Friday, November 22, 2019

Counter-magic, Anti-magic, Dispel Magic USING SPELLS

OK, long time no post.  :)  Sorry about that.  I've been busy running several back-to-back RPG campaigns (every other week for years...) and I've had some professional setbacks, but they're getting better.

I'm big into 3D printing these days (2 printers!) see jpacek on Thingiverse.

Still fiddling with my game and trying to be a better GM.


Anyhoo, here's the idea --

"Wizards can use their memorized spells to counter/deactivate/manipulate other magical effects.  Well, at least they can *try*"

This idea is untested in play, but I'm planning to implement it in my game.  I'll post about how that goes.  :)

Exempli gratia --

Melkor, a mage, encounters a shimmering wall of energy.  He uses his senses and his "magic sense" to determine that it's a disintegration barrier.

Disintegration is Transmutation magic.  Transmutation is the *target school.* 

Here's a bit about disintegration from the d20 SRD.  I play fast and loose, so this is fine for my purposes.

Disintegration is 6th level.  In this case, let's just assume the caster is 2x the level of the spell, so 12th level.

Melkor looks at his memorized spells and tries to see if he has any Transmutation spells. 

His highest level transmutation spells are Fly and Haste at 3rd level.  Melkor is 8th level. 

This is going to work like Dispel Magic
make a dispel check (1d20 + your caster level, maximum +10) against the spell or against each ongoing spell currently in effect on the object or creature. The DC for this dispel check is 11 + the spell’s caster level. If you succeed on a particular check, that spell is dispelled; if you fail, that spell remains in effect.
So, Melkor will add 8 to his roll and the target will be 23.   A couple more things --

The difference in the levels of the spell should matter.  Disintigrate is 3 level higher than his 3rd level spells, so add -3 to the roll.  Melkor is now adding 5.  The target is still 23. 

Succeed or fail, Melkor's spell is used in the attempt. 

A couple more ideas.  

I found this chart using a Google search here.  If you are the rightful owner of this chart and would like me to remove it; please leave a comment. 

What if Melkor *doesn't* have any Transmutation magic OR he doesn't want to burn his Haste or Fly right now?  He can use other spells he has.   Just look at the schools that are adjacent or nearby the relevant school and assess a penalty to the roll as you see below.  The school *directly opposite* the target school *cannot* be used.  Here's a pic --
Each step you are away from the target school, you get a cumulative -2 penalty.  

Melkor also has Stinking Cloud (Conjuration) memorized so he could opt to use that.  It's also 3rd level so he now gets to add only 3 to his roll.  The target is still 23.  Not great odds, but I'm saying there's a chance.  :)

Additional thought --

If the magic is some kind of persistent effect, like the disintegration barrier described above, success means that the effect is merely canceled for caster level X spell level rounds.  In this case, 8th level X 3rd level = 24 rounds.  

Keep track of this duration at the table.  It could add to the drama and the tension.  Maybe the characters dispelled the barrier to get in and they have to accomplish their task before the barrier reappears...

If the magic is an active spell from another caster, the spell is dispelled.  

Further thoughts --

Using this would allow GMs to add items to their game that might help with this --
  • Wand of Dispelling (+2 to roll)
  • P'tau Crystals (focus dispel; remove up to -4 in school penalties)
  • Circlet of Dispelling (add 2 to casters level when dispelling)
Taking extra time could benefit the caster.  Stress and time pressure could penalize the caster

I would remove Dispel Magic from my game in favor of this system.