Yearly Archives: 2005

Immediate Counterspell Feat

I think that counterspelling is an action that is too infrequently used in D&D. It has an obvious benefit, but it is usually too difficult to apply in-game. Counterspelling requires that a caster not cast a spell when he can, that he readies an action, that he identifies the spell being cast, that he knows that spell, and (if a non-spontaneous caster) has that spell prepared.

There are some exceptions to this — dispel magic may always be used as a counterspell (but requires a caster level contest) and the Improved Counterspell feat expands the set of spells that may be used to counter a particular spell. Still, it’s hard to put into practice.

I’d like it to be a little easier, and have designed the Immediate Counterspell feat.

Immediate Counterspell [Spell]

Prerequisites Combat Reflexes, Quicken Spell, Skill Focus (Spellcraft)
Benefit You can counterspell as an immediate action. You must still succeed at a Spellcraft check to identify the spell you are counterspelling. You do not need to use a quickened spell.
Normal You must ready an action in order to counterspell.

This is a fairly potent ability, in that it lets you counterspell out of turn. However, while powerful it is also still a fairly limited ability (you still need to know the right spell and recognize it on casting — or use dispel magic and risk it not working) and the prerequisites don’t otherwise have a lot of synergy between them. This seems fairly well balanced, considering the power it grants.

User-Provided Mana Items

All magic items (in the core rules) are imbued with power on creation. I like the idea of magic items that draw power from their users to activate their effects. This article describes a way to handle this — User-Provided Mana (UPM) items.


Combat Actions

Each round represents approximately 6 seconds in the game world. A round presents an opportunity for each character involved in a combat to take an action.

Each round’s activity begins with the character with the highest initiative result and then proceeds, in order, from there. Each round of a combat uses the same initiative order. When a character’s turn comes up in the initiative sequence, that character performs his entire round’s worth of actions.

For almost all purposes, there is no relevance to the end of a round or the beginning of a round. A round can be a segment of game time starting with the first character to act and ending with the last, but it usually means a span of time from one round to the same initiative count in the next round. Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on.

This article collects and identifies all types of actions available and the rules for applying them.