To my knowledge, the dispel check is ruled by two things: your caster level, which is theoretically evergrowing, and small bonuses coming from feats, prestige classes and several other sources, which are finite (as many as have been printed).

Luckily, spells that dispel other spells have a cap to the CL, so it looks like it would be possible to find the highest dispel check ever rollable. My aim is to find which caster level is just high enough to be safe (even if the dispeller rolls a 20 on their check.)

I will now show my research:

  • The aforementioned cap is 25 for most spells (wall of dispel, chain dispel and that dispel that moves the spells onto your allies if you so choose).
  • There is a feat that raises the caps of your spells by 2.
  • The Inquisitor PrC has a +4 bonus to dispel checks.
  • The Master of Manyfold Veils PrC has a +4 bonus to dispel checks.

This would mean a max result of 55 (when rolling a 20), i.e. I need CL 56 at least to resist it.

What is the highest dispel check one can hope to roll? Or, in other words... What is the minimum EL I would need if I didn't want to risk dispelling?

It is ok if a single character needs to have more than 20 character levels to get all the bonuses, but the characters should be valid and should not be using recursive cheese like the tricks needed to pull off Pun-Pun or Omnimancer builds.
Of course I'm not interested in spells that automatically dispel without checks, nor I want to go into epic spells.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What is LI? That is not a term used in 3.5 to my knowledge. Do you perhaps mean CL, caster level? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jun 21, 2016 at 20:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan It's the damn usual "me not translating abbreviations" problem I need to focus way more upon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jun 21, 2016 at 21:42

1 Answer 1


109, normally

To my knowledge, this is a complete list of bonuses to your dispel check:

  • Minor School Esoterica (Abjuration): Competence bonus of half your class level to dispel checks (maximum +6 with bloodlines)
  • Unanswerable Strike: +4 to dispel checks against abjuration spells
  • Elven Spell Lore: +2 to dispel checks
  • Inquisition Domain Power: +4 bonus to dispel checks
  • Spellcaster's Bane: +2 insight bonus to dispel checks.
  • Bend Fate: +1d6 to any d20 roll
  • Heroic Destiny: +1d6 to any d20 roll
  • Fate Mantle: +class level to any d20 roll
  • Servant of the Fallen: +1 to any dice roll

I'm counting the Fate Mantle as +33: 20 levels in ardent, and 10 virtual levels from Uncanny Trickster and Legacy Champion, as well as 3 bloodline levels. It seems unfair to say "the maximum is +1 billion for a level 1 billion ardent."

So the maximum is 20 (roll) + 25 (caster level) + 60 (abilities listed) + 4 (if abjuration) = 109, meaning that you need a caster level of 110 to be totally immune to all normal dispels.

But there are exceptions

The aforementioned level 1 billion ardent with the Fate mantle will ruin your day.

You also want to watch out for the feat Reserves of Strength, from Dragonlance (technically licensed as first-party material). One reading of the feat allows it to remove all caster level caps, meaning that the dispeller's caster level bonus is uncapped and there is no limit to how high their dispel check can be.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I must be lucky we don't have ardents as a playable class in my game. Of course I asked generally for better reference, I think I'm able to discern the pieces my DM won't use based on the allowed material. Just to be sure, would it be too much to add the source manuals of those bonuses? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jun 21, 2016 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Many of these are 1/day abilities, so you would normally not need to worry about them too much. Regular spellcasters can add a bonus that's just as big to most checks through moment of prescience but CL checks just happen not to be on the list of what it can affect. \$\endgroup\$
    – SPavel
    Jun 21, 2016 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I worry about those. I don't want to spend lots of gold on permanent spells just to have to pay for them again. Same for my day-long buffs. (MoP: luckily so) \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Jun 21, 2016 at 22:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If you're just accumulating bonuses, the feat Silent Method (Dragon #319 60) grants a +2 bonus and the feat Soultouched Spellcasting (MoI 41) grants an insight bonus equal to invested essentia. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22, 2016 at 1:10

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