D&D 5E Vecna's Dread Counterspell vs. Counterspell -- What's the Diff?

DND_Reborn

Legend
From the Vecna Battle Thread, here we go:

1655717368801.png


and....

1655717490065.png


Frankly, other than the fact Dread Counterspell doesn't seem to actually be a spell, I don't really see the difference.

Ok, since some posters were not aware of the bent of the discussion from the other thread, the purpose is more about whether Subtle Spell will stop Vecna from using Dread Counterspell, as it stops (normal) Counterspell.

Anyone want to continue chiming in?
 
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MarkB

Legend
The question that came up was whether Vecna could take this reaction to interrupt someone casting a subtle spell, as there would be no visible spell components to alert him that a spell is being cast. This works for regular counterspell, but it's been suggested that due to the slightly different wording and Vecna's expertise and sensitivity to magic he'd be able to tell that a spell was being cast even without such tells.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
It's also locked in as if Vecna were casting counterspell using a 4th level spell slot, and can't be upcast. Which is relevant, IMO, because high level enemy spellcasters typically have little reason not to burn high level spell slots on counterspell. They're probably only going to last a few rounds, so it's not like they need to conserve the spell slots. This is different simply for the fact that Vecna can't choose to burn a 6th level (or whatever) slot for counterspell.
 


dave2008

Legend
Counterspell
The important difference is this stipulation to the reaction: "...you take when you see a creature within 60 feet of you casting a spell."

This means you have to be able to identify that a person is casting a spell to use this reaction. You have to see the act of casting a spell.

Dead Counterspell
This is also a reaction, but Vecna doesn't need to see that the target is casting a spell. He needs to see the target and it needs to be casting (otherwise there is nothing to counterpell), but he doesn't need to see them casting.

"Vecna utters a dread word to interrupt a creature he can see that is casting a spell."

Venca sees it and it is casting a spell. He doesn't have to see the act of casting.

It is also relevant that Venca cannot upcast this because he doesn't need to see the spellcasting and therefore could not determine the level of the spell to up-cast is dread counterspell. But really this is an artifact in the statblock change.
 




LadyElect

Explorer
Because you don't see verbal components, you hear them. Which means you can't see the caster casting the spell, you hear the caster casting the spell, even when you can see the caster.
Surely you can see someone speaking in addition to hearing them. Unless every spellcaster is taking power words for their ventriloquism act, I'd have trouble with that reading of it. Though maybe the time to react is the difference in your power word being "kill" vs "snuffleupagus".
 
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All Vecna needs to do is see you and he can pretty much No Sell your spell while also doing damage to you.
Meanwhile, your wimpy Scanlan-knock off Counter Spell antics can't damage you at the same time and has a range limit. Although, if your lucky, you can probably send Vecna beyond the Divine Gate or something to face his greatest foes: Children.
 

MarkB

Legend
Why do you need to see components to identify a spell is being cast anyway, couldn’t you perceive from the crazy magical energies that erupt as the spell begins to form?
In which case, why doesn't regular Counterspell work against subtle spells?

As much as we might imagine normal spellcasting to have nice flashy special effects, at least part of the point of Subtle Spell is to be more subtle than that.
 

ECMO3

Hero
From the Vecna Battle Thread, here we go:

View attachment 251484

and....

View attachment 251485

Frankly, other than the fact Dread Counterspell doesn't seem to actually be a spell, I don't really see the difference.

Anyone want to continue chiming in?

The damage for one.

Also Vecna must "utter a dread word" which implies it will not work in silence. That is a huge debuff compared to the original counterspell.
 



Mort

Legend
Supporter
To get very diagramming sentences here, the only thing that Vecna needs to see is the creature. The phrase "casting a spell" modifies the creature, not Vecna's sight.

That's been my position the whole time. It's quite different from regular Counterepell.

The next argument is that a reaction must have a perceivable trigger. But only readying an action says that, not the reaction entry itself, which just says you need SOME KIND of trigger.

Those two things combined with Vecna being extra sensitive to casters? I'd rule subtle spell wouldn't avoid the Dread Counterspell.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
To get very diagramming sentences here, the only thing that Vecna needs to see is the creature. The phrase "casting a spell" modifies the creature, not Vecna's sight.
But he also needs to utter a dread word, which seems difficult to do in response to a spell you don’t know is being cast. The question in my mind is, does he know a spell is being cast if it’s subtle and has no components? I’m on the fence about that.
 

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