To contextualize, my group is level 5 and the team is formed by a Moon Druid (me); a Valor Bard; and a Warlock.

About the title, of course you need to roll dice for attacks rolls; saving throws; skills checks; spell attacks rolls. My problem comes when my DM asks to roll dice for non-spell attack/non-saving throw spells.

Here are some examples:
"I need to cure someone with Cure Wounds but rolled poorly, so unicorn fart comes from my hands and no cure was done";
"I need to move my moonbeam (MOVE, not cast), but I forgot how to do it because, yet again, rolled poorly".

Although, when this happens no spell slots are used.

I have the following questions:

  • Is my DM following some alternative rules for this? I am pretty sure those are not the oficial rules. Even more, I had read questions about "When to roll for spells" that back me up.

And before you ask, yes, my DM is completely sure that he is following the rules step by step.
- How will these rules affect encounters against groups of enemies with full-casters among their ranks?
- Will this screw us over, will this screw them over, or are there no real changes?
- What about against groups with only charge-on brutes?

As a homebrew rule, my DM decided that each round of combat lasts 30 seconds, so any Concentration spell I cast with a duration of 1 minutes last 2 turns.

Oh-oh, I have a lot of those.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you know what your DM's intent is for rolling for every action in combat and the change to round duration? Has it been explained to you? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 21 '18 at 22:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ The two questions, while related, are still two questions, and I think they should be done as that. The first is about knowing if the rule is official or not. The second is about the balances of this (afaik, homebrew) rule. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint May 21 '18 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ This has the potential of being 3 separate and good questions. 1) how will rolling for everything affect our game? 2) how will 30 second rounds with no adjustment to spell durations affect our game? And 3) Our DM is objectively wrong about the rules, how do I convince them about it? \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 21 '18 at 22:34

In this case, your DM is making the life of players much harder.

Is my DM following some alternative rules for this?

From the Cure Wounds and Moonbeam examples that you've given, no.

Cure Wounds: A creature you touch regains a number of hit points equal to 1d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on Undead or constructs.

A spell does exactly what is says it does, in this case Cure Wounds requires no sort of roll to see if you heal, the only roll is for how much you heal. Same for Moonbeam, unless it is explicitly described in the spell's description, you don't need to roll for success.

How will this rules affect encounters against groups of enemies with full-casters among their ranks? Will screw us over? Will screw them over? No real changes? What about against groups with only charge-on brutes?

I won't address all of these questions individually, just the main one. In my opinion, you need to talk to your DM and make sure that they have a proper understanding of spell related rules before your next game. Being forced to make additional rolls for actions only increases the chance of them failing, leading to wasted time and player frustration.

This will make combat a slog, with all of the caster missing much more often than usual. I don't know if your DM has implemented similar nerfs on melee characters as well, but if they haven't then they will be ridiculously powerful by comparison.

And as a homebrew rule, my DM decided that each round of combat last 30 seconds, so any Concentration spell i cast with a duration of 1 minutes last 2 turns.

Once again, make sure you talk to your DM. This is a huge issue for casters who rely on concentration buffs and debuffs. If your DM insists on using this house rule, then you need to find a compromise. Options might include:

  1. Increasing the duration of concentration to suit. For instance, a 30 seconds concentration would have lasted 5 rounds of combat, so scale it to last 150 seconds instead.
  2. More actions in combat. This would be a terrible idea, and would completely eradicate action economy, but it's an idea.
  3. Ignore the compromises and play by the intended rules. Honestly, this is the best bet, 30 second turns are game breaking in too many ways and it's not worth looking for a way around it.

In summary, talk with your DM. Make sure that everyone at the table knows the proper rules for spellcasting and combat. It's all well and good to homebrew some rules, but only at the benefit of those at the table. Rules that make player/DM life more difficult create more conflict than fun.


No, these aren't official rules from 5e, AFAIK

Nowhere in the Spellcasting chapters from PHB or in the many variant rules from DMG I'm aware of any ruling making you roll, for example, to be able to cast Cure Wounds.

Rulings like these would need to be playtested alot and carefully made, since this changes completely the balance of spellcasting.

Earlier editions and other systems had rulings about "rolling to see if you are able to cast a spell", specially when trying to cast spells while wearing armor.

In 5e, these conditions were made simpler: you can't cast spells if you are wearing an armor you are not proficient with or if you can't provide one of the components to the spell (V, S or M). Otherwise, you always succeed at casting the spell, unless the spell itself needs a check (Dispel Magic, Counterspell, etc). In particular, most support spells always succeed as long as the target is willing.

my DM is completely sure that he is following the rules step by step.

Ask him, before or after a session, where is this rule written. He can be reading some unofficial ruling or just misunderstanding the official ones.

This ruling benefits martial classes

Simple as that: if you are now making classes that didn't need to roll need a roll to succeed, classes that needed to roll because their actions would be mostly "Attack" anyway are now stronger (rather, spellcasters are now weaker).

There is alot of complaint in D&D about how spellcasters are better than martial classes in everything, but 5e has reduced this problem, and using an arbitrary rule without playtesting or careful thought usually isn't a good solution.

So, essentially, if you go against a party of full casters, you are happier. If you go against a party of barbarians, having spellcasters in your party, you are sad.

30 seconds rule

Welp, as already mentioned in comments and answers, ask your DM why is he doing it. Also, spells that last for 1 minute are supposed to last for 10 rounds. If each rounds now lasts 30 seconds, the spells should last for 5 minutes.

Repeating: randomly/arbitrarily changing the balance of the game like this usually is a bad idea, unless he actually thought alot in this change and preferably playtested it (or your current party is the playtesting table, in which case he should warn you about it, and handle it as a playtesting table, which means changing the rules on the run would be common when he notices it's not working).

Overall, your DM seems to be interested in nerfing Spellcasters

Ask him if that's the case and, if it is, why. He might think spellcasters are too powerful in the current state (which is a common opinion). Then, talk to him if these are the best changes to achieve whatever he wants, and ultimately express your concerns about how this is affecting (in a bad way) you and your character.

As I mentioned in the comments, these questions should be separated so we can actually address each one individually with more details.


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