Last week I decided to take a look at the work I did with spell revisions back in 2016.

Yeah, it’s been that long. >_>

Anyway, I’ve been going over some problems and some ideas in the intervening time, like how to represent beloved spells that have crept into the modern metagame, like eldritch blast and others. It occurred to me that the modern meta has also provided me with the tools to solve some of these problems. (It may not be a coincidence that it comes from the same class.)

The warlock has one of the most fearsome cantrips in 5e: eldritch blast. It deals 1d10 force damage and with a class feature taken at 2nd level (which every warlock player takes… and I mean every warlock player), they can also add their Charisma modifier to the damage.

The warlock… isn’t much of a spellcaster. They get a couple of spell slots which can be recovered with a short rest (leading to exploitation via “cocaine sorcerer” multiclass builds) and those are supplemented with magic-themed class features, namely… other cantrips, invocations, and “arcana” which are just pretty much once-per-day supernatural abilities akin to certain 3e rules.

I’m picking on the warlock but in truth, there are tons of spells out there which don’t really fall in the purview of one school or discipline, that kind of undermine an entire class (here or there), or offer a better deal on some otherwise expensive option at a lower cost.

One of the pleasant surprises that came out of… Unearthed Arcana, was it? … was a monk that got like, astral arms that could be used to pummel baddies. This is a lot like a class feature I was working on the monk a ways back, which simply gave the monk astral projection, “self only.”

I really like this archetype, if for no other reason than it gave me an idea: class-oriented, incremental advances toward some kind of existing rules effect. Like, the monk doesn’t receive astral projection per se, but the rules they get skirt the edges and represent a sort of internalized version of the spell a wizard might get. It’s cool. I really like it.

It also opens up this vein of ideas to be mined… and in my revision of spells, I can make excuses for leaving certain spells on the cutting room floor and incorporate their effects as class features particular to an archetype (or class, if they’re ubiquitous enough).

I’m still toying with the idea, as well as a handful of others. I’m hoping to rewrite some classes from the ground up, “modernizing” them in one sense, though “desecrating” them might be a better way of putting it. Not literally, just… um. Just as a joke. Because some people get bent out of shape over that sort of thing. I’ll write some more about it later if I can find the time.