The most recent playtest material for the DnD Wizard seems pretty dang powerful, but lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford says we almost got an even more unhinged version. The Unearthed Arcana released in April gives Wizards the power to modify and create new 5e spells. It’s this last ability Crawford says could have gotten really out of hand. In a YouTube video from May 16, he says: “Create Spell went through multiple versions in our design and playtesting before the version you saw here”. “We had an earlier version that was off the hook in terms of how powerful it got.”
It’s hard to imagine how this feature could be more powerful than it is. Modify Spell allows you to alter a spell’s features, changing anything from its components to its damage type to its range. Create Spell can be used to permanently record the modified spell in your Wizard spellbook, completely changing the kind of things you can do in combat.
“We went through some iterations to get it [Create Spell] to the form it’s in now”, Crawford says. Crawford seems aware Create Spell has caused a stir, though, adding: “We will continue to iterate on it”. “I’m excited to see it resonating with people who have seen it, really tapping into that idea of the Wizard as a magical scientist.” “We will continue to balance it so it works well in the game”, Crawford says.