16
\$\begingroup\$

I am running a Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition campaign for my family, and they will shortly be reaching 3rd level. My (8-year-old) son is playing a Sorcerer, and so will gain access to Metamagic options.

Both because it's more forgiving generally, and also in acknowledgement that my players are inexperienced and (in my kids' case) young, I'm largely in favour of rules that let them change out any options that aren't working well for them. I'm already using the November 2019 Unearthed Arcana "Class Features", which e.g. lets Clerics switch out a Cantrip on levelling, lets other (non-Wizard) spellcasters change one known spell after a long rest, lets martial classes change Fighting Style on levelling, and lets all classes change a proficiency along with their ASI.

However, the UA doesn't allow Sorcerers to switch out Metamagic options, and I wonder if this is deliberate. Is it likely to cause problems to allow the Sorcerer to change their two selected Metamagic options after a long rest, or alternatively on level up?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Letting them change on levelling up seems like a standard house rule, for precisely the reasons you want to do it :) \$\endgroup\$ – Greg Martin Apr 16 '20 at 7:01
17
\$\begingroup\$

There are some Metamagic options that are more situational, and there might be some abuse you could do. There's two things I see:

Subtle Metamagic

In many campaigns and situations, this ability is pretty much useless. Somatic and verbal components hardly ever matter to your character, unless it's a flavor thing or your character likes lugging around heavy things in both hands.

But it's wonderful if you're ever captured or suddenly need to hide the origin of spells. So if you're locked up in a prison with bound hands, this Metamagic is awesome and being able to swap into it will be useful.

Extended Spell

This one lets you increase duration on a spell up to 24 hours, which is beyond the time it takes to rest and select a different one. So if you know you'll be doing some dungeon delving a few days in advance you can switch into Extended spell, cast a long duration buff just before bed, then swap back out and have an active spell for most of your adventuring day without spending a slot. Is that powerful? Depends on what spell you can find for it, I guess. Probably not very.

Other than that, I can see no serious abuses. Considering your situation of allowing flexibility to a new and young player, I would certainly just allow it. It's unlikely such a player can break anything with the option.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "> Somatic and verbal components hardly ever matter" Unless you run into counterspell-happy enemy. "Depends on what spell you can find for it" Luckily, Foresight is not on Sorcerer spell list \$\endgroup\$ – Revolver_Ocelot Apr 15 '20 at 18:07
16
\$\begingroup\$

It provides more flexibility than intended to classes, which is more forgiving to unexperienced players, and powerful for experienced ones.

If your kid isn't trying to optimize the character because, as you say, he's a kid and lacks experience, this is a fun homebrew rule. If he takes metamagic options he dislikes, he can fix that mistake. It makes the Sorcerer more flexible, which isn't the point of the class. As a comparison, a Wizard has none of the tricks the Sorcerer has, in exchange for having the flexibility to change his spells.

However, if your kid learns he can do this and starts using it to his advantage, it can be really powerful. All metamagics do very different things, from letting you do a lot of damage in a short amount of time, to letting you seduce the king for days without anyone realizing a spell was cast.

At your table, you will need to see how things evolve. A conservative approach is to allow changing metamagics at level-up, but seeing as you're already using other UA variants, you will have to see what best fits you.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ You compared it to the base game, but not to the UA rules OP sau they are using. \$\endgroup\$ – Mołot Apr 15 '20 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mołot I did address them in my last paragraph. I didn't go into too much detail because I'm not familiar with them \$\endgroup\$ – BlueMoon93 Apr 15 '20 at 14:14
3
\$\begingroup\$

Allow rebuilding characters, but put some limitations on it.

Consider that Adventure League rules allow a player to rebuild their character (with only a few things that must remain constant) all the up until they become 5th level.

I believe the limiting factor is that it can't be done in-session (either before or after) which seems fair. This gives players a chance to try out things for a little while before settling on a final look for their character.

You could institute something similar in that after each session ask if there are any changes the players would like to make before the next game. This would prevent people from changing on the spur of the moment to fit one situation, but still give freedom to change what they might consider "a mistake" or "unimportant".

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's certainly a valid option, but I've decided against the AL way as a blanket policy because I have young kids. Otherwise, they'd rebuild because they're bored and "ooh, shiny", and I'd rather keep consistency so they get the hang of role playing (rather than just role playing). \$\endgroup\$ – Chowlett Apr 16 '20 at 7:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.