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Ferros Offline OP
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I wanted to express my concern with the Zariel Tiefling 3rd level racial spell, which is supposed to represent the paladin spell Searing Smite. In regular 5e, Searing Smite functions as a concentration spell, which deals additional fire damage with each attack while concentration is maintained, for up to 1 minute. In BG3, the Searing Smite Zariel Tiefling ability is being implemented as though it were a Battlemaster Fighter maneuver, adding fire damage to single attack, and then doing damage over time to that enemy until the enemy makes a saving throw. This is a significant downgrade, particularly at higher levels. To a lesser degree, this is unfortunate for the Zariel Tiefling, but if this ability works the same for paladins when they are introduced, it will be a huge nerf to the class.

Naturally, a Zariel Tiefling of any martial class would benefit more from its 3rd level racial spell if it was implemented the same way it works in 5e. A fighter, for example, would add fire damage to each attack, and a fighter can potentially land anywhere from 4-6 attacks in a single turn, depending on whether we reach lvl 11 and if the fighter uses Action Surge. This means that in 5e, a Zariel Tiefling using their Searing Smite racial spell can add an additional 1d6 fire damage on up to 6 different attacks in a single turn, regardless of whether those attacks hit a single enemy or multiple enemies, and each of those attacks could also be further improved through the use of battlemaster maneuvers, so long as the Zariel Tiefling maintains concentration on their racial spell. That is way better than the version of searing smite implemented in BG3, which adds 1d6 damage to a single attack, and has a chance to continue doing 1d6 to that enemy on later turns. In the current BG3 application, the racial spell actually competes with battlemaster maneuvers for which action should be taken, and only benefits the Tiefling a single time, whereas the 5e version continues to empower the Tiefling for a full minute. This is a big nerf to the Zariel Tiefling as a racial choice for martial classes.

More importantly, however, is the implications of BG3's current version of the Smite spell for paladins as a whole, as paladins rely on these smite spells to be a viable class. Maybe it is ok that Zariel Tieflings have been nerfed, because they can still use the regular powers of whatever class they choose. But if paladins are forced to use their smite spells as they have been implemented in BG3, they will effectively become weaker versions of the battlemaster fighter. Paladins already have the ability to channel spell slots into extra radiant damage on a single weapon attack through their divine smite class ability, so turning their smite spell repertoire into single turn actions is redundant. Instead of being able to stack smite spell damage with the divine smite class ability, they now would have to choose between the two. Furthermore, Paladins are already extremely resource dependent relative to other martial classes, and the BG3 version of the smite spell compounds the problem. Whereas in 5e, Paladins can make their half-caster spell pool last longer by relying on a single cast of a smite spell to last 10 rounds, here Paladins would have to consume a spell slot on each swing of their weapon to deal comparable damage. But Paladins already have the ability to consume a spell slot for extra damage on an attack with their divine smite class ability. Therefore, searing smite as currently implemented with the Zariel Tiefling essentially just takes away the Paladin's ability to make their smaller spell pool last, and reduces Paladins' maximum damage output by preventing the joint use of smite spells and the divine smite ability on a single weapon attack, while adding nothing to the class. It is a big nerf, that makes Paladin Smite spells function as Battlemaster maneuvers; a single weapon attack that creates a unique effect on one hit. But Paladins won't regain their "maneuver" on a short rest, they won't have action surge, and if the game goes to 11th level or higher they will have 1 fewer attack per turn. The searing smite spell nerf exhibited on the Zariel Tiefling therefore threatens to turn the Paladin into an inferior version of the Battlemaster Fighter, which would be a huge shame. It not only makes the Paladin substantially weaker, but also reduces the diversity of play styles available to BG3 players, making the Paladin class play too similarly to another class that is already available.

I wanted to write this post now, before the Paladin class is released, in hopes that Larion will realize that the smite spells must be kept consistant with their 5e versions, and not the version currently implemented on the Zariel Tiefling. While the Zariel Tiefling can likely survive the nerf created by BG3's current interpretation of the searing smite spell, Paladins as a class will be seriously damaged by this decision. I am hoping that at the very least, Paladins will be able to play as they do in 5e, even if Larion decides to keep the Zariel Tiefling nerf in place out of concern for racial attribute balance.

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While you are correct that spells like the smite spells and the ranger's Ensnaring Strike like spells aren't implemented properly, and should be fixed if Larian wants them to be properly balanced, I believe you may have a misconception of how they work in 5e.

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, you're saying that searing smite should apply to all attacks during the spells duration, but that isn't the case. It only applies to the first melee weapon attack that hits while you have searing smite active.

So while Larian's implementation of searing smite(and similar spells) is a huge nerf, because the proc doesn't sustain through misses, the 5e version's doesn't sustain through hits either. That would be bonkers and make spells like hunters mark, hex, and divine favor laughable in comparison.

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Ferros Offline OP
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Ya, I seem to be mistaken on that point, I haven't played a Paladin myself and misread the smite spells. But what I have seen is both the smite spell, such as searing smite, and the divine smite paladin ability, being used together on the same attack. So you would use searing smite with the bonus action, make the attack action and then also use the divine smite class ability to deal additional damage on the attack. As it is currently set up, you wouldn't be able to use both. Am I mistaken in this? I appreciate the feedback Evandir.

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Originally Posted by Ferros
Ya, I seem to be mistaken on that point, I haven't played a Paladin myself and misread the smite spells. But what I have seen is both the smite spell, such as searing smite, and the divine smite paladin ability, being used together on the same attack. So you would use searing smite with the bonus action, make the attack action and then also use the divine smite class ability to deal additional damage on the attack. As it is currently set up, you wouldn't be able to use both. Am I mistaken in this? I appreciate the feedback Evandir.

If they implement Paladin smites the same way they have the Ranger's psuedo smites, then that's correct.

For example, Ensnaring Strike can't be used on the same turn as Hordebreaker like it can in 5e, which functions similarly to a Paladin attempting to nova(bonus action smite + divine smite.)

If they don't improve the way these spells are implemented, it's going to hurt the versatility of both these half casters very hard.

1. Here's how they work in 5e:

It costs a spellslot. It uses your bonus action and requires concentration. It is not used as part of an attack.

For the next minute, or until you lose concentration, if you hit an enemy with an attack, they are subjected to the spells effects.

Your attack may deal some extra damage, but if the enemy succeeds its saving throw, you pretty much wasted your spell slot, as the main benefit of these spells are their riders.

Conclusion: These spells are originally designed around only having 1 point of failure. The chances of the caster not hitting an enemy within a minute of casting are fairly low.

It's possible that the caster could lose concentration from a concentration check, but that would have ended the effect of the rider anyway.

The true point of failure that these spells are balanced around are the spell saves they require. Half casters can't usually afford to have a high spellcasting modifier, so it's already a risk to spend spellslots on these kinds of spells compared to Hunter's Mark/ Divine Smite, which have guaranteed value.

2. Here's how they currently work in BG3:

It costs a spellslot. It uses your action as part of an attack, meaning that you can't use them in conjunction with Hordebreaker, sneak attack, divine smite, etc.

You have to hit your first attack, or you just wasted your spellslot.

Your attack may deal some extra damage, but if the enemy succeeds its saving throw, you pretty much wasted your spell slot, as the main benefit of these spells are their riders.

Conclusion: This method allows 2 points of failure and requires the player to make a conscious choice between a guaranteed effect, like Hordebreaker/sneak attack, and the burning of a spellslot for a spell with a high risk of failure.

Half casters have limited spellslots and a low Spellsave DC, so these already situational spells became even less reliable, which will push players away from them and lead to more one-dimensional playstyles.

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Ferros Offline OP
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Thanks Evandir, you've been able to better express my concerns, hopefully Larion will read your post and make some adjustments to protect these half-caster classes.

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Sure thing Ferros, welcome to the forums. We could definitely use more detailed feedback like this.

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The smite like spells work different, but I think it is a net benefit for ranger/paladin.

Sure, you may miss an attack and loose a spell slot. However BG3 spells do not force you to break concentration on your other spells.

When you play Ranger/Paladin you often have the dilemma of: this is a good time to use Ensnaring Strike/Thunderous Smite but you'll loose Hunter's Mark/Bless. So you choose not to use them since Hunter's Mark/Bless give you more damage and utility while not requiring the enemy to save against your (usually mediocre) DC.

In the end, most of the time you rarely use these spells, which in the case of a Ranger is annoying since you can't swap spells each day and once you choose it you are stuck with it until next level.

So overall I think it is an improvement, particularly for the Ranger who can keep the Hunter's Mark running for multiple encounters. Idk, it's just different. Hopefully it works well with multi attack.

Last edited by Eugerome; 22/01/21 12:24 PM.

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