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Spell Reversals 
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Ulthal
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Post Spell Reversals
In my game yesterday, the party had their path magically blocked by weeds, bushes, and tree branches. Rather than trying to cut their way through a hundred feet, the party's Druid wanted to try reversing the Entangle spells she had prepared. I thought it was applicable enough for her try, but I gave the plants a bonus on the saving throw as the Druid had never attempted this before. Thoughts?


Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:51 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
My initial thought was I like it, but would have required a wisdom check to see if the druid could reverse the spell on the fly instead of having the plants make a save. However, looking at the spell description, entangle is not reversible. Based on that, I wouldn't let the druid reverse it. However, I could see the druid using the spell to try to get the vegetation to lean out of the way so the party would have a relatively clear path through the area of effect. If the plants can entangle targets, maybe they could be made to entangle each other in a way creating a path. I'd probably require a wisdom check to see if the player could manipulate the spell's effect that way. The spell as written is indiscriminate in that it entangles all creatures in the area of effect. Trying to get the plants to entangle each other to create a path is much more fine-tuned than the spell description. I would try to reward player creativity through a SIEGE check.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:41 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
Buttmonkey wrote:
My initial thought was I like it, but would have required a wisdom check to see if the druid could reverse the spell on the fly instead of having the plants make a save. However, looking at the spell description, entangle is not reversible. Based on that, I wouldn't let the druid reverse it. However, I could see the druid using the spell to try to get the vegetation to lean out of the way so the party would have a relatively clear path through the area of effect. If the plants can entangle targets, maybe they could be made to entangle each other in a way creating a path. I'd probably require a wisdom check to see if the player could manipulate the spell's effect that way. The spell as written is indiscriminate in that it entangles all creatures in the area of effect. Trying to get the plants to entangle each other to create a path is much more fine-tuned than the spell description. I would try to reward player creativity through a SIEGE check.

Yea, a Siege Check would have been a better choice. She didn't come up with the idea to have the plants entangle each other, but that is an interesting take! I'll tuck that one away for future use.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:00 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
You are nice. Would not have allowed it as that is not how the spell works and the more appropriate spell being reverse of plant growth.

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Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:39 pm
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Mogrl

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Post Re: Spell Reversals
If you're going for a more freeform casting methodology, such a use is very fitting but, as others stated, there are spells with that specific effect and would normally be the ones needed. However, if it makes your game more enjoyable, I say do it.

I would likely have there be some kind of check needed, maybe an aftereffect... something, to remind the player this is abnormal use of magic and it will have repercussions.


Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:02 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
serleran wrote:
If you're going for a more freeform casting methodology, such a use is very fitting but, as others stated, there are spells with that specific effect and would normally be the ones needed. However, if it makes your game more enjoyable, I say do it.

I would likely have there be some kind of check needed, maybe an aftereffect... something, to remind the player this is abnormal use of magic and it will have repercussions.

That's a great idea, thanks. I allowed it as "Detangle" seemed to make more sense in this specific situation than Plant Growth. I try to keep it BtB, but like to award creativity as well, as long is it doesn't stray too far.


Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:52 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
Slight tangent - Is there an official rule on reversed spells? Looking through the PHB, I could not find anything that spoke to it. Some systems state that the reverse has to be learned separately, while others state that once you know a spell you know its reverse. This might be one of those "CK discretion" things.

Go0gleplex wrote:
You are nice. Would not have allowed it as that is not how the spell works and the more appropriate spell being reverse of plant growth.


I agree. Don't get me wrong, I like forward thinking PCs, but situations like this need to be carefully considered in my opinion. I might sound like I'm making mountains out of mole hills, but I've had a situation or two like this before. Allowing such an action once can be construed as a permissible thing. It gives spellcasting classes a "soft" class ability that's not part of their class description, making them a bit more than they are. And enterprising players will find more used for more spells than ever before.

Then again, it's early and I haven't had my coffee. ;)

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Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:38 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
ok start with my normal "I have little experience playing a mage using class or running a magic heavy game"

That said, I have never like D&D magic - 'fire and forget' and specific explicit spells. I always liked slightly more free form fluid idea of magic. I never understood why you can't, with a bit of work, have a spell better modified to effect a specific monster.

As such, I would have allowed it, with a required siege check to modify the spell effect on the fly. However, I would say the spell can't easily counter a significantly higher level spell - a 1st level entangle spell can't counter a 5th level wall of thorns spell. If the 'counter spell' being used is the same or higher, and the caster makes a siege check to modify the spell sure good to go. Maybe even if the spell being countered is a level higher (maybe 2 if you a lenient) than what the PC is using to counter it, and you make a siege check and make a save vs the other spell level then ok.

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Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:29 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
Keep in mind too that for every decision you make outside of the 'norm' as it were, you are going to have to carry that forward through the rest of the campaign which can build up into a LOT of paperwork and a pain in the arse to keep track of.

Tree probably has the best magic modifier rules in his house rules that I've seen. So those would be my recommendation for a first gander if you are leaning towards 'fluid magic' as it were.

I think the best explanation for the rules of magic have come from manga/light novels. "Magic is not something that normal people can usually grasp and is itself somewhat alive. Incantations and formulae were created to help the human that managed to grasp magic guide it into a form both easily remembered and usable with consistent results. Those that like to experiment with magic tend to have short lives and unpleasant ends since they tend to simply grasp the tiger's tail and pull before ensuring the muzzle is securely in place." Or something to that effect, such being a consolidation from about two dozen different authors. It makes sense to me so that is how I tend to run things.

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Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:50 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
Dispel magic, with a bonus if you know the spell. That's the purpose of that spell. Also bonus to how to skirt the spell, especially for self (meaning the druid). But to have the same spell cancel the same spell.. magic missile vs itself? If the spell is reversible, then maybe. Spontaneous creation of a reverse spell.. the druid and the cleric with divine intervention would be good to have that happen but that should be a clear "divine miracle". New spells have to be made somehow. BUT let it be known, this should not be normal or expected all the time.

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Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:33 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
Captain_K wrote:
But to have the same spell cancel the same spell.. magic missile vs itself?


Yup. Equal and opposite reaction/opposing like force type thing...or more like fighting fire with a back fire. I had the same reaction when first reading that way back when and agree, it really doesn't suit in more cases than not, but it was official. (shrug)

The reverse would not really work on canceling it either since it is more set up to reverse the effects rather than as a counter.
There was a Disrupt Magic (thinking... :?: ) that was able to possibly mess a spell up but it may have been a third party source. Too many intervening years for something I wasn't really worried about back then. :roll: Otherwise yeah, it was Dispel Magic, the 4th level Immunity Sphere (too lazy to look the spell name up right now), Prismatic Sphere, and one or two others...

Frankly, I really never thought there was a need for the whole counter spell mechanic when you could just adopt over the spell fire stuff and give raw magic a chance to swat the spells down much easier.

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Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:27 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
Go0gleplex wrote:
Keep in mind too that for every decision you make outside of the 'norm' as it were, you are going to have to carry that forward through the rest of the campaign which can build up into a LOT of paperwork and a pain in the arse to keep track of.


This is the point I was getting at in my previous post. If it's allowable once, the box has opened. I mean no disrespect to anyone's player's, playing style, or GM'ing style, but it opens up a "quasi class ability" that basically allows the a spellcaster to ad hoc spells in order to produce an effect the spell wasn't originally intended to produce. And that decision might resonate not only with other players, but to subsequent campaigns. If you, as CK/GM, are okay with that, then there's no problem.

Understand that this is only my point of view, from a GM standpoint. And I know I've become somewhat jaded by certain players who would look for mechanical advantages, and would attempt to exploit a decision like this. One player called me a "troubleshooter" GM because when something comes up, I have a tendency to stop and think about long-reaching implications of whatever it is (an optional rule, for example) before allowing it. And I know I'm a pain in the ass as a GM sometimes, but I can't help it - I want my games to be more about fun and fairness than just rolling dice and killing monsters. But this point sounds like it might run counter to maximus' dilemma - what his player did was be inventive and was thinking outside the box to overcome a challenge. And part of me loves that! The other part worries that I'd be setting some precedent that will come back and bite me in the butt later on. Because of that, I'd probably stick to the rules in this situation.

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Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:45 am
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Hlobane Orc
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Post Re: Spell Reversals
I like the idea. I think a wink and a nod to a player they would understand it's cool now and again but once it becomes 'habit' - then not so much.


Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:13 pm
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