All words presented in this blog are purely opinion, not fact - unless specifically stated otherwise in the post.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Favourite Spells: Vicious Mockery

So as you may know I like D&D a lot. To the point that with some friends its all I talk about. To the point that I sometimes wonder if I'm getting annoying.
So I though that rather than continue to pour a steady stream of random D&D over my friends outside of our sessions I'd start pouring it over you.
Thats right, before now I didnt consider that a steady stream of D&D, just isolated D&D posts.

With that in mind I thought I'd start one new segment with others potentially to follow, titles 'Favourite Spells'.

In this segment I will pick a spell and talk about why I like it, and under what situations.
For our first spell, we have;
I have not played many games of D&D, I've DM'd a lot, 2 and a half years of this campaign with 1-2 games a month for the first 2 years and weekly since the pandemic started.
In fact I've probably played three games. Two in D&D 4e 10 years ago and 1 in D&D 5e.
In my 5e game I was one of the most D&D knowledgeable players and so wanted to give the others a chance to shine how they wanted to shine, and then be there to pick up the pieces, so I picked a Bard. Someone who could be the face if nobody else was comfortable with RPing, and had some healing to help the others and also had some Debuffs to make sure that the others were on able to feel great about themselves.
The character sheet of my Bard, Cyran Scepter who is one of the main shopkeeps in my regular campaign can be found here.
So the only offensive spell I had was the vicious mockery cantrip, and that is the spell I will be talking about today.
So the spell reads;

You unleash a string of insults laced with subtle enchantments at a creature you can see within range. If the target can hear you (though it need not understand you), it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or take 1d4 psychic damage and have disadvantage on the next attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn.

This spell's damage increases by 1d4 when you reach 5th level (2d4), 11th level (3d4), and 17th level (4d4).

 So first of all the spell isn't a huge damage dealer. Despite it being one of the only 2 ways I could deal damage, and the only way my character was willing to do it, considering I was playing him as a bit of a coward, I chose it over a spell that would have given me more damage for a couple of reasons.
First of all it fit with my character concept of a non-combatant croud controller. He didn't do much damage and didn't get into the fight, but he helped everyone by keeping the enemies off their game.
This spell in particular helped me by giving the enemy disadvantage on it's next attack, making it so that other players would be less likely to hit.
But the main reason I like the spell is because it's a fun role playing spell and it leads to some of the best moments.
You literally insult a person so viciously that it hurts.
This spell offers the players an opportunity to throw out creative insults, which if they're paying attention can be great fun.
When I played my bard we were fighting a dragon construct made up of wood and I was able to kill it from an insult. And that moment was just fantastic.
Imagine, if you will, we were on the back foot, one or two or our players were down and Cyran was gettign frustrated. Stuck inside a building, as a last bout of frustration welled up inside him, he poked his head out and yelled up at the dragon 'Why don't you just piss off, you glorified rocking horse' and the thing came falling down from the sky and died as it crashed face first into the earth.

One of the most important things for me is how a spell functions in play, and especially roleplay. Yes firebolt is a much better damage dealer, but it just isn't that interesting from a role playing perspective.

P.S. Since the last post I have completed an additional 4 games to get me up to 22 games since lockdown began.
my full list is now;
  1. Control
  2. Infamous First Light
  3. Beyond 2 souls
  4. Titanfall 2
  5. God of war (2018)
  6. Red Dead Redemption 2
  7. The Witcher 3
  8. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  9. Horizon Zero Dawn
  10. Star Wars Battle Front 2 + the expansion story
  11. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  12. Devil May Cry 5
  13. Uncharted 4
  14. Dishonoured 2 (as Emily)
  15. Life is strange 2
  16. Hitman 2 (2018)
  17. Last of Us 2
  18. Observation
  19. Desperados 3
  20. Little Nightmares
  21. Uncharted The Lost Legacy
  22. The Council
Next I'll be playing Kings Quest (2015). I'm starting to run out of games at this point. I'm planning to move away from home later this year and I was hoping to use my backlog of games to save myself some money since I will not have as much disposable income, however this pandemic has put that plan in serious jeopardy.

I hope everyone is well.
 - James
Recently the Drawfee youtube channel which I have posted a video of in the past, was let go of from CollegeHumor and have become independent. They really are a great relaxing channel where they draw cool things and chat about it. They seem to be genuinely friends and it's great to watch/listen to.

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