Artificer, Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard - 3 Level Spell
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30 ft
Components: Somatic and Material
Duration: 10 mInutes
Reference: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, 151
“You make a calming gesture, and up to three willing creatures of your choice that you can see within range fall unconscious for the spell’s duration. The spell ends on a target early if it takes damage or someone uses an action to shake or slap it awake. If a target remains unconscious for the full duration, that target gains the benefit of a short rest, and it can’t be affected by this spell again until it finishes a long rest.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you can target one additional willing creature for each slot level above 3rd.”
My Comments: This is a very simple spell. Take ten minutes, get a good nap in, and three creatures get the benefits of a short rest. Um… okay. This is a 3rd level spell? Seems a bit underwhelming to be honest. Especially compared with other 3rd level spells for these classes, which include Haste, Revivify, and Counterspell.
The obvious benefit is that a few of your party members get the opportunity to use Hit Die. Because as we all know, nothing heals the body faster than a good ol’ nap. This allows the character to use those die after only ten minutes of resting, rather than the full Short Rest hour.
But in most reckonings of D&D time, I feel like an hour for a short rest is relatively easy to find. I think there’s very few instances where the difference between ten minutes and an hour would actually matter. If the party is attempting to hide after a fight or a chase, or if the dungeon you’re traversing has time-based effects…
There’s also a lovely variant rule in the DMG that is as follows:
This variant uses a short rest of 8 hours and a long rest of 7 days. This puts the brakes on the campaign, requiring the players to carefully judge the benefits and drawbacks of combat. Characters can’t afford to engage in too many battles in a row, and all adventuring requires careful planning.
This approach encourages the characters to spend time out of the dungeon. It’s a good option for campaigns that emphasize intrigue, politics, and interactions among other NPCs, and in which combat is rare or something to be avoided rather than rushed into.”
In this case, I can definitely see where Catnap would be an excellent spell to have on hand. Just because you don’t plan for lots of combat, doesn’t mean you can’t make a few bad rolls and are suddenly having to escape the castle and hide from the royal family’s guards (why did you think it was a good idea to hit on the princess, Ranger? She’s not into you!). Take a quick ten-minute breather in an abandoned building, cast the spell, and the majority of your party has some hit points back.
Look who can cast this spell. Sorcerers. Wizards. Gotta love that d6 hit die, making them generally the squishiest of classes. And rules as written? As long as you aren’t under some sort of invisibility effect, there’s nothing preventing you from including yourself into the effect of the Catnap, since it’s not Concentration. Nice!
“The usefulness of this spell depends primarily on your party’s makeup.“
The usefulness of this spell depends primarily on your party’s makeup. Healing spells are not really in the repertoire for sorcerers and wizards. So if a majority of your party does not have access to healing magics and rely on Hit Die to regain points, being able to take a spell that can provide some healing could be pretty clutch. I play in a party where 3/5 of the characters have healing capabilities, so this spell would be basically worthless on anyone’s spell list.
But Short Rests don’t just restore Hit Points. There are also some features that recharge or reset on Short Rests. So what features do each class, at 5th level (which is when this spell becomes available), get back with a Short Rest? Do note that a lot of these are dependent on subclass.
Artificer: Armorer subclass: Armor Model
Cleric: Channel Divinity (x1)
Druid: Wild Shape (all uses),
Subclasses: Circle of Land: Natural Recovery; Circle of the Shepherd: Spirit Totem
Fighter: Second Wind, Action Surge
Subclasses: Arcane Archer (from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything): Arcane Shot; Battle Master: Superiority Die; Rune Knight (from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything): Various Rune Carver effects; Psi Warrior (TCoE): regain one Psionic Energy Die
Paladin: Channel Divinity (x1)
Ranger: Monster Slayer subclass (XGtE): Slayer’s Prey
Rogue: Phantom subclass (TCoE): Whispers of the Dead; Soulknife (TCoE): 1x Psionic Energy Die
Sorcerer: Divine Soul subclass (XGtE): Favored by the Gods
Warlock: Pact Magic spell slots; Invocations: Cloak of Flies, Tomb of Levistus
Subclasses: Archfey: Fey Presence; Hexblade: Hexblade’s Curse
Wizard: 1x Arcane Recovery
Obviously, the fighter has the most features that recharge on a short rest. Action Surges come back, Second Wind, and Superiority Dies for the Battlemaster subclass.
Warlocks get all their two spell slots back- yay!
Clerics and Paladins regain their Channel Divinities, which, depending on the enemy you’re facing, could be a major advantage.
The other classes are pretty sparse, and dependent on the subclass that was chosen.
But wait! You say. What about Monks? Don’t they get their Ki points back? Unfortunately, according to the rules for Ki points, in order to get them back after a Short Rest, “you must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest meditating to regain your ki points.” So cutting the short rest down to ten minutes would make them unable to meditate for the required time.
So, should your sorcerer take it? It goes back to what I said earlier- primarily depends on the makeup of your party. If you’re in a group with a barbarian, a fighter, and a rogue? Giving them the chance to use their Hit Die after ten minutes rather than an hour is beneficial. It would also be useful if your DM is insane and uses the Gritty Realism variant.