D&D 5E [D&D 5e] Planescape- In Through the Out Door (Full)

Pembinasa

First Post
And honestly, while those do sound like very interesting ways to describe the fluff, it also makes spells less and less relevant in the process- because it's coming of more as negating their existence than just being better at shrugging them off. If we do go ahead with this, I suppose making it a struggle of essential 'who can believe harder in the way things are' would be interesting and topical- but it opens up a whole big can of worms as well, as to whether you even need the spell in the first place and what happens if the whole team focuses on believing in one spell, and so on.

I'm not opposed to visiting those options or exploring them, but making them a standard aspect of combat is a bit much, don't you think? That kind of reshaping of the way things work shouldn't be cheapened like that, especially when a simple patch to an ill-thought-out rule could be applied instead.
 

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Unsung

First Post
I don't think frequent in-character discussion of such things is out of the question when it comes to the factions, buuut the rules of the game will generally remain stable. Once we decide what they are, that is. ;)

I don't think the rule itself is poorly conceived, but a little light rules hacking is assumed with this edition. It might not be the rule for every group. Thing is, it's not quite that simple a patch, since it does make one school of spells that much more powerful-- there'd have to be a tradeoff somewhere.
 

Shayuri

First Post
Well, in fairness as well, the effects of spells rarely equate to 'real world' examples. The Web spell doesn't create cobwebs, or any other substance that could be considered nonmagical. It's properties are exceptional, and magical. The same with Grease.

A case could be made for exceptions to magic resistance in circumstances where a spell creates an ongoing effect that 'indirectly' affects the targets, like Grease and Web and so on. By indirectly, I mean the magic creates 'stuff' and the properties of that 'stuff' are what force the save.

The core RAW for 5e however are written for simplicity and speed. They leave it to individual GMs and groups to add complexity. I think this is a wise course of action.

Myself, I'm fine either way. Accepting RAW means a great many discussions are averted before they begin. House ruling it means my character's spells are more potent.

It's win win, as far as I'm concerned. :)
 

Pembinasa

First Post
If they had explained it and its limitations, I wouldn't be nearly so concerned with this rule; as is, "all magic except the type that shoots at you' doesn't seem very well-considered to me.

As to the spells like Web and Grease, I really would disagree that the results of these spells would be exceptional or magical, as they don't do anything outside the scope of mundanely-made versions of the same thing. Grease doesn't need exceptional qualities to be slippery, that's just how grease works. Cover a floor with semi-congealed bacon grease, you get the same effect as the spell- an effect the spell was explicitly trying to duplicate since its first appearance in D&D. In previous editions it was specifically called out as nonmagical- and while they don't use that word in this edition's readout, they don't claim it to have any magical properties- it's just grease, nothing special.

A similar rationale exists for Web. It used to be just a big spiderweb like you've seen in Zelda games, and now it's usable without endpoints by stretching it across the ground going five feet high. If you stacked regular cobwebs five feet high and tried to walk through them, do you really think you'd have any different results than the spell? They aren't tangling because magic, but because cobwebs. These aren't Evard's Black Tentacles, here.

Indirect effects that need no magical input to function (Grease yes, Spiritual Weapon no) shouldn't be affected by a condition that already nerfs the entire magic system as it is, which I do see as bringing character classes defined by their magic down to being borderline useless in fights featuring that condition. (Seriously, when you do the math it shows spellcasters might as well just be twiddling their thumbs more than half the time.) I look at it as restoring basic functionality to these classes, who need SOMETHING worth doing in those situations.

I guess I'm too warmed up over an interpretation of an unclearly-established rule, and in the end it doesn't matter whether a bunch of skeroloths make their saves or not. But it feels like we're jumping through hoops when it would be so much easier and more sensible to just go around. Bending the way the universe works to justify a rule interpretation, instead of letting in a little real-life logic? Why?
 

Shayuri

First Post
Well, the rule couldn't be clearer. :) If it's a spell or other magical effect, the advantage to saves applies. The clarity and simplicity of the rule is its selling point.

The question is, are we happy with it?

Real life logic doesn't apply, unless we decide it does. The effects of spells can be as innately magical as we decide, the influence of magic resistance as applicable as we choose. There's no real substance that's comparable to the stuff of a Web spell, and it's explicitly magic as the result of a spell being cast, so immediately logic and physics are out the window.

That doesn't mean you're wrong. It just means I disagree with the idea of approaching the question from a perspective of, "How would it -really- work?" That way lies madness.

Rather, lets start with the rule as written, and decide what, if any, internally-consistent change we want to make. Ideally, we can avoid a lot of 'trickle down' consequences, where we have to rewrite how a bunch of spells work because in changing a handful, we implied laws of physics that require alterations to dozens more.
 

Pembinasa

First Post
While I disagree that the product of a spell has to be inherently magical, as if a castle made by ritual-casting permanent Wall of Stone would be vulnerable to a Dispel Magic forever after, I do get the idea- that we're free to decide for ourselves what the adjudication of rules-to-gaming-existence is. (And if I tried to start comparing the spell to what Spider-Man shoots out then I'd probably be on the way to going cuckoo. :) )

But I do disagree with starting from the rules instead of starting from the world. The basic underlying rules of just about every kind of fiction, D&D included, is 'like real life except where we say otherwise.' Even in Sigil, fire still works, water still has three forms, and physics applies to the basic structures of life except where explicitly overridden by magic. Nowhere is that rule less in evidence than Planescape (except maybe Spelljammer), but that doesn't stop it from being the baseline we build from; even if gravity in Sigil works more like a space station than a normal planet, a rock still falls from your hand to the ground in the normal way unless interfered with.

That kind of mental shorthand is baked into the rules and gives the setting verisimilitude, and verisimilitude matters for convincing people that the situation is understandable enough to get the players invested in what's going on. If we uncouple physics from the system, we're basically telling basic cause-and-effect to take a hike- and suddenly we're playing in a Dr. Seuss book.
 

KirayaTiDrekan

Adventurer
Web, to me, is inherently magical. A spell creates a substance which lasts only as long as the magic does. It does stuff a "real" web isn't capable of doing, at least not at that scale. The most telling factor is that, in 5E, it requires concentration to maintain. That means the caster is still actively maintaining the magic of the spell...willing the substance of the spell to remain in existence.
 

Shayuri

First Post
Pemb, I can't help but feel you're using my post to set up a straw man, and then slap it around a bit.

I'm not talking about subtracting cause and effect. Merely to recognize that magic, and the rules for magic, aren't obliged to adhere to physical law as we know it. Further, that trying to work out them out in too much detail at that level (a sort of 'laws of magic') could wind up making a whole lot more work than any of us want.

Of course, we're already verging close to that mark, for my 2 cents.

So rather than focus on the concepts behind it all, I will just focus on the results.

I'm fine with sticking with RAW. It's simple. Concise. And not too hard to get around. Giving magic resistant foes advantage on saves means there's a fairly broad cross-spectrum of countermeasures to reduce its impact. It would have been much worse if they simply had resistance to all damage from spells, for example.

I'm also fine if we decide on a relatively simple set of conditions, or individual exceptions, that limit magic resistance's effectiveness. I urge caution in assigning 'too much' realism to spell effects, as in my experience it tends to open the door to a lot of "well since being invisible makes light not affect me, now I'm immune to lasers" type of arguments which wind up being much more of a headache than adding to the game.

I'm not trying to pick on you, Pembinasa, in saying this. You haven't advanced any kind of argument like that yet, and I've no evidence you mean to. I am just cautious about creating a situation where it would be tempting to do so.
 

Pembinasa

First Post
That honestly is the whole kicker, to me. "It does stuff a real web isn't capable of doing"- if that was true, I wouldn't be disputing this. The difference between a Web spell and an equivalent amount of actual spiderwebs is that one can show up by wiggling your fingers, and that's it- even if you have to set the back of your mind to keeping it around. And if concentration isn't required for such an effect, does that make it less inherently magical? The Grease spell, for instance.

Shayuri, sorry if I made it sound that way. It looked to me like you were saying "this is all a game anyway, so why bother with physics?" Going with your actual statement, I agree magic shouldn't follow physics- that's the whole point of it.

As to other countermeasures, I'm curious as to what you have in mind- because right now things seem to be aimed at 'basic concepts cease to apply in a set radius around certain types of creatures.' Which is a great idea, and one I want to steal and use for a villain in one of my other campaigns- but not one I'm on board with as a standard rule.
 

Shayuri

First Post
Speaking in purely mechanical terms, here are the countermeasures as I see them:

1) Deny saves. Quite a few spells simply don't allow them. Speckle a few into our list, and we'll have reliable options against magic resistant creatures.

2) Inflict disadvantage. There a number of spells, class abilities and so on that can force creatures to save at disadvantage. In the case of magic resistant critters, that means they're merely doing so without advantage; nullifying their resistance. We'd need to use some teamwork to do that reliably, but that's what we are; a team. :)

3) Pump those DCs. Advantage is kind of a force multiplier...it's really effective for rolls you already have a good shot at. It's significantly less effective on rolls you need a lot of luck to hit. Admittedly, boosting save DCs is a lot harder in 5th Ed than previous...and for good reason...but with some item crafting and wheeling and dealing, we may be able to skew things in that direction.

3a) Target the Weak Spot. A corollary to the previous, another way to reduce the impact of advantage is to figure out which save bonus a creature is weakest at, and target that one. Reducing save bonus is equivalent to increasing save DC. Doing both is just devastating. :)

Any/all of these requires some planning, some coordination with fellow PCs, and most likely some conscious efforts to seek out specific items and objects of power...but these are all things adventurers probably should be doing anyway. :)
 

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