Does the save or suck caster exist?


General Discussion


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I miss the days of the save or die caster in PF1. What is the closest thing to a save or suck caster in the Playyest? Who's list is best suited for it.


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The save or suck spells still exist but usually only KO something if they crit fail their save. The best spell list for them is arcane, so wizard or sorcerer fit the bill.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, there are actually quite a lot of 'save or suck' effects, most just don't take someone out completely instantly unless they crit fail (though even there, a few spells exist...Baleful Polymorph turns you into a newt for an hour on a simple failure, for example).

But more common is people just suffering really nasty penalties on a failure, mild penalties for a turn even on a success, and getting taken out on a crit failure.


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As the above. Save or die has gone off to a deep pit somewhere and for very good reason.

But plenty of spells still do good work on a failed save, even success. As mentioned Arcane is good, but Occult also has a few good ones that Arcane doesn't.


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Save or suck are some of the best spells, especially when using low level slots because the DCs scale with your level. Calm emotions is only second level, but it's an AoE that can take multiple enemies out of a fight. Because your DCs will never get super high and there a lots of great multitarget effects, they're usually better at taking out multiple lower level creatures vs a single higher level enemy.


Last I've heard, they've been called out as being the least effective use of spell slots now, though it's been said it's more due to monsters having stupidly high saves rather than being a problem with the spell effects. Iirc, when they increased the damage for most spells they said they were working on figuring out what needs to happen for other spells.


Ehh, YMMV. Target a monster's best save and yeah, they'll probably save or even crit save. But most monsters have a weak save. Undead seem to have poor Fort, a lot of monsters have poor Ref, and from what I've seen most monsters have their Fort or Will at least low enough that spells have a good shot.

Also debuffs are an easy way to tip saves in your favor. Some of these involve saves obviously but a Demoralize buddy (Or doing it yourself) are great friends to a caster.


In my last session my players banished, in the first turn, two main threats in two different encounters. Later on, the infamous demi lich send the group fighter to a maze. Quite amusing.


No one gets to stay around in this fight! XD


Yeah, save or suck is still alive and well. Getting a debuff (even a short term one) on a successful save can be pretty clutch.

I'd say like most things, the gap between the floor and ceiling has been shrunk, so if you are used to targeting a +2 save with a +23 DC you will be disappointed. But plenty of enemies have bad saves.

My recent game had a 10th level trench mist get pretty trivialized by 1st level gusts of wind from an 8th level Caster.


Part 5, Shemhazian, got Nat 20d by Enervation, which dropped his successful save down to a failure. Enervated 2. Turned him very nearly into a freaking joke boss. XD


Edge93 wrote:
But most monsters have a weak save. Undead seem to have poor Fort

What proportion of Fortitude save effects work on Undead? In PF1 I remember it being pretty low.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
But most monsters have a weak save. Undead seem to have poor Fort
What proportion of Fortitude save effects work on Undead? In PF1 I remember it being pretty low.

Not sure off the top of my head, but in general immunities are much less common. Undead still have a bunch, but it isn't a blanket "everything with a fortitude save" and most aren't immune to mind affecting stuff.


It definitely can still exist, the questionable part is the efficacy of attempting it.

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