This question is a voluntary duplicate of the Pathfinder-specific question on the same topic.

There seem to be answers around for DnD 3.5 but I have been unable to find them on this site. I found answers concerning 5E that implied that the Permanancy-spell was banned from 5E because it was "broken" in 3.5. I personally have always refrained from using the permanency spell with my characters because it is so easy to dispel and you have to pay XP for it.

The dispel DC remains at the level at which you cast it. So, effectively, if a targeted dispel magic is cast at you at a later time by a caster of a level equaling yours, more than 50% of the spells you paid with XP for are gone.

So: how could I prevent such a dispel? The only possibility I am aware of is the "Tenacious Magic" feat, that gives Forgotten Realms Shadow Weave casters a flat bonus of 4 points vs. Weave user's dispels. But this Forgotten Realms specific and comes at the cost of becoming a Shadow Weave caster, so not really a option for most characters.

Thus my question:

  1. Are there any options more readily available to prevent permanencied spell buffs being dispelled in DnD 3.5?

And the follow-up question:

  1. Failing 1., is permanency really a strong spell creating "goliaths" (see above)? I would like to hear examples, because I do not see why not-so permanent darkvision or see invisibility you pay with XP for would really be a bargain, especially in comparison to just creating really permanent magic items.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it just "dispel magic" or does "mage's disjunction" also counts as a dispelling? Is it just lv 20 or epic tier is considered for answers? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 10:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question refers to any form of dispel and is not limited to a certain level. It concerns the question whether permanency is a spell worthwhile casting given the simplicity to dispel it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Giorin
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 11:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Permanency was never broken in 3.5. It was the Persistent Spell feat, which made a spell last 24 hours, that broke things, and then only in combination with other things. Permanency was always just such a small list of spells that it couldn’t really break. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 11:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @kryan you piqued my curiosity. what is it about persistent spell that break things? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 12:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin Unlike permanency, which only worked on a small, select list of spells, Persistent Spell applied to any spell you wanted it to. And unlike permanency, which had a rather inflexible cost in XP, there were ways to make Persistent Spell cost nothing, or nearly nothing. In the end, you could make any spell you wanted last 24 hours, and it wasn’t even much of a hardship. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 12:37

3 Answers 3


This list is not exhaustive, just off the top of my head. Note that these defenses protect against a lot of dangers, not just dispelling, and certainly not just the dispelling of permanency’d effects, which would generally be on the low end of people’s priorities. Persistent, rather than permanent, effects would generally be more important.

Bonuses to caster level

Caster level is valuable to spellcasters. Gaining bonuses to it is well worth one’s time. A prayer bead of karma is remarkably affordable for the effect (and can even be used on arcane spells if you have at least one divine spell or a decent Use Magic Device check). An orange ioun stone is much more expensive, but still well worth it.

Bonuses to the DC to dispel your stuff

Less common, but when available often in larger amounts. Master specialist is a commonly-used, easy-to-enter wizard prestige class that offers some, for example.

Protections against dispel magic and greater dispel magic

These spells are very dangerous to anyone in 3.5, so protections against them were commonly sought after. Having a ring of counterspells keyed to dispel magic and later greater dispel magic was a common tactic. A ring of spell-battle is also often useful.

Simply getting the drop on opponents

And this was the big one. If you really were going in for high-optimization tactics, that means you weren’t giving opponents a chance to cast anything. Scry ‘n’ die, heavy initiative optimization (and at high levels, greater celerity and shapechange into a dire tortoise just to make sure), potent defenses even to the point of literal invulnerability, and so on. The black tactica build specialized in counter-nuking and definitely would not allow a greater dispel magic to be cast by anyone near it.


And then the final nail in the coffin, somewhere buried under all that there is likely a contingency spell. Which could very easily be used to, say, greater teleport to somewhere safe as soon as a greater dispel magic spell was actually successfully cast on you.


Spellblade weapon enchantment from Player's Guide to Faerun. Flat 6,000gp cost. Pick a spell at the time of enchantment, wielder is immune to that spell. The selected spell must be one that is targeted against the wielder, not one that affects an area or creates an effect. As an added bonus, the weapon absorbs the spell and on your next turn you can choose to let the spell drain away harmlessly or direct it at a new target as a free action. Only issue is there are a bunch of dispel variations so that can get expensive. Dual wielding or weapon plus shield spikes, armor spikes, spiked gauntlets, hidden boot blades, hidden elbow blades, and hidden knee blades. That's eleven possible "spellblades" (nothing in the description restricts the enchantment to actual blades) and I can only think of ten variations on dispel. So for measly 60,000gp you can be completely immune to being dispelled. Or you could just go with either Dispel or Greater Dispel (depending on the level you're playing at), since that's the one used the most often.


@KRyan covered most of the points I'd say. Really good advice

A few added notes:

1) Shadow Cloak [5,500 GP, Shoulders] (DotU, 101) allows you to do what is essentially a blink as an instant response to an attack. Dispel magic casts at your body would arguably qualify as an attack (Check with your DM there), and therefore you could respond by just getting out of the target zone.

2) Antimagic would be more difficult to pull off, in one sense. There are spells for this, but covering your own body will usually mess yourself up as well. Some items, I believe, can carry the effect and I recall having seen them, but don't know them off the top of my head. Thus, you need antimagic effects to which you are immune, but cover your body. Best ways I know to get this are:

Planar Shepherd Planar Shepherd (FoE, don't recall the page) can pull this off. Many of the planes to which you can align will have antimagic/magic impeding traits. Druid 5 and Nightbringer Initiate feat (plus a little Know (planes) skill) are all you need to access this, and the reputation as a class with near unlimited brokenness of power reflects that even if you DON'T cheese yourself to death it's still worth it. Essentially it is 100% Druid everything progression. You will be immune to these (if I recall, the dubious wording of the text in PlanShep can be cleared by using Planetouched Druid Subs from PlH). Your planar bubble ability would allow these to essentially be carried around all day eventually, just make sure you have high concentration to keep it sustained. {Also, aligning to the Abyss and getting wild-shape boosting items (you can get +9 easily) will allow you to access forms that could abuse Divine Morphic traits...but that's ultra cheese levels. Don't use except in top-power campaigns.}

Singer of Concordance Singer of Concordance (RotD, 91) is a PrC worshipper of Io. The class revolves around you getting your own personal demiplane ("Sphere of Concordance") and the ability to manifest it's wonderful protective qualities. Full caster progression with one (or two?) bonus domains. Worth it to go all the way, eventually you'll get insane static protection levels from a non-cheese PrC. Requires you to have Skills: Knowledge (religion) 8 ranks Subtype: Dragonblood Spellcasting: Ability to cast 3rd-level divine spells. Deity: Io. Overall, though, the early entry makes it attractive.

Generally, I'd say going for having permanent spells on you if you yourself aren't a caster is a bad idea, because you have essentially no way of protecting yourself. Having a caster friend that can give you rings or contingent spells would work, but be really iffy IMO.

If you ARE a caster, I personally really like the above two choices. As for entry, Singer of Concordance would ostensibly be easier, and I'm pretty sure there is an feat that allows arcane spells to count as divine if you are an arcane caster. Know there is one that works the other way, but would need my books with me right now to check.


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