Gaming Articles

Making an Awesome D&D Character: Step 6

It's hard to not get away with playing some form of a spellcaster in D&D. Every class seems to have an archetype at 3rd level that introduces spells, and even some races sneak in spells like the High Elf and the Tiefling.

Table of Contents

Spellcasting

It’s hard to not get away with playing some form of a spellcaster in D&D. Every class seems to have an archetype at 3rd level that introduces spells, and even some races sneak in spells like the High Elf and the Tiefling. Because of this, you should be comfortable knowing how spells work and how they can affect your character.

In general, there are two types of magic in Dungeons and Dragons (D&D): divine and arcane. Arcane magic is used by bards, wizards, sorcerers, and warlocks. Divine magic is used by clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers. I’m going to focus on the main classes, but there are some archetypes that use these as well. Be sure to read the source material well and ask us for any clarification if you need it. The table below will summarize how each class uses their casting ability.

Magic Type

Classes

Casting Ability

Arcane

Bard

Charisma

Sorcerer

Charisma

Wizard

Intelligence

Warlock

Charisma

Divine

Cleric

Wisdom

Druid

Wisdom

Paladin

Charisma

Ranger

Wisdom

How Do Spells Work?

To cast a spell, a caster uses a spellcasting resource commonly called a spell slot. These spots represent the amount of energy the spell takes to cast. As the caster levels, they gain access to more and more powerful spells and spell levels.

Most spells take a turn to cast and have three general ways of affecting the character. The first is that it automatically succeeds. This is more common in beneficial spells like Cure Wounds or Mage Armor.

Offensive spells like Bane or Fireball have a Difficulty Class (DC) to meet or beat. The DC is determined by adding 8 to your spellcasting ability modifier (See Step 4 for more information on how to determine modifiers from ability scores) and your proficiency bonus (See Step 5 for information on proficiency bonuses).

Save DC = 8 + Spellcasting Modifier + Proficiency

The target would then roll a 20-sided die (notated d20) and add the relevant ability modifier described by the spell. If they get the same number or higher, the spell will affect them less. If they roll lower, this counts as a failed roll and the spell takes full hold.

Other offensive spells use a hit or miss mechanic where the caster rolls a d20 and adds their proficiency and spellcasting ability modifier. This is most often opposed by the target’s armor class (AC). If the roll meets or exceeds the AC, the spell uses the hit rules. Otherwise, it misses.

Attack = Spellcasting Modifier + Proficiency

Choosing Spells

Choosing spells can either be a walk in the park or involve rigorous research. Classes like Cleric, Druids, and Paladins can change their spells every day after meditating and praying. The arcane casters have a fixed spell list so they require a bit more research.

Resources for Spells:

  • Player’s Handbook
  • Basic Rules for D&D
  • Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
  • Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
  • Elemental Evil Player’s Guide

Thank you for following on long on this guide. See something we forgot? Shoot us a comment or a message!

For more information on the resources listed here, please see your friendly local gaming venue!

 

Advertisements

3 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s