Reducing Severity of Save or Lose Effects
- The "big" effects will instead offer a second save. Two failed saves will afflict the creature with a single big effect, a single failed save will afflict them with a single lesser effect.
- Each round, the subject will get a new saving throw against the spell to reduce the effect 1 step.
- Only a single "big" effect can affect a creature at a time, chosen by the last creature to put a big effect on the creature.
- Blindness -> Dazzled
- Nauseated -> Sickened
- Confused -> Sluggish
- Frightened, Panicked, Cowering -> Shaken
- Petrified, Slowed -> Entangled
- Stunned -> Sluggish
- Dazed -> Sluggish
- Unconscious -> Sluggish
Sluggish is a new condition that gives -2 to attack rolls and DCs.
Example 1. The blindness/deafness spell normally has a permanent duration with a blindness effect. In grimoire, a creature would get two saving throws. If it failed both saves, it could be blinded. Each round it would get to save. On a failed save, it would remain blinded. On a successful save, it would become dazzled. Another successful save later on will get rid of the dazzled condition.
Example 2. The color spray spell can make a creature be unconscious, blinded, and stunned. In grimoire, a creature would make two saving throws. If it fails both, the color spray caster can choose to make the creature unconscious, blinded, or stunned (for a maximum of 2d4 rounds). If the creature later succeeds on a saving throw, the caster can choose to have the creature be sluggish (reduced unconsious/stunned) or dazzled (reduced blindness).
Counterspelling that is actually interesting
The normal D&D counterspell system is pretty stupid. Even with the improved counterspelling feat, you have to choose spells of the same school AND waste one of your own spells AND waste an action. Or you can use dispel magic to do it better and not waste a feat (but still trade a spell for a spell).
Here are my thoughts about making a better system for counterspelling.
The counterspeller must ready an action to counter a spell. In addition to the normal readied action rules, characters can ready an immediate action to counter swift action spells (readying still consumes their swift action for the round, but it does not change their initiative if they do attempt to counter a swift action spell).
Once a spell is cast within long range that the counterspeller wishes to counter, she chooses a spell to power the counterspell. She then calculates the difference in spell levels and multiplies it by 2. This is used as a bonus on a counterspelling check opposed by the DC of the spell being cast (calculate a DC using the standard methods if the spell normally doesn't have a DC).
A counterspelling check is made at a bonus of: difference of spell levels * 2 + 1/2 the character's caster level + the character's primary spellcasting modifier.
The counterspeller gets a +4 bonus if they threaten the caster, a +2 bonus if they are within close range, and a -2 penalty if they at long range.
The results of a counterspell attempt are as follows:
- Below the DC: The counterspeller loses the spell they used to power their counterspell attempt.
- Equal to the DC or less than the DC + 5: the caster can choose to withdraw the spell, cancel out the spell, or push the spell.
- Withdrawing the spell causes the spell to fail, but the caster regains the spell as if he never cast it. The counterspeller's spell is returned to her as well.
- Cancelling out the spell causes both the caster and counterspeller to lose their spell.
- Pushing the spell allows the caster to attempt to counter the counterspell. The caster makes a counterspell attempt against the spell being used to counterspell (supplying a spell to counter with as normal). A result of at least 15 above the spell DC on a counterspell against a counterspell just counts as a 10.
- Equal to the DC + 5 or less than the DC + 10: the spell is countered.
- Equal to the DC + 10 or less than the DC + 15: the spell is countered and the counterspeller does not lose the spell she used to power the counterspell.
- Equal to or greater than the DC + 15: the spell is countered and the counterspeller does not lose the spell she used to power the counterspell. Alternatively, the counterspeller can choose new legal targets/subjects/area as if she cast the spell, but she does lose the spell she used to power the counterspell.
Example: Blaze the 6th level sorcerer casts fireball at M.C. Glacius' party. Galcius is a 5th level wizard and he was ready for it with a counterspell. He decides to use one of his prepared 2nd level spells, bull's strength to counter the spell. The spell DC is 18 (10 + 3 third level spell + 5 cha). He is in close range, so his bonus is +6 (-2 difference of spells +2 close range +2 half caster level +4 int modifier). He rolls a total of 18, enough to give blaze the choice of withdrawing, cancelling, or pushing.
Blaze really wants the fireball to hit, so he tries to push the spell, using one of his 2nd level spell slots to attempt to counter the initial counterspell that was powered by bull's strength. He is in close range (obviously), so his bonus is +10 (+0 difference of spells +2 close range +3 half caster level +5 cha modifier). The DC for the bull's strength would be 16 (10 + 2 second level spell + 4 int). He rolls a 22, which automatically counters the counterspell (expending one of his 2nd level spell slots and Glacius' bull's strength spell). His fireball is then resolved normally.