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Adjudicating Readied Actions

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Anonymous
June 9, 2005 8:40:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Something came up that made be think about some of the issues not fully
explored by the ready action. Exactly how much control does a readier have
over when their action takes place and exactly what can an interrupted
character do about it? The issue almost came up during our game and an
innovative piece of play allowed a party of 12th level characters to
overcome an ~EL 18 encounter without a single PC casualty.

Allow me to explain. First a little background. The PCs are at their
home base, a fortified large stone house in the middle of a compound and
are attacked by an organization they've been pissing off for a while now.
The force against them is composed of 20 bonded undead warriors (custom
monster, tough fast zombies who can be directly controlled CR 7) a 14th
level Wizard and his 3 10th level subordinates (also Wizards).

The Wizards do not intend to get directly involved in the fight but are
there to control their bonded warriors and overcome the magical alarms on
the compound. To cut a long story short and get to the relevant bit the
PCs manage to successfully "form up" and establish a bottle neck at the
top
of a stairway. Despite being unarmoured they gain the upper hand during
which time the party Sorceress (knowing the nature of the bonded warriors)
dimension doors to the roof top to see who is leading the attack. It is
dark and she is unobserved but spots the Mage and his assistants below.

While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle isn't
going as planned and have made their to the side of the house containing
the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.

Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to aim
through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the stairs.
Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
Force five foot in front of the Wizards.

I allow each Wizard a DC18 Listen check but they all fail and since WoF is
invisible I determine they are unaware of its existence (any successful
check would have brought the problem into play). The FB detonates
prematurely and either kills or renders unconscious each Wizard.

Now, what would have happened if any of the Wizards made the listen check?
Could the Sorceress have placed the wall as the Wizard completed the FB?
After he aims (at the end of the casting)? Or could the Wizard have
voluntarily aborted or reaimed the spell?

The rules say that the interruption occurs just before the actions that
trigger it but it seems a little tight to me to not allow the Sorceress to
kind of "delay" the completion of her own spell. Thoughts? Similar
experiences? Is this my liberal attitude to the ready action returning to
bite me on the ass?
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 8:40:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:
> While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle isn't
> going as planned and have made their to the side of the house containing
> the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
> upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.

I would rule that this is not specific enough of an "action" for the
purposes of readying. I would want to know *what* she was going
to do if the enemy started casting.
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 8:40:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:
> While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle isn't
> going as planned and have made their to the side of the house containing
> the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
> upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
>
> Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
> spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to aim
> through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the stairs.
> Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
> Force five foot in front of the Wizards.

Nope, this can't be done. You can't ready to "do something", you have
to ready a specific action. If the Sorceress readied to counterspell,
and then found that she was unable to counter the spell that was cast,
then her readied action wuld be lost.

The only way she would have been able to do this is say "I ready to
cast a Wall of Force in front of the guy as soon as he starts to cast a
spell," or even "I ready to cast a Wall of Force in front of the wizard
if he casts an area-attack spell." That would have worked.

Laszlo
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Anonymous
June 9, 2005 8:40:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

David Klassen wrote:
> Symbol wrote:
> > While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle isn't
> > going as planned and have made their to the side of the house containing
> > the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
> > upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
>
> I would rule that this is not specific enough of an "action" for the
> purposes of readying. I would want to know *what* she was going
> to do if the enemy started casting.

I agree, 'I ready to somehow disrupt their spellcasting' is far too
vague for my liking.
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 8:40:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

IHateLashknife@hotmail.com wrote:
> David Klassen wrote:
> > Symbol wrote:
> > > While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle isn't
> > > going as planned and have made their to the side of the house containing
> > > the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
> > > upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
> >
> > I would rule that this is not specific enough of an "action" for the
> > purposes of readying. I would want to know *what* she was going
> > to do if the enemy started casting.
>
> I agree, 'I ready to somehow disrupt their spellcasting' is far too
> vague for my liking.

Right. I've found that a good way to explain this to people is to have
them imagine a policeman holding a criminal at gunpoint, telling him to
"freeze, or I'll shoot!"

In that situation, the policeman has a readied action to shoot. That
readied action can trigger in a whole variety of situations: if the
criminal starts to run (in D&D terms, starts moving), if he goes for
his gun (takes a move action to retrieve an item), or whatever.

However, the readied action _itself_ is very specific. The policeman is
poised to shoot. If the robber starts to run, and the policeman wants
to do something other than shoot (like give chase), he can... but not
with his readied action. The "ready to shoot" stance is quite different
from the "ready to give chase" stance.

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 9:49:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
>
> Symbol wrote:
> > While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle isn't
> > going as planned and have made their to the side of the house containing
> > the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
> > upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
> >
> > Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
> > spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to aim
> > through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the stairs.
> > Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
> > Force five foot in front of the Wizards.
>
> Nope, this can't be done. You can't ready to "do something", you have
> to ready a specific action. If the Sorceress readied to counterspell,
> and then found that she was unable to counter the spell that was cast,
> then her readied action wuld be lost.

I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
specific action. However, counterspelling is really
just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
sorceress *should* have specified that she was readying
an action to interrupt spellcasting with a spell of her
own; that spell could then be cast as a counterspell or
(as it turned out) a Wall of Force.

So in this case, no harm, no foul.

-Bluto
Anonymous
June 9, 2005 9:50:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:
> Something came up that made be think about some of the issues not
> fully explored by the ready action. Exactly how much control does a
> readier have over when their action takes place and exactly what can
> an interrupted character do about it? The issue almost came up during
> our game and an innovative piece of play allowed a party of 12th
> level characters to overcome an ~EL 18 encounter without a single PC
> casualty.
>
> Allow me to explain. First a little background. The PCs are at their
> home base, a fortified large stone house in the middle of a compound
> and are attacked by an organization they've been pissing off for a
> while now. The force against them is composed of 20 bonded undead
> warriors (custom monster, tough fast zombies who can be directly
> controlled CR 7) a 14th level Wizard and his 3 10th level
> subordinates (also Wizards).
>
> The Wizards do not intend to get directly involved in the fight but
> are there to control their bonded warriors and overcome the magical
> alarms on the compound. To cut a long story short and get to the
> relevant bit the PCs manage to successfully "form up" and establish a
> bottle neck at the top
> of a stairway. Despite being unarmoured they gain the upper hand
> during which time the party Sorceress (knowing the nature of the
> bonded warriors) dimension doors to the roof top to see who is
> leading the attack. It is dark and she is unobserved but spots the
> Mage and his assistants below.
>
> While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle
> isn't going as planned and have made their to the side of the house
> containing the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything
> until called upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell
> casting.
>
> Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
> spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to
> aim through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the
> stairs. Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a
> Wall of Force five foot in front of the Wizards.

Given that "counterspell" is a well-documented Readied action, I'd tend to
rule that any broader set of options which includes "counterspell" can't be
readied - you'd need to be specific. In this particular case, I'd say that
the Sorceress would have to choose either counterspelling or casting a
specific spell as her Readied action.

That aside, I think you were perfectly reasonable. The Wizard must already
be well on his way into the spell in order for the Sorceress to have
anything to observe for her Spellcraft check, and then there's the time it
takes for the Sorceress to complete her spellcasting. I'd say having the
spells complete simultaneously - the Wall of Force popping into existence as
the Fireball leaves the mage's finger - is a reasonable resolution.

I wouldn't bother giving the caster a Listen check. He's concentrating on
his spell, and even if he does hear, he's likely to assume she's
counterspelling in any case.

--
Mark.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 1:29:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
> >
> > Symbol wrote:
> > > While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle isn't
> > > going as planned and have made their to the side of the house containing
> > > the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
> > > upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
> > >
> > > Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
> > > spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to aim
> > > through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the stairs.
> > > Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
> > > Force five foot in front of the Wizards.
> >
> > Nope, this can't be done. You can't ready to "do something", you have
> > to ready a specific action. If the Sorceress readied to counterspell,
> > and then found that she was unable to counter the spell that was cast,
> > then her readied action wuld be lost.
>
> I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
> specific action. However, counterspelling is really
> just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
> sorceress *should* have specified that she was readying
> an action to interrupt spellcasting with a spell of her
> own; that spell could then be cast as a counterspell or
> (as it turned out) a Wall of Force.

I believe you're mistaken, and I can see nothing in the rules or the
FAQ that would support your view. Counterspelling is _not_ a form of
the "cast a spell" action, it's listed as a separate action under Ready
actions (Ready to Counterspell).

The rules say you may counter a spell with an appropriate spell of your
own. It says nothing about being able to cast any other spells. And the
description of the Ready action makes it clear that you must "specify
the action you will take".

There are _plenty_ of game-breaking tricks with the Ready action
already, even if we stick to the RAW. There's really no need to make it
any more powerful.

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 2:17:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
>
> Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> >
> > I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
> > specific action. However, counterspelling is really
> > just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
> > sorceress *should* have specified that she was readying
> > an action to interrupt spellcasting with a spell of her
> > own; that spell could then be cast as a counterspell or
> > (as it turned out) a Wall of Force.
>
> I believe you're mistaken, and I can see nothing in the rules or the
> FAQ that would support your view. Counterspelling is _not_ a form of
> the "cast a spell" action,

"To complete the [counterspelling] action, you must
then cast the correct spell." (PHB, p.170.) I don't
know how else you would accomplish that.

> it's listed as a separate action under Ready
> actions (Ready to Counterspell).

That doesn't mean the authors intended for it to be
treated as separate and distinct from the general rules
(and nowhere does it mention this being a separate
"action"), just that it's a complicated enough maneuver
that most people are going to need the procedure neatly
summarized for them.

Look, the simple question is: if you have enough time
to figure out what the appropriate counterspell is and
cast it, why wouldn't you be able to choose and cast
any *other* 1-action spell in that amount of time?

> The rules say you may counter a spell with an appropriate spell of your
> own. It says nothing about being able to cast any other spells.

Well, of course you can't *counter* a spell with just
"any other" spell! We're not talking about that.
We're talking about readying a "Cast a Spell" action,
and using that spell to interrupt someone else's
spell--either by counterspelling it, or simply by
getting your own off first.

> And the
> description of the Ready action makes it clear that you must "specify
> the action you will take".

Yes. CAST A SPELL is an action.

> There are _plenty_ of game-breaking tricks with the Ready action
> already, even if we stick to the RAW. There's really no need to make it
> any more powerful.

I don't think this is going to break anyone's game, and
I believe it *is* the RAW.

-Bluto
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 7:21:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:
> Everything I've read on counterspelling either states or implies
> that is a variant form of casting the spell normally. Only the effect is
> different.

It's an interesting theory but I don't believe that's what the
designers had in mind. There's no conclusive proof that I can find,
it's just the way they describe things. For example, under
Counterspells in the SRD: Magic Overview

"To use a counterspell, you must select an opponent as the target of
the counterspell. You do this by choosing the ready action. In doing
so, you elect to wait to complete your action until your opponent tries
to cast a spell."

Makes it sound like it's very specific and in no way just an extension
of readying to cast a spell. Also, it says you have to choose a target
for the counterspell - but as there was no counterspell in this case
then how could there have been a target?

Note also that, in your example, there seems to be no selecting of a
single opponent as the target - the sorceress just seems to be
targetting every opponent she can see. But maybe she realised somehow
that one of them was the 'boss mage' and decided to concentrate on
them?

A little later on:
"To complete the action, you must then cast the correct spell."

Makes it sound like Counterspell is the action, and not cast a spell.
it also used this 'complete your action' wording above as well - it
seems to suggest that you get ready to counterspell and that the reason
it works is that you just have to finish the last bit off.

As I say, none of this is 100% conclusive, but it does seem to be how
the designers envisioned it working IMO.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 11:03:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
> specific action. However, counterspelling is really
> just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The

And, as DM, my question would have been "What spell?"

I'd allow *some* leeway for counterspelling since you can't
predetermine that. But what you are doing is watching to
figure out the nature of the spell and reacting either with
the same spell or dispel magic (and I would have the player
not which, allowing a fallback to dispel if the former was
the choice).

The point is that ready is not supposed to require lots of
complex thought at the time of the interruption.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 1:07:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"David Klassen" <klassen@rowan.edu> wrote in message
news:1118334343.173196.155500@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Symbol wrote:
> > While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle
isn't
> > going as planned and have made their to the side of the house
containing
> > the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until
called
> > upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
>
> I would rule that this is not specific enough of an "action" for the
> purposes of readying. I would want to know *what* she was going
> to do if the enemy started casting.

Specifically she was preparing a spell casting action. Sorry if I didn't
make that clear enough.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 1:10:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

<laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu> wrote in message
news:1118334842.808234.205870@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Symbol wrote:
> > While this is going on the controlling Wizards realize the battle
isn't
> > going as planned and have made their to the side of the house
containing
> > the staircase. The Sorceress determines not to do anything until
called
> > upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
> >
> > Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
> > spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to
aim
> > through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the
stairs.
> > Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
> > Force five foot in front of the Wizards.
>
> Nope, this can't be done. You can't ready to "do something", you have
> to ready a specific action. If the Sorceress readied to counterspell,
> and then found that she was unable to counter the spell that was cast,
> then her readied action wuld be lost.

I don't agree with your interpretation but I'll come to that later as SB
has already started.

> The only way she would have been able to do this is say "I ready to
> cast a Wall of Force in front of the guy as soon as he starts to cast a
> spell," or even "I ready to cast a Wall of Force in front of the wizard
> if he casts an area-attack spell." That would have worked.

That specificity goes *well* beyond what the rules require. But let's
assume for the sake of argument that this *is* what was said. What options
would the interupter and interuptee have with regard to the timing of the
wall placement or reaiming etc?
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 1:22:14 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Senator Blutarsky" <monarchy@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:42A92255.A5FFB846@comcast.net...
> laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:
> >
> > Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> > >
> > > I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
> > > specific action.

Note that casting a spell was the prepared action in this case. I just
didn't explain it very well as I was more interested in the
timing/completion/reaiming issues.

> > > However, counterspelling is really
> > > just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
> > > sorceress *should* have specified that she was readying
> > > an action to interrupt spellcasting with a spell of her
> > > own; that spell could then be cast as a counterspell or
> > > (as it turned out) a Wall of Force.
> >
> > I believe you're mistaken, and I can see nothing in the rules or the
> > FAQ that would support your view. Counterspelling is _not_ a form of
> > the "cast a spell" action,
>
> "To complete the [counterspelling] action, you must
> then cast the correct spell." (PHB, p.170.) I don't
> know how else you would accomplish that.

Nor I. Everything I've read on counterspelling either states or implies
that is a variant form of casting the spell normally. Only the effect is
different.

> > it's listed as a separate action under Ready
> > actions (Ready to Counterspell).
>
> That doesn't mean the authors intended for it to be
> treated as separate and distinct from the general rules
> (and nowhere does it mention this being a separate
> "action"), just that it's a complicated enough maneuver
> that most people are going to need the procedure neatly
> summarized for them.

Right.

> Look, the simple question is: if you have enough time
> to figure out what the appropriate counterspell is and
> cast it, why wouldn't you be able to choose and cast
> any *other* 1-action spell in that amount of time?

Exactly.

> > The rules say you may counter a spell with an appropriate spell of
your
> > own. It says nothing about being able to cast any other spells.
>
> Well, of course you can't *counter* a spell with just
> "any other" spell! We're not talking about that.
> We're talking about readying a "Cast a Spell" action,
> and using that spell to interrupt someone else's
> spell--either by counterspelling it, or simply by
> getting your own off first.

Also remember the Improved Counterspell feat which allows you to
subsititute a whole host of other spells in a counter attempt. You get to
choose which one of those you'd use so it isn't like being forced into a
specific choice somehow speeds things up.

> > And the
> > description of the Ready action makes it clear that you must "specify
> > the action you will take".
>
> Yes. CAST A SPELL is an action.
>
> > There are _plenty_ of game-breaking tricks with the Ready action
> > already, even if we stick to the RAW. There's really no need to make
it
> > any more powerful.
>
> I don't think this is going to break anyone's game, and
> I believe it *is* the RAW.

I don't even thing Ready is that powerful given that it restricts you from
making Full Round Actions. Using Lazlo's strict criteria is hardly seems
worth bothering with.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 1:28:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Mark Blunden" <m.blundenATntlworld.com@address.invalid> wrote in message
news:3graa2FdreqoU1@individual.net...
> Symbol wrote:

> Given that "counterspell" is a well-documented Readied action, I'd tend
to
> rule that any broader set of options which includes "counterspell" can't
be
> readied - you'd need to be specific.

"Cast a Spell" includes counterspelling attempts. Counterspelling isn't an
action. The spellcraft skill makes it clear that identifying the spell is
free and then you simply cast an appropriate spell at the right time. As
SB says it has its own section because it requires a more complete
explaination but various sources confirm that you are basically casting a
spell.

> That aside, I think you were perfectly reasonable. The Wizard must
already
> be well on his way into the spell in order for the Sorceress to have
> anything to observe for her Spellcraft check, and then there's the time
it
> takes for the Sorceress to complete her spellcasting. I'd say having the
> spells complete simultaneously - the Wall of Force popping into
existence as
> the Fireball leaves the mage's finger - is a reasonable resolution.

Ok cool. I thought it seemed reasonable at the time and thinking about it
hasn't changed my mind. It also struck me as a damn fine idea which
inclines me to be more lenient anyway.

> I wouldn't bother giving the caster a Listen check. He's concentrating
on
> his spell, and even if he does hear, he's likely to assume she's
> counterspelling in any case.

Well he wasn't aware of the sorceress' presence and neither were his
minions (who at that point were just standing around and could have made
themselves more useful).
June 10, 2005 3:28:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

>> I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
>> specific action. However, counterspelling is really
>> just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
>
> And, as DM, my question would have been "What spell?"
>
Why?

> I'd allow *some* leeway for counterspelling since you can't
> predetermine that. But what you are doing is watching to
> figure out the nature of the spell and reacting either with
> the same spell or dispel magic (and I would have the player
> not which, allowing a fallback to dispel if the former was
> the choice).
>
Which'd be a lot trickier and more complex than firing off another handy
spell that needn't match your target's.

> The point is that ready is not supposed to require lots of
> complex thought at the time of the interruption.
>
But counterspelling does.

Spinner
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 3:44:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

<IHateLashknife@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1118398866.708036.211720@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Symbol wrote:
> > Everything I've read on counterspelling either states or implies
> > that is a variant form of casting the spell normally. Only the effect
is
> > different.
>
> It's an interesting theory but I don't believe that's what the
> designers had in mind. There's no conclusive proof that I can find,
> it's just the way they describe things. For example, under
> Counterspells in the SRD: Magic Overview
>
> "To use a counterspell, you must select an opponent as the target of
> the counterspell. You do this by choosing the ready action. In doing
> so, you elect to wait to complete your action until your opponent tries
> to cast a spell."
>
> Makes it sound like it's very specific and in no way just an extension
> of readying to cast a spell.

That isn't the way I read the section. It is simply informing you of
something you can do and how you do it.

> Also, it says you have to choose a target
> for the counterspell - but as there was no counterspell in this case
> then how could there have been a target?

Or does it mean that you cannot counterspell unless there is a valid
target or is it establishing the fact that you must be in range of the
actual caster (rather than their spell) in order to counter it? You're
talking about an introductory section here. An introduction to the concept
of counterspelling.

> Note also that, in your example, there seems to be no selecting of a
> single opponent as the target - the sorceress just seems to be
> targetting every opponent she can see. But maybe she realised somehow
> that one of them was the 'boss mage' and decided to concentrate on
> them?

No, just waiting for spell casting. As I said in the opening post I have a
very liberal view towards Readying, I don't think it is meant to be too
specific.

> A little later on:
> "To complete the action, you must then cast the correct spell."

This would be more convincing if it wasn't just repeating rules from other
sections and combining them into a complete explanation. (Ready ->
Spellcraft -> Cast the spell.)

> Makes it sound like Counterspell is the action, and not cast a spell.
> it also used this 'complete your action' wording above as well - it
> seems to suggest that you get ready to counterspell and that the reason
> it works is that you just have to finish the last bit off.
>
> As I say, none of this is 100% conclusive, but it does seem to be how
> the designers envisioned it working IMO.

On the other hand a lot of the regular spell casting rules still apply to
counterspelling and the designers don't bother to point this out so it is
possible that they consider it as nothing more than an extension of normal
spell casting. It also doesn't have a separate entry on the action table
(unlike concentrating on or dismissing a spell) and it isn't discussed in
the corresponding text either.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 5:58:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:
> "Mark Blunden" <m.blundenATntlworld.com@address.invalid> wrote in
> message news:3graa2FdreqoU1@individual.net...
>> Symbol wrote:
>
>> Given that "counterspell" is a well-documented Readied action, I'd
>> tend to rule that any broader set of options which includes
>> "counterspell" can't be readied - you'd need to be specific.
>
> "Cast a Spell" includes counterspelling attempts. Counterspelling
> isn't an action. The spellcraft skill makes it clear that identifying
> the spell is free and then you simply cast an appropriate spell at
> the right time. As SB says it has its own section because it requires
> a more complete explaination but various sources confirm that you are
> basically casting a spell.

"Cast a spell" is specifically too broad an action - see DMG page 25: "If a
character readies an action to cast a spell when a foe comes at her, the
player needs to specify the exact spell - and you're justified in making the
player identify a specific foe". I don't see any reason why readying to cast
a spell when a foe begins spellcasting would be any different to that
example.

Counterspelling is a specific exception to this rule, in that you can choose
which spell to use based on the spell the enemy is casting - but that *only*
applies if you then cast either the appropriate countering spell or dispel
magic, and cast it in the form of a counterspell.

--
Mark.
June 10, 2005 5:58:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> "Cast a spell" is specifically too broad an action - see DMG page 25: "If
> a
> character readies an action to cast a spell when a foe comes at her, the
> player needs to specify the exact spell - and you're justified in making
> the
> player identify a specific foe". I don't see any reason why readying to
> cast
> a spell when a foe begins spellcasting would be any different to that
> example.
>
I was hoping 3.5 hadn't put anything in to get that stingy on readied
spells. Too bad. Myself I'd go so far as to house rule it away ... if for
nothing else, to make spell interruption viable again.

Spinner
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 6:49:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Thu, 9 Jun 2005 16:40:11 +0100, "Symbol" <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:

>The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
>upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
>
>Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
>spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to aim
>through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the stairs.
>Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
>Force five foot in front of the Wizards.

I wouldn't permit this. It requires too much of a decision on her
part.
Anonymous
June 10, 2005 6:49:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 17:49:43 -0700, Senator Blutarsky
<monarchy@comcast.net> wrote:

>I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
>specific action. However, counterspelling is really
>just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
>sorceress *should* have specified that she was readying
>an action to interrupt spellcasting with a spell of her
>own; that spell could then be cast as a counterspell or
>(as it turned out) a Wall of Force.

I still wouldn't accept this. She had to decide a tactic and that
doesn't fit within the realm of a readied action in my interpretation.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 12:43:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

One of the voices in my head - or was it Spinner? - just said...
> > "Cast a spell" is specifically too broad an action - see DMG page 25: "If
> > a
> > character readies an action to cast a spell when a foe comes at her, the
> > player needs to specify the exact spell - and you're justified in making
> > the
> > player identify a specific foe". I don't see any reason why readying to
> > cast
> > a spell when a foe begins spellcasting would be any different to that
> > example.
> >
> I was hoping 3.5 hadn't put anything in to get that stingy on readied
> spells. Too bad. Myself I'd go so far as to house rule it away ... if for
> nothing else, to make spell interruption viable again.


"3.5 changed that!!!" Ah, the rallying cry of everyone who's been
getting the rules wrong all along.

Read page 63 of your 3.0 DMG, please.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 1:40:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

David Klassen wrote:
>
> Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> > I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
> > specific action. However, counterspelling is really
> > just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
>
> And, as DM, my question would have been "What spell?"

Do you require fighters readying an Attack Action to
specify whether they will be using their longsword or
their dagger? Disarming or Sundering? Fighting
defensively or normally?

I mean, I just want to know how consistent you are in
applying your house rule.

-Bluto
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 8:18:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Jeff Heikkinen wrote:
> One of the voices in my head - or was it Spinner? - just said...
> >
> > I have to agree with Symbol and with the Senator. There is some fuziness
> > but the weight seems to tip slightly in favour of allowing a ready to cast a
> > spell (which may or may not be a counterspell).
>
> No, absolutely not. DMG, page 63 or 25 depending on the edition. It ends
> the discussion. This is not a grey area.

Thank you! I wasn't aware of that rule, and I'm definitely relieved.

This rule _does_ screw over counterspelling, which is a pity. Since it
shuts the door on egregious rule abuses, though, it's for the greater
good.

Laszlo
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 10:03:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

One of the voices in my head - or was it Senator Blutarsky? - just
said...
> David Klassen wrote:
> >
> > Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> > > I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
> > > specific action. However, counterspelling is really
> > > just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
> >
> > And, as DM, my question would have been "What spell?"
>
> Do you require fighters readying an Attack Action to
> specify whether they will be using their longsword or
> their dagger? Disarming or Sundering? Fighting
> defensively or normally?
>
> I mean, I just want to know how consistent you are in
> applying your house rule.

What house rule? Read page 63 or 25 of your DMG, depending which
edition.

Moreover - and this isn't in response to anything specific about this
post, it's a general comment to two or three people, but since you're
one of them I may as well put it here - the rules say "You may ready an
action to counter a spell", not "If you ready an action to cast a spell,
you may choose to use a counterspell when your action triggers", or any
other such wording. That seems pretty cut and dried to me -
counterspelling is something you have to specify ahead of time when you
declare a Ready.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 10:05:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

One of the voices in my head - or was it Spinner? - just said...
>
> I have to agree with Symbol and with the Senator. There is some fuziness
> but the weight seems to tip slightly in favour of allowing a ready to cast a
> spell (which may or may not be a counterspell).

No, absolutely not. DMG, page 63 or 25 depending on the edition. It ends
the discussion. This is not a grey area.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 2:52:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Senator Blutarsky wrote:
> David Klassen wrote:
>>
>> Senator Blutarsky wrote:
>>> I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
>>> specific action. However, counterspelling is really
>>> just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
>>
>> And, as DM, my question would have been "What spell?"
>
> Do you require fighters readying an Attack Action to
> specify whether they will be using their longsword or
> their dagger?

Given that you can only Ready one standard, move or free action, that's
fairly predetermined - you use what's in hand. If a character were
dual-wielding, I probably wouldn't ask, but only because I'd be expecting
them to use their primary weapon for their single attack.

> Disarming or Sundering?

Yes, I think it's reasonable to require them to specify the type of attack.

> Fighting defensively or normally?

Yes.

> I mean, I just want to know how consistent you are in
> applying your house rule.

It's pretty simple - I just apply a basic ground rule: You Ready an action,
you don't Ready a decision. The only decision involved is whether or not to
take the action once the conditions are met.

--
Mark.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 2:59:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Keith Davies wrote:
> Loren Pechtel <lorenpechtel@removethis.hotmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, 09 Jun 2005 17:49:43 -0700, Senator Blutarsky
>> <monarchy@comcast.net> wrote:
>>
>>> I disagree (slightly). It's true that you must ready a
>>> specific action. However, counterspelling is really
>>> just a form of the "Cast a Spell" action. The
>>> sorceress *should* have specified that she was readying
>>> an action to interrupt spellcasting with a spell of her
>>> own; that spell could then be cast as a counterspell or
>>> (as it turned out) a Wall of Force.
>>
>> I still wouldn't accept this. She had to decide a tactic and that
>> doesn't fit within the realm of a readied action in my
>> interpretation.
>
> She's still casting a spell, to be used defensively against an
> incoming spell. She can't counterspell (no fireball? no dispel
> magic with a good enough dispel check?), but *can* cast a spell that
> directly counters the effect of the soon-to-be-inbound fireball.
> Given that she's put off an earlier action for this opportunity (she
> could have cast forcewall earlier) and that she's still doing
> something reactive and defensive (though it will make the wizard very
> unhappy to eat his own fireball) I would still allow it.

The thing is, it's an almost prescient form of reactive action. She's
witnessing someone casting a spell, waiting until they've gone far enough
through casting to identify the spell, *then* starting to cast her own
spell - and still having her spell finish fast enough to interrupt the other
character's action. As far as reactive actions go, that's very, very
powerful.

Making it more powerful by pretending that she also has time to ponder her
actions, decide on a particular tactic, re-choose the target-point of her
spell, and *still* complete it in time to intercept her opponent's spell,
pushes it over into the realm of too-powerful.

--
Mark.
Anonymous
June 11, 2005 3:00:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 10:59:59 +0100, "Mark Blunden"
<m.blundenATntlworld.com@address.invalid> wrote:

>The thing is, it's an almost prescient form of reactive action. She's
>witnessing someone casting a spell, waiting until they've gone far enough
>through casting to identify the spell, *then* starting to cast her own
>spell - and still having her spell finish fast enough to interrupt the other
>character's action. As far as reactive actions go, that's very, very
>powerful.
>
>Making it more powerful by pretending that she also has time to ponder her
>actions, decide on a particular tactic, re-choose the target-point of her
>spell, and *still* complete it in time to intercept her opponent's spell,
>pushes it over into the realm of too-powerful.

Yeah, it's bad enough that she can get off a spell faster than her
opponent because she's reacting.
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 6:16:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Loren Pechtel wrote:

> On Thu, 9 Jun 2005 16:40:11 +0100, "Symbol" <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:
>
>
>>The Sorceress determines not to do anything until called
>>upon and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.
>>
>>Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
>>spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to aim
>>through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the stairs.
>>Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
>>Force five foot in front of the Wizards.
>
>
> I wouldn't permit this. It requires too much of a decision on her
> part.

That seems like a daft objection. An actual counterspelling attempt can
require a decision between at least three spells (fireball, dispel and
greater dispel) and many, many more if you consider the improved
counterspelling feat.
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 6:36:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

laszlo_spamhole@freemail.hu wrote:


> This rule _does_ screw over counterspelling, which is a pity. Since it
> shuts the door on egregious rule abuses, though, it's for the greater
> good.

Again I have to ask, what "egregious rule abuses" do you have in mind?
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 2:05:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:
>
> By the RAW you are right and my approach is wrong. I have some thinking
> to do and some discussions to have with my players...

I recommend you ignore the RAW and continue handling it
as you have been. I think you'll have a lot more fun.

-Bluto
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 5:17:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

One of the voices in my head - or was it ? - just said...
>
>
> Jeff Heikkinen wrote:
> > One of the voices in my head - or was it Spinner? - just said...
> > >
> > > I have to agree with Symbol and with the Senator. There is some fuziness
> > > but the weight seems to tip slightly in favour of allowing a ready to cast a
> > > spell (which may or may not be a counterspell).
> >
> > No, absolutely not. DMG, page 63 or 25 depending on the edition. It ends
> > the discussion. This is not a grey area.
>
> Thank you! I wasn't aware of that rule, and I'm definitely relieved.
>
> This rule _does_ screw over counterspelling...

How? Read the rules for counterspelling. They very clearly do *not* have
that limitation.

What it makes clear - which I seem to recall was also a point at issue
here - is that counterspelling is *not the same thing as* simply casting
a spell, at least for purposes of Readying.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 12:52:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Senator Blutarsky" <monarchy@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:42AD1410.B19ADE3A@comcast.net...
> Symbol wrote:
> >
> > By the RAW you are right and my approach is wrong. I have some
thinking
> > to do and some discussions to have with my players...
>
> I recommend you ignore the RAW and continue handling it
> as you have been. I think you'll have a lot more fun.

I'll have to bring it up with my group for a democratic decision but I
doubt I'm going to have much trouble swinging the vote.
June 13, 2005 5:07:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

>> > > I have to agree with Symbol and with the Senator. There is some
>> > > fuziness
>> > > but the weight seems to tip slightly in favour of allowing a ready to
>> > > cast a
>> > > spell (which may or may not be a counterspell).
>> >
>> > No, absolutely not. DMG, page 63 or 25 depending on the edition. It
>> > ends
>> > the discussion. This is not a grey area.
>>
Yes, that's right. Had read those once and forgotten them... You are
right.

>> Thank you! I wasn't aware of that rule, and I'm definitely relieved.
>>
>> This rule _does_ screw over counterspelling...
>
> How? Read the rules for counterspelling. They very clearly do *not* have
> that limitation.
>
> What it makes clear - which I seem to recall was also a point at issue
> here - is that counterspelling is *not the same thing as* simply casting
> a spell, at least for purposes of Readying.

For me it screws over counterspelling not because counterspelling itself
changes but because it's riskier now. If you've committed to counterspell
and you don't make the spellcraft check or you don't know the spell coming
out -- you've completely wasted your round (for an already somewhat
questionable action). If you've got the openness to cast something else,
you've got other options. Makes counterspelling worth trying...

Spinner
June 13, 2005 5:18:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

>> > "Cast a spell" is specifically too broad an action - see DMG page 25:
>> > "If
>> > a
>> > character readies an action to cast a spell when a foe comes at her,
>> > the
>> > player needs to specify the exact spell - and you're justified in
>> > making
>> > the
>> > player identify a specific foe". I don't see any reason why readying to
>> > cast
>> > a spell when a foe begins spellcasting would be any different to that
>> > example.
>> >
>> I was hoping 3.5 hadn't put anything in to get that stingy on readied
>> spells. Too bad. Myself I'd go so far as to house rule it away ... if
>> for
>> nothing else, to make spell interruption viable again.
>
>
> "3.5 changed that!!!" Ah, the rallying cry of everyone who's been
> getting the rules wrong all along.
>
> Read page 63 of your 3.0 DMG, please.

You mean I have to go up into my attic? I'll give you the point on this one
.... I'm assuming I didn't read that clause of my 3.0 DMG...

Spinner
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 7:25:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:
>"Mark Blunden" <m.blundenATntlworld.com@address.invalid> wrote in message
>news:3h5dhbFfcc5kU1@individual.net...

>> Like a sorcerer causing a wizard's empowered fireball to blow up in his
>>face even though she didn't even know beforehand that he'd be casting
>>Fireball, thus wiping out a significantly over-CR opponent in one hit,
>>for instance?

>Finally, at last we have something to address!

>First, this situation can come about as a result of the rules as you have
>previously pointed out; "I ready a Wall of Force to trigger when anyone
>from that group of Wizards begins spellcasting" which means it isn't an
>"egregious rule abuse".

That's not the situation as you presented it, though. Here's a quote
from your original post

****
This part's not a quote because it got cut off - the sorceress
decided to do nothing until called upon,

"and maintains a readied action to interrupt spell casting.

Once in position the lead Wizard begins casting a spell, a successful
spellcraft check reveals it to be a Empowered Fireball he intends to aim
through an arrow slit in an effort to take out the party of the stairs.
Knowing she cannot counterspell the sorceress instead drops a Wall of
Force five foot in front of the Wizards."
****

There's nothing at all in there, or in any of your later posts that
I've seen on my server, about specifically readying a Wall of Force.

"I get ready to cast this specific spell X at the most opportune time"
and "I get ready to cast whatever spell will be most effective at
the most opportune time" are extremely different situations, and
the latter is a whole helluva lot more versatile and powerful. You
presented the case as being the latter, more powerful choice, but
now you're saying she specified in advance that she'd be using the
specific spell Wall of Force. Did you correct your initial post in
a message I missed?

>Second the sorceress could simply have cast an empowered fireball of her
>own on her own turn (doing the exact same amount of damage) but chose not
>to for reasons known only to her

Could she have? In the passage I quoted, you said she knew she
couldn't counterspell. I'm not very familiar with the rules for
counterspelling, but a quick read of the SRD description seems
to say that if she was able to cast a fireball of her own
(empowered or not) she could have counterspelled the
mage's fireball.

Another point is that by using the Wall of Force and THEN using
her own fireball, she could damage the enemy mages twice instead
of just once. So being able to use the Wall of Force as a counter
instead of doing a proper counterspell attempt was definitely
advantageous to her.

Whether it's advantageous enough to make it too powerful is
another matter, of course.

Pete
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 8:55:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
news:D 8k8h9$jdo$1@news3.bu.edu...
> Symbol <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:
> >"Mark Blunden" <m.blundenATntlworld.com@address.invalid> wrote in
message
> >news:3h5dhbFfcc5kU1@individual.net...
>
> >> Like a sorcerer causing a wizard's empowered fireball to blow up in
his
> >>face even though she didn't even know beforehand that he'd be casting
> >>Fireball, thus wiping out a significantly over-CR opponent in one
hit,
> >>for instance?
>
> >Finally, at last we have something to address!
>
> >First, this situation can come about as a result of the rules as you
have
> >previously pointed out; "I ready a Wall of Force to trigger when anyone
> >from that group of Wizards begins spellcasting" which means it isn't an
> >"egregious rule abuse".
>
> That's not the situation as you presented it, though. Here's a quote
> from your original post
>
> ****
> This part's not a quote because it got cut off - the sorceress
> decided to do nothing until called upon,

No I know, because we've been getting it wrong. I'm saying that ending up
with the same result is still within the rules.

> There's nothing at all in there, or in any of your later posts that
> I've seen on my server, about specifically readying a Wall of Force.

That isn't the issue. Readying a WoF is within the rules and therefore not
an egregious rule abuse. It wouldn't be a bad plan either given that it
would block line of effect for most spells, more reliable than preparing a
counterspell that you'll likely waste.

> "I get ready to cast this specific spell X at the most opportune time"
> and "I get ready to cast whatever spell will be most effective at
> the most opportune time" are extremely different situations, and
> the latter is a whole helluva lot more versatile and powerful. You
> presented the case as being the latter, more powerful choice, but
> now you're saying she specified in advance that she'd be using the
> specific spell Wall of Force. Did you correct your initial post in
> a message I missed?

No you didn't miss anything except, perhaps, the explaination I'm after. I
agree that my way of doing things is more flexible. Indeed, that's the
point. Our (by our I mean the Senator and I) argument is that without this
flexibility Ready is a poor tactical choice.

> >Second the sorceress could simply have cast an empowered fireball of
her
> >own on her own turn (doing the exact same amount of damage) but chose
not
> >to for reasons known only to her
>
> Could she have? In the passage I quoted, you said she knew she
> couldn't counterspell. I'm not very familiar with the rules for
> counterspelling, but a quick read of the SRD description seems
> to say that if she was able to cast a fireball of her own
> (empowered or not) she could have counterspelled the
> mage's fireball.

Sorry I'm trying to generalize. My point was that it was perfectly
possible for a character of her level to inflict the same damage on the
Wizards by using a spell of their own. This particular character, IIRC,
has neither fireball on her list of known spells or the Empower feat. She
could have cast Cone of Cold, though (albeit for 2d6 points less).

Hell, a Wizard of the same level could feasibly cast an Empowered Fireball
and a Quickened Fireball in one turn.

> Another point is that by using the Wall of Force and THEN using
> her own fireball, she could damage the enemy mages twice instead
> of just once.

Probably not unless she removed the Wall of Force. Besides that is still
the use of two 5th level spells (the same as two empowered fireballs). Not
"out of control" or a rules abuse of any kind.
June 13, 2005 9:26:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Alien mind control rays made Spinner <bprentic@uwo.ca> write:
> For me it screws over counterspelling not because counterspelling itself
> changes but because it's riskier now. If you've committed to counterspell
> and you don't make the spellcraft check or you don't know the spell coming
> out -- you've completely wasted your round (for an already somewhat
> questionable action). If you've got the openness to cast something else,
> you've got other options. Makes counterspelling worth trying...

allowing counterspell = any spell i want is more than worth trying,
its highly advantageous, and why wouldn't a spellcaster make it their
standard action? if your foe casts a spell which you can counteract,
you can get it. if your foe casts a spell which you can't counteract
directly, you cast the fireball you might have anyway, pre-empting
their action and forcing them to make a concentration check to keep
their spell as well. if the fighter kills your foe before they do
anything, you've saved a spell slot for later. the biggest risk is
that your foe does... nothing. and the party warriors mow him down
while he's holding a readied action to counterspell you when you start
casting.

counterspell should not be so good. its niche is when you cannot, must
not, allow an enemy spellcaster to cast a particular spell. a fireball
in confined quarters when the party can't afford to take another one.
a mage hand to throw the switch which destroys the town of innocents.
the final summoning spell which will unleash rick berman upon the world.

--
\^\ // drow@bin.sh (CARRIER LOST) <http://www.bin.sh/&gt;
\ // - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
// \ X-Windows: More than enough rope
// \_\ -- Dude from DPAK
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 9:51:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:
>"Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
>news:D 8k8h9$jdo$1@news3.bu.edu...
>> Symbol <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:

>> That's not the situation as you presented it, though. Here's a quote
>> from your original post
>>
>> ****
>> This part's not a quote because it got cut off - the sorceress
>> decided to do nothing until called upon,

>No I know, because we've been getting it wrong. I'm saying that ending up
>with the same result is still within the rules.

>> There's nothing at all in there, or in any of your later posts that
>> I've seen on my server, about specifically readying a Wall of Force.

>That isn't the issue. Readying a WoF is within the rules and therefore not
>an egregious rule abuse.

Absolutely. But that's not what happened in your situation. If
the sorceress had said "I ready a Wall of Force to trigger when
anyone from that group of Wizards begins spellcasting," as you
said in the quoted bits that I've snipped, I don't think
anyone would be arguing that it's too powerful. What she
essentially said was, "I get ready to cast a spell when anyone
from that group of wizards begins spellcasting. I'll decide
exactly which spell and where to target it when I know what
they're casting." That's very different.

>It wouldn't be a bad plan either given that it
>would block line of effect for most spells, more reliable than preparing a
>counterspell that you'll likely waste.

Absolutely. Though if I'm reading the rules right, a simple
Dispel Magic would work as a counterspell for most purposes,
and it's a useful spell in its own right, as well.

>> "I get ready to cast this specific spell X at the most opportune time"
>> and "I get ready to cast whatever spell will be most effective at
>> the most opportune time" are extremely different situations, and
>> the latter is a whole helluva lot more versatile and powerful. You
>> presented the case as being the latter, more powerful choice, but
>> now you're saying she specified in advance that she'd be using the
>> specific spell Wall of Force. Did you correct your initial post in
>> a message I missed?

>No you didn't miss anything except, perhaps, the explaination I'm after. I
>agree that my way of doing things is more flexible. Indeed, that's the
>point.

I guess I was confused by your wording, then. If you're saying
characters should be allowed flexibility when Readying a spell,
why did you specify readying a single, specific spell?

> Our (by our I mean the Senator and I) argument is that without this
>flexibility Ready is a poor tactical choice.

As you say, Wall of Force would be a good counter to any number
of spells. There are other spells that would also allow for
flexibility in reacting without allowing characters to cast
literally any spell they know as a reaction to someone else's
actions. As someone else said, there's a lot going on in that
short period of time. Let's list it all.

1) Character decides to hold action, readying a spell (any
spell) for when one of the enemy wizards starts to cast a
spell.

2) Character notices that Wizard X is starting to cast a
spell.

3) Character figures out what spell is being cast with a
Spellcraft check.

4) Character mentally goes over their list of prepared/
available spells to see which one would be most advantageous.

5) Character looks over the terrain to see where they want
to target this newly chosen spell.

6) Character casts spell and it takes effect.

7) Wizard X's spell finally takes effect.

The character is doing a lot of stuff in there. Why can
she think tactically AND cast a spell in the same amount
of time it takes her enemy to just cast a spell? Whether
allowing that is too powerful is of course a matter of
opinion, but I myself fall pretty firmly on the "too
powerful" side of things.

And here's a question that I don't know the answer to - if a
wizard readies a fireball, to be cast if Enemy X does something
hostile ("I'll cast fireball if the fighter moves forward with
his sword," or "I'll cast fireball if one of those wizards starts
to cast a spell,") and the enemy starts to perform the trigger
action, and the fireball goes off and kills the enemy, does it
prevent their action? Reading the Ready rules certainly makes
me think so. If that's the case, and you're going to allow
a liberal use of the Ready action such as "I cast a spell
if those enemies start attacking" or "if those enemies start
casting a spell" and allow the spell to be chosen after
the enemies begin to act, wouldn't you expect a whole lot
of spellcasters to use the Ready maneuver? There's not
much downside.

"I'm not sure those wizards are going to enter the fight.
I could fireball them right now, but instead I'll Ready
a spell in case they start to cast some spells of their
own. If they don't, I won't bring them into the fight.
If they do, I've got the drop on them and I can cast
whichever spell I think will do the most good, and I
know for sure that I'll finish casting before they do."

That's pretty powerful, don't you think? And it only
gets more powerful if you allow similar flexibility
for the triggering action. That is, if you can say,
"I cast any spell I want whenever they make any kind
of hostile action," well, I definitely think that's
too powerful.

Pete
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 10:38:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Peter Meilinger wrote:
>
> Symbol <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:
>
> >That isn't the issue. Readying a WoF is within the rules and therefore not
> >an egregious rule abuse.
>
> Absolutely. But that's not what happened in your situation.

That's not the point. The point is that it *could* be
done using the RAW; therefore, the result under our
(Symbol's and mine) system is no more "egregious" than
the result permitted by the RAW. The only difference
(as I will go on to address) is the flexibility.

> > Our (by our I mean the Senator and I) argument is that without this
> >flexibility Ready is a poor tactical choice.

Exactly right, Symbol.

> The character is doing a lot of stuff in there. Why can
> she think tactically AND cast a spell in the same amount
> of time it takes her enemy to just cast a spell? Whether
> allowing that is too powerful is of course a matter of
> opinion, but I myself fall pretty firmly on the "too
> powerful" side of things.

And this is where the disagreement lies. Symbol and I
have been allowing Flexible Readies--since 3e came out,
in my case--and have not found that flexibility to be a
problem.

The answer to Symbol's question (what exactly *are*
these "egregious rules abuses" people are talking
about?) seems to be: "The greater flexibility afforded
to those who Ready actions." And nothing more.

Obviously, we don't consider greater flexibility to be
"egregious" *or* "abusive," and that's all there really
is to say about it.

> And here's a question that I don't know the answer to - if a
> wizard readies a fireball, to be cast if Enemy X does something
> hostile ("I'll cast fireball if the fighter moves forward with
> his sword," or "I'll cast fireball if one of those wizards starts
> to cast a spell,") and the enemy starts to perform the trigger
> action, and the fireball goes off and kills the enemy, does it
> prevent their action?

Yes, it would.

> Reading the Ready rules certainly makes
> me think so. If that's the case, and you're going to allow
> a liberal use of the Ready action such as "I cast a spell
> if those enemies start attacking" or "if those enemies start
> casting a spell" and allow the spell to be chosen after
> the enemies begin to act, wouldn't you expect a whole lot
> of spellcasters to use the Ready maneuver? There's not
> much downside.

Yes, I would expect them to use it. I *want* them to.
I *like* the (Flexible) Ready action and *encourage* my
players to use it.

The downside is that sometimes (often, in fact) things
don't happen the way you expect. You postpone your
action, Readying to cast a spell if "those enemies"
start attacking. Unfortunately, those *other* enemies
you didn't realize were there or didn't expect to pose
a threat attack you FIRST, dazing you. *Then* "those
enemies" start attacking, and because you're now dazed,
you can't do a thing about it. Oops! I guess you
should have just blasted them when you had the chance.

It's just not as *big* of a downside as it is using the
RAW. That's okay by me, because--as I said--I *want*
my players to use the Ready action.

> "I'm not sure those wizards are going to enter the fight.
> I could fireball them right now, but instead I'll Ready
> a spell in case they start to cast some spells of their
> own. If they don't, I won't bring them into the fight.
> If they do, I've got the drop on them and I can cast
> whichever spell I think will do the most good, and I
> know for sure that I'll finish casting before they do."
>
> That's pretty powerful, don't you think? And it only
> gets more powerful if you allow similar flexibility
> for the triggering action. That is, if you can say,
> "I cast any spell I want whenever they make any kind
> of hostile action," well, I definitely think that's
> too powerful.

"Pretty powerful?" I don't know. Powerful enough to
be a viable tactic? Yes, absolutely. *Too* powerful?
Not in my experience. YMMV.

-Bluto
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 11:53:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

One of the voices in my head - or was it Symbol? - just said...
>
> No you didn't miss anything except, perhaps, the explaination I'm after. I
> agree that my way of doing things is more flexible. Indeed, that's the
> point. Our (by our I mean the Senator and I) argument is that without this
> flexibility Ready is a poor tactical choice.

Mine is that five years' experience demonstrates this not to be the
case. You've just gotten used to the extra oomph.

In Magic, some people use the rule of thumb that if a card could cost
another mana and still be tournament-worthy, it's probably too good as
it stands. The same principle applies here, though admittedly balance is
more subjective in a case like D&D - if an option can be limited
significantly and still be consistently found useful by a variety of
players, there's a good chance it's too good without the limitation.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 12:26:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Symbol wrote:
>
> First, this situation can come about as a result of the rules
> as you have previously pointed out; "I ready a Wall of Force
> to trigger when anyone from that group of Wizards begins
> spellcasting" which means it isn't an "egregious rule abuse".

Though it's a waste of a spell, if the spell that ends up being cast
is, say, Gate... Or a mass buff... Or any number of other spells.

Your system, though, allows her *not* to cast the WoF if it won't work
against the spell actually being cast. That's why it's too good.

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 2:30:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Nikolas Landauer" <dacileva.flea@hotmail.com.tick> wrote in message
news:1118708770.b41104457eec2a327217e94a6285aa0e@teranews...
> Symbol wrote:
> >
> > First, this situation can come about as a result of the rules
> > as you have previously pointed out; "I ready a Wall of Force
> > to trigger when anyone from that group of Wizards begins
> > spellcasting" which means it isn't an "egregious rule abuse".
>
> Though it's a waste of a spell, if the spell that ends up being cast
> is, say, Gate... Or a mass buff... Or any number of other spells.
>
> Your system, though, allows her *not* to cast the WoF if it won't work
> against the spell actually being cast. That's why it's too good.

No, this is something specifically allowed by the RAW. You don't have to
take an action you have readied.

My system would allow the caster to attempt a different spell instead. The
RAW results in a wasted ready and a wasted round. If it's "too good" to
allow someone to actually do something (at the cost of lowering their
initiative count) during a combat round then we have hugely different
views of the game.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 3:32:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Jeff Heikkinen" <no.way@jose.org> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d179e77aadb5f8898a180@news.easynews.com...
> One of the voices in my head - or was it Symbol? - just said...

> > Finally, at last we have something to address!
> >
> > First, this situation can come about as a result of the rules as you
have
> > previously pointed out; "I ready a Wall of Force to trigger when
anyone
> > from that group of Wizards begins spellcasting" which means it isn't
an
> > "egregious rule abuse".
>
> That's not what your original post says, even remotely.

It's not likely to given that I don't actually use the RAW, is it?
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 4:07:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Jeff Heikkinen" <no.way@jose.org> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d17a0384adfe31e98a181@news.easynews.com...
> One of the voices in my head - or was it Symbol? - just said...
> >
> > No you didn't miss anything except, perhaps, the explaination I'm
after. I
> > agree that my way of doing things is more flexible. Indeed, that's the
> > point. Our (by our I mean the Senator and I) argument is that without
this
> > flexibility Ready is a poor tactical choice.
>
> Mine is that five years' experience demonstrates this not to be the
> case. You've just gotten used to the extra oomph.
>
> In Magic, some people use the rule of thumb that if a card could cost
> another mana and still be tournament-worthy, it's probably too good as
> it stands. The same principle applies here, though admittedly balance is
> more subjective in a case like D&D - if an option can be limited
> significantly and still be consistently found useful by a variety of
> players, there's a good chance it's too good without the limitation.

Apples and Oranges and it is more than a case of D&D balance being more
subjective. My contention is that applying the DMG limitations to Ready
will see alternative ways of achieving the goal become more common (just
act normally on your turn!) and Ready will only be used in situations
where it is absolutely necessary or you are virtually certain it can't
fail in which case flexibility becomes a moot issue and there is no
qualitative difference between either interpretation.

An archer facing a spell caster, for example, needs no more flexibility.
His goal is to cause a concentration check, he has one effective attack
form and he doesn't care what spell his opponent is casting. His use of
ready, for all practical purposes, will be the same in your game as it is
in mine.

A "spell caster on the roof" type scenario, however, will simply cause the
ready action to be disregarded as impractical in a RAW game. What is the
point on gambling on a, say, one in three chance of doing nothing when you
can just bring your own firepower to bare on the spell caster. In that
case, because ready wasn't used, you don't get to see the limitation in
action.

Basically your observations are almost certainly entirely true but this
doesn't tell us anything and without a concrete example of how flexibility
leads to abuse (rather than more use) they are essentially meaningless.

In his article on counterspelling Skip says "Unfortunately, many players
shy away from counterspells because they don't think they understand how
counterspells work.". Having been educated on the content of the DMG
regarding ready actions I think he is wrong. They don't bother that often
because there is little point of doing it and therefore little point in
learning how the mechanic works.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 4:17:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Senator Blutarsky" <monarchy@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:42AE3525.7C93EAC9@comcast.net...
> Peter Meilinger wrote:

> And this is where the disagreement lies. Symbol and I
> have been allowing Flexible Readies--since 3e came out,
> in my case--and have not found that flexibility to be a
> problem.

As long as I have being playing 3.x which isn't as long in my case.
Probably a year or two after it hit the shelves.

> The answer to Symbol's question (what exactly *are*
> these "egregious rules abuses" people are talking
> about?) seems to be: "The greater flexibility afforded
> to those who Ready actions." And nothing more.
>
> Obviously, we don't consider greater flexibility to be
> "egregious" *or* "abusive," and that's all there really
> is to say about it.

That's the bottom line, yes.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 4:29:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

SB's reply can basically be considered mine too given that I don't
disagree with anything he said but just to touch on something he didn't
address.

"Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
news:D 8kh3l$8h9$1@news3.bu.edu...
> Symbol <jb70@talk21.com> wrote:

> > Our (by our I mean the Senator and I) argument is that without this
> >flexibility Ready is a poor tactical choice.
>
> As you say, Wall of Force would be a good counter to any number
> of spells. There are other spells that would also allow for
> flexibility in reacting without allowing characters to cast
> literally any spell they know as a reaction to someone else's
> actions. As someone else said, there's a lot going on in that
> short period of time. Let's list it all.
>
> 1) Character decides to hold action, readying a spell (any
> spell) for when one of the enemy wizards starts to cast a
> spell.
>
> 2) Character notices that Wizard X is starting to cast a
> spell.
>
> 3) Character figures out what spell is being cast with a
> Spellcraft check.
>
> 4) Character mentally goes over their list of prepared/
> available spells to see which one would be most advantageous.

With the Improved Counter Spell feat a spell caster can be doing this via
the RAW in any case.

> 5) Character looks over the terrain to see where they want
> to target this newly chosen spell.

A spellcaster must be positionally aware to use a normal counterspell as
Range/LoE/disruption rules apply.

> 6) Character casts spell and it takes effect.
>
> 7) Wizard X's spell finally takes effect.
>
> The character is doing a lot of stuff in there.

The character isn't doing much more than they would with a book legal
counterspell attempt, they are choosing from a larger spell selection and
that's about it. It's a non issue as far as I'm concerned.
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 7:17:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Symbol" <jb70@talk21.com> wrote in message
news:Ie-dnehu2LQPDDDfRVnyuw@pipex.net...
> So if anyone has an example of an *actual* problem that is *actually*
> caused by not requiring a notarized statement of intent when using the
> Ready Rule then please provide it! I'm beginning to think that nobody has
> thought this through...

As far as I can tell, this thread should not exist. The situation had a
simple by the book answer, and that answer is both sensible, fair, and
balanced.

-Michael
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 8:31:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Michael Scott Brown" <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:D yCre.4234$NX4.3543@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> "Symbol" <jb70@talk21.com> wrote in message
> news:Ie-dnehu2LQPDDDfRVnyuw@pipex.net...
> > So if anyone has an example of an *actual* problem that is *actually*
> > caused by not requiring a notarized statement of intent when using the
> > Ready Rule then please provide it! I'm beginning to think that nobody
has
> > thought this through...
>
> As far as I can tell, this thread should not exist. The situation
had a
> simple by the book answer, and that answer is both sensible, fair, and
> balanced.

As I said before I wasn't familiar with the DMG section on ready. If we'd
been playing by the book I seriously doubt the Sorceress would have
readied an action at all and while this may be "fair and balanced" (I
would dispute sensible) it ain't fun.

This thread is eye opening too, given the level of opposition to flexible
usage and varying experiences. Makes a nice change from putting up with
the moronic twins in the alignment thread.
!