I would generally say a cantrip shouldn't allow a saving throw for half damage. This seems especially noticeable when one compares ice shards to acid splash. - Guy (talk) 10:06, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
- I agree, but I also want to note a few things too.
- The damage is very high for an AoE cantrip. Using the Spell Damage table on p184 of the DMG, it says an cantrip with multiple targets should be do 1d6 damage and average at 3.5 on success and 1.5 on failure. The table assumes the spell deals half damage on a successful saving throw or a missed attack, which is what this spell does. Instead, it is 1d8, and the damage averages at 4.5 on success and 2 on failure.
- I also want to note that the 80ft range is very long for an AoE spell. Because looking at the list of official 1st level, all official AoE spells at 1st level are basically melee range, for all the AoE 1st level spells I can find, see: arms of hadar, burning hands, thunderwave, along with Earth Tremor and Hail of Thorns from EE. Thus, for official 1st level spells, thus AoE 1st level spell that can hit a enemies at a maximum of 15ft from the caster. ice shards on the other hand, hits enemies 6x away from what 1st level AoE spells can do. By targeting the farthest this spell can reach, 80ft away, the radius allows it to hit a creature 90ft away from the caster.
- Furthermore, ice shards can affect at least 10x more targets with a 10ft radius compared to the only other official AoE cantrip acid splash. Covering a 25ft x 25ft square or a maximum of 25 targets at once with the targets being a maximum of 20ft apart from each other using the diagonal rules in the PHB. Using the optional diagonal rules in the DMG, this spell can affects a maximum of 21 targets with a maximum of being 25ft apart from each other. This is not counting flying enemies. Compared with acid splash which only hits a maximum of 2 which are 5ft apart from each other.
- If we also compare ice shards' AoE with the AoE 1st level spells, all the official 1st level spells are centered around the caster. Thus, ice shards can hit more targets than all official 1st level AoE spells except thunderwave because thunderwave forms a cube instead of a sphere. However, under the PHB diagonal rules where diagonal are always 5ft, 'ice shards' would hit 1 more enemy than thunderwave because the caster is in the center, while the center for ice shards can be a enemy creature.
- This spell is especially powerful in enclosed spaces where enemies are forced to group up like hallways and offers almost no risk of potential friendly fire to the casters' allies while being incredibly spammable.
- As a balance fix, I suggest the damage be reduced to 1d4, radius reduced to 5ft, range be reduced to 60ft, and does no damage on successful save. -Alearori (talk) 17:41, 24 October 2017 (MDT)