Reworking Dispel Magic

I’ve never been a fan of the way Dispel magic spell works in D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder. All the buffs you try to dispel have equal DC = enemy caster level + 11 so removing something like Seamantle is just as likely as a low level spell like Shield. Also given that the game loves to throw high CR enemies at you, dispel is very hit or miss if you don’t merge mythic spellbooks. Now I believe there is currently a bug that makes the DC = caster level (no +11), which makes it a lot easier to remove buffs on enemies but still the system is unrewarding since is highly luck based.

I suggest that we just compare the DC of the buff+11 to the DC of the dispel spell +d20 (no caster levels). Low level but strong spells like shield (which negates magic missile and is spammable due to the number of 1st level spell slots available) will have higher chance of being dispelled than high level spells like Seamantle. It will also make school focus Abjuration more useful outside Banishment since most of the spells are just buffs. It’s also more intuitive since right now the DC of buffs and dispel magic you see on your spellbook have nothing to do with how the dispel system works (which is entirely based off of caster level). Thoughts?

For what it’s worth (which is nothing, of course), tabletop dispel magic has an option to use it in a manner similar to the suggestion:

It’s still a dispel check (in general, 1d20+caster level), but the result is compared to the DC of the spell you’re trying to dispel - easier to dispel shield than seamantle.


The problem is simply that owlcat fucked up casterlevels on enemies, that already happened in Kingmaker.
Enemies shouldn’t casually have 30+ CL, almost every enemy in pathfinder tt is hardcapped at base Casterlevel 20. (ok they technically can boost it with feats/racial traits etc to be 1 or 2 points higher) Some legendary monsters, especially demigods, can have like CL 23 or so, the highest CL is a powerful demigod with CL 27.
In tt this situation “i cannot dispel a spell from my enemy because he has more than 9 CL than I” simply doesn’t exist, because you never will fight a high level mage on low levels, and on high levels the CL is soft-capped

Iirc either way, racial levels never should boost the CL of your spellcaster class, but in KM/Wrath it does.


I would love this for when you want to dispel an adverse effect on an ally !

My Witch Doctor feature would be more viable. I mean dispelling many of your positive buffs is a huge cost (for a player like me who avoids resting as much as possible).

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Trickster, Aeon, and Azata all have reliable ways to dispel buffs.

Pls learn to play the game before trying to change it, thx.

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I was referring to Dispel Magic in the rules in general, including in this game. No, I do not include Mythic Abilities in my evaluation of basic features.

The tabletop version allows to target a specific effect/spell. Dispelling many or all buffs on an ally is often the end-result in Kingmaker and WotR: which makes Dispel Magic objectively suck in terms of removing an effect on an ally. The Witch Doctor feature can only target an ally (it cannot be used otherwise).

The topic is not what Mythic abilities or feats I can get to bypass a bad feature or spell.

Can you be less salty or a jerk about your disagreements ?


The whole game is built around the Mythic Paths. Why in the world would you want to nerf the game so badly that they don’t matter?

Stop. And stop reporting innocuous comments.

Learn the game. It’s fun.

IIRC, targeted Dispel Magic checks against the spells on a target starting with the highest level spell, and keeps going until it dispels one or goes through all their effects.

The issue is probably more of making every-day spells useful without having them overshadow more powerful abilities. The Lich’s level 9 Corrupt Magic should be better at removing effects than a Greater Dispel magic.

The best way to resolve it, IMHO, is to add a buff to Mythic enemies/bosses that make regular dispels less effective against them - Dispel Magic can’t dispel anything over level 3 on them, and Greater Dispel Magic can only dispel 1 effect. That way they’re always useful, but not as powerful as Corrupt Magic, Aeon gazes, etc. on the hardest opponents.

It’s not that people don’t understand the game or the mechanics, it’s that CL as a means of determining dispel checks is not satisfying. We know how dispel system works and it’s very underwhelming. Boosting one’s CL to match enemy’s CR is very limited: spell specialization, school mastery, and merging mythic spellbooks. If it were based off actual spell DC, there are so many more options: metamagic heighten, school focus/greater/mythic, ability scores, mythic abilities, class specific abilities etc.

More importantly, it makes buffers more relevant in this equation by providing more in terms of counterplay. What’s stopping a high CR enemies from easily beating your CL and stripping all your buffs? Well to be frank, it’s because the AI is not using greater dispel as often as they should which is why buff stack is so powerful. Instead of a flat CL+11 on all your buffs DC, use the actual DC for those spells. Want to prevent enemies from removing all your lovely buffs? Specialize in increasing your buff’s DC and heighten Shield if you are afraid of magic missiles for example. The only metamagic feat worth using on buffs currently is extend and it’s lame.

The system will be more complex and dynamic than just looking at CL and I don’t understand why anyone would defend the current system.


Desiderius, come on. Stop being such a fanboy. We know there is a lot to love in this game, but this one aspect is obviously not very well thought out. First giving you access to abilities to then making them useless and irrelevant is a really awful idea. Monster HD should not be included in calculation of class levels - Pathfinder system was not created with that in mind.

You are too defensive around actual real problems and bugs. This game is far from perfect. People here are not criticising stuff to spoil your fun but to rise the concerns, which are actually quite legitimate.


I would actually solve the problem by using solution from P&P pathfinder. Do not count other levels than class levels in calculation of DC. Also power down Greater Dispel magic so that it dispells one spell per four caster levels if used as Targeted, and Dispel magic so it dispels only one, random spell from the target. That way spell version of Dispel would stay useful, while dispels granted by Aeon and Azata’s dragon would be substantially more powerful.

This would require powering down of some bosses (facing against fully buffed lvl 20 Bloodrager with 11th level party would still make dispel magic very ineffective), but it would be true to P&P which is what the system was designed for.

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Alternatively, not having the buff suites kick in unless you are being super sloppy in progressing through the area (and basically giving the boss reasons to start putting them on on top of their normal at-wills.)

Yeah doesn’t seem to work enough to make it worth using in it’s current set up.

Like I said, I never found the PnP system interesting in the first place. Why should dispel checks be all about caster level? Why should removing a level 9 spell have the same success rate as removing a level 1 spell? It feels completely random. What if I don’t want to remove Mind Black on Playful Darkness and specifically want to dispel Shield so he’s not immune to magic missiles? According to TT rules that’s the last check in greater dispel spell so I will need to hope I don’t dispel the higher level buffs. Also, comparing CL simplifies the role of the buffer to just be a level 20 pure caster as there isn’t much else they can do to protect their buffs from being dispelled by high CL enemies. Getting something like Spell Specialization for Shield of Faith or School Mastery Abjuration is a complete meme.

DC of spells can also be fine tuned for each difficulty settings: CL is fixed but we all know that DC of abilities and spells are vastly different when comparing story mode to unfair. It will take some work to get right but I honestly feel like it’d not only be a better system but a more intuitive one. CL is good for stuff like spell penetration, duration, and damage, but it’s not a good system for dispel DC.

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To be fair, PnP has spells like Contingency and Spell Turning, which makes targeted Dispel Magic much more dangerous. It’s probably easier “balancing” around inflated caster levels than on targeted spell reflection though.