-5 to Hit, +10 to Damage

Most players and DMs know the following feats: Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter. Both feats have the ability, to take a -5 penalty on your attack roll to add +10 to the damage roll. Some DMs have a bit of trouble with these feats.

  • Since most ACs of monsters aren’t that high, even with -5 to hit it’s still seems pretty accurate
  • Classes who have reliable means of gaining advantage (like the barbarian) or ways to grant their allies advantage (like a lot of spellcasters with spells like Guiding Bolt, Faery Fire, etc.) or those ways to grant +hit (like the Bless spell or a Battle Master’s Precision Attack maneuver) trades the intended reliability to outright more damage potential
  • Both feats overall (and especially that trait) boosts the overall combat ability of two builds (ranged weapon and two-handed weapon), while other weapon builds seems to have only subpar feats (due the more specific use of Shield Master, the somewhat lacking feeling advantages of Dual Wielder and the seemingly lack of something, which enhances your one weapon, one hand free style [try Tavern Brawler; one of the best ways to be a defender, imo])

OK, I have to admit: These feats are really good. But after seeing both in action, I don’t think, that they’re broken. It only seems that way at first, since at the beginning of a campaign, those +10 damage will kill monsters outright, however, after getting around 5th level, the monsters won’t be taken down that easily and . And remember, bounded accuracy actually makes it so, that the to hit chance decrease by 25%, unless the enemy’s AC is outright horrible.

But the farther you go, the less it means in math. At least for some classes. Of course the statistic will change, with different means to give your damage. Let’s compare the paladin and fighter: While the fighter gets another attack at 11th level, the paladin does more damage with his attacks. So the fighter gets more reliability (which means he can take the -5 while having a buffer attack left), while the paladin begins to want more of his attacks actually hit (especially under Divine Favor or another damage buff). Even though the math is the same (-5 to hit, +10 to damage), the paladin player wants all his attacks to hit, while the fighter will think, that one attack missing won’t negate the +10 damage most of the time. A ranger (hunter) with Colossus Slayer will rather try to get his bonus damage done first and then switch to the more unreliable but powerful attacks afterwards, to make most of this subclass trait.

What really makes those both feats shine early on are the other effects. Like making an attack as a Bonus Action when scoring a critical (say hallo, Champion)/killing one or ambushing enemies by shooting from far, far away. Of course these don’t seem all that powerful, until you see it in action. With the +damage the GWM is able to kill a lot of early enemies and trigger the bonus attack, while the sharpshooter can make more shots by retreating.

So, how can I think, that these feats aren’t broken? Simply, because I learned how to soften them without ruling. A special way to ensure it is: More enemies. More enemies makes more damage less important than reliability, since you need to take some of them out, otherwise the bounded accuracy will kick your ass.

As long as you don’t place them that all of them will be spellslinger-fodder, your weapon users will get a hard time, since even with all the damage and all the extra attacks, there will be more rolls, which makes a combat more statistically stable. And the joke is, that even then the XP won’t be as much, since using more enemies makes a encounter more difficult, so you won’t need as much to make it challenging.

Another reason why I don’t go WTF is because most of the real ‘unbalanced’ stuff comes from resources (Superiority Dice), risk (Reckless Attack) or teamwork. And I think teamwork should be strong, playing a game together is one of the reasons why you play D&D in the first place. Even though you should disrupt it occasionally. in the Forgotten Realms are places, where spells won’t work like the caster might think (weaveless areas and spellplague) or the setting makes it impossible to pull off (like balancing on a 2 foot width bridge).

Conclusions

If you really think, that those two feats are bad, you should simply not allow them. If you think, that the -5/+10 aren’t balances, either allow a -5/+5 variant for all other characters or simply switch it with +1 STR for GWM and +1 DEX for Sharpshooter, so the other effects stays in place.

Or maybe you’re like me as a DM and customize some of your enemies to have those feats as well or increade their accuracy/damage otherwise, so the combats will be quicker without loosing their menace.

Bound to level

Since time issues and the fact, that the warlock is unlike any other class, I’ll postpone the overview for now, I try to make it happen any day, but make it so, that I first write a less time.consuming post and afterwards put some time into drafting the overview piece a piece.

For today like to talk about levels and level-bound traits. These came up when playing and after seeing some postings about it, I thought that it might still be confusing. And sometimes not even that clear.

First, I want to explain, that I will not talk about the traits, which are entirely bound to classes, where the improvements are part of the class table (like Wild Shape, Aura Improvement, Extra Attacks, etc.), but where the character level seems to be the deciding factor or at least could be.

Second, I will take on the ability score improvement trait, which is now bounded to class, instead of character level, simply because I think this is somehow viable to talk about in this post.

Third, every DM is free to make changes to it, so if you don’t feel like this is a good or logical choice, you’re free to disagree. But you should expect that others don’t agree to your disagreement and stay cool about it.

Cantrips: Taken from this site here:

With cantrips, does a MC caster use their character or class level for determining damage? A multiclass character uses character level to determine the damage of a cantrip. -J

Cantrips comes from multiple choices, starting with spellcasting classes, races (like the high elf) or feats (Magic Initiate). Since the offensive cantrips are meant to rival multiple attacks at some point, they become stronger with rising level, but why should it be character level be the basic?

OK, there are multiple ways to get them and even if a high elf isn’t needlessly a wizard, it doesn’t mean that he won’t put some work into it. Same for a ranger/wizard or other combination of caster/non/less-caster class. Even though you might suspect, that it would be illogical if the fighter picks up the wizard class after having a lot of fighter levels and have as lethal cantrips as an non-evocation wizard of the same level.

Multiclassing shouldn’t punish or reward players ideally and dishing out damage per round is somewhat crucial for staying competitive through the levels. Extra attacks are the way for melees and these don’t stack, so why would cantrips do it in any way? Counter-question: How much does it hurt? Since cantrips are still often inferior to weapon choices of weapon-focused class (at the at-will department), you often needs some basic traits of these classes to make them stronger, limiting either your options (like warlock Invocations) or the need to take some levels (like Arcane Tradition of Evocation).

I don’t really see any damage here, especially since most cantrips aren’t that reliable in comparisons to other at-will features.

Warlock Invocations prerequisite: This is a thing, which is asked quite often. Do you need the specific character or warlock level to choose those high-level invocations? RAW it doesn’t become clear, but if you look at those features, it seems kinda unfair to other classes to make this 2 level dip into warlock something which gives you some features you wouldn’t be able to get when multiclassing into another class. Jeremy Crawford answered in his twitter (source):

The intent is that a level prerequisite in a warlock invocation refers to warlock level.

Intend doesn’t needlessly means that it’s meant to be a rule. I would decide on a case to case basic here, a valor bard/blade warlock who seeks to increase the damage a bit with the Lifedrinker-Invocation might get another treatment as a paladin who seeks to do the same. It’s about how much the party might need it (if you run official modules with 3 characters, you might consider that this is within reason or if the player of the tank is leaving the party due personal circumstances and no one could otherwise be that melee-prescience).

But for the most part, I agree.

Ability Score Improvements (or feats): In 3e and 4e these were bounded to character level, now they’re not, which is bad for multiclass characters. At the beginning, a great “Why?!”-wave came around and after all that time, some don’t even tried to understand. There were a lot of change-requests, house rules and the like flowing around (like feats at 1st level, bounding the ASI at character level and such).

Before house-ruling something, I suggest trying it out first. It’s really not that bad. And there are some reasons not to be so fast to expand it:

  • The team are unlikely to be composed of idiots, since they got the job in one of the greatest companies in the gaming business
    • classes aren’t design to have the ASI at character levels, which would lead to dead levels (means no benefit), if the normal ones are taken away
  • Multiclassing brings other features, seems even logical that characters wouldn’t have the resources to improve abilities or learn a new feat in the meanwhile
  • Most feats are terrifying strong and define characters quite strongly. In most cases, you will feel the benefits of a feat much more than the benefit of a ASI, at least that’s what I experienced so far. They can easily match up to class features in terms of benefits and are often even more overwhelming than those at the mid-levels
    • I do think, the human variant is the more D&D-like human (at least 3e upwards) and the standard is the one you only tend to use when feats are not allowed. Since feats are so strong, a lot of (PC-)Adventurers are actually human.

So why should you even expand to those without thinking things through and not even trying to use the actual rules at this point? Of course there might be good reasons, like having less PCs than normal, but I run a campaign with 3 PCs and advanced standard rules (means multiclassing allowed [nobody wants to], variant human [one] and feats [at least 2 will take a feat at 4th level instead of ASI]) and even if the start was hard, they managed.

So, that’s it. If I missed something, please feel free to comment and I’ll add it.

Lacking Capstones

Today I talk about our capstones. A capstone is a feature you gain when you reached the level cap, in D&D more specific the level cap in one class (means 20th level for now). The only D&D edition which made great capstones were 4e, Pathfinder got it right and made at least decent, but often not too great, capstones. In 5e, most are lacking.

Here I categorized them to usefulness:

Great and useful anytime

  • Barbarian’s Primal Champion (+4 STR and CON and the cap get increased to 24 for these two abilities)
  • Paladin’s [Ancient] Elder Champion (regain 10 hit points per turn, 1 action casts can be reduced to bonus action, enemies within 10ft have disadvantage to saving throws vs. your paladin spells and Channel Divinity).
  • Rouge’s Stroke of Luck (turn a miss into a hit or make a failure in a ability check to a natural 20 once per short rest)
  • Wizard’s Signature Spells (have two 3rd level always prepared and cast them once per short rest for free at 3rd spell level)

Useful in most cases

  • Cleric’s Improved Divine Intervention (100% chance that your god will help you once a week)
  • Fighter’s 4th attack (great at combat, otherwise useless)
  • Paladin’s [Devotion] Holy Nimbus (10 radiant damage per round for enemies within 30ft, advantage on saving throws vs. undead and fiend spells)
  • Paladin’s [Vengeance] Avenging Angel (Fly speed 60ft and 30ft fear aura).
  • Warlock’s Eldritch Master (regain once per day after 1min all expended Pact Magic spell slots)

Rather lacking, even though useful sometimes (like builds and cases)

  • Druid’s Archdruid (unlimited Wildshape for moon druids and spellcasting with your mind alone unless the material components cost gold)
  • Ranger’s Foe Slayer (once per turn WIS-mod. to attack or damage vs. favored enemy after seeing the roll but before knowing the result)

Useful when running into a lot of encounters

  • Bard’s Superior Inspiration (get one inspiration back when having none when rolling initiative)
  • Monk’s Perfect Self (get 4 ki points back when having none when rolling initiative)
  • Sorcerer’s Sorcerous Restoration (regain 4 expended sorcery points after a short rest)

Some of them would definitely rank higher, if there were only one to two changed details. Like the warlock’s Eldritch Master, if it’d only cost an action. Pact Magic slots are regained after an hour rest, too, after all, even though a minute is much better in that regard, I wasn’t that whelmed.

So why aim for the capstones after all, if most of them are underwhelming? Maybe high level campaigns in planning have a lot of encounters one after another, so regaining resources with initiative roll will have that much impact. Maybe the 21th+ levels will bring some juicy bonuses when you stay in your class and the ‘not-capstones-anymores’ are just a milestone to real power.

I personally think after gaining so much levels in one class, you can simply go all the way. Why would a character even bother at that point to pursue another path?

My nemesis is my species enemy and became my favored enemy, do you understand?

The internet is a trap! After regaining connection for one day, I already wasted my whole evening and did nothing for the blog… Since I’m going to a Pathfinder session soon, I have too less time to make my overview, but I just took a topic which I wanted to talk about: The ranger’s favored enemy and how it changed in the editions.

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1st Edition: The ranger didn’t have the choice of an enemy, but gained a flat +1/level damage to giants and certain humanoids like orcs. Flat but useful like most choices of the 1e.

2nd Edition: Here we got the species enemy feature, where a player chose a specific type of creatures which had to be accepted by the DM and should be tied to the ranger’s back-story. And got rewarded with a +4 to hit, while having a penalty of -4 to reaction. But in the end, those +4 were really useful and even if the choices were more open, it’d kicked asses.

3rd edition: The species enemy got renamed to favorite enemy and it’s the first time, the feature get a bonus outside combat (even though these were often disregarded). The +hit and +damage of the feature made it especially sexy to choose a favored enemy which will be either confronted often over several tiers of play or are tough to crack, like humanoids (human), undead, aberrations or constructs. And a big difference: You can select multiple favored enemies over the course. But since the 3e mechanic wouldn’t make the most iconic enemies like orcs a thread at high levels anymore, many possible choices weren’t that good.

4th edition: No favored or species enemy here, the ranger got additional damage to a target he declared (and is nearest to him at that time) and gets extra damage once a round.

5th edition: This is my favorite. The reason is simple, unless you hit 20th level, you get no benefits for combat purposes. This means that you choose your favored enemy more for the out of combat purposes, like advantage to recall lore and tracking and the possible additional language. So now having orcs as favored enemy will have much more of an impact than before, while constructs, undeads, fiends, etc. won’t suffer much that way. And since you get multiple favored enemies and when choosing humanoids you get two instead one subtypes, you can actually get a decent amount of knowledge about your foes without breaking out the bounded accuracy due to too many bonuses. And in this edition, even a 20th level ranger will be careful when facing a hundred orcs alone.

 

Why do I think, that the combat bonuses aren’t that important? Because I think this distracts you from the core of being a ranger. In my opinion a ranger fights enemies well is because he knows and understands them much better than a non-ranger could do, the advantage mechanism is a pretty neat way to ensure reliability with a certain error margin. And since the ranger’s spells are a huge benefit for his damage output and attack rolls have this sweet bounded accuracy, I don’t think the ranger especially need it.

Even though the 20th level Foe Slayer does grant combat bonuses, they’re ignorable. I think it comes a bit too late, too or shouldn’t be restricted to favored enemies. Or at least another effect.

Animal Companions which aren’t combat-focused

Time issues again, but that doesn’t mean, I can’t post anything. Just an overview is too much, especially now we got to the paladin, which is a very diverse class, bringing defending, striking, healing and even more to the table. For now we talk about a thing, which had my attention for a while: The ranger subclass Beast Master.

While this subclass is fairly easy to understand, it’s difficult to play it. All features but the very basic one (and partially Share Spells) are all about enhancing the combat abilities of the companion of yours. But let’s concentrate on the basic one for now: To have an animal companion at all! What are the benefits between an animal companion and a trained animal?

  • Animal Companions got better stats
  • Animal Companions aren’t running that free, your bound gives you an amount of control
    • Said Control means, you have to use (Bonus) Actions or an attack
    • Animal Companions won’t do actions unless you command one
  • Animal Companions are able to join in stealth-mode as fast as yourself in your favorite terrain
  • 8 hours beats training for weeks for combat readiness
  • sadly only up to medium size, so the medium-sized ranger wouldn’t get a steed. But gnomes and halflings flying on Pteranodons are A-OK!

Even though the survivability of the beast is better than that of other beasts of its kind, it will be always kinda squishy and even though you can muster a great offensive potential, it won’t survive many of the stronger attacks and spells.

But I’m kinda tight on time, so I’ll not dig too deeply into it. For me, the Animal Companion is all about having a companion and a special bound to it, to have it trained and a trusted and useful friend and not a class feature, which I can regain after 8 hours bonding (I rather stick to the same companion) and if you see it that way, too, you might consider to take an animal companion, which aren’t as combat-focused. For combat-focused ones, I’d like to introduce this guide. These picks are some special ones, which either carries a lot of fluff or ultimate out-of-combat usefulness!

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These are those in the Appendix D of the PHB. There are some good choices in the DM-Base Rules and the MM (which I don’t possess at the moment, since it sucks to live in Europe when it comes to attaining rule books for U.S.-games). But time issues.

The Scouts: These animals are pretty good at scouting, either due their size, their senses and sometimes even both.

  • Bat: Best blindsense so far, can fly, can almost take over your whole job in the darkness
  • Cat: Climb, good senses and stealth
  • Hawk: Good senses and such, but inferior to the owl stat-wise in every way. At least if the DM allows the owl to be awake during the whole day.
  • Owl: Most likely best scout companion in existence. Might be night-active, depending on your DM. In my campaigns they will be.
  • Rat: Can squeeze into tiny holes and have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks for smelling. Not much, but at least a bit.

The Spies: Other than scouts, these animals are mostly about fitting into urban environment, since the ranger simply lacks in that one.

  • Cat: Use its scout abilities in the urban area! There are tons of cats in any human settlement.
  • Mastiff: Or any other dog, less obvious than wolfs. And sometimes simply more fluffy.
  • Rat: The reason why there are so many cats. Because there are much more rats!

The Surprises: These animal companions are either great psychological threats, secret weapons and guardians or have other forms of surprising hapless NPCs and monsters.

  • Frog: More meant to be a familiar, but seriously: I would be surprise to see a ranger to actually and totally waste all these attack enhancers for his companion by picking one which can’t attack!
  • Mule: If you have a beast of burden for your loot, you should be fair and make it a full member of the party, right? And it’s like a secret weapon, because who would think that actually a mule is a ranger’s beast friend?!
  • Poisonous Snake: A little blindsight (not enough to spy), a swim speed and poison, which is better used out of combat instead of in-combat.
  • Rat: Most people are disgust by rats. Maybe because they carries plagues.
  • Raven: Mimicry! Wonderful utility ability, especially on a bird.

My personal pick: The Rat! Why? Because rats are everywhere, so it can blend in totally fine. It can fit into most holes, means that it can even scout ahead to look into houses, etc. And the most important one: To use Sleight of Hand to get my rat under the clothes of my enemy, let’s see if the enemy is desperate enough to hit basically himself with spells or weapons, to get an annoyance out of the way. Even though strictly speaking there is no damage roll involved in its bite, so the proficiency bonus as an animal companion wouldn’t kick in… at least if your DM sees it like that. I’d definitely allow this.

You can carry it in your pocket, use it as an interrogation help and smuggle it into about everywhere. Even if the stats aren’t too promising, the utility you can get out of it is pretty good.

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Screw the Rules, I have imagination!

After considering if I should write another sorcerer post (seriously, I didn’t even like that class in 3e, 4e or Pathfinder, but I’m seriously intrigued by it in 5e), I rowed back and thought to make my post more lighthearted and less rampant. And teach how why to screw the rules.

 

First of all, I like Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged (and the manga, less the anime) and this clip especially. Money can screw most rules in the real world (sadly), but in D&D and as a DM, your most precious thing is imagination. Not that imagination will make you a good DM, even if I have to say, that the idea of using T-Rex Zombies from the Far Realm is really cool, but at least as long as you have imagination, you can at least keep everyone entertained. In a good or bad manner. But let’s just say, that you want your players at least believe, that you aren’t a sadistic, psychological madman, who wants to feed on their despair and grief.

 

Normally: Play by the rules. This consensus is the safety to ensure that you appear less random as you are. But there are times, when you just can’t stick with RAW (rules as written), but have to improvise. Here are some cases and solutions for the most common reasons why playing RAW won’t really do it. But be sure to remember the following:

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1.) Abuse of certain rules. One of the most common is the Lightfoot Halfling’s Naturally Stealthy which allows the halfling to hide behind a at least medium-sized creature. Since Stealth is normally vs. the passive perception and searching for a creature is an actual action, your monster might get killed by an unseen killer. Or at high levels the monk’s quivering palm might kill the Ancient Red Dragon with a too high chance.

  • As long it involves d20, you can actually play by the rules by making reasons up to give advantage or disadvantage to the roll, since both happens if the DM sees a reason for it. When the halfing attacked first out of sight, the monster might keep watching him with as much attention as possible. Maybe the Ancient Red Dragon is just too big to get affected by the puny vibrations of a small/medium-sized monk. This will up your chances without sounding too unreasonable.
  • House Rule: You should let your players proceed for the rest of the day with the rule and after finishing, start to talk about the problem and how you like to solve it (or announce that you will find a solution at the start of the next session). Since the player is most likely offended, just keep quiet for a while and endure it, because things like these might destroy a whole game-day without finding a solution.

 

2.) Player tries to outsmart the rules: Players are often inclined to outsmart rules by preparing or announcing stuff, like: “I already have the potion viol half open in my mouth, so I can drink it any time”. Be merciless. First think about what could go wrong, then allow it and if the player is still keen about the idea: Ouch! For the drinking potion problem: “The attack missed you, but as you evaded, the cork of the viol sprang off and got into your throat. Make a DC 14 Con-save for not being stunned until the start of your next turn, since you’re coughing that much. Anyway, the viol falls out of your mouth and the rest of the potion in your mouth is getting coughed up.” Be cruel and let the players remember, that not they are the ones who can screw the rules.

 

3.) Too many rules: In 3e and Pathfinder especially there are so many rules for certain cases, which makes things like underwater combat and such just even more annoying. If you can think of a quick solution for a quick instance (like one single underwater combat in a dungeon which will most likely take two game days to complete), just screw the rules. Except you or one of your players knows all the needed rules perfectly. If you replace the rules: Keep it simple, remember who will benefit for this and keep giving advantage and disadvantage while rewarding being imaginative.

 

4.) Your player is calling a cool action: Everyone have different values of calling a cool action. Mine is ‘A smart action which take account of the environmental or enemy features to use them to your benefit’, so nothing like ‘I kick that generic bugbear in the nuts’ or ‘I’m making a somersault over that kobold and stabs it from behind’. But much more like: ‘I want to increase the intensity of my light spell to blind the drow’ (1 action, must be 5ft to the drow when casting, drow gets a wis-save to the caster’s spell DC, works only once) or ‘We’re in a burning mansion, can I use Gust of Wind to fan the flames right behind these cultist’s?’ (maybe, if you want to try, make a Intelligence (Arcana) check DC 15 to reweave the spell for that effect). If you think another interpretations works better for you, be my guest, but normally those kind of improvised actions should be allowed, even though they screw the rules. Here the player uses his/her imagination.

 

In most cases, your imagination will only serve to support some reasonable choices. In others it is the main-reason why you should just screw the rules. Who cares how a special spell works under normal circumstances? Just roll with it, makes more fun for you and your players. And here and then let the antagonists make use of it, too.

Not only spells (even though they leave the most room), features, skills, a lot of things can be used in different ways than the PHB or Basic Rules let see. Don’t be a rule lawyer, when you’re playing a fantasy game. Because fantasy games without imagination would be like… reality. Uuuhh…

 

How wild is Wild Magic?

The Sorcerer’s Wild Magic is a very funny an interesting way to play a Sorcerer. While in the 4e, Wild Magic was presented, it kinda lacked the possibility to blow up right in your face, making it more tame than wild. And now in 5e, it came back, presenting us with real and nice options to not only making you a death machine of doom, but also to be a real danger for yourself and allies.

 

But if you look at the Wild Magic Table, I found only 10 out of 50 results generally negative, while 22 were generally positive and 18 were more of the neutral side, because they were either more cosmetic and without real penalty, conditional due the fact how the allies and foes stand, randomly choosing the target or simply positive and negative at the same time.

Since every option has a 2% chance of occurrence when rolling the table, you’re not as bad off 80% or 70% of the time you don’t have to worry at all.

 

But not only this makes Wild Magic more safe, it’s about the times when rolling on the table. Generally the DM has to decide after every 1st slot and above spell, if you have to roll the d20 and only at a 1 you’re rolling on the table, means that the chance of backfiring is only about 1%, if the DM lets you roll every time you cast a non-cantrip spell.

 

While Tides of Chaos increase that chance, since you’re simply forced to roll at the table at some point, Controlled Chaos decrease the chance to blow up greatly and increase the chance to get something good decisively. In the end the odds of burning yourself with an unplanned fireball at the first level is slim. But at least definitely there.
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At the same time, incredible effects are waiting for you, starting getting spell slots back, cast a random spell, which might improve your chances or even get effects which gives you the edge, like a maximized spell or another action. But normally I’d advise a player to not challenge his/her luck, by using Tides of Chaos for every opportunity: Only if needed you should temper with fate… or if you have enough hit points to survive at least 29 fire damage (so you won’t die instantly after an average damage roll; or take Empower Spell and Save Spell, to re-roll the highest dice and save your own spell without fail).

 

How would I deal with WIld Magic Surge as a DM? Sadly, I only get a Draconic Sorcerer in my party, so I’m not too sure, but I’d definitely do the following:

  1. Laughing after the player rolled a 1 for the Wild Magic Surge feature
  2. Laughing when I declare to let the player roll because of Tides of Chaos
  3. Using a personal Wild Magic Surge table, starting with the standard one and after one result got rolled, I replace it with another one. Magic can be that unpredictable and after a while the players have to fear the unknown. But being sure that the chances to make a character look miserable stays decent

 

This is a system I’d like to try out, when I get a chance. After a long rest, the DM rolls a d12 (and keep the result secret), these are the numbers of spell-levels the sorcerer can cast without triggering Wild Magic Surge. While a 1st level spell will only spend one spell-level, a 5th level spell would spend 5 spell-levels (logically), when more levels are cast than the die roll resulted in, let the player roll his d20.

Afterwards roll a d10, do the same. And after that roll a d8, d6 and d4 respectively, after the d4 procedure every further spell will trigger the Wild Magic Surge roll.

So the more often a Sorcerer casts spells, the more likely it is to trigger the roll. Only after a long rest (and maybe a Wild Magic Surge table roll) the roll reset to d12, so there won’t be as many accidents at first, but after raising the level and more access to high level spells, the magic becomes more randomly.

The idea behind it is, that every spell of the Wild Magic Sorcerer is stressing the Weave and the more stress is build up, the more likely it is to happen to lose control of it, when you opening yourself up to it.

 

If you want to be wild, be a wild mage. Make it as randomly as possible and have fun with it. At least as a player, since being a wild mage could be actually suck as a sorcerer, like: “I’m a ticking time-bomb!” But maybe it makes you insane instead: “You can’t kill me, since one day my magic will definitely do it!”
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