Dungeons & Dragons Spell Gets Nerfed in Upcoming Expansion

One of Dungeons & Dragons' most popular spells is getting nerfed in an upcoming expansion. Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is due to hit bookshelves next month, providing players with over 20 new subclasses, new spells, and new rules to help expand their D&D game. Earlier this week, Fantasy Grounds posted a preview for Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (which was pulled down overnight) that included reprinted rules for booming blade, a rule that first appeared in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. However, the spell contains one small but crucial change, which could radically change how many players use the spell.

Booming blade works by casting the spell and making a melee attack against a creature within the spell's range of 5 feet. If the attack hits, the creature takes normal damage and takes an additional 1d8 thunder damage if they willingly move before the start of the player's turn. As booming blade is a cantrip, it grows in power as a character levels up, and the spell can be used in combination with a lot of different character builds to be a devastating attack in combat. However, the Tasha's Cauldron of Everything version of the spell changes the range to "self," which specifically negates booming blade's ability to sync with other abilities.

The biggest effect caused by the booming blade range change is that the spell no longer qualifies for the Twinned or Distant metamagic options, which means that sorcerers can't use their metamagic to target two creatures simultaneously with booming blade, or use the spell in conjunction with a reach weapon. Additionally, players also can't use booming blade with the spell sniper feat, which removes other options to use the spell with a reach weapon.

It's a bit more unclear whether booming blade is still usable with the Warcaster feat, which allows a player to use spells when making an opportunity attacks. Warcaster specifically notes that a spell is only eligible if it targets only the creature who is being attacked, and the new range of booming blade seems to indicate that the spellcaster is targeting themselves instead of the enemy creature. We'll need to see the full rules changes to make a definitive determination, though.

The change to booming blade will affect a lot of specific character builds, especially the eldritch knight subclass and various melee spellcasting builds. We'll have to see if Tasha's Cauldron of Everything provides other options to re-balance those builds or if some other type of character build will get even more powerful thanks to the changed rules.

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Tasha's Cauldron of Everything comes out on November 17th. Pre-orders are live on Amazon now with a 40% discount.

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