Would it be balanced to increase the Spell Level of Hypnotic Pattern?

To me, Hypnotic Pattern seems quite strong for a 3rd Level Spell. The main reason I think so is that it can affect a huge number of targets, and a creature that fails the saving throw will not get another chance and may very well be taken out of the picture for almost the entire combat encounter.

I’m aware of two of the spell’s relative weaknesses. First, a creature can only be affected once when the spell is cast (other than with the 2nd Level Spell Web), even though the spell still requires concentration. Second, the apparent effectiveness against large groups of creatures is somewhat reduced by the fact that some creatures will usually succeed on the saving throw and will wake up others. On the other hand, this requires their action, so one might in fact argue that this makes the spell even better for the first round of combat.

All these things considered, I’m wondering if it would be balanced (possibly even more balanced) if Hypnotic Pattern were moved to Level 4. Or am I missing something?

Are these homebrew attempts at recreating some blast shape invocations from NWN2 balanced for 5e?

In Neverwinter Nights 2, which is based on 3.5e, there were five “blast shape” invocations available to warlocks: Hideous Blast, Eldritch Spear, Eldritch Chain, Eldritch Cone and Eldritch Doom. Now, I know that warlock invocations worked differently in 3.5e to 5e (based on how they’re implemented in this game, primarily), but I wanted to convert some of these into 5e Eldritch Invocations.

Arguably, Hideous Blow could be thought of as being roughly equivalent to Eldritch Smite from 5e (XGtE, p. 56; even though it doesn’t actually modify eldritch blast), and Eldritch Spear already exists in 5e (as a way to increase the range of eldritch blast), so the remaining three are the ones I have attempted to convert.

Here are my attempts at each of the three invocations, with some commentary below each one to explain my thought process.

Eldritch Chain

Prerequisite: 5th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to improve your eldritch blast by turning it into an arc of energy that “jumps” from the first target to others. When you cast eldritch blast, on a hit, you can choose to target an additional creature of your choice within 30 feet of the target with the same beam. Make a ranged attack roll against the additional creature, which takes half of the damage dealt to the target on a hit. You can only use this invocation once per turn with one beam, although you may choose to do so after you know whether a beam hits its target.

When you reach 11th level, your chain can target two additional creatures, both of whom take half of the damage dealt to the original target on a hit, and when you reach 17th level, your chain can target three additional creatures, all of whom take half of the damage dealt to the original target on a hit. You choose the targets in succession, and each subsequent target must be within 30 feet of the previous target of the chain (not the original target). The chain cannot target the same creature more than once (although it can target a creature hit with a different beam that turn), and on a miss, the chain ends and you cannot target any further creatures with the chain.

In NWN2 (and presumably 3.5e), Eldritch Blast only ever fired one beam, and Eldritch Chain was a way of making that hit more enemies, but each additional enemy only took half damage. Considering that eldritch blast in 5e can target multiple creatures already, I wanted to come up with something that felt unique.

I considered having each beam jump to only one addition target to deal half damage, but then a level 17 warlock could hit eight creatures with this thing, which seemed overpowered (and wouldn’t “look right” compared to what it looked like in NWN2, where the one beam would jump to different targets, not four different beams that each jump to one other target).

In the end, I decided to have it target a few additional creatures, but for half damage (Agonizing Blast would be taken into consideration for the original target’s damage, so isn’t added again to each of the chain’s targets), which is the same as in 3.5e, but only on one of the beams, not each beam. Yes, this still increases the number of creatures you can hit each turn, and therefore increases the damage output of eldritch blast, but hopefully the half damage mitigates that somewhat; also, you’ve still got to roll to hit them, so there’s a chance that you’ll simply miss and then it’s no different to not having the invocation at all.

That said, it’s still a clear improvement on RAW eldritch blast, so if it needs to be nerfed further, I could reduce the range to 10 feet or something, although unless the targets are spread out, this won’t really matter. Losing the second paragraph when you reach higher levels is also something that can be dropped, but hopefully not since that would also nerf the look/flavour of Eldritch Chain. I’d still like to keep it as an “at-will” ability, but increasing the damage output of a cantrip is pretty big, so another way to nerf it is to say that you must use it or Agonizing Blast (per beam, so your non-chain beams can still use Agonizing Blast). Depends on how powerful it is as-written above…

Eldritch Cone

Prerequisite: 12th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as a 15-foot cone. Each creature within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Cone, I’ve simply used the standard cone spell implementation, like burning hands, but it only does the same amount of damage as one beam, to balance out the fact that you can hit multiple enemies with it. My intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 1d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock.

I originally had it as a 30-foot cone that did 3d10 force damage, same as the normal damage output for eldritch blast (which would have increased to 4d10), but that was so powerful that I could only justify that as being once per rest or something, and I’d prefer to keep these as being something that can be used “at-will” to keep that 3.5e feel, so hopefully having a cone shaped cantrip is useful enough to justify only dealing 1d10 damage in a 15-foot cone to be balanced; I’m not sure if even having a cone cantrip is inherently overpowered, or whether the small damage and range somehow makes it underpowered, but hopefully it’s balanced.

Eldritch Doom

Prerequisite: 18th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as the dreaded eldritch doom. This causes bolts of mystical power to lash out and savage all targets within a 20 foot area originating from a point you can see within 120 feet of you. Each creature within that area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Doom, I’ve implemented it as basically a force fireball, dealing the same damage as a single beam. As above, my intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 1d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock.

I originally had it at 4d10, same as all four beams combined, and had the range at 30-feet, but this would be massively overpowered without a “once per rest” cap on it, but these caps kinda go against what blast shape invocations were about, so as before, I hope that the AOE shape alone is worth an invocation, since you now have a weak at-will force fireball, but without that being inherently overpowered.

Are these three invocations balanced when compared to the other Eldritch Invocations? Specifically, do they make eldritch blast overpowered in a way that dealing reduced damage and taking up a choice of an Eldritch Invocation doesn’t counterbalance?

How balanced and clear is my Arcane Luthier subclass for the Artificer

I’ve long been disappointed by how brief and largly meaningless D&D 5e’s handling of musical instruments is. Bards can use them as spellcasting focuses, but other than that, there’s not much to them. Hardly anyone has a reason to play a musical instrument for any length of time, nor does it really matter much if you’re any good at it.

To address that, I decided to make my own subclass that focuses on crafting and playing musical instruments. It’s a subclass of the Artificer, using class rules from Eberron: Rising from the Last War (which is not the same as any of the earlier drafts of the Artificer in various Unearthed Arcana documents).

Here’s the subclass, my questions about it are below:

Arcane Luthier

An Arcane Luthier is a master of the magical crafting of musical instruments. While less innately talented than a Bard at musical performance, an Arcane Luthier’s skills at musical composition and the ability to create their own personalized instruments often makes them among the best instrumental performers around. Their abilities to manipulate emotion with music can make them very popular with those who hear them play.

Musical Instrument Proficiency and Crafting

When you adopt this specialization at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in two musical instruments of your choice.

  • If you spend an entire long rest touching a musical instrument you are not proficient with, you can exchange one of your existing musical instrument proficiencies for proficiency with the touched instrument. You are always proficient with musical instruments you have crafted yourself, even if you are not proficient with their instrument type.
  • Musical instruments you are proficient with count as tools for your other Artificer class features (so you may use them as spellcasting focuses, create them with The Right Tool for the Job, and use double your proficiency modifier on ability checks made with them after you gain the Tool Expertise feature at 6th level).
  • If you create a musical instrument with The Right Tool for the Job and keep it with you continuously for one week, you may use appropriate materials worth half the instrument’s normal cost during a long rest to make it permanently become a normal item which will no longer vanish if you use The Right Tool for the Job to create another tool or instrument.

Arcane Luthier spells

After you adopt this specialization at 3rd level, all spells on the Bard spell list count as Artificer spells for you.

  • You must use a musical instrument you are proficient with as a spellcasting focus to cast any spell not normally on the Artificer spell list.
  • At 3rd level, you learn Minor Illusion cantrip. You may not exchange this spell for another cantrip, but it does not count against the number of Artificer cantrips you know.
  • You always have certain spells prepared after you reach particular levels in this class, as shown in the table below. These spells don’t count against the number of artificer spells you prepare.

\begin{array}{c c} \textbf{Artificer Level} & \textbf{Spell} \ \hline 3\text{rd} & \textit{Charm Person, Silent Image} \ 5\text{th} & \textit{Calm Emotions, Enthrall} \ 9\text{th} & \textit{Fear, Hypnotic Pattern} \ 13\text{th} & \textit{Compulsion, Hallucinatory Terrain} \ 17\text{th} & \textit{Dominate Person, Seeming} \ \end{array}

Instrumental Virtuoso

At 3rd level, you know how to blend spellcasting into your instrumental music.

  • While you are playing an instrument you have crafted (either with The Right Tool for the Job or more mundane means), you may change the casting time of an Enchantment or Illusion spell with a casting time of 1 action to instead have a casting time of 1 bonus action. You must follow the normal rules for casting spells with a bonus action (briefly: you may not also cast a leveled spell with your main action, cantrips are OK).
  • When you cast an Enchantment spell in this way, you can prevent one or more affected creatures from knowing they were magically charmed and from becoming hostile when the spell ends. For each creature you wish to do this for, you must spend one action during the spell’s duration performing music they can hear and succeed on a Charisma (musical instrument) check with a DC equal to 10 plus half the creature’s CR or level. The creature will still know their emotions or behavior have been manipulated, but will assume it is just a natural effect of your music, rather than a magical effect.
  • You may play music with an instrument you have crafted in place of the vocal or somatic components of any spell you cast. If a spell has costly material components that you have in your possession, you do not need to use a free hand to manipulate them (though they will still be consumed if the spell says so).

Beguiling Melodies

Starting at 5th level, you can compose musical themes that enhance the abilities of your spellcasting to manipulate the senses and emotions of those who hear you.

  • Whenever a creature makes a saving throw or an investigation check against a spell you cast from the schools of Enchantment or Illusion, it does so with disadvantage if you are playing a musical instrument you are proficient with and the target can hear your music.
  • You are a skilled accompanist, able to compose and play fanfares and harmonies that bring out the best in the performances of others. When you are playing music with an instrument you are proficient with, you may use the Help action targeting any number of creatures of your choice, but only to give the targets advantage on ability checks to perform before an audience who can also hear your music. The performances you accompany do not need to be musical, you can also accompany dramatic or oratorical performances with your music.

Magically Charged Instrument

At 9th level, you can add additional magic to musical instruments you create.

  • This feature works like the Spell Storing Item feature of the core Artificer class, but it may only be used to store a spell from the Bard spell list in a musical instrument that you have crafted. If you store a first or second level spell, it follows the normal rules for Spell Storing Item. You may instead store a 3rd level Bard spell in the instrument, but if you do, the instrument will be destroyed when the spell ends the first time it is used.
  • This feature operates separately from the regular Spell Storing Item feature, so when you have both after 11th level, you may store spells in two different items, one instrument from this feature, and another item (which may also be an instrument, since they can be spell focuses for you) from the normal Spell Storing Item feature. Use the normal Spell Storing Item rules for the second item, even if it is another musical instrument.
  • Starting at 15th level, you may use this feature store a 4th level Bard spell, with the instrument being destroyed after one use. If you store a 3rd level spell, the instrument will only be destroyed after its second use, rather than its first.

Battlefield Instrumentation

At 15th level, your instrumental performances awe your enemies, even in the thick of battle.

  • Creatures that are not immune to being charmed have disadvantage on attack rolls against you if you are playing music with an instrument you have crafted and they can hear your music.
  • While you are playing music with an instrument you have crafted, you may cast the Sanctuary spell on yourself, without needing to have it prepared or using a spell slot. The spell has no effect on creatures that cannot hear your music, and ends immediately if you stop playing. You may cast the spell this way a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier, and regain all uses after you complete a long rest.
  • While you are playing music with an instrument you have crafted, you may cast Mass Suggestion, without needing to have it prepared or using a spell slot. After you cast it in this way, you may not do so again until you finish a long rest.

I’ve also created a thematically related Infusion, that any Artificer should be able to choose:

Enhanced Instrument

Item: A musical instrument (requires attunement)

While playing this instrument, a creature gains +1 on ability checks related to their performance. Spells cast with this instrument as a spellcasting focus gain +1 to their spell save DC. These bonuses increase to +2 when you reach 10th level in this class.

My questions:

  1. Are there any ambiguities in the rule presentation, or ways I could better or more consistently phrase things? Because some of my previous reviewers were not as much mechanics geeks as I am, I have deliberately included some text restating some existing rules (like how bonus action spellcasting limits your main action, and which Artificer features interact with their tool proficiencies). But other than that, I’d like to be a bit less wordy if I can get away with it without introducing ambiguity.
  2. Is this subclass balanced? I’d appreciate comparisons against other Artificer subclasses, as I’ve only had a tiny amount of experience playing with an Artificer in the same game as me. I’d also like to compare Arcane Luthier Artificers to Bards, since there’s a bit of overlap between them, given that my subclass gets access to the Bard spell list. One of my reviewers was particularly concerned since Artificers can choose to prepare any spell on their spell list, while Bards can only learn a few of their spells, swapping them out only as they level. Is that versatility really problematic, given that an Artificer is a half-caster?
  3. Does the subclass overlap too heavily with the Bard thematically? I’d hope that there would still be a clear distinction between the high-CHA Bard front-man (e.g. Freddy Mercury) versus the high-INT Arcane Luthier guitar virtuoso (e.g. Brian May, with his PhD in Astrophysics). But would it be problematic to have both in the same party?
  4. Does the subclass diverge too far from conventional D&D norms? It’s inspired in part by modern stereotypes about rock musicians, and I’m not sure if there is an equivalent from the middle ages. I suppose that D&D does not always need to adhere too closely to history, but I don’t want to push things too far. And maybe the Artificer is a norm-shifting class already, with a bit of steam-punk theming, and this isn’t any worse.

What will be most balanced way to deal with the loot (armor, weapons) from dead enemies?

After a successful fight party constantly checks enemies bodies for any kind of loot – their weapons and armor too with the intent to sell in the city. As reselling enemies equipment is mechanic encountered in most cRPG games I think it should be allowed. However, as the party is a low level I’m afraid that it has a chance to destabilize game, by making them rich too fast.

I’m looking for a fair system or a method of dealing with looting weapons, armor and other equipment, which works in your games.

Is this variant of Elemental Adept for healing balanced?

I know that most healing does not work on constructs or undead in DnD 5e. However, for various reasons, I would like to subvert that. I was looking over feats to base such a subversion on and stumbled upon the Elemental Adept. Is the following feat likely to either break the game or be underpowered if I include it?

Healing Adept

Prerequisite: the Spellcasting feature and at least one healing spell

Your healing spells work on constructs and undead. In addition, if you roll to see how many hit points you can heal, you may treat any 1 on a die as a 2.

If it’s too weak, I am thinking it’s possible to modify so that it allows Raise Dead and family to resurrect an undead either as itself or as the undead it was. If it’s too strong, I was thinking of taking away the “treat any 1 on a die as a 2”, and possibly forcing you to pick if it works on constructs or on undead.

Is this homebrew cantrip balanced? Water beam

I made a cantrip and I don’t know if it’s super OP or on the weak side so I want your opinion to make sure it’s balanced

1d4 force damage

Casting time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Duration: instantaneous

Components: V,S

Classes that know: Druid, Wizard, Sorcerer

The user shoots a geyser of water at the opponent in a 30 by 5 foot beam. Any creature that gets hit by this beam must make a dc 13 strength saving throw or take 1d4 force damage, and be knocked prone. If the strength save is a success, they only take the damage and don’t get knocked prone.

I got my inspiration from the decanter of endless water, and want your opinion

(Revised) Is this Homebrew cantrip balanced? Water beam [duplicate]

here is a link to the original draft. I was inspired to make this by the decanter of endless water item. I want an opinion on the balance of this spell.

1d4 force damage

Casting time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Duration: instantaneous

Components: V, S Classes that know: wizard, sorcerer, druid

The user shoots a beam of water at one target within range. The target must make a strength saving throw equal to the users spell dc. On a failure the target takes 1d4 force damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, the target takes half the damage (rounded down with a minimum of 1) and isn’t knocked prone.

At higher levels this spell increases in damage. Lvl 5 (2d4) lvl 9 (3d4) lvl 13 (4d4) lvl 17 (5d4)

Is this Monk’s Robe port balanced in 5e?

In Pathfinder, there is an item called the Monk’s Robe. I like the idea, and have tried to bring it to 5e, but I don’t know if it is balanced. Thoughts?

Monk’s Robe Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement) 1 lb.

When worn, this simple brown robe confers great ability in unarmed combat. If the wearer has levels in monk, their Unarmored Movement speed bonus and Martial Arts die are treated as a monk of 5 levels higher. If the wearer is not a monk, they gain the Unarmored Movement speed bonus and Martial Arts die of a level 5 monk.

If the wearer is a monk of 16th level or higher, their Unarmored Movement speed bonus is 35 feet and their Martial Arts die is a d12.

Is this Eberron home-brew Shifter sub-race balanced?

Looking to get the hive-mind’s feedback on the following home-brew Shifter sub race:


Quick of mind as well as body, Brightwit Shifters are renowned for their cunning. Fox ancestry is common, but so is rat, rabbit, snake, or even raven.

Ability Score Increase: Your Intelligence score increases by 2, and your Dexterity score increases by 1.

Sharp Eyes: You have proficiency with the Investigation skill.

Shifting Feature: While shifted, you can take two reactions per round, instead of one.

Is this homebrew Chromatic Smite spell balanced?

Based on the original question from before, see it for some of the feedback considerations. The quick version is that this is intended as a hybrid of the chromatic orb and green-flame blade spells. Between the previous feedback and talking to the player about their intentions with the spell the focus has changed a bit. Instead of my interpretation of it being a melee-AOE spell (melee + cone effect or similar) he’d prefer if it was more of a smite with just a sprinkling of AOE damage instead of a secondary effect (bigger damage boost single target with just a little spread). So, here’s the revised write up of the spell:

Current Draft

Chromatic Smite

2nd-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

When you cast this spell you choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder and temporarily imbue your weapon with that element. The next time you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack during this spell’s duration, you release the element stored by the spell, and the attack deals an extra 3d8 of the chosen elemental damage to the target. Additionally, some of the elemental energy can strike one creature that you can see within 5-ft of the initial target. The second creature takes damage of the elemental type equal to your spellcasting ability modifier.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the melee attack’s bonus elemental damage increases by 1d8 and the elemental burst can affect one additional adjacent creature for each slot level above 2nd.

Wording clarifications for reading purposes

The combined verbiage is a little awkward frankly. There are components from chromatic orb, green-flame blade, and the paladin smites (i.e. burning smite and branding smite specifically). There’s a bit of a mismatch trying to add the elemental choice and the additional targets specifically. The intent is 1 melee target gets the bonus 3d8 chosen element damage and one additional adjacent target takes elemental damage equal to the caster’s spellcasting modifier. Upcasting adds 1d8 to only the initial hit on the melee target and 1 additional adjacent target being affected by the extra burst damage (so L3 would be 4d8 bonus on hit, 2 adjacent targets taking spellcasting modifier damage, etc.)

Balance considerations

This is most directly comparable to blinding smite in that they both deal 3d8 bonus damage with some kind of secondary effect. The ability to pick the elemental damage dealt is already rather strong so I wanted to leave the AOE rather weak and thus made it more similar to green-flame blade‘s “one additional target” type verbiage instead of making it a cone effect like before. The ability to choose the element plus the bit of splash damage dealt is what I’m mainly trying to balance against the, sometimes rather powerful, secondary effects of the various smites. Back to the direct comparison of blinding smite, a creature that fails its constitution save is then blinded until the spell ends (a near universally powerful affliction unless the creature has tremor sense or blind sight).

The other main complication was what to do with the spell when being upcast. Green-flame blade being a cantrip only gains additional effects/damage every 4 levels or so but most spells allow for benefits on every or every other level. A single 1d8 bonus on the main hit seems fine but I didn’t really want to add an additional 1d8 to the second target as then it would scale much, much faster than green-flame blade (granted that’s comparison a 2nd level spell to a cantrip).

Example turn damage comparisons

Let’s assume a 7th level Eldritch Knight (the character in question who proposed the spell) using a longsword + shield with +4 strength and +3 intelligence is considering their options to attack a melee target during a turn (each ignoring AC as they’re all melee attacks and thus have the same chance to hit):

  • Casting chromatic smite as a bonus action, Green-flame blade as the action

    • Total Damage: 2d8 (2x longsword) + 8 (2x str mod) + 3d8 (elemental choice) + 1d8 (fire) on target with additional 1d8 (fire) + 6 (2x spellcaster mod bonus) on 2nd target for a total of 7d8+14 damage, averaging 46 damage depending on resistances.
    • Pros/Cons: 2nd level spell slot, 10 damage average requires a second adjacent target be present, can pick the type of half the damage applied, opportunity cost of maybe a second wind or similar
  • Casting chromatic smite as a bonus and two attacks as their action

    • Total Damage: 2d8 (2x longsword) + 8 (2x str mod) + 3d8 (chosen element) on target with 3 (spellcaster mod bonus) on a 2nd target for a total of 5d8+11 averaging 34 damage
    • Pros/Cons: 2nd level spell slot, 3 requires secondary adjacent target, can pick the type of more than half the damage, opportunity cost of bonus action
  • Green-flame blade as their action and using their War Magic feature for a melee attack as a bonus

    • Total Damage: 2d8 (2x longsword) + 8 (2x str mod) + 1d8 (fire) on target with bonus 1d8 (fire)+3 (spellcasting modifier) on secondary for total of 4d8+11 averaging 29 damage
    • Pros/Cons: no spell slots used, 7 damage requires adjacent secondary target, damage is all slashing or fire so more commonly resisted, opportunity cost of bonus action
  • Two attacks as their action and “something else” as their bonus

    • Total Damage: 2d8 (2x longsword) + 8 (2x str mod) for average of 17 slashing damage
    • Pros/Cons: no spell slots used, can do whatever you are able with bonus action, considerably less damage than previous options (really once you’re at this level there’s not a great reason to not use green flame blade each turn as long as you don’t need your bonus for something else)

There’s also potential to take some action on a turn and cast the smite as a bonus ahead of time if it can’t be immediately used (no targets within movement, for instance). This is much more open ended though so very hard to consider and requires maintaining concentration on the spell until a melee strike is made (though an Eldritch Knight will be proficient with presumably a decent constitution modifier).

Did I miss any important situations in my generalizations above?

Alternatives/options speculated

  • See previous question linked initially in this one for most of the previous considerations
  • If the splash damage is too weak/doesn’t scale well it could be increased. Making it scale every level seems like too much though and making it something like every X levels just adds complicated wordings into the spell somewhat needlessly
  • If the main spell damage is too much I could maybe drop the damage dice/number of dice. It seems on par to other smite spells best I can tell and might even be slightly underpowered depending on how much weight can be given to the ability to pick the damage type.
  • Could perhaps raise/lower the spell level if it seems too strong/weak. The intended target spell level was 2nd level, hence the immediate comparison to branding smite, and meant for an Eldritch Knight

Overall, how is this homebrew chromatic smite spell balanced? How could it be improved?