I really like Fighting Styles in 5e. The goal is to reward variety in weapon styles within the martial classes, letting one fighter feel very different than another fighter. The benefits are all good, and if you want to do a certain thing, you take the Fighting Style associated with that thing. I wish there was at least one other option for ranged weapons, future note, but I see a lot of fighters and paladins doing a lot of different things (I don’t see a lot of rangers, period. They have their own issues). Over the past couple of weeks, I can’t get the idea of magical styles to go along with the Fighting Styles out of my head.
Magic users already get a lot of variety with their spell selection, there is no question. There is also no disputing the power spells possess. I’m not considering the idea out of any misguided notion that full-progression casters are at all lacking in strength. Instead, I just think cantrips could use some spice without needing to continually seek out more and more powerful cantrips (I’m looking at you, booming blade, frostbite, and green-flame blade). Seeing two wizards cast the same cantrips differently is interesting to me. I just like people being able to put their own personal touches on things.
Cantrips that target more than one creature gain +1 bonus to damage rolls.
You gain a +2 bonus to ranged spell attack rolls you make with cantrips.
You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls you make with cantrips requiring a spell attack roll. You only gain this bonus damage against one creature per turn.
You may spend your bonus action to increase the saving throw DC of the next cantrip you cast before the end of your turn by 1.
When you deal damage with a cantrip, you gain the ability to defensively shield an ally. As a reaction, when an ally within 5 feet of you takes damage from a spell, reroll the damage of the last cantrip you cast. You reduce the damage your ally takes from the spell by half that amount.
When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for a cantrip that forces a saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
I am not entirely certain about all of these, particularly measured casting and intent casting. I wanted to give casters a slightly more defensive option, if nothing else than to see Eldritch Knights and Arcane Trickers have slightly expanded rolls. This might be entirely misguided, but it’s limited to only cantrips.