Originally Posted by Some_Twerp753
Cantrip damage like acid shouldn't cause -2AC if it's not in the rulebook; Fire Bolt should not leave a fiery area with nothing to set on fire, Ray of Frost should only freeze the ground when there's liquid on it, etc. -- maybe rein in surface effects in general (debate)

I prefer the surface system for what it's worth. Right now they have some utility for setting up chain reactions with a well placed web or barrel, while with the Rules As Written (RAW) it's pretty much 'pick damage type' for a ranged attack.

I like the surface effects to an extent, but they need to be toned down. The big 3 are acid should not cause -2 AC, that is a huge deal because not only do you cause damaged with the attack you also make it easier for any follow up attacks to hit them. Pretty sure the big pull of Acid Splash was that it was a cantrip that could target 2 enemies, while all the others could only target one at a time, so buffing it by not only making it just a full on AoE attack that also reduces AC is insane.

For the Firebolt cantrip, they need to remove the ground surface it creates and cause burning damage to only apply at the start of the burned characters turn, that would bring it down to a much more manageable cantrip and not one that deals considerably more damage than it's RAW counterpart.

For the Ray of Frost cantrip they need to remove it's ability to knock enemies prone just from the attack itself, it dealing damage and slowing the enemy is enough already so knocking them prone is pretty overkill. Also, might consider removing the surface effect from this one as well, since while it is just a small area unless it's used on a large amount of freezable liquid it can still cause enemies to fall prone from just taking a single step, which is pretty significant. It already has a chance to take away 10ft of their movement range, then making a rough terrain under them that removes a little extra movement plus having the chance to knock them prone which uses half your movement to stand back up is just nuts.

Surface effects can be fun and add to the strategy of the gameplay, but they're currently overdone. Not every single cantrip or spell should cause a surface effect. Higher level spells like fireball or wall of fire creating fire surfaces is fine, they're higher level spells and much more powerful than a cantrip, so leaving behind some small areas of fire on the ground would really give them a feeling of power, meanwhile firebolt is just some small starter cantrip that can be used an unlimited amount of times, yet it sets stone floors on fire? If you want to make a fire surface with a fire cantrip, at least make it require some preparation like tossing out some oil or grease to ignite first, then higher level spells like fireball can leave small (I do mean small, not a ton of fire in the entire area) patches of fire behind to give it that extra oomph that makes you feel like a powerful wizard who just conjured a great spell.