[RPG] Dispelling contingent magic


If someone casts a Contingency spell triggered by Dispel Magic, will the contingent spell still trigger if an attempt is made to Dispel Magic on the Contingency-caster, or will the Dispel Magic wipe away both the Contingency and the contingent spell before the Contingency spell can trigger?

Best Answer

Contingency can almost-certainly interrupt dispel magic. The description of the casting includes words like “immediately” and “‘cast’ instantaneously” – and while 3.5’s rules are notoriously vague on the subject of timing, many so-called Immediate Actions must interrupt things in order to be meaningful. Attacks of opportunity also explicitly occur prior to the provoking action, and also use the term “immediately.”

Thus, contingency most likely occurs prior to the triggering action. Even if it doesn’t, you could simply make the trigger be “someone is casting dispel magic” since that is a separate event from dispel magic actually affecting anything, and can be seen and understood (e.g. with Spellcraft, though contingency doesn’t need it).

Either way, if contingency triggers and resolves prior to the effect of dispel magic, it will be discharged and therefore end – and thus will not still exist for dispel magic to dispel.

If someone has a contingency that is not triggered when they are affected by dispel magic, it can be dispelled as normal for a 6th-level spell with its caster level.

It is worth noting, however, that contingency is almost-certainly the most powerful spell in the game, due in no small part to its incredible ability to happen right when it is necessary if you word the condition correctly. That this furthermore comes at no cost to you and requires no action on your part is just massive icing on the cake. Thus, it would be safe to houserule some limitations into contingency to limit its potency.

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