New Spells

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Seethyr
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New Spells

Post by Seethyr » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:22 am

I'm incredibly surprised that I haven't come across this issue up to this time yet and feel like a complete noob for asking it, but I feel like spell creation, new spells and spell lists are remarkably vague in the PHB. I think one of the most exciting treasures in older editions was the discovery of new spells scrolls or some curmudeonly wizard's spell book because of the new spells you might learn.

It seems like the rules are clear for wizards, but what about the other classes? I mean, if druids and clerics have access to the entire druid and cleric spell list, is there a point to discovering/researching new spells? Could you find an ancient prayer book from your faith and have that add new spells to the "cleric list?"

I can imagine this sounds like a question that came from a brand new DM with no experience, but I swear, it has just not come up yet! :o
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Dread Delgath
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Re: New Spells

Post by Dread Delgath » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:36 am

There are a few new cantrips in Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG), and spells of nearly every level in the Elemental Evil Player's Guide & Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

The spells themselves could be listed as either divine or arcane, (cleric or wizard if you like), but the spell lists included in XGtE include all spellcasting classes, and the spells often overlap each list.

I actually kind a glad there aren't a crapton of new spells, since the new races & classes have yet to be tested out by my players. :roll:
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Seethyr
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Re: New Spells

Post by Seethyr » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:18 am

Dread Delgath wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:36 am
There are a few new cantrips in Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (SCAG), and spells of nearly every level in the Elemental Evil Player's Guide & Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

The spells themselves could be listed as either divine or arcane, (cleric or wizard if you like), but the spell lists included in XGtE include all spellcasting classes, and the spells often overlap each list.

I actually kind a glad there aren't a crapton of new spells, since the new races & classes have yet to be tested out by my players. :roll:
Oh yes, I agree. You get that whole power creep thing going and then it all falls apart. I think the 5e tendency to be conservative is why I haven't come across this as an issue yet.

But what I really meant was concerned with learning new spells. I'll give you the exact scenario of what I can't really figure out...

In my next session, I would like my players to find a "book of prayers" as part of their loot for the final encounter. It has three new, highly specialized spells for clerics/druids that are in existence more for story than for anything else. Once the PCs find this, do the clerics suddenly have the new spells in their list? Would all clerics now have these spells available?
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Re: New Spells

Post by timemrick » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:03 pm

I've seen some discussion of this in a Pathfinder product that was introducing new divine spells ("Pathfinder Short Cuts: Inquisitor Spells of Freeport" by Owen K.C. Stephens, Green Ronin) but the basic idea should work for D&D 5E, too.

As Owen points out, whenever a new rulebook with new spells is introduced into the campaign, there is some potential for imbalance between divine and arcane casters: if clerics and druids get free access to all the new spells for their classes, that suddenly gives them a lot more options and flexibility than the wizard, who must invest time and money in acquiring any new spells for his class. (This issue is more pressing in Pathfinder, which has a much higher volume of releases than D&D 5E.)

Owen's fix is to treat all non-core spells as "uncommon spells") which means divine casters must expand some time and money finding and learning them. However, the cost is a fraction of what a wizard pays to learn new spells.

Casters with a set number of spells known (ranger, IIRC?) don't pay extra for acquiring spells from new sources, because they are already limited in how many they can learn.
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Re: New Spells

Post by mythusmage » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:49 pm

Ask your god. As long as it's something in his area of interest, and that you can handle, he should be fine with it.

In other words, let player and DM hash it out. It is after all your game.
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Re: New Spells

Post by Dread Delgath » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:11 pm

timemrick wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:03 pm
I've seen some discussion of this in a Pathfinder product that was introducing new divine spells ("Pathfinder Short Cuts: Inquisitor Spells of Freeport" by Owen K.C. Stephens, Green Ronin) but the basic idea should work for D&D 5E, too.

As Owen points out, whenever a new rulebook with new spells is introduced into the campaign, there is some potential for imbalance between divine and arcane casters: if clerics and druids get free access to all the new spells for their classes, that suddenly gives them a lot more options and flexibility than the wizard, who must invest time and money in acquiring any new spells for his class. (This issue is more pressing in Pathfinder, which has a much higher volume of releases than D&D 5E.)

Owen's fix is to treat all non-core spells as "uncommon spells") which means divine casters must expand some time and money finding and learning them. However, the cost is a fraction of what a wizard pays to learn new spells.

Casters with a set number of spells known (ranger, IIRC?) don't pay extra for acquiring spells from new sources, because they are already limited in how many they can learn.

I've done this whenever a spellcaster finds a book of spells that their class can cast using the Downtime rules.

My players are a little baffled when I introduce a book of magic written in magical script; they assume the language can be chosen from the list of languages in the PHB, even if its an exotic language.

But I have to explain that magical script is only readable by the spellcaster who scribed the book, and this rule reaches back to 1e; you can't learn "Magic" as a language, you have to study each new book in order to read it.

If 5e had Read Magic as a spell, then they wouldn't need to spend several weeks of downtime learning each new spellbook, but it balances out as far as letting new spells loose in the campaign - even for clerics!

From a divine point of view, this could be seen as the deity requiring a cleric to prove his/her faith and spend the time learning the new spells in the book. The upside is that the cleric gains access to those spells, much like the additional domain spells in the PHB, except these are accessible only through downtime study.

The downside of this is that the DM & player must keep track of which lists of spells they have access to, instead of only relying on the PHB 'official core' lists, but it shouldn't be too much of a bother. :cool:
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