D&D 5E Xanathar's and Counterspell

5ekyu

Hero
I did notice. That's why I was calling the example hogwash.

The DM absolutely is in a position that requires more trust than any given player. Precisely because you are not in competition with the DM and he or she is the only "player" who has the ability to not be bound by any rules and yet still be operating within the rules. That power alone means you must have more trust in that person than is required for any other player in order to ensure a smooth game.

That example was hogwash because if it's player-questioning-DM... then you have a deeper issue than this ruling. If it was DM-questioning-player, then the DM handled it wrong anyway (the DM does know what spell the player was going to cast, if he or she so chooses; the player has no such reciprocal expectation of the DM, hence why the DM is in a position of trust) AND YOU HAVE A DEEPER ISSUE THAN THIS RULING.
Agree except for the more trust thing. I dont see the gm as having more power. He has only the ability to set rules within the acceptable area the players are allowing.

Everybody divided the authority. Everybody got different dos and donts. The GM is one of the most constrained roles as its focus is entirely driven by how it relates to the others. His NPC are not HIS character to play like. PC is that player's character to play.

I as soon as the GM steps out of line, he can be called just the same.

And yes that example was a case of a bad trust failure and a gm who handled it wrong and a pkaler who reacted badly... Answr by player should have been "no" or "thats an inappropriate question for the table during play. Seem me afyer the game."

But trust is not earned or derived by power level. Its gained or lost by action


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Tanin Wulf

First Post
Agree except for the more trust thing. I dont see the gm as having more power.
Then we fundamentally disagree.

He has only the ability to set rules within the acceptable area the players are allowing.
I have no idea what this means.

Everybody divided the authority. Everybody got different dos and donts. The GM is one of the most constrained roles as its focus is entirely driven by how it relates to the others. His NPC are not HIS character to play like. PC is that player's character to play.

I as soon as the GM steps out of line, he can be called just the same.
Yes, the ultimate check on the DM's power is the player's ability not to game. However, other than that, the DM has no limit on his or her power (or, put another way, the only limit on the DM's power is something that becomes apparent once the DM has exceeded it and not before). That's why it's a position of trust, because a good DM is trusted to never let things get that bad.

And yes that example was a case of a bad trust failure and a gm who handled it wrong and a pkaler who reacted badly... Answr by player should have been "no" or "thats an inappropriate question for the table during play. Seem me afyer the game."

But trust is not earned or derived by power level. Its gained or lost by action
I feel like you don't understand what "position of trust" or "position of authority" means. The DM has authority by virtue of his or her position as DM. That position doesn't give them trust, it means they must have trust in order to execute it faithfully. If you didn't already trust the person to DM according to something you want to be a part of, then they shouldn't be your DM and this whole thing is a non-issue. (There's a reason I'm very particular in selecting a DM. There are many players I would never let DM a game for me, but who are great players.)

Some games do it differently than D&D, but in D&D the DM is very much a position of trust, unless you set out to change the default assumptions of the game (and there's even a section in the mythical guide for this master of dungeons, to return to my previous jab, talking about this exact thing with regards to cooperative storytelling and alternate models of DMing).

EDIT: So... I'm going to leave up what I said, but since we're in 99% agreement, I don't want this to be seen as "violent agreement!" Rather, I apologize that I am coming off as combative. We're talking DMing philosophy and that gets me riled up to discuss philosophy (it's the politician and lawyer in me). =)
 
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Caliban

Rules Monkey
If only the DM was in some sort of a position of authority and trust where he or she could act with metagame knowledge and be trusted not to abuse it. If only that were the case. If only such a position existed at the gaming table. Some sort of a master of dungeons that the players agree, by virtue of being there, to trust to handle these sorts of scenarios with fairness and judiciousness... some sort of position that explicitly isn't bound by the same rules they are but has to know when to bind himself or herself and when not to for smooth and exciting play which gives the appearance of being fair. If only there were a guide for this master of dungeons that laid out such powers and explained this position in detail!

If only any of that made sense.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
I am one of the people who likes where they were trying to go with identifying a spell but do not like the implementation from a game mechanics or play perspective. When it comes down to it, counterspell is a limited resource that must be used judiciously. You burn your 9th-level spell slot when the BBEG tries to teleport away. You do not use counterspell at all when your opponent is casting prestidigitation.

Previously, I imagine "most" groups would have said something like "I cast fireball at 5th-level." "I cast counterspell. My check is enough to stop it.", or they had a house-rule about hiding spells. This rule introduces a disconnect between player/DM knowledge and character knowledge that can be dealt with in a few ways, and I do not like any of the ones I have seen so far.
1. Hide the spell being cast so the player/DM is as in the dark as the creature: As has been noted, there can be distrust added about what someone was really going to cast and whether that changes based on the enemy deciding to counterspell.
2. Keep everything in the open: Now there is a disconnect in player/DM and creature knowledge. The table knows what spell is being cast, but the creature does not. Let's say the DM is generous, and the creature can identify and act with the same reaction. Now there is the situation of a creature using a reaction, failing the check, and deciding to counterspell anyway. This may be why Xanathar's has identifying a spell be a separate reaction, but then we are back to multiple creatures needing to burn their reactions, and a solo bad guy cannot know what he is countering.
3. Decide ahead of time what spell to cast: In this case, every spell needs to be recorded in an encounter where there can be reactions to casting a spell. This can be writing the spell down or investing in spell cards. The correct spell is placed face down and is revealed when any reactions have been resolved. It resolves the problem in option 1 when playing in person but slows play down and does not work as well in online play.

The intentions of the players and DM need to be out in the open so they can collaboratively build the story together. I think there can be solutions to identifying spells for the purpose of reactions, but the description of the rule needs to meld the player/DM knowledge with the creature's knowledge of the situation. Personally, I let everyone know what spell is being cast if they have seen the spell before. It either needs to be in a spell book, in their prepared spell list, or the casting witnessed by them. This means that spells are unknown usually once at most. This has worked at our table, and I am sure there are other solutions that have worked well, but I think this is one small spot where Xanathar's missed the mark.

That being said, I think there can be ways to incorporate deception into spellcasting if the player/DM and creature are discovering the information at the same time. I posted the work in progress Spellduelist feat for War of the Burning Sky in the other (much shorter) thread on this subject:

Spellduelist
Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell.
Thanks to extensive practice with dueling other spellcasters, you gain the following benefits:

* You can pretend to cast a spell as a bonus action. The spell must be on your spell list, and any onlooker who would use a reaction to you casting a spell - such as by attempting to counterspell, taking an attack of opportunity, or performing a readied action - must make a Wisdom (Insight) check contested by your Charisma (Deception) check to realize the deception, or their reaction is used upon a failure as if you had actually cast the spell. Opportunity attacks and readied actions are taken, and the reaction for counterspell is used but the spell slot is not as there is not a valid target. You have advantage on the Charisma (Deception) check. You cannot cast any other spell on this turn other than the spell you were pretending to cast or a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action. If you actually cast a spell this turn, anyone who wants to use a reaction must have decided to contest your deception and succeeded.
* You have advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks to determine if another spellduelist is pretending to cast a spell and Intelligence (Arcana) checks to identify a spell being cast.

This allows a spell duelist to fake out enemies. Going up against a Mage Slayer, they could pretend to cast a defensive spell, get hit, and then actually cast the spell so they do not have to worry about losing concentration. They can get someone to waste a counterspell or use their prepared action. These are the scenarios I have considered when a Spellduelist pretends to cast a spell as a bonus action:
1. If no one indicates they are going to react to the spell, they can actually cast the spell quickly, before anyone has a chance to react.
2. If creatures react because you faked them out, they burn their reaction early. Attacks of opportunity and readied actions are used. The spell slot for counterspell is not used because there was not a valid target, but the reaction is used. The spellduelist can then cast the faked spell or a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.
3. Any creatures who were willing to risk losing/using their reaction at the "wrong" time but figure out the deception do not have to use their reaction but are ready for the quick casting afterward if it comes. These are the only creatures who are then able to use their reaction when the Spellduelist actually casts a spell that turn.

I think this works because everything is out in the open and the risk is distributed among the players and the DM regardless of who controls the Spellduelist. Additionally, the choices of the player/DM mirror that of the creature. A Spellduelist, like the controlling player/DM, can fake out creatures to get them to commit to something and then choose to do something else. If they fail to deceive anyone, they can still go through with the spell knowing that their enemies are ready for it or choose another course of action to avoid the chance of something like counterspell foiling their spell.

I think any sort of official option or house rule on identifying spells and reacting to them needs to try to have a similar matching of the player/DM and creature's knowledge and discovery where possible.
 
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You think I'm offended? You have much too high an opinion of yourself. :)

You are the one who is saying that "sure the rule adds a new exploit, but that's only a problem if you or your players are morally inferior".

I'm not offended - I find this highly amusing. :)

At this point, Fanaelielae should be offended. Your responses have been nothing but condescending and manipulative.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
At this point, Fanaelielae should be offended. Your responses have been nothing but condescending and manipulative.

And now you are deciding when other people should be offended. That's not manipulative at all. :hmm:

Please don't try to stir up trouble days after I've forgotten about whatever it is you are trying judge me for. Thank you.
 




And now you are deciding when other people should be offended. That's not manipulative at all. :hmm:

Please don't try to stir up trouble days after I've forgotten about whatever it is you are trying judge me for. Thank you.

There is nothing manipulative about trying to nudge someone toward more civil discourse. But point taken, I will begin reporting your disrespectful posts instead.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I am so going to get a "forced ignore" script written. Both of you, please ignore the other. You're both butting heads, reporting each other, and neither of you is blameless. Just knock it off, please.
 

I am so going to get a "forced ignore" script written. Both of you, please ignore the other. You're both butting heads, reporting each other, and neither of you is blameless. Just knock it off, please.

"Just knock it off, please," was my point in the first place. I was reporting Caliban because he has violated the site rules, by making personal attacks, ascribing motives to others, taking cheap shots, and otherwise--though, in point of fact, he blocked me before I could report all of the posts that I might have.

As you say that I am also to blame, I would appreciate being told how I have violated the site rules.
 

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