Saturday, January 7, 2017

What if Dispel Magic...really did?

Dispel Magic:

First Edition Dispel Magic

Dispel Magic (Abjuration)
Level: 3     Components: V, S    Range: 6"     Casting Time: 6 segments    Duration: Permanent     Saving Throw: None    Area of Effect: 3" cube
Explanation/Description: When a cleric casts this spell, it neutralizes or negates the magic it comes in contact with as follows: A Dispel Magic will not affect a specially enchanted item such as a scroll, magic ring, wand, rod, staff, miscellaneous magic item, magic weapon, magic shield, or magic armour. It will destroy magic potions (they are treated as 12th level for purposes of this spell), remove spells cast upon persons or objects, or counter the casting of spells in the area of effect. The base chance for success of a Dispel Magic spell is 50%. For every level of experience of the character casting the Dispel Magic above that of the creature whose magic is to be dispelled (or above the efficiency level of the object from which the magic is issuing), the base chance increases by 5%, so that if there are 10 levels of difference, there is a 100% chance. For every level below the experience/efficiency level of the creature/object, the base chance is reduced by 2%. Note that this spell can be very effective when used upon charmed and similarly beguiled creatures. It is automatic in negating the spell caster's own magic.

Fifth Edition Dispel Magic

Dispel Magic
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
Choose one creature, object, or magical effect within range. Any spell of 3rd level or lower on the target ends. For each spell of 4th level or higher on the target, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability. The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level. On a successful check, the spell ends.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you automatically end the effects of a spell on the target if the spell’s level is equal to or less than the level of the spell slot you used.

Okay - it's a little fiddly for me but workable in either system (and is similar in most flavors of D&D).

What if Dispel Magic was a touch spell - such that anything the magic user touches, including permanent items like rings or magic swords as well as spell effects, will be dispelled.

But that also includes any magic on the magic user's person (scrolls, wands, etc.) and any uncast spells the magic user has with a chance (somehow based on Intelligence or perhaps Wisdom) of erasing one random spell permanently.

Maybe this is too powerful for a third level spell - I'd like to make it a FIRST level spell - but the downside might be enough so that it's not cast willy nilly... I don't know. Just typing this stream-of-consciousness.

So - in combat, a magic user has to decide quickly if losing everything he or she can't drop or doesn't have time to drop is worth sacrificing to undo a spell effect from the BBEG. Non combat exploration becomes just inconvenient, perhaps, to shed all the magic stuff (I'd suggest it takes a full round - or how about a full round PLUS any Dexterity penalties the Magic User has?) but it adds to the danger if there's a wandering monster or something on the other side of that magically warded door or if Dispel Magic triggers some other magical or mechanical effect...

So... what about dispelling magical effects like Invisibility or stinking cloud or something? Well, if it's a touch spell, the Magic User has to touch the magical effect - no casting this at any range - so reaching out and touching what the MU thinks is invisible - and thus dispelling the magic of everything that being is carrying... Or touching the stinking cloud - means taking one round of damage and having nothing to protect the MU from that damage except hit points...

Frist thoughts....


Geoffrey McKinney said...

From the Dispel Magic description in the first edition of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG: "All magical items within the area of effect are temporarily disenchanted. They regain their enchantment after 2d6 turns, but one-use items such as potions and scrolls (but not spellbooks) are permanently nullified. If the caster casts Dispel Magic as a touch effect, then any item so touched is permanently disenchanted."

Daen Ral Worldbuilder said...

Cool! I have had LotFP from the early days (did he do an open Beta? or something like that?) Anyway, I haven't read the depths of it. Thanks for this. Now I need to read the spell descriptions in detail :)