[Let's Read] 5E Player's Handbook

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
I would houserule that you can take the spell as normal at the appropriate caster level, and if you do then when the bonus kicks in you get a free spell of the same school.
 

BarefootHobbit

psychic dog-walker
Validated User
I second halfling warlock! Using point buy to avoid depressing characters with lots of negative scores like poor Casa above.

On the transmuter: surely the Minor Alchemy feature is mainly used to cheat people with temporary silver.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Minor Alchemy (2nd) - Oh, we are getting alchemy. Cool. Aaaaaand it's a 1 hour with concentration not-spell that let's you transmute one object of entirely wood, stone, iron, copper, or silver into another one on that list. 10 minutes per cubic foot. Okay, that could be useful. It's nice as a fallback utility, at least? Turn those handcuffs into wood, and chew your way through. The casting time means it's never going to be a first resort, though.
Silver, iron, stone and wood are all useful. Consider making fuel for a fire from stones while camping underground, whittling tools and turning them to iron as needed, or the potential of identifying lycanthropes with silver.

Shapechanger (10th) - Don't go breaking my heart, now. Add polymorph to your spellbook, and you can use it on yourself without expending a spell slot. Buy you can only transform yourself into a beast of CR 1 or lower. Recharges on a short/long rest. Better than I was expecting. But, as with Undead Thralls, it means getting one of the iconic spells, if not the iconic spell of your school a level late. Druids remain kings of shapechanger hill.
This one is easy to tweak without making it too good. Adding plants, magical beasts and constructs (or just objects) gives it so much more flex and keeping the CR 1 limitation retains balance.

Master Transmuter (14th) - Destroy your transmuter's stone to get an effect. Can't remake the stone until after a long rest. The effect options:
  • 10 minutes to transmute up to a 5ft cube of nonmagical matter into another sort of matter, of similar size, mass, and value. Ugh. I kind of hate how transmutations have gone super scientific. It clashes with how I want magic to feel. Of course, transmuters are probably the most likely to be mathemagicians (see Dee, Bacon, and I'm sure more), so my feelings are not especially accurate. And, uh, shouldn't the transmuter have spells that do this? This is what transmutations do.
Not really. True Polymorph allows object to object transmutations but that has a duration and can be dispelled even if the duration is unlimited. As for most Alteration/Transmutation spells through the editions, very few affect objects. The vast majority affect creatures and characters. Hell, the best form of material alchemy in 2e is a psionic power, not a spell.

  • Raise dead (no need for spell slots or having the spell in your spellbook. Have I mentioned that the way they do spell-like abilities in this edition is weird? I assume this takes components (diamonds diamonds diamonds!), because it doesn't say otherwise.)
This is where I think Reincarnation should have been revived. In both editions of AD&D it was a magic-user spell that brought the dead back as humanoids or the dead's own race. It would be easy to do this with Monstrous Races, a very cool supplement on the Guild.
 

DavetheLost

Registered User
Validated User
Master Transmuter (14th) - Destroy your transmuter's stone to get an effect. Can't remake the stone until after a long rest. The effect options:
  • 10 minutes to transmute up to a 5ft cube of nonmagical matter into another sort of matter, of similar size, mass, and value. Ugh. I kind of hate how transmutations have gone super scientific. It clashes with how I want magic to feel. Of course, transmuters are probably the most likely to be mathemagicians (see Dee, Bacon, and I'm sure more), so my feelings are not especially accurate. And, uh, shouldn't the transmuter have spells that do this? This is what transmutations do.

Well this is an absolutely useless ability as written. Let's posit a five-foot cube of lead that the transmuter wants to turn to gold.Size? Check. Mass? Check. Value? No way!
Chains to water? Size? Check. Mass? Well, that depends on what is meant bey "similar mass". Water is less dense, and there for less massive than iron for the same volume. But maybe close enough. Value? Highly circumstantial. In the desert the water is much more valuable. In a stream bank, the water has almost no value as it can be dipped up from the stream. Far too much room for a hair splitting DM to be a royal dick here.
 

Safid

Registered User
Validated User
My real problem with the Transmutation school is that the effects seem largely all over the place. Sure, you've got two "change X into Y" effects of questionable utility and one polymorph effect. But then you have a mish-mash of weird buffs, healing, and resurrection. What? Why does holding onto the Philosopher's Stone give me +10 speed? I guess I just don't get it, even if these are the effects that are most likely to actually impact the game.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
My real problem with the Transmutation school is that the effects seem largely all over the place.
That is what the school has been about since it was called Alteration. Any sort of transformation gets thrown in it, which is why was the largest by far* in the Wizard's Spell Compendium. The tradition simply represents that.

The spell list in Volume 4 is more than 3 pages long. Enchantment/Charm, Invocation/Evocation and Necromancy are almost tied at ~1 1/4 pages. And the rest are a page or less.
 

RadioKen

mailed a second mongoose
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Shouldn't you cover Backgrounds before you start generating characters? They've got enough mechanical and thematic heft that they're well worth considering early in the process, what with the proficiencies and the gear and the features.
 

Safid

Registered User
Validated User
Honestly, backgrounds are "pick 2 skills, pick 2 tools or languages, and pick a ribbon which has minimal mechanical impact." There's just not much to them.
 
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