I counterspell the counterspell!
Whilst scrolling on forums and watching videos on YouTube I discovered that some DMs (or whole tables) ban counterspell.
Everyone runs the game differently and there is no right or wrong way to run your game as long as everyone is having fun.
However, the main argument I see is either:
1. Counterspell is a powerful mechanic that ruins combat
2. It makes the game less fun
I’m interested in discussing these ideas quickly here.
Combat Becomes Boring
One argument is that it ruins one of the more fun aspects of D&D 5E which is spellcasting.
Magic makes things far more interesting with their unique effects and magical damage.
Counterspell effectively “removes” those effects that make combat fun.
I would argue that it doesn’t necessarily always remove interesting moments, but it is one of those spells that is a reaction to another spell.
Plus with it being a 3rd level spell, it tends to not get used so much.
Ruiner of Fun
It is seen as a spell that prevents a player from even playing the game. You essentially lose your action as a player, which certainly doesn’t sound fun.
As a player, it can feel really cool to counterspell an enemy, especially in a high stakes encounter.
But if you’re the DM on that side, it doesn’t matter too much. You have (or should have) other things at your disposal in that combat
I’ve seen some creators bring up alternative “spell dueling” systems or bringing back the opposing spell schools from other editions. If I can find any I’ll link them here or in another post.
Personally, I’m open to trying these new systems. Counterspell can be a little dry at times, especially when you’ve been DM-ing for a long time. But I don’t think I will be banning it from my table anytime soon.