[RPG] Are there any game features that allow a wizard to add damage to every spell cast


Are there any game features that allow a wizard to add damage to every spell cast?


In our 5e game, we have play-tested a 3rd-party wizard subclass from MCDM Productions, the Order of Hibernation.

One feature of this subclass called "Winter Reserves" is as follows:

As long as you have three spell slots remaining, you gain the following benefits:

  1. You add your Intelligence modifier to the damage you deal with any wizard spell.

(Benefits 1 and 2 are unimportant for this question.)

Benefit #3 seems pretty straight-forward. You cast an average fireball, doing 27 points of damage, let's say your Intelligence modifier is +5, so that's 32 points of damage.

In a recent game, Sleepy, our Hibernator, cast magic missile. Discussion ensued. One point of view, each missile gets the +3; another point of view, the spell as a whole gets the +3. The DM made a call, saying no precedent was being established, and we moved on with the game.

It does make a big difference. Magic Missile upcast, say to 5th, is 7 missiles. POV 1, a 20-Intelligence wizard a 5th level spell that does 19-40 (ave 29) points of no-save, no-miss force damage. POV 2, it's 49-70 (ave 59) points. Contrasting with a normal MM upcast to 5th of 14-35 (ave 24), that's a pretty big difference.

In the end, interpretation is up to the DM, but several of us DM, and we'd like to have consensus. We aren't reaching it based on the language provided by the author: some of us read it one way, some another.

I am looking for something to compare and contrast this feature to, to help us come to concensus, so, my question is:

  • Is there a feature in the published official rules that applies x damage that the character deals with any wizard spell?
  • Failing that, is that a feature that is similar in some way, such as damage dealt with edged weapons, or some other category?

I have searched and have not found anything, but it's a big ruleset.

Alternatively, I'd be interested in any other insight that can be backed up by rules or personal experience.

Best Answer

The Evocation Wizard can do this for Evocation spells.

The Evocation Wizard's Empowered Evocation says:

Empowered Evocation

Beginning at 10th level, you can add your Intelligence modifier to one damage roll of any wizard evocation spell you cast.

It doesn't get you every spell, but it does get you every Evocation spell.

The War Mage's Power Surge

The War Magic wizard has a feature that can do what you;re looking for, but it requires some "charging up", so to speak:

Power Surge

Starting at 6th level, you can store magical energy within yourself to later empower your damaging spells. In its stored form, this energy is called a power surge.

You can store a maximum number of power surges equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one). Whenever you finish a long rest, your number of power surges resets to one. Whenever you successfully end a spell with dispel magic or counterspell, you gain one power surge, as you steal magic from the spell you foiled. If you end a short rest with no power surges, you gain one power surge.

Once per turn when you deal damage to a creature or object with a wizard spell, you can spend one power surge to deal extra force damage to that target. The extra damage equals half your wizard level.

This is different from Empowered Evocation in that it works on any wizard spell, but it does requires charging up to use more than once.

The 14th-level Bladesinger can get a bonus to melee weapon attacks.

The Bladesinger is a bit of an odd duck among wizards, it focuses on melee weapons for dealing damage. At 14th-level, they get a feature called Song of Victory:

Song of Victory

You can add your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1) to the damage of your melee weapon attacks while your Bladesong is active.

Comparing to these, the feature in question seems a bit more powerful.

Empowered Evocation is probably the best of these three, the only condition is that it applies to Evocation Spells, which is plenty of damage dealing spells. Power Surge is once per day if you don't bother charging it up by using counterspell and dispel magic, which is a somewhat high cost. Song of Victory is really just something different altogether, applying to melee weapon attacks. Overall, the feature seems comparable to Empowered Evocation, except with a bit more flexibility.

Honorable Mention: Imbued Wood Focus and Chromatic Dragon-Touched Focus

The imbued wood focus from Eberron: Rising from the Last War applies a +1 damage to spells dealing an appropriate damage type:

When you cast a damage-dealing spell using this item as your spellcasting focus, you gain a +1 bonus to one damage roll of the spell, provided the damage is of the type associated with the item’s wood. The types of wood and their associated damage types are listed in the Imbued Wood Focus table.

The Chromatic Dragon-Touched Focus from Fizban's Treasury of Dragons functions similarly, providing a bonus to damage rolls for spells dealing an appropriate damage type:

Chromatic. Whenever you use a spell slot to cast a spell that deals acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage, roll a d6, and you gain a bonus equal to the number rolled to one of the spell’s damage rolls.

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