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Baldur’s Gate 3 helped DnD fix spells for new 2024 books

While playing Baldur’s Gate 3, Dungeons and Dragons’ lead designer realized that the new rules needed to fix these “painful” DnD spells.

Baldur's Gate 3 image of Astarion, with DnD art of a spell being cast in the background

Every spell in the new Player’s Handbook for Dungeons and Dragons is getting an upgrade, and Baldur’s Gate 3 helped inspire some of these changes. This was confirmed by lead D&D designer Jeremy Crawford in a YouTube video from July 1, where he describes his struggle to use fifth edition’s more “painful” spells in the CRPG.

The ‘One DnD’ Player’s Handbook is set to release on September 17. So far, Wizards of the Coast has mainly discussed changes to DnD classes, but Monday’s video gives a deeper look into how spells are changing. Namely, there are more DnD spells than ever, and all existing ones have been given an overhaul.

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Crawford name-drops two spells that were influenced by his time in Baldur’s Gate 3. First up, there’s Cloud of Daggers, a second-level spell that creates a five-foot cube of slashing blades.

“This spell now lets you move it”, Crawford explains. “As a player, when I have cast Cloud of Daggers, that is often my main frustration with it – I cast it, and then the monsters move over there.” “Even when I cast Cloud of daggers in Baldur’s Gate 3, I as a player want to be able to move it”, he adds, “so when we got to finalizing the spell chapter, we made it so you can now move Cloud of Daggers”.

Crawford explains that many of the upgrades fixed the action economy for “spells that were really painful to cast”. “One of the prime examples of that is Produce Flame, the Druid cantrip”, he says. This DnD cantrip creates a ball of fire in your hand, which you can hold onto for light or throw at an enemy.

“That is another one that is not only painful to cast in the tabletop game, but when I was playing Baldur’s Gate 3, it was excruciating to cast.” “It was while playing Baldur’s Gate 3 that I thought ‘we are going to redesign Produce Flame’”, Crawford says.

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