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 .

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't interpret the adventure text as giving Vecna the ability to be aware IC of all spellcasting, and even if I did, that's an ability specific to the adventure text that Vecna wouldn't have if encountered outside that adventure. The poll question isn't limited to the recently released adventure, so we can't assume he has any of those adventure-specific abilities.
Really? You think that an ability that isn't stated to only exist in that adventure, and on a fairly weak variant of Vecna, isn't something that he would have somewhere else? Why do you assume that it's for that adventure only?
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't really like either of those but I see both come up on Reddit pretty frequently.
Literally never heard of that. Seems to render the whole system pointless, particularly with how easy going 5E us to start with. Being very, verybspecific about Components is pretty eventually in my experience.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Literally never heard of that. Seems to render the whole system pointless, particularly with how easy going 5E us to start with. Being very, verybspecific about Components is pretty eventually in my experience.
I mean it depends on the spell. Command, for example, has only verbal components, and requires you to speak a one-word command, which the subject must obey if they fail their save. It makes total sense to me that a failed Command would come across as the caster just shouting “flee!” or whatever. There are probably other examples of spells that I could see not being obviously spells, especially when they fail.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I mean it depends on the spell. Command, for example, has only verbal components, and requires you to speak a one-word command, which the subject must obey if they fail their save. It makes total sense to me that a failed Command would come across as the caster just shouting “flee!” or whatever. There are probably other examples of spells that I could see not being obviously spells, especially when they fail.
Doesn't Command indicate that someone who makes their Save know that they had to make one? Or is that other Enchantment Spells?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Doesn't Command indicate that someone who makes their Save know that they had to make one? Or is that other Enchantment Spells?
Nope. Charm Person and Friends both specify that the target knows you used magic to influence them after they wear off but AFAIK the victims of charm spells generally aren’t aware that magic has been used on them if the spell fails.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Nope. Charm Person and Friends both specify that the target knows you used magic to influence them after they wear off but AFAIK the victims of charm spells generally aren’t aware that magic has been used on them if the spell fails.
I think that an Arcana check would apply, at least for a target that has Arcana proficiency.
 

gnarlygninja

Explorer
I mean it depends on the spell. Command, for example, has only verbal components, and requires you to speak a one-word command, which the subject must obey if they fail their save. It makes total sense to me that a failed Command would come across as the caster just shouting “flee!” or whatever. There are probably other examples of spells that I could see not being obviously spells, especially when they fail.
Command and Suggestion are two of the spells that lead to the arguments coming up most often, because some groups think the verbal component is only the command or suggestion while others rule they're in addition to the "chanting of mystic words". Counterspell is more useful inn a group that thinks the latter.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Command and Suggestion are two of the spells that lead to the arguments coming up most often, because some groups think the verbal component is only the command or suggestion while others rule they're in addition to the "chanting of mystic words". Counterspell is more useful inn a group that thinks the latter.
The latter does seem more reasonable. It has a 6 second casting time, after all, you can say a few things there.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Command and Suggestion are two of the spells that lead to the arguments coming up most often, because some groups think the verbal component is only the command or suggestion while others rule they're in addition to the "chanting of mystic words". Counterspell is more useful inn a group that thinks the latter.
Well suggestion also requires a snake's tongue and either a bit of honeycomb or a drop of sweet oil (or a spellcasting focus). I suppose one could argue that it might just look like the caster is being a weirdo fondling a staff or snake parts and confections while they try to convince you to run away or whatever, but… I dunno, I feel like once material components are involved it should be pretty obviously a spell.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Well suggestion also requires a snake's tongue and either a bit of honeycomb or a drop of sweet oil (or an spellcasting focus). I suppose one could argue that it might just look like the caster is being a weirdo fondling a staff or snake parts and confections while they try to convince you to run away or whatever, but… I dunno, I feel like once material components are involved it should be pretty obviously a spell.
Perhaps especially an Arcane Focus is being substituted.for the Material Component.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The latter does seem more reasonable. It has a 6 second casting time, after all, you can say a few things there.
Well, it has a 1 action casting time. That doesn’t necessarily mean it takes a full 6 seconds to cast, only that you can’t cast it and another spell in the same 6-second span. If one insists on translating that into specific time frames, it would mean a 3.X second casting time minimum (where X is any value greater than 0). But personally I don’t like to take the time if actions quite that literally. I prefer to allow actions and turns to be a bit more abstract than that.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Well, it has a 1 action casting time. That doesn’t necessarily mean it takes a full 6 seconds to cast, only that you can’t cast it and another spell in the same 6-second span. If one insists on translating that into specific time frames, it would mean a 3.X second casting time minimum (where X is any value greater than 0). But personally I don’t like to take the time if actions quite that literally. I prefer to allow actions and turns to be a bit more abstract than that.
A bit of flexibility there...but it's still an Actuon that occupies 6 seconds of time.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I mean it depends on the spell. Command, for example, has only verbal components, and requires you to speak a one-word command, which the subject must obey if they fail their save. It makes total sense to me that a failed Command would come across as the caster just shouting “flee!” or whatever. There are probably other examples of spells that I could see not being obviously spells, especially when they fail.
For it to fail, you have to actually be resisting some force trying to compel you. A failed command is not going to come off as someone who just spoke a word. It's going to come off as someone yelling for you to flee and you having fought off the urge to run.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Doesn't Command indicate that someone who makes their Save know that they had to make one? Or is that other Enchantment Spells?
Any time you make a save you're going to know that you had to make one. You just might not know why(scrying) or who(enchantment without an obvious source or wording saying that you know who did it).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Nope. Charm Person and Friends both specify that the target knows you used magic to influence them after they wear off but AFAIK the victims of charm spells generally aren’t aware that magic has been used on them if the spell fails.
You know you had to resist an attempt to control you. You just don't automatically know who like with those spells. If you didn't have to actually resist, then there was never a save that you had to make.

"A saving throw-also called a save-represents an attempt to resist a spell, a trap, a poison, a disease, or a similar threat. You don't normally decide to make a saving throw; you are forced to make one because your character or monster is at risk of harm."

You don't unknowingly make an attempt to do something.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Any time you make a save you're going to know that you had to make one. You just might not know why(scrying) or who(enchantment without an obvious source or wording saying that you know who did it).
That’s a reasonable ruling, but not the only reasonable one IMO. Certainly RAW is silent on the matter. I prefer to allow failed charm attempts to be subtle when they don’t involve material or somatic components, but I think ruling the opposite is equally well-supported.
 

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