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 5e cantrip ideas Animate Weapon or Shield
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  01:52:44  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Just wondering, we've all seen the concept of using a high level spell to create some weapon of force that you can use to attack. There's also been spells to create a dancing weapon. However, would this concept be overpowered?

Caster casts cantrip. Let's say on a one handed weapon that they must be proficient with. They can then as a bonus action for one round attack with the weapon against anyone in say 20 feet of them. Damage wise its not all that great, but let's say that at 5th/11th/16th levels the cantrip lasts 1 more round each time, such that at 16th level, you get 1 extra attack for 4 rounds if they use their bonus action for that purpose. If they were to say be wielding a weapon themselves, maybe they could even provide flanking. In comparison to other cantrips, generally the damage would be less, unless the weapon has a very nice add on ability such as doing flaming damage with each hit, etc....

The other idea would be simply animating a shield (or if one introduced small shields into the system, maybe it can only do bucklers), but in order to have its AC bonus each round you'd have to use up a bonus action.

I was thinking of having this as a single cantrip doing either option. It would seem an interesting idea for the warrior mage who maybe fights with sword and shield, but also wants an extra weapon attack in. I was thinking of it more in terms of the eldritch knight type character, though rogue mages would find it useful as well.

I don't have my books in front of me for comparison to similar rules, but I wanted to consider the options. There's also the idea of having instead of multiple rounds, perhaps the idea that you can increase the size or number of weapons, or maybe it can animate a weapon and a shield at higher levels. Anyway, just throwing it out for thoughts.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  03:42:12  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Compare vs unseen servant, shield, shillelagh, blessed hammer, flying scimitar, telekinesis, blade barrier, sword of dancing, most of the Drawmij spells.

An animated sword/shield which is actually a useful combat opponent seems like mid-level spellstuff to me, far more than a mere cantrip.

[/Ayrik]
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1826 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  14:55:02  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And the inflation continues.
6e cantrip idea: fireball. Nah, a little too powerful next to a magic missile.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  16:10:43  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Compare vs unseen servant, shield, shillelagh, blessed hammer, flying scimitar, telekinesis, blade barrier, sword of dancing, most of the Drawmij spells.

An animated sword/shield which is actually a useful combat opponent seems like mid-level spellstuff to me, far more than a mere cantrip.



I agree with this assessment.

One idea I've long liked, that I'm not sure I've seen in published Realmslore, is an intelligent, animated weapon. I played with the concept a bit on one of my long-ago Hooks... Imagine: combat starts, and someone -- a fighter, maybe -- whips one of his swords out of its sheath. And then a second one pulls itself out of another sheath, and launches itself into combat, without ever being touched.

It could be even more fun if it happened with one of the classes you wouldn't expect to wield a sword.

I'd not thought of doing it with a shield, though -- an intelligent, animated shield, paired with a wizard, could be a lot of fun. I'm going to have to come up with one of those.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Jun 2019 16:11:07
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

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Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  18:53:54  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you had to use your action to wield the weapon or shield, that might be okay, but using your bonus action gives you an extra attack, which is too powerful for a cantrip.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  19:06:56  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

If you had to use your action to wield the weapon or shield, that might be okay, but using your bonus action gives you an extra attack, which is too powerful for a cantrip.



Bear in mind, instead you could instead each round just use say firebolt for a huge range attack doing multiple dice of damage. This is meant to give the ability to do similar damage, but at a slower rate and eating up a person's bonus actions each round (and in 5e, there's a decent number of spells that are cast as bonus actions).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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USA
8051 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  19:17:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Compare vs unseen servant, shield, shillelagh, blessed hammer, flying scimitar, telekinesis, blade barrier, sword of dancing, most of the Drawmij spells.

An animated sword/shield which is actually a useful combat opponent seems like mid-level spellstuff to me, far more than a mere cantrip.



I agree with this assessment.

One idea I've long liked, that I'm not sure I've seen in published Realmslore, is an intelligent, animated weapon. I played with the concept a bit on one of my long-ago Hooks... Imagine: combat starts, and someone -- a fighter, maybe -- whips one of his swords out of its sheath. And then a second one pulls itself out of another sheath, and launches itself into combat, without ever being touched.

It could be even more fun if it happened with one of the classes you wouldn't expect to wield a sword.

I'd not thought of doing it with a shield, though -- an intelligent, animated shield, paired with a wizard, could be a lot of fun. I'm going to have to come up with one of those.



Wooly, regarding rules for intelligent magic items. Look in the third party Book of Eldritch Might 3 for the special rules on created leveling intelligent magic items which was written for 3.5. The concept is very refined. Also Deep Magic's living spellbooks, again by a third party, for pathfinder. Both have played in my concepts with NPC magic items (Sleyvas has turned into an intelligent magic item that is able to change forms, and Lorey is an intelligent sai that can move around on his own, give lectures, read poetry, and generally hates to be forced to fight as it causes a ringing "in his ears" to be hit by other weapons).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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USA
8051 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  20:30:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Compare vs unseen servant, shield, shillelagh, blessed hammer, flying scimitar, telekinesis, blade barrier, sword of dancing, most of the Drawmij spells.

An animated sword/shield which is actually a useful combat opponent seems like mid-level spellstuff to me, far more than a mere cantrip.



I think you're comparing against earlier versions of the game. I don't think blessed hammer, flying scimitar, etc... are in 5e. I'm just talking about something that would give the person the ability to animate an existing weapon for a single attacks for a couple rounds. To compare in 5e rulesets, firebolt cast at 11th level does 3d10 fire damage with a single cantrip. This would allow someone to say animate a sword to do 3 attacks (using their strength bonus, not their spell attack mind you) over 3 rounds, wasting their bonus action every round PLUS using the standard action to cast the original cantrip. In comparison, if someone wants to fight two weapon style, they would be able to do this by just using a bonus action each round without having to waste a standard action every few rounds to reanimate their item.

The closest comparisons to this are shield, which is a reactive action, so you know WHEN you need to do it and you can even add up whether you need the +5 to AC if you know what the actual roll was. The other closest is spiritual weapon, which lasts a minute, is a bonus action to cast (so you can cast some good attack spell and then immediately cast spiritual weapon in the same round), lasts a full minute (not just mere rounds), and has a range of 60 feet, and is force damage. Granted both of those are spells, so they're a lot more powerful, but they're not high level.

Actually, as I'm thinking more on this though, it might make sense to make it that A) the weapon has to be light and a melee weapon (in addition to you having to be proficient, and this using your regular attack bonus with the weapon, not spell attack), but also maybe extending the number of rounds usable to 2 rounds at first level, but still increasing by 1 round at 5th/11th/16th. Maybe reduce the range of it though, such that it can't go out more than 10 feet. Thus, at 11th level you might be able to use this, do a bonus action to attack (which whoop-de-do you could have cast a spell instead), next round cast say firebolt and also use your bonus action to attack, next round cast some other nice spell and do a bonus action to attack, etc.... Given how few cantrips you get, taking this should make it worthwhile and provide something that would make you go "yeah, I'd want that instead of something with far more range and flexibility and damage".

Also, just to note, one of the ideas that I had this for was the eldritch knight, who eventually gets war magic at 7th level, that lets them get an extra attack as a bonus attack every time they use a cantrip. So, eldritch knights could be using say firebolt at range every round and then also doing a weapon attack with their bonus attack... but they couldn't do ANOTHER bonus attack to use this cantrip. So, they might use this as a means to animate a weapon as a standard action (and giving up say 3 attacks at 11th level) and get a "bonus attack" because they "cast a cantrip", and then for the following rounds they'd get some extra attacks. Alternatively, they might animate a shield if they're say fighting with a two handed weapon (they couldn't do two weapon fighting AND this, because two weapon fighting requires the use of a bonus attack for the offhand weapon).

Using this at range might be interesting as well, since if its 10 feet in front of you, creatures could be considered as provoking attacks of opportunity when they come near the caster and leave its threat range. This might also be an interesting cantrip to learn from spell sniper since it would double its range

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32144 Posts

Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  20:31:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Wooly, regarding rules for intelligent magic items. Look in the third party Book of Eldritch Might 3 for the special rules on created leveling intelligent magic items which was written for 3.5. The concept is very refined. Also Deep Magic's living spellbooks, again by a third party, for pathfinder. Both have played in my concepts with NPC magic items (Sleyvas has turned into an intelligent magic item that is able to change forms, and Lorey is an intelligent sai that can move around on his own, give lectures, read poetry, and generally hates to be forced to fight as it causes a ringing "in his ears" to be hit by other weapons).



I will have to look at those. I've got the pdf of The Complete Book of Eldritch Might (I think that was part of a Humble Bundle) and I was a backer for the Deep Magic Kickstarter, so I've the pdf and the book.

Honestly, the idea of intelligent items that can't move themselves about kinda bugs me. What must it be like for an intelligent sword, say, to sit sealed away in a tomb for centuries, only to be found by some semiliterate barbarian who treats the sword the same as any lifeless hunk of metal and sticks it into a goblin's guts?

Now, in addition to the intelligent magic shield I'm pondering, I'm thinking of an intelligent sword that abhors combat because it hates getting blood and guts all over itself!

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  20:33:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Compare vs unseen servant, shield, shillelagh, blessed hammer, flying scimitar, telekinesis, blade barrier, sword of dancing, most of the Drawmij spells.

An animated sword/shield which is actually a useful combat opponent seems like mid-level spellstuff to me, far more than a mere cantrip.



I think you're comparing against earlier versions of the game. I don't think blessed hammer, flying scimitar, etc... are in 5e. I'm just talking about something that would give the person the ability to animate an existing weapon for a single attacks for a couple rounds. To compare in 5e rulesets, firebolt cast at 11th level does 3d10 fire damage with a single cantrip. This would allow someone to say animate a sword to do 3 attacks (using their strength bonus, not their spell attack mind you) over 3 rounds, wasting their bonus action every round PLUS using the standard action to cast the original cantrip. In comparison, if someone wants to fight two weapon style, they would be able to do this by just using a bonus action each round without having to waste a standard action every few rounds to reanimate their item.


I guess I'm just too old school when it comes to cantrips, and prefer to have them as non-scaling minor little magical effects that have little or no offensive capability.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 09 Jun 2019 :  22:45:39  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm old school, too. My understanding is that a "cantrip" or "orison" is essentially a 0-level spell. With less power than a 1st-level spell. (Roughly 1/4 the power, usually, since 4 cantrips per spell slot.)

I don't accept the argument "I could cast fireballs and lightning for more damage instead" as valid.
- The wizard usually can't cast anything when he's caught in direct melee vs a fighter, this is the weakness and balancing factor in the class, it should take more than a lowly cantrip to cancel it out.
- Cantrips are usually not capable of spewing damage and fireballs and lightning, those sorts of effects tend to start off as mid-level spells.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
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Posted - 10 Jun 2019 :  23:28:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While I can agree that I'm used to the concept of "cantrips" being essentially minor effects that can do little, I have to say that's not what 5th edition has done with them...... or at least not with some. Essentially, they're meant to replace the wizard running out of spells and having to resort to a melee weapon. At the upper levels they are more powerful than the damage of most first level spells, so the first level spells you end up using tend to go less towards magic missile at the upper levels and more towards utilitarian or defense. I honestly think that they should be further separating cantrips into "attacks a wizard can use" and "minor rituals", because in 5e you get such a limited number of cantrips that most folk almost exclusively turn to attacks and 1 or 2 utilitarian cantrips.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Diffan
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Posted - 14 Jun 2019 :  02:25:05  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's really no different in terms of power as low-level spells getting better in pre-4e....just cuz'.

As for what this spell does, there's a lot of factors to consider such as what it does in the hands of an Eldritch Knight, any High elf that gets a free Cantrip, and multiclass options. I'd say write it up and then compare to other same-level cantrips and builds to determine.

If you write it up I'll have a look and see where it is. It's hard to make a judgment without seeing the text.

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Diffan
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Posted - 14 Jun 2019 :  12:32:25  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I made some of my own cantrips for Divine classes (namely cleric) that have worked fairly well. It might give you ideas too.

Divine Cantrips


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sleyvas
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USA
8051 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2019 :  15:00:30  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
along these lines, I was also inclined to make a cantrip that allowed someone to wield typical bows or crossbows. However, upon thinking about that concept, that becomes what one might call extremely stupid. If you have the ability to raise a bow telekinetically, draw it back, fit an arrow and let it fire, then why not just telekinetically lift the arrow/bolt and fire that with telekinetic force. While there is the higher level telekinesis spell, and there is concepts like mage hand that allow for more precision, I think that a cantrip like this that might allow someone this level ranged attack might also make a good conceptual low level cantrip. In fact, it might even fit in well with the current cantrip I'm proposing, but with a reduction in damage. Now, I'm not picturing hurling spears, hand axes, etc... but what about sling bullets, bolts, arrows, or even just spearheads. Again, this would be a thing where I'm picturing you do the cantrip, you use a bonus action each round, and you get a short range physical damage attack of either bludgeoning or piercing damage. I'm thinking a max range equivalent to hurling a weapon so that we're not going overboard (so like 30'). Damage in the range of like 1d6 with no bonus. I'm currently somewhere where I don't have my books handy, but when I get them to review 5e wording, think I'll write up this cantrip to do these 3 basic telekinetic things. My view of this is to have wizards that have a focus towards physical combat. It might also work for wizards with a focus on elemental earth, metal, and/or air.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 07 Jul 2019 :  07:15:33  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I found in DragonDex this AD&D2 spell: Dancing Shield, from "Arcane Lore: Spells of Defense" by Owen K.C. Stephens in #271(71)

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 07 Jul 2019 :  14:59:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

I found in DragonDex this AD&D2 spell: Dancing Shield, from "Arcane Lore: Spells of Defense" by Owen K.C. Stephens in #271(71)




From the referenced source:

quote:

Dancing Shield
(Conjuration)
Level: 2
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 2
Duration: 2 rounds/level
Area of Effect: Caster
Saving Throw: None

This spell creates a magical shield of force that hovers around the wizard. This shield moves to interpose itself between the wizard and the first physical attack made against her each round. The shield is effective against all weapon attacks, unarmed melee attacks, claws, stingers, and spells that simulate weapons (such as spiritual hammer, flame arrow, and Mordenkainen's sword), but only attempts to block the first such attack in any given round. Even an attack the caster is unaware of can be blocked by a dancing shield if it is the first attack of the round.

The shield has a 50% chance of blocking an attack plus 5% for every level the wizard is higher than the attacker and -5% for each level or Hit Die the attacker is greater than the wizard. A successfully blocked attack is completely neutralized and has no effect on the wizard.

The material component for this spell is a bit of leather from a shield that has been carried in battle by a priest. It is consumed when casting the spell.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 07 Jul 2019 14:59:43
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