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Is cacophanous call overpowered?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You know, that bard spell from the APG, the one where you sing and everyone pukes. Is it overpowered?

I am generally speaking not one to worry much about game balance and the overpoweredness of this or that game element. However, this spell kind of jumped out at me, and I was kidn of surprised to see that it's never been discussed on these boards.

The key detail is that it renders the victim nauseated, which means no attacks, no spells, no actions of any kind except move actions. It's a complete shut-down for four rounds, minimum. In the game that I run, this generally has meant the combat is finished, especially in a boss fight.

So, is it overpowered? If not, why not? Full disclosure: I have no intention of nerfing or disallowing it in my game. I'm just interested in the opinions of people who think about this stuff more than I do.

SRD wrote:

School: enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]; Level: bard 2

Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S, M (a scrap of sheet music)
Range: close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: one creature
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates; Spell Resistance: yes

You fill your target's mind with a blaring cacophony of discordant sounds, making it hard for the target to act and concentrate. The creature gains the nauseated condition for the duration of the spell if it fails its Will save.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Short answer, no.

Long answer, nooooooooooooooooooooo...

...ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:

Short answer, no.

Long answer, nooooooooooooooooooooo...

...ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Are you interested in responding to the second part of my question?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Will save, nauseated for one round per level.

Not over powered.


Michael Gentry wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:

Short answer, no.

Long answer, nooooooooooooooooooooo...

...ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Are you interested in responding to the second part of my question?

Compare to spells of a similar level. Also, what Blackbloodtroll said.


Bards have a number of low level save-or-suck spells: Hideous Laughter, Glitterdust, Suggestion, Hold Person. Cacophonous Call is better in some ways (e.g. it's not language-dependent and you don't get repeated save) and worse in some ways (e.g. at least if you're nauseated you can retreat).


My bard has it but I only have a 15 Charisma so the DC is only 14 for the spell. I have cast it once so far in Carrion Crown (just made level 7) and the enemey made their save. Given the short duration when you receive the spell and its relatively low DC I don't think it is overpowered. Plus, it is mind-affecting so that limits the type of creatures it can affect.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

There are also many creatures immune to mind effecting effects, and the nauseated condition.

That's two immunities you have to deal with, and I am sure I could find more.

Dedicated Voter 2013

It only affects a single target and only causes the nauseated condition. As stated you can still withdraw while nauseated. So what's the issue? Other spells kill targets, and the subject of this spell only causes a temporary condition - I don't see the overpowered-ness...

One of my favorite custom haunts has this for the base spell.

Greater Cacaphonous Call affects all targets in range (and still only causes the same condition as a temporary effect) - even the greater version is not over-powered.

Hold Person is more devastating. No, cacaphonous call is not even close to over-powered.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
gamer-printer wrote:
It only affects a single target and only causes the nauseated condition. As stated you can still withdraw while nauseated. So what's the issue?

You can attempt to move away, but you can't perform a withdraw action, because nauseated limits you to a single move action per turn. So you're likely to take a bunch of AoOs and you're not really going to outrun anyone unless you can fly.

However a lot of other good points have been made.

There is no issue; I was just curious what people thought. In light of the examples given I concede that the spell is not particularly overpowered.

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