I currently have a Roguelock Swashbuckler in a campaign, in this campaign one of his cantrips is Booming Blade. Now the DM has suggested already nerfing the cantrip to remove the extra d8 it receives a level 5 (I am about to hit level 7).

This campaign has run for about 22 sessions with at least one or two combats per session. I have used Booming Blade in every session and it has never triggered. I have preagreed with the rest of the party that if I cast Booming Blade I want them to move to engage it's feature. I feel the DM is suddenly giving all our combatants ranged attacks to stop them from moving.

An example of Combat would be:

[Me:] I cast Booming Blade on the lone Bandit and then move away.

[DM:] Ok he drops his sword and pulls out a bow and shoots at you.

This I can understand in the concept of the game, it is likely that many Humanoid characters, like bandits would have ranged weapons as well as melee weapons. However, in situations where I am fighting mosters I know have no ranged weapons or attacks, the combat will go like this.

[Me:] I cast Booming Blade on the cube and then move away.

[DM:] Ok seeing you attack it, it decides to take the dodge action the next round.

Now am I being paranoid or is my DM purposefully changing combat to negate a weapon cantrip? I understand I still get to do damage from the weapon attack, but it feels like the equivalent of another class losing a class ability because the DM didn't like it.

Now I have asked him outright if he is doing this, because if he doesn't like the cantrip I will change it, maybe not happily but I will do so, but he has unequivocally stated that all his combat encounters are logical and is not stacked against this cantrip.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does he know that you're giving up the use of Sneak Attack to use Booming Blade? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tumin
    Sep 13, 2017 at 0:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question's been flagged as primarily opinion-based, and I'm inclined to agree. Just how is anyone supposed to know, without sitting at your table, why the DM is doing what they are? I suppose this might stand well as a "what should I do now that the DM says they're not stacking things, but it seems clear to me that they are?" or a "how can I get use out of this given the DM is doing that?" But "is he doing what I say he is?" doesn't seem answerable. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tumin Booming Blade does work with Sneak Attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ I wish the reopen voter(s) would make a comment with their reasoning--I'm always aware that I may have missed something big or made a bad decision when casting a vote and consider myself pretty convincable, and it helps other stackizens in their voting to see both sides of the matter, too! \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Sep 13, 2017 at 11:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MatthewPerryman no confusion--I just saw that others were voting to reopen and saw an opportunity to learn something =) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Sep 13, 2017 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


Personally, I think the DM is engaging in some subconscious meta-game thinking here: since he has denied it, its clearly not conscious - unless he's a a liar. Intelligent opponents would know that a spell has been cast but unless they make an Arcarna check they won't know which spell. That they take the appropriate countermeasure without knowing is ... suspicious.

However, this is great! Yes, you are not doing damage but you have locked down your enemy's movement until the start of your next round! An immobile enemy is a vulnerable enemy. Make them the target of some nice juicy AoE effects (Cloud of Daggers springs to mind), move past the enemy while they refuse to move, take cover etc. etc.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Booming Blade sounds like it falls in the category of effects that give its target two choices, both of which are bad for it, where either one ought to be taken advantage of next. Might be worth noting that doing so may even prompt the DM to opt for damage instead sometimes once they realise it could actually be the safer option. :) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2017 at 0:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dale. I can see your point and I like your optimism. Maybe it is me being a whiny player but I feel that if my DM is even doing this subconciously. He has put me in a position where one of my cantrips (which is great for adding damage to a single target, which is a rogue's bread and butter), null and void. As stated in the question to me it seems like the equivalent of saying to fighter 'You can't second wind or action surge'. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2017 at 7:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener & Dale From doing som reading around the internet. I think you are actually both right, I have been looking at this as solely a way for my character to do more damage against a creature (Weapon Attack, Booming Blade, Sneak Attack, Booming Blade Thunder Damagee etc). I honestly did not consider the fact of how much it can lock down a particular Mob. I was thinking along the lines of 'Attack, Kite, watch them damage themselves'. Tahnk you both. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2017 at 15:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MatthewPerryman You're thinking in MMO tactics. Two of the most common - kiting and tanking - do not really exist in TT RPGs. Crowd control, however, does. Booming Blade is a CC-or-DPR. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Sep 13, 2017 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd disagree on tanking personals but this is not the plsce to discuss this \$\endgroup\$ Sep 13, 2017 at 18:20

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