This gives me a funny feeling in my tummy.
A review of Dire Dispelling by Shawn
There are some issues of clarity and some mechanics bumps but the core idea is sweet. Cast on me and feel the wrath.
Area of affect says "Optional", which I take to mean there are alternatives to the basic Burst affect of Dispel Magic in its Area Dispel option. If this is the case, what are they? If this is not the case, drop the word optional as it is confusing.
Reword the action of the spell so it is more clear why the target doesn't get Spell Resistance. "The magic of the spell forming in the mind of the subject is released before it has been completed. The resulting blast perfoms d? damage." Something along those lines.
It almost crosses two schools of magic to create its affect. Abjuration is primarily a protective school. Causing damage against HP is not a normal function for this school. That is something the schools of Evocation or Necromancy would do. It would be like using a Divination spell to bring about the death the spell foretold. I would change this to match the model of Glyph of Warding rather than Dispel Magic. The reacting "Glyph" would be Dispel and subsequent affects are the attacking spells forming fails and with a failed save or Concentration check causes damage. Or something to that effect. As it is, this undoes the inticate balance of powers among the Schools of Magic.
Here's another example of a similarly affected spell:
Now it is possible I am mistaken but I firmly believe Abjuration is a protective school and to modify an Abjuration spell so that it causes damage is a push too far. Check out the footnote under the spell "Anti-life Shell" (an Abjuration spell v3.0).
It says," Note: This Spell may be used only defensively not agressively; forcing an abjuration barrier against creatures whom the spell keeps at bay collapses the barrier." If this ethic is applied to all Abjuration spells (as I believe it is) then these kinds of spell affects are simply a misuse of the schools intended design.
For this spell to work as an Abjuration, I think that the caster should have to cast this as if it was a Ward (prior to the knowledge of immediate need). Then for the length of the spell duration, the caster is warded against a direct spell attack. If one happens, then the damage is performed (using the energy of the subject's own spell against him).
As it stands (to me), this is unusable. It opens doors of misuse of the school by the players and that undermines the suspension of disbelief.
Good flavor, powerful content.
A well-intentioned attempt at turning Dispel Magic into an offensive spell.
This needs a new approach. The design is there but it doesn't fit very well with existing game mechanics. Again, this is a fantasy game and it should be completely feasible to create the intended affect. However, commandeering a magic school and bending it as far as this spell does, is a stretch beyond the realm of the believable. That makes it unbalanced in my opinion.
||Playability: Would make my players scream,"Unfair!" and they'd be right.
||Originality: It's Dispel Magic...with damage though, somewhat similar to Sunder Magic (see link above).
||Game Mechanics: Counter-acts the delicate balance of Magic Schools.
||Style: Loaded with flair and style.
||Overall: Needs a mechanic.