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Old 11-22-2018, 12:34 PM   #1
Astromancer
 
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Default 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

Cantrips in D&D were once simply lesser spells. Now, in 5ed, Cantrips are spells that don't require spell slots and can be freely reused.

This means they are logically very different than spells and have different strategic and tactical uses. This makes me wonder, "why isn't there a character class focused on Cantrips and lacking spells?"

Yes, spells are much more powerful, but, if my PCs had twice as many Cantrips per level as a Wizard, that could work too. Low power, high versatility, is a viable strategy.

Has anyone designed a class like that?

What thoughts do the others on this board have about the idea?

Have you seen a logical gap in the D&D character classes?
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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Originally Posted by Astromancer View Post
Cantrips in D&D were once simply lesser spells. Now, in 5ed, Cantrips are spells that don't require spell slots and can be freely reused.

This means they are logically very different than spells and have different strategic and tactical uses. This makes me wonder, "why isn't there a character class focused on Cantrips and lacking spells?"
There is. The warlock. They have a tiny number of spells, but eldritch blast trickery is their main thing.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
There is. The warlock. They have a tiny number of spells, but eldritch blast trickery is their main thing.

Was also about to mention. :D

Question: for versatility, is there a way to get both the ranged and melee Eldtrich <x>? I don't know the depths of 5E that well.


Another thought would be a sorcerer build with more cantrip slots and fewer spell slots.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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Question: for versatility, is there a way to get both the ranged and melee Eldtrich <x>? I don't know the depths of 5E that well.
There's no melee equivalent to eldritch blast, and really no other cantrip that can come close to the damage of eldritch blast with agonizing blast.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:13 PM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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There's no melee equivalent to eldritch blast, and really no other cantrip that can come close to the damage of eldritch blast with agonizing blast.
However, there is a Warlock Pact choice that wil give you a melee weapon.

One alternative to the Weapon Pact is a "Tome" Pact whcih gives you a Book of Shadows with another 3 cantrips from any class. This is the one I've seen both Warlocks I've played with choose.

That's usually 5 cantrips total along with 2 Spell Slots and some "Invocations" that buff your Eldritch Blast. While you have few Spell slots they are always at your highest level and refressh after a short rest.

Any given Warlock is not necesarily that versatile but depending on which "devil" you make your deal with and which choices you make after that it can be a highly varied class.
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

As is, the bulk of the cantrips are offensive. 12 of 23 in the core. 22/38 overall in the books I have to hand.

A cantrip based class (discounting the Warlock, because his real role is "I can cast 12+ spells a day at level 1...", at least, with a short rest between each) would have a many ways of getting 1dX damage, but would have no scaling non-attack spells.

Only the attack cantrips scale by level. So, either the class would need to have some new flavor of utility cantrips which do level, or a rule to scale existing utility and defense cantrips... or be a purely combat-munchkin, which, thanks to Eldritch bolt and its upgrades, Warlocks already have the niche filled.

Offensive (22: PHB 12, SCAG 4, EE 5, POTA 1†)
PHB: Acid Splash^, Eldritch Blast^, Fire Bolt^, Poison Spray^, Produce Flame^, Ray of Frost^, Sacred Flame^, Shilleglagh*, Shocking Grasp^, Thorn Whip^, True Strike**, Vicious Mockery^
SCAG: Booming Blade^, Green Flame Blade^, Lightning Lure^, Sword Burst^
EE:Create Bonfire^, Frostbite^, Gust, Magic Stone*, Thunderclap^
POTA: Chill Touch^

Defensive (4: PHB 2, EE 1, POTA 1)
PHB: Blade Ward, Resistance
EE: Mold Earth
POTA: Blade Ward

Utility (16: PHB 9, EE 5, POTA 2†)
PHB: Druidcraft, Friends $, Light, Mage Hand, Minor Illusion, prestidigitation, Produce Flame, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy
EE: Create Bonfire, Control Flame, Gust, Mold Earth, Shape Water
POTA: Mending, Message

^ Damage/effect scales with level
* actually enchants a weapon in hand, so not strictly offensive
** bonus to next attack
$ Built-in backfire effect
†ignoring repeats from the PHB
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
As is, the bulk of the cantrips are offensive. 12 of 23 in the core. 22/38 overall in the books I have to hand.

A cantrip based class (discounting the Warlock, because his real role is "I can cast 12+ spells a day at level 1...")
In the unlikely event of people taking 12 short rests in a day. I've almost never seen more than 2.
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
There's no melee equivalent to eldritch blast, and really no other cantrip that can come close to the damage of eldritch blast with agonizing blast.
The Crossbow Expert feat removes disadvantage for ranged attacks in melee, so Warlocks don't really need a melee cantrip.
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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The Crossbow Expert feat removes disadvantage for ranged attacks in melee, so Warlocks don't really need a melee cantrip.
And use war caster to get super ridiculous opportunity attacks.
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Old 11-23-2018, 03:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: 5th ed D&D needs a Cantrip focused class.

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In the unlikely event of people taking 12 short rests in a day. I've almost never seen more than 2.
A short rest is at least one hour long (per the PHB). So it's not physically impossible to take more than 12, but the party isn't going to accomplish much if they insist on short-resting after every fight.

And of course any GM worth his dice will just put some sort of ticking clock into the plot if constant resting becomes a problem.
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