Arcanum: Any Arcanum ●
Practice: Shielding
Action: Instant ("dodge")
Duration: Lasting
Aspect: Covert
Cost: 1 Mana
Range: Sensory
Rote Pool: Com+Occult

The mage creates interference that can weaken or even cancel a spell that is being cast.

Mechanics: When someone directs a vulgar spell at the mage or other targets whom the mage wishes to protect, he can cast a countering spell that creates a form of magical interference, weakening or even canceling the unwanted spell, similar to how an obstacle can act as cover against a ranged attack.

He must first have a Mage Sight spell active to be able to perceive the spell he wants to counter.

Successes are subtracted from the target spell’s Potency. If the target spell is left with no Potency, it is canceled entirely. If even a single point of Potency remains, the spell is applied against its target (at its reduced Potency).

A countering mage must have at least 1 dot in one of the Arcana used by the attacking spell. For example, to counter a conjunctional (Mind 3 + Life 2) spell, a mage needs either Mind 1 or Life 1, but not both. If he does not have a proper Arcanum lore, he cannot counter the spell. Counterspell can be learned as a rote, but it must be learned separately for each Arcanum to which it applies.

Like a "dodge" action, he can cast Counterspell against vulgar spells cast by another mage with a higher Initiative. (He can't counter attacks with lower Initiatives if he has already performed an action in the turn. See “Dodge” in WoD Rulebook, for rules on how this circumvents the normal Initiative order for the turn). A mage can even counter sympathetic spells cast directly at him (but not those cast at other targets), by sensing the sympathetic conduit being forged by the spell (again, he must have Mage Sight for this).

A covert spell can't normally be countered, since the defending mage must first identify its Arcanum components using the normal rules for doing so (see ''Scrutinizing Spells''). Such investigation is not normally possible within the same turn in which the spell is cast, although some Time magic might give a mage the extra time needed or clue him in on what spell the caster will cast before he casts it. Vulgar spells do not need this kind of scrutiny; they are obvious enough to counter within the same turn of casting.

A spell aimed at more than one target does not need to be countered for each target; a successful countering diminishes or prevents its effects against all targets.

A mage with 2 dots of Prime can instead use the “Counterspell Prime” spell, to counter any spell, regardless of Arcanum. As a result, Counterspell Prime allows him to counter covert spells (assuming he has active Mage Sight) without first needing to identify them.

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