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In an attempt to bridge the gap between players in my DND-5e games that want to play D&D 5e and those who want to play Pathfinder 2e, primarily for the wider range of character customization, I'm attempting to create/port feats to allow players who want more choice to have it.

Focused Chaos

Requirements: Sorcerer Wild Magic Subclass

Through rigorous training you can briefly control Wild Magic.

A number of times equal to your Proficiency bonus per day, you may do any combination of the following:

  • Activate a Wild Magic surge when one may happen naturally to roll a 1d6, granting +1/2/3 on 2/4/6 or -0/1/2 on 1/3/5 to Spell save DC or Spell Attack Bonus for that spell.
  • When a Wild Magic surge happens, you may select a range of 40 on the Wild Magic table and roll 1d20 and cause the effect of lined up with the result doubled.

I had a player use this as part of a one-shot, where it felt slightly to strong due to the focusing effect. However, it worked for allowing the character to have more control over their character design.

My worries on this feat going forward are balancing the number of times used, both effects, and the fact as is, it technically allows you to use this ability to cast any sorcerer concentration spell at max length without concentration.

Further on from this, I also commonly give out the Magic Initiate feat and would like this to be part of a suite that I can give to casters instead (as a choice) and would like consideration on comparative balance if possible. Though this is the first in the set of them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I assume you mean something like “a number of times per day”? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2022 at 12:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Oops, that is correct, I accidentally deleted that whilst correcting some other wording \$\endgroup\$
    – Cassie
    Nov 7, 2022 at 12:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ "When a Wild Magic surge happens, you may select a range of 40 on the Wild Magic table and roll 1d20 and cause the effect of lined up with the result doubled." can you clarify how this actually works? I can't seem to get it. Doubling the d20 result means you'd get 2-40 but I'm not sure how that aligns with selecting a range of 40. Does the player choose, something like "25-65" then they roll d20, double the result and "pad" the number with 23 to get into the range? E.g., roll of 12 doubled becomes 24 + 23 becomes 55? \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Nov 7, 2022 at 12:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VLAZ the Wild Magic table is essentially 50 effects with a 2% hit on any effect on percentile dice, the effect is meant to limit to 20 giving 5% hit on any of them of those effects however the wording is difficult to clarify. The alternate wording i was working with was something along the lines of "choose a range of 20 effects on the wild magic table and roll 1d20 to select" however that left the risk of players thinking it was "choose any 20" and future effects that might change the wild magic table (unlikely but I like leaving hooks on my designs). I agree clarification needed though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cassie
    Nov 7, 2022 at 12:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could go with a wording like "select 20 adjacent effects on the Wild Magic table" to get the kind of text you want to go for, and discard the original d100 roll values. Although this kind of thing is unusual in the regular rule texts, it seems fairly unambiguous at first glance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Nov 7, 2022 at 13:09

1 Answer 1

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This looks slightly weak for a feat

As detailed below, the major effect of this is that you can decide to trigger a surge a few times each day, instead of hoping the DM will do it for you, and get an expected +1 to DC or to hit out of it.

You also get a randomized shot that something positive happens. The narrowing of the range can increase the odds of that, with the best positive bracket having 60% positive outcomes and only 10% negative ones, the rest neutral, or you can guarantee a 1 in 20 shot to recover your sorcery points and to entirely avoid the risk of permanently aging. Overall this still is very limited control, and the randomness still will make it hard to get what you need at the time when you need it.

It is not clear to me how you would "use this ability to cast any sorcerer concentration spell at max length without concentration" - for this you would need to pump the spell with metamagic, and then hit 99-00 to regain your sorcery points in a dependable way. Even if you have a proficiency bonus of +6, the chance to hit the 99-00 is only 26%. That means 3 out of four days, you would spend all your points to pump a spell, and not get them back. That is a very risky approach.

To be worth a feat, which replaces an ability score increase, we can compare it to that. The ASI will give you +1 to all your spell to hit rolls and saving throws (at least until you maxed the ability), not only a few, and it will do so reliably and predictably, without risk of a -2 malus at any given time. That is a lot better.

The added random effect helps with this power gap, as it is slightly positive on average. However, I think it still is too random to depend on, and this would not be a strong feat.

First Ability: trigger surge and adjust saves

For the first ability, you should clarify the wording. I originally undertood you can willingly trigger a wild magic roll whenever normally the DM could call one, and add or subtract the result of the d6 roll to it. You clarified that the modifier gets applied to the triggering spell, not the spell that you get as an effect of wild magic.

The d6 on average will add +1 to the DC or to hit. The main value is that you get to decide when to trigger wild magic. Because normally, your Wild Magic Surge ability says

Immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell o f 1st level or higher, the DM can have you roll a d20.

and Tides of Chaos likewise says

Any time before you regain the use of this feature, the DM can have you roll on the Wild Magic Surge table immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell

So normally the DM controls entirely if any wild magic happens or not. With this feat, you can trigger it when you like.

Second ability: select a 20-outcome range for the roll

Looking at the wild magic table, below is an assessment is how the effects for each option pan out.1

The "Tally" column shows how many more good results you have in the range, for each range you can select starting at the given result number. You can see that there is some variation, the best range having 10 more good results out of the 20 than bad ones, the worst only 2. However, each range has a mix of both good, bad and neutral outcomes, so you can get a slight expected improvement, or a 1 in 20 chance to get a specific outcome you want instead of a 1 in 50.

Result Roll Effect Tally Save Comment
1 01-02 good 8 More effects are good, so more rolls are good
2 03-04 good 6
3 05-06 neutral 6 Assuming modrons are neutral and will not help the PCs
4 07-08 bad 7 yes
5 09-10 good 9
6 11-12 neutral 7
7 13-14 bad 8 yes
8 15-16 good 9
9 17-18 neutral 8
10 19-20 bad 8 yes
11 21-22 good 10
12 23-24 neutral 8
13 25-26 good 8
14 27-28 good 8
15 29-30 good 6
16 31-32 good 6 Similar to Blink, can of course be detrimental if you want to opportunity attack or such
17 33-34 good 6
18 35-36 neutral 4
19 37-38 neutral 4
20 39-40 good 3
21 41-42 bad 2
22 43-44 good 4
23 45-46 good 3 yes
24 47-48 good 3 Assuming party is good aligned, and unicorn will help
25 49-50 bad 2
26 51-52 good 4
27 53-54 neutral 4
28 55-56 neutral 5
29 57-58 neutral 4
30 59-60 good 4
31 61-62 bad 4 Mild, hampers stealth
32 63-64 neutral yes Can also be beneficial, assumes you want to be able to see
33 65-66 good
34 67-68 bad
35 69-70 good assumes will affect you and party members more than opponents
36 71-72 good
37 73-74 bad could be neutral, but if no opponents only affects party
38 75-76 neutral
39 77-78 bad yes
40 79-80 neutral
41 81-82 good
42 83-84 neutral could be good if among enemies, just harms party members if not any you are at full health
43 85-86 good
44 87-88 neutral
45 89-90 good
46 91-92 good could be bad if you do not like to be another race
47 93-94 good
48 95-96 bad assumes will affect allies close by more
49 97-98 neutral
50 99-00 good

1 This is clearly somewhat subjective, and you could turn it into a separate question for many of the outcomes if they are good for the party, bad for the party, or under what exact circumstances they are good or bad. Here I assume that most of the impact is on combat situations, and cosmetic effects that have no bearing on that are "neutral". Also, some can be very good (like being able to cast spells as a bonus action, or getting an additional action), or very bad (like fireballing yourself), but as this is already somewhat subjective, I'll not differentiate them that finely. For eyeballing the effect of the changes, this should be close enough.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you can find the wild magic surge table in excel format, theres a handy excel to markdown tool out there. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2022 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you that would be useful. I thought about doing it manually but the table is quite long, so markdown would be hard to read (in exchange for being more accessible to those that need the table to be read out). I have it in google sheets, will it work for that too? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2022 at 19:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Should, select the table and ctrl+c, then paste in here. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2022 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ The first effect is meant to modify the spell used to trigger, not caused by the surge, so for example if triggered by a lightning bolt cast, the lightning bolt gets +/- spell save. I had considered making it a half feat, but it seemed overloaded for that. The entire feat at the very least needs rewording to clarify exactly what it does \$\endgroup\$
    – Cassie
    Nov 9, 2022 at 20:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cassie I see. I‘m busy now, will update to reflect that. That makes it a bit better. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2022 at 20:33

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