View Full Version : Different Counterspelling

Aran Banks
2010-07-31, 09:56 PM
So a guy I know (Surgo) posted this on dungeons.wikia.com and TGD. Half of TGD liked it, so I was wondering how GITP would take to the new rules. Here's what he wrote:

Everyone who has played a magic user for any length of time has probably noticed that the counterspelling rules totally suck. Why would you ever spend an action to counterspell, when instead you could spend an action blasting the spellcaster in the face, thus forcing them to make a concentration check that they will certainly fail -- accomplishing the same thing as well as piling more damage on them?

In addition, there's an entire section of the combat mechanics that, while spellcasters have them available to them, they are almost entirely useless outside of specialized builds -- attacks of opportunity. Wouldn't it be nice to fix both of these problems at once? To that end, I suggest the following replacement for the counterspelling rules.

A spellcaster can counter any spell that traces its line of effect through their square. This counterspelling area can be extended to their normal threatened area by using a magic weapon with which they are proficient (wizards commonly use staves for this purpose). To counter a spell, the spellcaster makes an Attack of Opportunity on the spell against an armor class equal to the spell's saving throw DC, or the DC it would have if the spell allowed for a saving throw. If they hit, they must expend a spell slot of equal or higher level than the spell they are counterspelling, and the spell is successfully dispelled.

Finally, you can use a dispel spell to attempt to counter a spell. This does not require the spell to pass through your threatened area, nor does it use an Attack of Opportunity. Attempting to counter a spell withdispelis an immediate action, and requires making a dispel check as per the original counterspelling rules.

Metagame Effects
Using this variant has the following effects on the game:

Spellcasters become better able to shut down other spellcasters.
Sorcerers become particularly good at shutting down other spellcasters, because they can always have access to a dispel magic.

Gives the spellcasters a reason to care about their attacks of opportunities and having a magic weapon.

Can bring the spellcasters to the front, if they want to shield a weak-saving-throw party member from a charm monster.

Clerics are good at counterspelling -- they're already at the front and often have good reach available to them.

I believe that the above metagame effects are either good or neutral. And remember, the old counterspelling rules -- blast the target in the face -- still apply!

2010-07-31, 11:05 PM
I'll be using this.

Aran Banks
2010-07-31, 11:09 PM
I assume that means you like it?

2010-07-31, 11:13 PM
Actually, he posted this here before.

General consensus was it didn't actually make counterspelling any better, just sucky in a different way, and didn't actually solve the problem of shooting the guy in the face with a spell being the best method to counter spells. And really, being a neutral change is at best. Before, it was just a wasted action, basically, which is annoying, but as long as you had the spell, you're guaranteed to counter it. With this, you need to threaten the line of effect, hit an AC that you won't have the BAB or Str to hit the spells with any reliability.

I mean, a wizard not optimizing powerfully will have an Int 20 by level 10, say. Casting a 5th level spell, it has an 'AC' of 20. Wizard 2 currently has a BAB of 5 and, if he had a really high point buy, Str 10. Needs a 15+ to hit the spell. Then, if he does, he gives up a spell slot. This makes Duskblades better at counterspelling, sure, but they have better stuff to do with their very few spells and attacks of opportunity than take a swing at a spell they probably don't have a high enough level spell to stop anyway.

So, going down his own list

Other than the dispel magic change, spellcasters are no better at shutting down other casters. They just can't make the AoO they need to, and it's still strictly better to shoot them in the face.
Sorcerers actually become pretty ok at dispelling, but again, pretty much solely through the change to Dispel Magic.
I don't know why spellcasters caring about magic weapons and AoOs is important, but they still... don't really. A +2 isn't going to help that much hitting those DCs, which can be pumped a lot easier than a Wizard will pump his to-hit.
Casters on the front lines is just a bad idea. They know that, with their d4 hit dice. Plus, blocking save-or-sucks is what buff spells are for.
Clerics are ok at counterspelling, sure, but they were before.
Again, at best, these changes are neutral to the game, while making counterspelling more complicated and work less often, unless you're spamming Dispel Magic. And it doesn't fix the problem of readied action blast spells to the face still being the best counterspell method. So why bother with all this at all?

2010-07-31, 11:18 PM
Yes, I like it, although I'm going to be re-brewing it a bit.

2010-08-01, 02:25 AM
I think it's pretty cool. I'm not sure it's for me since I'd prefer keeping spellcraft and/or your spellcasting ability in the mix, but it's definitely a nifty martially inclined counterspelling option. Maybe if you made the attack roll with your spellcasting ability rather than strength: then it would be much more clearly matched. Half BAB would match your highest spell level, so with even levels and scores it'd be 50/50 and you'd have better odds against lower level spells and people with lower scores. The divine casters with 3/4 BAB would be a bit better at dispelling, giving them a more defensive image when it comes to magic and making them the go to people for stopping the horrible dark arts and whatnot. Casters that invest in more powerful magic weapons or bring buff spells that increase their attack rolls, both things you would expect of warlike or adventuring casters, would also have a clear advantage against other casters. It does a good job of making a difference between the librarian and adventurer more apparent.

So yeah, +1 support here.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-08-01, 04:51 AM
There is a simple way to solve the shooting a guy in the face problem. Don't allow it. Just say if your simply casting a spell it can't go off first unless the casting time is shorter then a standard action or if your using dispel magic.

2010-08-01, 11:37 AM
There is a simple way to solve the shooting a guy in the face problem. Don't allow it. Just say if your simply casting a spell it can't go off first unless the casting time is shorter then a standard action or if your using dispel magic.

Why would it work like that, other than straight DM fiat? I have actively sacrificed my action on my turn to instead cast a spell during someone else's turn. Most of the casting time would take place during my turn.

Even if you changed the attack stat to be your casting stat, you're still not at a point where counterspelling is worth the risk. Now instead of needing a 15, I just need a 10. Goody. And that still assumes the other caster has done nothing to boost his DCs. If he's done something as outrageous as take Spell Focus, then your chances just keep dropping. There are better defensive uses of spells. And yes, martial casters like the Duskblade and martially built Clerics have a better shot at this, but they have better stuff to do with their spells and AoOs.

2010-08-01, 12:05 PM
Oh hai. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=158914)

And for bonus points, it doesn't count as thread necromancy if you post within the next three weeks or so.

Aran Banks
2010-08-02, 02:19 AM
*cries a little*

please don't hurt me. I'm stupid and unperceptive.

Hyooz, I think the stuff for spell focus is overcome with a magic weapon. Now that's not much, but AoOs are also pretty useless for a caster, so getting even the chance to stop a spell is worth a shot... just IMO. I haven't tested this yet.

Also, concerning AoOs, this system is installed along with the [Tome] combat system where you get 1 AoO for each iterative attack you have, at the corresponding bonus, if that changes anything.