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    Canonfire :: View topic - Magic Resistance
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 2nd Edition
    Magic Resistance
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:51 pm  
    Magic Resistance

    OK, I'm back with another one. Happy

    This question pertains to the dreaded magic resistance.

    I pretty much get when to apply it to situations (is that applause I hear in the background?). Here is what I would like clarified.

    Can anyone tell me a reason why it was set against 11th lvl spell use (at least in 1e and 2e)? For the life of me, it seems completely arbitrary. Why not, say, 18th, or 9th, etc.?

    Secondly, if you reference MM2, there are some demons, devils, or daemons that have magic resistance set against the use of 1st lvl spells, meaning that if you toss a higher level magical effect against them, it REDUCES their effective resistance. Personally, I LIKE IT, but for ALL magic resistant creatures. It just makes sense to me that a spell-caster using a more powerful magical spell (say, a 5th lvl Cone of Cold, over a lower 3rd level Fireball, or even 1st lvl Magic Missile) would decrease that beastie's ability to withstand it. It's like using all your strength to KO someone instead of a less forceful jab with your finger.

    However, later on in other source guides (see, esp. the Monstrous Compendiums on the Outer Plane creatures), there is no mention of this discrepancy.

    Any takers on this one?

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:14 pm  

    You're right that 11th level is a bit arbitrary, but they needed some basis from which to start and 11th level is name level and pretty much the middle. I think Dispel Magic is also based upon 11th level.

    Magic Resistance was introduced in the (AD&D) Monster Manual. Then, in D1-2, Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, new monsters (Mezzodaemons and Nycadaemons) were introduced with the altered version of Magic Resistance which is affected by the level of the spell cast against it.

    It is my belief that this was a new idea for improving Magic Resistance, but instead of saying that they were changing the rule for all monsters with MR, they simply decided to apply the new version to some new monsters for variety. Made it more complicated, but hey, it was new. rolleyes

    SirXaris
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    Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:44 pm  



    Last edited by BlueWitch on Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
    GreySage

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    Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:58 am  

    BW, I don't know where it is written, but very sure that in 2e Magic Resistance is set against 11th lvl (maybe someone can cite a page number). Also, good 'chatting' with you last night (yawn! tired), and everyone else, too!

    Does anyone know if the rules regarding M.R. were altered in 2e with respect towards reducing the "power" if higher level spells (relative to 1st lvl) were used against the target resistant creature??? I see no mention of this, be I've proved to be blind in the past!

    good chatting and posting,

    -Lanthorn the Possible Myopic
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:09 am  

    While not absolutely certain, I think the target for MR was set at 11th level to correspond with what the average roll on a d20 is- 10.5- which, rounded up, is 11. Thus, 11th level is the starting target point. You'll notice that MR goes up and down by 5% as well, which is precisely what each increment of a d20 equals. Not that a d20 is used to roll for MR, but the mechanics for MR are based on a similar principle. Setting the starting point at 11th level also sets a standard for what is considered to be a powerful magic-user. It is simple enough, and it works well. It could have just been written to be a d20 roll, with a target roll of 11 and the +1/-1 modifiers for levels, but then there would be one less reason to roll d10's. Laughing

    In 2E there is no base target level. An MR percentage is assigned to each creature(or not). It is a set % value, so it is a straight percentile roll to affect them. If they roll equal to or below their MR %, the magic does not affect them; if they roll above it they are affected.
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    GreySage

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    Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:19 am  

    Thank you, Cebrion, for the explanation. What you described is what I also understand the rules for MR. To your knowledge, did the MR rules get re-written or re-interpreted by the aforementioned example of the Monster Manual 2 post above (where daemons have MR based against 1st lvl spells)? There seems to be some confusion, at least on my part, about that...

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:39 am  

    Regarding the modification to MR in MM2, the change you specify is only applicable to Daemons. It is quite clear by the specific statement on p.28 of the MM2: "All daemons have a special form of magic resistance." (emphasis mine).

    Magic Resistance remains as described in the 1E DMG for the rest of the critters/(N)PCs in the game.

    If needed, further clarification can also be found as to what MR rules to apply on page 6 of the MM2, wherein the standard 1E presentation of Magic Resistance is repeated.

    -- Pesh
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    Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:07 am  

    Some of these general topics and rules questions would be more at home in the Backalley.
    GreySage

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    Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:56 pm  

    vestcoat wrote:
    Some of these general topics and rules questions would be more at home in the Backalley.


    Perhaps you mean the Rules System Forums? These rules discussions hardly seem to be off-topic. Question

    Still, I think it is helpful to everyone to have these rules discussions include all editions of the game, as they seem to be doing so far.

    SirXaris
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:42 pm  

    ...which is the only reason I am even allowing this to remain in what is not a rules forum at all, but the World of Greyhawk Discussion forum(i.e. the threads are indeed off topic).

    Topics should not seek to finagle the forums for the purpose of getting more views though. Consequently, I'll be moving these rules threads to the most appropriate rules forum in the near future; likely the 1E forum, seeing as that seems to be the basis of most of the questions.

    As to the MM 2 Daemon MR, etc., the MR check is still based on 11th level, but the MR of a creature with this special form of MR is reduced by 5% for each level of the spell beyond 1st that it is targeted by(i.e. the more powerful the spell, the less resistance the creature has).

    Example 1: If a 20th level Archmage casts a magic missile at an Arcanodaemon(which has MR 100% vs. 1st level spells), the Arcanodaemon's MR of 100% will be lowered by -45% for the 9 levels above 11th that the Archmage has.

    Example 2: If the Archmage casts a 9th level spell at the Arcanodaemon, its MR 100% vs. 1st level spells is reduced by 5% for each level of the spell above 1st, in this case 8 spell levels, for a total reduction of 40%. The Arcanodaemon therefore has a base MR of 60% versus a 9th level spell. The Archamge is also 20th level, and so reduces the base MR by another 45% due to being being 9 levels above 11th level. Therefore, the Arcanodaemon's final MR versus the 20th level Archmage's 9th level spell is 15%.

    Yes, it is a needlessly clunky system.
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    GreySage

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    Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:37 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Yes, it is a needlessly clunky system.


    Yet, I liked this system better than the more simple one because it was more realistic, in my estimation. Magic Resistance should be dependent upon both the power of the spell being resisted and the power of its caster.

    In 3.5e, Spell Resistance works more like the original version of Magic Resistance since it doesn't take into account the level of the spell caster. It does add the spellcaster's ability modifier to the roll, though, so it is really a hybrid of the two earlier systems.

    SirXaris
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:53 pm  

    I think it was better too, as it took into account both spell level and caster level. It just could have been engineered better. 3.X does a better job of it to be sure, but then again 3.X replaces many charts that 1E would need with but a single reference number and is overall much more efficient, which keeps the calculations quick and simple and the game cruising along.
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:58 pm  

    Lanthorn,

    My rule question friend. Page 94 of the 2e DMG clearly states that MR is a percentile roll. If the MR creature rolls above its MR percentage they are affected by the spell normally. If they roll a percentage equal to or less than their MR number the spell has no effect on them.

    The effects of MR are described as being effective against individual targeted spells and, within limits, area effect spells. Though circumstantial damage from the effect of a spell could still harm them. Example a fireball is cast its magics pass though the resistant creature smacking into the rampart above its head the flying debris strike the creature causes 2d6 points of damage.

    Also I don't think it was the intention of the poster to try and finagle the boards. I have seen him post that he was looking for guidance in where these types of posts belong. I also told him not to worry as Cebrion will inform him if posts don't fit in the place where they are started.

    See I was right!

    Hope this helps.

    Argon
    GreySage

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    Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:23 pm  

    Friends of Oerth,

    Many apologies if I have misposted, and I thank you all for adding your input, advice, and support. I had hoped to place the posts in the General Forum section since, in my mind, the questions I had spanned all system editions. However, if I erred, mea culpa. Cebrion, please advise me according to the protocol of such posts, and I will honor that in the future, as I have many more queries I would like to place before my esteemed colleagues, regardless of the edition they play! Argon and SirXaris, as always, I do enjoy hearing what you have to say, and thank you much for your frequent responses.

    As for the M.R., how do you interpret if/when it is used by Illusions? That is always tricky! I understand that a phantasmal fireball would get a roll, since it is a direct action of magic against the resistant critter, but what about something indirect (as I interpret it) such as Invisibility, or Mirror Image, or Blur?

    I also like the 'revised' idea for accounting the level of the spell against Magic Resistance (a higher lvl spell reduces MR effeciency). Makes perfect sense to me, as well! Is that only found in the 3e system?

    thanks again for everyone's contribution!

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:29 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    As for the M.R., how do you interpret if/when it is used by Illusions? That is always tricky! I understand that a phantasmal fireball would get a roll, since it is a direct action of magic against the resistant critter, but what about something indirect (as I interpret it) such as Invisibility, or Mirror Image, or Blur?


    The first time an entity would be affected by the illusion they get to check against their MR. Thus, if a magic resistant creature is walking along in a forest and approaches a pit covered by illusionary solid ground, the DM would roll against its MR. If the check beats the creature's MR, the DM continues on, allowing appropriate saving throws, as if the creature were affected normally by the spell. If the check fails to beat the creature's MR, it immediately senses the truth of the illusion and sees through it.

    SirXaris
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    Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:45 pm  

    Lanthorn,

    Glad to have you on the boards. I have always handled MR in the following way. Invisibility is not being cast on the MR person or creature therefore it does not apply. I would treat Mirror Image and Blur in the same way.

    As a hard and fast rule if a spell is cast in an area that the MR person or creature is occupying then MR can be applied. If however the spell is cast outside that area and then the MR person or creature occupies that area the spell continues to work as it has. Page 94 of the DMG 2E does support the circumstantial portion of this ruling.

    So for instance the MR creature comes upon a magical gate does it close because the creature has MR? No the spell was not cast on him nor was it cast in an area which the creature occupied at the time of it's casting.

    I hope this helps.

    Argon
    GreySage

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    Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:35 pm  

    Argon, the pleasure is mine to be back! Thank you for the welcome. Happy

    My hunch was that illusion-based spells cast on someone/something (as an area of effect) other than the MR creature would not be influenced by that special power. Thanks for your perspective and clarification.

    thanks to everyone once more! Many heads is better than one. Just ask an ettin, hydra, or Tiamat! Wink

    -Lanthorn the Monocephalic
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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:04 pm  

    Argon wrote:

    So for instance the MR creature comes upon a magical gate does it close because the creature has MR? No the spell was not cast on him nor was it cast in an area which the creature occupied at the time of it's casting.

    Argon


    Does that mean that a demon (with magic resistance) cannot touch a cleric with protection from evil cast upon himself because the spell was not cast upon the demon?
    GreySage

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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:17 pm  

    IronGolem, a new face! Welcome aboard, great metal construct. Happy
    As far I as know, the demon would get a Magic Resistance roll since the protective field (of a magical nature) is trying to hedge it out. Not sure about a paladin's protective field, though, as I don't think it counts as a magical, but purely divine, effect.

    Pages 102 and 103 of the 2e Player's Handbook talk about when to apply a roll. In this case, the aforementioned clerical (or wizardly) spell counts as an in-place spell, and we are lucky that it is specifically noted in the description! Happy

    Argon, are you glad that I actually looked that up? Wink

    -Lanthorn, Barbarian Sage Apprentice
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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:15 pm  

    Yes Lanthorn I am, you are learning. Laughing
    GreySage

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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:50 pm  

    That's what I said above, but perhaps I wasn't clear.

    When a magic resistant creature first comes into contact with, or otherwise has a chance to interact with, a previously cast spell effect, the creature's magic resistance is checked. If the check fails, the creature is subject to the effects of the spell normally. If it succeeds, the creature is able to ignore all effects of the spell. In that case, it may still see the spell, such as a hazy image superimposed over reality in the case of an illusion, but it knows it for what it is.

    If that is not clear, let me say that I am agreeing with you Lanthorn and Argon. Wink

    SirXaris
    GreySage

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    Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:05 pm  

    SirXaris, Argon and I should form a friendly Triumvirate. Let's just beware of asps... Wink
    GreySage

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    Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:59 pm  

    I am adding to this older thread of mine rather than creating another of the same title. I would appreciate some added perspective on this issue, and if Cebrion needs to move it to the 2e forum, so be it:

    Are Divination spells, scrying attemts, and the Detection abilities of some creatures (including a paladin's Detect Evil ability) influenced by Magic Resistance?

    I would think so since they are trying to pinpoint the individual being.

    However, that being said, if someone is using that spell, device, or ability on a group, I would think that the MR-protected creature wouldn't defeat the whole attempt if that creature was NOT the focus of that spell, but rather would only roll for itself with the possibility of remaining un-detected.

    Ideas?

    -Lanthorn the Inquirer
    GreySage

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    Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:38 pm  

    If the creature's MR is not defeated, the spell or spell-like ability fails to work on that individual. If it is an area affect, it works normally on any creature without MR or who's MR is defeated by the spellcaster. Only apply a failure to individuals with MR which is not defeated.

    For example, a Paladin's Detect Evil ability, if focused on an evil individual who's MR was not overcome would reveal no information about the MR individual's alignment. Therefore, it may suggest to the Paladin that that individual must be either Good or Neutrally aligned. If the Paladin is scanning a group of people within the area of effect of his DE, he would note any evil creatures in the group with the exception of the specific individuals who's MR was not overcome. Again, they would detect the same as a Good or Neutral individual - that is, the DE ability would provide no information about that individual at all.

    If the MR individual is the specific target of a scrying attempt that fails to overcome the individual's MR, the spell simply fails. If an MR individual comes within the AoE of a scrying spell targeting a different individual, the scryer must overcome the MR in order for his spell to show the MR individual. In other words, if the scrying spell does not overcome the MR of an individual wandering into its AoE or even one there at its inception, the spell itself fails to detect that individual so that MR individual is effectively invisible to the scrying spell. I would still rule that since the scrying spell 'sees' the physical world where the MR individual stands, a savvy spellcaster may still detect the MR individual's presence as grass blades are bend in the shape of a foot, other, visible, individuals address an apparently empty chair, or otherwise appear to interact with an invisible individual.

    SirXaris
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    Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:01 am  

    What Sir Xaris said.
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    GreySage

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    Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:05 am  

    Thanks, fellas. I was thinking along those lines, too!

    -Lanthorn
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