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DnD playtest walks back controversial Wizard feature

Wizards can no longer create new spells according to the rules of the latest D&D playtest, which cuts out a powerful feature added earlier this year.

DnD playtest - A wizard swirling fire around them

The latest DnD playtest strips out some controversial features for the DnD Wizard, which allowed the class to create its own spells. Modify and Create Spell were powerful new additions served up in the Dungeons and Dragons playtest from April 2023, but after receiving mixed feedback, Wizards of the Coast has decided to scrap them.

The cut content is a group of spells that allowed a Wizard player to make funky personalized versions of their favorite magics. This included the new 4th level spell Modify Spell, which would improve an existing 5e spell – perhaps increasing its range or changing its damage type. You could then combine this power with Create Spell at 5th level to permanently save the boosted spell for later use.

According to DnD designer Jeremy Crawford, these were controversial additions. “There was a mix of tremendous excitement about those spells and also a lot of dread,” he explains in the Deep Dive video released alongside the new playtest.

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The fears were apparently rooted in the potential power of the spells – “what they would do to certain play environments” – and also how they would impact another class, the DnD Sorcerer – whose signature metamagic feature seemed at risk of being upstaged. “We saw the feedback and we decided we’re going to put those back on the shelf,” says Crawford.

Memorize spell was another new Wizard feature added in the April playtest. This one hasn’t been given the chop – but it’s now a Wizard class feature you unlock automatically at level 5 rather than a spell. It lets you study your spell book to memorize a spell you didn’t prepare that morning.

Wizards have even more built-in flexibility to their casting, with the ability to swap out cantrips every long rest. They also get the class feature ‘Scholar’, which grants expertise in a knowledge-based DnD skill (Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion).

The newly released DnD Playtest 7 makes changes to five DnD classes all-in-all, including adding two brand new subclasses for the Barbarian 5e and Fighter 5e. Speaking of Wizards, it also nerfs one of the more iconic DnD spells, making Counterspell 5e a little less potent. The feedback survey for this one will be available from September 21.