Overcoming Demonic Spell Resistance


Pathfinder Society

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

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Now that the Year of the Demon is in full swing, it is clear that players will have ample opportunity to face said enemy in mortal combat. One of their most powerful abilities is spell resistance. Even lowliest fiend can have it. So for the benefit of all who cast spells, I pose this to the community in hope of saving PCs unnecessary pain and suffering.
Outside of the obvious feats, spells penetration & its greater version, what items, archetypes, feats, etc can help boost a caster's ability to breach spell resistance?

Silver Crusade 1/5

Buff your martials no sr to worry about there

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Agreed. When in doubt, buff. The Karma bead from a standard Strand of Prayer Beads gives you a +4 on your effective caster level for 10 minutes, but at 45,800gp it's not exactly an everyday item.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Nice idea Bob. Off the top of my head:

Use conjuration spells. The majority of these do not allow spell resistance.

The spell sure casting. Not terribly efficient on action economy, but when it's needed it's better than nothing.

Robe of the archmagi. Expense option that won't help most because of it's 75k price tag.

Bead of karma from a strand of prayer beads. It's pricey, but it will give a divine caster a flat +4 caster level bonus for 10 mins.

Human or Tiefling favored class bonus on a cleric stacks up huge.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Any traits, feats, or other abilities that allow you to cast spells at a higher Caster Level will help as well.

Example: A 4th level Dhampir Wizard with Bloatmage Initiate and Spell Specialization could cast one Necromancy spell at +4 Caster Level, giving him a total of +8 to overcome SR.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Nefreet wrote:

Any traits, feats, or other abilities that allow you to cast spells at a higher Caster Level will help as well.

Example: A 4th level Dhampir Wizard with Bloatmage Initiate and Spell Specialization could cast one Necromancy spell at +4 Caster Level, giving him a total of +8 to overcome SR.

Yeah and how many Dampirs are there out there? I think we should point out things that the average player can get.

The human cleric racial favored is a good example.

In addition to spell penetration (and greater) you might want to check out piercing spell or at least a metamagic rod of Piercing spell.

Shadow Lodge

Elf+Spell Pen.+Greater Spell Pen. You now have +6 to your level vs. SR. Or you could build a Fighter/Barbarian/Monk and just not care about SR. because it doesn't stop your greatsword/fist.

1/5

The best solution vs demonic spell resistance's are.

Arcane caster
1-2: Grease
3-4: Glitter dust
5-6: Stinking cloud
7-8: Black tentacles
9-11: Depends on available spells but there are some pretty good abjurations and conjuration spells.

Cleric
1-2: Just hit the dang thing!
3-4: Spiritual weapon
5-6: Summon monster 3 - Lanturn archon (Seriously)
7-8: Summon monster 4 - Hound archon
9-11: Spam Lanturn archon's.

Druids
1-11: Summoning feats + Summon nature's ally.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Bard(magician) dweomercraft should apply. Gives + to caster level checks of which SR is one.

While it doesnt help other casters, a witch's slumber hex is supernatural and not subject to SR. Too bad demons have good will saves.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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From the Field Guide: Dweomer's Essence. 500gp a pop to gain +5 to breach SR. When you absolutely, positively need to get that spell through. Dweomer's Essence.

From the Core Rulebook: Summon Monster (anything that's big and bitey and celestial).

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Undone wrote:

The best solution vs demonic spell resistance's are.

Arcane caster
1-2: Grease
3-4: Glitter dust
5-6: Stinking cloud
7-8: Black tentacles
9-11: Depends on available spells but there are some pretty good abjurations and conjuration spells.

Cleric
1-2: Just hit the dang thing!
3-4: Spiritual weapon
5-6: Summon monster 3 - Lanturn archon (Seriously)
7-8: Summon monster 4 - Hound archon
9-11: Spam Lanturn archon's.

Druids
1-11: Summoning feats + Summon nature's ally.

A fair list, but I just want to point out that stinking cloud is a poison effect, and most demons are immune to poisons. There are other non-core spells options for that list, however. Snowball and Aqueous Orb are some of my favorite low level conjuration for single target damage + crowd control.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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Yeah. Some of the Fun went out of my admixture Evoker since, as has been pointed out, most of the SR ignoring spells are Conjuration. But I have a few I kept on hand for rogue-ish evaders. Like Snowball. Not much but intensified its 10d6 for my wizard. For a bit more variety you got things like pellet blast. Or Stone call, which can throw a wrench in a demonic charge.

Other things to consider are how to help the party. resist/protection from energy (communal or normal) work great. Ditto spells like communal darkvision/protection from evil. Or buffing spells like cat's grace. Or Fly/haste.

Look over the Summons lists for "holy helpers' can help out too.

I know that some of what has been said is restatements of other folks stuff but I feel a restatement is more helpful than some of the 'build a martial' comments.

My point is while the casters might not get to blast demons into big gory bits, we CAN be useful in a fight against demons. Just stop thinking of using a hammer and look for the other ways you can help out.

A well placed grease spell can do a LOT at the right place or moment.

Silver Crusade 2/5

I have been playing the buff and indirect arcane style since 3.0 because my GM at the time loved drow. The damage that adds up from all the extra attacks from haste is usually much greater than a fireball. Not that fireballs work on demons well anyway.

Now I would expect dedicated sorcerer nukers to have the feats to get through SR because there are multiple sources of SR and the artillery sorcerer is a one-trick pony. (A very good trick when it works, though)

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

Thomas Graham wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Any traits, feats, or other abilities that allow you to cast spells at a higher Caster Level will help as well.

Example: A 4th level Dhampir Wizard with Bloatmage Initiate and Spell Specialization could cast one Necromancy spell at +4 Caster Level, giving him a total of +8 to overcome SR.

Yeah and how many Dampirs are there out there? I think we should point out things that the average player can get.

3/4ths of that +4 is attainable by the average player. Substitute Varisian Tattoo for Bloatmage Initiate if you don't like being overweight, or take them together if you like the idea of inking up your rolls.

The Dhampir was just an example. The point I was making was that the little +1s out there can really add up. Spell Penetration is good for overcoming SR, but finding other ways to increase your Caster Level can help do that and more.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Society Primer, page 13:

Sure Casting
School divination; Level bard 1, cleric 1, inquisitor 1, sorcerer/ wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, F (a square of cloth and a needle)
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 round (see text)

You gain temporary insight into your enemies' magical defenses. When you next cast a spell before the end of the next round, treat your caster level as 5 higher than normal for the purpose of overcoming spell resistance. This bonus doesn't increase any other effects that depend on caster level, such as the spell's damage or range, and affects only the first spell cast after sure casting.

Grand Lodge

Also remember, a witches hexes, for the most part, are supernatural abilities, and thus ignore SR. :-)

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

I know what my next 1st level wand is! Wow.

Scarab Sages 2/5

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Here are possible options:

Race:
Elf - Elven Magic (Elven Racial Trait) - +2 to CL checks for SR (Racial)

Item:
Piercing Metamagic Rod (Item) - Treat SR as 5 lower than normal

Dweomer's Essence (Item) - Use as part of Material Component. +5 to CL Checks for SR (Unnamed)

Robe of the Archmagi (Body Slot Item) - +2 to CL checks for SR (Enhancement). Arcane Spellcasters Only.

Pipes of Dissolution (Unslotted Magic Item) - +2 to CL checks for SR (Competence) to creatures within 30 ft. Must have someone use it with Perform (Wind Instrument) check.

Robe of the Resplendent Thespian (Body Slot Item) - +2 to CL checks for SR (Enhancement). Bards Only.

Feat:

Piercing Metamagic (Feat) - Treat SR as 5 lower than normal

Spell Penetration (Feat) - +2 to CL checks for SR
Greater Spell Penetration (Feat) - +2 to CL checks for SR. Stacks with Spell Penetration

Allied Spellcaster (Teamwork Feat) - When adjacent to ally who has this feat, +2 to CL checks for SR (Competence). If both casters has the same spell prepared, increase to +4.

Half-Elf - Elven Spirit (Feat) - Gain Elven Magic

Spell:
Sure Casting (Spell) - Treat CL as 5 higher than normal.

Trait:

Earthbound (Dwarf Magic Trait) - Pathfinder Companion: Dwarves of Golarion - While you are touching the ground, you add a +2 trait bonus to saving throw DC and on caster level checks to overcome spell resistance for all spells you cast against creatures with the air subtype.

Strength of the Land (Dwarf Magic Trait) - Pathfinder Companion: Dwarves of Golarion - You gain a +1 trait bonus on caster level checks while touching the ground or unworked stone. This includes dispel checks and checks to overcome spell resistance.

Dedicated Defender (Combat Trait) - Ultimate Campaign - You gain a +1 trait bonus on attack rolls and on checks made to overcome spell resistance while you are adjacent to a dying or disabled ally, animal companion, eidolon, familiar, or mount.

Class:
Cleric - Favored Class (Human/Tiefling) - +2 to CL checks for SR of outsiders.

Cleric - Favored Class (Undine) - +2 to CL checks for SR of aquatic or water subtype.

Bard (Sandman Archetype) - Sneakspell (6th Level) - +2 to CL checks for SR against creatures denied DEX.

Inquisitor - Judgement (Piercing) - +1 + (CL/3) to CL checks for SR.

Sorcerer (Seeker Archetype) - Seeker Lore (3rd Level) - +4 to CL checks for SR

Divine Scion (Prestiege Class) - Opposition Alignment - +1 to CL checks for SR against Single Opposite Alignment

Lantern Bearer (Prestiege Class) - Numinous Potency - For the Lantern Bearer's Spell-like abilities, +Class Level to CL checks for SR

So if you REALLY want to maximize your Caster Level Check for Spell Resistance, An Elf Seeker Sorcerer with Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration, Penetration Metamagic Feat, Dweomer's Essence, Robe of the Archmagi, Sure Casting casted in previous round, and a Bard playing the Pipes of Dissolution.

CL Checks
2 - Elf
2 - Spell Penetration
2 - Greater Spell Penetration
4 - Seeker Lore
2 - Robe of the Archmagi
5 - Sure Casting
5 - Dweomer's Essence
2 - Pipes of Dissolution

SR Reduction
5 - Penetration Metamagic

+24 to CL checks against an Enemy's SR-5

If you want to be a bit cheaper for the long run, remove the Robe and Pipes. Essence can be the emergency pops.

CL Checks
2 - Elf
2 - Spell Penetration
2 - Greater Spell Penetration
4 - Seeker Lore
5 - Sure Casting

SR Reduction
5 - Penetration Metamagic

+15 to CL checks against an Enemy's SR-5

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

SCPRedMage wrote:

Sure Casting

Level bard 1, cleric 1, inquisitor 1, sorcerer/ wizard 1, witch 1

Does someone at Paizo hate magi? :-(

Shadow Lodge

Paz wrote:
SCPRedMage wrote:

Sure Casting

Level bard 1, cleric 1, inquisitor 1, sorcerer/ wizard 1, witch 1
Does someone at Paizo hate magi? :-(

I know, right?

*

Protection from evil/chaos. Not to get through SR, but because your fighter does not have SR.
Create pit (etc.) and other battlefield control, but something is needed to counter flight and teleport (is fly a buff spell? :).

On a related note Dimensional block says SR: yes (object). Does this mean that only an object's SR applies? That is creatures do not have SR against this spell?

Grand Lodge 4/5

Since Fly can be cast on others, it would fall under buffs, in general.

In a game I played yesterday, with my 4th level Bard, I found very little issue, for my PC, with the SR of the Devils we wound up facing. Then again, this character has lots of rounds of Bardic Music, Lingering Performance, and a flag to go with the Flagbearer feat. Giving all my allies +2 to hit and damage made for both more hits, and shorter combats. ;)

In a couple of combats, he even spent extra rounds of his Bardic Performance to use his 1d4+4 Soundstrike ability...

1/5

My usual strategy is buff the party and pray that I can hit it with dimensional anchor before it teleports over and murders me.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

For a dedicated elemental caster, there's also some things that will up your caster level, and thus get you through SR better, for your chosen element.

1/5

Stone Call can be a good spell to open with as it does not allow SR or a save. Though it's a very big area so likely to catch allies in it after round 1. Might also mess with charge builds as it creates difficult terrain in the area of effect. Still, automatic damage is good.

Stone Call:
Stone Call

School conjuration (creation) [earth]; Level druid 2, magus 2, ranger 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
EFFECT

Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area cylinder (40-ft. radius, 20 ft. high)
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

DESCRIPTION

A rain of dirt, gravel, and small pebbles fills the area, dealing 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage to every creature in the area. This damage only occurs once, when the spell is cast.

For the remaining duration of the spell, this debris covers the ground, making the entire area difficult terrain. At the end of the duration, the rocks disappear, leaving no aftereffects (other than the damage dealt).

Edit: Nvm, it's bludgeoning damage so it would be stopped by DR.

Liberty's Edge 2/5 *

Elemental Focus/ Greater Elemental Focus/ Spell Focus/ Greater Spell Focus.

Shadow Lodge 2/5

One of my favorite buffs to hand out to people is displacement. Having half the attacks miss the front liners is very handy.

Scarab Sages 2/5

Matthew Pittard wrote:
Elemental Focus/ Greater Elemental Focus/ Spell Focus/ Greater Spell Focus.

These increase the DC of the spell, not the caster level to overcome SR.

A lot of spells from the Conjuration spell list ignores SR. Acid Arrows, Snowballs, Hungry Pits, All the Summon Monsters, etc. Sure, a few of thsoe are not spells that are actually targeting the demon, but every so often, you just want to summon a Celestial Giant Octopus and have it Smite Evil, you know, just for kicks.

Sovereign Court 1/5

Yuelral's Blessing is an Arcane Discovery from Champions of Purity. It will raise the caster level and save dc of any spell shared between the Wizard and Druid spell lists. There are 152 spells that fit that description of 6th level or lower.

Shadow Lodge *

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Demon Hunter feat from the ISWG.

Prerequisites: Knowledge (planes) 6 ranks.

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Knowledge (planes) checks to know the powers and abilities of demons. You gain a +2 morale bonus on all attack rolls and a +2 morale bonus on caster level checks to penetrate spell resistance made against creatures with the demon subtype you recognize as demons.

Dark Archive

Good catch

4/5

The Menhir Savant druid archetype can increase their caster level by +1 3+ Wis times a day. That's another +1 to add to the list.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Anyone mention the Ioun stone (Orange spindle, I think) that increases the user's caster level? 30,000 gp, though.

Precocious Spellcaster trait, increases the CL for one each 0 and 1st level spells.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

kinevon wrote:

Anyone mention the Ioun stone (Orange spindle, I think) that increases the user's caster level? 30,000 gp, though.

Precocious Spellcaster trait, increases the CL for one each 0 and 1st level spells.

Orange prism ioun stone, and that is the correct price. Not sure how that one skipped my mind.

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