Magic Monday: Undoing, part 2ing

So last week we talked about counterspelling and dispelling rotes (normal “spells” in the D&D magic paradigm). This week we’re talking about the same for rituals and gnosis.


This is magic-as-natural-philosophy. Like a chemical reaction or a Rube Goldberg device, if you set up the right conditions, the rest will take care of itself. Thus, there is no real “counterspell” necessary here. Anybody can do all sorts of things to disrupt a ritual in progress. In some cases – just as in chemistry – there will be terrifying unintended side-effects; in this case a successful Lore + Ritual skill check (Arcane Lore plus any points invested in that specific ritual) will allow you to know what parts to knock over, wipe away, or interrupt safely.

Dispelling a ritual after it’s been completed – or rather, undoing whatever long-duration magical traces it leaves – is probably much harder. (Undoing the effects of a ritual may be impossible, like unmaking an omelette.) I feel like it would work like dispelling a rote, but with the difficulty (die size) bumped up. Perhaps in both rotes and rituals, dispelling a standing magical effect can be made easier by spending extra time and effort on it. Either Lore or Concentration can be used (unweaving the effect through knowledge or through intuition), aided by the specific Ritual skill if applicable.


Gnosis is hard to use, because it’s mostly about focusing your will. There are no formulae, algorithms, or other crutches to lean on. Countering its use means reaching out with your own will and overcoming someone else’s. This means a simple Concentration challenge roll. As with rotes, each side is already paying a base energy cost to fuel their bending of the world’s magical currents, and similarly each side can spend extra energy to increase their chances of winning the contest.

Finally, how do you undo gnosis magic? Well, Arcane Lore or Concentration is probably a good start. Roll a check against a difficulty one step greater than the difficulty that would be assigned to create the effect through gnosis in the first place. As with countering rotes you may choose to roll two checks, succeeding if either of them passes but unleashing a blast of uncontrolled magic unless both of them pass. As with challenges you may spend extra energy to gain a bonus to the roll.

Today’s post ran much later than I thought it would due to baby-related matters. I’m sure it’s still Monday somewhere, though. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to step back and define some of the terms I’ve been using to this point, like “checks” and “challenges,” for those who haven’t read about them elsewhere.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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