Which 3rd level spell would you pick out of these?


Advice


So, I just found out that there was an errata allowing a specialized wizard to choose any spell they wish now, instead of one of the spells having to be out of the school list.

Note: I do realize that I'll still need at least one from the specialized school in order to be able to use the extra slot given to specialized wizards. Already have that covered.

Anyways, that being said, my wood wizard leveled up to 6th just last game session a while back and originally I had him penned down to pick up the Tongues spell since I didn't know of the errata at the time. Now, I'm deciding to change it and I'm looking for opinions on which would be best for someone trying to ease into a control wizard.

I already have:
Haste - Useful...
Fly - Got from a scroll.
Wind Wall - Specialize school spell.
Dispel Magic - The other spell gotten at six.

The ones I'm thinking about (And why):
Slow - Mass debuff and control-ish.
Stinking Cloud - Large area, control-ish. Not sure since it might get in parties way.
Spiked Pit - Control-ish, damaging. Could get in parties way potentially.
Clairvoyance / Clairaudience - Playing sneaky type, info is good, not control-ish in any way.

So here's where I hope you can come in. Which of the above or which other 3rd level spell would you suggest and why? I know I could just choose myself, but when it comes to choosing from multiple difficult things, I tend to sometimes get analysis paralysis.


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Slow. Haste your party, slow the enemy, commence with the curb-stompin'.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I like Stinking Cloud of those choices. That spell can cripple opponents if they are unlucky.


Do have have high saving throw DCs?
What sorts of feats?
What other spells do you already have? (Spiked Pit is less exciting if you already have create pit, diversifying the saving throws you attack is nice etc.

All that said I'm a big fan of stinking cloud, although slow can be nice if you face a lot of rogueish types (or other multi-attack fighty types with low will saves)

If you don't mind suggestions not on your list...

Mad Monkeys is hilarious and good at the same time.
Summon Monster 3. Every time a monster attacks it you win a little bit more, additionally it even gets to attack back and do damage, or buff the party, or detect hidden things with blind sense.


My INT bonus is +4. So at 3rd lv. my DCs would be 17. I don't have any spell focus to amplify it.

Feats are:
Improved Initiative
Cosmopolitan (Picking up perception and sense motive as well as a couple languages.)
Extra Traits (I know... a lot of skill based stuff)
Craft Wondrous Items
Craft Magical Arms and Armor

I do have the normal create pit amongst my spells. They can now be found just below:

All the spells!!!::

Level 1 =
*Charm Person (specialized school choice)
Grease
Color Spray
Burning Hands
Silent Image
Mage Armor
Feather fall
Magic Missile
Vanish
Obscuring Mist (Favored Class Bonus)
Unseen Servant
Identify
Reduce Person
Shield
Keep Watch (Favored Class Bonus)
Floating Disk
Detect Secret Doors
Snowball
Corrosive Touch
Infernal Healing
Protection from Evil
Mount

Level 2 =
*Entangle (Specialized School Choice)
Invisibility
Stone Call
*Web (Specialized School Choice)
See Invisibility
Create Pit (Favored Class Bonus)
Mirror Image
Resist Energy
Glitterdust
Acid Arrow
Touch of Idiocy
Darkvision (Favored Class Bonus)

Level 3 =
Fly
*Wind Wall (Specialized School Choice)
Haste
Dispel Magic

I am definitely open to other spells not on my list. That being said, I'm apprehensive on getting summoning spells. Not because the effect isn't powerful, I know for a fact it is, but purely on it's casting time. A full round action is quite a long time. It can be mitigated by fly and invisibility I suppose though.

Thanks for the suggestions so far everyone. I'm curious, what in game experiences have you had with stinking cloud that they can share? The fact that it sort of makes it difficult for your group to move in and clean up seems off putting.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It really depends on which helps your group the most, but I would say Clairvoyance / Clairaudience because it expands your options. You would normally create scrolls of this spell so that you can pull it out when needed.

My second choice would be Slow, once again because it broadens your options. If you didn't already have a pit spell I would have gone with Stinking Cloud.

Dark Archive

If your party has any sense of cohesion and teamwork, air crystals (50 gp) or divine casters who have prepared or know air bubble could just be forwarned and prepared. It is totally worth everyone spending a round of combat preparing for that spell since the effected enemies will be losing many more turns of action. You can then have you and your allies enter or wait outside and clean up.

However it does require teamwork (bullrushing foes back into it, etc) so if this is for pfs's herd of cats, never mind and just grab slow. The last thing you want to do in pfs is anything that involves organized cooperation unless you play with the same people frequently. Slow also has the advantage of targeting will so it is a great tool for ruining enemy martials days. Half speed, and staggered is pretty brutal. Stinking cloud will neuter enemy arcane casters.

That all said, go with slow. It has more utility and is easier to employ and addresses more of your most likely threats. Grab stinking cloud later when you have time/room to select refined options but admittedly, the cloud is just way more fun.


Looks like thus far it's:

2 to 3: Slow
2: Stinking Cloud
1: Clairvoyance / Clairaudience

Dark Immortal, you make a good point about preparing when getting ready to use stinking cloud. If I were to eventually go this route, I'd probably have to go the air crystal route, mostly because in the particular AP we're playing, we are 7 times out of 10 attacked by enemies in the wild by surprise or with little time to prep.


Stinking Cloud is the winner. You already have create pit, which is an awesome and useful spell (and stays useful, the cleric's worst enemy). But stinking cloud is a large area of effect Fort save the shuts down multiple enemies for multiple turns; it also hides you from caster who are inside of it. It's pretty idea for stopping casters in particular, but because it covers such a nice amount of area you're probably going to knock at least one or two enemies down to move actions for a few rounds. Divide and conquer, always a winner.


Stinking Cloud. Good range, great effect, blocks line of sight. More in your wheelhouse for your role in the party.

Silver Crusade

It looks like you have most of the basics covered, I like this spell for flavor and as a great debuff


You know you don't have to take a specialized school spell every everytime you level.

You used to, but they changed that.


I only recently realized that. However, I want at least 1 specialized school spell per spell level so I can still use the bonus slot provided for school specialist spells only.

So, more for stinking cloud huh? I wish I could try it out before choosing it. I feel like the enemies would just move out the back and the fact my party wouldn't want to go in (without air bubbles / air crystals) would make it less useful. Not to mention the concealment the enemies inside would get. However, I've never tried it, so it may be more a wait them out sort of scenario. Which at 6th would mean 6 full rounds. Maybe I could find someone using it in game somewhere.

Stinking Cloud: 4
Slow: 2 to 3
Clairvoyance / Clairaudience: 1
Mad Monkeys: 1

Thanks for the suggestions thus far everyone.


Third Mind wrote:

I only recently realized that. However, I want at least 1 specialized school spell per spell level so I can still use the bonus slot provided for school specialist spells only.

So, more for stinking cloud huh? I wish I could try it out before choosing it. I feel like the enemies would just move out the back and the fact my party wouldn't want to go in (without air bubbles / air crystals) would make it less useful. Not to mention the concealment the enemies inside would get. However, I've never tried it, so it may be more a wait them out sort of scenario. Which at 6th would mean 6 full rounds. Maybe I could find someone using it in game somewhere.

Stinking Cloud: 4
Slow: 2 to 3
Clairvoyance / Clairaudience: 1
Mad Monkeys: 1

Thanks for the suggestions thus far everyone.

No, that's the beauty of it. Either they can leave the cloud and come forward if they made the saves, your martials can be waiting to grab them with readied attacks and, perhaps attacks of opportunity. The one who retreat behind the cloud probably failed the save or are cowardly casters; but if the failed they are still nauseated for 1d4 more rounds, if they are cowardly casters they can't see your party while your martials wallop the few that came forward. Anyone else needs to come around, it sets up a nice divide and conquer.

At later levels you have to be careful about casters going invisible, but I highly recommend fog cutting goggles for any caster, there's a ton of use is seeing through fogs. Just be smart and tactical and set it up so it make life easier for your martials and drives the survivors of the cloud right to their swords.


BretI wrote:

It really depends on which helps your group the most, but I would say Clairvoyance / Clairaudience because it expands your options. You would normally create scrolls of this spell so that you can pull it out when needed.

My second choice would be Slow, once again because it broadens your options. If you didn't already have a pit spell I would have gone with Stinking Cloud.

I agree mostly but would like to Point out Stinking Cloud is a very problematic spell to use. So you cast it, then what?

The party can't enter the cloud and you can't target creatures within the cload.

In my experience people ten'd to forget divination spells.
LEarning Clairvoyance / Clairaudience so you can scribe scrolls with it is excelent.

Slow is also a good spell.


Zark wrote:
BretI wrote:

It really depends on which helps your group the most, but I would say Clairvoyance / Clairaudience because it expands your options. You would normally create scrolls of this spell so that you can pull it out when needed.

My second choice would be Slow, once again because it broadens your options. If you didn't already have a pit spell I would have gone with Stinking Cloud.

I agree mostly but would like to Point out Stinking Cloud is a very problematic spell to use. So you cast it, then what?

The party can't enter the cloud and you can't target creatures within the cload.

In my experience people ten'd to forget divination spells.
LEarning Clairvoyance / Clairaudience so you can scribe scrolls with it is excelent.

Slow is also a good spell.

Yep, information is always useful and slow is just so good. Too many folks in this thread love the smell of gas I guess :p


Ok, well I was going to base it solely on which spell would be better, but the votes seem to even out overall between slow and stinking cloud. Seeing as in my campaign we've faced a scythe tree and 3 different, random shambling mounds and plenty of undead, I'm leaning towards slow since stinking cloud won't do anything to them. I will pick up cloud when available though.

Granted cloud takes down casters and basically takes attacking away as an option, but I think I'd rather have something selective (Choose most capable looking opponents within range), that can effect all sorts of different creatures as well and just pick up cloud later. Hopefully get Clairvoyance / Clairaudience soon as well.

Thanks everyone.


If your group lacks ranged attackers, than I'd say Stinking Cloud to shut down ranged opponents (although Obscuring Mist can do this too).

Don't take a second 'pit' spell. The level 2 Create Pit is sufficient.

Slow is great due to the selective targeting, and the Slow spell affects undead, while undead will be immune to the Fort save of the Stinking Cloud. If you are ambushed by a bunch of ghouls, Slow is the better spell.

Liberty's Edge

Stinking Cloud would be my choice.


I'd talk to your GM about Clairvoyance/Clairaudience. Ask if she's cool with you casting it frequently, or if that would disrupt her storytelling. If all good, I'd pick that one, as it lets you prepare for encounters much more efficiently.

I'd skip the pit spell - way too annoying. Stinking Cloud is better in large battle situations, where you can slow down a chunk of enemies. Slow I find used best to counter enemy Haste (auto-dispel, no save), when you already have Haste to give you the edge. There's not usually a need to double-down on that.


Aqueous Orb is what I would pick. Suggestion would be my second choice, possibly first if I had max ranks of linguistics. I would honestly take both of those and Stinking Cloud ahead of Dispel Magic.


If it helps my party consists of me (was sort of blast based, but I'm now looking to play a solid control with blast and save or suck / die on the side), another wizard one level below the rest of the party, focusing on blasting with fire. A sorcerer who seems mostly about enchanting and occasional buffs and rare summoning. Fighter archer and two weapon ranger with a flying mount.

We haven't faced many enemy casters at all as of yet really save for a druid, but that may change now that we've leveled. Stinking cloud still seems the overall favorite in this thread. Suggestion is a possibility, my character does know quite a few languages. Aquas orb I'm unsure of. I know it can reposition and cause them to be unable to speak due to holding breath, but I'm not entirely sold on it. I don't think I'm going to change dispel though, I've read so much that it can flat out save the day sometimes.

Thanks for the furthered suggestions everyone.


Given that you have 3 arcane casters in the party, you can easily have all the bases covered between you. So in that sense, it doesn't really matter. OTOH, you have no cleric/druid or melee meat shield, so I'd be looking to cover those gaps somehow. And my immediate thought is Summon Monster 3. But of the above 4, it might be CV/CA, on the basis that if you know what's behind the door before you open it, you might avoid a lot of speciality damage (eg diseases & ability damage) that you can't otherwise deal with. It's a matter of how good a scout your ranger is.


Given that from your list of existing spells, you have Grease [Reflex], Create Pit [Reflex], Color Spray [Will], Glitterdust [Will]...

Yeah, I'd grab Stinking Cloud too. That way you can lock down creatures with strong Reflex / Will, but weak Fort.


I might consider taking summon monster 3. I truly dislike it's full round casting, but I could just summon a dretch and have it drop stinking cloud itself. Although my stinking cloud would be 4 points higher in DC, so it could be best to get stinking cloud myself.

We do have quite a few casters I agree, but each of us largely fits a specific role I think, that of blaster, control and enchantment, so I do think it could matter.

The saves of my spell is a good point though, at the same time color spray will soon get less useful and glitterdust is on my opposed list meaning I have to prepare it as a 3rd level if I want to use it (unless I have it on scroll). Not having a fort save at all is a solid reason though.

Grand Lodge

Stinking Cloud & Aqueous Orb are both really nice. I would go Stinking cloud as it gets groups and the orb is for single target.

I also like Resinous Skin or Defending bone (level 2) myself as stoneskin is expensive and a Level 4 spell. I hardly see the point in rushing stoneskin when you can grab a free to cast DR/5 for a lesser level spell.

Create pit works well but since you have fly some of the baddies have fly. Can't fall into a pit when you are flying. Your to the level now that Pit spells are going to fall behind.


Third Mind wrote:
... and glitterdust is on my opposed list meaning I have to prepare it as a 3rd level if I want to use it ...

Might be a houserule for you, but just FYI, opposed school spells take two spell slots of the same level, not one the level above.


Oops. So it is. I just misremembered it. Guess it's a good thing I haven't used the spell at all yet. :D

As for my choice. The large chunk seems to say that stinking cloud is the pick. I'm still apprehensive about it and it's really between Stinking Cloud and Slow right now (with summon monster 3 at the back of my mind). However, with so many others having used the spell before saying it's best out of the control spells at 3rd (out of what I listed at least) then I suppose I'll pick that up. I'll see if I can get Slow and a few of the other spells mentioned here by other means or pick it up through favored class bonus next level.

I've got quite a while before my next session, so if you have a story on how you used stinking cloud or any of the other spells successfully, I'd definitely like to hear them. Also, if you have other suggestions than what is on the list or just what you think is best, I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks for the input thus far everyone.

Grand Lodge

I've casted stinking cloud several times successfully. Best one was on a caster and 2 archers who were gathered together. They didnt even get to act for a few rounds while my team surrounded the cloud. Cloud ended and group closed on them and made quick work on them. Typically it is a good spell to use on someone while your group closes distance. It forces the enemy to react and loose actions. Lost of useful action is extremely powerful.


Good stuff. I suppose my party could largely get around it by having our other wizard, the blaster, sending in a flaming sphere or a fireball (probably fireball). Our archer could handle shooting at someone who pops out the sides and our two weapon fighter could fly over to behind the cloud with our enchanter sorcerer as backup. I'm sure this won't work out all the time, but it might work a few. Surrounding the enemy or allowing for time to prepare seem the primary focuses of the spell in the first place anyways. Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Craft a few fog cutting lenses for your ranged artillery. They can then shoot into you cloud spells. Cloudkill is coming up as well as solid fog being a great spell. The lenses can open up a new world of strategy.


If glitterdust is part of your opposition school then so is stinking cloud and aqueous orb. Banning conjuration is a very bad idea, get it back with opposition research as soon as possible. In the meantime take slow.


andreww wrote:
If glitterdust is part of your opposition school then so is stinking cloud and aqueous orb. Banning conjuration is a very bad idea, get it back with opposition research as soon as possible. In the meantime take slow.

He's a wood wizard, so his opposition school is metal, not conjuration.


I would go with slow any day. It is a transmutation and attacks a large number of targets you get to pick; its effect will also cripple the opposition. The spell lacks several problems, too: it is not mindaffecting and no creature has an inbuilt immunity to it.
Stinking Cloud is a poison effect, so there are several types which are not affected, like the undead or constructs. Although not a bad spell, given the choice between them I would have to drop it in favor of Slow.


Slow also has its downsides. It is subject to spell resistance, and it does nothing to something that makes its save. Additionally, it is not that crippling to adversaries that lack multiple attacks to begin with. A partial charge, albeit at a reduced speed, is still available to those affected by Slow.

Stinking Cloud always does something at least. As such, it is more versatile. Of course, both spells have different preferable targets and circumstances. Eventually, learn both.

Dark Archive

I'd go with stinking cloud. You've got some Reflex save stuff (entangle, web), and some Will save stuff (color spray, glitterdust). Good to cover all three save options, so stinking cloud, with it's Fort save, might be good to throw on a spellcasting foe.

Slow isn't bad, but part of being a wizard is having something to cover multiple bases, and not put all your eggs in one save category basket. (I'd pick up slow eventually anyway, but stinking cloud first!)


Other options...
.
Ablative Barrier - increases the effects of healing on you.
Chain of Perdition - can cause havoc vs low CMD type foes.
Hold Person -
Heroism -
Phantom Steed.

If you're certain about your list my vote goes with Stinking Cloud.


Does anyone have Daylight?

Very nice utility spell with offensive use vs some monsters.

...but I'd probably grab Heroism.

Sovereign Court

Heroism or Ablative Sphere, IMO. Possibly Stinking Cloud. My advice? You're high level. Get to a major city ASAP. Find the mage's guild. Get scrolls of *all* the spells you need and begin transcribing them immediately to your spellbook. Most DMs should allow you to do that.

In a limited setting, I'd suggest specializing. Stinking Cloud or Sleet Storm are great CC spells at this level.

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