We're many sessions into a homebrew cyberpunk 5E, and I've recently introduced hacking using this Modern Magic UA.

I can't see in there any stipulation on how frequently a hacker class can cast a tech. Are there any hard and fast rules?

Context; my tech caster can load these hacks into a small portable 'techdeck' he carries around, and casts them from there. In last night's session, he was able to basically run through an infiltration mission wildly casting Invisiblity to Cameras and Haywire on most challenges (it played out balanced enough in the end luckily, and didn't ruin the story), but I'm just concerned it was a little OP.

So the question is... with Tech casting, is there a standardised limit I can impose on my players when they're casting too many techs?

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's standard 5th Edition, cyberpunk skin/setting, the link Ive referenced there, Im using the tech spells from within as castable tech abilities \$\endgroup\$
    – mrc85
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 8:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey That UA link is for D&D 5e, yes, but it's also designed for playing D&D 5e in a cyberpunk setting rather than the typical fantasy setting. I imagine, by saying "a homebrew cyberpunk 5E", the OP means they're playing a homebrew variation of D&D 5e but in a cyberpunk setting (because, funnily enough, that's exactly what I've just started playing, using that exact UA!). That said, these are my assumptions, and we would still prefer to have confirmation from the OP. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 8:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mrc85 Oh, hey there, I didn't see your reply when I was typing out mine. Basically, what we'd really like from you is to add the [dnd-5e] tag to your question, if that's the game that your homebrew game is based on. Your other tags are fine as they are, though; it's just our site's policy that each question have a game tag, specifically added by the OP (unless it really isn't about any one game, but in this case it seems like it is) \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 8:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah thanks Nathan, my apologies, will ensure I clarify better in future :) You're spot on with what we're doing though - 5E in a cyberpunk setting using a mixed bag of skins and bits and bobs from other games \$\endgroup\$
    – mrc85
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 8:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool, glad that I got it right! And thanks for adding that tag. Also, welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour when you get a chance, and visit the help center if you need any more guidance. One question I have for you; you mention a "tech caster", so I assume a Cleric/Warlock/Wizard with one of the UA subclasses - could you tell us which class your caster is? That may affect the answers, since the answer might be different depending on the class... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 8:30

1 Answer 1


Those "tech abilities" are spells and should be limited by spell slots (or a similar resource)

In comments, you mentioned how you are using a homebrew "hacker" class, which is able to make use of these new spells presented in that UA article such as invisibility to cameras and haywire.

Since these are spells, and the design of D&D is that the use of such spells should be limited in some way, it would make sense for your "hacker" class (which seems to be the equivalent of a spellcaster class from traditional fantasy D&D, such as clerics or wizards) to have a "Spellcasting" class feature (although you can call it something different that matches the cyberpunk flavour better, but so long as it behaves much like, say, a wizard's Spellcasting feature, it should do the job).

As you also mentioned in a comment, a narrative justification could be that the PC needs "his techdeck (the equipment used to cast) to 'recharge'" and that's what happens during a long rest.

As an alternative to tracking spell slots as a cleric or wizard does, you could consider using a warlock's Pact Magic instead of the Spellcasting feature for the basis of your "hacker" class's new feature, which means you would have way fewer spell slots, but they come back after only a short rest instead.

Another alternative could be using the "spell points" optional rule from pages 288-289 of the DMG: Variant: Spell Points. This may give your new class a different "feel" from a traditional D&D spellcaster, although by the same token, it might also be changing too many things at once. Personally, I'd recommend using either Spellcasting or Pact Magic with normal spell slots, since when changing things, I find it good to keep other things the same, but that's just me.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Perfect suggestions :) Many thanks, I'll implement these in the next session and see how it goes! \$\endgroup\$
    – mrc85
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 9:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mrc85 Thanks for the "green tick", I'm glad you've found what I've said helpful. However, (and this isn't another "site policy", this is just more like... best practice?) typically we encourage waiting for about 24h before accepting an answer to let others from different time zones around the world see the question and possibly provide even better answers than mine. That said, the "green tick" is still entirely up to you (hence this isn't a "site policy" thing) and you're allowed to add/remove/change it at your whim. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 9:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, that makes complete sense, will bear it in mind for the future - cheers again :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mrc85
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 11:55

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