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Curmudgeon
2008-01-14, 07:19 PM
The following essay is a result of my trying to figure out how to protect a spellcaster from having all their ongoing spells dispelled. Since every dispel check involves comparing the result against the caster level used for an ongoing spell, a really high CL is all you need. But that's not a very practical solution.

Dispel Magic and its cousins aren't stopped by spell resistance. An area dispel, which stops once it dispels a single spell on you, can be addressed by getting a bunch of Magic Mouth spells cast on you at levels higher than all the spells you care about, with triggers like "Look -- it's a flying whale!" You can get good protection by paying NPC casters for this spell, at various CLs. You won't guarantee that your good buffs won't be dispelled, but you can make it more likely that a Magic Mouth will go instead.

The biggest problem is the targeted dispel, which will cycle through all your ongoing spells, potentially wiping out many or all of them with a single casting.

One approach to avoiding targeted dispels is to just make your character difficult or impossible to target. With total concealment you can't be targeted, so Invisibility or an unbeatable Hide check will do the trick. Deeper Darkness runs for days, and gives you 20% concealment within its radius. If you read the spell exactly as written, the spell creates the shadowy illumination inside its area, and this illumination doesn't extend past the 60' radius -- meaning you have total concealment from outside. A simple Ebon Eyes spell makes this concealment not impair you. Other magic, like a Cloak of Displacement, can provide miss chances that aren't from concealment, so they stack with those from actual concealment. Illusions like Mirror Image can make picking a target have a very low likelihood of success.

Most protections against particular spells, such as Spell Immunity, work by effectively making spell resistance infinite. As Dispel Magic ignores SR, that's no help. You can get real immunity to a single spell if you're wielding a Spellblade weapon (Magic of Faerun page 141): the wielder is immune to a single spell chosen at the time the weapon is created. But then which spell do you choose?

Dispel Magic
Slashing Dispel (PH2)
Dispel Magic, Greater
Reaving Dispel (Spell Compendium)
Chain Dispel (PH2)
Dispelling Breath (Spell Compendium)
Dispelling Screen (Spell Compendium)
Dispelling Screen, Greater (Spell Compendium)
(Special consideration should also be given to Reciprocal Gyre (Spell Compendium) here. It doesn't dispel your ongoing spells, but it functions like a dispel effect except it damages you for each spell instead.) Protecting from just one of these spells isn't enough.

If you can afford them, Lavender & Green Ioun Stones will do very well, absorbing targeted spells up to 8th level. This should work on all of these dispels except for Reaving Dispel -- until you burn out the Ioun Stone.

Maybe the best answer is to just be ready to counterspell. Normally counterspelling is next to useless, requiring you to use up your standard action each round just in case. But there are a few ways of improving on this default, including:
Duelward (Spell Compendium) lets you counterspell as an immediate action.
With Battlemagic Perception (Heroes of Battle) you sense any spell/SLA within 100' automatically, and can counterspell as a free action.
The Reactive Counterspell feat (Player's Guide to Faerun) will let you counterspell without preparation, at the expense of your next turn.
As long as you can counterspell when needed, and you're ready with your own Greater Dispel Magic, that might be enough.

How do we change that might to will? There are a few ways. A big part of a dispel check -- on both sides -- is the caster level. Dispel Magic tops out the caster level part of the check at 10; Greater Dispel Magic makes that limit 20; and Chain Dispel puts the limit at 25. There are various ways to boost your CL generally, including the following:
Practiced Spellcaster feat (Complete Arcane/Complete Divine): +4 CL, up to the limit of your HD
Orange Ioun stone: +1 CL
Candle of Invocation: +2 CL for a Cleric while it burns
Bead of Karma: +4 CL for a divine caster, for 10 minutes daily
Ankh of Ascension (Magic Item Compendium): +4 divine CL if you sacrifice another divine spell
Ring of Arcane Might (Magic Item Compendium): +1 arcane CL
Create Magic Tattoo spell: +1 CL/24 hours; takes 100 gp and 10 min
The Tome of the Stilled Tongue: relic of Vecna (Complete Divine) that grants a permanent +2 CL (at the cost of -2 CON) There are also a few things that specifically bump up the caster level part of your dispel check:
The Elven Spell Lore feat (PH2) grants +2 CL only for Dispel Magic or Greater Dispel Magic.
The Clerical Purification domain (Spell Compendium) lets you cast Abjuration spells (which includes all these dispels) at +1 CL.
Still, as I mentioned earlier, the caster level part of the dispel computation is always limited. Once you hit that 10/20/25 CL limit, you're done. So we need ways to increase your dispel check that are independent of the caster level check. Luckily, I've found a few:
The Clerical Inquisition domain gives +4 to dispel checks.
A Dispelling Cord (Magic Item Compendium) gives +2 to each check, limited to 5 uses per day.
The Spellcaster's Bane spell (Complete Mage) provides a +2 insight bonus to dispel checks, and to caster level checks made to counterspell.
There's just one piece of the dispel formula left: the d20. Here the feat Maximize Spell (or Sudden Maximize, or Incense of Meditation, or any other equivalent technique) is essential. All that work of bumping up the caster level and other parts of your dispel check can be negated by the difference between rolling a 1 and rolling a 20 on your dispel check. Adding Maximize to your Greater Dispel Magic (bumping the spell to a 9th level slot) is the single greatest technique you can use to ensure you can counterspell anything that comes at you, and protect your ongoing spells.

To be ready to counterspell I advise crafting yourself a Staff of Dispelling. You'll need Craft Staff, Greater Dispel Magic, and Maximize Spell. Your result should be a staff that's priced based on caster level 11 (the minimum for Greater Dispel Magic), but which can be used at your effective caster level with all boosts applied. Not only does this staff give you the best counterspelling protection to save your own spells, it's also your greatest weapon to remove the defenses your enemies have erected against you.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-14, 07:40 PM
I think you covered it pretty well.

Ring of Spell Turning and Counterspells might also provide limited protection.

FinalJustice
2008-01-14, 07:45 PM
Ring of Enduring Arcana (CMage), your CL counts as four higher for effects of dispelling or countering against your spells.

Ring of Counterspelling (put Dispel Magic here)
Quartestaff 2x Spellblade (since it's a double weapon, each side must be enchanted separatedly.) Put Greater Dispel here, since it's the most common spell used for the job, and Chain Dispel, it's the most dangerous, because the CL bonus goes until +25, which is not nice.
Pump your CL.
Celerity out of the other ones, or get some way to use more rings and put more Counterspelling rings.

If you feel you REALLY should protect yourself, get another quartestaff (or another double weapon of your preference), stick two more spellblades and animate it, either by a spell or enchantment. Yeah, I know, it's ridiculous, but's effective nonetheless.

If it's not FR, forget Spellblade, stick with the rings, celerity and prayer, lots of it. Being dispelled sucks hard.

For a semi-off-topic question:
Are you guys sure that Maximize Spell actually works on a Dispel Magic?!?! I don't really think it works this way.

Curmudgeon
2008-01-14, 08:02 PM
Yes, Lord_Silvanos, I considered Spell Turning and the Ring of Spell Turning, and found both of limited help. The spell has a variable effect: 7-10 (1d4+6) spell levels are affected by the turning. Since the exact number is rolled secretly (i.e., by the DM), you'd need to Maximize the spell to have reliable protection, and that gets us up into Epic spell levels. The Ring has a fixed number of levels (9), but it only operates on command 3 times daily. The total duration is reasonable, but because it's ineffective when you're surprised I'd call it overpriced for 98,280 gp.

The Ring of Counterspells has a different limitation: as written, it only counters exactly the spell put into it. This is much more restrictive than general counterspelling with Greater Dispel Magic. So if you've got the available ring slot it can't hurt to use, but it's not going to be effective against Chain Dispel or Reaving Dispel. I'd consider this one backup protection only.

FinalJustice, Maximize Spell does indeed work with Dispel Magic:
Maximize Spell [Metamagic]

Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of a spell modified by this feat are maximized. Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables. A maximized spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spellís actual level. The dispel check is a "variable, numeric effect of a spell". It's just a different type of variable effect than you're used to considering.

FinalJustice
2008-01-14, 08:28 PM
Are you sure checks count as an effect of the spell? Coudn't you, based on this logic, maximize the attack rolls, since they're, variable numeric effects of the spells?

Edit: For mispelling reasons, as most of my edits, sorry :smallbiggrin:

Chronos
2008-01-14, 10:13 PM
A dispel check isn't an effect of the spell. The effect of Dispel Magic or the like is to dispel a spell (or not, if it fails). The dispel check isn't the effect, it's just a way of determining what the effect is (dispelling, or nothing).

Crow
2008-01-14, 10:30 PM
I'll chime in on the Maximize/Dispel Check thing;

It doesn't work that way. You can't maximize the caster level check granted to you from a Dispel Magic spell. You can take 10 though if you have Arcane Mastery.

FinalJustice
2008-01-14, 11:04 PM
Is there any spell you can use for turning weapons into dancing weapons? It would be useful to have that whole lot of Spellbladed quarterstaves. Would that work?

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-15, 03:18 AM
Yes, Lord_Silvanos, I considered Spell Turning and the Ring of Spell Turning, ... [Limitations considered in detail] ...

I agree completely. I just thought that since your treatment was so comprehensive they at least deserved to be mentioned.

Keld Denar
2008-01-15, 11:00 AM
No one has mentioned a Ring of Spellbattle. I don't remember the source, but I remember it giving you something like a continuous Battlemagic Perception or something like that.

Someone mentioned Ring of Enduring Arcana from CMage already. Add it to the list. Its great to put on in the morning when you cast your daily buffs, then swap out for a more useful ring.

Arcane Thesis gives you +2 CL to your studied spell.

Heighten Spell + Earth Spell can be used to jack you CL WAY up. I have a buddy who uses this combo on his ScMage to hit CL 20 for his GMW for my fighter. Being level 13 with a +5 enhancement bonus (total of +7) is fun.

EDIT:
Divine Spell Power allows you to add your turn check to you CL. This can result in up to a +4 CL, and with a bit of gear and tweaking, can be pretty consistant.

Some domains grant +CL bonuses to specific spells. Off the top of my head, the alignment domains (good/evil/law/chaos) healing, oracle, and summoning all give +1 CL with specific spells.

nargbop
2008-01-15, 05:41 PM
Ring of Spell Battle from Complete Arcane. You'll have to work out with your DM how the particulars work, but from the description, it seems that you can attempt to counterspell any spell within a certain range.

This doesn't improve "might counter" to "will counter" but takes away the category of spells "cast on you but you didn't notice".

nargbop
2008-01-15, 05:46 PM
Ninja'd !

Also, take a look at Contingency spells. Situation : dispel magic is cast on you. Response : dispel right back at them, or use a stronger spell. Situation : reciprocal gyre is cast on you. Etc., etc...
This method could be very, very expensive.

marjan
2008-01-15, 05:49 PM
Elder Giant Magic(SoX) - Cast additional rounds to increase CL by number of additional rounds you cast up to 3.
Mysterious Magic(SoX) - +2 DC for dispell checks.
Moderate School Esoterica(Conjuration) - +5 (or 4?) to DC to dispell your conjuration spells.

Also there is spell in SC (4th lvl Transmutation, don't remember name) that increases your CL by one for next spell.

Craft Magic Tatoo (SC) which you included already.

Curmudgeon
2008-01-15, 08:47 PM
Someone mentioned Ring of Enduring Arcana from CMage already. Add it to the list. Its great to put on in the morning when you cast your daily buffs, then swap out for a more useful ring. Actually, this doesn't seem like a great idea to me.
Activation: A ring of enduring arcana remains active constantly, as long as it is worn. When first donned, however, it requires 24 hours to acclimate to the wearer before it functions. Does "the wearer" reset every time you take this Ring off? After all, you're not wearing it any longer, so it seems like you no longer qualify as "the wearer". This means that it's never going to be effective again with your prescribed wear schedule.

Second, even apart from the 24 hour acclimatization issue, this won't work at all.
Effect: You are considered four levels higher than your actual caster level whenever another character attempts to dispel or counter one of your spells. That's whenever they try to dispel it, not whenever you prepare it. You need to be wearing the Ring at the time of the dispel attempt, or it does nothing.
Is there any spell you can use for turning weapons into dancing weapons? It would be useful to have that whole lot of Spellbladed quarterstaves. Would that work? Theoretically yes, but because there aren't many suitable spells it would be difficult in practice. The Magic of Faerun language is very particular in that the spell immunity only applies to the wielder. The same book has the Steeldance spell, which works on a pair of daggers, but it treats them as animated objects rather than a weapon with the dancing special ability.
Dancing

As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops. While dancing, it cannot make attacks of opportunity, and the person who activated it is not considered armed with the weapon. In all other respects, it is considered wielded or attended by the creature for all maneuvers and effects that target items. So these spell-animated daggers don't qualify as being weilded. Just holding a double weapon in one hand doesn't qualify as wielding, either, but the dancing approach is quite limited: either you use the existing weapon enhancement with its short duration, or else all that's left is the Dancing Blade spell in Complete Arcane -- which is only for Wu Jen.

The DMG weapon special ability is available to all, but you'd need to have an opponent for the dancing spellblade weapon to attack to gain the benefit, and then after 4 rounds you'd need to pick each weapon up from where it dropped. Multiple weapons would take multiple standard actions to start dancing.

I think having 4 or more arms and using Multiweapon Fighting with spellblade weapons would be the best approach to gaining real immunity to many of the dispels. This choice will have significant repercussions apart from improved protection against dispels, though, so I wouldn't advise it without careful consideration.

Person_Man
2008-01-16, 11:41 AM
Excellent compilation Curmudgeon.

Here's something that you may wish to add - Casters trying to negate spells cast by the Suel Arcanamach add 6 to the DC required to dispel them. Sadly its a half caster PrC with its own list, not a caster progression PrC. But if you're making a Gish who's particularly worried about having his spells dispelled, Suel Arcanamach with Practiced Spellcaster might be the way to go.

The only other thing I have to add is that optimizing any facet of D&D past a certain point is useless. No matter how well you protect yourself against Dispel effects, your DM will still find a way to challenge you. He'll either find a loophole that you missed, or he'll just throw something that's as buffed as you are at you. And its good for a DM to do this occasionally, because it keeps the game interesting and fun. (If he does this for most encounters, then he's just being a jerk, using his omniscience to thwart you).

Again though, well done.

Tehnar
2008-01-16, 07:10 PM
I would like to add you can use the Divine spell power feat (CDiv) to improve your caster lvl check if you are a cleric.

Tyndmyr
2010-11-02, 08:40 PM
Ring of Counterspelling (put Dispel Magic here)[/quote]

These are what I use. They're core, they're inexpensive, they're practical, and they can easily be swapped out for another spell if you like.

So, once your CL gets high enough that vanilla dispel magics are no longer a major concern(around CL 25), you can swap it out to a more dangerous threat. Wearing two or more of these is not excessive. Some spells come up a great deal more than others.

Generic spell defenses also help, such as globe of invulnerability.

Making yourself hard to target, or hard to connect with(ie, spells like blink) are also good generic defenses, and should be used regardless.

I haven't seen mention of the best offense yet, though...the Iot7v capstone, Kaleidoscopic Doom. All the fun of greater dispel magic, plus after the dispelling, horrible things happen to them.

Synapse
2010-11-02, 08:50 PM
Dispelling Buffer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/dispellingBuffer.htm)(kineticist/psychic warrior 6) gives all your spells a +5 against the check. Against targeted dispels it will also be the last to go, protecting all your spells.

Marnath
2010-11-02, 09:13 PM
Wearing two or more of these is not excessive. Some spells come up a great deal more than others.

There is no "or more" with rings. You can only use two at a time. :smallconfused:

Innis Cabal
2010-11-02, 09:17 PM
There is no "or more" with rings. You can only use two at a time. :smallconfused:

Not true, considering there is a feat to let you wear more.

true_shinken
2010-11-02, 09:21 PM
Not true, considering there is a feat to let you wear more.

And the hand of glory, of course.
I believe the most you can get is a total of 5 rings.

jumpet
2010-11-02, 09:39 PM
I favour the ring of counterspells. Its dirt cheap, which means it fine addition to add to other rings via forge ring feat.

BeholderSlayer
2010-11-02, 09:48 PM
I prefer Spellblades, as per the OP, for single-target effects. You can have a fairly vast array of them. Weapon, armor spikes, spiked gauntlets, shield spikes, sleeve blades, boot blades, elbow blades, and knee blades, possibly even more. With just one regular weapon, that's 13 spells that you are immune to. At only 8000 gp a pop, they are incredible.

For AoE dispels, there's nothing better than the good old shrunken adamantine cone/lead lined basket hat. Speak the command word yourself, or have your familiar speak it when you identify an area dispel coming your way via Spellcraft.

Tyndmyr
2010-11-02, 10:01 PM
Spellblades are probably better if ring slots become precious, and you get to the point where you'd rather invest a few thousand gold than spare a feat, or an item slot. Or you think it probable that you'll face a great number of dispels on the same round.

In practice, I've never had that come up. I've always had something else that was more pressing to buy at the time.

JeminiZero
2010-11-02, 10:17 PM
You can get real immunity to a single spell if you're wielding a Spellblade weapon (Magic of Faerun page 141): the wielder is immune to a single spell chosen at the time the weapon is created. But then which spell do you choose?

Dispel Magic
Slashing Dispel (PH2)
Dispel Magic, Greater
Reaving Dispel (Spell Compendium)
Chain Dispel (PH2)
Dispelling Breath (Spell Compendium)
Dispelling Screen (Spell Compendium)
Dispelling Screen, Greater (Spell Compendium)


A few points of note:
-Spell-Theft is missing from the list.
-Full Psionics-Magics transparency includes items. Hence you can make Spellblades against psi-powers as well, including Dispel Psionics
-Nothing in Spellblade entry limits you to carrying 1 spellblade at a time. With a Great-Axe, enchanting the Axe's blunt end, adding animated shield with shield spikes, and Armor Spikes, you could pack 4 spellblades at once.
-And with a little imagination, you could apply Spellblades to the concealed weapons from Complete Scoundrel, so with the right setup, you could very well gain immunity to ALL the above. This incidentally also works well with the stack defending weapons (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9319436&postcount=8) trick

Keld Denar
2010-11-02, 10:36 PM
Wow...I actually remember posting in this thread...2 years ago. Y'all need to check post dates...

Inc lock!

Tyndmyr
2010-11-02, 10:39 PM
How the heck? I haven't browsed off page 1 today. That's just weird.

BeholderSlayer
2010-11-02, 11:13 PM
Wow...I actually remember posting in this thread...2 years ago. Y'all need to check post dates...

Inc lock!

I knew it was that old, already, as I chanced across it while making a build a few weeks ago.

I do think that the information is useful, though, and the mods should overlook the necro rule for this one. Just my personal opinion.

Boci
2010-11-03, 01:23 AM
How the heck? I haven't browsed off page 1 today. That's just weird.

It could have been bumped by someone else who then deleted their post.