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My Sorcerer is only a few levels away from 9th level spellcasting and I'm considering taking Disjunction. But I don't quite understand this section on how it interacts with artifacts:

You can also use this spell to target a single item. The item gets a Will save at a -5 penalty to avoid being permanently destroyed. Even artifacts are subject to mage's disjunction, though there is only a 1% chance per caster level of actually affecting such powerful items. If successful, the artifact's power unravels, and it is destroyed (with no save). If an artifact is destroyed, you must make a DC 25 Will save or permanently lose all spellcasting abilities. These abilities cannot be recovered by mortal magic, not even miracle or wish.

The idea of accidentally destroying an artifact and having a chance of essentially permanently losing a character is pretty intimidating. Unfortunately, even with a +25 on my Will saves, the 5% chance of rolling a natural 1 is still there.

Does the bolded text only apply for the targeted use of Disjunction, or are all artifacts present within its AoE subject to the CL% chance of being destroyed with no save?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. An interesting first question about which, in turn, I must ask: How many artifacts has your group encountered!? Anyway, have fun and thank you for participating. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 6 '16 at 23:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your sentence "the 5% chance of rolling a 1 and essentially permanently losing a character is pretty intimidating" is unclear. How do you expect to use disjunction such that your own character would have a 5% chance of being neutered? \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 Jan 6 '16 at 23:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I mean by that is when I do find myself accidentally disjoining an artifact (which I assume would be quite common given the type of enemies a level 17+ party would encounter) . No matter how high my will save is, I can still fail the save on the roll of a 1. \$\endgroup\$ – tom4444 Jan 6 '16 at 23:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @tom4444 Quoting too much of the spell is part of why the question is unclear. I've cleaned it up for you. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 7 '16 at 0:47
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Looking at the paragraph structure of the spell description:

  1. Paragraph about items in area-of-effect
  2. Paragraph about antimagic fields
  3. Paragraph about targeting a single item and destroying artifacts

This strongly suggests that artefacts must be targeted to be destroyed.

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Yes, the spell can destroy artifacts, whether targeted or not (though it typically has only a very small chance of doing so most of the time and there are lots of ways to get rerolls on the Will save). Note that Artifacts are never randomly generated and should certainly not be common, even in high-level play. Usually artifacts, when they appear in a game at all, are pivotal set pieces around which the campaign revolves. You are unlikely to even be in a position wherein you destroyed one by accident, simply because you are unlikely to be casting the spell with an artifact in the area yet without knowing the artifact is there.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that the non-targeted version only destroys affected items if they roll a 1 on their will save, and otherwise just suppresses them for the duration. There's nothing to suggest that supressing an artifact is dangerous in the same way as destroying one, so the risk really is very low unless you're deliberately targeting it. \$\endgroup\$ – Toby Y. Jan 7 '16 at 9:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you point out some of the ways to get rerolls? The only ones I know of is Improved Iron will which seems like a reasonable feat to take given the context. I also searched for item options but the only magic items that I found that gives rerolls but must be used before the rolls are revealed namely monkey's paw and luck blade. \$\endgroup\$ – tom4444 Jan 7 '16 at 10:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would the clause about artifacts apply to anything other than the targeted version of the spell? You're suggesting a bit of spooky English action at a distance here... \$\endgroup\$ – Shalvenay Jan 8 '16 at 1:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @TobyY. That's what I meant by very small chance. 1%/caster level chance of getting to roll a d20 with 5% chance of rolling a one in which case you roll another d20 with a 5% chance of rolling a 1 which results in spellcasting loss. So, for a 17th CL casting, this is a .0425% chance without rerolls or other stuff. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Jan 8 '16 at 8:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer "1%/caster level chance of getting to roll a d20 with 5% chance of rolling a one" - Are you suggesting this is the sequence for the area-effect version? (it isn't specified for artifacts, only the general "roll a save"). The single-target version says "If successful, the artifact's power unravels, and it is destroyed (with no save)" \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Jan 10 '16 at 23:49
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A literal reading of the spell indicates that, yes, it can destroy artifacts even when used for area-of-effect attacks. Your DM might allow you to use a different interpretation -- perhaps you're deliberately researching a slightly weaker version of the spell -- but this would be a houserule.

As thedarkwanderer says, artifacts are never randomly generated and should be extremely rare even in high-level play. When you encounter an artifact, it will be tied closely in to the plot, and you will be very aware of it, so it's very unlikely that you will disjoin it accidentally.

One good way to get a reroll on a saving throw is to buy a luck blade (presumably with 0 wishes). The reroll power is usable "before the results are revealed". Here's an example of how that works:

DM: "Roll a saving throw. I'm not telling you what the DC is."

YOU: "I rolled a 4, plus my mod of +11 makes 15."

<-- (You can choose to reroll at this point)

DM: "Well, the DC was 17, so the result of your saving throw is that you fail."

<-- (Now it is too late to reroll)

For your specific case, where you know the DC is 25, you can rely on the luck blade with no problems.


Note: Although your risk of accidentally disjoining an artifact is low, use of this spell does come with the risk of disjoining a bunch of very expensive magic items, which your party would otherwise have gained as loot. Use with care!

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