[RPG] Can you suck magic away from a wizard


My DM has told me the BBEG (a half dragon sorcerer trying to become immortal) can suck away magic (I know it is not very good DMing). I have told him that is useless because I am a wizard so I have no magic but use my brain to use magic. He says it doesn’t matter. Is he right to say that you can suck the magic away from a wizard?

It makes it so spell damage is halved and attack rolls are at disadvantage. On the second time you can’t use magic at all. The third time it kills magical beings. He is saying wizards are magical beings.

I want to know if I am in the wrong for saying he should not be able to do this.

( We have not fought him yet, but will encounter him soon. We are currently level 4. I have been told he will be level 20. I know all this because my DM does not keep secrets)

Best Answer

The DM is Empowered to create new creature abilities that might not exist in the base game

In this case, I don't even think it's an absurd leap. There already exists in the game spells like antimagic field [PHB, 213], whose sole purpose and functionality is to create a range within which a spellcaster's spells (and the magical effects that many other classes can produce) have absolutely no effect—an effect which is magnitudes more powerful, and far more difficult to fight back against, than the "magic sucking" effect your DM has created. There's creatures in the base game that can cast this spell, and many more creatures that are capable of producing Antimagic Fields without having to cast a spell. A Beholder, for example, can at-will produce Antimagic Fields wherever it chooses:

Antimagic Cone. The beholder's central eye creates an area of antimagic, as in the antimagic field spell, in a 150-foot cone. At the start of each of its turns, the beholder decides which way the cone faces and whether the cone is active. The area works against the beholder's own eye rays.

Beholder, Monster Manual, pg. 28

There also exist mechanisms in the game to cause instant death. See, for example, spells like power word: kill [PHB, 266] for an example. There's even relatively low level creatures like the Medusa [MM, 214] that can cause petrification on adventurers, which for all intents and purposes is equivalent to death if the party isn't of a high enough level to cast Greater Restoration.

So at least within the diegesis of 5th Edition D&D, the mechanics your DM is using have precedent. The idea that the creature the DM has created "sucks the magic out of things" is a bit clumsy, iN mY oPiNiOn, because as DM I prefer to try to make any custom effect I put into the game be "assembled" out of mechanics that definitely already exist (to minimize risk that I introduce NEW_TYPE design pitfalls into my games) but to the extent that your character is facing a risk that could be reasonably expected to exist in the game, and which could be reasonably expected for a character of your level to face, I think your DM is not being unreasonable.

.... However.

It's very important for the DM to create mechanics that the party can reasonably comprehend and react to

Calling a Wizard a "Magical Being" for the purposes of making them vulnerable to an effect like this is iffy, in my opinion. I could see it being a much more compelling argument when applied to a Sorcerer (who are diegetically, explicitly, magical beings), and I suppose that if the DM is trying not to create dramatic inter-party imbalancing issues, it's not completely unreasonable to have an effect that definitely affects one Spellcaster (the Sorcerer) also affect any other spellcaster. Certainly, in my games, I've tried to avoid mechanics that would disproportionately affect one character more than another simply by the happenstance of the precise nature of their abilities.

But I do get the sense, at the very least, that their mechanic is overengineered, and on top of that, if you're entering a combat scenario where you're completely blindsided by this (potentially lethal) combat mechanic, then I would argue that the DM has failed to properly setup/foreshadow/introduce their mechanic to the party.

In addition, while you haven't specified what level your party is, those examples of AMF and PW:K (and creatures which can produce them) both are very high level spells that a party probably shouldn't encounter until they're well into tier 2 of gameplay (the levels 5-10 range), possibly even tier 3 (11-16).

So my advice is that you talk to your DM about making sure that

  • The challenges they're producing are appropriate for your level, and
  • That the challenges they're producing are mechanics that the party can at least interact with (even if only in the sense of "there's a creature that can do this which is down that hallway; we should avoid that hallway!")

I think you'll enjoy the game more, and your DM will have a better time creating challenges, if you do this.