My counterspelling mods.


Playtest Reports


These are the modifications i have made to counterspelling in my new game.
Counterspelling As An Attack of Opportunity.
It is possible to cast any spell as a counterspell. By doing so, you are using the spell’s energy to disrupt the casting of the same spell by another character. Counterspelling works even if one spell is divine and the other arcane.
How Counterspells Work:
As the target of your counterspell tries to cast a spell, make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the spell’s level). This check is a free action. If the check succeeds, you correctly identify the opponent’s spell and can attempt to counter it. If the check fails, you can’t do either of these things. You must then cast the correct spell. As a general rule, a spell can only counter itself. If you are able to cast the same spell and you have it prepared (if you prepare spells), you cast it, altering it slightly to create a counterspell effect. If the target is within range, both spells automatically negate each other with no other results.
Line of sight is also needed.
Both spells are lost if successful.
Provoking: Any time a spell is cast with in your spellcasting threat range it provokes a counterspell attack of opportunity. The threat range is always the highest level spell you currently have prepared (unused slot) time 5 feet plus 10 feet.
Outside your spellcasting threat range treat counterspelling as normal from the book. You must have a readied action.
Counterspelling Metamagic Spells: Metamagic feats are not taken into account when determining whether a spell can be countered
Specific Exceptions: Some spells specifically counter each other, especially when they have diametrically opposed effects.
Dispel Magic as a Counterspell: You can usually use dispel magic to counterspell another spellcaster, and you don’t need to identify the spell he is casting. Dispel magic doesn’t always work as a counterspell (see the spell description).

I'll let you all know how it goes.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Eric Stipe wrote:

These are the modifications i have made to counterspelling in my new game.

<cool stuff>

I'll let you all know how it goes.

One suggestion: if you fail the identification Spellcraft check by 5 or more, maybe you are informed that the caster is casting a different spell (you misread it), and you attempt to counterspell the wrong spell.


Jess Door wrote:
One suggestion: if you fail the identification Spellcraft check by 5 or more, maybe you are informed that the caster is casting a different spell (you misread it), and you attempt to counterspell the wrong spell.

I like it.


OK I have a couple questions.

Eric Stipe wrote:

Counterspelling As An Attack of Opportunity.

It is possible to cast any spell as a counterspell. By doing so, you are using the spell’s energy to disrupt the casting of the same spell by another character. Counterspelling works even if one spell is divine and the other arcane.

First you say any spell then you say the same spell. Which is it?

Eric Stipe wrote:

How Counterspells Work:

As the target of your counterspell tries to cast a spell, make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + the spell’s level). This check is a free action. If the check succeeds, you correctly identify the opponent’s spell and can attempt to counter it. If the check fails, you can’t do either of these things. You must then cast the correct spell. As a general rule, a spell can only counter itself. If you are able to cast the same spell and you have it prepared (if you prepare spells), you cast it, altering it slightly to create a counterspell effect. If the target is within range, both spells automatically negate each other with no other results.
Line of sight is also needed.
Both spells are lost if successful.

Sounds good for the most part, but doesn't this open up a whole can of worms, specifically when exactly casters can cast spells? Also there is mention of casting the correct spell, same spell (see question above).

Inquiring mind wants to know.


Max Money wrote:
First you say any spell then you say the same spell. Which is it?

Any spell can be used to counterspell, but it can only counterspell the same spell, when cast by a different caster.

just so you know, this is the wording from the book. i just copy pasted most of this, with the attack of opportunity rules to modify it.
Max Money wrote:
Sounds good for the most part, but doesn't this open up a whole can of worms, specifically when exactly casters can cast spells? Also there is mention of casting the correct spell, same spell (see question above).

once again you are questioning what's written in the book.

you must know what spell is being cast. this is a dc (15+level of the spell) spellcraft check. which is done as a free action.
if the opponent is within your threat range, which is 5 feet times the highest level spell you prepared at the time, plus 10 feet. it counts as an attack of opportunity. (for rules on attacks of opportunity i would encourage you to read the rules on such.)
if outside of that range you must have a readied action, as per the rules.

if you are looking for instructions on how to play the game, you are barking up the wrong tree.


I have thought of doing something almost identicle to that in my game. One of the problems with it, however, is the issue of spells/round. If you counterspell as an AoO do you still get to cast your own spell on your initiative count? Can you make more than one countering AoO in a round? What if you have Combat Reflexes, does that let you counter more than once in a round? Does your initiative count change when you counter as an AoO like it would if you had prepared an action? I really like the concept of spontaneous counterspelling without having to prep first, but I think these issues would need to be solved.


JBSchroeds wrote:
I have thought of doing something almost identicle to that in my game. One of the problems with it, however, is the issue of spells/round. If you counterspell as an AoO do you still get to cast your own spell on your initiative count?

Yes, that is the way i have it, i'm playtesting it this way, and may change it.

JBSchroeds wrote:
Can you make more than one countering AoO in a round?

with combat reflexes, yes.... you would expend your uses as normal.

JBSchroeds wrote:
What if you have Combat Reflexes, does that let you counter more than once in a round?

yes

JBSchroeds wrote:
Does your initiative count change when you counter as an AoO like it would if you had prepared an action?

no, AoO doesn't normaly do this, so no.

JBSchroeds wrote:
I really like the concept of spontaneous counterspelling without having to prep first, but I think these issues would need to be solved.

Solved.

I'm playtesting it right now in my campaign. i think it would be great if you did it too!

Please note the range on the effect, i put this in to have two effects.
1) the AoO still has a threat range, it is not just line of sight. so yes if you cast a spell at distance it is less likely to be countered.
2) i tied it to remaining spells prepared (remaining slots) so that as you use up your energy as a caster you reduce the area you can affect with a counterspell.


I can't speak on the mechanics of it, but I certainly like the *idea* of counterspelling as an AoO.

The only hiccup I see off the top is how many players will jump at this opportunity and if that's a bad thing. If you have a party with a wizard, a cleric, a spellcasting ranger and, I dunno, a rogue with a wand of Dispel Magic, do they all get Attacks of Opportunity to try to counterspell? If they all tried, would they each try it separately or would they be able to assist each other?

I kind of like the image of groups of weaker spellcasters struggling as a group to stop a lich or something. But does each PC then need to have that spell prepared or do the assisting characters only have to be able to memorize the spell while the main counterspeller needs to actually have the spell ready.

I'm really just rambling at this point.


Eric Stipe wrote:
--answers--

I'm interested as to how this plays out. Being able to counterspell and cast in the same round seems like a can of worms. You don't run out of melee attacks, but your spell slots are a finite resource. Spell caster burnout can already be a problem and this type of counterspelling could decrease the length of an adventuring day. If it works then great. If not I'd suggest changing it to one counter per round, and any round you counterspell you lose a standard action on your next action. This would bring it more in line with how counterspelling currently works but still wouldn't require a prepared action.


I'd really like to see counterspelling become a more prominant aspect of wizard battles. Rather than just taking turns making saving throws. Counterspelling feels more like dueling magical knowledge.

I wonder what would happen if you removed the requirement to actually have the spell memorized to counterspell. What if the only requirement was to be *able* to cast the spell?

In effect, the defending wizard would recognize the attacker's magic gestures (spellcraft check) and then use his own arcane knowledge to suppress the magical energy the caster is using. He wouldn't need his own magical energy (so wouldn't need the spell prepared), just knowledge of how it's assembled in this particular spell.

I reckon that might lead to a powerful enemy wizard pretty much neutering a PC wizard during an encounter, though, especially if he was able to cast a spell on his turn even after countering the PC's spell.


JBSchroeds wrote:
Being able to counterspell and cast in the same round seems like a can of worms. You don't run out of melee attacks, but your spell slots are a finite resource. Spell caster burnout can already be a problem and this type of counterspelling could decrease the length of an adventuring day.

Don't care, that is the counter balance between spell casters and fighters. I don't worry about rather or not the party has enough spells to take care of it. life doesn't work like that.

JBSchroeds wrote:
....I'd suggest changing it to one counter per round, and any round you counterspell you lose a standard action on your next action. This would bring it more in line with how counterspelling currently works but still wouldn't require a prepared action.

no thanks, i don't want to bring it in line. i'll use my system or the normal system. i don't want a bunch of rules to modify a system so that it works like it was written.


Think about reconsidering the range.

Fireball, for example, can be cast from hundreds of feet away. With this proposed houerule, nobody is likely to ever counterspell fireball, or any other spell with medium or long range, except in the rare cases when these spells are cast at surprising short range.


Eric Stipe wrote:
Don't care, that is the counter balance between spell casters and fighters. I don't worry about rather or not the party has enough spells to take care of it. life doesn't work like that.

Let me clarify where my statement was coming from. You're system is trying to make counterspelling work like melee AoO with a couple modifications on range. My point is that melee and spell casting are two very different animals. If a spellcaster can cast multiple spells a round, especially at low level, then it is much easier for them to misjudge an encounter and use up their daily resources faster than they should. This would be especially true of a player new to the mechanics of DnD spellcasting. My primary concern about your system is that it may be fixing one problem (preparing an action to counterspell) while creating another one (increasing spellcaster burnout and the 5 minute adventuring day). I understand that the finite spells-per-day is the balance for casters vs melee, but I think that the opportunity to counter every single spell cast in a combat would mess with the already established balance.

Eric Stipe wrote:
no thanks, i don't want to bring it in line. i'll use my system or the normal system. i don't want a bunch of rules to modify a system so that it works like it was written.

I really don't understand your it’s-my-system-or-nothing mentality here when the entire point of your system is to make it so you don't have to prepare an action to counterspell. Also, my suggested modification in case your idea was having balance issues is a simple two sentence modification of the current core rules:

You may counterspell as normal except a prepared action is not required. You may counter one spell per round and any round in which you attempt a counterspell you lose a standard action on your next turn.

So I guess in closing, I'd like to say good luck in your playtest. I hope it works and counterspelling can be useful for a change. If you do run into problems, please consider my suggestion.


DM_Blake wrote:
Think about reconsidering the range. Fireball, for example, can be cast from hundreds of feet away. With this proposed houerule, nobody is likely to ever counterspell fireball, or any other spell with medium or long range, except in the rare cases when these spells are cast at surprising short range.

I like the range, it limits how far you sense magic. i limited it to a short range for the AoO counterspells only. if you want to sense everything going on in line of sight spend your turn doing so. within that range you can naturally sense magic being cast, or at least that's how i see it.

JBSchroeds wrote:
Let me clarify where my statement was coming from. You're system is trying to make counterspelling work like melee AoO with a couple modifications on range. My point is that melee and spell casting are two very different animals. If a spellcaster can cast multiple spells a round, especially at low level, then it is much easier for them to misjudge an encounter and use up their daily resources faster than they should.

Lol, see i understand what you are saying i just think it's funny to watch them use up the abilities, plus most of them have at will powers that make up for it anyway.

JBSchroeds wrote:
This would be especially true of a player new to the mechanics of DnD spellcasting.

best way to learn, the hard way. learning something new takes time, it shouldn't be easy, or it probly isn't worth learning.

JBSchroeds wrote:
My primary concern about your system is that it may be fixing one problem (preparing an action to counterspell) while creating another one (increasing spellcaster burnout and the 5 minute adventuring day). I understand that the finite spells-per-day is the balance for casters vs melee, but I think that the opportunity to counter every single spell cast in a combat would mess with the already established balance.

i agree that the finite spells per day is what balances out casters vs melee, i think giving them more ways to use them, doesn't unbalance them.

JBSchroeds wrote:

I really don't understand your it’s-my-system-or-nothing mentality here when the entire point of your system is to make it so you don't have to prepare an action to counterspell. Also, my suggested modification in case your idea was having balance issues is a simple two sentence modification of the current core rules:

i'm sorry if i came off as an A$% i didn't mean to, but it does happen.

JBSchroeds wrote:
You may counterspell as normal except a prepared action is not required. You may counter one spell per round and any round in which you attempt a counterspell you lose a standard action on your next turn.

if mine doesn't work quite right this would be a next step, yes.

JBSchroeds wrote:
So I guess in closing, I'd like to say good luck in your playtest.

Thank you


so far so good, i've had 3 sessions and counterspelling has come up only once, the player couldn't counterspell it and that was mostly the end of it.


I like this
i'll try it
By the way can you also negate a spell from a wand or spelllike ability or magical item ?


bden wrote:
I like this

Thanks

'bden wrote:
i'll try it

please do the more people that try it the faster any flaws can be found

'bden wrote:
By the way can you also negate a spell from a wand or spelllike ability or magical item ?

truthfully, i hadn't thought about it. i would say no for simplicity; but if you don't care for only making it simple i would allow it on all the times your completing the spell, like a scroll and such.


As a curiosity, do you also allow characters engaged in melee a similar reactive defense (a parry/dodge/shield block for example)?

'findel


Laurefindel wrote:
As a curiosity, do you also allow characters engaged in melee a similar reactive defense (a parry/dodge/shield block for example)?

i don't think so, it's more of a sensory response that lets them pull up the magic to counter the spell. it doesn't have to target the counterspeller, for them to be able to counter it. though casting the counter does provoke. i assumed that the saving throw was the reactive defense.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

What do you do about metamagic ? Would you allow an unmodified spell to cancel a maximized one ? A swift one ?


SlimGauge wrote:
What do you do about metamagic ? Would you allow an unmodified spell to cancel a maximized one ? A swift one ?

i believe that metamagic is covered in the discription.

The book and i wrote:
Counterspelling Metamagic Spells: Metamagic feats are not taken into account when determining whether a spell can be countered

i'm leaving it this way for now because these are the current rules from the book, and i don't want to make to many changes until i've play tested this part some more.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I'm sorry, I didn't make myself clear. In the case of a quickened spell, if the counter-spell is not itself quickened, wouldn't the the caster of the quickened spell finish casting before the counter-spell could be completed ?


SlimGauge wrote:
I'm sorry, I didn't make myself clear. In the case of a quickened spell, if the counter-spell is not itself quickened, wouldn't the the caster of the quickened spell finish casting before the counter-spell could be completed ?

no........ the spell provokes an attack........ attacks of opportunity interupt all things.


So a wizard casting a quickened shocking grasp right next a fighter doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity for casting the spell, but the sorcerer 15 feet away has a chance to counterspell?


Scott Andrews wrote:
So a wizard casting a quickened shocking grasp right next a fighter doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity for casting the spell, but the sorcerer 15 feet away has a chance to counterspell?

if the fighter cant take the attack of opportunity, then yes.


I have been using a similar system which all of my play characters are happy with.

What I am doing is, same DCs ect but
Abjuration spells may counter any school.
You must use the same or higher spell level of the same school* to counter a spell.
But with the checks if you pass you don't get all the information.
Pass by less than 5 the level of spell, pass by more the school and spell, Pass by ten and you know the acuall spell.
This makes combat much more relevant for non casters.
Once you get to a certain level it becomes all about the spell slinger and healer.
But if the caster(s) are having a big magical pants off dance off then the expert and warrior are more likely to enjoy themselves rather than go oh joy yet another room cleared by the caster.

And i think as far as flavor goes it all fits.
One Abjuration has bad go at things I mean there best first level spell is an Conjuring spell (mage armour) and second level is Illusion (mirror image).
Sure we know there not Abjuration spells but the school is meant to be the defensive school and as it stands it's not fantastic.
I can't see why anyone would specialize in it.

Second if see a picture two parties fighting as per the classic image
I see two wizards one in blue the other red, two beams of energy flying at each other.
A black robed cleric in skull motif and the other in a white sun motif with darkness sent for to at one and light protecting the other.
and two fighter face to face as there swords clash.
Now why can't we actually do that in a game of D&D i mean we chose Pathfinder for the classic image of romantic fantasy.
Rather quick keyed fireballs.

as for the meta magic thing i make it raise the level of the spell needed to counter because that spell would be raised for the caster.

In my opinion anything that does not allow an attack of opportunity should be uncounterable

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