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I'm working on a death themed Bladesinger. She died early on to a crit and since being brought back she's been touched by death. I've been working on a few death/melee spells to work with her and I'd love some feedback.

Death Walker

Level 1: Necromancy 1 reaction

The passing of a soul opens a gateway through the world. When a living creature dies within 30ft of you, you may spend a reaction teleport to the spot of the dying body. Alternatively, if you are next to them you may teleport to any spot within 30ft that you can see. Touched by the death realm, you gain 1d8 necrotic damage on your next attack after a deathwalk.

Also

Drain the Dying

Level 4: Necromancy 1 action

Duration: 10min (non-conc?)

You feed off the death of nearby enemies. Each time a living creature dies within 10ft of you, you absorb tendrils of their lifeforce to gain 2d6 bonus necrotic damage on your next attack or heal 1d6 health.

Upcasting this spell increases the damage and heal by 1d6 for every two levels.

And a melee spellcaster focused option.

Disrupt Magic

Level 3: abjuration 1 action

Make a melee spell attack against an enemy. On hit, you send a pulse of psychic dissonance into them dealing 2d8 psychic damage and preventing spellcasting. At the end of their turns, they make an intelligence save against your spell DC to regain casting. If they are concentrating on a spell, at the start of their turns they make a concentration checks against your spellsave DC. This does not prevent innate magical abilities such as a dragon's firebreath.

Proactive alternative to the classic reactive dispel magic/counterspell. It doesn't undo their spells, but it temporarily stops them from casting.

Thank you!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For context, are you the dm who will use those spells? Asking because the context makes me think of a player story. \$\endgroup\$ – 3C273 Nov 11 at 23:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @3C273 I'm a player who has been discussing more possibilities with the DM. \$\endgroup\$ – EagerToLearn Nov 11 at 23:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Questions are free, so consider making a different question for each spell. Hopefully, that will get you more pointed and specific feedback on each. You may also want to mention why you would prefer not to simply reskin existing spells to have a more death-y flavor. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Nov 12 at 0:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EagerToLearn please post follow-up iterations as new questions after a few days instead of editing this question and invalidating existing answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey Nov 12 at 0:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JoelHarmon The drawback for separating them is that they are all being given to the same player and are meant to suit a theme. By presenting them together like this they can also get feedback on the concept in general. That said I wouldn't want more than 3 or 4 spells in a single post. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Nov 12 at 1:12
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Overall a good start

First impressions of these spells as a whole is that they are a good start and fit the theme you are going for nicely. That said I think there might be a few issues worth mentioning, so lets go through each spell in detail.

Death Walker

This is basically a situationally triggered version of misty step, which is a second level spell. But yours is a reaction instead of a bonus action and comes with a damage boost. It is also similar to the Way of Shadow monk's sixth level feature Shadow Step in how it is a limited teleport.

In power terms I think this spell is alright, if leaning slightly to the more powerful side for a first level spell. But given it's limitations it would likely be underpowered at second level.

One potential useful exploit would be if someone capable of casting revivify were to take this spell, instant teleport to the side of a fallen ally could be quite useful but not game breaking.

Drain the Dying

This spell is a bit overpowered, particularly when upcasting it. The damage portion is fine since damage effects from the same source can't stack and triggering a bit of extra damage everytime someone dies nearby is quite cool. The broken portion is the non-concentration, unlimited continuous healing.

With this spell cast you could run into a hoard of enemies and cast fireball centred on yourself, provided you kill at least a couple of them your would gain hitpoints from doing so. This is clearly an overpowered combination.

The closest spell I could find to this is Vampiric Touch a third level spell that only lasts 1 minute and does require concentration. I would consider rewriting this spell with that as a starting point, at least with the reduced duration.

Disrupt Magic

This is a nice spell but needs a little work. I think is would be reasonably balanced with a few tweaks.

  • First, I think you need to give a save against the effect of the spell. A melee spell attack is a lot easier land than it is to make a powerful enemy fail a save. By having an attack roll and no save until the end of their turn you make this almost an auto-succeed effect that is extremely powerful.

    By preventing spells until the end of their turn, they can't counterspell anything your party does, or use what are presumably their best abilities for a whole round. A single casting of this effectively gives your party 2 rounds to wail on the enemy with little chance of them hitting back.

  • Second, simplify the mechanics. Currently this spell triggers multiple rolls per turn; an attack roll, a concentration check for the spell effect, concentration check from the damage taken and then save against the spell at the end of their turn. A single save per turn and more clearly worded effects would be an improvement.

  • Third, ditch the damage part. This spell is already pretty strong and the damage isn't really significant anyway.

  • Finally, add a duration. You have missed giving this a duration but I would suggest 1 minute would be balanced, though the spell is unlikely to ever last the whole duration.

With these changes the spell would look something like:

Disrupt Magic

Level 3: Abjuration, 1 action

Duration: 1 minute

Range: Touch

You send out a wave of psychic dissonance toward a creature you can see within range. The target must make an intelligence saving throw, on a failed save the targets concentration (if concentrating) is broken and they are unable cast spells for the duration. They may repeat this save at the end of each of their turns, on a success the spell ends.

This version still isn't perfect and probably needs more balance tweaking to get it right but it is much simpler while still achieving the same effects.

A final word

One note that could apply to any of these spells and your whole theme in general. Spells and abilities that benefit from death, particularly ones like drain the dying can quickly turn the tide of battles and result in death spirals. When used by a PC this isn't terrible and can sometimes even be desirable, but if a DM plans to use spells like this against the players they should be wary of TPKs.

Watch out for these spells trivialising some combats during your playtesting and make adjustments where necessary. Even individually balanced spells can get out of hand if a player can combine them cleverly.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 12 at 7:28

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