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    Canonfire :: View topic - Dispelling Magical Alterations to Constructs
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 2nd Edition
    Dispelling Magical Alterations to Constructs
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:11 am  
    Dispelling Magical Alterations to Constructs

    I got into a discussion recently and wanted to get some feedback from everyone on this.

    What happens when a Dispel Magic is used to counter the effects of magic used to warp, shift, or otherwise alter magically created/shifted constructions?

    A spell-caster uses Stone Shape to create a doorway by peeling open a stone/brick wall. If a rival spell-caster successfully Dispels the shaped stone, doesn't it return to its former state (a solid barrier)?

    Here's another, closely related question. There's a brick or stone wall surrounding a complex. Stone Shape is used to twist and topple part of the wall. If a successful Dispel Magic is cast, does the broken part of the wall suddenly (and magically) reform into its previous, undamaged state?

    thanks,

    Lanthorn
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 12, 2014
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    Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:28 pm  

    If the magical alteration is a one-time, permanent change, as in Stone Shape or Glassteel, Dispel Magic does nothing. If the magic has a continuous effect, as in Glassee or Passwall, then Dispel Magic either temporarily disrupts (usually with magic items) or permanently disrupts the magic. The exception to permanent effects are conjured effects, such as Wall of Stone (although I would say that time would eventually prevent Dispel Magic in such a case; it seems silly IMO for Dispel Magic to work on a Wall of Stone that was conjured 1000 years ago).

    Jeff
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:26 pm  

    Stone shape doesn't alter the stone, just makes it malleable for a time. Once the stone is shaped and the spell ends, there is nothing magical about the stone at all, so there is nothing to be dispelled. As to casting dispel magic on stone affected by this spell and having it just pop back to the way it was, you might as well be asking if casting dispel magic on a charred corpse will un-fireball it. So, no to both questions.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:01 am  

    AuldDragon wrote:
    I it seems silly IMO for Dispel Magic to work on a Wall of Stone that was conjured 1000 years ago).

    Jeff



    Player: "I cast Dispel Magic."

    DM: (rolls dice multiple times, checking for each magical effect in the area, as stated in the spell description in the 2nd edition PHB, then fights the urge to laugh hysterically for the time being) "Alright." (DM describes any effects being dispelled the PCs are able to notice) "Oh, you do remember I mentioned the wizards who built this place used a lot of magic in construction? That includes the bridge you and your foes are standing on. You see the mortar, or what you assumed was mortar, turning into mud as the stones beneath their feet plummet into the gorge, along with them. Also, now that the bridge has a sizable gap in it, the rest of the bridge is unable to hold itself up, and the rest of the bridge, along with you, also fall into the ravine." (NOW the DM can laugh hysterically)


    Last edited by BlueWitch on Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:07 am  

    Speaking of building things using magic, Svirfneblin (and a few surface gnome) communities in my campaign frequently use magic to build structures:

    Phase 1: Cast rock to mud.
    Phase 2: Put the mud "cement" into forms.
    Phase 3: Dispel magic on the mud to return it to non-magical stone, and remove forms.
    Phase 4: Profit!!!

    That process is used to build their cities. Stone shape is also used to further modify things with regard to function/decoration.
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    GreySage

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    Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:34 am  

    Check out the description of spells in the PHB, page 129, under Duration:

    "Spells of a permanent duration last until the effects are negated by some means, usually by a Dispel Magic."

    This means that the Stone Shape alterations can be undone by a successful Dispel Magic.

    -Lanthorn
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    Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:21 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Check out the description of spells in the PHB, page 129, under Duration:

    "Spells of a permanent duration last until the effects are negated by some means, usually by a Dispel Magic."

    This means that the Stone Shape alterations can be undone by a successful Dispel Magic.

    -Lanthorn


    Energy Drain and Power Word, Kill are also Permanent and say nothing about Dispel Magic, but it is silly to think you could just Dispel those effects. The description you quoted for Dispel Magic and permanent spells is a guideline only. I'd look to Mending for guidelines on spells that alter a normal, physical object in a normal way (spells like Stone Shape or Move Earth can get you a result that time and effort can also get you; it is just faster).

    Jeff
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:17 pm  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    Check out the description of spells in the PHB, page 129, under Duration:

    "Spells of a permanent duration last until the effects are negated by some means, usually by a Dispel Magic."

    This means that the Stone Shape alterations can be undone by a successful Dispel Magic.

    -Lanthorn

    Well, I hope you've been tracking ALL of the healing ever done to the PCs, because your players are sure going to be surprised the next time their characters get hit with a dispel magic spell and you say, "The elf takes 8,473 hit points of damage, as the healing magic used on him, for all time, is dispelled!"

    Dispel magic - the deadliest spell in the game! Laughing

    There are two different permanent effects - one of them dispel magic works on; the other not. I know it is confusing, namely as it isn't explained in the 2E rule books. Certain permanent effects are permanent magical creations, such as a wall of stone. The wall of stone wasn't stone altered by a spell, at which point it became non-magical again, but was created from nothing. That is a permanent effect which can be dispelled. Stone shape is just like a cure wounds spell though. The substance is reformed, but the new substance is not inherently magical. Any magic which just changes an already extant form, but which can be dispelled, will have it noted in the spell entry. A perfect example of this are the various polymorph spells.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:13 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Lanthorn wrote:
    Check out the description of spells in the PHB, page 129, under Duration:

    "Spells of a permanent duration last until the effects are negated by some means, usually by a Dispel Magic."

    This means that the Stone Shape alterations can be undone by a successful Dispel Magic.

    -Lanthorn

    Well, I hope you've been tracking ALL of the healing ever done to the PCs, because your players are sure going to be surprised the next time their characters get hit with a dispel magic spell and you say, "The elf takes 8,473 hit points of damage, as the healing magic used on him, for all time, is dispelled!"

    Dispel magic - the deadliest spell in the game! Laughing


    Don't forget Cure Disease:
    "Your character is also now stricken with measles, chicken pox, rubella, polio, tetanus, 196 different colds, 15 flu viruses, oh, and that syphilis from your time as a sailor." Those 8,473 points of damage might be a relief in the face of that.

    However, each magical effect does require a separate check, so with some lucky rolls, the elf in the example above might just get away with only having 2,500 to 3,000 of those points of damage coming back to haunt him/her.

    As Cebrion pointed out, the rules as written, could stand to be more clear about "permanent magic", better defining effects like Continual Light, which creates a clear magical effect which is permanent, and finding some way to define "temporary magic which leaves a permanent effect", such as any of the Cure spells, or Stone Shape, etc.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:44 am  

    What about Dispel Magic's effect on the most powerful of "magical constructs", namely Golems? Can a Dispel Magic cast by a high enough level caster destroy a Golem? I know some spells can't be dispelled, such as Wall of Force, but I don't remember seeing anything about whether a Golem can or not.
    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:09 am  

    No, a Dispel Magic cannot affect a golem, which is considered truly permanent in terms of the magic that animates it. Besides, most of them require a Wish spell (!!!) to create them.

    -Lanthorn
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:34 pm  

    Golems are immune to ALL magic, excepting those spells specifically mentioned in their entries which usually affect them in odd ways.
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    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:55 pm  

    OK, I've been pondering what you all have said, and believe that the curative spells should rightfully be considered "Instantaneous" in duration, in that the magic is expelled in that moment, and then fades. These effects cannot be magically dispelled, for there is not residual magical energy to remove. Your Fireballs and Lightning Bolts (damaging spells in general, actually), fall under this category, and that is why the harm they cause cannot be undone with a successful Dispel Magic.

    "Permanent" effects, however, still have magical energies within them that keep those effects intact. These effects can be dispelled, unless otherwise noted. For instance, the Mending spell states that after a turn the joining created by the magic cannot be removed.

    Shortly after reading the comments written above, I began re-reading the descriptions of magic in the Player's Handbook, specifically about Durations. Furthermore, I dusted off my copies of "Wizard's Spell Compendium" (something I rarely do, actually) and began researching in the hopes of clarification. I found it. Under the Duration entry at the very beginning of each tome, it states the following:

    "A duration of permanent means the spell energy remains as long as the effect does; this means that the spell is vulnerable to a Dispel Magic spell."

    Granted, it then goes on to say "This is an altered usage." But I find it very helpful in this debate of ours.

    Furthermore, the entry goes on to state, "Many spells listed in earlier sources as having a "permanent" effect (such as cure light wounds) will be altered in this series and in future publications to "instantaneous."

    So...I guess it really depends on the DM. Do you want your magically altered stone to be dispellable (permanent effect) or not (instantaneous effect)???

    -Lanthorn
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:11 am  

    ..or it depends on how simple or complex you want the solution to your questions to be. Assuming the Spell Compendium authors didn't just cut-n-paste much of the content in the many volumes of the series, and very purposely left stone shape with a duration of permanent, you still have a problem of solution to your questions. The authors or 3E were very in tune with this particular issue and many others due to years of seeing questions asked and answered. Stone shape having a duration of instantaneous would leave you with no questions at all and no problems to address, which is probably why those 3E authors very purposely changed the duration of stone shape to instantaneous. One word change = no problems of any kind at all? Yeah, that's probably a good word to change. Wink
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