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5E Counterspell what do people think?

FrogReaver

Explorer
While that might normally be the course of action, the PHB specifically states you can use the hand holding the spell focus or material component to do the somatic component.

So, one hand is holding your component/focus and casting spell X, the other is used for the somatic component for Counterspell if it is needed. I guess it would be a bit like juggling (which I can't do... sigh... :( ), but a lot of people can juggle.
No where does it say you can use the hand holding your spell focus for somatic components. It does say you can use your hand using somatic components for material components - that would be the single free hand you have.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
It does say you can use your hand using somatic components for material components - that would be the single free hand you have.
If you can do gestures with a hand full of bat guano .. makes sense my Hermione can do gestures with her wand.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
No where does it say you can use the hand holding your spell focus for somatic components. It does say you can use your hand using somatic components for material components - that would be the single free hand you have.
Ahem... ahem... ahem...

PHB, Pg. 203, Components, sub-section Material (M), paragraph 3:

"A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components--or to hold a spellcasting focus--but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components."

I guess your PHB is an older version? ;)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Wait a minute! Is the finger even yours? If not, wouldn't that be a bit disgusting and also a material component, not somatic?! ;)
You've never heard of the Middle Finger of Vecna? I mean, I know it's the stripped down version but it can still be quite useful! ;)
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
You've never heard of the Middle Finger of Vecna? I mean, I know it's the stripped down version but it can still be quite useful! ;)
Eye and a complete Hand, sure. I didn't know they found the Middle Finger from the other hand! Awesome! I wonder that other powers that has...
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Ahem... ahem... ahem...

PHB, Pg. 203, Components, sub-section Material (M), paragraph 3:

"A spellcaster must have a hand free to access a spell's material components--or to hold a spellcasting focus--but it can be the same hand that he or she uses to perform somatic components."

I guess your PHB is an older version? ;)
Yeah. That seems odd to me and seems like a lazy solution to allow shields to be held while spellcasting. Especially when you read spellcasting.

"Spellcasting gestures might include a forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures. If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures."

I mean, I can see being able to use a forceful gesticulation like the one we've been discussing that incites rage and counters spells(and now somehow includes Vecna) while holding a component, but if the spell is of the type bolded above, I just don't see how you could have anything at all in the hand and still get the spell to work.

Still, the biggest deal is being able to interrupt your spell with its somatic component, cast a completely different spell with a somatic component, and then get back to the first and complete it. It just seems to me like the spell should be outright disrupted or at least require a somewhat difficult concetration check in order to succeed.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Eye and a complete Hand, sure. I didn't know they found the Middle Finger from the other hand! Awesome! I wonder that other powers that has...
I'm not sure that what I found was a finger, but it would certainly explain the berserker rage it incites when I wave it at someone.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Yeah. That seems odd to me and seems like a lazy solution to allow shields to be held while spellcasting. Especially when you read spellcasting.

"Spellcasting gestures might include a forceful gesticulation or an intricate set of gestures. If a spell requires a somatic component, the caster must have free use of at least one hand to perform these gestures."

I mean, I can see being able to use a forceful gesticulation like the one we've been discussing that incites rage and counters spells(and now somehow includes Vecna) while holding a component, but if the spell is of the type bolded above, I just don't see how you could have anything at all in the hand and still get the spell to work.

Still, the biggest deal is being able to interrupt your spell with its somatic component, cast a completely different spell with a somatic component, and then get back to the first and complete it. It just seems to me like the spell should be outright disrupted or at least require a somewhat difficult concetration check in order to succeed.
While many people like the idea of a Concentration check, if you fail, the fireball fails anyway. Wait, wasn't that the reason the enemy cast counterspell? Instead the them making a check to see if they can stop your spell, now you have to make a check as well to see if your spell isn't stopped--by you.

What if the enemy goes through the somatic components, which you "think" is counterspell, but they tweak them slightly so the spell is never cast. But you, thinking your spell is about to be countered, cast your counterspell and risk interrupting your own spelll anyway...

Maybe this isn't a good solution after all. :(

I'm not sure that what I found was a finger, but it would certainly explain the berserker rage it incites when I wave it at someone.
If it is smaller than a normal pinky-finger, odds are it isn't Vecna's finger. ;)
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
While many people like the idea of a Concentration check, if you fail, the fireball fails anyway. Wait, wasn't that the reason the enemy cast counterspell? Instead the them making a check to see if they can stop your spell, now you have to make a check as well to see if your spell isn't stopped--by you.

What if the enemy goes through the somatic components, which you "think" is counterspell, but they tweak them slightly so the spell is never cast. But you, thinking your spell is about to be countered, cast your counterspell and risk interrupting your own spelll anyway...

Maybe this isn't a good solution after all. :(
Well, it's a shot to keep the spell going, but as I said much earlier, I'm more in favor of an opposed roll for the counter, so spell-counter-counter-spell would probably not come into play and the caster wouldn't be interrupting his own spell.

That said, if I did go with my last post, I'd give a roll to recognize the fake-out for what it is before interrupting the spell, so it would be possible for the faker to just waste his turn and then get a fireball to the face.

If it is smaller than a normal pinky-finger, odds are it isn't Vecna's finger. ;)
It's from a lich, man. All of these parts are so decayed and desiccated that I just can't be certain. ::sigh::
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
We started playing 5e about a year ago and have had two campaigns. I'm two for two on multiple members with the spell. As for your assumption that 6 wizards don't have the spell among them, well, it's far more likely that all 6 will have it than none of them.
[/QUOTE]


So in your experience which isn't a general experience. It has nothing to do with my assumptions. You can just as easily as I look at how common casters that have the possibility of casting counterspell is compared to the number of classes that cannot in general play. It would be rare at most tables to have more than 1 character than can cast counterspell.

So you have a solution(s) looking for a problem that doesn't exist for the majority of people playing the game. Additionally, this is easily solved by the DM through intelligent encounter design. You claim that you run casters intelligently, then do so. Every caster in the world should know they have the potential to be countered.

Frankly, you should stop playing D&D for a while and try a game like Shadowrun in which problems like this have to be considered by players all of the time.

If you as the DM are worried about player negation, well there is a simple fix for that: Don't give all your casters counterspell. Pretty simple.

Also from your description this is also only a you problem as it is your house rules that allowed partial identification of a spell during the reaction.

Counterspell has a cost in the game. Unless you have some other house rule in effect, Wizards and Sorcerers have at most 3 3rd level spell slots. If your party isn't using those slots for other more important spells you aren't running them through enough challenging encounters to drain their resources. If every encounter starts with all casters having full spell slots and everyone can unleash a torrent of counters, that is a problem with encounter design.

So before bemoaning that counterspell is too powerful, you should really check your design assumptions and make sure that you issues with the spell are a general issue and not a specific issue. As none of the games I have played in, nor any of the games I have watched have ever had this "issue".

If you want to nerf counterspell for your games, that's great. But don't believe this issue exists beyond them.
 

BigBadDM

Explorer
I've been on both sides of the screens though I play as a DM 75% of the time.

As a DM I 'personally' don't have a problem with the spell. It makes the players feel good and elates them like they thwarted this BigBadDM. I like that the player has a 'shining' moment.

Now, on the player's side of the screen--no other spell will generate more animosity toward your character than this spell. Be forewarned if you use this on some 'unexperienced' DMs as they may take a grudge toward your character and put a big old bullseye on you going forward. I believe this has to do with you essentially 'trivializing' encounters with spell casters. I have seen this in a few games I played with DMs who tend to be better role-players than mechanic munchkins (this is a good thing usually). The good role-playing DMs don't like when you ruin their 'planned out' encounters. Mechanical DMs don't seem to care as much. The onus falls just as much on the player as the DM, know your audience before picking spells like this (or the Diviner class).

As a DM,I can still make an encounter feel like a threat--throw in two or three spell casters from time to time. Don't over do it, but does ramp up the danger sometimes. Most encounters are only written with one spell-caster with minor fodder underlings.

Some DMs allow the player to know the know what the opposing caster is casting before counter spelling. Whether this is by some skill check or innate knowledge, this can overbalance the spell at times. It's fine, but I would try without the player knowing for a bit to see if that adds more dramatic action. A lot of this spell comes from fairness... no fudging/changing what spell an enemy cast just because it was counter-spelled.

I also find that there is an over reliance to this spell instead of say: Dispel Magic. While counterspell is better in combat situations, Dispel Magic is way more utilitarian both in and out of combat. Remove that Mage Armor, disarm the magic chest, etc.. Sometimes things that are best to have are not necessarily the most fun in play. I find this the case with 'my character' having counterspell and no longer take the spell. As far as fun, I would rather just have Dispel Magic. See what the enemy caster uses on the party and determine Ad-hoc if I should dispel the effect if applicable. It's not the most optimal obviously--but more enjoyable (at least to me).

And as a last bit I am going to include the last quote. While true there is a 'spell slot' tax there are may ways to get back a third level slot (arcane recovery/metamagic). And when it a fight it is one of the few spells you won't mind casting this at 4th level or even 5th level. In all honestly, I think it plays more as a 4th level spell than a 3rd as far as power curve.




Counterspell has a cost in the game. Unless you have some other house rule in effect, Wizards and Sorcerers have at most 3 3rd level spell slots. If your party isn't using those slots for other more important spells you aren't running them through enough challenging encounters to drain their resources.
 
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Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
@WaterRabbit

So in your experience which isn't a general experience. It has nothing to do with my assumptions. You can just as easily as I look at how common casters that have the possibility of casting counterspell is compared to the number of classes that cannot in general play. It would be rare at most tables to have more than 1 character than can cast counterspell.
Your assumptions are your own, yes.

There are 4 classes that can cast counterpell. Wizards, warlocks, sorcerers and bards. A full 1/3 of all classes. It's not at all rare to have two of those in a group.

So you have a solution(s) looking for a problem that doesn't exist for the majority of people playing the game. Additionally, this is easily solved by the DM through intelligent encounter design. You claim that you run casters intelligently, then do so. Every caster in the world should know they have the potential to be countered.
You do know that if there is a caster in the group that is shut down completely, the group shutting him down will generally win the fight easily, right?

Frankly, you should stop playing D&D for a while and try a game like Shadowrun in which problems like this have to be considered by players all of the time.
Frankly, you should stop making assumptions like this. You are way off base.

If you as the DM are worried about player negation, well there is a simple fix for that: Don't give all your casters counterspell. Pretty simple.
Yeah! Just make it so that any group I put a caster in loses easily!!! That will solve the problem! Dude, don't try to tell me to run casters intelligently and then give me ideas on how to play them unintelligently.

Also from your description this is also only a you problem as it is your house rules that allowed partial identification of a spell during the reaction.
Considering all the likes I've gotten in this thread, it's clearly not only a me problem. I also never said that I have a house rule that allows partial identification of spells during a reaction.

Counterspell has a cost in the game. Unless you have some other house rule in effect, Wizards and Sorcerers have at most 3 3rd level spell slots. If your party isn't using those slots for other more important spells you aren't running them through enough challenging encounters to drain their resources. If every encounter starts with all casters having full spell slots and everyone can unleash a torrent of counters, that is a problem with encounter design.
The cost is trivial compared to the benefit of shutting an enemy caster down.

So before bemoaning that counterspell is too powerful, you should really check your design assumptions and make sure that you issues with the spell are a general issue and not a specific issue. As none of the games I have played in, nor any of the games I have watched have ever had this "issue".
My design assumptions are solid.

Your assumptions are not. You're very bad at assuming. Your assumption that with fully 1/3 of classes able to cast counterspell, it's rare to have two of them in a group is faulty. Your assumption that this is easily solved by encounter design is faulty. Your assumption that I should play a game other than D&D is just plain trash. Your assumption that I would like a game like Shadowrun is pretty lame. I don't like that genre of game. Your assumption that it's a good idea to play my casters stupidly and just let them be shut down was just bad. Your assumption this is only a me problem is factually incorrect. Your assumption that the cost of shutting down an enemy caster completely isn't worth the few resources spent is amusing. Your assumption about my encounter design is actually rather insulting, as well as being very wrong. Your assumption about my "house rule" betrays your inability to read my posts completely.

How about instead of assuming so many things, you actually engage me in discussion. For example, a simple "Hey, would you be interested in playing a game other than D&D?" and "Maybe you'd like Shadowrun." would have gotten you accurate information when I told you no.
 
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rczarnec

Explorer
There are 4 classes that can cast counterpell. Wizards, warlocks, sorcerers and bards. A full 1/3 of all classes. It's not at all rare to have two of those in a group.
And at higher levels this can increase a bit more. My tier 3 Eldritch Knight picked it up at 13th since it is in one of his preferred schools.
 

DM Dave1

Explorer
And at higher levels this can increase a bit more. My tier 3 Eldritch Knight picked it up at 13th since it is in one of his preferred schools.
Also:
A Redemption Paladin gets it at 9th level
An Arcane Trickster could take it at 14th or 20th level when they are allowed to deviate from the Illusion/Enchantment school requirement.
 

Gadget

Explorer
I agree that Counterspell, as written, is not really needed. I don't see what problem it's trying to solve. It was not part of earlier additions (chainmail references aside) that I can recall. It would probably be a better rule if you could ready a casting of Dispel Magic to counterspell someone. I guess I'm not fond of the negation game.

I do like the Post Xanthanar's ruling that you don't automatically know what spell and what level the opponent is casting; it seems that many where running it this way previously and that took all the risk out of using the spell. Though I suppose every game is different, ymmv.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I agree that Counterspell, as written, is not really needed. I don't see what problem it's trying to solve. It was not part of earlier additions (chainmail references aside) that I can recall. It would probably be a better rule if you could ready a casting of Dispel Magic to counterspell someone. I guess I'm not fond of the negation game.
I think it was indeed a function of Dispel magic in games after Chainmail.

I think its targeting a flavor of duelling mages... not a problem.

I also think its letting a mage defend their allies in a uniquely wizardly way.

I do like the Post Xanthanar's ruling that you don't automatically know what spell and what level the opponent is casting; it seems that many where running it this way previously and that took all the risk out of using the spell. Though I suppose every game is different, ymmv.
It does make it a gambling game.
 
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Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Also:
A Redemption Paladin gets it at 9th level
An Arcane Trickster could take it at 14th or 20th level when they are allowed to deviate from the Illusion/Enchantment school requirement.
Okay then. We now have 4 classes and 3 sub-classes that have access to the spell. Since 3 sub-classes equal a class, we now effectively have 5 classes out of 12 that have access.
 

Mycroft

Explorer
When things come from a long standing edition warring place, it's hard to approach them.

I mean, not playing, DMing, or even actually taking the time to read and understand something, before the bashing, is just terrible.
 

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