Monday, July 21, 2014

Taking a Look at One of the Staples of D&D

One of the things I do is take a look at staples that are in every edition and played a lot.  In this case, I looked at the Sleep spell.

Most versions of the sleep spell effect Hit Dice of the creature.  There is usually some scale of the number of creatures effected.  This time around, 5th edition has taken the sleep spell and made it based on Hit Points. 

My first reaction was neutral.  I thought, okay, a little change up.  But still a bit of a token one.  But what I liked is the spell progressively gets more powerful with the mage.  In past editions it was the big bomb spell at lower levels and discarded soon after.  So the increase of hit points it effects as the character increases in level will make it a viable spell long term.

Since I'm on lunch break, I don't have any numbers.  I'll check back when I get home and do some calculations to compare version.

So this staple of the game, for me, has been improved.

Numbers later.


  1. Odd that it took so many editions to get around to rejiggering that. Of course, maybe it was different in 4e too, and I just don't know it.

  2. The scalability of spells has always been a bugaboo for me. At higher levels, yeah, I know all this stuff -- but half of it is useless or nearly so...

  3. Yeah, I noticed that too, and I actually kind of like it.

    In the older editions, the MU's seemed to be a one-shot cannon (but what a cannon!). The new edition appears to mitigate that -- spells not quite as powerful, but more of them (though as Trey said this might have already been the case in 4e, with which I've no experience).

    So, I'm eager to see how that works out in play.

  4. What I really like about this is that it makes *sleep* a "Finish him!" spell. The fighters and everyone can wail on a critter until the hit points get low enough for the m-u, er, I mean, wizard to take it down.

  5. Just about all of the spells scale now keeping them viable for higher levels.

  6. What interests me in that notation is if the HP limits for spell effects are meant to be the targets usual healthy HP score or the current score. If the current score it opens a host of tactics that were otherwise completely absent, hitting a troll a couple times and casting sleep on it is now valid (but does it wake up when it regenerates above the HP limit of the spell?).