#if arcane was unpopular i wouldn't make a big deal
lilisouless · 3 months ago
Again! Arcane was trending and STILL NOT CAITVI IN TOP SHIPS ON FANDOM
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Oh yes, Matthias,what a ship name
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They are kind of having troubles with the editing, don't they?
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utilitycaster · 4 months ago
What are your top picks for magical secrets? Say for a Lore bard and a Valor bard to give some idea what their roles would be. Maybe also what you chose for your Eloquence bard.
So here's the thing, and this is going to turn in to a long treatise below: you can't pick magical secrets in a vacuum. More generally, you can talk about mechanics in a vacuum, particularly when you're talking strength of spells or subclasses, since you can compare them to other spells, but when you're talking about the best spells to take as a bard, or as the anon last night asked, as a druid about to go into wildshape? It depends! It depends on your party, and it depends on your campaign, and I think a lot of people do not realize that and I think that's why basically any mechanics opinion I've had that was moderately unpopular (rogues are the weakest class, bladesingers aren't very good, the undying warlock is pretty good) was, well unpopular: I tend to value utility and support, because no matter what, those will always help your party (oriented around support) and always be good in combat (utility=you can do multiple things and not just pure damage). A lot of people, when faced with the vacuum, pick "what does the most damage" and frankly that is boring and assumes your only goal is to do damage. And even then...what happens if you pick fireball if you're playing through Descent into Avernus and many of your foes are going to be resistant to fire?
To give an example: I play my bard in a campaign with no cleric and no other arcane casters, but we do have a paladin and druid, and because I'm the primary healer (the druid joined late in the game) we are using an optional rule where I can swap out one spell for another bard spell of equal level when I take a long rest (ie, can't swap out magical secrets for other magical secrets). So: I picked counterspell, since no one else can take it, and I picked scorching ray, which is a very effective targeted damage spell, which is good because most bard spells are area of effect and we have two melee characters plus a druid who's often in melee. I didn't take revivify because the paladin has it and I can if necessary take Raise Dead after a long rest. We're playing in a pretty typical D&D setting with a variety of foes, so a fire damage spell is usually fine. I chose a damage spell because of our party composition and because damage was a weak point for me.
So: to make a good choice here? I considered my subclass, but I also considered my party composition, and the setting. If I were a lore bard I'd get more magical secrets and at a lower level, so perhaps I'd have taken revivify so that we didn't spend levels 6 through 8 without any resurrection spells...but I wouldn't do so if we had a cleric/wildfire druid/divine soul sorcerer, since they'd have revivify at level 5. If I were a valor bard I might not have taken scorching ray because I'd have much better damage output as is, and might have instead decided to take haste to buff our monk/barbarian or our paladin (or myself). If there were another arcane caster in the party I might not have bothered with counterspell. If we were mostly fighting evil cultists or demons or something as a running theme of the campaign, I might have taken a spell that deals radiant damage instead, and so on, and that's not even considering RP reasons - my bard character is very much someone who sees magic as a tool and, barring creating zombies or something, will do what it takes, so that wasn't a big consideration here; but my wizard character works in libraries and specifically does not have fire spells as a result (not that wizards get magical secrets; I'm just illustrating here that backstory/RP is yet another factor in spell choice).
There's no best answer here without the whole picture, essentially; see what gaps there are in your party and what needs there are in the campaign, and that goes for everything from spell choice to picking a class in session zero.
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