A common feature of mid- to high-level D&D content is "magic resistance" or "anti-magic fields" that put artificial limitations on the power of magic-users. Presumably this emerged as a patch to counter the dominance of magic-users in the late game. However, these elements are usually presented in a very dull and arbitrary fashion, with no explanation beyond "the monster is immune to spells" or "spells can't be cast in this area". We can do better.
|'Cancel', Mathias Kollros|
Magic resistance (e.g. immunity to offensive spells)
By "magic resistance" I mean a monster that has immunity to offensive spells cast on it. This immunity might be permanent, it might trigger a certain percentage of the time (most high-level AD&D monsters have this), or it might have a limited number of charges per day. Often it will be more interesting to make spellcasting more complicated rather than nix it altogether.
- Spell is absorbed into a necklace of seven gems. When all gems are full, spells can be cast freely.
- Spell turns into words hovering in the air; whoever reads the words out loud first gets to cast the spell
- spell shatters into magical shards. Crack the shards and huff their magic gas to recharge your spell power
- spell is absorbed by a bonsai tree and becomes tiny fruit
- spell passes through a tiny wormhole and emerges in a harmless location nearby
- spell is slowed to the pace of a glacier - if left alone it will finish casting in about 1000 years
- spell becomes a small creature that serves the spell's target
- spell is absorbed into the pages of a floating book. The book contains every spell that has ever been cast on the target (!!)
- spell is trapped in a bubble and floats to the ceiling. Pop the bubble (AC15) to release the spell
|'Counterspell', Hannibal King|
Let's face it, a blanket "no spells allowed" field is pretty bullshit, so most of these examples are more about adding complications. Hopefully this will be fun and won't turn the game into "everything revolves around the wizard even more than before because we have to help him jump through hoops to cast his spells".
- white mist that turns solid in contact with spells (an effect similar to oobleck)
- all magic-users are followed by an annoying, unkillable imp who swallows all their spells. But the imps aren't that fast so if you run off then you can lose them for a bit.
- area is lit by anti-magic lanterns. Spells can still be cast in areas where the lanterns' light is occluded
- area is full of explosive harmonic crystals. Cast one spell and the entire place blows up
- an empty copy of the dungeon exists directly below it. Any spell cast in the dungeon affects the copy, and vice versa
- through the ceiling you can see huge ethereal shark-things swimming through solid rock. Casting a spell is like throwing chum in the water
- a demonic bureaucrat at the dungeon's entrance takes custody of your spells. You can free one spell at a time by offering a blood sacrifice