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I'm trying to determine the duration of the Fated Confrontation spell, which comes from the Secrets of Magic rulebook. The spell lists its duration as 1 minute, which should mean 10 rounds. However, the spell description mentions that the two foes spar for 1 round (6 seconds). In addition, the spell description states that each foe can "manipulate fate" once during each of its turns which suggests there may be multiple rounds.

I'm unaware of any generalized rules for spells that would relate to this (though I'm still learning 2e), so I'm guessing I'm just misinterpreting the spell.

So do the two foes spar off for 1 round or 6 rounds?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow, I would not use that even as a 5th level spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 12:59

2 Answers 2

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Both combatants can attack each other better for 10 rounds, but they are only isolated for 1 round.

Let's break down what happens when you cast the spell:

The first thing that happens, after you have chosen targets, is the following:

When you Cast the Spell, the ally you targeted (or you, if you targeted yourself) may teleport to any unoccupied space of their choice within 30 feet of its fated opponent.

This is a one-time effect that happens only at that specific moment. In addition, for 1 round only, the isolation part of the spell takes effect. This also happens at the moment the spell is cast.

You isolate the two targets for 1 round. During this time, fate refuses to allow either fated opponent to be affected by attacks or effects from a third party [...]

After that round has passed, this effect no longer applies. There is still another part to the spell though:

For the duration of the spell, either fated opponent can manipulate fate once on each of its turns. This allows it to either roll twice and take the higher result on an attack roll or skill check it makes against its fated opponent (a fortune effect), or force the fated opponent to roll twice on a saving throw against one of its abilities and take the lower result (a misfortune effect).

This effect can be used during the whole duration of the spell. So basically, the spell allows a teleport when it is cast, isolates both targets for the first round of their "Fated Confrontation", and after that other people can intervene in the combat again, but as long as the spell is still active (i.e. not counterspelled or ends in any other way, as stated in the spell text), the two targets of the spell can roll twice for an attack against each other once per round (or have the opponent make any saving throws from other effects with two dice, taking the lower result).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahh, okay. This makes sense. I was getting hung up by thinking the isolated effect and the "manipulate fate" effect were coupled into one effect. I did not realize they were separate effects. This interpretation makes perfect sense to me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 21:57
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The spell description actually says:

You isolate the two targets for 1 round. During this time, fate refuses to allow either fated opponent to be affected by attacks or effects from a third party; a fated opponent could be affected by the other's meteor swarm or its own heal spell, but it would be entirely immune to a spell or Strike from a creature outside of the spells effects, as well including damage from a hazard or the environment. This doesn't apply to anything that was affecting the targets before you cast fated confrontation (such as a spell with a duration or persistent damage the creature had before it was affected by fated confrontation).

In the next paragraph, it adds,

For the duration of the spell, either fated opponent can manipulate fate once on each of its turns. This allows it to either roll twice and take the higher result on an attack roll or skill check it makes against its fated opponent (a fortune effect), or force the fated opponent to roll twice on a saving throw against one of its abilities and take the lower result (a misfortune effect).

(Emphasis mine.)

So the spell in its entirety lasts for 1 minute (or until either target becomes unable to act, or both agree to cease hostilities), but the two targets are only isolated from third-party effects for one round. Therefore, the spell holds that for the first round only of a confrontation lasting up to 10 rounds, third parties cannot interfere.

Perhaps the intent is to prevent a third party from immediately stepping in and breaking up the fight until after the two targets are fully engaged; or perhaps it's meant to be a nerf against the possibility of using this spell to protect yourself (and incidentally an opponent) from some external, long-lasting effect. It's also possible the time difference is a typo and may be addressed in an errata later, but unless and until that happens, this is how the rules-as-written describe the dual duration.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This makes plenty of sense. Since you've helped me realize that these are two separate effects, the rationale for the single-round isolation strikes me as perfectly sensible. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 22:03

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