8
\$\begingroup\$

I recently started playing DnD5E (the starter campaign Lost Mines of Phandelver), and read about the memorization of spells.

And even more recently I started playing Baldur's Gate 3.

In BG3 I noticed that I can put spells on and off prepared list for both Wizard and Cleric at will (except in combat). So I could cast Mage Armour, then replace it in memorized spells with something else (of course 1 lv1 spell slot would still have been expended).

As I understood from earlier answers here, this is against DnD5E rules, which stipulate you can only change memorized spells once after long rest.

Since we're all beginners in DnD5e and it's our first campaign, could you please advise whether it would be OK to adopt the BG3 method of memorization in the campaign, and if not - why not?

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related (maybe even duplicate): rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/105317/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Jan 24 at 7:39
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik questions are duplicates when the questions are the same, not when two questions might have the same answer. “How are you today?” and what’s the weather like today?” are not the same question just because they might both be answered with “Fine”. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 24 at 10:12
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Just a quick thing about BG3 since you mentioned it, be careful about swapping out non-concentration buff spells. I know at least for longstrider, if you cast it and then swap it for another spell, it removes the buff from your characters. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shadomew
    Commented Jan 24 at 13:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @shadomew Thank you. I'll keep it in mind. So far out looks Mage Armour keeps working. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Jan 25 at 11:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Gnudiff It might just be non-concentration ritual spells if that's the case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shadomew
    Commented Jan 29 at 12:53

3 Answers 3

16
\$\begingroup\$

It makes the most versatile classes in the game more versatile

Within the limits of their spell lists (which for clerics and wizards is not much of a limit), spell preparation classes are the only classes that can change their inherent capabilities overnight. With your proposal, they don’t even have to wait that long.

D&D is a resource management game and your list of prepared spells is one of the resources you have to manage. With your proposal, now you don’t have to - you can fill up on combat oriented spells and, if any challenge comes up out of combat, just change to use the perfect spell to overcome the challenge. And then change back to be ready for the next combat.

It makes things a lot simpler and easier. It also makes these classes better than they were and, in comparison makes other classes worse.

Is that OP? Dunno - depends on your DM and how they structure their encounters and adventuring day. It might be a little bit more powered or a lot more powered. A little or a lot might or might not be overpowered or OK depending on how challenging your group likes your game.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate both your and @Negdo answer, but since I can accept only one, I chose this one, as it brings up the resource management as a game mechanic, which was a view I didn't look at the game from before. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Jan 26 at 21:22
1
\$\begingroup\$

Not only it would be overpowered, it would break the game balance.

The wizards, druids and clerics are extremely versatile classes. They can do pretty much anything! This is balanced by having to decide each morning which spells to prepare in advance. The benefit of this is that it rewards being prepared for specific expected encounters - if your investigation reveals that the reason for disappearances of farmers is a troll then you prepare fire and acid spells. If you go in blindly, well... encounter becames way harder. So proposed change is removing one of the weaknesses (or even themes) of those classes.

In fact, I believe that in 5e wizards, clerics and druids (so, what older editions called 'prepared' casters) are too versatile. So if I were to change spell preparation rules I would change it the way it used to work: you prepare a spell for every single spell slot. After casting it, you don't have it prepared anymore. So if you want to cast magic missile 2 times in a day, you have to prepare it twice.

The other issue with your suggested buff is that it makes spellcasters with limited spells known even weaker. A sorcerer is worse than a wizard by rules because he has limited number of spells known, and your change would make the difference between two classes even worse.

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you clarify what you mean overpowered/breaking? I understand in what ways it would change the balance and I understand why you find that to be detrimental. But what negative things will happen? Is the game ruined with this rule? What if the party never had any sorcerers (etc.) in the first place? \$\endgroup\$
    – J.E
    Commented Jan 24 at 11:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is the game ruined if you allow spell slots to be regained after each fight? What if the party never had any non-casters?... The point is that the change would make prepared casters - already a powerful group of classes even stronger by removing one of their few weaknesses. \$\endgroup\$
    – Negdo
    Commented Jan 24 at 12:29
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I think for advanced players this might be true, but spell selection can be a weakness for new players rather than a strength \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Jan 24 at 13:06
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, coming from AD&D the 5E wizards are much easier to play. 5E did nerf a few spells but as a wizard you get more hit points, unlimited cantrips, and the flexibility to recast the same spell until you run out of spell slots. Try playing a wizard in AD&D and you'll find out why they hid behind the fighters most/all of the time. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate both your and @DaleM answers, but since I can accept only one, I chose his, as it brings up the resource management as a game mechanic, which was a view I didn't look at the game from before. Thank you for your advice as well, it was valuable for me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Jan 26 at 21:22
-1
\$\begingroup\$

The other answers have addressed balance aspects of the question.

Personally, I don't think it'll make much of a difference and in the cases where it would make a big difference (eg the party learns that the big evil is a golem and the wizard wants Shatter) then they might also push for a long rest to get it (and then you get into a whole argument about whether they can take a long rest).

The biggest drawback however is that it will make the gameplay less fun

Have you seen a wizard deciding on spells after a long rest? They agonize for about 10 RL minutes (minimum!), weighting options that in the end don't matter much.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party sits bored, waiting (this is why I strongly suggest that any spell preparation happens before the session).

Adding this before or after every battle or social interaction will make things...unpleasant...fast.

Frankly, for new players I just provide a standard set of spells that they use for a couple of sessions/adventuring days. This removes most of the complexity and avoids overthinking.

I can put spells on and off prepared list for both Wizard and Cleric at will

As a sidenote (not sure how it works in BG3), wizards can only prepare spells they've learned, ie they don't have access to their full spell list like clerics. Allowing them access to the full list will further deviate from the rules.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't agree with your "less fun" bit. Yeah, 10 minutes to prepare the whole list guessing what will come up is annoying. Especially likely with new players. But this almost surely won't happen when you can switch stuff on the fly. People will walk around with the typically useful spells and most likely pick new spells when needed very fast. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25 at 8:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the answer. I didn't mean that wizard would have access to all his class spells, but only to the ones learned. But your point still stands. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gnudiff
    Commented Jan 25 at 11:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Gnudiff Since money really become non-issue even at low levels wizards tend to have more or less every (usefull) spell on the spell list copied into his spellbook. Its not like they can spend money on much else. \$\endgroup\$
    – Negdo
    Commented Jan 25 at 14:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .