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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Cantrip - Please PEACH

    Player approached me with a custom cantrip request that fits into the character's background. I'm evaluating it. It feels overpowered to me.

    LEVEL
    Cantrip
    CASTING TIME
    1 Bonus Action
    RANGE/AREA
    Self
    COMPONENTS
    V, S
    DURATION
    1 Hour
    SCHOOL
    Transmutation
    ATTACK/SAVE
    None
    DAMAGE/EFFECT
    Shapechanging

    Alter Aspect: You are able to alter up to two features of your physical form. When you cast the spell, choose one of the following options, the effects of which last for the duration of the spell.

    You transform one aspect your appearance: Hair color/length/style, skin tone/markings, facial features, ear/nose shape, OR distinguishing characteristics. None of your statistics change.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
    Player approached me with a custom cantrip request that fits into the character's background. I'm evaluating it. It feels overpowered to me.

    LEVEL
    Cantrip
    CASTING TIME
    1 Bonus Action
    RANGE/AREA
    Self
    COMPONENTS
    V, S
    DURATION
    1 Hour
    SCHOOL
    Transmutation
    ATTACK/SAVE
    None
    DAMAGE/EFFECT
    Shapechanging

    Alter Aspect: You are able to alter up to two features of your physical form. When you cast the spell, choose one of the following options, the effects of which last for the duration of the spell.

    You transform one aspect your appearance: Hair color/length/style, skin tone/markings, facial features, ear/nose shape, OR distinguishing characteristics. None of your statistics change.
    Make it concertation and I don't think it would be overpowered. It looks pretty cool and original. A very "my first shape change spell" feel and much less than alter self. You could even have it scale by 1 additional feature each tier (5ht, 11th, 17th), so at 17th, 5 features.
    Last edited by Zaile; 2021-01-17 at 12:13 AM.
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    Latest Homebrew: The Battledancer 5e Dragonfire Adept 5e

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    Area 51

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    doesnt need to be concentration, hour can stay, or drop it to 10 minutes.
    but cut the effect to one, and diversify into multiple cantrips.

    by upgrading the cantrip into more than one, you can justify a duration.

    For example, the color feature for hair or eyes could be one cantrip
    physical facial features like ear/nose/mouth shape or finger nails could be a second cantrip
    and skin texture, scars, color, and tattoos could be a third cantrip

    each being 1 hour duration you could easily overlap them.

    unfortunately the granularity of cantrips is problematic. So what you could do is make a note that each additional casting has something akin to a concentration check to accidentally unravel the previous castings, - even if you only have one cantrip that does all this.

    This would allow you to stack up multiple effects with the same cantrip, but keep a counter on total effects, each considered more "damage" for purposes of "interrupt" of concentration. This would otherwise be similar to a multiple concentration spell.

    The hijinks from overlapping them and spacing them 10 minutes apart or even 1 hour durations could include things like your ears randomly shapeshifting back to normal shape/size in the middle of a lecture on magical potions, or a carefully layered disguise with 5-7 features required to get no disadvantage on your imitate apprentice class mate starting to collapse.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lvl 2 Expert's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tulips Cheese & Rock&Roll
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    The first thing I notice is the casting time. It shouldn't really matter on a spell like this, so why not just have it be the standard 1 action?

    The duration is a bit of a non-issue on most cantrips. In this case an hour feels useful, if you're infiltrating a fancy party and havevto find a moment alone to "fix your makeup" every hour that's doable. If you want this to be more in line with the "Friends" cantrip it should be way shorter, but honestly Friends kinda sucks and the best use for it may be picking fights. Still, with a concentration up to ten minutes duration this spell would still have uses, like entering a city gate or buying supplies without being recognized. As long as this is not concentration I would definitely write something about how the cantrip does not stack with itself so you can just change everything two features at a time.

    Another area where you could look for less power is the amount and size of changes made. I think it's good that the spell does not seem to let you outright disguise yourself as an existing other person. You can't do that with Alter Self either. I'm not sure if there is a way to prevent this from just being as good as Alter Self, especially combined with a disguise kit. If you change your "facial features" (which apparently does not include nose and ear shape but probably does include eye color, as it is not listed separately) and skin tone and combine that with a wig and a costume you're practically a different person. If that's not what you want from this cantrip, maybe make the features you can change smaller? Like you can change two of the following: eye color, nose shape, ear shape, chin shape, hear color, hair style, hair length, add remove or change one distinguishing mark or feature (tattoo, birthmark), or skin tone (counts as two features). You can only have one instance of this cantrip active at any time, so you can't stack it to change more features. That would make the disguises weaker than what alter self offers, although it does make the usefulness of the spell heavily DM reliant. I mean, how easy exactly is it to recognise someone with a different eye color and a nose job?

    You could just say that being disguised by this spell means you can only be recognized with a succesful intelligence save of your regular casting save level? But that could just make the spell useless again. If there are three guards, one of them will probably make that save...


    EDIT: Although to be fair it's usually okay if players have a few features they get a bit more use out of then would be completely "fair". If this is the only weird thing they're asking for you might as well give it to them...
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2021-01-18 at 08:27 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    Thanks, everyone. Made it an action to cast, didn't make it concentration (it probably should be but I've got reasons), clarified that it can't be multi-cast (e.g. cast it three times to change three features all at once), left it with one to two features, clarified that changes to features don't enhance abilities (because this is transmutation and not illusion).



    Alter Aspect
    LEVEL
    Cantrip
    CASTING TIME
    1 Action
    RANGE/AREA
    Self
    COMPONENTS
    V, S
    DURATION
    1 Hour
    SCHOOL
    Transmutation
    ATTACK/SAVE
    None
    DAMAGE/EFFECT
    Shapechanging

    Description: You are able to temporarily alter your physical form. When you cast the spell, choose up to two features to alter, the effects of which last for the duration of the spell. Features that may be altered include: Hair color/length/style, skin tone/markings, facial features, ear/nose shape, OR distinguishing characteristics. No statistics or abilities are enhanced as a result of any feature alteration.

    You may end this cantrip at will without being charged for any type of action. This cantrip will persist if you are asleep, but not if you are unconscious. If you recast this cantrip before the first casting time ends the first casting instantly ends and is replaced by the second casting.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2021

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    Very nice - especially version two. The wording seems a little clunky, especially in the second paragraph. I would change it to:


    Description: You are able to temporarily alter your physical form. When you cast the spell, choose up to two features to alter. Features that may be altered include: Hair color/length/style, skin tone/markings, facial features, ear/nose shape, OR distinguishing characteristics. No statistics or abilities are enhanced as a result of any feature alteration.

    This effect ends when dismissed (no action required), after one hour, when you cast this cantrip again, or when you are knocked unconscious. This cantrip will persist if you are asleep.


    Also: does this mean that it will persist for the whole time you are asleep, or just for the rest of the duration (1 hour)? If it's the latter, it should probably be a bit clearer.

    Nice work!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    nickl_2000's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by LecternOfJasper View Post

    Description: You are able to temporarily alter your physical form. When you cast the spell, choose up to two features to alter. Features that may be altered include: Hair color/length/style, skin tone/markings, facial features, ear/nose shape, OR distinguishing characteristics. No statistics or abilities are enhanced as a result of any feature alteration.

    This effect ends when dismissed (no action required), after one hour, when you cast this cantrip again, or when you are knocked unconscious. This cantrip will persist if you are asleep.

    Nice work!
    I very much agree with this. It is clearer on the difference between asleep and knocked out by a spell/damage. Also, I feel that there is a missed opportunity with material components here, you definitely need a subtle reference to plastic surgery here. M (a scalpel and Dye). It makes little difference in the spell in the long run, but there is a long tradition in making funny material components.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    Honestly, I think I'd put it more in line with Prestidigitation, and allow up to three effects. Additionally, I'd allow someone to alter their height by up to a foot and shift their weight by one category (emaciated, skinny, average, overweight, obese). That would increase the utility of the spell, as getting a bit smaller/shorter would occasionally make it easier to escape from restraints. But honestly, how often does the typical adventurer find themselves tied up? Not that often, if we're not counting grapples.

    I'd add in the requirement of a material component (butterfly or moth's cocoon). Per most spells, the material component can be ignored if the caster is using a focus.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lvl 2 Expert's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tulips Cheese & Rock&Roll
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Cantrip - Please PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Stattick View Post
    Additionally, I'd allow someone to alter their height by up to a foot and shift their weight by one category (emaciated, skinny, average, overweight, obese). That would increase the utility of the spell, as getting a bit smaller/shorter would occasionally make it easier to escape from restraints.

    ...

    I'd add in the requirement of a material component (butterfly or moth's cocoon). Per most spells, the material component can be ignored if the caster is using a focus.
    You would add the ability to change your size to a disguise cantrip for the express purpose of making it useful for escaping restraints, but then you add a material component?

    Personally I feel like the version without these changes is overall more useful for escaping capture. You can be disarmed, tied up and naked* in a cell and you still have a chance to trick the dumb guard into thinking the culprit escaped and put you there in their place.

    *You know, theoretically. Not that I suggest D&D games should get that kinky. The trick works just as well when clothed.
    Last edited by Lvl 2 Expert; 2021-01-22 at 03:25 AM.

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