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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Is War Caster really that great?

    Divine casters excluded, you still need a free hand for material components. An Eldritch Knight can't cast Fireball without an arcane focus, meaning they can't dual wield, 2-hand or s&b without sacrificing spell options, which are limited enough already. War Caster solves the somatic comp problem only, so Burning Hands and the like are available. Still, WC isn't the cure-all some make it out to be.
    Last edited by ZenBear; 2015-11-28 at 11:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    I didn't used to like it much at all, but a couple things have made me re-evaluate its usefulness:

    1.) Being able to Shield while grappling is awesomesauce for a paladorc. You can be functionally invulnerable to attack from whomever you're holding prone. AC 23 (28) at disadvantage is a very tough target to hit.

    2.) Booming Blade + Warcaster is great for a front-line tank, and makes it very unattractive for enemies to try to bypass you. Not to mention other options like Compelled Duel and Command, if you want to spend some spell points. The only downside is that from a roleplaying perspective it's nonsensical that you somehow have an easier time Commanding someone to "Flee!" just because they charged your back line squishies. (5E has a lot of RP-incoherent mechanics unfortunately.)

    The concentration benefit isn't bad either, when combined with these two. It's now my next planned feat for my Paladin 7/Sorc 4, when he hits Paladin 8.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2015-11-29 at 12:40 AM. Reason: grammar: "whom"
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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    EKs can't use an Arcane Focus. They need a component pouch. Same with AT. And I think Ranger too, but may be recalling that incorrectly.

    But yes, a S&B/TWF EK or Valor Bard needs to pay attention to what spell components their spells have, even with Warcaster. But it opens up a lot of Spell options.

    It's also useful for Clerics/Paladins that want to cast V/S spells with their hands full, since they can't do that even with a Holy Symbol inscribed shield. V/S includes Cure Wounds, and various other spells.

    Or Just use a 2-handed weapon. (My personal preference for EKs and Valor Bards.) Or just put the weapon away with their free object interaction, which effectively just means giving up your OA this round for S&B, although not TWF.

    Warcaster's huge benefit is advantage on Concentration checks. The OA with a spell is nice too for non-melee. The S-component with hands full is somewhat niche.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-28 at 11:49 PM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Advantage on Concentration saves is huge. This is worth a feat.

    Somatic components with weapons or shields etc is good and opens up options, but it isn't the cure all.

    Booming Blade or some other spell as an opportunity attack is situationally excellent.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    EKs can't use an Arcane Focus. They need a component pouch. Same with AT. And I think Ranger too, but may be recalling that incorrectly.

    But yes, a S&B/TWF EK or Valor Bard needs to pay attention to what spell components their spells have, even with Warcaster. But it opens up a lot of Spell options.

    It's also useful for Clerics/Paladins that want to cast V/S spells with their hands full, since they can't do that even with a Holy Symbol inscribed shield. V/S includes Cure Wounds, and various other spells.

    Or Just use a 2-handed weapon. (My personal preference for EKs and Valor Bards.) Or just put the weapon away with their free object interaction, which effectively just means giving up your OA this round for S&B, although not TWF.

    Warcaster's huge benefit is advantage on Concentration checks. The OA with a spell is nice too for non-melee. The S-component with hands full is somewhat niche.
    I thought you explained it very well before, it is a "feat tax" and it must be paid. And you get goodies with it.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenBear View Post
    Divine casters excluded, you still need a free hand for material components. An Eldritch Knight can't cast Fireball without an arcane focus, meaning they can't dual wield, 2-hand or s&b without sacrificing spell options, which are limited enough already. War Caster solves the somatic comp problem only, so Burning Hands and the like are available. Still, WC isn't the cure-all some make it out to be.
    They can use a 2 handed weapon just fine. Sure, they need to let go of the weapon with one hand to cast the spell, but since they're only doing one or the other anyways that's not a big deal.
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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    They can use a 2 handed weapon just fine. Sure, they need to let go of the weapon with one hand to cast the spell, but since they're only doing one or the other anyways that's not a big deal.
    Do note that if the free object use is used to change to a one handed grip on a two handed weapon, you can't use it for Opportunity Attacks. YMMV on how important that is, but it's still worth paying attention to if you're an EK or otherwise care about melee damage.
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    Do note that if the free object use is used to change to a one handed grip on a two handed weapon, you can't use it for Opportunity Attacks. YMMV on how important that is, but it's still worth paying attention to if you're an EK or otherwise care about melee damage.
    Letting go with one hand is a free action, putting it back is free object interaction. Letting go of an item is not considered any sort of action by the rules. Now, changing your grip on a versatile weapon might be an action, but just letting go with one hand so that you aren't currently wielding the weapon but merely holding it one hand is pretty clearly a free action going off the rules.

    This is part of what makes the feat so silly, the best option for most characters is a two handed weapon, the fact it saves you a feat (that still doesn't cover every option) just solidifies it.

    Also, it's been more or less confirmed you can perform somatic components with the arm with your material components/spell focus. Otherwise you need two hands free for spells that have both, which I highly doubt is how most people play.

    In short, people trying to force the warcaster tax are really wasting time tbh. The feat has plenty of usage just from the cantrip+concentration sides of it, disallowing certain concepts (sword and board/dual wielding) unless you take it is needlessly limiting.
    Last edited by silveralen; 2015-11-29 at 10:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by djreynolds View Post
    I thought you explained it very well before, it is a "feat tax" and it must be paid. And you get goodies with it.
    i eventually came to the conclusion in that thread that it really isn't a Feat Tax for S&B Cleric/Paladins in general, as they can function quite effectively with a Holy Symbol inscribed shield, and occasionally putting their weapon away for V/S spells. That's the classes I specifically started that thread for.

    However, yeah, it's still a Feat Tax for S&B or TWF arcane builds (typically EKs, ATs, and Valor Bards) who want to cast without putting a weapon away. Especially if they want to cast reaction spells (e.g. Shield for an EK) or spells and attack in the same round (10+ EKs and 14+ Valor Bards).

    Of course, many casters will take it just for advantage of concentration. That's not required, but it's mighty tasty looking and hard to resist. ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    Do note that if the free object use is used to change to a one handed grip on a two handed weapon, you can't use it for Opportunity Attacks. YMMV on how important that is, but it's still worth paying attention to if you're an EK or otherwise care about melee damage.
    That's a house rule. One I personally *really* like, but still a house rule.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-29 at 10:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    They can use a 2 handed weapon just fine. Sure, they need to let go of the weapon with one hand to cast the spell, but since they're only doing one or the other anyways that's not a big deal.
    That solves the somatic component problem, but not the material component. EKs can still swing once after casting so it does matter.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenBear View Post
    That solves the somatic component problem, but not the material component. EKs can still swing once after casting so it does matter.
    Wear a component pouch. M component issue solved.

    EKs take one hand off the 2-H weapon, cast a V/S or V/S/M spell (using a component pouch for the M component), put the hand back on the 2-H weapon, and attack with it.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-29 at 12:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Wear a component pouch. M component issue solved.

    EKs take one hand off the 2-H weapon, cast a V/S or V/S/M spell (using a component pouch for the M component), put the hand back on the 2-H weapon, and attack with it.
    Is there no action cost to using a component pouch? It costs your object interaction to put your hand back on a gsword but not to fish out a specific material from a fanny pack?

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenBear View Post
    Is there no action cost to using a component pouch? It costs your object interaction to put your hand back on a gsword but not to fish out a specific material from a fanny pack?
    It does have an action cost, it is part of the action which casts the spell so long as you have a free hand.

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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenBear View Post
    Is there no action cost to using a component pouch? It costs your object interaction to put your hand back on a gsword but not to fish out a specific material from a fanny pack?
    No, it's part of the spell's action. Anything else would be asinine.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZenBear View Post
    Is there no action cost to using a component pouch? It costs your object interaction to put your hand back on a gsword but not to fish out a specific material from a fanny pack?
    No, it doesn't cost an interaction to use a component pouch, it's part of the spell as long as you have a hand free.

    Also, it doesn't cost an object interaction to put your hand back on a Greatsword.

    Edit: what's potentially silly is it probably does take an object interaction to use your free hand to take up your arcane focus to use as part of a spell. But that's an opinion on my part. It's not explicit.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2015-11-29 at 01:17 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    EKs can't use an Arcane Focus. They need a component pouch. Same with AT. And I think Ranger too, but may be recalling that incorrectly.
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen anything that says this is true. Can you point me at it? I'm just starting an EK and need to know.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen anything that says this is true. Can you point me at it? I'm just starting an EK and need to know.
    The other classes all explicitly say they can use a focus if they can, and the eldritch knight section doesn't say that, so technically I guess they can't. Personally I think that's ridiculous and would allow them to, but there it is.
    Last edited by EvanescentHero; 2015-11-29 at 02:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    No, it doesn't cost an interaction to use a component pouch, it's part of the spell as long as you have a hand free.

    Also, it doesn't cost an object interaction to put your hand back on a Greatsword.

    Edit: what's potentially silly is it probably does take an object interaction to use your free hand to take up your arcane focus to use as part of a spell. But that's an opinion on my part. It's not explicit.
    It seems like the only reason to ever use a focus instead of a fanny pack is if the focus has special properties ala magic items.

    Personally I think a gish should wield a weapon in one hand and a focus in the other, but that's a limitation most people would dislike so I understand why they would allow workarounds.
    Last edited by ZenBear; 2015-11-29 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Throwing a bit of a tangent out here but is the Resilient (Con) feat as good as I hope it is in conjunction with Warcaster?

    Playing a tough Valor Bard with a focus on tough, but i'm not sure if I should bump my Cha (15) next time or get Warcaster and not have to worry about concentration.

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    Do note that if the free object use is used to change to a one handed grip on a two handed weapon, you can't use it for Opportunity Attacks. YMMV on how important that is, but it's still worth paying attention to if you're an EK or otherwise care about melee damage.
    that's why you have warcaster to shoot fire at them in that scinario

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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbyssStalker View Post
    Throwing a bit of a tangent out here but is the Resilient (Con) feat as good as I hope it is in conjunction with Warcaster?

    Playing a tough Valor Bard with a focus on tough, but i'm not sure if I should bump my Cha (15) next time or get Warcaster and not have to worry about concentration.
    yes, you are proficient and have advantage when saving for spells

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is War Caster really that great?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbyssStalker View Post
    Throwing a bit of a tangent out here but is the Resilient (Con) feat as good as I hope it is in conjunction with Warcaster?

    Playing a tough Valor Bard with a focus on tough, but i'm not sure if I should bump my Cha (15) next time or get Warcaster and not have to worry about concentration.
    If you are relying on concentration spells having not only advantage but proficiency in con saves is huge. It becomes very difficult to lose a spell unless you are hit with a massive attack.

    If you had a +2 Con Mod at low levels it looks like this hitting DC10..

    Stock, 8+ i.e. 65%
    With Proficiency+2) 75%
    With Advantage 88%
    With Advantage and Proficiency(+2) 94%

    Goes from losing ~1/3 spells to ~1/20.

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