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?

Are these homebrew attempts at recreating the Isaac’s Missile Storm spells from NWN2 balanced for 5e? [Version 2]

This is a follow up to my previous question: Are these homebrew attempts at recreating the Isaac's Missile Storm spells from NWN2 balanced for 5e?

In the Neverwinter Nights video game series (I’m more familiar with NWN2 specifically, which was based on D&D 3.5e), there were two spells, “Isaac’s Lesser Missile Storm” and “Isaac’s Greater Missile Storm”. They were both (as I understand it) basically bigger, better magic missile, but with random targeting within an area. I’ll also point out that my knowledge of 3.5e is exclusively from NWN2.

I liked these spells, and want to “import” them into 5e, so I’ve attempted to homebrew them. However, Theik’s answer describes how my previous attempt was unbalanced, as well as various helpful comments under my question (now moved to chat), so I have tried to address some of the balance concerns in my latest attempt.

There were three major problems identified; damage (especially against one single target), the amount of time it takes up resolving the randomness of it, and the fact that it only affects hostile creatures; so the things I’ve changed are:

  • Despite wanting a “Lesser” and “Greater” version (because that’s what NWN2 had), this was more of a 3.5e thing, and 5e uses the upcasting mechanic to do away with different versions of the same spell (mostly). So I’ve decided to stop being stubborn and reduce it down to simply Isaac’s missile storm (thanks @Rorp). This was largely because I couldn’t think of a meaningful way to make the “greater” version better besides just adding missiles/damage, which was part of the problem.

  • Because the damage against one single target was a major problem, I have implemented an upper limit on how many missiles the spell can produce, regardless of the spell slot used to cast it. So, against a single target, it can only produce a maximum of 6 missiles. However, for each additional creature in it’s AOE, it can produce 2 more missiles, but this upscaling is capped, although that cap is increased by upcasting. This, I hope, reduces it’s potential against a single target, whilst still being useful against a group (thanks @BlueMoon93).

  • Given that I’ve reduced the potential damage it can do against one target, I’m increasing the number of extra missiles it can do when upcast from 1 to 2, and the damage per missile will now be 1d6 + 1 rather than just 1d6, since that makes it strictly better than the 1d4 + 1 of magic missile; remember, an upcast magic missile at 4th level does 6d4 + 6, which is probably on average going to be about the same as the base 6d6 (if against a single target). My previous “goal” of wanting this spell to be better than an upcast magic missile remains, but hopefully this +1 per missile won’t make it too much better.

  • I’ve also decided to do away with the randomising aspect of it, as well as the “hostiles only” aspect. Fireball just hurts everyone in its AOE, and by the missiles avoiding non-hostiles, it basically became the ultimate Sculpt Spell spell, without even needing to be an Evocation wizard! So, I’ve changed that so that it must hit each creature an equal number of times, with some caveats that simply fall under the caster’s control rather than being randomised:

    • If there are more creatures than missiles, the caster basically chooses who it hits; however, because each target cannot be hit more than once, each target will only be taking 1d6 + 1 force damage, which I think makes the “stealing Sculpt Spell’s spotlight” problem minimal enough to ignore in this scenario.
    • If there are more missiles than creatures, then the decision is mostly predetermined; for example, with 2 creatures and 8 missiles, each creature gets hit by 4 missiles, but if there were actually 3 creatures and 10 missiles, then each creature gets hit by 3 missiles and the caster gets to decide who gets the extra missile. Note that non-hostile creatures are not safe from this, so this at best prevents the caster’s ally (if an ally is within the AOE) from taking an extra 1d6 + 1 force damage, which isn’t that big a deal given that they will already definitely be taking 3d6 + 3 anyway.

For completeness, here’s a brief list of things I’m not changing, but still want to mention anyway:

  • The spell level for Isaac’s missile storm will be 4th level, since I’m effectively adjusting my old Isaac’s lesser missile storm spell and simply removing the Isaac’s greater missile storm spell (although I’ve given the new spell the 20-foot-radius AOE from the old greater spell).

  • It still doesn’t require attack rolls or saving throws, and it can still be entirely negated by shield; this means, in the case above, that it can be used in an area with an ally wizard or something, who will be completely fine because they can just shield the damage away, but because they’d still “consume” an equal share of those missiles, that doesn’t mean more damage for everyone else, just none for that wizard.

So, here’s the new spell description:

Isaac’s Missile Storm

4th-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous

You fire multiple missiles of magical force that hit every creature within a 20-foot-radius sphere centred on a point you choose within range. The number of missiles is 6 if there is only a single creature within the area, and that number is increased by two missiles for every additional creature that is within the area, up to a limit of 8 missiles.

Each missile targets a creature such that each creature within the area is hit by a uniformly distributed number of missiles. If the number of missiles cannot be distributed evenly, you decide which creatures take one more missile from the remainder. If there are more creatures than missiles, you choose which creatures are hit by one missile. The missiles all strike simultaneously. Each missile does 1d6 + 1 force damage.

If the target is immune to the magic missile spell, such as by being under the effect of the shield spell, then they are also immune to this spell. Furthermore, any hostile creature within the area that can cast shield is able to cast it in reaction to this spell as though they were targeted by magic missile.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the limit of how many missiles this spell can creates increases by two missiles for each slot level above 4th.

Is my new version of this spell balanced against other 4th levels spells, including when it is upcast (since it now produces two more missiles per spell level, but is still capped at 6 + (n * 2) missiles for n + 1 enemies)?

Incidentally, is that second paragraph of my spell description clear enough? This is where I’m trying to convey the information I gave above in my indented bullet points. Is that clear, or can it be worded more clearly? Suggestions welcome…