Talk:Iridescent Ray (5e Spell)

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This is effectively fire bolt, the most damaging SRD cantrip, except it:

  • Does even more damage (~5.5 vs. ~7.5), a whopping ~37% increase.
  • Is of a less commonly resisted damage type.
  • Can be split up to affect three creatures over a huge 120 foot radius. Compare this with official cantrips like acid splash, which can only target two creatures and only if they're adjacent to each other.
  • Is available to classes which lack damage-emphasizing cantrips; bard and especially cleric by design aren't damage-dealing classes. In my opinion it's also weird to have a bard dealing radiant damage at all, to be frank.

In other words, this is simply way too strong compared to other damaging cantrips, to the point it would be seem dumb to ever choose firebolt, acid splash, or other damage cantrips over this. Even if it only could affect two targets, it would still easily be the BEST damage cantrip, but it wouldn't be overpowered such a gross margin. - Guy (talk) 05:57, 26 August 2017 (MDT)

Balance change?[edit]

Well now it only ever deals a smidgen of (guaranteed hit) damage to any single target. As you gain more levels the number of targets will go up but the damage will be less impactful (think a weird magic missile). It can theoretically deal a lot of damage late game but its kinda a niche choice for going up against hordes of enemies. --Meep (talk) 11:05, 19 December 2017 (MST)

I do like the creativity of this redesign, but I fear rolling the d20 to determine the number of rays (and then rolling it again for every attack) could be somewhat tedious. Outside of very niche circumstances it would reach its peak usefulness at about 5th level, and before then it would be way more useful than any first-party cantrips which can target multiple creatures.
Perhaps, instead, it could be, "This spell scatters a number of light rays equal to your proficiency bonus"? - Guy (talk) 13:26, 19 December 2017 (MST)

The way it is written now, you only roll a d20 once for the number of attacks. And they just hit. Like magic missile but for less damage and they can't stack on one target. I suppose if saving time was an issue once you start having more rays you could roll one d4 instead of one per ray

As for comparing it to first-party cantrips I would say it may be better at multitarget damage around levels 3 and 4 though not so much so that it is incredibly overpowered (could use the range being cut down some more, say 50 ft?) before that point your multi and single target spells can deal a higher total amount of damage. Afterwards other cantrips might not deal the same total damage per turn as Iridescent ray, but the trade off is that they are better at focusing down and removing opponents preventing the party from taking as many attack per round.

With the number of rays scaling with your proficiency bonus, it seams like it would pull it back out of the niche spell it is supposed to be. (Better in some cases but not always a better choice) It could be incredibly strong at level 1 like it was originally, and lose any significance what so ever after level 2-3 --Meep (talk) 17:06, 19 December 2017 (MST)

I failed to notice that it is only a single auto-hit after the initial d20 roll. I fear that... doesn't help. Although there's no specific guidance on auto-hitting cantrips, I feel like free automatic damage should at least cost a spell slot. I am pretty sure the subject of a 5e auto-damage cantrip has come up before, but I can't remember where...
But, anyway, in regards to proficiency bonus scaling:
  • Consider that no first-party cantrip (of which I'm aware) can target two creatures more than 5 feet apart unless they're adjacent to you. This cantrip can target any creatures within a huge 100-foot radius, and rarely does a battle span more distance than that. In my personal opinion, just being able to have two d4 ranged spell attacks within that span would be worthy of a cantrip. As soon as athis cantrip can target two creatures, it's already better for multi-target damage than any first-party cantrip I know about. Even goblins are smart enough to not willingly stay within 5 feet of each other.
  • Unless your DM has a strong fondness for horde battles, this cantrip would get diminishing returns around about 5 rays (which fits perfectly with proficiency bonus scaling). If your DM does really like horde battles, then doing ~20.5 ½ auto-damage to 10+ targets seems like it should definitely cost a spell slot.
  • Cantrips ideally scale at or near player-character tiers (5th level, 11th, and 17th). Proficiency-bonus-scaling grants the first real buff at 5th level, which aligns with these tiers more than character level. Considering the biggest jump in power occurs upon gaining 5th level, this seems ideal.
- Guy (talk) 22:23, 19 December 2017 (MST)

I did a thing. Like you said earlier, I really like the creativity of the rework with the D20 so didn't want to scrap that if I could find a way to balance it.

  • I agree the range was a little broke, It still might be but now it is more of a bounded brokenness.
  • Even though it is an auto hitting cantrip there is now a 25% chance that any ray of light does 0 damage, comparable to 75% accuracy
  • It now scales at the normal tiers keeping it as a viable spell to know
  • Considering removing the -1 damage penalty at some point (maybe level ll because statistically you are going to start missing out on some number of rays)

Ehh? It may not be perfectly in line with first-party cantrips, but at this point I don't feel that it is broken and it really has interesting mechanisms --Meep (talk) 08:29, 21 December 2017 (MST)

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