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In a game I play, my GM allows a lot of custom homebrew (with approval), including spells. A situation has come up where my sorcerer is trying to make a version of Misty Step pulling a nearby creature to you, instead of teleporting to a nearby space.

My GM doesn’t have much of an opinion on it yet, so I want advice for balancing it.

This is the spell text:

Misty Hook
3rd level conjuration
Range: 30 feet
Casting Time: 1 action
Choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. You teleport them to an unoccupied space of their choice within 5 feet of you. An unwilling creature can make a Wisdom save to avoid being teleported.

Is this balanced as a 3rd level spell, or should it be higher level?

Note: I’ve been talking about this in chat here, scroll down for the full discussion.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What classes is this for? Much better on a Paladin than a wizard \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Jul 25 at 23:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri: Sorcerer. Depending on whether he annoys me or not, I might share it with the artificer. \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 25 at 23:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BardicWizard Sorcerer’s have no in-universe way of sharing spells with anyone, including other sorcerers, because their magic is innate. The important bit here is whose spell lists this is on, though that’s ultimately also a DM call. \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Jul 26 at 10:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cubic: I know. It’s a custom setting and the magic rules have been bent, broken, and killed at least once already in service of the game. \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 26 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not a fully-fleshed-out idea, but: this could be coupled with (self) Levitate for a fun offensive outcome. I guess the 30ft range prevents that from being too icky! Sorcerer Distant Spell makes this able to inflict potentially 6d6 falling damage in combo with Levitate, which might be a balance consideration. \$\endgroup\$ – Oly Jul 27 at 13:02
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This should be a second-level spell

You've carefully worded this spell so that it's really hard to use it offensively. It's quite difficult to use this to drop someone off a cliff, or into lava, because they get to choose which space they appear in. If you use it on an enemy, you've also placed yourself with melee range of them, and you'll provoke an attack of opportunity if you move away.

(We can make it harder to use offensively by including some text about "arriving on a surface capable of supporting it". The 3.5e conjuration school uses text like this.)

You can still use it to pull your ally out of an awkward spot, which is nice -- but the original misty step was an escape spell, and this misty hook variant isn't an escape spell any more, and I think that's a fair trade.

(Also, this is a spell that promotes teamwork, and I like it when characters use spells like that at my table!)

If you can get past an opponent's saving throw, for a second-level spell slot you could hit them with blindness or levitate or hold person. I think moving them next to your character is in line with those spells.

For the friendly version of the spell, I think it actually should be a bonus-action spell as well, so that you don't blow your whole turn on pulling your ally out of a sticky situation.

How's this:

Misty Hook
2nd level conjuration
Range: 30 feet
Casting Time: 1 action or 1 bonus action
Choose one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. You teleport them to an unoccupied space of their choice within 5 feet of you. They must arrive on a surface capable of supporting them; if there is no such space, the spell fails. If the creature is willing, this spell uses a bonus action; otherwise, the spell uses an action, and the creature can make a Wisdom save to avoid being teleported.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The bonus / action thing is a little awkward because no other spells use it, but I agree with it being second level as long as it remains on the squishy classes and doesn't fall into paladin or eldritch knight hands. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Jul 26 at 10:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I actually did find a (highly unlikely) situation that would make it lethal: flying above a cliff face and casting it on an enemy. All spaces within 5ft on the same geometric plane are going to immediately start a fall. I wouldn’t use it that way, but still. \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 26 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good point. I added some text about "a surface capable of supporting them" to fix this. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Jul 26 at 14:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @J.E: pulling an enemy caster next to you could be a great way to turn a stand-off into a beat-down on one of their clothies, especially if it's not a widely-known spell that your enemy can anticipate you using. Or pull a leader out from behind his guards into your run-away kidnapping. This has some situationally very powerful offensive uses. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jul 27 at 17:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes ooh, thanks for the idea to kidnap someone with it. We’ve had to do that already in this game and I bet it’ll happen again, so this actually might be too overpowered. However, it’s primarily meant to get a mentor out of jail without having to break in and out, so it might not get used for that yet. \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 27 at 19:31
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3rd level is appropriate, specifically because of its out of combat utility.

In combat:

I wouldn't say that is has extra utility in comparison to misty step, rather it has different utility, but only in some circumstances. In many conceivable circumstances this spell is going to be mostly geometrically equivalent to misty step, except it has a chance to fail.

That said, there are circumstances where bringing the enemy to you is tactically superior to teleporting yourself to them, and for that benefit, I think a casting time of 1 action (in distinction with misty step's 1 bonus action) is enough compensation for the tactical superiority afforded by this spell - you can bring the enemy to you, but you have used your action. You'll need some help keeping your target around long enough to swing at them.

If out of combat utility didn't matter, I would call this 2nd level.

Out of combat:

It is outside of combat where this really shines. Misty step is a very good spell for reaching places that are hard to get to (within 30 feet). Misty hook now allows you to communicate those benefits to your friends as well. If you have both Step and Hook, you can step yourself to the top of that 30 foot wall, and hook your friends up there (or throw a rope, I leave conceiving of an example where ropes don't help as an exercise for the reader).1 This is tremendous boost in utility that I think is worthy of a 3rd level slot.


1Bardic Wizard has suggested breaking into or out of jail as a circumstance where ropes fail to provide a useful service.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Breaking into jail: ropes would be very very bad for not getting followed. Especially because we already broke out of jail there. \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 25 at 22:40
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Probably fine as is

Forced teleportation isn’t a very common effect with existing spells so it’s hard to make direct comparisons, but fundamentally this is a relatively weak control effect due to the short range and only affecting a single target, and the fact the caster is potentially jeopardising their own safety by casting this spell if the target is a strong enemy rather than an ally. Because the target can choose the exact location it’s very hard to abuse this against enemies.

This has enough extra utility compared to something like Misty Step to warrant the higher spell level, but I wouldn’t put it any higher than that. Relocation can be very good in some circumstances but due to the short range this spell is quite limited so probably won’t be that good very often.

I’d suggest pitching it to your DM as-is, and if you notice it being a problem during gameplay you can still make adjustments to it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You seem to be assuming that this spell is intended to target opponents, rather than, say, willing allies. Imagine the squishy caster being engaged in melee by a big nasty rogue, and then yanking his tank friend over for an instant flank of his assailant (if the DM is using that option). \$\endgroup\$ – Lexible Jul 26 at 18:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lexible I'm not assuming that at all; It's just that I wouldn't consider that a particularly great concern. \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Jul 26 at 19:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ It’s intended (at least right now) to get an ally out of a jail cell. It probably won’t see much combat (we’ve had 2 combats in over 10 sessions). \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 27 at 0:34
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Hard to balance, but 3rd level is closest

For comparison, here are a few abilities that allow repositioning:

  • [L0 + Hit] Thorn Whip: 10 feet closer
  • [L0 + Warlock Invocation + Hit] Eldritch Blast + Repelling Blast: 10 feet away
  • [L1 + Con] Thunderwave: 10 feet away
  • [L1 + Wis] Command: Their movement in simple direction
  • [Lightning Damage + Thunder Strike] Tempest Cleric 6: 10 feet away
  • [L3 + Wis] Fear: Dash away on turn
  • [L4 + Dex | Bonus] Grasping Vine: 20 feet closer
  • [L4 + Wis] Compulsion: Their movement in any direction
  • [L4] Dimension Door: 300 feet, self + optional ally
  • [L5 + Str] Telekinesis: 30 feet any direction
  • [L7] Teleport: Arbitrary distance, allies only
  • [L9] Gate: Crosses planes

Not counting banish or plane-shift style effects, since the distance is arbitrary.

The repositioning alone already makes this a weaker version of the lvl 4/5 spells effecting enemies. However, the ability to use to save an ally, to kidnap, stave execution, or all sorts of shenanigans makes this quite convenient for a number of niche situations:

  • Secretly plucking a target from midst of bodyguards (need gate for equivalent)
  • Saving an incapacitated or non-spellcasting ally
  • Whatever physics tricks a clever player is bound to find, regardless of wording

In the end, comparing it Misty Step is quite misleading. There are infinite non-you creatures, and only one you.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As an aside, the kidnapping aspect is particularly horrifying. "Your party walks down the winding multi-layered street, admiring the exotic wares and local delicac... Fergus, make 2 wisdom saving throws. OK, that's a failure. Fergus, you catch a glimpse of 4 robed figures finishing their incantations as your surroundings plunge into total darkness - the silence is deafening. Everyone else: Fergus vanishes from your midst without a trace [DC 20 perception to notice a 2nd story window became darker at the same time]." \$\endgroup\$ – Cireo Jul 27 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m the only caster who will have access to this if I don’t teach it to anyone, according to the rules my GM made on creating spells. It is highly unlikely anyone will use it on us... \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 27 at 21:49
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Other answers have already covered the important parts of the spell, however there is one outstanding piece that remains to be addressed:

Unwilling creatures should have to make a Charisma save, not Wisdom.

Wisdom Saving Throws are typically reserved for spells that cause the target to do something that they normally wouldn't do. You can see from this DnDBeyond query that none of the PHB spells result in forced teleportation or any similar effects. 1

Charisma Saving Throws are for when the target resists something happening to them. Effects that deal with dimensional travel almost always require this kind of save, which you can see in this query.


1: you may notice that I specified PHB spells only; this is because recently WoC have allowed inconsistent spells to creep into their publications, and the distinction between Wisdom and Charisma saves has become muddied. When the PHB was released, with some exceptions, it was fairly clear that Charisma saves involved the target stubbornly refusing to let the world alter around them (ala Banishment), while Wisdom saves were when the target was preventing their mind from inflicting a condition. Charm Person is a fairly obvious example, but this also holds true for spells like Hold Person, where the target must recognize that they're not actually unable to move, despite the magical effects trying to convince them otherwise. Unfortunately, spells like XGtE's Scatter have shattered this thematic consistency.

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I think that 3rd level is appropriate, but some possibilities could make it 4th level.

If I read it right, it seems pretty easy to abuse offensively to pull a big enemy to the middle of your party. Pull a boss to a specific spot, Rogue goes sneaky stabby attacky, Barbarian goes nuts, etc. See also: enemies that are otherwise not easily reachable like on ledges, etc.

Or just have the wizard stand close to a precipice, spike pit, etc, and teleport the enemy there.

For further clarification, what I think makes this spell particularly dangerous is the fact that it can teleport an enemy against their will to a convenient spot, granting a huge tactical advantage. A poster above listed some spells that have similar effects, and they're 4th level (Grasping Vine, Compulsion). Even Banishment and Dominate Beast are 4th level as well.

Additionally, without adding some specific weight/class/level limitations, the way the Misty Hook spell is currently written could theoretically pull a hovering dragon down.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How does those capabilities make it a 3rd, possibly 4th, level spell? I think there's a leap of reasoning here I'm missing, and maybe comparing it to the capabilities of other spells of the same level would fill that. (You can edit to include that and no need to signal your edits, there's a revision history built into the site). \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 27 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, and Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 27 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi! I’m curious (not just as the asker) why you think it is 3rd or 4th level, as well as why you think it could work that way (as the teleported creature can choose their destination space). Can you edit to back up your answer with some reasoning? For instance, many of the other answers compare the spell with other, similar, spells to help determine the level. \$\endgroup\$ – Bardic Wizard Jul 27 at 20:30

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