View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Teamwork Spells

2018-06-11, 06:19 PM
I'm a player at someone else's table and he is very pro-improvisation and also a fan of Chrono Trigger. As such, he suggested that we try to come up with some Dual Tech-style attacks for our characters (if you haven't played, this is basically two people using different special attacks in conjunction to make a bigger, specialer attack). The problem is, 5e's combat system is not inherently friendly to such actions (two people have to both do something, and in general there aren't rules in 5th edition for improvisational combat; unlike the catch-all skill system for outside of combat).

So, I went home that day and wrote this up. We never wound up using it, but I already made it so I thought I would share it here. I am interested in hearing what people think, and more interested in seeing ideas for other Joint Spells beyond my sample spells here.

What is Joint Spellcasting?
Magic users are capable of wondrous acts through their spells, but the best effects can only be produced through the combined eforts of two or more spellcasters. Within are rules for enacting such powerful spells, typically referred to as Joint Spells.

Every Joint Spell has a Keystone, the component without which it cannot be used. The character providing the Keystone component has final say on any choices regarding the Joint Spell, such as target or area, and also provides the attack roll or save DC for that spell (if they have multiple spell save DCs, use the one they would have used if they had cast the Keystone normally). Unless otherwise noted, the Keystone is also the Initial Component of the spell (see below).

In addition to the Keystone, every Joint Spell has one or more additional components. Though typically these components are spells, either specific or general, any limited resource is eligible for use as a component, such as Ki points, sorcery points, bardic inspiration, or even the fighter's action surge and second wind class features.

Optional Components
Not all components are mandatory for all Joint Spells. If a Joint Spell lists any Optional Components, those can also be added to the spellcasting process (see Casting a Joint Spell, below), in the same fashion as any other component. Unless a spell notes otherwise, the Joint Spell is not cast until the contributor of the Keystone chooses to complete it.

Joint Spell Level
Joint Spells have spell levels just like normal spells. As a rule, characters do not need to be capable of casting spells of the Joint Spell's level in order to participate in the spell or even manage the Keystone of the spell. when determining effects relating to spell level, such as when casting dispel magic, treat the Joint Spell as a normal spell of its level. Some Joint Spells can be cast at a higher level just like normal spells, which is detailed in their descriptions.

Initiating a Joint Spell
Each Joint spell requires multiple characters to ultimately participate, but one character is always the Initiator of a Joint Spell. Typically, and unless otherwise noted, this is the character who provides the Keystone, but some Joint Spells will specify a different Initiator (the spell's component list will have (Initial) next to the component which must initiate the spell). In order to begin the process of casting a Joint Spell, that character must use their action on their turn and consume the relevant resource. Once they have initiated the process, that character is considered to be concentrating on the Joint Spell until it resolves.
Many resources and some spells require only a bonus action to use normally. Initiating a Joint Spell is still an action in those cases.

Participating in a Joint Spell
Once an ally has initiated a Joint Spell, other allies may use their action to contribute to it. To do so, they expend any resources required of the component they are fulfilling as an Action on their turn. The provider of any component does not gain the normal benefits of using that component. If the resource normally takes a bonus action to use, it nevertheless requires an action when adding it to a Joint Spell. If the Keystone provider is not the Initiator of a Joint Spell, they take over concentration on the spell when they provide their component.

Completing a Joint Spell
Once all required components have been added to a Joint Spell, the owner of the Keystone component may use their Reaction or a Bonus Action to cast it at any time. While waiting for the spell to cast, the owner of the Keystone component must concentrate on it (if the Initiator does not provide the Keystone component, they pass control to the owner of the Keystone component when that component is added to the spell). Make any choices relating to the spell when it is cast. Any character who contributed may apply modifier they have at this time as well (see Modifying a Joint Spell, below). Resolve this spell in the same way that you would resolve a normal spell. If the Joint Spell requires concentration, the Keystone component's provider maintains that concentration.

Modifying a Joint Spell
If any character participating in a Joint Spell has a class feature that could modify the spell, such as an Evoker's Sculpt Spells or a Sorcerer's Metamagic, they may modify the Joint Spell when it is cast, spending resources as necessary. Unlike normal spell choices (which are made by the Keystone provider), choices that specifically come from a class feature are made by the character with that class feature.

Below is detailed the first Joint Spell I designed, intended to be cast by my wizard in conjunction with the team's bard.
Fortune and Foresight
2nd level divination Joint Spell
Keystone Component: Any divination spell of 1st level or higher (Initial)
Required Component: One use of Bardic Inspiration

Components:V, S, M (a lens, mirror, or tuning fork)
Duration:10 minutes or until discharged

Combining the bard's knack for inspiration and luck with a diviner's ability to sense the future, the two provide a significant short-term boost to several allies.

When this spell is cast, roll Bardic Inspiration dice as though provided by the participating Bard, and assign each result to a different target within range. No character can have two instances of this effect at the same time, though they can have an instance of this effect and one of normal Bardic Inspiration.

While the spell lasts, a target can use this die as though it was a Bardic Inspiration die provided by the participating Bard. When they choose to use this die, they can either use the result rolled when the spell was cast, or they can reroll that Bardic Inspiration die and use the new result. Regardless of their choice, once they have used this effect, it is consumed.

Casting Fortune and Foresight as a Higher Level Spell
If the Divination spell used as the Keystone Component is cast using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, this spell is 1 level higher for each level above 1 the keystone is, and you generate one additional die for each level above 1 the keystone is.

Another spell intended for use by the Bard, this time in conjunction with the Paladin. Strictly speaking, almost any spellcasting class can provide the Keystone Component here, but our bard was the only one who knew/prepared thunder damage.

Radiant Song
3rd level evocation Joint Spell
Keystone Component: A spell dealing thunder damage cast using a 2nd level or higher spell slot, provided by a character proficient in Perform. (Initial)
Required Component: A spell slot of 1st level or higher provided by a character with the Divine Smite class feature.

Components:V, S
Duration:Concentration, up to 1 minute

When the initializer of this spell begins casting, they start to sing a song that can be heard clearly within 30 feet. When the spell completes, up to 5 targets in the spell's area must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, they take 2d8 radiant damage (+1d8 if they are a fiend or undead), or half as much on a successful save.

While the spell lasts, the caster may use a bonus action on their turn to cause any one target in the area to take the same damage, with the same saving throw.

Casting Radiant Song with higher level spell slots:
If the Keystone component is cast using a spell slot higher than 2nd level, this spell affects an additional target for each level above 2nd when initially cast, and an additional target when using the bonus action effect for every 2 levels above 2nd (at 4, 6, and 8).

If the Divine Smite spell slot component is cast using a spell slot higher than 1st level, this spell deals an additional 1d8 damage for each level above 1st.

This Joint Spell's effective level is equal to the level of the keystone plus half the level (rounded up) of the Divine Smite spell slot component.