Worthwhile contingencies


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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I have a 15th-level wizard/abjurer with access to every core pathfinder wizard spell of 8th-level or lower.

I am trying to think of a worthwhile way to utilize the contingency spell. Since I only get one at a time, I am looking for something that will really help protect my butt. Any ideas?


Depending on the situations you anticipate coming across, it would vary. I would highly suggest going for survival contingencies.

If you want a contingency to buff your defenses and survival when attacked or severely wounded, i'd go with contingencies like;

Invisibility (greater)
Mirror Image
Displacement
Blink
Stoneskin

If you want more of a "get out of dodge" when you're about to die contingency, go with;

Fly
Gaseous Form
Beast Shape
Elemental Body

And in the direst of circumstances, you can have a contingency fire off a Teleport to a safe location if you ever fall unconcious.

If you are anticipating going against spells, contingencies such as Globe of Invulnerability (lesser) and Break Enchantment on yourself could prevent you from being the target of fireballs or charms and the like.

Once you hit level 18 (i know, a fair bit away right now) Mislead is an AWESOME contingency that can be set and used in hundreds of different situations.


Break Enchantment and Remove Curse are probably the best 2 I can recommend, aside than that the more effective spells have been mentioned above.

However, other interesting spells could include:

False Life
Water Breathing
Fire Shield
Rage
Protection From Energy

Notice: I'm posting this after being sick for a few days and getting 0 hours of sleep so the following might not be possible/sane.

If you really want to confuse people, you can try some of the following spells:

Contagion: "You want to bite me? Fine! Have a taste of plague! Uh... Guys, I don't feel so good..."
Blind/Deafness: "Hey guys, isn't that a medus-AHHHH!!! I'm Blind!"
Suggestion: (there are just too many fun things here to list just on)
Animate Dead: free pack muel for the party after your gone. results may vary, assuming you can even do this.
Hideous Laughter: For those times when the king tells a joke and it's either you rolling on the floor or your head.
Bleed: for the true emo caster

Scarab Sages

Can the contingency be triggered by something that the target says? For example, could I do a contingency that triggers a summon monster when my PC says Frobatz the All-Seeing!?

And would the summon spell go off immediately? To my reading of contingency it seems like it would...


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This is what my character sheet says about contingency currently...

Contingency You have cast the contingency spell upon yourself. Should you ever be made helpless against your will (such as when knocked unconscious, paralyzed, securely bound, or forcefully put to sleep), you are immediately teleported (as per the teleport spell) to the nearest known temple dedicated to your deity. Your person carries upon it a note with detailed instructions for the temple’s priests should you not be in a position to direct them to your aid personally.

...Does that look alright? Or can you come up with something better? I find that the wording isn't overly complex and covers a host of various possibilities while also keeping it from accidentally going off with such simple things like going to sleep at night.

The Exchange

How I'd rule on it were I the DM:

1) Temples may have protections established against people randomly teleporting in unannounced. Just because its a temple to your deity doesn't mean they appreciate people just "popping in"

2) I'd say you have to make all relevant choices and decisions regarding teleport at the time you embed it in the contingency. Meaning, if you go unconscious, the contingency spell doesn't know what is the closest temple, only you do, and you're not conscious to make that decision.

You'd have to 1) specify the temple ahead of time and 2) get clearance from the clerics there to let you tp into a saferoom in the temple.


Honestly yeah, teleport is the first thing I'd suggest.
I mean it means leaving your party in the lurch, but you're no good to them dead anyway.

Sovereign Court

Teleport to a secure location (the moon is nice this time of year) where your previously made construct has instructions to pour healing potions down your throat before going off to get your henchmen to help out.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
d20pfsrd.com wrote:

How I'd rule on it were I the DM:

...

You'd have to 1) specify the temple ahead of time and 2) get clearance from the clerics there to let you tp into a saferoom in the temple.

That's not too terribly difficult. I would have no problem operating under such a ruling.


azhrei_fje wrote:

Can the contingency be triggered by something that the target says? For example, could I do a contingency that triggers a summon monster when my PC says Frobatz the All-Seeing!?

And would the summon spell go off immediately? To my reading of contingency it seems like it would...

Its not a valid companion spell for contingency.

-James


Ravingdork wrote:
Should you ever be made helpless against your will

This might exceed the contingency spell trigger abilities in certain situations.

For example, if commanded (via spell) to 'halt' I wouldn't see it being able to tell the difference. Likewise other mental compulsions that you would otherwise wish to trigger it.

I'd check with your DM on what he considers 'observable' via the spell.

If the DM is a bit persnickety then perhaps start that up with magic mouth triggers first so as to keep the situation more neutral.

-James


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
james maissen wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Should you ever be made helpless against your will

This might exceed the contingency spell trigger abilities in certain situations.

For example, if commanded (via spell) to 'halt' I wouldn't see it being able to tell the difference. Likewise other mental compulsions that you would otherwise wish to trigger it.

I'd check with your DM on what he considers 'observable' via the spell.

If the DM is a bit persnickety then perhaps start that up with magic mouth triggers first so as to keep the situation more neutral.

-James

LOL! I can just see it now:

*magic mouth activates upon bad situation*

"Today is the day you ALMOST caught Archmage Angol Cere--ZAP!"

*magic mouth triggers contingency teleport*

LOL.

In any event, the terms of the contingency can be specific or they can be general, they just can't be overly complex. Having it teleport you to a safe place of your choosing upon being made helpless against your will is hardly complex. Furthermore, it's magic. It can magically tell the difference within the bounds of your stated conditions. So long as the stated triggering condition is clear, there shouldn't be a problem.


Ravingdork wrote:


In any event, the terms of the contingency can be specific or they can be general, they just can't be overly complex. Having it teleport you to a safe place of your choosing upon being made helpless against your will is hardly complex. Furthermore, it's magic. It can magically tell the difference within the bounds of your stated conditions. So long as the stated triggering condition is clear, there shouldn't be a problem.

Try the following: Trigger companion spell when I touch whomever killed 'Mr Body'.

Have we now solved 'Clue'?

There are some limits to what the spell 'knows', and these you might wish to hash out with your DM.

-James


james maissen wrote:


Try the following: Trigger companion spell when I touch whomever killed 'Mr Body'.

Have we now solved 'Clue'?

There are some limits to what the spell 'knows', and these you might wish to hash out with your DM.

-James

I'd rule it as if I was personally standing there witnessing the situation. Would it be clear to me that the conditions expressed have been met, to trigger the contingency?

Such as "Trigger when i touch the murderer!", since I don't know who the murderer is (as a third party observer or the spellcaster himself) then nothing would trigger. Now if someone suddenly admitted to the murders, and they seemed credible, then the spell would now trigger upon touch, even if it perhaps did not trigger beforehand.

As far as someone using a command - Halt! spell, by observing this clearly doesn't mean the spellcaster is helpless, only that his actions were temporarily interrupted. Should the spellcaster magically freeze in place motionless for more than a few rounds, then the contingency would probably kick in at that point.


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Ravenot wrote:
As far as someone using a command - Halt! spell, by observing this clearly doesn't mean the spellcaster is helpless, only that his actions were temporarily interrupted. Should the spellcaster magically freeze in place motionless for more than a few rounds, then the contingency would probably kick in at that point.

It most certainly wouldn't take "a few rounds," but would rather trigger instantaneously as a reaction to the trigger (but not as a reaction action).


Ahh, but 'Command - Halt!' doesn't leave you helpless. It magically compels you to stop whatever action you are taking and stand still for one round. You are not bound, mezzed, unconscious, or in any other way helpless or incapacitated. It's just a magical "RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!" spell, so to speak.

I wouldn't rule that as a triggering how you have defined the contingency trigger.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ravenot wrote:

Ahh, but 'Command - Halt!' doesn't leave you helpless. It magically compels you to stop whatever action you are taking and stand still for one round. You are not bound, mezzed, unconscious, or in any other way helpless or incapacitated. It's just a magical "RED LIGHT! GREEN LIGHT!" spell, so to speak.

I wouldn't rule that as a triggering how you have defined the contingency trigger.

Oh. I misread your post. I thought you meant command as in the verbal instruction, not as in the spell.

As such, I also assumed "magically freeze in place" meant something else, such as coming under the effect of a hold person spell.


Ravenot wrote:


Such as "Trigger when i touch the murderer!", since I don't know who the murderer is (as a third party observer or the spellcaster himself) then nothing would trigger. Now if someone suddenly admitted to the murders, and they seemed credible, then the spell would now trigger upon touch, even if it perhaps did not trigger beforehand.

So you believe that its based on the caster's current belief on whether the trigger has occurred?

1. What if they are wrong/mistaken? Does it matter what they know/don't know at the time of casting?
2. Would it trigger if they didn't realize they were touching the person that they believed was the murderer? (i.e. the murderer is in disguise, or for some reason they don't know they are touching anyone, etc)

It seems fairly subjective. Hence my suggestion to have a nice long talk with the DM...

-James


If you are allowed, look into the Craft Contingent Spell feat from 3.5 (commplete arcane). Very cheesy, but for the same general process of making magic items, you instead craft contingencies, 1 per caster level, I believe. Signifcant Cheese, and needs interpretation now that crafting has removed XP cost, but if allowed, tremendous flexibility. Just have that extra page handy to list all the contingencies.

As to the type of spell, I rule this one as a DM pretty strictly: spell description says the held spell must be one that "affects your person"(ground-zero fireball does not fit the intent, for example, but it's pretty vague). I would say Tport needs a location preselected, particularly if the condition triggering the spell includes unconsciousness or other significant lack of awareness. Not a major point, just another opinion.


I have used 4 contingencies so far:

1. When I shout 'poof', cast greater invisibility. Often at start of combat. Saves the need to buff up the first round.

2. When I get below 40hp, cast Resilient Sphere around myself. Very handy when you are the subject of a full attack. You bubble after the 2nd hit or so and there you can stay for a round or 2 buffing/healing and re-entering combat. It's kinda like a paladin from World of Warcraft: when things go the wrong way, bubble up ;-)

3. Cast Dimension Door when I receive the Grappled condition. Monster grabs you, *poof* you're 60ft away.

4. Cast mirror-image whenever I need to roll initiative.

The 2nd one has saved my life 2 times now.


Carpjay wrote:
Very cheesy,

SUPER cheesy. :P

Haven't yet played an arcane caster regularly in PF. I think my favorite contingencies would be the following, though:

Dimension door activated by me speaking a certain word (10+CMB+spell concentration checks to cast in a grapple are, in practice, near impossible to make) if lacking regular access to a freedom of movement.

Contingent mirror image on taking 15-20 (level dependent) or more damage from a melee or ranged attack, otherwise.


I had a wizard who took the Arcane Disciple feat (from 3.5 Complete Divine), which allows you to add one Domain spell list to your wizard spell list...that spell list, of course, includes the Cure spells, and Heal at 6th level. At high enough levels, he could use Heal as a contingency, which he did. This was really useful, obviously.

Off-topic, notes about the feat:
You can only prepare one spell of each Domain spell level per day with this feat, but of course, the day you prepare and cast it is the day you set the contingency, so you still have it to cast regularly (most likely) on the day the contingency goes off, giving you two Heals.

At the cost of a 6th level wizard spell,but it's great for a small party with only partial clerical support, which is what we had. Also get to use those curing wands and stuff without UMD.


I was thinking of setting up a contingency to cast an Anti-magic Field if about to be affected by a Mage's Disjunction.
Of course that's above the level of a 15th level wizard.


Clone the best contingency....ever.

However....

contingency 1

If I am no longer able too cast spells of my own free will, or at less than 10% health teleport (safe location.) I have been dominated, knocked uncounscious, silenced, severly wounded, In any way unable too cast....(bound and gaged, hands chopped off, etx)

Prior too setting your contingency a little set up should be ready....
A permanent teleportation circle set up in your lab, which you arrive at..so you can immediately get back too the action without incurring the parties wrath.

Scroll dispel magic penned by you, for a apprentice too cast it on you.
plenty of potions on hand, preferably restoration, cure greater wounds, or a wand of infernal healing, or a scroll of infernal healing written at max level with a extend.

the teleportation out sucks for the party, but if your unconscious your not helping any way, if your being controlled oh crap, if you were too take a action too take a potion your out one round already, or even dispelling a silence effect....and after all you should stockpile for a rainy day....

You as a wizard effect reality what is more effective than changing the odds, after the fact,

You should scroll everyday unless your the party crafter, stockpile them, so if you are out of spells...

Contingency 2 if receiving a attack that deals greater than 50% of my health Greater infernal healing extended.

Contingency 3 contingency delayed blast fireball when I complete a teleport spell while in battle...immediately....also works with a dimension door.

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