Counterspells ?

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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by GnomeBoy »

Machpants wrote:So you are saying
Move Action: Prepare Counterspell. Any time before the beginning for your next turn (and you are not flat footed) you may counterspell any spell you have line of sight and line of effect to using counterspell rules on page XXX. Activating your counterspell is a swift action
I'm saying something simpler than that: Leave out "before your next turn". You've banked that action for the encounter, as if it is a specialized type of readied action, that rolls over throughout the encounter. You might use it -- but you might have 'wasted' an action in the encounter. But you're right about needing LOS and being able to react (if the giant psychic frog has you in its mouth, you're probably too busy to use counterspell...).

@ jmucchiello: it's not exactly the same as readying an action... see my earlier posts; for DCCRPG my suggestion doesn't involve knowing the spell they are casting at all.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by smathis »

Personally, I like GnomeBoy's earlier suggestion of having the ability to roll a d3 or d4 or something to subtract from the opposing caster's roll whenever you want. With the caveat that all those dice come out of the next spell you cast. I think they should carry over too. From encounter-to-encounter or even day-to-day, so we don't get perpetual counterspellers who never roll those extra dice.

Or maybe counterspelling can be some special kind of Spellburn... burn an attribute point to take 1d4 off an opposing caster's spell. At any time. Probably assuming that you're high enough level to cast the spell yourself (even if you don't know it).

With the caveat that if the d4 causes the spell to fizzle, the opposing caster does not lose their spell.

I'd rather keep it simple. That's me trying something new. :mrgreen:
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by GnomeBoy »

I think my die mechanic idea and my saving an action idea are two parts of the same rule (for me at least). And yes, I think the counterspell die carries over to your next casting -- even if that next casting is a week later. The Powers-That-Be have to be appeased for all the magic they are granting you... Heck, they may not be willing to wait that week -- and they may not be willing for you to use it on a 'nothing' spell just to discharge the penalty... :twisted:

Don't cross the Powers-That-Be...! :evil: :shock: :cry:
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by jmucchiello »

GnomeBoy wrote:@ jmucchiello: it's not exactly the same as readying an action... see my earlier posts; for DCCRPG my suggestion doesn't involve knowing the spell they are casting at all.
Well, if DCCRPG uses d20 initiative, it should also use d20 Readying an Action. It doesn't matter that the "need to know the same spell" restriction is or is not lifted. The flaw with d20's readying to counterspell is that if the mage in question instead activates a wand, you lose you action completely until your initiative comes up again next round. Readying a counterspell is a waste of time. Hit him (and his) before he hits you (and yours).

Being able to reduce a spell slightly with a d3 or d4 is useless is more akin to deflecting spells than countering them. So what if the fireball is only 20 feet in radius rather than 30 feet because he got a 16 instead of 20 on his die roll. He certainly wasn't counting on getting the larger effect unless he was really high level. So for him the 16 and 20 are equal events (his buddy's are immune to fire of course or he just doesn't care about his lackeys).
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by smathis »

jmucchiello wrote:Being able to reduce a spell slightly with a d3 or d4 is useless is more akin to deflecting spells than countering them.
Which is a lot like what happens in The Raven. Spells get deflected, in almost a "wax on, wax off" manner. The counter-spelling doesn't prevent them from going off in the movie. It mitigates their effects.

I see your point on the d3 and d4 not having a significant effect, though. Maybe adding level to the roll? The spellcaster gets to add his level to his roll? Why can't the counter-caster add theirs?

Meanwhile on the flipside, the d4 or d3 could make a difference on the casting end of things.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by GnomeBoy »

Because I get in moods where I like to talk, I'll just reiterate my general idea, bringing all the bits of it together, trying to flush out any vagueness...

I'm playing a wizard, and we've just carefully and strategically busted through weak spot in the floor of a dank 10x10 hallway. My buddies and I shake the dust out of our ears as we pick ourselves up (yay, no broken bones!) and realize five things with six legs and three arms apiece are scaling down the walls at us, when one of them zaps Fritz with some purple ray of light. I don't know what this is going to do to him, but I can tell it's magic, 'cause as a wizard I know magic (except when I don't). That purple light makes poor ol' Fritzy turn somewhat gelatinous -- ew. Not wanting this same fate to befall myself or any of my other meat-shields -- ahem! -- excuse me, my other delving buddies, I think I'd better be ready to do some counterspelling...

As soon as my initiative comes up, I take only a partial action and reserve an action for countering any other spells that come our way.

That reserved action just stays reserved until I use it. If I don't use it before my next action, I still have it in reserve -- and can take a full round of actions, as normal. I can use it when it's not my turn, because that's the whole point of this counterspell mechanic. I can't use it on my turn, unless someone had a spell readied to use when it was my turn, in which case I could use it to counter their spell and then have my turn as normal (though technically their readied action cut in right before my turn, so I still didn't actually use the counterspell on my turn). I could wait fifteen rounds into the encounter and then decide to use it. It might even be the case that I can use it multiple times before my round... ~gasp~ ~shock~ ~horror~

When I do use it, I can specify a die size to use to reduce the spell being countered. I might choose a d3 or a d4, but knowing me like I do, I might choose the d30. It's big and has numbers I've never rolled before on a single die. And that appeals to me. The bottom line is I can choose any die size the game uses for my counterspell. If I use the counterspell multiple times, I can choose a different die size for each one, if I want to do so.

Now suppose I have used a counterspell to block one (or more) of them purple rays. Now I've used up my counterspell and could bank another on my turn, or not, according to what I think makes sense for the encounter.

The 'price' to pay for having this nifty counterspell option is that the powers-that-be (I call mine 'Lance') are going to want balance. Or they may just like to see me suffer. After I've used my counterspell, the next time I'm casting, whether that be the next round or the next day, I roll the same die type I used to counterspell against my own spell (or one of each of the types I used for each time I used it, if I counterspelled more than once). Maybe I shouldn't have used that d30 afterall... Attempts to weasel out of this, say, by casting read magic to read something you've already read, are not going to make the powers-that-be very happy at all. Bad things will happen, if you know what I mean. Deep hurting, Frank -- Deeeeep Huuuuurtiiiiinggg.

So choosing to counterspell has a lot of potential-power, potential-danger and, ultimately, a lot of variability to it (your rolls could wind up low vs your opponents, but wind up high when vs yourself). It honestly sounds a lot more fun than what is possible under 3e rules. Whether anything like this winds up in rulebook, I think I am extremely likely to try it in my game nonetheless...

~whew~ Did I cover it all?
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by goodmangames »

GnomeBoy, your detailed explanation is interesting not just because of the mechanic (the core of which I like) but also because it makes me think of Manly Wade Wellman's stories where Silver John is routinely using the sign of the cross to ward off evil creatures (usually some sort of witch or devil). It's almost more "cleric" than wizard, at least the image that forms in my mind, but I have this image of a cleric holding forth a holy symbol to ward off the power of the creature that attacks him. Maybe there's a bit of a wizard with his magic staff of warding, as well -- holding forth the lighted staff to ward off the balrog! And in doing that act of "reserving his action" he's really using some magic power and symbol to ward off danger and remain safe. It's almost more of a protective "spell defense" than an actual counterspell. Combined with patron magic, maybe you hold the patron's name/symbol out as a defensive gesture, but of course there's a cost to it later...
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by jmucchiello »

I find it too fiddly. I don't accept the counterspell sticking around "forever".

Second, how come countermagic is immune to countermagic? If you counter a spell and then attempt to counter a second spell, should your second counter be reduced by the amount you countered the first spell with? And any system where that question could make sense can't be simple. :)

Also, your "partial action" doesn't fit the rest of the initiative system. Can I do the same thing with holding a bow and arrow on a door? Do I still get "other actions" if it takes three rounds to enter the room? Why can the wizard do other stuff while "holding" a counterspell he's either waiting for the gathering of arcane forces or he isn't?
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by smathis »

jmucchiello wrote:I find it too fiddly. I don't accept the counterspell sticking around "forever".

Second, how come countermagic is immune to countermagic? If you counter a spell and then attempt to counter a second spell, should your second counter be reduced by the amount you countered the first spell with? And any system where that question could make sense can't be simple. :)

Also, your "partial action" doesn't fit the rest of the initiative system. Can I do the same thing with holding a bow and arrow on a door? Do I still get "other actions" if it takes three rounds to enter the room? Why can the wizard do other stuff while "holding" a counterspell he's either waiting for the gathering of arcane forces or he isn't?
I like it. The counterspell doesn't stick around "forever", just until you use it (or the end of the encounter most likely). Putting the possibility of a character losing an action makes counterspelling a terrible option. In every case, it would be worse than just casting another spell. That's why it's never used in 3e now.

I like how GnomeBoy handled it. He's created a viable, simple and meaningful option at the cost of a partial action that doesn't get lost if the opponent doesn't cast in the round.

Re: countermagic immunity to countermagic. I think that's an unnecessary conversation. Why don't people make saves against Magic Missiles? Desiring for countermagic to be the "same" as all other magic depends on one's ideas of "same" in a game where magic has never been the "same".

Re: partial action not fitting the rest of the initiative system. I think it's more about charging a reasonable cost for countermagic that doesn't penalize the caster or make it a really dumb choice. Re: holding a bow and arrow on a door. In most cases, the archer will be able to ready that action and either shoot by the end of the round or take another action. I've never seen anyone in 3e delay or ready an action and lose their action that round.

Counterspells not so much.

Thumbs up to Gnomeboy. I think he's made a great suggestion for Counterspells. I think it very much fits the flavor of the Wizard duel in The Raven. I'd be really happy if that was (roughly) how counterspells worked in DCC.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by GnomeBoy »

Next Up: Why Metamagic Feats suck!
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by jmucchiello »

smathis wrote:Re: partial action not fitting the rest of the initiative system. I think it's more about charging a reasonable cost for countermagic that doesn't penalize the caster or make it a really dumb choice. Re: holding a bow and arrow on a door. In most cases, the archer will be able to ready that action and either shoot by the end of the round or take another action. I've never seen anyone in 3e delay or ready an action and lose their action that round.
That's not how 3e works. If you ready an action to "shot a bow at the first orc to come through the door". That's it. That's all you can do until your next initiative slot next round. You can't change your action later. You can only decide not to fire the bow. If you've never seen anyone lose a readied action in 3e, you didn't play it very often or by the rules as written.

Delaying in 3e allows you to take actions later but you can't use delay to stop someone from casting a spell. Readying to interrupt spellcasting means you roll your attack before the spell completes and if you hit, the spellcaster needs to make a spellcraft check to avoid losing the spell. Delaying to attack someone casting a spell means the spell and they complete their turn for that round, then your turn comes up.

DCCRPG is supposed to have the 3e initiative system. Well, that's the system. You are of course free to house rule it. But IMO it is not well designed for interrupting spellcasting. The earlier systems involving segments and casting time simulate that much better. (Even if the rules in 1e are completely inconsistent.)

As for Gnomeboy's couterspell system, if you read it again, it says that the penalty die used to counter a spell remains with you forever until you cast another spell. Not to the end of the encounter, not until you take a nap, forever, like karma. That is what I meant by not liking to last forever:
Gnomeboy wrote:After I've used my counterspell, the next time I'm casting, whether that be the next round or the next day,
So counter three different spells in a row without casting some other spell and the next time you cast Unseen Servant, he's going punch you in the face and tell you clean it yourself.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by GnomeBoy »

Joe, I have to confess to not having read Wellman. Since the first of the year when I caught the DCC RPG buzz, I've picked up some Appendix N authors I've never read before, and actually managed to read a couple of the books so far, too. But if counterspelling is not intrinsic to spellcasters, but instead requires a warding object, token or item, that sounds like a cool thing.

And my thought on holding back your penalty die "forever" is that, thematically, I don't think it appropriate to hold it back forever. The source of magic is Beings of Power within the DCC PRG concept. It seems reasonable that those Powers are going to want balance, or whatever passes for balance in their exalted, non-euclidean, unfathomable, perhaps-insane minds. Thematically, you either pay the price to their satisfaction, or they'll make you pay. Mechanically, it keeps things manageable if the die doesn't stick around forever, and must be resolved in some way by the end of the encounter or very shortly thereafter. For me, the thematic and the mechanic elements dovetail nicely; your mileage may vary.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by GnomeBoy »

jmucchiello wrote:
GnomeBoy wrote:Next Up: Why Metamagic Feats suck!
I hope this is a non-issue and DCCRPG has no feats, as such.
lol, correct. DCC does not use the 3.x feat system.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by Hamakto »

jmucchiello wrote:DCCRPG is supposed to have the 3e initiative system. Well, that's the system. You are of course free to house rule it. But IMO it is not well designed for interrupting spellcasting. The earlier systems involving segments and casting time simulate that much better. (Even if the rules in 1e are completely inconsistent.)
.
That is exactly why I do not like the 3e system. With a caster able to cast a spell as a single action on their initiative, you run into all sorts of non-story like combat effects. I would like to see almost any book where a caster gets a spell off immediately in combat w/out a casting time or the hero's struggling to disrupt the spell. Let me re-phrase that... any major spell (i.e. > 1st level).

In 1e, that was a 1 segment casting time spell.

In 3e, everything except summoning spells was one standard action. With Josephs earlier desire not to add attack of opportunities to the game, it makes it nearly impossible to disrupt a spell via melee combat without going back to the old segmented casting method. Plus, in 3e it was laughably easy to avoid an AOO by taking a 5' step before casting a spell.

That is why I consider 3e initiative to be a classic failure of an initiative system. It simplified things to a point that it further broke the game.

(as a side point, I like d10 initiatives. It make a dex bonus actually mean something in initiative order. Especially since there are no feats in DCC RPG to boost your initiative roll).

If you want to bring forward to feel of appendix N (and other literature books), you need to get away from or modify the 3e initiative system. Once you get away from it, then you can get some really cool possible counter spells. It could vary by your patron...

1. One patrons version of a counter spell causes pricking pain to the opposing caster disrupting their concentration (i.e. - on their spell casting roll)
2. One version stretches the casting time out by disrupting the gathering of arcane energies. (i.e. keeps the spell in limbo as both casters keep casting until the battle of wills in won and the spell either fails or is successful)

There can be other ideas here on ways to counter spell, but the point is that there needs to be a way to work that into the initiative system.

So in summary, if you want to use 3e initiative system then you need to use the entirety of the 3e combat system. That does included AOO's. Because it is all linked together.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by smathis »

I don't know if I'm with Andy on the need to use the entirety of the 3e combat system. But I agree with everything else in his post.

A d10 initiative system would be sweet.

As far as casting goes, there are other ways to skin a cat than reintroducing AoO's in my opinion. Andy's experience with the 5' step holds with my own in regards to casting.

I'm not sure exactly how we could do it without reintroducing 'segments' or the craziness of AoOs, shifts and Concentration checks.

But I am certain there's a better way to do it.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by mshensley »

Hamakto wrote:With Josephs earlier desire not to add attack of opportunities to the game, it makes it nearly impossible to disrupt a spell via melee combat without going back to the old segmented casting method.
Nah, all you need to do is go back to declaring actions before rolling init. If you say you're casting a spell and somebody beats you on init and manages to hit you, then your spell is ruined.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by GnomeBoy »

mshensley wrote:
Hamakto wrote:With Josephs earlier desire not to add attack of opportunities to the game, it makes it nearly impossible to disrupt a spell via melee combat without going back to the old segmented casting method.
Nah, all you need to do is go back to declaring actions before rolling init. If you say you're casting a spell and somebody beats you on init and manages to hit you, then your spell is ruined.
I like that idea, and have used it at times, but not usually each round... would it bog things down too much?

And I think Concentration checks are good option. I was moving some furniture a couple weeks ago, something in my back went ~rrroink!~ and yet I didn't drop the dresser and hurt myself further. I made the Concentration check -- for a spell -- then I was concentrating on not hurting myself further...

And from the Suspension of Disbelief Department: 1e rounds were kinda immersion shattering for me, until I figured out how to understand them. I mean, c'mon, a whole minute and I get to do one thing? But of course, it's the one thing that counts along with lots of other attempts to make something count... In neither system (narratively) are you just standing there waiting for your name to be called so you can act...
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by mshensley »

GnomeBoy wrote:I like that idea, and have used it at times, but not usually each round... would it bog things down too much?
It works great in Basic D&D, but of course we're also using group initiative which I also prefer. I hate rolling initiative and keeping track of it.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by smathis »

jmucchiello wrote:That's not how 3e works. If you ready an action to "shot a bow at the first orc to come through the door". That's it. That's all you can do until your next initiative slot next round. You can't change your action later. You can only decide not to fire the bow. If you've never seen anyone lose a readied action in 3e, you didn't play it very often or by the rules as written.
I've never seen anyone lose a readied action in 3e. That's probably because when someone has used a readied action it's against something so bog-standard-gonna-happen that there's no chance for it not to happen. 90% of all readied actions I've come up against have been of the "I aim with my bow and shoot at the first one who moves". Or a character moving into a chokepoint and saying, "I attack the first enemy that moves into a threatened square".

So, no, I've never seen someone lose a readied action in 3e.

Ever.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by Machpants »

Hamakto wrote:So in summary, if you want to use 3e initiative system then you need to use the entirety of the 3e combat system. That does included AOO's. Because it is all linked together.
That is entirely not true. There is no need to use everything, it is not how it works. Pathfinder doesn't use 3Es grapple etc rules yet certainly uses the 3Es combat system. Fantasy Craft does not use AOO and uses 3Es combat system. 3E is modular enough that you can pick and choose.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by Hamakto »

mshensley wrote:
Hamakto wrote:With Josephs earlier desire not to add attack of opportunities to the game, it makes it nearly impossible to disrupt a spell via melee combat without going back to the old segmented casting method.
Nah, all you need to do is go back to declaring actions before rolling init. If you say you're casting a spell and somebody beats you on init and manages to hit you, then your spell is ruined.
I understand what you are saying. Believe me, but then encounters will go like this:

Wizard gets a good initiative... goes first, gets a spell off without any disruption.

Now enemy wizard tries to cast, Wiz1 now performs interrupt action to counter/disrupt his spell.

Wiz2's spell gets disrupted... he is ticked.

(using Gnomeboy's method above --- wiz 1 has a small negative on his roll for the next spell).

Wiz1 tries to do another spell, Wiz 2 does an interrupt to counter it... with two negative rolls on the spell. Wiz1 fizzles spectacularly.

Wiz2 tries to finally get a good spell off and we are now in an loop of whoever wins initiative gets one spell off and then every other spell the two wizards cast will be heavily penalized/fails.

That is what I see 3e doing for counter spelling with Gnomeboy's idea above.


Second point: Since we are getting away from battle mats, I love the idea of pre-declaring party actions at the beginning of the round. But with the circular 3e combat flow with circular initiative, I am not sure it will work very well.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by smathis »

Hamakto wrote:I understand what you are saying. Believe me, but then encounters will go like this...
That's not how I saw it working at all. I saw it more like...

Wizard 1 gets initiative. He wants to cast a spell. Wizard 2 decides he'll try to counter with a d4. Wizard 1 takes the penalty. Spell still goes off (at some point during the round, possibly at the end of the round).

Wizard 2 decides to cast a spell. He rolls a penalty die for using a counterspell. Wizard 1 decides to counter. So Wizard 2 rolls 2 penalty dice. His spell fizzles. If it fizzled by an amount greater than Wizard 1's die, the spell is forgotten. If not, the spell's still around.

End of round (assuming no one got a clean shot on Wizard 1)... Wizard 1's spell goes off.

Next turn...

Wizard 1's penalty die carries over to next round. He casts again...

I saw counterspelling being outside of initiative. To use 4e terms, it's an immediate interrupt. A free action that a Wizard could declare at any point in the round, whether he had initiative or not.

The only caveat would be that the Wizard would have to declare a counterspell before the opposing Wizard made their spellroll. No retroactive countermagic.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by Hamakto »

smathis wrote: That's not how I saw it working at all. I saw it more like...

Wizard 1 gets initiative. He wants to cast a spell. Wizard 2 decides he'll try to counter with a d4. Wizard 1 takes the penalty. Spell still goes off (at some point during the round, possibly at the end of the round).
The problem with using a 3e system is that you cannot declare an interrupt type action until at least your first initiative. So as 3e rules exist, the winner of initiative gets a free and clear shot off.
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by Machpants »

except DCC can add or change whatever it wants. So feats and skills out, interrupt counterspell in if desired by DCC
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Re: Counterspells ?

Post by smathis »

Hamakto wrote:The problem with using a 3e system is that you cannot declare an interrupt type action until at least your first initiative. So as 3e rules exist, the winner of initiative gets a free and clear shot off.
Hamakto wrote:That is exactly why I do not like the 3e system. With a caster able to cast a spell as a single action on their initiative, you run into all sorts of non-story like combat effects. I would like to see almost any book where a caster gets a spell off immediately in combat w/out a casting time or the hero's struggling to disrupt the spell. Let me re-phrase that... any major spell (i.e. > 1st level).
Am I the only one confused about your stance on this?
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