D&D 5E Vecna's Dread Counterspell vs. Subtle Spell (a simple poll)

Can Vecna use Dread Counterspell against a spell cast with Subtle Spell?


  • Poll closed .

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Just to keep things simple (and civil), this is just a poll about how the metamagic Subtle Spell interacts with Vecna's Dread Counterspell.

Feel free to hash over the same arguments if you want, I am just curious about raw (not RAW) interpretations for each person. So, I am keeping the options very simple: Yes/No is pretty much it. There is no "other" option available.

References/sources:

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Majority rules and will dictate how we run Vecna's feature in the Vecna battles thread moving forward.

Voting is limited to ONE DAY ONLY (closes 5 PM EST tomorrow) and you CANNOT CHANGE YOUR VOTE!

Thanks for your input.
 

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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I wish I had more options. His Dread Counterspell will work if he knows the target is casting a spell. The reason normal counterspell doesn't work against a spell affected by Subtle Spell isn't that Subtle Spell somehow prevents counterspell. Instead, it's that if you cast a spell with no verbal or somatic components, there may not be any "tell" that the caster is doing anything at all. At that point it's a purely mental action, and there's no reason Vecna would necessarily observe that any better than anyone else would.

If, on the other hand, he clearly sees a spellcaster character pop out from behind cover and stand there without physically doing anything, you know for a fact that Vecna is smart enough to realize "someone is trying to cast a spell on me" and will use Dread Counterspell. Since there's nothing that says he can't use it repeatedly, he would lose nothing (except a reaction), though this could potentially be gamed--e.g. the Sorcerer pops out of cover and readies the action to cast a spell, waiting for Vecna to try to Dread Counterspell her, since it clearly has a trigger condition. Vecna tries and fails, because no spell has been cast. Sorcerer then fires off the readied spell, which cannot be subject to Dread Counterspell because Vecna is only allowed one reaction per turn and he wasted this turn's reaction on trying to counter a spell that wasn't actually cast.

So yeah. The problem is, Subtle Spell "prevents" Dread Counterspell in exactly the same way it "prevents" regular counterspell. That is, the person trying to counter the spell has to be able to know ("see," in the case of Dread Counterspell) that someone is casting a spell. That reason is normally seeing someone do the weird hand jives or hearing someone pronounce the mystic words, but logic might dictate that there are other reasons.

So...should I vote "no" because Subtle Spell doesn't OUTRIGHT prevent Dread Counterspell (due to not outright preventing regular counterspell either)? Or should I vote "yes" because Subtle Spell should have exactly the same effects on Dread Counterspell as it has on regular counterspell (namely, unless there's some other reason to know a spell is being cast, the countering person isn't tipped off and thus never gets the opportunity to try)?
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I wish I had more options. His Dread Counterspell will work if he knows the target is casting a spell. The reason normal counterspell doesn't work against a spell affected by Subtle Spell isn't that Subtle Spell somehow prevents counterspell. Instead, it's that if you cast a spell with no verbal or somatic components, there may not be any "tell" that the caster is doing anything at all. At that point it's a purely mental action, and there's no reason Vecna would necessarily observe that any better than anyone else would.
He doesn't have to observe a "tell?" He can just look at you and know that you have 5 out of 12 slots left and that they are 2 1st, 2 3rd and 1 5th. He also knows what your class and subclass abilities are and if you've used them or not. All at a glance and without any tells and without having to even make a roll. Why would he have difficulty knowing you're casting a subtle spell?
 




FitzTheRuke

Legend
So...the Vecna Dossier is incomplete. Great. That's...wow. "I expect nothing, and I'm still let down."

Given this information, then no, Subtle Spell would have no impact on Vecna's Dread Counterspell, as he has permanent scry character sheet active, apparently!
You're not wrong. I would go one further and say that the statblock was incomplete in the first place by throwing in the word "that" into counterspell and letting us all guess as to what they mean by it. I find that there are a lot of words in a monster statblock that don't need to be there... and often ones that aren't there that should be.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
How does he "just know" this? That's not listed in the statblock as far as I can see!
It’s in the adventure (should definitely have been in the stat block though, along with his lair actions which are also in the adventure but not the stat block). Specifically, it says, “Vecna can ascertain the capabilities of spellcasters and identify the spells they cast without making an ability check.” This is under a heading about his tactics, and goes on to say he specifically targets any casters that can heal or resurrect their allies.
 

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