[RPG] Does dispelling with an opposing spell require a check or save


In Pathfinder there are a few spells that are effectively polar opposites, and as such have the text “counters and dispels [opposite]”. The rules for counterspelling are spelled out fairly well, but I'm not sure about the dispelling. If I use an opposed spell that would normally allow a saving throw and spell resistance to dispel its opposite, does that require a spell penetration check, allow a saving throw, or simply happen?

For example, the party is fighting a Wizard with Slow on his list. The party casts Haste. The next round the Wizard casts Slow on the party to dispel Haste. What rolls, if any, are required for the dispel to be successful?

Best Answer

In your case, Slow dispels Haste when the wizard casts it. No check is required.

Normally, only certain spells, like dispel magic can be used to get rid of an effect after casting. If you ready an action to counterspell, you can automatically cancel an enemy spell, with no check required, by using your readied action, and expending the same spell as the one being cast (or another same-or-higher-level spell of the same school, with the Improved Counterspelling feat). When counterspelling this way, a Spellcraft (DC 15+spell level) is first required to identify the spell being cast. Dispel magic and similar spells can also be used to counterspell, requiring a caster level check as listed in the spell's description.

Some spells have a specific notation in their descriptions that an opposite spell counters and dispels it. In those specific cases, the opposite spell can be used after the fact, and no check is required. Casting the opposite spell will negate the effect of the original.


Darkness can be used to counter or dispel any light spell of equal or lower level.

(PF264; emphasis mine).

Edit: Updated the counterspelling description to mention the Spellcraft check, etc.

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