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The mechanics of Dispel/Remove magic

There are several threads in this forum about the spells Dispel Magic and Remove Magic, but AFAIK none of them covers in depth their mechanics.

I have gathered information about these spells from several places and this is what I got:
  • In spite of what the description says, low level casters don’t have a 1% chance of dispelling effects from high level casters. Their chance is actually 0.
  • Both spells display the message "Dispel Effects" in the combat log and a visual effect even if nothing gets dispelled.
  • Some magic effects are not dispellable. This include deafness, poison, stun, swarmed (from Summon Insects), bad luck (from Wish), decaying (from Dolorous Decay), doom, greater malison, held, magic resistance lowered, miscast magic, silence, unconsciousness, spell failure (from Insect Plague), and spell protections like Spell Turning or Spell Deflection.
  • The target's Magic Resistance, if any, does not affect this spell.
  • The only way to protect from these spells is using Spell Immunity: Abjuration.
  • When they are cast on a target affected by magic effects from several casters, the chance of dispelling is calculated separately for the effects created by each caster. The chances of dispelling the effects created by a high level caster are lower than the chances of dispelling the effects created by a low level caster even if they are all present in the same character.

Is this correct?

Even if the last point is correct, it is unclear how many rolls are made when one of these spells hits a creature. For example, let's say a creature has four buffs, two from one allied mage and the other two from another one. Then an enemy mage casts Remove Magic on the creature. Is there a single roll for all four buffs? Or two rolls, one for the buffs of the first mage and another one for the buffs or the second mage? Or four rolls, one for each effect?

semiticgodJuliusBorisovAerakar

Comments

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 654
    What is always bothered me is the 0% chance if the gap between the two casters are high.another is the spell immunity:abjuration, its only protects from dispel/remove magic and with this nobody just another mage can remove mage protections. Annoying.

  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,298
    Isn’t Spell Immunity an integral part of the “mage chess” mini game that makes BGII’s combat so well loved?

    gorgonzolaleeux
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,968
    Alonso wrote: »
    [*] Some magic effects are not dispellable. This include deafness, poison, stun, swarmed (from Summon Insects), bad luck (from Wish), decaying (from Dolorous Decay), doom, greater malison, held, magic resistance lowered, miscast magic, silence, unconsciousness, spell failure (from Insect Plague), and spell protections like Spell Turning or Spell Deflection.
    Every effect can be dispellable or undispellable. Each source separately determines if it's effects are dispellable. The Poison spell is dispellable, but non-magical poisons generally are not.
    The Dispel/Remove Magic spells specifically cure Deafness and Feeblemindedness separately from their "Dispel Magic" effect, dispellable or not.
    Alonso wrote: »
    [*] When they are cast on a target affected by magic effects from several casters, the chance of dispelling is calculated separately for the effects created by each caster. The chances of dispelling the effects created by a high level caster are lower than the chances of dispelling the effects created by a low level caster even if they are all present in the same character.
    "Caster level", not necessarily caster. The same caster can cast two spells at different levels, and they will have separate dispel chances. (Quite common for Wildmages as they have a random +/-5 casting level for every spell).

    My understanding is that it's one roll, for everything, all dispellable effects with caster level 'X' or less are removed, 'X' being Dispel's caster level + [-9 to +5], with uneven distribution, and a chance to automatically fail.

    semiticgodJuliusBorisov
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 703
    kjeron wrote: »
    Every effect can be dispellable or undispellable. Each source separately determines if it's effects are dispellable. The Poison spell is dispellable, but non-magical poisons generally are not.
    So how can I find out what sources create dispellable effects and what sources don't?
    kjeron wrote: »
    The Dispel/Remove Magic spells specifically cure Deafness and Feeblemindedness separately from their "Dispel Magic" effect, dispellable or not.
    Not following, can you explain?

  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,394
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    Every effect can be dispellable or undispellable. Each source separately determines if it's effects are dispellable. The Poison spell is dispellable, but non-magical poisons generally are not.
    So how can I find out what sources create dispellable effects and what sources don't?

    It's set per-effect, so the only way to know for sure is to examine each effect individually in an editor.
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    The Dispel/Remove Magic spells specifically cure Deafness and Feeblemindedness separately from their "Dispel Magic" effect, dispellable or not.
    Not following, can you explain?

    Dispel/Remove will always cure these effects, even if the general dispel fails.

    semiticgodgorgonzolaJuliusBorisovAlonso
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,133
    @Bubb So the 1% chance of failure mentioned in the description exists even though the 1% chance of success does not?

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,968
    Well, except that the description lists a 5% minimum chance of success/failure, not 1%.

    BubbsemiticgodgorgonzolaJuliusBorisov
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,149
    kjeron wrote: »
    Well, except that the description lists a 5% minimum chance of success/failure, not 1%.

    You're both right. The original spell description specified 1%, but the EE has made some changes in wording, including stating a 5% minimum for success/failure :p.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,133
    It still says 1% for Remove Magic in my BG2EE install, if not Dispel Magic.

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,968
    Looks like it's a mess. As far as I can tell (v1.3+), EE has always listed 5% on Dispel Magic, yet @semiticgod is correct about it listing 1% on Remove Magic, while the EE Game Manual lists 5% for both.

    If it's to be fixed though, I vote for the BG1 description - 5% min/max, and both above/below level are +/-5% per level, not 10% for one 5% for the other.

    AndreaColomboGrond0JuliusBorisov
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 654
    Can it modify to always be a 5% chance of success ? If i modify it to only scale up to level 20, will be anything different ?

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,353
    whats even more interesting is that when you attempt to dispel or remove magic from a creature, their "spell caster level" is based on the minimum level required to cast said spell rather than their actual level

    for example

    every spell in BG 2 ( at least, not sure about bg1 ) is capped at level 20, so if you are a level 21 caster, you are actually casting a spell as if it is level 20, so that means if you are a level 30 caster, and use dispel magic on anyone, then you will have a 99% chance to succeed REGARDLESS of level of the creature you are trying to dispel

    kind of weird how it takes YOUR actual caster level to start the check, but only takes the minimum caster level needed for the target

    so if you were level 30 and cast protections on yourself you would succeed 99% of dispelling your own stuff, despite the fact that it should be around 50%

    usually boss monsters in ToB are level 30 which means if they use a remove magic on ya, and you dont have spell immunity abjuration, all your pretty buffs will be gone 99% of the time regardless of what level you are

    and even though it says 99% chance to succeed, i've never actually seen it fail before when success is that high, but perhaps i haven't see dispel/remove magic enough in action for that to happen, or more realistically i dont ever remember seeing it fail, in case it happened 15 years ago

  • CamDawgCamDawg Member, Developer Posts: 3,394
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    whats even more interesting is that when you attempt to dispel or remove magic from a creature, their "spell caster level" is based on the minimum level required to cast said spell rather than their actual level

    This is still not accurate. A level 20 and 40 cleric will both get a 23-round Armor of Faith that blocks 25% of damage, but the chances to dispel will still be based on level 20 and 40, respectively.

    semiticgod
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 654
    CamDawg wrote: »
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    whats even more interesting is that when you attempt to dispel or remove magic from a creature, their "spell caster level" is based on the minimum level required to cast said spell rather than their actual level

    This is still not accurate. A level 20 and 40 cleric will both get a 23-round Armor of Faith that blocks 25% of damage, but the chances to dispel will still be based on level 20 and 40, respectively.

    Can you elaborate this ? This should be better if dispel also caps at level 20 ? Or it works as intended ?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,133
    @Danacm: Dispel Magic does not cap at any level. The only dispelling effect that caps out is an Inquisitor's Dispel Magic because it doesn't directly call on the Inquisitor's level. That caps out at character level 20, or effective caster level 40.

    All spells are uncapped for the purposes of resisting Dispel Magic; the dispel opcode checks caster level directly. Spell effects, though, and their parameters--like the dice of a Fireball or the duration of Haste--have to be specifically coded, and the developers never bothered coding for caster levels above 20 (or in the case of IWD, 30).

    So, some spell effects are capped at level 20, but for the purposes of Dispel Magic, spells are uncapped, both for the character casting Dispel Magic and the spell that it's trying to dispel. The only exception is the Inquisitor, which caps at caster level 40, which it reaches at the Inquisitor's actual level 20.

    Danacm
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 654
    So if my char is lvl 30 and buff another char with a spell, the spell itself will be at lvl 20 effects but in the terms of dispel it stated as lvl 30 ? So a lvl 30 enemy dispel magic works on the buffed mate's spell as if the buff spell is stated as lvl 30 ? And in this case its only have 49% chance of successful dispel the effect, not 99% ?

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,133
    edited July 11
    @Danacm: It would actually be 50% instead of 49%, I think. I think the 1% chance of failure is incorporated into the same 1d100 roll; it's not tacked onto the 1d100 roll. So the percent chances would always be in multiples of 5% or 10%, with a 0% chance of failure being bumped up to a 1% chance of failure--other chances wouldn't be bumped up by 1%.


    EDIT: Accidentally tagged @DaValiant instead.

    Danacmgorgonzola
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,353
    CamDawg wrote: »
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    whats even more interesting is that when you attempt to dispel or remove magic from a creature, their "spell caster level" is based on the minimum level required to cast said spell rather than their actual level

    This is still not accurate. A level 20 and 40 cleric will both get a 23-round Armor of Faith that blocks 25% of damage, but the chances to dispel will still be based on level 20 and 40, respectively.

    i could have swore this is how it worked, but i just tested this myself and you are correct, but it has been awhile since i've run into creatures that casted said spells

    i wonder why then, abizigals remove magic was working without fail 100% of the time, despite the fact my cleric's level was around 36 or so, and protection from evil 10' radius got dispelled everytime?

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 654
    Not that creatures has the old always dispel effect ? Like Yeslick has in bg1 .

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,133
    @Danacm: Some critters do have dispel magic effects that ignore level, or are set at a certain level. Some celestials' attacks, and the attacks of certain critters in ToB, dispel with a specified level that doesn't change even in Legacy of Bhaal mode or if the target is level drained. Same goes for Carsomyr and the Staff of the Magi, which dispel at a very high level. Other sources of dispelling completely ignore caster level, like Arrows of Dispelling, Potions of Magic Blocking, and Protection from Magic scrolls/Anti-Magic Shell.

    Does anyone know in what versions of the game Yeslick's Dispel Magic dispels automatically? In some of my installs, his spell, SPIN112.spl, is coded to dispel regardless of spell level, but in others, like my current install, it's just like a regular Dispel Magic spell, coded to scale with Yeslick's level.

    Danacmgorgonzola
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 654
    I checked my iwdee install and there the dispel magic both cleric and wizard use the always dispel type.
    As i see in near infinity, it has 3 optionsy always dispel, use caster level, use specific level.

    Whats the point of always dispel ? There is no chance and counterplay ?
    I thinking about to try to change it to use specific level 1-20 to maximise its level of effects.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,133
    @Danacm: Icewind Dale has always had guaranteed dispels, one of the reasons I always hated the Lizard Man Shamans in Dragon's Eye. EE preserved vanilla IWD behavior by setting those dispel magic spells to dispel automatically, but in BG, Dispel Magic and Remove Magic are set to use caster level.

    If you manually capped Dispel Magic at 20, other spells would still scale past level 20 for the purposes of dispelling, making Dispel Magic much weaker against higher-level casters--though IWD has so few enemy spellcasters that it would be kind of moot.

    Danacm
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 654
    semiticgod wrote: »
    @Danacm: Icewind Dale has always had guaranteed dispels, one of the reasons I always hated the Lizard Man Shamans in Dragon's Eye. EE preserved vanilla IWD behavior by setting those dispel magic spells to dispel automatically, but in BG, Dispel Magic and Remove Magic are set to use caster level.

    If you manually capped Dispel Magic at 20, other spells would still scale past level 20 for the purposes of dispelling, making Dispel Magic much weaker against higher-level casters--though IWD has so few enemy spellcasters that it would be kind of moot.

    Oh thats the point.
    I always wonder why the older games use the always dispel type. Its so powerful.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 703
    edited July 13
    CamDawg wrote: »
    Alonso wrote: »
    kjeron wrote: »
    Every effect can be dispellable or undispellable. Each source separately determines if it's effects are dispellable. The Poison spell is dispellable, but non-magical poisons generally are not.
    So how can I find out what sources create dispellable effects and what sources don't?

    It's set per-effect, so the only way to know for sure is to examine each effect individually in an editor.
    This seems to contradict what kjeron said. According to him,
    Every effect can be dispellable or undispellable. Each source separately determines if it's effects are dispellable.
    So it would be per source rather than per effect.

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,968
    @Alonso The wording may not have been clear, but I meant the same thing. Every source determines each of it's effect's dispel separately from it's other effects, from it's effect at different casting levels, and from other sources.

    In general, every non-instantaneous effect within a given source should use the same dispel setting, though there are exceptions (for example, fatigue from the Haste spell).

    semiticgod
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 703
    @kjeron and @CamDawg: I still don't understand very well. Maybe checking it myself directly can help. Let's say I want to find out by myself the "dispellability" of the poison effect. CamDawg said I can do that by examining each effect in an editor (NearInfinity, maybe?) How would I do that?

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