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


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The answer is: it's up to the DM. Monster stats are DM fiat, and they can change any that don't suit their vision.

Personally, I would go with Vecna always magically knows what spells are being cast, for two reasons:

1) It suits the character.

2) It makes the fight appropriately more challenging.


Now, if I was using the same stat block to represent some lesser archlich, I might decide to weaken them.
 

Because the wording is "Vecna utters a dread word to interrupt a creature he can see that is casting a spell". That doesn't really work out if he counters after the spell goes off, unless he's breaking the laws of causality, which I guess would be cool, but I wouldn't call it the raw or how it's intended. That he needs to react and say a word means that he can't do it if he's unaware of the casting, imo.
It is not an issue of what is reasonably possible, anything is really for Vecna. The issue is that by RAW, he only needs to the caster, he doesn’t need to see the casting. There is no knowledge requirement as part of the reaction.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I can see someone speaking even if I can't hear them.
Generally speaking there is debate as to whether "sound" even exists if no one can hear it. The old philosophical question - "If a tree falls in the forrest and non one hears it, did it make any noise?"

Sound is caused by changes in pressure at a frequency, but if no one is there to hear it, or they can't hear it, is it really sound?
 



LizardWizard00

Explorer
Generally speaking there is debate as to whether "sound" even exists if no one can hear it. The old philosophical question - "If a tree falls in the forrest and non one hears it, did it make any noise?"

Sound is caused by changes in pressure at a frequency, but if no one is there to hear it, or they can't hear it, is it really sound?
Not really following what that has to do with see/hearing verbal components. This is a game, not a philosophical discussion.
 


Because the wording is "Vecna utters a dread word to interrupt a creature he can see that is casting a spell". That doesn't really work out if he counters after the spell goes off, unless he's breaking the laws of causality, which I guess would be cool, but I wouldn't call it the raw or how it's intended. That he needs to react and say a word means that he can't do it if he's unaware of the casting, imo.
Vecna can cast dread just like anyone else casts counter. The only difference is that Vecna doesn’t have to see the act of spellcasting
 


South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
I know Jeremy Crawford’s opinions only matter when they support the position the person citing them holds, but has anyone considered tweeting him to ask if Vecna is intended to be able to use Dread Counterspell on subtle spells?
That strikes me as the reasonable way of getting real answers. I think you suggested it before, in fact, and I still say, "Right idea."
I’d do it myself but I don’t do Twitter.
^^ This is the bit I'm really reacting to; have a few of these: :love::love::love::love:.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
That strikes me as the reasonable way of getting real answers. I think you suggested it before, in fact, and I still say, "Right idea."
I mean, I’m the first to dismiss his rulings when I think they’re dumb, but in this case I think there are two reasonable ways to read the text, and it’s not clear to me what the intended way to read it is; this is exactly the situation I feel like Sage Advice is actually useful for.
^^ This is the bit I'm really reacting to; have a few of these: :love::love::love::love:.
🤣🤣🤣🤣
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It is not an issue of what is reasonably possible, anything is really for Vecna. The issue is that by RAW, he only needs to the caster, he doesn’t need to see the casting. There is no knowledge requirement as part of the reaction.
By RAW it's not necessary, but in my opinion it's silly to think it's not there. I find the whole "He unconsciously counters spells" argument to unbelievable. I think he needs to have that knowledge in-fiction. It's up to the DM to match up some in-fiction reason to the RAW.
 

By RAW it's not necessary, but in my opinion it's silly to think it's not there. I find the whole "He unconsciously counters spells" argument to unbelievable. I think he needs to have that knowledge in-fiction. It's up to the DM to match up some in-fiction reason to the RAW.
I agree, but as a few have pointed out I’m this thread, there a different ways he could have that knowledge. He can simply have the knowledge and then consciously cast the spell
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I agree, but as a few have pointed out I’m this thread, there a different ways he could have that knowledge. He can simply have the knowledge and then consciously cast the spell
Yeah. For sure. He has the ability to just know by looking what the PC caster's capabilities are. He can see that the caster has used half of his slots, and only has 1 third level slot left for instance. He knows that the PC Diviner only has one use of Portent left and that it's an 11. Next to that, knowing a PC is casting a spell by merely seeing the PC is just trivial and not even a question to me. He doesn't have to see the spellcasting, only the caster.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Generally speaking there is debate as to whether "sound" even exists if no one can hear it. The old philosophical question - "If a tree falls in the forrest and non one hears it, did it make any noise?"

Sound is caused by changes in pressure at a frequency, but if no one is there to hear it, or they can't hear it, is it really sound?
Yes, it is sound. It just doesn't matter.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I mean, I’m the first to dismiss his rulings when I think they’re dumb, but in this case I think there are two reasonable ways to read the text, and it’s not clear to me what the intended way to read it is; this is exactly the situation I feel like Sage Advice is actually useful for.

🤣🤣🤣🤣

I agree. Unfortunately, I also do not do twitter.
 


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