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Dueling Magics Magic is a match winner in many a RuneQuest conflict, and for this reason there are a couple of magics to avert this. It is necessary to define a few terms here. Penetration strength of a spell: This is relevant for magical barriers like the Countermagic effect, Neutralizing effects, or Reflection/Castback. The penetration strength is the sum of all magic points put into the intensity of the spell plus all boosting magic points and twice the sum of the rune points put into the spell effect (not area or duration). Sorcerous spells cast with the help of an inscribed spell also add all points of POW in the inscription put into the intensity of the spell (though not points of POW for duration or range). Spell intensity or spell strength is the number of points for the spell effect, and is the value that is relevant for attempts to dispel or neutralize the spell. As usual, one rune point counts for two magic points. In the case of rune spells which require a boost with magic points to have an effect, there are two measures: the bonus of the spell is dependent on the boosted magic points, which are instantly used up to create that bonus for the duration of the spell (if applicable, Heal Wound for example has an instant effect). For dispelling, only the number of rune points need to be removed. One such magic is a magical barrier, also often referred to the Countermagic effect, which comes in a variety of flavors. This basically prevents all spells below the threshold set by the Countermagic effect spell to affect their target. The caster of the incoming spell has the possibility to boost the spell with additional Magic Points during the casting, adding to the penetration of the incoming spell (only). The effect is named after the spirit spell Countermagic, a variable spell (i.e. limited by the number of points the caster has learned. Within its duration (2 minutes unless extended by a shaman or stacked with the Extension rune spell), it will absolutely block/dissipate any incoming magic 2 points less than its strength, and persist. If the incoming magic is within one point of the Countermagic strength, both the incoming magic and the Countermagic will disspipate. Spells stronger than the Countermagic will simply disspiate the Countermagic spell and take effect. There are rune spells which impart a Countermagic effect as part of their effect, most notably Shield. Unlike the Spirit spell, this Countermagic effect will dissipate any spell with a penetration strength up to the value of the Countermagic effect and remain in effect until the end of the duration or until dispelled. The tricky part is that the Countermagic spirit spell will stack its effects with these rune magic Countermagic effects. However, due to the ephemeral nature of the spirit spell, the rune magic effects need to be in place before the spirit spell can be placed on top of that effect. The other way around, the rune magic would either be blocked by and/or dissipate the Countermagic spirit spell. (This is somewhat clumsily worded in the description of the Shield spell, and not at all in the other instances of the Countermagic effect for rune spells). Another tricky topic is the interaction of the Countermagic effect with detection spells, area-affecting spells and targeting spells. More about this below. A similar effect with an added bonus is the Absorption rune spell which converts incoming spells of any type onto the target of this spell (needn‘t be the caster) into magic points for the caster of the spell as long as the penetration strength of the spell doesn‘t surpass the Absorption effect. Special cases like interaction with detection spells or area-effect spells like warding are discussed below. There are sorcery spell which provide their target with a similar barrier against specific incoming spells: Neutralize <Rune> and Neutralize Spirit Magic. In typical sorcery manner, the barrier is fuzzy and requires that the penetration strength of the incoming spell overcomes the intensity of the barrier spell. The Neutralize Spirit Magic spell first needs to dissipate all existing temporal spirit spells affecting the target by overcoming the sum of their spell strength and will then remain in effect for its duration, but will dissipate when it fails a resistance roll (if the incoming spirit spell takes effect), the Neutralize <Rune> spells will stay in effect for its duration regardless whether incoming spells penetrate it. It isn’t clear whether a Neutralize <Rune> spell will protect from a sorcerous spell using that rune. (And if so, whether the substitution for the Magic rune in undefined spells by the specified rune makes a spell susceptible to Neutralize <Rune>.) The interaction of Neutralize Spirit Magic with the Countermagic spirit spell is slightly complicated. Obviously, to take effect, it has to overcome the stacked Countermagic effect on the target with its penetration strength, which is the sum of its intensity (whether from manipulation or inscribed POW) and any magic points piled on top to boost it. The instant this has happened, Countermagic the spirit spell dissipates, and hence doesn‘t count to the sum of the points of temporal spirit magic in effect, as far as I interprete the rules. Not quite a barrier, but still interacting with the penetration strength of the incoming spell is the reflection effect of the rune spell Reflection and the sorcery spell Castback. Again obviously it has to have penetrated the stacked Countermagic effect already for this spell to come into action. Another such magic is dispelling magic that already has taken effect. The spells applicable here are the Spirit spell Dispel Magic, the common Rune Spell Dismiss Magic and the sorcerous Neutralize Spirit Magic (as the instant effect of this spell). Dispel and Dismiss have to be equal to or stronger than the points of the targeted spell. Boosts like Extension, points put into Duration or Range, or magic points that had been added to penetrate a Countermagic-like barrier don‘t count here. Sorcery matches the intensity of the Neutralize Spirit Magic spell (not the magic points put into Range or Duration, or as boost to penetrate a barrier) with the sum of all spirit spells currently affecting the target. (Not including any instant spirit spells that happen to strike the target simultaneously to this spell – since sorcery is slower than spirit magic, I would rule that instant spells take effect before this sorcery spell takes effect. Once this spell has taken effect, the barrier effect of it discussed above comes into play.) Both these spells can be cast on a Protective Circle to give them area-effect, taking care of the range condition. This is also the only way to cast Neutralize Spirit Magic on a target without affecting existing spirit magic (like that extended Bladesharp 3 that you might want to keep on your blade). A third variant temporarily suspends a temporal spell that is already in effect. This is (currently) limited to the sorcery spell Neutralize Magic. If the Neutralize Magic spell has an intensity of at least half the intensity of the spell already in effect, the intensity of the spell is matched against the intensity of the Neutralize Magic spell. The caster needs to be able to perceive the targeted spell (i.e. the target of the spell) in order to neutralize it. There are a number of debatable points here. Does the Neutralize Magic target a single spell, or does it target a stacked spell effect (say Shield plus Protection) if the caster cannot specify whether the magical protection is from spirit magic or rune magic? Finally there are special or additional such effects, like Reflection/Castback which return a spell whose caster didn‘t manage to win a POW vs. POW contest against the spell‘s target on the caster. And in this case, it is open to debate whether any magic points used for boosting the spell say past a Countermagic effect or the Absorption effect still are in effect when the spell is reflected. Probably yes, if you look at the description of the Absorption spell. The interaction between detection spells and the Countermagic effect and the Countermagic spirit spell fragility was discussed in this thread: https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/8238-countermagic-complications/ I seem to recall a ruling that a Detect Magic (or Enemies) spell would not dissipate any Countermagic spells it encounters even if its boosted strength would allow it to. I am not sure whether the Countermagic effect shields additional magic or the quality of “Enemy” from being detected. A nifty tool a bit outside of these considerations is the sorcery spell Attract Magic which redirects any ranged spell within its range of effect to the designated redirection target if applicable. Applicable means: the caster must be able to see (or otherwise target) the redirection target. The redirection target must be susceptible to the spell. Mind-affecting spells cannot be redirected to objects, but can be redirected to people, beasts, monster (e.g. undead, automata, or spirits with Visibility on), or illusions thereof (that cover the sensory range of the caster used for targeting – usually sight, Sould Sight, or darksense, possibly earthsense). Spells causing physical damage cannot be redirected to a spirit with Visibility on, but can be cast on an optical or Darksense illusion or phantom (or hallucination, if the caster is affected by one, although in this case only the person who cast the Hallucination or anyone in mental connection with the hallucinating caster would be able to target the redirection target). A standard held high with a bound spirit inside or a beast (e.g. a bird) perching on it may act as such a redirection target, and only affects those who have line of sight towards this redirection target. Shielding their vision against this redirection target will allow casters to affect their intended target with ranged magic. (Note that a Lightwall or a Darkwall can render this distraction ineffective to casters using sight for targeting, and Lightwall possibly affecting Darksense, too. Not Soul Sight, though…) Selectively targeting active spells with dispelling (or neutralizing) spells Unless you know exactly what spells have been cast on a target, you have to guess at the spell or its function, and at its intensity. Let’s take an Arkati (Humakti and/or Zorak Zorani) as your opponent whose sword has that magic “glow” signalling that there is a magic spell active on it. Unless you use Soul Sight or Pierce Veil, you have no information about how strong the spell is, or whether there are several spells active on the blade. Let’s assume a worst case here. The blade could carry Bladesharp, Truesword, Blessing of Kargan Tor, Seal Wound, Pain Tooth, Protection or Countermagic, Shield, Absorption, Neutralize Armor, Ward Against Weapons and Castback (applicable if the blade has a bound spirit), Preserve Item, Protective Circle (with any number of Neutralize Rune and Neutralize Spirit Magic spells on it), and because nasty opponents did strike this worthy with de-buffing magic, a number of Neutralize Magic spells negating several castings of Dullblade, Dampen Damage and possibly even Glue (to the sheath it was in). The dispelling target declaration might simply be “the (or a) spell on that blade, in which case a random spell from the list of the protective spells above is chosen (Protection, Shield, Absorption, Castback, Ward Against Weapons, Protective Circle and its companions). (With the usual checks for whether the incoming dispelling spell overcomes a Countermagic and/or Absorption effect, and whether it overcomes the magic points of the bound spirit in order to avoid triggering the Castback, if within range of the Castback resistance ability.) “The (a) spell on that blade that is not a protective spell.” I don’t think I’d allow an exclusion clause in the targeting. That leaves a positive but not concrete pronouncement like “The (a) spell that enhances that blade.” Getting into tricky territory. Preserve Item qualifies, so does every Neutralize Magic with the spell it blocked still in duration. An obvious effect like Fireblade is easy to target, of course. (A Fireblade combined with a medium strength Absorption might become a veritable MP generator…) But I don’t think that Boon of Kargan Tor is really discernible from Truesword, Seal Wound or Bladesharp. Detect Magic will lighten up all potential targets within range. More reliable than just looking out for that magical glow or increased definition that accompanies active magic. Soul Sight or Pierce Veil will not be blocked by the Countermagic effect, and may tell how strong the magic on that sword is. The question here is whether the spells can discern between spells, whether they have enough resolution to determine single spells, and whether stacked spell effects (like Shield with Protection or Countermagic, or Protective Circle with various Neutralize spells) are perceived as a single amount of magic. The sorcerous Identify Spell spell can identify a single spell, either targeting an obvious spell effect, or targeting the target of a spell. The spell description gives no advice how to deal with an object that is the target of multiple spells, or how this spell deals with stacked effects like Countermagic or Protection, and neither does it tell us whether Countermagic or Absorption prevents such an identification. The sorcerous Reveal Rune spell gives a good guess at what rune spells the character may possibly have cast himself, although associate magic or Spell Trading might obscure that. Spells cast by supporters require a runic analysis of said supporters... Area effect magic and dispelling and Countermagic effects This is where things get tricky. Does the Countermagic effect on individual targets stack with the Countermagic effect of area effect magic? What happens if you are inside the effect of a Create Neutral Ground or Great Market and cast offensive magic? Does a sufficiently high Countermagic effect or Neutralize Harmony Rune spell protect you from the Disruption penalty for taking offensive action inside the area? How high a Countermagic effect is required? 1 point per Disruption, or 2 points per point of Warding? What about Create Market (a 3-point spell, although some of those points may explain the 8-week special duration)? What is the effect of several Protective Circles with the same Neutralize spells on them overlapping? Does only the strongest Neutralize effect interact with the incoming spell, or does the incoming spell ‘s penetration strength have to bypass each and every Neutralize spell it crosses or enters? Absorption and the Disrupt effects of Create Market or Warding: Does Absorption 2 prevent a 3 point Warding’s Disrupt effect to hit the target of the Absorption when triggering the Disrupt? Does the caster receive 3 magic points every time the Absorption target inside a 3 priests’ worth Great Market fires their bow, or crosses a hostile Warding border? That’s it for now. This post might be edited when I conceive or receive additions or necessary alterations to this version.