Recently I played a game of D&D 5th Edition. While we liked the simplicity and made characters quickly, there was one big bottleneck: the Wizard (and to a lesser extent, the Cleric) kept having analysis paralysis over the spell choices!
Most of my players were more familiar with 4th Edition in which a Wizard or Cleric had only a handful of spells to choose at first level (without supplement books). We really didn't have analysis paralysis because it was generally "here's four powers, pick one of them". We've also played some systems with moderately more complicated spell systems (e.g. Savage Worlds), but didn't really have analysis paralysis there either.
However in D&D 5th Edition, there are many more spells (about a dozen cantrips and another dozen first level spells). It seems that we've come across analysis paralysis with spell selection pretty hard. This has exhibited itself in several ways:
- After reading the dozen cantrips & dozen 1st level spells, picking which ones should be purchased as players were constantly waffling between each one. They kept wondering if they would regret not taking a certain spell because it would be expensive to purchase later.
- Out of all those we purchased, picking which spells to prepare for the day. They kept wondering if they would regret it if they needed a spell if they came across a situation.
After about 15 minutes of waffling back and forth with their spell selection in what felt like a battle of wits with a Sicilian (to the annoyance of the Fighter and Rogue who had been ready to go for a while), we threatened to just make them randomly choose spells if they couldn't decide (they finally did pick, but kept feeling like they might have made the wrong choice).
The only difference I see between this system and others is the amount of spells, but perhaps there are other aspects too, like complexity of spells. At any rate, what can we do in the future? How can we prevent choosing spells from leading to analysis paralysis?