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I have created some new cantrips which include making a weapon attack as there are only two official ones to choose from. I've tried to follow these principles based on Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade:

  • Melee weapon attack only, 5 foot range
  • No unavoidable extra damage to the primary target at level 1
  • Damage no more than 2 targets
  • Spellcasting ability modifier doesn't have to affect the spell at all

But with such a small amount of official content to compare them against, it's hard to say if they're balanced.

Are these spells balanced with Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade?

Arcane Strike
Evocation
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: Instantaneous
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, except all bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from the attack is converted to force damage.
At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d6 force damage to the target. The damage roll increases by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Astral Smash
Evocation
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and it becomes outlined in sparkling light until the end of your next turn. While outlined, it sheds dim light in a 5-foot radius and cannot benefit from being invisible.
At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d6 radiant damage to the target. The damage roll increases by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Battery
Evocation
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and you become charged until the end of your next turn. While charged, you deal an extra 1d8 lightning damage when making a melee attack with a weapon. If you become charged while you are already charged, the charged damage increases by 1d8, up to a maximum of 2d8.
At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d8 lightning damage to the target and the maximum charged damage increases by 1d8. The damage roll and maximum charged damage increase by 1d8 at 11th level and 17th level.

Blade of Hate
Enchantment
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and it must make a Wisdom saving throw or become afflicted with an irrational hatred of you until the start your next turn. On its turn, it must use its action to attack you or include you as a target of or in the area of a hostile ability if it can. (Other targets may be chosen as well as you if applicable). Undead and creatures immune to being Charmed aren't affected by this effect.
At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d6 psychic damage to the target. The damage roll increases by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Blizzard Blow
Evocation
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and an icy blast from the impact fills the target’s space with frigid air until the start of your next turn. A creature that ends its turn in the frigid air takes 1d6 cold damage.
At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d6 cold damage to the target, and the damage from the frigid air increases to 2d6. Both damage rolls increase by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Caustic Cleave
Conjuration
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: Instantaneous
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and acid sprays from your weapon arc to a different creature of your choice that you can see within 5 feet of you. Make an attack roll against the second creature with the same attack bonus. On a hit, it takes 1d6 + your spellcasting ability modifier acid damage.
At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d6 acid damage to the target, and the acid damage to the second creature increases to 1d6 + your spellcasting ability modifier. Both damage rolls increase by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Vampiric Assault
Necromancy
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and if it takes any damage from the attack, you gain temporary hit points equal to your spellcasting ability modifier (minimum 1). The temporary hit points are lost at the end of your next turn.
At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d6 necrotic damage to the target. The damage roll increases by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Viper Strike
Conjuration
Level: Cantrip
Casting time: 1 Action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: Instantaneous
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails.
On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and it must make a Constitution saving throw or take 1d8 poison damage.
At 5th level, the melee attack deals an extra 1d8 poison damage to the target, and the damage the target takes if it fails its saving throw increases to 2d8. Both damage rolls increase by 1d8 at 11th level and 17th level.

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closed as too broad by NautArch, Oblivious Sage, daze413, Pyrotechnical, Szega May 10 at 15:20

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Richard. Homebrew content being asked about must be in the post itself and not merely linked to in an off-site document. This is so we can see and understand changes being made to the content (the document could change completely but we expect homebrew to not be revised in the same review request and we'd have no way to know whether what we're seeing is what another answerer had reviewed) and to make the question useful to future visitors in case the document 404s. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 10 at 14:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Fixed \$\endgroup\$ – Richard May 10 at 14:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the update. Reopened. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 10 at 14:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question seems to be too broad, in my opinion. Usually, homebrew questions are limited to one homebrew per question for more focused answers but these homebrew cantrips seem similar enough to each other to not need that treatment. It will be interesting to see how this develops, but if the question does get put on hold, I suggest splitting this question into eight different questions, asking for each cantrip. \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 10 at 15:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu in fact, doing a homebrew analysis of entire classes is often a strain on our Q&A system, but there is no logical way to break it up. With a slew of homebrew spells, that problem does not exist and thus they should be asked about one at a time (as they now have been). \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose May 10 at 18:41
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The only significant issue I see with these cantrips are with the Battery and Viper Strike cantrips since they have the potential to deal a more significant amount of damage than one might expect from a cantrip. Especially for Battery, since the only real limitation to the spell is that you have to hit using it to build up charge; but if you do, the spell before weapon damage is dealing 8d8 per round. That's pretty powerful, and it's not hard to imagine a Sorcerer abusing Metamagic (Twinned Spell and Quickened Spell in particular, see PHB 102) to try to guarantee the successful hit on a given turn.

Also, bear in mind the potential for an Eldritch Knight to "unload" after building up a lot of charges: +5d8 per melee hit is no joke, and high-level Eldritch Knights can gain 8-9 attacks in a turn, using their Action Surge and depending on whether they're using Two-Weapon Fighting or not. I'd probably consider limiting the cantrip to "on your next successful melee hit before the end of your next turn". Alternatively, if you really like the idea of such a character being able to supercharge a turn of attacks, I'd instead reduce the "charge" damage to d4s.

Viper Strike is more reasonable, but of course, it's still a large amount of damage to unload. The usual limitation on weapon Poisons (Dungeon Master's Guide, pg. 257) is in the fact that they have to be applied ahead of time and consume resources; this cantrip does neither of these things. The fact that the extra damage is locked behind a failed Saving Throw matters, but it's still a strictly superior version of many other damage cantrips outside the "Sword Coast Cantrips" category that you're filling out. I'm not necessarily suggesting a change on this one right now, but I will suggest putting a "watch" on this cantrip to see if it causes problems in playtesting.

The rest of the cantrips are, in my opinion, fine; although I would personally recommend raising the extra damage on Arcane Strike to 1d8 instead of 1d6. The conversion of damage from physical to Force is itself a nice perk, but in most situations, the caster would have other options to deal high damage to creatures otherwise resistant to physical damage anyways, so in those scenarios, the overall damage output of this spell will come across as pretty weak. Raising it to 1d8 at least gets it on par with what you'd expect, given it does not have any other effects.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah Battery is the main one I was concerned about but I really like the charging up idea. i wouldn't want to discourage using abilities that get the most out being fully charged. I'd rather shrink the dice than limit it to one attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Richard May 10 at 15:14

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