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Is there any info on why NRD was removed from Wild Sorcerers (compared to previous editions, since NRD was one of the reasons the class was well-liked)?

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I don't have a copy of the playtest handy, was it present there and removed? Or was it part of previous editions? –  wax eagle Aug 24 '14 at 2:14
Part of previous editions, should've clarified. Specifically, when everyone loved the class... 8). I was just curious, hopefully it's a fair question to ask. –  Khashir Aug 24 '14 at 2:38
Do I misunderstand the question? NRD lets you cast any spell that you know, which is how 5e sorcerers' spellcasting always works. Am I missing something? –  SevenSidedDie Aug 24 '14 at 4:06
NRD lets you use a L1 slot to force a Wild Surge that can potentially cast any spell in your Spellbook (given that Wild Mages were Wizards, when NRD existed). –  Khashir Aug 24 '14 at 7:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Nahal's Reckless Dweomer has been directly incorporated into the Sorcerer's class features.

Starting in 3.5E, the spell was converted into the "Reckless Dweomer" class feature for the Wild Mage prestige class:

Complete Arcane, Page 68

Reckless Dweomer (Su): At 9th level and higher, a wild mage knows how to spontaneously convert her own spell energy into random, unpredictable results. As a standard action, she can eliminate a prepared spell or spell slot of at least 1st level to create an effect similar to that of activating a rod of wonder. The character's student of chaos ability (see above) applies when she uses her reckless dweomer ability. See page 237 of the Dungeon Master's Guide for details on the rod of wonder.

5th Edition goes a step further and makes all of a Wild Magic Sorcerer's 1st-level and higher spells function this way.

PHB page 103, Sorcerer, Wild Magic, Wild Magic Surge

Starting when you choose this origin at 1st level, your spellcasting can unleash surges of untamed magic. Immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher, the DM can have you roll a d20. If you roll a 1, roll on the Wild Magic Surge table to create a random magical effect.

There are a few good reasons for the changes.

  1. Being a class ability rather than a spell, ensures that the ability makes sense within the context of being a Wild Mage, rather than say a Thief using "Spell Thief" to steal the spell, or other strange spell cross overs.
  2. The wild surge can be determined by the DM in cases where the player and DM don't want wild surge to happen all the time.
  3. Because of the way spell casting works differently in 5e, it would be game breaking if you were allowed to cast a 5th level spell slot spell, using only your first level spell slot.
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Thanks for the historical overview--the appealing thing about NRD is that you could use a L1 spell slot to force a Wild Surge, and potentially cast any spell in your book. The key here is: 1-) voluntary (you chose when you wanted to force the Wild Surge). 2-) one of the effects of the table is that you got to cast the desired (higher level) spell. –  Khashir Aug 24 '14 at 7:41
No it doesn't. Nahal's Reckless Dweomer as the spell pre-dates 3.5E. This answer explains the spell's transition into a class feature, and explains why it is no longer present. If memory serves, NRD originates from the Tome of Magic circa AD&D (2nd Edition). –  Dyndrilliac Aug 24 '14 at 8:06
Thanks! What I meant was that PC can no longer trigger a Wild Surge, which is what NRD did (in 2E, which is when I played Wild Mage). Well, whether it's gamebreaking depends on the surge table (and what you would need to roll to get the spell you want). E.g., I once used NRD to cast some trivial (but needed at the time) spell, and ended up summoning a demon. Yeah... –  Khashir Aug 25 '14 at 5:16

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