View Full Version : How does contigency work?

2008-03-18, 09:54 AM
OK so I have been trying to convince my dad (DM) that contigency is an instantaneous effect when the conditions of the spell are met. Say you have a contigency timestop on being the target of a necromancy spell. THen someone decides to try and hit you with vampiric touch. I thought that as soon as the other guy marks you as the target your timestop goes off and you get your actions.

My dad thinks that you would take partial damage and then your spell would complete and your rounds would take place.

Are we both wrong?

Also with his NPC generator for TOS he managed to produce a taser...a merciful shocking burst hand crossbow. :smalltongue:

2008-03-18, 09:57 AM
Contingency can only work with lvl 6 spells or less. But other than that, it's like a continuous readied action as detailed in the PHB or SRD.

2008-03-18, 09:59 AM
From the SRD

Level: Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S, M, F
Casting Time: At least 10 minutes; see text
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: One day/level (D) or until discharged

You can place another spell upon your person so that it comes into effect under some condition you dictate when casting contingency. The contingency spell and the companion spell are cast at the same time. The 10-minute casting time is the minimum total for both castings; if the companion spell has a casting time longer than 10 minutes, use that instead.

The spell to be brought into effect by the contingency must be one that affects your person and be of a spell level no higher than one-third your caster level (rounded down, maximum 6th level).

The conditions needed to bring the spell into effect must be clear, although they can be general. In all cases, the contingency immediately brings into effect the companion spell, the latter being “cast” instantaneously when the prescribed circumstances occur. If complicated or convoluted conditions are prescribed, the whole spell combination (contingency and the companion magic) may fail when called on. The companion spell occurs based solely on the stated conditions, regardless of whether you want it to.

You can use only one contingency spell at a time; if a second is cast, the first one (if still active) is dispelled.

Material Component
That of the companion spell, plus quicksilver and an eyelash of an ogre mage, rakshasa, or similar spell-using creature.

A statuette of you carved from elephant ivory and decorated with gems (worth at least 1,500 gp). You must carry the focus for the contingency to work.

Emphasis mine... if you word it to be "When you are the target of a necromancy spell" it would occur before the spell casting, but if you word it "when you are affected by a necromancy spell" it would be after the spell goes off.... at least, that's how I interpret it.

2008-03-18, 10:33 AM
I'd specify "hostile necromancy spell" if I were you. There are a number of beneficial necromancy spells.

2008-03-18, 12:48 PM
Like SamTheCleric said, it happend when, meaning that it's the same time, so eveything works at once. It's not an readied action.

Actually, "being targeted" means that the effect goes off even if the spell is not really cast. The guy is just targeting you.
It's like when someone makes a contigency "when I'm attacked, but before taking damage." Some people will say it's valid, but I think it's not. At worst, someone just need to *start* attacking you, and the effect is activated. I don't think that being hit and taking damage are different enough conditions for this spell.

2008-03-18, 12:51 PM
I'd specify "hostile necromancy spell" if I were you. There are a number of beneficial necromancy spells.

Player: I cast Extended False Life...
DM: Ok, I think that sets off your contingency.
Player: Oh sh*t I forgot about that...
DM: What was it again?
Player: ... Prismatic Ray.
DM: Oh right. Roll me a d8 please.