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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

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    Default Warcaster Feat tax

    The rules for Spellcasting focus are as follows:
    1) you need a free hand for Somatic Components.
    2) you need a free hand for Material Components.
    3) you can use a focus in a free hand in place of material components.
    4) if you do the free hand using a focus can also do the somatic components.
    5) holy smells can be worn or etched on the shield and still replace material components.
    6) Warcaster removes the need for a free hand for somatic components

    Note that holy symbols remove the free hand rule for material components, but you still need a free hand for somatic components, since you aren't using a free hand to use the symbol, the 'same free hand' rule never kicks in.

    This means Warcaster is a de facto feat tax for any Shield using Cleric or Paladin, which isn't exactly uncommon. That doesn't seem to fit the 5e paradigm ... Especially when feats are 'optional'.

    It also affects builds of Valor Bard, Druid, and Eldritch Knight, and Ranger obviously, and they don't have the Holy Symbol get out of material components free card while using a shield. But it's Clerics in particular this bothers me, since IMX they almost universally use a shield and weapon combo.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-02 at 10:26 AM.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Everybody can stow or draw a weapon for free. See p.190, I think that's where that paragraph is.

    So your shield-and-hammer-using cleric just stashes their hammer, casts their spell, and the next time they use their hammer, they use their free object-interaction to draw it as part of the attack.

    Shield-and-sword-using Bards (edit: and others) may need it, as drawing the instrument or component pouch may count as a second object-interaction.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2015-11-02 at 10:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post
    So your shield-and-hammer-using cleric just stashes their hammer, casts their spell, and the next time they use their hammer, they use their free object-interaction to draw it as part of the attack.
    Stowing uses your object-interaction. You don't get to freely draw as part of an attack - that's the object interaction as well.

    You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.
    If you want to interact with a second object, you need to use your action. Some magic items and other special objects always require an action to use, as stated
    in their descriptions.
    Last edited by Kryx; 2015-11-02 at 10:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    True but you're giving up an Opportunity Attack.

    However, I can see the designers making that a balance point: spell-casters, even melee ones, are intended to get a shield bonus or an opportunity attack. Not both.

    It's gonna take some mental gymnastics in my head to make that not feel like a feat tax though, especially for War & Tempest Clerics, and Protection/Dueling Paladins. ;)

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    @Tanarii: What would you propose? I'm all for getting rid of feat taxes, but it seems what you propose would basically remove the somatic component entirely.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    @Tanarii: I'm all for getting rid of feat taxes, though what would you propose? It seems what you propose would basically remove the somatic component entirely.
    I'm on the fence for making etched-symbol shields cover the somatic component, because 'holy symbol' it technically is a hand then, not worn. I'm not sure how over or under powered that would be though. It'd also make the Warcaster feat unappealing to Clerics/Paladins, although advantage on Concentration checks is still very good.

    The Warcaster feat is one of those weird ones: almost all casters either need the 'free hands' benefit *or* the OA spells benefit, nut rarely both.

    Edit: nice post rearrangement for clarity. I should have quoted. ;)
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-02 at 10:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Stowing uses your object-interaction. You don't get to freely draw as part of an attack - that's the object interaction as well.
    Correct, I phrased it poorly.

    Round 1: Stow weapon, cast spell. (Or smack with hammer, cast bonus-action-casting-time spell, stow weapon.)
    Round 2: Draw weapon, smack with hammer, possibly cast bonus-action-casting-time spell.
    Last edited by JAL_1138; 2015-11-02 at 10:49 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    a holy symbol that is part of your shield is being held in your hand. you can't hold something in a free hand. you can only hold it in a hand, because the act of holding something in that hand makes it no longer free. so if it doesn't work for holy symbols, it doesn't work for anything else either.

    we're either forced into a stupid interpretation where what the rules describe is impossible, or we understand that holding a spellcasting focus in your hand allows you to perform somatic components with that hand, regardless of whether it is considered free or not.

    i know which interpretation i'm going to follow.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by JAL_1138 View Post
    Shield-and-sword-using Bards (edit: and others) may need it, as drawing the instrument or component pouch may count as a second object-interaction.
    Missed this. Yeah for Valor Bards I always build them with Component Pouches as opposed to foci. My reading has always been that the component pouch doesn't need an object interaction. In fact I always use it over foci for *any* spellcaster because of that, so I may need to go back and reread on my assumption it doesn't use an object interaction.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-02 at 10:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    a holy symbol that is part of your shield is being held in your hand. you can't hold something in a free hand. you can only hold it in a hand, because the act of holding something in that hand makes it no longer free. so if it doesn't work for holy symbols, it doesn't work for anything else either.
    so you're saying you consider a Shield etched with a Holy Symbol to be a Spellcasting Focus held in the hand already?

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Why can't you draw arcane symbols with the focus?

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    so you're saying you consider a Shield etched with a Holy Symbol to be a Spellcasting Focus held in the hand already?
    it is a spellcasting focus (specifically, a holy symbol). it is being held in your hand. the fact that the holy symbol is on a shield-shaped object is not particularly different from an arcane focus being in the shape of a club (scepter), staff, or other commonplace object.

    so yes. if your holy symbol is a shield with a specific picture painted on it or etched into it, you are holding it in your hand by wielding the shield.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    so you're saying you consider a Shield etched with a Holy Symbol to be a Spellcasting Focus held in the hand already?
    That's how I would rule it.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    If you use the shield with holy symbol as a spellcasting focus to replace material component, you can use it for somatic components at the same time. Weirdly, if the spell you're casting doesn't have material component, you can't use the shield and need to have free hand for somatic component.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    So to jump back to the original topic: Would giving Warcaster's component to allow somatic w/ weapons in hand be fine? Could get rid of a feat "tax".

    "You can perform The somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands."

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Can divine casters (no warcaster feat) cast VSM spells wielding a weapon and a shield with their Holy Symbol engraved on it? I ask because the rules say you can use the same hand for M as you use for S, just not clear if shield hand counts.

    Bardo.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    They can, but not if the spell lacks M component...see my previous post
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    They can, but not if the spell lacks M component...see my previous post
    Is it spelled out in the rules somewhere, or inferring from the "same hand" note on M? It also means divine casters have it a bit easier than Valor Bards, not that many front-line spells are VS.

    Bardo

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    I feel like Holy Symbol engraved on shield = held in hand is an awfully liberal interpretation the Holy Symbol rule. IMO engraving the Holy Symbol on an item makes it 'worn', it doesn't turn the item into a Holy Symbol itself. You've still got a shield in your hand, not a Holy Symbol.

    OTOH since that's exactly what I was thinking of as a possible 'fix', I guess I shouldn't be complaining. ;)

    Kryx, tbh I feel it's Clerics in particular that get hosed in regards to Somatic Casting. And Paladins to a lesser degree. They're the class(es) basically designed from the ground up to be Mace/Sword & Board while casting. I find other casting classes needing to take Warcaster or use a 2-handed weapon more palatable for some reason. Even though I think it's a liberal reading of the rules to allow Holy Symbol engraved on shield = in hand, I *do* think it's something that the designers would have intended. After all, it's traditional D&D for clerics to be able to cast while M&B without issue.

    JackPhoenix, you're saying if you have a Spellcasting Focus in hand when you cast a non-M spell, you have to have a separate free hand to cover the S component?
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-02 at 01:24 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by bardo View Post
    Is it spelled out in the rules somewhere, or inferring from the "same hand" note on M? It also means divine casters have it a bit easier than Valor Bards, not that many front-line spells are VS.

    Bardo
    http://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/01/04/...bol-on-shield/
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    The rules for Spellcasting focus are as follows:
    1) you need a free hand for Somatic Components.
    2) you need a free hand for Material Components.
    3) you can use a focus in a free hand in place of material components.
    4) if you do the free hand using a focus can also do the somatic components.
    5) holy smells can be worn or etched on the shield and still replace material components.
    6) Warcaster removes the need for a free hand for somatic components

    Note that holy symbols remove the free hand rule for material components, but you still need a free hand for somatic components, since you aren't using a free hand to use the symbol, the 'same free hand' rule never kicks in.

    This means Warcaster is a de facto feat tax for any Shield using Cleric or Paladin, which isn't exactly uncommon. That doesn't seem to fit the 5e paradigm ... Especially when feats are 'optional'.

    It also affects builds of Valor Bard, Druid, and Eldritch Knight, and Ranger obviously, and they don't have the Holy Symbol get out of material components free card while using a shield. But it's Clerics in particular this bothers me, since IMX they almost universally use a shield and weapon combo.
    I would like to know a bit more about these "holy smells" that can be worn or etched on the shield, please.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I would like to know a bit more about these "holy smells" that can be worn or etched on the shield, please.
    haha I use a iPad to post a lot. Auto-correct shenanigans abound. It's why I end up editing a lot, but I still miss some. ;)

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    As the rules fail to explicitly define the situation, it is not out of the question to consider the embossed shield to BE the focus. If such is the case you can, as per RAW, have the hand holding it perform somatic components.


    Somewhat off topic, but personally, I find nitpicking about this type of thing to be less than productive, not to mention counter to 5E's KISS philosophy. As such, I tend to assume that a caster has found a way to cast almost regardless of their gear. I have just two rules in this regard. 1)They must be proficient with the items in question. 2)Foci are still necessary, but can be pretty much any piece of equipment such as a longsword or a gauntlet, but the item must be crafted/adapted/blessed/etc. specifically for that purpose.

    This gives players, especially gishes, one less thing to worry about when equipping their players, but leaves the component system in place for what I consider its principle purpose, a nonmagical means of limiting casting in capture scenarios.
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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Kryx, tbh I feel it's Clerics in particular that get hosed in regards to Somatic Casting. And Paladins to a lesser degree. They're the class(es) basically designed from the ground up to be Mace/Sword & Board while casting. I find other casting classes needing to take Warcaster or use a 2-handed weapon more palatable for some reason. Even though I think it's a liberal reading of the rules to allow Holy Symbol engraved on shield = in hand, I *do* think it's something that the designers would have intended. After all, it's traditional D&D for clerics to be able to cast while M&B without issue.
    Not only those, but also any TWF caster like Valor Bard, War Cleric, OoV Paladin, etc.

    I think I'll just houserule those options to allow somatic while wielding a shield/weapon just like 2 handed can. It's only fair.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    I would like to know a bit more about these "holy smells" that can be worn or etched on the shield, please.
    Holy'Scratch'n'Sniff'Symbol. When a weapon hits your shield it releases a fragrance. All enemies within 10' must pass a Wisdom saving throw (DC12) or the smell reminds them of something but they can't quite remember what it is.

    Bardo.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    True but you're giving up an Opportunity Attack.

    However, I can see the designers making that a balance point: spell-casters, even melee ones, are intended to get a shield bonus or an opportunity attack. Not both.

    It's gonna take some mental gymnastics in my head to make that not feel like a feat tax though, especially for War & Tempest Clerics, and Protection/Dueling Paladins. ;)
    It doesn't give up your opportunity attack if you're using a two-handed weapon or TWF, only sword & board. Which is probably balanced with the extra protection of having a shield.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Not only those, but also any TWF caster like Valor Bard, War Cleric, OoV Paladin, etc.

    I think I'll just houserule those options to allow somatic while wielding a shield/weapon just like 2 handed can. It's only fair.
    I'm not exactly clear what you're house-rule will be. You're going to just allow Somatic Components universally without a free hand? You're going to allow worn Holy Symbols to work with TWF?

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    That does not mean that you need to cast a spell with a material component. It means that if you use the holy shield as a focus, you can use the shield hand to make the somatic movements. You can cast an M-less spell using an Arcane focus for the S-component, too. There's no reason to think that a focus can only be used for M-spells.

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Well, that's pretty clear RAI. Thanks. :)

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Warcaster Feat tax

    Daishain, that's pretty much exactly how I play it.

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