Is this alteration to the Evocation Wizard’s Potent Cantrip balanced?

The Potent Cantrip ability states:

Starting at 6th level, your damaging cantrips affect even creatures that avoid the brunt of the effect. When a creature succeeds on a saving throw against your cantrip, the creature takes half the cantrip’s damage (if any) but suffers no additional effect from the cantrip.

This seems to limit the wizards choices, as there is no benefit of this feature to cantrips like Firebolt or ray of frost. My alternative proposal is this:

Starting at 6th level, you add your Intelligence modifier to the damage you deal with any wizard cantrip that does not already add an ability modifier.

There is precedent to adding an ability modifier to a cantrip, as seen in the Cleric’s Potent Spellcasting or the Warlock’s Agonizing Blast. The additional "…that does not already add an ability modifier" is to account for spells like Magic Stone or Booming Blade, so these cantrips would not stack modifiers. The main reason I feel this may not be balanced is that this ability is given at 6th level, as opposed to the Cleric receiving it at 8th level.

Can the Necromancy wizard’s Command Undead feature be used on the Nightwalker from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes?

The School of Necromancy wizard has the Command Undead feature (PHB, p. 119):

Starting at 14th level, you can use magic to bring undead under your control, even those created by other wizards. As an action, you can choose one undead that you can see within 60 feet of you. That creature must make a Charisma saving throw against your wizard spell save DC. If it succeeds, you can’t use this feature on it again. If it fails, it becomes friendly to you and obeys your commands until you use this feature again.

Intelligent undead are harder to control in this way. If the target has an Intelligence of 8 or higher, it has advantage on the saving throw. If it fails the saving throw and has an Intelligence of 12 or higher, it can repeat the saving throw at the end of every hour until it succeeds and breaks free.

The Nightwalker from Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (p. 216) has 8 charisma, 6 intelligence and a CR of 20.

Isn’t it a bit crazy? Outside of simply not putting this thing in the game if you have a necromancy wizard in it, what else can happen (or can the DM do) that is gonna prevent the game from breaking?

Evocation Wizard’s Sculpt Spell Ability with spells that persist over time – under what conditions is protection maintained?

One of my current players has the first Wizard Evoker for whom I have GMed.

His PC’s Sculpt Spells ability was easy to interpret at lower levels, when his evocation spells, like thunderwave and fireball, were instantaneous.

As he advances, however, he may obtain spells that have longer durations, such as Storm Sphere, Wall of Ice, or Whirlwind. I am realizing that I do not know how to adjudicate Sculpt Spell with spells that persist, especially when the initial conditions of the Sculpt Spell ability no longer apply.

Sculpt Spells says:

Beginning at 2nd level, you can create pockets of relative safety within the effects of your evocation spells. When you cast an evocation spell that affects other creatures that you can see, you can choose a number of them equal to 1 + the spell’s level. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throws against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.

Storm Sphere, for example, has a a duration of Concentration (up to 1 minute) and says in part:

Each creature in the sphere when it appears or that ends its turn there must succeed on a Strength saving throw or take 2d6 bludgeoning damage.

To use the Sculpt Spell ability, the Evoker must see the creatures he is designating as being protected at the time he casts the Storm Sphere, and they must be in the area of the sphere at the time he casts it. It is clear that designating the protected creatures happens "when you cast".

What is not clear to me is whether the protection is for just the first round ("when you cast") or is meant to persist and provide protection on subsequent rounds.

If the protection normally persists, can it be lost if the creatures no longer meet the conditions that were required for them to be designated as protected?

What would happen to a protected creature if it was to exit the area of the Sphere and later re-enter?

Does the Evoker need to maintain them in his sight to maintain their protection? If they were originally protected when the spell was cast, but later became invisible, would it end their protection if the Evoker could no longer see them?

It is possible that reviewers may mark this as asking multiple questions. To be clear, I see all of these as examples of one question – Under what conditions does the protection afforded by Sculpt Spell persist or not persist over time?

Does the Necromancy Wizard’s lvl 10 feature, Inured to Undeath, prevent losing maximum hit points as a result of losing attunement to a magic item?

Inured To Undeath (bolding mine):

Beginning at 10th level, you have resistance to necrotic damage, and your hit point maximum can’t be reduced. You have spent so much time dealing with undead and the forces that animate them that you have become inured to some of their worst effects.

How does this feature interact with items that temporarily or conditionally improve your maximum HP, either through increasing the character’s CON score or by directly influencing maximum HP?

A similar question was posed with regards to the Aid spell, which had some interesting discussion.

Does the Aid spell permanently increase HP for Necromancy wizards with the Inured to Undeath feature?

But I’m specifically curious on how the feature interacts with Amulet of Health, Belt of Dwarvenkind, and other features that modify the CON score of the user.

Amulet of Health:

Your Constitution score is 19 while you wear this amulet. It has no effect on you if your Constitution score is already 19 or higher without it.

If a lvl 10 Necromancer with a CON modifier of 2 attuned to the Amulet of Health, then later in their adventuring career unattuned to the item, would their maximum HP stay at the level of the Amulet or return to its unaltered state?

Wizards only as Liches?

I am in the process of world building for a new game. My ultimate big bad is going to be a lich, but the bit of research I have done so far all refers to liches having to be wizards, due to the spell and phylactery creation requirement.

So I guess my question is this: could a non-magic user become a lich, assuming he could convince a mage to perform the rites?

How does Diviner Wizard’s Portent work with bonuses/penalties? [duplicate]

I’ve been trying to find the answer to this question, but haven’t been able to find it yet, as I seem to find conflicting answers online.

The description of Portent is as follows:

When you finish a long rest, roll two d20s and record the numbers rolled. You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature that you can see with one of these foretelling rolls. You must choose to do so before the roll, and you can replace a roll in this way only once per turn. Each roll can only be used once.

My group has been having some questions:

  • An enemy has to roll 1d20 + 5 for an ability check. The wizard uses portent to replace the ability check with 2. Does the enemy still add +5 (2+5 = 7)? The Portent text doesn’t mention it only replaces the roll, but the "ability check", so we’re unsure if only the die is changed, or the entire check.
  • An ally would roll for an attack roll, but the wizard replaces it to 20 with Portent. Is that considered a critical hit and roll critical damage as appropriate? (same for replacing an enemy roll with 1.
  • A character would roll with disadvantage/advantage. The wizard uses Portent. Does the character still roll one die, and check for advantage/disadvantage (higher/smaller between his roll and the Portent number), or the check itself is replaced in it’s entirety, no need to roll the second die?

So, it’s three questions:

  • Do bonuses (+/- to roll) apply to the Portent chosen number?
  • Does critical success/failure apply to the Portent chosen number?
  • Does Portent both rolls in the case of advantage/disadvantage rolls?

As we understand, the die is never really rolled, as it’s result is defined by the Wizard in the foretelling. So far, we’ve been considering if the Portent roll was 8, then no bonuses are applied at all, no advantage/disadvantage second die is rolled, and the result is just a flat 8.

Do Order of the Scribes wizards have reduced spell learning GP costs?

The Player’s Handbook uses the following language to explain how wizards obtain spells:

Copying a Spell into the Book. When you find a wizard spell of 1st level or higher, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a spell level you can prepare and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.

Copying that spell into your spellbook involves reproducing the basic form of the spell, then deciphering the unique system of notation used by the wizard who wrote it. You must practice the spell until you understand the sounds or gestures required, then transcribe it into your spellbook using your own notation.

For each level of the spell, the process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp. The cost represents material components you expend as you experiment with the spell to master it, as well as the fine inks you need to record it. Once you have spent this time and money, you can prepare the spell just like your other spells.

The "Wizardly Quill" ability in the Unearthed Arcana that first described Order of the Scribes wizards used the following language:

• The quill doesn’t require ink. When you write with it, it produces ink in a color of your choice on the writing surface.

• The gold and time you must spend to copy a spell into your spellbook are halved if you use the quill for the transcription.

In the final release of the class through Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the language has changed to the following:

• The quill doesn’t require ink. When you write with it, it produces ink in a color of your choice on the writing surface.

• The time you must spend to copy a spell into your spellbook equals 2 minutes per spell level if you use the quill for the transcription.

There are, it seems, at least two interpretations of how this affects spell learning costs:

  1. Wizardly Quill does not say anything about the GP cost of learning spells, and therefore, the costs remain unchanged.
  2. Wizardly Quill reduces the cost of ink to 0 GP. Spells cost 50 GP/level when learning spells that require costly material components (e.g. Find Familiar). Spells cost 0 GP/level when learning spells whose material components are substituted by an arcane focus (e.g. Feather Fall).

My inclination, based on the Rule of Specificity, is to rule for the first option.