a harsh use of an action otherwise. Free action bladeward would be op 50% DR 100% of the time. True strike sucks because high ground gives you the same bonus and they dont stack.

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