Best uses for Obscuring Mist


Advice


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context:
So, I'm new to role playing, and my current character is a sorceress. We have a rather large party (mostly other no0bs like myself), and for the moment the collective taste runs mostly to inefficient damage-dealing spells. I've pointed out some of the things I've learned - about saves and whatnot - to those members of the party most likely to listen, but at the end of the day I affirm my friends' rights to make their own choices about what spells to learn and cast.

Meanwhile, I'm completely comfortable with the role of support caster, and I highly value creativity and versatility in a spell, so I've opted to focus on battlefield control, with a secondary emphasis on debuffing, rather than blasting. (Even though a sorceress is not the ideal battlefield controller. I'm not playing a sorceress for any mechanical benefits the class confers, but rather because I thought of a character I really wanted to play, and that character was definitely a sorceress, not a wizard).

As an aspiring battlefield controller, I intend to acquire a wand of Obscuring Mist as soon as I can possibly afford one. I fully expect this wand to come in very handy. But I keep feeling like I must be missing something terribly obvious as to the uses of the spell. I keep hearing how amazing and essential this particular spell can be, and I'm having trouble understanding just why it has *quite* such an impressive reputation. Here's what I've thought to do with it so far:

1. Cover a retreat. Increases miss-chance for ranged attacks as you flee, and prevents opponents from seeing which turn you took at a crossroads.

2. Protect more vulnerable members of the party/innocent bystanders by hiding them - though if my friends stay too deep within the mist, their vision will be hampered every bit as much as our opponents' vision will be, so they won't be able to contribute to combat very effectively. (Originally, I had it in mind that I could use Obscuring Mist as my poor man's Tiny Hut, ducking in and out of the fog and casting spells. But you can't take a move action both before and after a standard action within a single round, as I understand it).

3. Assist in setting up an ambush/disorienting and dividing foes. If this were real life, I imagine an Obscuring Mist over top of a zone of Grease would be a seriously disorienting obstacle. If you were fighting in a tunnel or passageway of some kind, you could block the passage with mist and lie in wait for your enemies to blunder out of the fog all confused and get clubbed one or two at a time. But I don't think game mechanics support any kind of dizzyfying debuffs just for stumbling around in a fog and falling over a few times, haha.

I brought this up in the car on the way home last night, and my friend said he would: make himself Large, then wear a Mist spell as his giant Fog Suit (charming, no question, but won't work, since the Mist stays put once it's cast; you can't wear it), or buy a bunch of fans and use them to drive the mist from square to square (also highly amusing, but won't work, because winds just gradually dispel fogs).

So I'm extremely curious: what are all your most epic tales of Obscuring Mist? Humorous fog anecdotes? I'm not looking to steal everybody's thunder, but hearing some creative and legal uses for the spell might well shake loose some ideas of my own.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you are fighting a range heavy (including spells) group, it shuts them down almost completely.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I wish I had really creative anecdotes about Obscuring Mist, but every time we've used it it's been to provide ranged cover. No fancy uses beyond that have been really possible for two reasons.

1. It has to be centered on the caster, even from a wand. This means the wizard has to be in the middle of it all to do something really cool. Having the wizard in the middle of it all isn't the best of ideas.

2. Once it's down, you no longer have line of sight to anything, which means no more ranged spellcasting beyond 5 feet. That idea you had of putting down grease would be great, except you'll need to put it down before the obscuring mist, which lets people know what you're up to.

Don't get me wrong, it's fantastic defensive spell, especially against heavy ranged attackers. We just haven't found it to be terribly flexible.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Once cast it does not move with the wizard. So cast and move to the edge.


Couple of times I've used this spell to make it seem like the PCs are trying to get in one way, using a Wand of Summon Monster II to put some shapes into the mist to keep people occupied while the rest of the party goes in another way under the effects of a Invisibility Sphere.

It's one of those spells that is useful only when coupled with other spells. Then again, as the mist is thick enough to obscure darkvision, nothing is stopping you from tossing a vial of fume-based poison into the mist as the enemy stumbles through it.

Also, as it is a 1 minute/level, the Mist can easily be slapped into a wand and used to lay down cover, using a Wand of Obscuring Mist and a Wind Fan to create a instant fog-cloud (be prepared to burn 10-12 charges on this) to create soft-cover in which the stealth-impared of the group can sneak into places, preferably places where fog-banks are common.

Use it with Gaseous Form to escape from annoying enemies. I know a Vampire Cleric who uses this all the g@&#%@n time to escape us, and we knew after the second fight that we'd almost got him down when he started to drop Obscuring Mist behind himself so at the moment of 'death' when he would turn into vapour and return to his coffin, he'd enter the mist and we'd lose sight of which wisp we were supposed to be following him.

Poor fool didn't realise we'd kept notes on which direction he was facing when he dropped the Obscuring Mist behind himself and were able to triangulate his approximate positon after the third fight. We caught him climbing out of his coffin... would have ended it there but the bastard still had a Harm spell ready to go. Bastige.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Tim Statler wrote:
Once cast it does not move with the wizard. So cast and move to the edge.

I realize that, but it limits where it can be placed, and it limits casting into it. So you're not going to be able to lay down an obscuring mist and put a section of grease (or any other persistent spell) inside.

Fog Cloud has a lot more overall use than Obscuring Mist. Obscuring Mist is best used as ranged cover.


Imagine being a low level fighter/wizard. Suddenly you're surrounded by orcs so you throw up your handy Obscuring Mist. Then, to make things interesting, you cast your Disguise Self making yourself look like an orc. Throw in a few melee attacks and let the orc's nature take its course.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If you're getting pounded by precision damage, that concealment really does help you survive.


Any situation where the attackers can see the party ok but not vice versa, and you can't break their concealment it evens the playing field, they have to come in and share the blindness or give you some breathing room to recover & plan from their ambush. Also, my Oracle of War with his blindsense and blind-fighting feat uses it to tilt the odds in his favor when he's fighting on his own.


HalfOrcHeavyMetal, those are *magnificent* ideas!

Also, I am getting the message that Obscuring Mist (or a fog spell, at any rate) can be so requisite in certain dangerous situations, that it is important to have at the ready, even if one does not end up using it in a highly unpredictable way.

Curious: with a limited list of spells-known, I can't take every spell I'd like, and first level wands (like Obscuring Mist) are far more affordable than second level and up. What makes one a Fog Cloud fan, rather than an Obscuring Mist groupie? (Higher-level benefits, yes, but worth it for the higher level spell slot?)


But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
What makes one a Fog Cloud fan, rather than an Obscuring Mist groupie? (Higher-level benefits, yes, but worth it for the higher level spell slot?)

You can cast it at a distance rather than centered on yourself.

This gives it a good deal of other options for dropping it on top of enemies.

-James

Dark Archive

But I'm Just a Gnome

If you haven't checked it out i recommend checking out.

Sorcerers Guide

and for spell suggestions

Wizards guide/good for Sorc spells too

another sorc spell guide

Spell Guide for Sorcerers

Also hello and welcome to the boards and to RPing.


Dark_Mistress wrote:

But I'm Just a Gnome

If you haven't checked it out i recommend checking out.

Sorcerers Guide

and for spell suggestions

Wizards guide/good for Sorc spells too

another sorc spell guide

Spell Guide for Sorcerers

Also hello and welcome to the boards and to RPing.

Thanks so much for the links! I happen to have read all those guides before, and I'm really really eager for the last one to be completed. There are some higher level spells that I'd really like to know more about from an experienced Sorcerer's perspective.

I actually read every guide I can get my hands on, (which is part of the reason I've become obsessed to the point of obnoxious about spell versatility!), though I still plan to make a few decisions counter to advice if I think the option is too much fun to do without. Like, I think I *can* make use of Shrink Item every single day. You can pry my Shrink Item from my cold dead hands!

If anybody knows of any more relevant guides, lob them at me!

Dark Archive

That's and your welcome. That's why I linked the links. I wasn't sure if you knew about them yet or not. So thought better safe than sorry. None of them have been updated in awhile now. So not sure if the author is still working on it for sure or not.


In my games, I've found Obscuring Mist to be a very useful, even vital spell.

1. I was running a game where the 4th level PCs had killed the BBEG (an evil druid), and most of the other monsters in the dungeon. They were going through the dungeon, and the only monsters left were a pair of hobgoblins who were the BBEG's acolytes, 1st level druids.

Now a pitched toe-to-toe fight between two 1st level hobgoblin druids vs a well-equiped 4th level party would normally result in two dead 1st level hobgoblin druids.

The druids holed themselves up in a 10 x 10 foot room and cast Obscuring Mist. The PCs opened the door, saw the mist, and decided they didn't need to go in there. Result: both druids survived.

Later on, the PCs returned to the dungeon, and the druids repeated their trick. This time, the PCs decided that they needed something that was probably in this room, so they entered, and a fight ensued in the fog. Eventually, the PCs found what they wanted, one druid was killed, and the PCs left. At least one druid survived.

2. Two PCs were scouting ahead with an NPC druid when they ran into a large number of gnolls. The druid cast Obscuring Mist, and the PCs took off back to the base camp. Result, they were not slaughtered by a superior number of gnolls.

3. The PCs were involved with a large battle between gnolls and the baron's troops. A number of low level sorcerers were involved in this battle, and it was useful for them to cast Obscuring Mist on the battlefield, especially to shield healers who were casting healing spells.

And the WORST use of Obscuring Mist that I've ever seen:

A PC druid was in trouble with the local authorities, and was trying to escape from the town guards. She finally managed to lose herself in the crowd. THEN she cast Obscuring Mist, in the middle of the crowd. Panicked commoners fled.

"But they can't see where I am!" the player exclaimed.

"You were already lost in the crowd. They didn't know where you were before." the DM said.

"Now, they have your location down to about 30 feet." I quipped.

The PC was arrested and eventually executed for her crimes.


Dark_Mistress wrote:
That's and your welcome. That's why I linked the links. I wasn't sure if you knew about them yet or not. So thought better safe than sorry. None of them have been updated in awhile now. So not sure if the author is still working on it for sure or not.

I truly appreciate the links, even though I have seen them before. A couple weren't that easy to find, and I hope if there are any other no0bs hanging around here lost, like I was a couple of weeks ago, that they will benefit from all those links being available in one place!


Utgardloki wrote:
The PC was arrested and eventually executed for her crimes.

Ouch. We'll try to avoid that one, shall we?!

Excellent suggestions. Those seem like the sort of situations that might come up any time.

The Exchange

Friend of mine playing a cleric decided he needed to kill a few kobolds (cleric of norberger and not the nicest fellow at times) so he ran into the middle of a pack of non aggressive kobolds, threw up the mist, then channeled negative energy again and again.

Dark Archive

But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
That's and your welcome. That's why I linked the links. I wasn't sure if you knew about them yet or not. So thought better safe than sorry. None of them have been updated in awhile now. So not sure if the author is still working on it for sure or not.
I truly appreciate the links, even though I have seen them before. A couple weren't that easy to find, and I hope if there are any other no0bs hanging around here lost, like I was a couple of weeks ago, that they will benefit from all those links being available in one place!

WTF? That's and your welcome? WTF was I thinking. I have no clue what I was even trying to type. Anyways your welcome and welcome to the boards too.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a GM, I've used this to shut down the party Alchemist. If they can't see to target a person, intersection, or Square; bombs and alchemical items don't do much good.


Use it to avoid AoOs. Have the wizard cast it, then just run past the front ling of enemy troops.

Edit: And protection from gaze attacks.


Dark_Mistress wrote:

But I'm Just a Gnome

If you haven't checked it out i recommend checking out.

Sorcerers Guide

and for spell suggestions

Wizards guide/good for Sorc spells too

another sorc spell guide

Spell Guide for Sorcerers

Also hello and welcome to the boards and to RPing.

Thanks for the guides. They are a worthwhile attempt, but, man, do they need a lot of work!

I found myself thinking WTF? more often than not.


Three cases where obscuring mist is helpful

1.) Where your opponent has a greater advantage at range than at melée

2.) Where your opponent outnumbers you

3.) Where you have superior knowledge of the geographic layout (and, thus, may be able to out manuever them)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:

Three cases where obscuring mist is helpful

1.) Where your opponent has a greater advantage at range than at melée

2.) Where your opponent outnumbers you

3.) Where you have superior knowledge of the geographic layout (and, thus, may be able to out manuever them)

4.) When you're surrounded by invisible rogue/ninjas sneak attacking you to death.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:

Three cases where obscuring mist is helpful

1.) Where your opponent has a greater advantage at range than at melée

2.) Where your opponent outnumbers you

3.) Where you have superior knowledge of the geographic layout (and, thus, may be able to out manuever them)

4.) When you're surrounded by invisible rogue/ninjas sneak attacking you to death.

I think you mean "invisible rogue/ninjas sneak attacking you with auto fire curare-tipped shurikens soaked in the groin sweat of demogorgon.

Scarab Sages

Might be worth more to get a wand of silent image. Then you can make an illusion of the obscuring mist and yet your party members can automatically make their Will save (you're telling them it's there, right?) so it won't obscure their vision any more. (At least, that's one ruling. You'd need to check with your GM on what an illusion that you've saved against looks like.)

And you can use the silent image spell for a lot of other things. Granted, you have to concentrate on it to maintain it, but for most stealthy things that's not a big deal. And there's no indication that you have to maintain line of sight or line of effect after you cast it, so you could continue to concentrate even after you've left the area.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
LilithsThrall wrote:


I think you mean "invisible rogue/ninjas sneak attacking you with auto fire curare-tipped shurikens soaked in the groin sweat of demogorgon.

Well, the only thing that could save you then is Chuck Norris, and he doesn't do house calls.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:


I think you mean "invisible rogue/ninjas sneak attacking you with auto fire curare-tipped shurikens soaked in the groin sweat of demogorgon.
Well, the only thing that could save you then is Chuck Norris, and he doesn't do house calls.

Can he be Summoned?!


azhrei_fje wrote:
Might be worth more to get a wand of silent image.

Silent Image is probably going on my list of actual spells known, and if it doesn't, it's a wand for sure! (Also, we have a couple of other casters in the group, and they can both do silent image). So far my GM seems hesitant to allow me to use illusion spells to mimic other spell effects, but illusory mists and walls and such seem like they certainly *should* be legal.

I've definitely seen guides that advise restricting Silent Image to a wand spell, but I'm seriously considering Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus in Illusion, and if I cast Silent Image spells myself, I can take advantage of bonuses from feats.


But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
azhrei_fje wrote:
Might be worth more to get a wand of silent image.

Silent Image is probably going on my list of actual spells known, and if it doesn't, it's a wand for sure! (Also, we have a couple of other casters in the group, and they can both do silent image). So far my GM seems hesitant to allow me to use illusion spells to mimic other spell effects, but illusory mists and walls and such seem like they certainly *should* be legal.

I've definitely seen guides that advise restricting Silent Image to a wand spell, but I'm seriously considering Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus in Illusion, and if I cast Silent Image spells myself, I can take advantage of bonuses from feats.

Ignore Sorcerer guides which recommend only taking silent image as a wand spell.

Sometimes, it's a good thing to have an illusion appear without some guy in robes waving his hands/wand and shouting alakazam. There is value in being able to cast a still/silent illusion spontaneously.

Scarab Sages

But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
[...] but I'm seriously considering Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus in Illusion, and if I cast Silent Image spells myself, I can take advantage of bonuses from feats.

You can use those two feats on wands. It's only the metamagic ones that can't be used on wands without GM approval (since that's not RAW).


MisterSlanky wrote:
Tim Statler wrote:
Once cast it does not move with the wizard. So cast and move to the edge.

I realize that, but it limits where it can be placed, and it limits casting into it. So you're not going to be able to lay down an obscuring mist and put a section of grease (or any other persistent spell) inside.

Fog Cloud has a lot more overall use than Obscuring Mist. Obscuring Mist is best used as ranged cover.

Obscuring mist blocks line of sight, but it does not block line of effect.

This means you can still cast fireball, lightnings bolt, etc through or into the cloud. You are firing blind, and thus you may not know exactly where the enemies are, but You should have a pretty good idea, and if there are enough enemies, it really doesn't matter exactly where you drop your fireball.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
azhrei_fje wrote:
But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
[...] but I'm seriously considering Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus in Illusion, and if I cast Silent Image spells myself, I can take advantage of bonuses from feats.
You can use those two feats on wands. It's only the metamagic ones that can't be used on wands without GM approval (since that's not RAW).

Really? I did not know that.

::goes to check feat descriptions::


But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Well, the only thing that could save you then is Chuck Norris, and he doesn't do house calls.
Can he be Summoned?!

No, the plane you're on shifts to where Chuck Norris is, unless the plane makes its save.

-James


james maissen wrote:
But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Well, the only thing that could save you then is Chuck Norris, and he doesn't do house calls.
Can he be Summoned?!

No, the plane you're on shifts to where Chuck Norris is, unless the plane makes its save.

-James

There is no save against Chuck Norris. Damage reduction does not apply. Spell resistance doesn't either.


Jess Door wrote:
azhrei_fje wrote:
But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
[...] but I'm seriously considering Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus in Illusion, and if I cast Silent Image spells myself, I can take advantage of bonuses from feats.
You can use those two feats on wands. It's only the metamagic ones that can't be used on wands without GM approval (since that's not RAW).

Really? I did not know that.

::goes to check feat descriptions::

There was a 3.5 book that had a wand metamagic feat. It basically allowed you to apply metamagic to a spell from a wand at the cost of using extra charges.


Lathiira wrote:


There is no save against Chuck Norris. Damage reduction does not apply. Spell resistance doesn't either.

That's why the plane doesn't want to come to Chuck Norris.. it's afraid.

-James


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Lathiira wrote:
james maissen wrote:
But I'm Just a Gnome wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


Well, the only thing that could save you then is Chuck Norris, and he doesn't do house calls.
Can he be Summoned?!

No, the plane you're on shifts to where Chuck Norris is, unless the plane makes its save.

-James

There is no save against Chuck Norris. Damage reduction does not apply. Spell resistance doesn't either.

More generally, RAW and RAI do not apply against Chuck Norris. He immediately wins the game, and you lose. GM included.


A buddy of mines PC, druid/monk with blind fight, drops obscuring mist and is absolutely brutal in melee.

All casters can hang out in it and summon nonstop. A 1st level summoner gets a 10 round summoning right from the get go.


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Wizards who focus on non-targeted spells (summoners for example) can use fogs and mists to keep themselves away from attackers while continuing to throw spells into combat.

Some summon spells (like dire bat summons) work especially well in fogs and mists.

Of course, the archery block has been mentioned numerous times already.

Obscuring mist can be very useful against beholders too. (Forcing them to use their antimagic eye rather than their eye rays)

Note that smokesticks can do a mini-nonmagic obscuring mist too - and they can be thrown.


Treantmonk wrote:


Obscuring mist can be very useful against beholders too. (Forcing them to use their antimagic eye rather than their eye rays)

It is even better against mindless things like constructs and spell turrets that rely upon sight to trigger.

-James


Its also a solid defense against spell effects that require line of sight to maintain.

By this I mean spells like Spiritual Weapon and (the formerly Mordenkainen's) Mage's Sword. These can be devastating effects to have targeted upon a squishy wizard or sorcerer, especially the latter (although its been nerfed considerably from 3.5), since the damage just keeps coming and coming. Throw down an Obscuring Mist, and, because the caster can't see the target, the Spiritual Weapon/Mage's Sword will lose its target and return to the caster--getting it off of you--and thereby requiring the caster to spend a move/standard action to retarget it.

Another good use of obscuring mist is to buy time to 'buff up.' This works best against ranged attackers using targeted attacks, either weapons or targeted spells. Although if the attackers are using AoE spells it loses its defensive capabilities.

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