D&D’s sleep spell employs an interesting mechanic that isn’t built in the same fashion as most other spells in 5th Edition. Like many elements of D&D (especially spells), it pulls inspiration from the historical mechanics of prior editions. As a result, this 1st level spell can be hard to parse for new players. Many have gone as far as to say that the mechanic is simply bad. Even D&D Lead Rules Designer Jeremy E. Crawford has suggested that “the sleep spell tech…is deprecated design.”
Without debating the veracity of these opinions, we can acknowledge that perception often overrides reality with game mechanics. Let’s take a look under the hood, check out the balance, and see if we can come up with some recommendations for tweaking the sleep spell in your home game.
Effect. This is a strange one. The sleep spell renders foes unconscious, but not with a simple…
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