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My motivation to finding this answer stems from the reason that you will never get the money back that you spent on permanencied spells. And that moneyloss is what I dislike.

I have been looking for answers for this, and the best ones I got is the use of Spell Immunity (4th level cleric spell), but Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic ignore spell resistance, so that's useless.

Another solution was from 3.5, namely spellblade magic weapon quality. That is not in pathfinder as far as my searches went.

So the question is: how can I prevent enemy spellcasters from dispelling my permanencied buff spells, such as Arcane Sight or Magic Fang, using only pathfinder rulebooks? A third party solution can be mentioned, but notifying which is and isn't Paizo would be swell. Rules trickery can also be mentioned.

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There are two things that protect against Dispel Magic:

  1. As per this discussion on the Paizo site: Spells cast on the caster (from that specific list) can only be dispelled by a someone with a higher caster level.
  2. Spell Armor. Per d20pfsrd, Dispel Magic attacks the spell with the highest caster level first. Thus have a spell caster cast a spell on you that is of a caster level higher than the permanent spell. Even if it is the same caster level, it gives a chance that the spell you want to keep will be protected. That's why Mage Armor should be memorized and cast by high level mages who don't need it any more. It doesn't protect their bodies, it protects their spells.

EDIT: Expanding on point 2

This is not a guaranteed defense but it is a defense that is easy to implement. It also has a pretty good chance of succeeding. If your permanent spell is CL 13 and you are now an 18th level caster, you can still cast your Mage Armor at CL 14. This makes sure it gets hit before the permanent spell and is about as likely to get removed as the permanent spell. Any low level, long duration spell works well for this.

It all depends on how paranoid you want to be. You could also cast multiple low level spells to increase the chance that one of them will take the hit (and to soak up those Greater Dispels).

When I'm running a mage and I've gone up significantly in level, I save up the funds to re-cast it at the higher level and do so if it is convenient or don't sweat it if it gets taken out.

Heck I often try to research the spell (GM option here):

Spell Armor
Spell level: 1
Casting time:  Full round action
Components:  VSM (small thin piece of metal)
Duration: 1 hour per level
Target:  You

Description:

It automatically fails any caster level check for purposes of dispelling. 

I use to have it fail all caster level effects just to spite Drow before I remembered that they can suppress that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How is counterspelling not protecting against the targeted spell? Also, both of these suggestions rely on having a higher caster level than the enemy spellcaster, which cannot always be guaranteed. \$\endgroup\$ – royalmurder Oct 12 '17 at 10:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @royalmurder, no. With #2, you do not have to have a higher caster level than the enemy, you just have to have a higher caster level than the permanent spell (or equal, in a pinch). As I stated, Dispel goes for the spell with the highest caster level first. Thus a new, non-permanent spell cast on you that has a higher CL will protect the permanent spell against 1 or more castings of dispel. If you are worried about greater dispel, cast more spells on yourself. I like Mage Armor for that because of its long duration and minimal spell slot cost. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadoCat Oct 12 '17 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadoCat: Can you expand on #2 a bit? As I read it, the higher caster-level spell is just the first that Dispel tries to dispel, but Dispel keeps going until it dispells something or it's failed against everything, and it ignores spells with too-high a caster level. So, Mage's Armor might help, but it isn't guaranteed to. \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Oct 12 '17 at 17:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadoCat: from the PFSRD: "Targeted Dispel: One object, creature, or spell is the target of the dispel magic spell. You make one dispel check (1d20 + your caster level) and compare that to the spell with highest caster level (DC = 11 + the spell’s caster level). If successful, that spell ends. If not, compare the same result to the spell with the next highest caster level. Repeat this process until you have dispelled one spell affecting the target, or you have failed to dispel every spell." \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Oct 12 '17 at 21:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadoCat You explicitly can target a single spell on a creature that has multiple spells. "You can also use a targeted dispel to specifically end one spell affecting the target [...] You must name the specific spell effect to be targeted in this way." This is a different option than the one minnmass quoted, since Dispel Magic has a bunch of different usage modes. \$\endgroup\$ – topquark Oct 13 '17 at 19:18
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Aroden's Spellbane is the ultimate method of protection here. You will want 25th Caster Level so as to be able to name five spells: Dispel Magic, Greater Dispel Magic, Mordenkainen's Disjunction (aka "Mage's Disjunction"), Antimagic Field, and Aroden's Spellbane1. If you can't get your CL this high, drop Aroden's Spellbane and Antimagic Field and get a scroll.

At lower levels, layering long-lasting ineffective spells on yourself very much helps protect against dispelling attempts, and you should always have Dispel Magic and/or Greater Dispel Magic prepared (or otherwise readily accessible, if unable to cast them), which you can use as a counterspell.

A Globe of Invulnerability also protects against Dispel Magic, but not Greater Dispell Magic, by a strict reading of the rules, but probably is only good for a single attempted casting by the Rules as Intended.


Note that you might not be able to cast these spells while spellbane'd, but you also might be able to. It hinges on the details of how antimagic field works, which are somewhat contentious. You certainly can't affect anything in the spellbane'd area, though, so you wouldn't, for example, be able to dispel negative effects your enemies might place upon you (though you could subject yourself to Break Enchantment, if you don't have any permanent transmutation effects or they are at CL 24 or higher).

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The most immediately obvious solution is to use Mythic Permanency from Legendary Games' Mythic Magic: Core Spells. (Note that this is 3rd Party, although the link provided does give access to the spell text without purchase of the book - albeit in the most horrendous formatting I've seen in a long time.)

This gets you around, as it states:

A mythic permanency (and any spell it makes permanent) cannot be dispelled by non-mythic means, up to and including non-mythic mage’s disjunction


If mythic magic is out of your purview, then you are pretty much looking at preventing an enemy spellcaster from using (Greater) Dispel Magic on you.
This can be done in many ways, some of the more obvious of which are:

  • Having an ally interrupt his spellcasting by threatening his square
  • Having an ally counter his (Greater) Dispel Magic cast
  • Having an ally cast Silence on the enemy spellcaster will not allow them to cast (Greater)Dispel Magic
  • As suggested in other answers, have an ally cast higher CL buff spells with long durations, even if not-necessarily-beneficial effects

The former of these options is of course boosted by having the ally be built for anti-mage combat.

The second can be enhanced by using a Ring of Counterspells, although that would require that the ring be charged with the same Dispel spell as your enemy would be using, and does not work against the area-effect use of Greater Dispel Magic.

The third option will work only when you know that an enemy spellcaster is there, but would be more effective than the first option - presuming they fail their save against the effect. (Unlike being unable to make somatic spell components, being unable to make verbal components without having Silent Spell prevents the use of that spell:

Upon the casting of this spell, complete silence prevails in the affected area. All sound is stopped: Conversation is impossible, spells with verbal components cannot be cast, and no noise whatsoever issues from, enters, or passes through the area.

(emphasis mine)

The fourth option will serve to provide a buffer of spells, so that the (Greater) Dispel Magic has less chance to target your permanencied buffs due to targeting higher CL spells as a priority.
(Note: this does not work if the enemy spellcaster identifies you as having a permanencied buff, and specifically targets that spell.)


Note - you needn't worry about Antimagic Fields, because they simply suppress the effect: leaving the area will restore your permanencied spell to activation.

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Option 1: Become a 20th level wizard to cast your permanent spell(s). Since the dispel check is 1d20 + a maximum of 10 on dispel magic vs a difficulty of 31 (11 + caster level of when it is cast), it's mathematically impossible for any caster to remove your spell with dispel magic. Greater dispel magic would still be a problem, but only from 21st level and higher beings, since they have to be higher level to remove your permanent spell(s).

Option 2: Bend the rules a bit. Argue once you're permanently enchanted, you're effectively a magical item. Thus a successful dispel magic spell will only suppress your permanent magical ability for 1d4 rounds.

Option 3: Become a deity. Dispel magic mentions that deities are immune to such mortal magic.

Bonus: Have up spells of each higher level, so they'll be targeted first. Mind Blank would be a good spell for 8, you might consider Greater Age Resistance for 7, set up a Contingency for 6, and maybe Overland Flight for a 5. You want long durations that are generally useful.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The Targeted Dispel Magic check is (d20 + caster level of the dispeller) against (11 + caster level of the 'defending' spell), and Permanency doesn't change that. So Option 1 doesn't work, unless the OP only fights caster of CL10- \$\endgroup\$ – Luris Oct 15 '17 at 8:17

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