True Strike has been a popular discussion point. On one hand, it's considered one of the weakest spells in the game, but on the other, balancing it as being a bonus action seems to make it overpowered.

My approach is based on its fluff text.

Your magic grants you a brief insight into the target's defenses.

I propose that True Strike would grant advantage on an attack in the next turn, as before, and, additionally, similarly to the Fighter's Know Thy Enemy feature,

The DM tells you if the creature is your equal, superior, or inferior in regard to two of the following characteristics of your choice:

  • Intelligence score
  • Wisdom score
  • Charisma score
  • Armor Class
  • Current hit points
  • Total class levels, if any
  • Total spellcasting levels, if any

I'm not sure if two characteristics is too much, compared with the Fighter's 7th level feature. This would be one of the few ways (if any?) to get information about a creature's mental scores, and it clearly has more of a caster-vibe than Know Thy Enemy.

How balanced would this be?

  • \$\begingroup\$ D&D 4e specifically differentiates "crunch versus fluff" in the rules, 5e does not. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please read here and here \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast The corresponding link for "fluff text" in the OP deals with exactly that issue in relation to true strike. I think OP is aware. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov It is text that is part of the spell description. I'll go and nag the other one as well. The linked post calls it flavor text, by the way. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you ever balance against meta knowledge? The value is wildly table dependent, and creature dependent. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


It's not balanced

You're taking a 7th level ability from the Fighter that takes them one minute of observation to use and are giving it to a 1st level Wizard for a single action and you add on an additional effect as well.

Regardless of what the power level of this ability is relative to other spells, giving unique, high level Fighter abilities to low level Wizards is going to annoy anyone playing a Fighter at your table.

(In general, copying unique talents of non-magical into spells is probably going to make anyone not playing a spellcaster feel bad about their choice. It's hard to feel unique when someone can do what you can do, and better, by casting a single, free spell.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Rats. Still not a good idea on True Strike. This is the real challenge of DnD 5e \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93 The spell's a hot mess, no two ways about it. The only thing I can see as a mod that might be close to balanced is to allow a caster to provide "help" action at range by using their action, but I've seen some discussions at GiTP where that suggestion also has some serious loopholes. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast That steps on the Rogue Mastermind's toes. That's their thing! \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Yeah, and that's also a problem, but it wasn't a problem for the "core" True Strike \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 17, 2020 at 12:42

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