Wednesday, October 22, 2014

D&D 5E: Adding some bite to Magic Resistance

Over the course of running 5E the last couple months I've noticed that Magic Resistance, while impressive for what it does (simplify the concept using the advantage mechanic) really doesn't stack up all that well in actual play....although it could just be that the principle now is that spells which should "just happen" are more tightly defined. But ask yourself many spells have you now seen hit a creature with magic resistance...and had full effect....that you know would have likely fizzled out in prior editions? Even Magic Missile is a viable spell against targets with magic resistance since there's no saving roll! It's madness, I tell you....

My thought is to make an option with Magic Resistance in which it also forces a saving throw against any effect. In thinking about this it makes me wonder if that was the intent....but the only discussion I can find on how Magic Resistance works is in the description of MR itself in each monster entry. So, to make it more meaningful and also to follow the tradition of how MR has worked before, my suggestion would be this:

1. Magic Resistance does all it says it does, plus any spell that acts on the creature but does not require a saving throw normally (i.e. magic missile) now requires a saving throw based on the caster's magic DC to work (with accompanying advantage for the creature, of course).

2. Any spell which does not specifically have to target the creature or is environment does not provoke magic resistance (i.e. Entanglement, which RAW would normally do so, and Silence, which can target the area instead).

Ideas or suggestions are welcome...


  1. I've been thinking the same. An idea I have consider is to give disadvantage to spells that use a spell attack (like chill touch and most cantrips).

    1. Actually I love that idea...conferring disadvantage on attack-roll-based spells is an even more elegant solution.