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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    I tend to just allow everyone to know what's being cast, not because I want to make things fair between myself and the players...but simply because I don't want to bog down combat even more. I love my players, but they don't do well at thinking on their feet...at all. As a result they will re-plan what they're going to do on their turn...during their turn. I have implemented a few things to hurry them up, but it still takes a while to get through them and the NPCs.

    I really don't want to implement another time waster where I cast a spell, and then they decide if someone wants to counterspell it, and if someone else should identify it beforehand. Not when it can take 4 or 5 minutes for them to decide if they want to take an attack of opportunity or not if three or more people get that AoO.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    If the caster knows the spell themselves you could tell them "you recognize the motions/verbal for spellname"
    Optionally if it's on their spell list but they didn't take it you might give them a free casting roll to identify it
    have you tried/seen this at the table?
    when I did it, i found it impossible to remember what spells the PCs had...
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    BloodSnake'sCha's Avatar

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by NaughtyTiger View Post
    have you tried/seen this at the table?
    when I did it, i found it impossible to remember what spells the PCs had...
    I just use notes with my players abilities.
    It works well.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSnake'sCha View Post
    I just use notes with my players abilities.
    It works well.
    i was overwhelmed, but i am glad it works for others. this seems like the most reasonable accurate(?) way to handle spell ID.
    Last edited by NaughtyTiger; 2020-02-26 at 10:59 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by NaughtyTiger View Post
    i was overwhelmed, but i am glad it works for others. this seems like the most reasonable accurate(?) way to handle spell ID.
    It's somewhat balanced, but, unless I'm mistaken, the game specifically says that each spell caster casts spells differently.

    I don't like Xanathar's solution either. Maybe just adding a line that "after attempting to identify it, you may cast counterspell as part of the same reaction (as long as all the other requirements for casting counterspell are met)"

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    I never really tell my players what the name of the spell is, only what their characters see and experience. Up until the point where I've told them what damage or mechanical effect their character is about to endure, they're free to counterspell. Saying "He casts fireball" would take me out of the narrative, and it seems fair for a player to know "there's some flames and a dex save" before deciding to waste a third level spell slot.
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    In a world with grey morality you could say that your mission is "I will magically nuke every hobgoblin settlement." (Neutral Good)...

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    I suppose a fair narrative question is this: What exactly happens when you cast counterspell?

    Does the enemy caster wave his fingers, hold forth his focus, chant some words, and you quickly utter an incantation that finishes before his does, so that nothing at all seems to happen save two weirdos chanting and waving at each other?

    Or, does the enemy's spell begin to go off, the fiery bead jetting towards you or the entangling vines beginning to erupt or the stone wall shimmering into existence, only for your rapid gesture and rebuking incantation to cause these things to snap out of existence, as if an engine failed to turn over?

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    The most accurate portail for this to me is having the enemy caster under a detect thoughts. The spell he's casting and it's level will be surface thoughts, so you'll know if you have to upcast to counterspell.

    We used to play it as "you see some casting witch triggers an arcana check". Xanathar's counter(spells) this Raw though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I suppose a fair narrative question is this: What exactly happens when you cast
    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    counterspell?

    Does the enemy caster wave his fingers, hold forth his focus, chant some words, and you quickly utter an incantation that finishes before his does, so that nothing at all seems to happen save two weirdos chanting and waving at each other?

    Or, does the enemy's spell begin to go off, the fiery bead jetting towards you or the entangling vines beginning to erupt or the stone wall shimmering into existence, only for your rapid gesture and rebuking incantation to cause these things to snap out of existence, as if an engine failed to turn over?


    I suppose the former, as the latter is more what I imagine a dispel magic would do.

    Counterspell would be more like reversing the flow of magic, so that whatever is "programmed" to happen would find a force that resists the change (one side ties the weave, the other unties it); if it overcomes it, it actualises, otherwise it's countered. Dispel would most likelly be like a tear to the weave's threads, and thus the programing would be deleted. I hope this makes sence, at least that's what I imagine.

    So, Counter would prevent a spell's actualisation (no actual visual other than seemingly crazy people gesturing at each other and speaking non-comprehesivingly).
    Last edited by Asmotherion; 2020-02-27 at 01:24 PM.

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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by ChildofLuthic View Post
    I never really tell my players what the name of the spell is, only what their characters see and experience. Up until the point where I've told them what damage or mechanical effect their character is about to endure, they're free to counterspell. Saying "He casts fireball" would take me out of the narrative, and it seems fair for a player to know "there's some flames and a dex save" before deciding to waste a third level spell slot.
    I'm a firm believer of doing both.
    "As you get another solid against morg, the ancient white dragon, he lets out a deafening roar of frustration and takes to the sky once more. Even if he is Not one to easily admit defeat he knows pride has killed more of his kind than anything else.
    With uncanny Grace for a creature as large as he is, he retreats. He disengage and starts flying towards the summit of the mountain."

    I don't treat spell-casting any differently. Players only know what I tell them and I want to tell them enough so they make informed decisions.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    I'm a firm believer of doing both.
    "As you get another solid against morg, the ancient white dragon, he lets out a deafening roar of frustration and takes to the sky once more. Even if he is Not one to easily admit defeat he knows pride has killed more of his kind than anything else.
    With uncanny Grace for a creature as large as he is, he retreats. He disengage and starts flying towards the summit of the mountain."

    I don't treat spell-casting any differently. Players only know what I tell them and I want to tell them enough so they make informed decisions.
    The whole narrate effects vs spell names is valid for a PC whith no arcana profficiency; A Wizard is expected to be able to put 1+1 together and figure what words or gestures for example would be fire magic, evocation 3rd grade, or "add two grades of magic for a tolal of a 5th level spell". Otherwise it's like expecting a blacksmith not to understand what a jeweler's smelter could possibly do, just because it looks slightly different; They both use the same or similar tools, and you can logically expect one to know how the other's tools work, even if they have no experiance in doing so; Verbal and Somatic components are a Mage's tools of the trade.

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  11. - Top - End - #41
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    In 3e, I'd have agreed that anything that says you're counterspelling another character CASTING a spell doesn't work. But in 5e, all those items specify that they let you cast the spell. I know your actual point is on whether the caster can "see" the other caster doing it, but I wanted to point that part out, first. Using a wand lets the user cast the spell(s) in the wand.

    I could argue the need for gestures or words, but in this particular case, at least. the wand of entangle does require pointing it at the targets, and so as soon as the wizard (who I'd already decided was counterspelling whatever the obvious PC wizard was going to try that round) saw the obvious PC wizard pointing a wand, he counterspelled it. That was the sum total of my logic. (Well, that, and double-checking that 5e wands have the same wording as other magic items: i.e. "This item lets you cast XYZ spell.")
    No worries. Ultimately everything is a DM call. :)

    In 5e, all the wand descriptions in the DMG (I couldn't find a wand of entangle) just say "While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast the <spell name> spell from it." Almost all the descriptions are phrased the same way. All the character has to do is hold the item and they can then use their action to cast the spell. Most if not all of the items I looked at in the DMG do not require you to point it or do anything else.

    The general rules in the DMG say that casting a spell using a magic item does not require any components. This is the key element since a spell with no components can't be detected when being cast (i.e. like sorcerer subtle metamagic which removes the requirement for verbal and somatic components). It would be up to a DM whether just holding an arcane focus or a magic item is sufficient to allow an opponent to counterspell since they could be holding the item and not casting a spell. It may not be possible to tell when or if a character just holding an arcane focus or magic item is casting a spell. They could even be holding the item in a pocket or under a coat.

    Anyway, its ultimately up to the DM how they want to play it but I am not sure how a character using a wand can be counterspelled but a sorcerer using subtle meta-magic could not be since neither method of casting has components.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    I confess that it just strikes me as weird that holding a wand means magic becomes a simple act of will, undetectable by anything. Have you ever seen wands in fiction used that way? "I grasp the wand in my pocket, and magic moves to my will, causing a fireball to appear 300 feet away without me so much as glancing that direction!"

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    P.P.S. There are rules in Xanathar's about identifying spells that are pretty reasonable. However, how easy a spell is to identify depends on how the DM interprets magic in their games.
    For example, a DM might rule that every casting of the same spell by anyone has exactly the same verbal, somatic and material components. As a result, if you see a particular item, gesture or sound then you might immediately know what spell is being cast. For DMs who interpret spells this way then it makes sense for them to be easily identifiable without requiring a reaction since everyone has to do the same thing and it becomes pretty easy to determine whether a spell is a fireball or a firebolt. On the other hand, other DMs (myself included) tend to think of the components of magic spells NOT being exactly the same for every character. The text in the book talks about both individual notations on spells and conducting spell research to learn new spells (the free two a wizard gets every level). If you are researching spells then it is possible that the components might be similar for the same spell but not exactly identical. As a result, it isn't immediately obvious whether a spell caster is casting a fireball or firebolt and you need to use an arcana skill check and some time to figure out exactly which spell is being cast. In this sort of system the Xanathar's guide approach makes sense since what spell is being cast is not immediately obvious because the spell components vary somewhat between casters of the exact same spell. Anyway, whatever way the DM wants to run it, identifying spells depends on the DMs discretion.
    As best I can recall from past editions, spellcasting was meant to work the second way, where each wizard had their own method for writing down a spell in a spell book. Presumably, that would indicate variations on the actual casting.

    Beyond that though, I always liked the idea that each wizard casts the same spell slightly differently. It just adds so much potential worldbuilding.

    Spellcasting styles could be as distinctive as sword styles.

    A very successful check could let you know that not only is the wizard casting Fireball, he is also an Evoker who studied at the Royal Academy.

    A Teaching wizard could impart his style on his students. In contrast, a self taught book wizard would show though his lack of such an imprint.

    Mix in the idea that a world with multiple ideals for how arcane magic can be taught. Such as:

    •The Royal Academy for nobles in the Capitol.
    “Blood will tell”

    •From Master to Apprentice in the Free Cities.
    “Shaping the finest minds”

    •Self taught from found books.
    “My life, my path”

    The Apprentices of two different Master wizards may consider themselves natural rivals / enemies, but both may find common cause against the Royal Academy alumni.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    I really wish counterspelling why isn't itself a spell but rather a class feature where each forecaster had a different specialty. Like the bard's counter charm but not not all sucky. It would also expand to work on effects that are not necessarily spells. Just a spitball.
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    I really wish counterspelling why isn't itself a spell but rather a class feature where each forecaster had a different specialty. Like the bard's counter charm but not not all sucky. It would also expand to work on effects that are not necessarily spells. Just a spitball.
    As a smaller tweak to the rules, being able to identify a spell as a bonus or free action instead of a reaction would be thematically appropriate for the Sorcerer, Abjurer, and Diviner.

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by BoringInfoGuy View Post
    As a smaller tweak to the rules, being able to identify a spell as a bonus or free action instead of a reaction would be thematically appropriate for the Sorcerer, Abjurer, and Diviner.
    Could toss war wizards on that list as well. If anything they could use the help somewhere in the middle there.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    One thing I've started using is a dedicated "Passive" skill. That is, you don't do things "passively" unless you decide to make something your passive skill. Otherwise, you do.

    So you don't passively search for monsters, unless you are.

    You don't passively identify spells, unless you are.

    History can help identify artifacts or heroic enemies.

    Nature can help identify plant-based poisons, enemies, or effects, etc.

    It helped with a lot of issues at my own table, including the whole "knowing a spell" dilemma. It also encourages people to use different skills. Sleight of Hand seems a lot more valuable when it gives you a bonus to hit with Light weapons.
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    One thing I've started using is a dedicated "Passive" skill. That is, you don't do things "passively" unless you decide to make something your passive skill. Otherwise, you do.

    So you don't passively search for monsters, unless you are.

    You don't passively identify spells, unless you are.

    History can help identify artifacts or heroic enemies.

    Nature can help identify plant-based poisons, enemies, or effects, etc.

    It helped with a lot of issues at my own table, including the whole "knowing a spell" dilemma. It also encourages people to use different skills. Sleight of Hand seems a lot more valuable when it gives you a bonus to hit with Light weapons.
    Thats interesting. So even the skillmonkey can only have one passive at a time, including perception?
    That would make spreading out certain party functions much easier but also more tactical.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    One thing I've started using is a dedicated "Passive" skill. That is, you don't do things "passively" unless you decide to make something your passive skill. Otherwise, you do.

    So you don't passively search for monsters, unless you are.

    You don't passively identify spells, unless you are.

    History can help identify artifacts or heroic enemies.

    Nature can help identify plant-based poisons, enemies, or effects, etc.

    It helped with a lot of issues at my own table, including the whole "knowing a spell" dilemma. It also encourages people to use different skills. Sleight of Hand seems a lot more valuable when it gives you a bonus to hit with Light weapons.
    Hmmm. Some classes get more or automatically passive skills? *Yoink*
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    I mean, they basically suggest doing something like that in the DMG, where each person decides what kind of thing they're doing while traveling (Mapping, scouting, foraging, etc), which is what some of the Ranger's Favored Terrain bonuses are supposed to be referring to.

    I just took it a step further and decided that they apply in every situation that they're applicable to. It also helps cover the players' asses, so they don't have to constantly explain "YES, of COURSE I was: Looking For Traps/Hiding/Telling my party what I was doing/Watching him closely/etc".

    Coincidentally, it means that I, the DM, don't have to care about your 12 skills to determine what you notice or react to. Rather, I only care about the 1 you tell me to care about.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2020-02-27 at 05:42 PM.
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The bad guys always know what spell the PCs cast because the DM has to know. The DM can try not to metagame it, but he always has the excuse of particular bad guys being geniuses. In the name of fairness the players should know, no roll needed. Call it gamist all you want, but it is a roleplaying game. The game aspect will make itself known. This is one of those times.

    No question this is not the rule. Before Xanathar there was no rule. Xanathar has a rule. I'm glad the rule concept exists, but I don't care for the implementation. I don't object to there being a roll. It shouldn't have cost a reaction.
    This. All of this. To this day, when I DM, I announce the spell to the players. As a player, I expect the same treatment. There's no rules for or against it - but it's the only way Counterspell even remotely works without mucking up either Counterspell or reactions.

    Xanathar's was looking for a problem to solve that honestly wasn't there.
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodoxus View Post
    This. All of this. To this day, when I DM, I announce the spell to the players. As a player, I expect the same treatment. There's no rules for or against it - but it's the only way Counterspell even remotely works without mucking up either Counterspell or reactions.

    Xanathar's was looking for a problem to solve that honestly wasn't there.
    Problem is, with knowing what spells are being cast with no additional cost, Counterspell is always a power creep for any class that can use it, period.

    This is because Counterspell, when using the same spell slot as the spell being countered, costs a Reaction, where most spells worth being countered cost an Action. And, besides something like Hellish Rebuke, there is no other instance of a Reaction being more powerful than an Action.

    Reactions are worth less, and so the character casting Counterspell always has a gain over the one being countered. That's not including the fact that the Countering mage has a chance to counter the spell at a reduced spell slot by gambling a skill check.

    But even then, you're not wrong. Making things "Balanced" might not be what's best at the table, as trying to keep the information hidden may just be more complicated and frustrating than it's worth. And when caught between what's best for the game and what's best for the table, most would go for the table.

    -------------------

    Wouldn't be a bad idea to modify Counterspell.

    Make it into a Concentration spell that is instead held early with a Bonus Action to be released with a Reaction when a creature casts a spell, but losing Concentration doesn't cost you your spell slot. It'd make Counterspell a tactical choice rather than a dumbfire win button.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2020-02-27 at 05:55 PM.
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    for me, the main problem with the Xanathar solution is the usual implementation of it; player 1 tries to identify it as a reaction, shouts it out to player 2, who then counterspells it. Not only it makes it cost 2 reactions, which is non-trivial, it really breaks immersion, as I don't see how you can identify a spell as it is being cast, shout it out to someone else, and have that someone else cast counterspell, all at the same time and in the middle of the chaos of combat.

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    for me, the main problem with the Xanathar solution is the usual implementation of it; player 1 tries to identify it as a reaction, shouts it out to player 2, who then counterspells it. Not only it makes it cost 2 reactions, which is non-trivial, it really breaks immersion, as I don't see how you can identify a spell as it is being cast, shout it out to someone else, and have that someone else cast counterspell, all at the same time and in the middle of the chaos of combat.
    It's particularly gamey, too: if the time it takes to ID it and shout what it is to somebody else so they can cast counterspell is less than the time it takes to ID it and cast counterspell, yourself, something is definitely wrong with the simulation. The whole idea behind "it takes a reaction to identify the spell" is that it takes time and concentration to identify it. So it's not like you're enabling the counterspellcaster to act faster than if he had to ID the spell, himself, since he's waiting on you.

    The big thing with counterspell is that each caster can do it only once per turn. So the question you have to ask is whether letting the counterspeller know what's being cast so that his only gamble is, "Will a nastier spell come along?" is overpowered compared to the alternative of having the counterspeller have to guess, "Is this a spell I even care about, or should I wait for another that might be worse?"

    Both contain the question of whether a nastier spell will happen that round, but the second also has them potentially counterspelling a simple attack spell when they are more worried about something on the scale of Tasha's hideous laughter. The second one introduces an issue for the DM, too, in that he now has to guage NPC awareness of spells as a separate thing from his own; this is like the illusion problem, in that the DM now knows that Bob is casting misty step, not charm monster, but Charlie the NPC mage doesn't know this. Would Charlie gamble that it was "fine" to permit, or would he gamble that this was the big nasty spell Bob was going to cast?

    I'm actually inclined to just go with being able to see enough of the spell starting up that the counterspeller at least knows what he's counterspelling, unless he's unfamiliar with the spell. And to assume that most mages can at least guess the basics of what a spell is doing.

    If guessing spell level is an issue, I might make people make Arcana rolls (as free actions) to try to remember the level, and tell them what level they THINK it is based on the roll. (Something like adding a d4-2 for failing by 5 or less, d6-3 for 10 or less, d8-4 for 15 or less, etc.) If it's a serious problem (for me as a DM, or for players), I might even require them to give me their "margin for error" before seeing if they remember the spell's level. How high above the level they "think" it is will they actually use, "just to be sure?" With the obvious "you can use the highest level spell slot you have if your margin for error is higher" caveat.

    So Bob's player (possibly the DM) determines that Bob will cast at +1 level over what he "thinks" it is, "just to be sure." A failure by 7 on the identification roll results in a 3rd level spell being identified as a 4th level spell, so Bob casts from a 4th level spell slot (would have been 5th, but he's out of/doesn't have any of those), and does quash it, but used too high a spell slot. If he'd incorrectly identified it as 3rd (because he wasn't sure, see failing the roll), same thing (because of his +1 safety margin). If he incorrectly identified it as a 1st level spell, he'd ...still use a 3rd level slot, since counterspell can't be cast from a 2nd level one.

    I'm thinking this may only be relevant at higher levels.

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Does anyone run or play a campaign WITHOUT counterspell?

    I'm not a big fan of the spell. It's not a D&D thing. It's a Wizards of the Coast/Magic the Gathering thing.

    With all the abuse and/or rules around this spell (it seems like it's a must-have), anyone just say screw it?
    Last edited by deljzc; 2020-02-28 at 03:31 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    This also brings up the question of Upcasted spells.

    Xanathar gives rules on identifying a spell being cast, but is silent on whether you can determine how much the spell may have been upcast. So maybe you recognize that the spell is a 2nd Level Hold Person, but do you know if it’s being upcast enough to potentially lock down your entire party?

    Does a Cure Wounds look different if cast at 1st level vs 9th level?

    I don’t think there have been any official rulings on this question, so it’s a DM worldbuilding situation.

    Going back to the current Xanathar rule. I don’t like the player A identifies and player B Counterspells idea.

    If I were to houserule it, I think may try just making so that Identifying the Spell and Countering it can be done on the same Reaction. After using your Reaction attempting to recognize the spell - successful or not - you then decide whether to follow through with casting Counterspell.

    Whether you use Counterspell or not, your Reaction for the round would be spent. So no, you couldn’t still counterspell something nastier coming later this turn. But you don’t have to burn a Third level slot on an enemy Cantrip.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by deljzc View Post
    Does anyone run or play a campaign WITHOUT counterspell?

    I'm not a big fan of the spell. It's not a D&D thing. It's a Wizards of the Coast/Magic the Gathering thing.

    With all the abuse and/or rules around this spell (it seems like it's a must-have), anyone just say screw it?
    There's a lot of issues with that. There are a number of fairly low-power options that rely on it. Namely Retribution Paladin, Arcane Cleric, and Abjuration Wizard.

    Not saying you can't replace their powers, but it might take some work to find/make something that'd fit into that niche.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2020-02-28 at 03:37 PM.
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    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
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    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
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  28. - Top - End - #58
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by deljzc View Post
    Does anyone run or play a campaign WITHOUT counterspell?

    I'm not a big fan of the spell. It's not a D&D thing. It's a Wizards of the Coast/Magic the Gathering thing.

    With all the abuse and/or rules around this spell (it seems like it's a must-have), anyone just say screw it?
    Counterspell isn't new to D&D. It's just split off from dispel magic. In prior editions, one of the functions of dispel magic was to ready it as an action, and then cast it when an enemy mage cast a spell. If you passed your dispel check against their spell's dispel DC (both spelled out in dispel magic), you cancelled their spell as they cast it.

    Counterspell removes the need to ready an action, instead making it consume your reaction. It also has a few other differences, but it originated as part of dispel magic.

    (3e also had rules to let you counterspell using the exact spell that was being cast at you. This required readying an action to counterspell, identifying the spell, and then casting the same spell. This automatically worked to counter it.)

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    1. If the DM outright states the spell. For example, "She lifts her finger and casts disintegrate on you." and if the player has taken the time (research) to know what spell level that and every single spell's level is from memory, I think their character should also know the spell level in game.

    2. If the DM doesn't specifically say the spell, perhaps use an intelligence check to see if you can properly identify the spell or not. Again, just what the spell is, not the actual level.

    Using a player's rogue memory, without looking it up, while under duress seems in keeping with counterspell.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: Counter spell. Do you know what they are casting

    Quote Originally Posted by sandman102 View Post
    1. If the DM outright states the spell. For example, "She lifts her finger and casts disintegrate on you." and if the player has taken the time (research) to know what spell level that and every single spell's level is from memory, I think their character should also know the spell level in game.

    2. If the DM doesn't specifically say the spell, perhaps use an intelligence check to see if you can properly identify the spell or not. Again, just what the spell is, not the actual level.

    Using a player's rogue memory, without looking it up, while under duress seems in keeping with counterspell.
    Players often have more encyclopedic memories of the rules than their PCs, but for spellcasters, I suppose this much isn't unreasonable to expect.

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