How do you handle Mordenkainen's Disjunction?

Stalker0

Adventurer
I personally consider Mordenkainen's Disjunction to be THE most broken spell in the game.

First, it automatically dispels anything in its area. Anything automatic in dnd is bad, and magic items are the lifeblood of characters at high levels. Without magic items, characters cannot beat any monster unless its CR is drastically lower than their level.

Second, the chance to destroy 100,000 gold magic items is so harsh. And as a one time screw, it hurts the players much more than npcs. Disjunction the npcs all you want, I've got more, but all it takes for one to permanently neuter the pcs.

If you are not in agreement with me that's fine, but for those who are, what do you do in your games to prevent what I am describing?

One suggestion one of my players had was to make disjoining taboo. gods like Baccob while normally uncaring, might consider it a sticking point if people start permanently breaking magic.

What other ways do you handle it?
 
Mord's D is like atomic weapons.

Firstly, the NPCs they are battling do not always have access to this spell. Those that do, are mostly the greedy kind, and would rather have the fingers on the items at hand. Of course, if being really pushed, they can unleash it. But it isn't exactly common place for 18th+ level wizards to have this spell just lying around ready to whack the PCs over the head. Seriously, for near-epic NPC wizards, with clone and stasis clone are you really going to be too concerned about these idiotic PCs spoiling your long term plans? Sure it hurts when they poke their fingers in some little side plot you have going, but really they aren't more than a nuisance?

Secondly, such bada$$ dudes are likely to have mean allies, who don't appreciate their weaponry disappearing either.

*shrug* I guess my players don't overuse and abuse this strategy, and neither do I.
 
Also, as the DM, If I plan to use this atomic weapon in an encounter, then I had better plan how to get the wealth levels sorted out again....So it would have to be like a climatic encounter, with foreshadowing, and not just some random encounter on the way to the local magic shoppe
 

DM2

Visitor
What, green slime, don't you have "18th Level Sorcerer in love/hate relationship with magic" on your wandering monster table?
 
How often would it show up?

PCs don't use it very often, because they want all the magical loot.

NPCs presumably are thinking the same. So, presumably the NPC wizards want to get their grubby little hands on all those scrolls, potions, wands, etc. that are currently in the hands of the players.

About the only time I would see a wizard using this spell against PCs is if he has nothing left to lose - "You may have won, you stupid do-gooders, but one more step and I'll nuke ALL your magic items! I mean it". Could be an interesting situation.

Monsters that don't use magic items but have it as a spell-like ability could be brutal - but I can't think of any creatures that have this SA.


Stalker0 said:
I personally consider Mordenkainen's Disjunction to be THE most broken spell in the game.

First, it automatically dispels anything in its area. Anything automatic in dnd is bad, and magic items are the lifeblood of characters at high levels. Without magic items, characters cannot beat any monster unless its CR is drastically lower than their level.

Second, the chance to destroy 100,000 gold magic items is so harsh. And as a one time screw, it hurts the players much more than npcs. Disjunction the npcs all you want, I've got more, but all it takes for one to permanently neuter the pcs.

If you are not in agreement with me that's fine, but for those who are, what do you do in your games to prevent what I am describing?

One suggestion one of my players had was to make disjoining taboo. gods like Baccob while normally uncaring, might consider it a sticking point if people start permanently breaking magic.

What other ways do you handle it?
 
My big gripe with the spell is that it ruins character concepts and makes the game less fun.

I "handle" the spell by never using it as a player or DM, and asking the other players to do the same.

Kind of how I handle Astral Projection.

-Frank
 

BVB

Visitor
Here's a deterrant idea: Let it be known that every major building in the campaign has a weight-bearing, main support column carved out of weak wood ... transmuted to steel. If someone gets the urge to cast M.D. in the house, he'd better plan on dealing with a major headache when the ceiling collapses.
 

Tiberius

Visitor
In the last campaign I played in, I was planning to make Disjunction my lead-off spell for any given battle, once we reached those levels. Too bad the game ended when we were 3rd level or so.

I don't really see it as a problem. Sure, you nuke their stuff. That just means that the take the now-"merely"-masterwork items and go bully CR 1-5 creatures for their loot for a few in-game months. Slaughtering tribes of evil humanoids would be easy for characters of those levels, and very profitable.

-Tiberius
 

Storminator

Visitor
Our DM ruled that the magic items are only suppressed for one day per caster level. Still makes it a powerful spell, but not the end of the world.

When I failed my saves (what a time for a string of bad rolls :rolleyes: ), I "lost" over a quarter million gold in items. Fortunately that only lasted a few weeks.

We've seen MD nearly half a dozen times, and it's rather terrifying. Watching a whole parties buffs go down at once...nasty.

PS
 
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BVB

Visitor
I really don't like relying on magic items anyway. Maybe it's a perspective leaking in from the real world, but I believe that it's too easy to have your goodies taken away, so don't grow attached to them to begin with.

So you get hit by MD -- big deal. Either you're in the same straits now as your enemy and you fight it out like real men, or he's still too tough and you run away to fight another day.
 
So you get hit by MD -- big deal. Either you're in the same straits now as your enemy and you fight it out like real men, or he's still too tough and you run away to fight another day.
The problem with this line of reasoning is Shadows.

As simple CR 3 Shadow is only harmed by magic weapons and spells.

That means that without a magic weapon, Fighters, Rogues, and Monks can't hurt them - while a Wizard or Cleric still pretty much blow them away without a second thought. That sort of discrepency is going to come back and apply to a lot of things - but with incorporeal creatures it is most prominent.

At CR 17, you are expected to face a bunch of incorporeal opponents. You are also expected to have magical weapons - so that balances out.

Mix MDJ into the mix, though - and you can be in a situation where there are incorporeal opponents and no magic weapons. That's unbalanced.

MDJ rarely unbalances an encounter - or even has terribly much effect, honestly. But it is trivially easy for it to unbalance a campaign.

For similar situations: tjeck out Seething Eyebane from BoVD. It's a first level spell that costs Constitution points to cast and makes heir eyes explode. Not unbalanced in a fight. The target fails a save and spends the rest of the combat blinded. No big deal.

But in a campaign setting - that PC is going to be blind until someone forks out with a Regeneration spell. That character is so far in debt that it would be easier just to start a new 1st level character and move on from there.

That's why MDJ can't be used. Not because it is "too powerful" in the sense that it makes one side too likely to win - but because it throws too large of a monkey wrench into future encounters.

-Frank
 

Kae'Yoss

Visitor
I don't like the spell.

As a player I don't use it because I'm to greedy. ;-) And even If I weren't, there's usually someone who is. I played a bladesinger once, and played him practically as a chaotic good elven pendant to the paladin - champion of Corellon, dedicated to the elven race, totally opposing evil and all that. Every time we found an evil magic item (like a unholy sword), I destroyed it. One of these was an epic sword of unholy power - I think it was worth more than a million GP. The party evoker went nuts about it. Now, I had a perfect excuse for testroying that: If I didn't it were used for killing good people, and possible even elves, which I was sworn to protect. I can imagine his reaction if I were to destroy expensive magical items just because, without any strong justification like that. And honestly, I probably would do about the same if another party member did that.

As a DM I don't use it because I'm not that kind of bastard. I like to challenge (and sometimes even annoy) the players, making every victory hard earned, but I won't deprive them of their loot. I'm just not that kind of DM or player. Especially not if you could blast a PC to poverty with a single spell. IMO this spell belongs into the Book of Vile Darkness ;-).

I might use a modified version that renders the stuff useless for a time (1d4 hours or something, like dispel magic, but on a grander scale).
 

WingOver

Visitor
Mutually Assured Disjunction

I like green slime's atomic weapon analogy. I'm playing a high level wizard and we just reached a point where we can expect Disjunctions to start flying. My wizard has adopted the principle of Mutually Assured Disjunction - if my opponent launches on me, I'm launching on him.

From a campaign realism standpoint, this principle may be enough to deter most sane, intelligent spellcasters from unleashing indiscriminately (especially against other spellcasters). Imagine the nasty reputation among the spellcasting community for the wizard who abuses Disjunction.

From a mechanics standpoint, Disjunction may be held in check by two facts:

1. Disjoining unknown opponents is risky business because who knows if they have some minor artifact on them? My wizard would be hard pressed to unleash a Disjunction for fear of losing his spellcasting abilities forever.

2. A saving throw is allowed for items so that helps mitigate the effects somewhat. All spell effects are goners, but the items have a chance. (And sure, the save is vs. a 9th level spell, but at least its not automatic.)

I'll find out in tomorrow's game whether my wizard will go M.A.D. or not. We've infiltrated a lair of assassins and I bet their leader is a high-level wizard.
;)
 

Norfleet

Visitor
WingOver said:
My wizard has adopted the principle of Mutually Assured Disjunction - if my opponent launches on me, I'm launching on him.

From a campaign realism standpoint, this principle may be enough to deter most sane, intelligent spellcasters from unleashing indiscriminately (especially against other spellcasters). Imagine the nasty reputation among the spellcasting community for the wizard who abuses Disjunction.
That's a really STUPID idea. Now that all of your stuff is toast, you're going to go and toast all of their stuff, meaning, your loot, as well?

The alternative being that your opponent has no lootables, and therefore, there's not much of a point to trying to destroy something which doesn't exist.

I kinda expected a better idea from a wizard with a 22 Int.
 
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WingOver

Visitor
Norfleet said:
That's a really STUPID idea. Now that all of your stuff is toast, you're going to go and toast all of their stuff, meaning, your loot, as well?

The alternative being that your opponent has no lootables, and therefore, there's not much of a point to trying to destroy something which doesn't exist.

I kinda expected a better idea from a wizard with a 22 Int.
How about the alternative scenario:

Now that all my stuff is toast (including my defensive spells), I allow him to keep all his defenses up just so I can indulge my greedy side in the miniscule chance that I survive the encounter and get to loot his body. Sorry, but I will respond in kind and disjoin him before he can slaughter me and the party.

The point is that my wizard will not pre-emptively disjoin for roleplaying reasons. However it is my policy (and the DM knows this) that I will retaliate in kind if it happens. Mutually assured disjunction is a deterrent.

I don't suppose you play high-level wizards, then? Or do you just disjoin everything around you?
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
FrankTrollman said:
As simple CR 3 Shadow is only harmed by magic weapons and spells.

That means that without a magic weapon, Fighters, Rogues, and Monks can't hurt them...
On the other hand, a complicated CR 10 Shadow - with 7 Barbarian levels - can be hurt by the monk, interestingly enough.

-Hyp.
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
I've considered saying that MD dispels all spells, and neutralizes magical items for x amount of time - one minute per level, up to one day per level. I'm not sure if that would make the spell more or less powerful, though!
 

Artoomis

Visitor
How about this scenario:

The party has been over-rewarded and now has so many items that there strength is very high for their level. They also have a few artifacts.

The final battle approaches (of the campaign, of some major objective, whatever).

Big bad guy KNOWS he'll lose this battle without something dramatic. He casts the best prep spells on himself he can think off and, when the party is in range, lets loose an M's Disjunction. For this example, let's say that some artifact is destroyed and the bad guy loses his spell powers (NOT part of his evil plan, of course).

A number of magic items get zapped - how many depends on character saving throws, naturally. Since spell effects and magic times get destroyed at the same time, I'd allow all temp boosts to still be ineffect for the item saving throws.

DC will likely be around 25 or a bit more.

The really fun part is when the party realizes that a whole lot of their recent treasure is in a bag of holding - best hope whoever has that makes the save!!

End result? The good guys win the day and the campaign is more or less "reset" to a more reasonable magic item value level.

So I LIKE the spell. But it's use should be carefully planned out by the DM. If player's want to use it, let them. They'll only hurt themselves in terms of lost treasure. The NPC effects on artifacts and the effect on the NPC's spellcasting powers should probably be well thought out ahead of time to help things go in the direction you want them to go. Keep pure randomness if that's importnant to your players, though.
 

Artoomis

Visitor
Piratecat said:
I've considered saying that MD dispels all spells, and neutralizes magical items for x amount of time - one minute per level, up to one day per level. I'm not sure if that would make the spell more or less powerful, though!
I think it would certainly make it more popular! Someone would use it in every major enounter, if they could.
 
On the other hand, a complicated CR 10 Shadow - with 7 Barbarian levels - can be hurt by the monk, interestingly enough.
Um... no it can't.

It now has DR, but it still takes no damage from non-magical sources and the monk fist is still not magical for the purposes of damaging incorporeal foes.

It's like if a creature had DR 15/ Good and Piercing. If you have a blessed mace, you still aren't doing jack to it.

You have to be magical for the purposes of damaging incorporeal foes to damage an incorporeal foe.

-Frank
 
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