Wizard tactics against giants


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Liberty's Edge

Looking for good spells tactics tricks for a 9th level wizard to use against giants. Conjuration speciality and enchantment and necromancy as off schools.


I don't know that giants really need special tactics. Do you know much about how / when/ where you will be facing them? They do count as a "person" for all your charm person/hold person spells, but since you opposed enchantment, you may want to spend some time getting some scrolls ready. Again, it is from your opposed school, but the good old Magic Jar one and get the whole brood to kill themselves would work fine, as would the Magic Jar one and carry your body in your backpack for the rest of the day. Since it is only one spell taking two slots it may still be a good option for you.

Most of them won't have resistance (frost and fire giants are exceptions) so must of your conjured area of effects will work. They won't be easy to push around the field with bull rush spells, so avoid those.

Sovereign Court

Anything with a will save or a reflex save for the most part are useful against giants.

Also, as the wizard in my RotRL campaign has learned, don't be way in the back slinging spells and not expect to eat thrown rocks. Improved invisibility is your friend.


Heightened Spell (Web) would work wonders against most giants. Ramps up the DC to coincide with the new spell level you put it at. Consider it more for binding an army of giants.

Wall of Force/Cloudkill is always a solid option for death dealing. Prismatic Spray will typically kill just about anything eventually.


Giants on average have poor reflex saves, use that to your advantage! Conjuration has a bunch of tricks for targeting reflex that either takes a giant out of the fight, or severely weakens them
Spells:
Level 1- Stumble Gap: Cast this in one of the squares the giant is in to cause it to fall prone, any melee next to it already will either murder it before it gets up, get free AOO when it stands up, or it doesn't stand up, and takes penalties to hit. Even if it saves, it takes penalties for a round.
Level 2- Create Pit: works for all large sized giants. at mid levels it is 30 feet deep with a dc25 climb check. Some giants will get out eventually, but taking them out of the fight for 1-2 turns is usually enough.
Glitterdust: Blinds the giant (targets Will, usually higher than reflex on giants) but allows a save every round. Still a better spell in general if you think you might come across invisible opponents.
Stone Call: Good range, and puts up 80 feet of difficult terrain, if you come on them at a distance, put this down and let your archer(s) pepper them while they slog through at half speed. (not recommended if they are throwing rocks)
Level 3- Spiked Pit: same as above, but deeper, does damage, and has a lower climb dc.
Aqueous Orb: targets reflex, can be directed at multiple opponents, but can only capture up to a large giant. If the first save is made, can be directed again at the same or a different target, very versatile.

In general, Create Pit is usually enough until the giants become huge, but Stumble Gap can be funny and allow your BSF to feel important. Stumble gap also doesn't have a size limit on the creatures it affects.

Silver Crusade

Glitterdust seems like the obvious first answer for conjuration specialist. Add persistent metamagic and watch them all go blind.

Depending on party makeup, Haste is always a solid option in combat. Get your friends up closer faster, with an extra attack every round, while you avoid looking like a target for thrown boulders because you aren't drawing attention to yourself.

Grand Lodge

A heightened or persistent Glitterdust is a good Middle finger to a giant. You oppose necromancy which is one of my favorite schools. Perhaps take Opposition study feat and get one of your schools back. Both have spells that are good against Giants.

I typically use magic jar and let them kill each other...then animate them and push them further down into the dungeon. Animate things as I go along. I buy a wand of lesser restoration to cure myself of the Blood money price. But like I said my favorite schools is necromancy.

Sirocco is a good spell when dealing with Giants as the fatigued or exhausted effect will happen as long as they even take 1 point of damage from the spell. But it is a 6th level spell.

Ash storm helps to hamper the vision but if you have someone with blind-fight it is a terrific spell.


Don't forget about grease. Making giants who are engaged in melee with your BSF drop their weapons or fall prone will let your fighter get a few good AoO in. If they are clustered right, you might even get a few of them to drop prone with one spell.


A wizard should never have a problem with giants, they are usually just big melee guys.

Our wizard completely shut down a group of giants with the 0 level spell Pants. (Damn rule of cool.)


Don't use spells with fortitude saves?


The only real issue that fighting Giants brings to mind vs fighting Orcs is size and that is really only an issue if you are fighting numbers of Giants. Trying to hit 8 Giants vs 8 Orcs is often much more difficult for the simple fact 8 Giants will be spread over a much larger area which tends to make targeting/AoE's more an issue. Otherwise as others have said if they get a save make it against Reflex or Will.


Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:

A heightened or persistent Glitterdust is a good Middle finger to a giant. You oppose necromancy which is one of my favorite schools. Perhaps take Opposition study feat and get one of your schools back. Both have spells that are good against Giants.

I typically use magic jar and let them kill each other...then animate them and push them further down into the dungeon. Animate things as I go along. I buy a wand of lesser restoration to cure myself of the Blood money price. But like I said my favorite schools is necromancy.

Sirocco is a good spell when dealing with Giants as the fatigued or exhausted effect will happen as long as they even take 1 point of damage from the spell. But it is a 6th level spell.

Ash storm helps to hamper the vision but if you have someone with blind-fight it is a terrific spell.

How do you use magic jar that way? You can't target it.


Also keep in mind that they (mostly) are humanoids, and can be targeted by any spell you have that works against normal people.


Grease! I played a mod with giants and MAN, do they love failing reflex saves on grease!

Others I found useful:
Glitterdust (Stronger giants tend to have good will saves, but the one's your usually fighting at 9th don't unless the campaign is real high powered)
Create Pit (If large)
Web (They have a fairly high chance of breaking it, but loosing a turn to grapple and halving movement is nasty)
Ash Storm (Cut off foes from each Other)
Emergency Force Sphere (Keep one memorized:)
Summon Monster (Various Uses)
Icy Prison (SOD most giants will fail)

Sovereign Court

Good suggestions above. Another thing to note is that most giants only have low-light vision, not darkvision, so keeping them in Darkness or Deeper Darkness (something available to many summoned demons & devils) can really cripple them with no save in certain situations. Make sure to coordinate with your teammates if they don't have darkvision, though!

Oh yeah, and Mirror Image is a great defense against them since they don't have many attacks.


Also remember giant have reach and can use reach weapon to strike even further back.So dont be surprised if an intelligent Giant strike over the fighter(taking the penalties of course) to hit the squishy, unarmored caster.


Degoon Squad wrote:
Also remember giant have reach and can use reach weapon to strike even further back.So dont be surprised if an intelligent Giant strike over the fighter(taking the penalties of course) to hit the squishy, unarmored caster.

That's why the caster type should be 15 to 20 feet behind the frontline fighters. Well in a perfect world anyhow we all know that can't always happen.

Scarab Sages

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Use the giant's height against them:

Stinking cloud is a 20' high disk. Cast this spell at a height so that it is centered 16' off the ground, resulting in a cloud that is 6' off the ground.

This lets your fighter types attack them without being in the area of the spell, while still being in base-to base contact with the giants. Because the Giant's heads are in the cloud, they will get a 20% miss chance against the fighters, and will have to make a fort save every round they are in the cloud. Sure this is an easy save for them, but if you save this for a big fight, you should force a lot of saves over the course of the combat.

It also blocks the giants line of sight for their boulders, while still letting your archers attack. It's just all goodness.

Dark Archive

If staggering fall didn't have a Fort save gumming up the works, I'd totally recommend combining it with grease.

Still, grease and glitterdust and create pit are fun options for the conjuration junkie.

If they are particularly dumb, sending in expendable groups of lower level summons, like mephits, to eat up AoOs, might also be a decent tactic. (Note that the 1d4+1 mephits you can summon with summon monster V can be tossing out 1d4+1 CL 6 scorching rays and heat metals (fire), magic missiles and chill metals (ice), acid arrows and stinking clouds (ooze or water), glitterdusts (salt) or pyrotechnics (magma), so they can launch some spells before flitting about and breathing their weeny breath weapons and eating AoOs to the face.)


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Pits, orbs, glitterdust and it's one and done. Create pit or spiked pit beneath one, shift out of the action aqueous orb another, possibly throw in to pit. Flavor to taste.


Do you have access to the metamagic Feat Dazing Spell? Slap it on anything that doesn't target Fortitude.

Other than that, Grease, Glitterdust, Stumble Gap... anything that targets Reflex or Will and applies status modifiers wil make things much easier.
If you know Giants are coming, a couple Charm Person / Hold Person spells might even be worth the two slots they take memorizing.

Don't bother relying on damage spells. The one thing Giants bring to the field is a crapton of hit points, coupled with high Fortitude Saves.

Don't neglect your defense. They'll be able to hit your AC if they get in striking range or throw rocks, so miss chance is the way to go. Mirror Image is your friend. Improved Invisibility is even better.


Rimed ice storms are a blast to slow them down. Deals some damage, creates difficult terrain and entangles them if they are dealt cold damage. That reduces their offence, defence and makes them nearly immobile (quarters their speed).
Follow up with grease and watch the entangled guys balance through the difficult terrain to reach someone.

So take them down send in the air support via summon monsters.


I'm surprised that no one has suggested Confusion. Even taking 2 slots, it's excellent against giants.

Dazing Fireball or anything else that does damage is always good against low reflex saves.

Dark Archive

With Create Pit remember that it is a -15 to climb DC (total 10 DC) for being able to use both walls and a corner, climb is a move action so 2 climb checks a round, and climb is a strength based skill so giants are good at it. Most giants just accelerated climb (+5 to DC for a total 15 DC) out of the pit in one round (2x 20ft climbs).


ZomB wrote:
With Create Pit remember that it is a -15 to climb DC (total 10 DC) for being able to use both walls and a corner, climb is a move action so 2 climb checks a round, and climb is a strength based skill so giants are good at it. Most giants just accelerated climb (+5 to DC for a total 15 DC) out of the pit in one round (2x 20ft climbs).

If they do two climb checks to get out in one round, don't they end up on the slope where they have to make a ref check to keep from sliding back in?

Silver Crusade

Aren't many giants big enough not to fit into a pit?


PSusac wrote:

Use the giant's height against them:

Stinking cloud is a 20' high disk. Cast this spell at a height so that it is centered 16' off the ground, resulting in a cloud that is 6' off the ground.

This lets your fighter types attack them without being in the area of the spell, while still being in base-to base contact with the giants. Because the Giant's heads are in the cloud, they will get a 20% miss chance against the fighters, and will have to make a fort save every round they are in the cloud. Sure this is an easy save for them, but if you save this for a big fight, you should force a lot of saves over the course of the combat.

It also blocks the giants line of sight for their boulders, while still letting your archers attack. It's just all goodness.

Note this sort of trick will work for many spells that don't specify that they must be in contact with the ground/horizontal surface such as Wall of Force or Wall of Fire or several of the Fog/Cloud type spells including Stinking Cloud at least by RAW. I could see table variation here with the GM saying that the various Fog's do require being placed on a surface, RAI and RAW might be different here. And it doesn't make the general tactic, thinking in 3 dimensions, invalid.

@ Fromper - AFAIK most (all?) of the Pit spells are 10x10ft and most giants are in fact Large size (Cloud and Storm being the exceptions among the basic 6) so even without 'squeezing' they fit albeit they fill the area. Most creatures don't actually take up all the room in the squares they occupy either, with notable exceptions such as a Gelatinous Cube. They will however generally have no issues reaching to brace against 'opposite' walls of a 10x10 opening/Pit.

@Umbranus - My only thought here is again some table variation. While if they interact with the sloping edges I can see needing another Reflex save I'd point out they also have reach (as much as 15ft with the core 6 giants) and I can also see GM saying they reach over the 5ft sloped edge to grasp beyond the sloped portion and pull themselves free or similar thinking particularly since they aren't being 'surprised' by the sudden appearance of the Pit and can grab hand and foot holds where desired within reach. I can also see the giant 'continue' to use Climb checks to climb over the sloped edges, with sloped edges being even easier to climb than the vertical walls of the Pit.

Dark Archive

Umbranus wrote:
If they do two climb checks to get out in one round, don't they end up on the slope where they have to make a ref check to keep from sliding back in?

Giants typically have 40ft move. 30ft of accelerated climb uses 60ft of move, leaving 20ft of normal movement to move away from the edge (of a normal create pit).

Therefore the other deeper pits are more useful.


Keep in mind ones Climb speed is 1/4 your base speed. So accelerated climb speed for a giant is 20 ft (double move 40ft) ... unless I'm figuring something wrong myself.

CRB Climb skill text wrote:
Check: With a successful Climb check, you can advance up, down, or across a slope, wall, or other steep incline (or even across a ceiling, provided it has handholds) at one-quarter your normal speed. A slope is considered to be any incline at an angle measuring less than 60 degrees; a wall is any incline at an angle measuring 60 degrees or more.


Um, shrink them, duh! Though seriously, depends on giant type. What giants are you fighting? Hill giant, stone giant, troll, what?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Seriously Glitterdust, metamagicked or not is one of your best options. And given it's relative low level, it is enimently spammable.

There are also a few tricksy summons you could use.

Alternatively Aqueous Orb is rather fun, though it caps with Large.

Enchantment tricks, even though it is your opposed schools are still worth considering. Magic Jar/Dominate/Charm are great force multipliers that weaken foes while strengthening your party.


I use Grease on giants to great effect. Target their massive weapons, and its a Reflex save every round until it drops and it stays coated for quite awhile. Use Heightened Grease if you really want to make it stick.


Do giants have any counters to swarms?

Silver Crusade

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Rhapsodic College Dropout wrote:
I use Grease on giants to great effect. Target their massive weapons, and its a Reflex save every round until it drops and it stays coated for quite awhile. Use Heightened Grease if you really want to make it stick.

This is incorrect. This is actually a very common misconception about Grease, but I just recently learned that I've been playing it wrong all along.

If Grease is cast on an attended item, and the creature holding that item makes the initial saving throw, then the item doesn't get greased. Thus, there are no subsequent saving throws to see if they drop the item each round after the first.

Here's the FAQ about this.

That said, Grease is still a decent option against giants, just not quite as powerful as RCD thought.


Fromper wrote:
Rhapsodic College Dropout wrote:
I use Grease on giants to great effect. Target their massive weapons, and its a Reflex save every round until it drops and it stays coated for quite awhile. Use Heightened Grease if you really want to make it stick.

This is incorrect. This is actually a very common misconception about Grease, but I just recently learned that I've been playing it wrong all along.

If Grease is cast on an attended item, and the creature holding that item makes the initial saving throw, then the item doesn't get greased. Thus, there are no subsequent saving throws to see if they drop the item each round after the first.

Here's the FAQ about this.

That said, Grease is still a decent option against giants, just not quite as powerful as RCD thought.

That really doesn't make much sense, but I guess that's the rules.

Sovereign Court

DominusMegadeus wrote:
That really doesn't make much sense, but I guess that's the rules.

I believe the intent is that if they make the initial reflex save, it symbolizes them getting their weapon out of the line of fire of your Grease spell, whereas if they fail, the subsequent saves represent trying to hold on to the greasy weapon.


Rhapsodic College Dropout wrote:
I use Grease on giants to great effect. Target their massive weapons, and its a Reflex save every round until it drops and it stays coated for quite awhile. Use Heightened Grease if you really want to make it stick.

But Remember big Giants dont really need weapons,. Rocks , trees, a stool, their own hands can do plenty of damage when talking about Giants.

Also remember some giants carry more then one weapon and others are casters. both complicate things. What do you do if the Giant decide to put you in a pit and then puts a rock over the pit? You need to stay at range and dodge the rocks and missile weapons if possible.
I would buff(Haste on a Barbarian and then enlarge is always good as its harder for the Giant then to push his way through to get to the mage) the front line fighter types so the Giant consider them the threat


Reynard_the_fox wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
That really doesn't make much sense, but I guess that's the rules.

I believe the intent is that if they make the initial reflex save, it symbolizes them getting their weapon out of the line of fire of your Grease spell, whereas if they fail, the subsequent saves represent trying to hold on to the greasy weapon.

Thats how I've always viewed it. You fling a grease ball and he moves his hand out of the way.


Not to sound generic but, why not just plain kill them with damage?
Even not specialized for it, it should not be that hard.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Whisperknives wrote:

Not to sound generic but, why not just plain kill them with damage?

Even not specialized for it, it should not be that hard.

Martials have wands of Damage. As a caster you have limited energy which you could use on Damage, or on Reshape Reality.


Giant types tend to have a lot of HP, which is the very quality of enemies that took blasting out of vogue.


Sleet Storm is pretty nasty. How many giants have a decent Acrobatics score? Downside? The AoE is limited and so you might not catch many giants.

IMO Enchantment spells are brutal against giants. Confusion is a good one, with that same AoE problem as noted above. Dominate Monster is pretty high level, sadly. However Hold Monster is available not too late in the game.


Kimera757 wrote:

Sleet Storm is pretty nasty. How many giants have a decent Acrobatics score? Downside? The AoE is limited and so you might not catch many giants.

IMO Enchantment spells are brutal against giants. Confusion is a good one, with that same AoE problem as noted above. Dominate Monster is pretty high level, sadly. However Hold Monster is available not too late in the game.

A storm giant has an acrobatics score of +18, but only a reflex save of 8, and a touch ac of 10.

Throw touch spells or aoe spells.

Done.


Dazing flaming sphere.
Dazing Snap dragon fireworks.
Dazing Melfs acid arrow.
Dazing Molten orb
Dazing Silver Darts.

The list goes on.


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Undone wrote:

Dazing flaming sphere.

Dazing Snap dragon fireworks.
Dazing Melfs acid arrow.
Dazing Molten orb
Dazing Silver Darts.

The list goes on.

There has to be some irony in the fact that I list a strategy and say "done", then the next post is by someone named Undone.

Would this now be Re-done.


Whisperknives wrote:
Undone wrote:

Dazing flaming sphere.

Dazing Snap dragon fireworks.
Dazing Melfs acid arrow.
Dazing Molten orb
Dazing Silver Darts.

The list goes on.

There has to be some irony in the fact that I list a strategy and say "done", then the next post is by someone named Undone.

Would this now be Re-done.

I feel like a picture of "YOU ARE NOT PREPARED" would fit well here.


Might ask what type of Giant are we talking about. Spells that are good versus a Frost Giant might bounce off a Fire Giant.And what will knock a clan of Hill giants flat might just make a Rune Giant smile.

Scarab Sages

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DominusMegadeus wrote:
Giant types tend to have a lot of HP, which is the very quality of enemies that took blasting out of vogue.

I think that you are looking at this wrong.

Let's say you hit them with a standard 10d6 fireball. Nothing to write home about, right? 35 points of damage or 17 if they save

But now you have damaged all the giants in the room for about the amount that the fighter can swing his sword.

So what this means is that every one of those giants will now die one attack sooner.

As a wizard, your job is to come up with solutions to problems that other characters can't do. I think that this is a solution to a problem - ending the fight sooner.

I try to make sure that every round I contribute something meaningful to the fight - I think this counts just fine.


PSusac wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Giant types tend to have a lot of HP, which is the very quality of enemies that took blasting out of vogue.

I think that you are looking at this wrong.

Let's say you hit them with a standard 10d6 fireball. Nothing to write home about, right? 35 points of damage or 17 if they save

But now you have damaged all the giants in the room for about the amount that the fighter can swing his sword.

So what this means is that every one of those giants will now die one attack sooner.

As a wizard, your job is to come up with solutions to problems that other characters can't do. I think that this is a solution to a problem - ending the fight sooner.

I try to make sure that every round I contribute something meaningful to the fight - I think this counts just fine.

This a thousand times. I didn't expect my fireball or cone of cold or whatever to drop them all when I went blaster mode. I expected it to turn all my foes (except maybe a 'boss') into one or two hit wonders. If they started as foes I could drop with a single blast then they probably weren't a huge threat to begin with for our group. 'Perfect' is a blast to make them all squishy, followed by the archer/dervish/skirmisher clearing them out with single attacks to open the charge/pounce full attack on the 'boss' by the heavy hitting melee type(s) or similar thinking. Of course such plans also typically went astray fairly quickly or got altered on the fly (and I'd go from blaster to battlefield shaper/debuffer etc.).


Kayerloth wrote:
PSusac wrote:
DominusMegadeus wrote:
Giant types tend to have a lot of HP, which is the very quality of enemies that took blasting out of vogue.

I think that you are looking at this wrong.

Let's say you hit them with a standard 10d6 fireball. Nothing to write home about, right? 35 points of damage or 17 if they save

But now you have damaged all the giants in the room for about the amount that the fighter can swing his sword.

So what this means is that every one of those giants will now die one attack sooner.

As a wizard, your job is to come up with solutions to problems that other characters can't do. I think that this is a solution to a problem - ending the fight sooner.

I try to make sure that every round I contribute something meaningful to the fight - I think this counts just fine.

This a thousand times. I didn't expect my fireball or cone of cold or whatever to drop them all when I went blaster mode. I expected it to turn all my foes (except maybe a 'boss') into one or two hit wonders. If they started as foes I could drop with a single blast then they probably weren't a huge threat to begin with for our group. 'Perfect' is a blast to make them all squishy, followed by the archer/dervish/skirmisher clearing them out with single attacks to open the charge/pounce full attack on the 'boss' by the heavy hitting melee type(s) or similar thinking. Of course such plans also typically went astray fairly quickly or got altered on the fly (and I'd go from blaster to battlefield shaper/debuffer etc.).

If you are going "blaster mode" an just throwing a 10D6 fireball, do not bother with throwing damage unless there are like 4 of them in the are of the spell.

Build your caster for what you plan to do.

If you are not built for it at all and do not have the traits/feats for throwing fireballs, by level 10 yes you might be stuck with a base 10D6 fireball, but you should just throw whatever you are built for.

By level 10 a damage specialist caster should be throwing well over 100 damage fireballs.

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