View Full Version : Question about light/darkness countering each other

2010-12-23, 10:01 AM
Hello all,

In the description of [light] and [darkness] spells, they state that these spells "counter and dispel" (sometimes "or" instead of "and") the opposite category of spells of equal or lower level.

So it would make sense that they could be used to counter-spell any opposite effect spell of equal or lower level.

I'm a bit confused about the dispelling part though. If they are equal level, they would dispel eachother, but in the case of a disparate spell levels, does the higher level one remain, unaffected? For example, if someone casts rejuvenating light (level 7 spell complete champion) in an area affected by deeper darkness (3rd level, phb), would the deeper darkness be dispelled and the rejuvenating light unaffected?

2010-12-23, 10:27 AM
In that case, I believe the natural light conditions will prevail.

2010-12-23, 10:32 AM
So a 0-level spell can effectively dispel a 9th level spell? (as long as one is [dark] and the other is [light])

2010-12-23, 10:50 AM
No, it only dispels a spell of equal or lower level.

2010-12-23, 11:03 AM
This is how I would have thought it would work:

2 equal level spells dispel each other when brought/cast into the same area.

If unequal level, the higher level spell "wins" and persists, the lower level spell is dispelled.

But your first response was that natural lighting conditions prevail, i.e., both spells are dispelled, including the higher level one.

2010-12-23, 11:20 AM
I can't tell you the exact mechanics, but this is how I would adjudicate it: There are three cases: Interaction, Dispelling, and Counterspelling. When the two spells are already cast and then brought together, they interact as normal light conditions. Rejuvanating Light does the exact same thing as if there were shadowy conditions in the area naturally (If we're talking about Darkness; Deeper Darkness would make the light go away because Rejuvenating Light acts like Daylight). If someone can cast Rejuvenating Light and they find an object that has Darkness cast on it, they can dispel Darkness (as if using Dispel Magic) by using their casting of Rejuvenating Light. If the caster with Rejuvenating Light sees someone casting Darkness and identifies it, they can counterspell Darkness normaly using their casting of Rejuvenating Light (As if using Darkness). Simple Enough.

Also, please don't switch around your examples if you want coherent, consistent answers. It just doesn't work. You started out with Dispelling and then later switched to Interaction. Nevermind this, I misread a little.

Edit: Actually, after reading spell descriptions Killian was exactly right. Daylight interacts with Deeper Darkness by negating both (temorarily, as per the spell description). If the spells don't mention how they interact with Daylight or Deeper Darkness, or the opposing spell doesn't act like the spell it mentions, I'd still say they would interact as if they were normal light conditions. You're still confusing Dispelling and Interaction, though; the two cases are not the same.

Yuki Akuma
2010-12-23, 11:48 AM
Spells that counter or dispel other spells count as either Dispel Magic (without the special bonus Dispel Magic gives) or that same spell, depending on whether you're dispelling or countering.

The spell doesn't take effect, because you're casting it on another spell. It's used up to counter or dispel.

For example, if someone cast heat metal on your ally, and you had chill metal, you could cast your spell on him, making a dispel check, to remove the effects of heat metal. The effects of chill metal wouldn't take place, because you cast it on the spell, not the target.

2010-12-23, 11:53 AM
The use of the [light]/[darkness] as counterspells seems clear enough.

There just doesn't seem to be a good reference in the handbooks to clarify the effects of the interactions (would be nice to have in case this situation arose in a game). The only description seems to be in the spells themselves, such as the following paragraph from the 0-level light spell from the PhB (this is for 3.5, forgot to mention that):

"A light spell (one with the light descriptor) counters and dispels a darkness spell (one with the darkness descriptor) of an equal or lower level."

To make it more annoying, a description for the results of interaction is given under deeper darkness:

"Daylight brought into an area of deeper darkness (or vice versa) is temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect."

Which is great, except that it does not explain situations where the level of the spells are different. It seems that the level of spell should count for the interaction, especially after reading the first paragraph of the light spell:

"This spell causes an object to glow like a torch, shedding bright light in a 20-footradius (and dim light for an additional 20 feet) from the point you touch. The effect is immobile, but it can be cast on a movable object. Light taken into an area of magical darkness does not function."

This paragraph seems to suggest the lower level (0 level) spell will not affect (by interaction) the magical darkness area effect of the 2nd level spell.

Yuki Akuma
2010-12-23, 11:55 AM
Interaction is different. Interaction is specific to certain spells. Dispelling and countering is a special rule for all [light] and [darkness] spells.

There is no confusion here.

Light does not function in magical darkness. Period. Even a 0th-level magical [darkness] spell. It could counter or dispel a 0th-level [darkness] spell, but a light spell already in use would simply cease to work in its area of effect.

Daylight and deeper darkness specifically interact in a certain way - they cancel each other out. If the deeper darkness (or daylight) were already in effect, and you had its opposite prepared, you could cast it to dispel the entire area of the opposing spell. Alternatively, if you saw someone casting it, and identified it as it was cast, you could cast its opposite to counter it, just as if you were countering a spell you had prepared yourself.

Meanwhile, darkness could counter or dispel light, but not daylight (because darkness is not equal or higher level to daylight).

You see?

2010-12-23, 11:58 AM
There is no confusion about the use of the light/darkness spells for counter spelling. I've stated as much a few times.

Sure, interaction is different. That's why I'm asking about it. See last post given specific examples of different levels [light] and [darkness] spells interacting with one another.

edit-Interactions were addressed after this post was made.

Yuki Akuma
2010-12-23, 12:00 PM
If the spell says "functions as the daylight spell", then the interactions for daylight also apply to that spell.

If it lists interactions in the spell description, use those interactions.

If it doesn't say it functions as a spell with interactions, it doesn't interact like those spells. Interactions are specific to spells, not descriptors.

If you bring a 9th-level [light] spell into a deeper darkness, nothing happens, unless the 9th-level spell says it does (and it probably would). If it does, you do what the 9th-level spell says, because deeper darkness doesn't mention it.

Edit: And yes, I like italics.