Alternate Spell Combat

“When wizards make war the earth trembles,

the sky screams, and reality buckles.”

I’ve voiced my irritation over the DCC spell duel rules multiple times in the past, and stated that it’s the most likely thing I’ll rewrite eventually. Well, that eventually is now.

The root of the problem here is that my group recently transitioned to high level play: the casters at my table are fourth to sixth level, most with additional action dice for multiple spells. This has resulted in combat rounds (and a lot of the non-combat activities as well) turning into a slog through spell result tables, causing the flow of the game to grind to a halt. Add to that the fact that a  single spell duel frequently derails the session into a game of counting momentum, checking multiple tables and comparing matrices, effectively distancing everyone but the casting wizard from what is going on in game, and you’ll probably understand why I’ve started to look for ways to speed up the process.

It should be added that I like the idea of counterspelling, spell duels and even phlogiston disturbances. I’m just not happy with how the core rules present and execute this activity, and thus decided to hack the rules for myself.

Have a look at the alternate rules below, and tell me what you think!



UPDATE 23/2/2020: I’ve simplified the rules further based on playtesting. I think they’re about as bare bones now as they can be, and shouldn’t slow down play quite as much as before.

DCC – Alternate Counterspell Rules


Illustration by the ever artistic Danny Prescott.

2 thoughts on “Alternate Spell Combat”

  1. This is really cool. But I’m not sure what it means when one spell or caster “has priority” ?

    1. Thanks you!

      As for “priority”, it’s just a fancy way of pointing out who goes first.

      For example when declaring spellburn the attacker declares how much they burn first, and then the counterimg caster declares their burn points. This means that the countering caster has an opportunity to estimate how much they want to burn on their spell as they can see the magical energies mounting in the split second before the spells are unleashed.


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