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The Counterspeller: Turning Off Your Enemy's Magic

An Pathfinder TTRPG Character Concept

By Neal LitherlandPublished 20 days ago 3 min read
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Magic is one of the great powers in any fantasy RPG. It allows one to shape the face of the cosmos, to control the minds of a populace, to call lightning from the skies, or to render the most powerful warrior little more than a broken, mewling weakling. And while magic may be in short supply among one's enemies rather early in a campaign, spells and spell-like abilities are some of the most common tools used by antagonists once things really start rolling.

For that reason, there are few powers more effective than being able to take a sledgehammer to that capability, and to stop your foes from bringing out their big guns. And the best way to do that is with a counterspell specialist.

Taking The Bullets Out Of The Gun

I can do this all day...

Counterspell, as a mechanic, is a bit of an involved process. First, a character must choose a target, and then ready an action to counter the spell. If the target casts a spell (or uses a spell-like ability), you can then cast the same spell to counter it. Or, in some cases, you can use dispel magic to counter a spell.

This requires either you to have some genius planning about the abilities of your enemies, or to take some precautions to make sure you have a wider latitude of spells you can cast. The two best options I've found for this in Pathfinder Classic are the Counterspell School for wizards out of the Advanced Player's Guide, as well as the Spell Warrior for the skald in the Advanced Class Guide.

The Counterspell School gives you Improved Counterspell as a bonus feat, which allows you to counter an enemy's spell with a spell of the same level and school, rather than the exact same spell an enemy is casting, which is significantly more utilitarian. More importantly, at 6th level you gain the ability to counterspell an enemy spell as an immediate action rather than a readied action a certain number of times per day... something that is a VERY powerful tool for your toolbox.

A secondary option, for those who want to avoid the prepared casting nonsense of the wizard is the Spell Warrior.

The Spell Warrior also gains Improved Counterspell as a bonus feat, but they gain it much earlier. This archetype can also expend multiple spell slots to counter an enemy spell, even if they don't have a school of the appropriate school. And at level 10 the Spell Warrior can counterspell enemy spells as an immediate action as well... but in addition to expending spell slots, it costs them a number of rounds of raging song equal to the level of the spell being countered to do it. The also gain Spell Parry as a bonus spell, which can be quite useful for one who wants to turn spells back on their casters.

And if you know you're going to be dealing with a lot of enemy spellcasters, you could bring one of each of these characters, and bring the teamwork feat Cooperative Counterspelling, which can be quite a boon in shutting down the enemy... and if none of your fellow players are interested, there's always the option to take Leadership to make sure you have an acolyte who's willing to help protect the party from unwanted magic.

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That's all for this week's Unusual Character Concepts post!

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About the Creator

Neal Litherland

Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.

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Blog: Improved Initiative and The Literary Mercenary

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  • Skyler Saunders19 days ago

    With excellent insight, this gamer guide delves into the complexities of the world of electronic arts. To be knowledgeable of the magic involved in these games is key and delivers a clear and concise estimation here.

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