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If someone casts a Contingency spell triggered by Dispel Magic, will the contingent spell still trigger if an attempt is made to Dispel Magic on the Contingency-caster, or will the Dispel Magic wipe away both the Contingency and the contingent spell before the Contingency spell can trigger?

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Contingency can almost-certainly interrupt dispel magic. The description of the casting includes words like “immediately” and “‘cast’ instantaneously” – and while 3.5’s rules are notoriously vague on the subject of timing, many so-called Immediate Actions must interrupt things in order to be meaningful. Attacks of opportunity also explicitly occur prior to the provoking action, and also use the term “immediately.”

Thus, contingency most likely occurs prior to the triggering action. Even if it doesn’t, you could simply make the trigger be “someone is casting dispel magic” since that is a separate event from dispel magic actually affecting anything, and can be seen and understood (e.g. with Spellcraft, though contingency doesn’t need it).

Either way, if contingency triggers and resolves prior to the effect of dispel magic, it will be discharged and therefore end – and thus will not still exist for dispel magic to dispel.

If someone has a contingency that is not triggered when they are affected by dispel magic, it can be dispelled as normal for a 6th-level spell with its caster level.


It is worth noting, however, that contingency is almost-certainly the most powerful spell in the game, due in no small part to its incredible ability to happen right when it is necessary if you word the condition correctly. That this furthermore comes at no cost to you and requires no action on your part is just massive icing on the cake. Thus, it would be safe to houserule some limitations into contingency to limit its potency.

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Contingency cannot disrupt a dispel magic spell. Contingency occurs after the condition is met - "In all cases, the contingency immediately brings into effect the companion spell, the latter being “cast” instantaneously when the prescribed circumstances occur. The benefit of the contingency spell is that as soon as the condition is met the contingency is triggered - no casting time needed. Since the duration of dispel magic is instantaneous, it can't be interrupted by an action that occurs after - furthermore (and specific to Dispel Magic) "The effect of a spell with an instantaneous duration can’t be dispelled, because the magical effect is already over before the dispel magic can take effect". So your contingency instantaneous spell can't break my instantaneous spell for 2 reasons- 1 yours had to have occurred after mine - because yours was waiting on my spell, and because mine was instantaneous-and thus can't be interrupted. In order for contingency to stop the spell you'd have to change it to "prognosticated contingency"

Even if a successful dispel magic was cast on the focus item itself then I would rule that the contingency does not fire immediately - but later in the 1d4 rounds that the suppression lasts (since the condition was met the contingency fired but since the focus was suppressed it couldn't pull the trigger- so to speak)

Casting Dispel Magic on the user has no effect on contingency since the magic items aren't affected

The language of contingency is specific and clear "In all cases, the contingency immediately brings into effect the companion spell, the latter being “cast” instantaneously when the prescribed circumstances occur....The companion spell occurs based solely on the stated conditions, regardless of whether you want it to". There is no concept of contingency occurring prior to the conditions

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protected by Oblivious Sage Mar 3 '16 at 17:30

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