Is it just me..? (Wish in 5e)

So, in my quest to figure out how high-level characters can engage in wholesale carnage and slaughter (and yes, 40d6 from a Meteor Swarm is quite decent) I happened to look at the Wish spell.


  1. Duplicate any 8th level or lower spell – check.
  2. List of clearly spelled out non-spell duplicating effects – no problem.
  3. Obligatory, the DM can let you do anything you want if they want to, but it might screw you if you try it – duh.

And then we get down to the last paragraph.

The stress of casting this spell to produce any effect other than duplicating another spell weakens you. After enduring that stress, each time you cast a spell until you finish a long rest, you take 1d10 Necrotic damage per level of the spell. This damage can’t be reduced or prevented in any way.

Ok, seems kind of harsh for the ability to “downgrade” a 9th level spell into an 8th or lower spell (even if it is potentially a non-Wizard spell) in the 5e spell slot mechanic, but, well, ok. I guess. But let’s continue.

 In addition, your Strength drops to 3, if it isn’t 3 or lower already, for 2d4 days. For each of those days that you spend resting and doing nothing more than light activity, your remaining recovery time decreases by 2 days.

Ok, so in addition to being useless as a spellcaster for the “rest of the day” you are also essentially useless physically. Sure, I can run with this, even if it seems like insult on top of injury. But wait, there’s more…

Finally, there is a 33 percent chance that you are unable to cast wish ever again in you suffer this stress.

Let’s just write that again so we are clear:

There is a 33 percent chance that you are unable to cast wish ever again in you suffer this stress.


So, in a game where I can pretty much memorize anything thing I might want to cast, unless I use what is theoretically my gamechanger, my single most powerful spell, the single most powerful spell in the game, to do something that I already innately do (unlike every other edition) there is a One-in-Three chance that I will never be able to cast this spell again? That’s in addition to being all but useless until I can get a full night’s sleep.

I am kind of hoping that there is a missing sentence in there somewhere. A Saving Throw to make, a clarification that “Category 2” Wish‘s (see above) count as “spell duplication”, something… Because otherwise the opportunity risk/cost of using a Wish is far too high, and it moves from the category of “super-utility” spell and into a some other netherworld of arcane magic that is great, as long as you never count on doing it again – so make sure it’s worth it!

Teleport the entire party in flash to escape the dragon? 1/3 chance to never cast another Wish.

Cast a “Tempest Cloud” instead of a “Incendiary Cloud” because the monster is vulnerable to Lightning and immune to Fire? 1/3 chance to never cast another Wish.

Especially when compared to the new Divine Intervention rules for Clerics, this seems so out of whack.

Please tell me they are going to Errrata this…




Categories: Game Design, Magic Spell | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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