color spray vs sleep


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Which is better do you think? Sleep lasts longer and has a bigger area, but takes a full round to cast (its main drawback). So which is better would you say?


Color spray's easier to use and still has some use after 1st level.

Mind you, these spells are getting pretty long in the tooth. Nearly as old as I am (older if they were in Chainmail). How about using something different, maybe even something new to PF?


sleep has the drawback of the enemies who saved (or weren't targeted) waking up the ones who failed on their turn.(i had a game where in order the one who was woken went on and woke others,while wasting their turn that eventuly negated the spell effect).

also elves\dragon and other being immune to magical sleep. (is why my go to race for summoner is half elf. that and the + 1/4 level to evolution pool fav option)


I feel like Color Spray is the superior of the 2 for utility beyond level 1 and the ability to affect more creature types than Sleep. The one drawback of the spell however is the range/area of effect. With a fixed, 15' cone you better have a LOT of confidence your spell is going to work. Otherwise you're a potentially level 1 spellcaster, standing 15' from something that likely has a good chance of knocking you out in one shot.

This is why I don't discount Sleep as an option. Having 100' or more distance between you and your targets is a big bonus when you might only have 8 HP. And to the point that unaffected foes can wake up sleeping ones, that means that for that round, that enemy's Standard Action is taken up.

Both still have value in my opinion. Color Spray is the best deterrent between the 2 but imposes the most risk on the caster; Sleep affects fewer types of foes but provides plenty of buffer zone between caster and enemies.

Oh, and one last thing: Sleep takes a Full Round action to cast. However you're targeting foes 100' or more away. If you START casting when the bad guys are a ways off, chances are high that they won't even be able to get into Attack of Opportunity range by the time you finish. I'm not saying this tactic works EVERY time, but it may help some of the time.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's a full round casting, that means you can't move, but at the end of your turn it goes off, if they aren't already in AoO range, they don't get one.

Liberty's Edge

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
It's a full round casting, that means you can't move, but at the end of your turn it goes off, if they aren't already in AoO range, they don't get one.

Incorrect. It's a one-round casting. It means you start casting it during your turn (and you can't move), and it goes off at the beginning of the next turn. Smart foes (yes, they exist) may simply delay/ready to wake each other up as it takes effect.


avr wrote:

Color spray's easier to use and still has some use after 1st level.

Mind you, these spells are getting pretty long in the tooth. Nearly as old as I am (older if they were in Chainmail). How about using something different, maybe even something new to PF?

Do you have any examples of low level nonlethal combat spells that fit this? I figure every good aligned sor/wiz should have at least one such spell incase they are forced to fight innocent people for whatever reason.


As for color spray only having a range of 15 feet: don't only big creatures (at least huge I think) have a reach of 15 feet more? Not many low level creatures are that big meaning you are probably safe from AoOs as long as you aren't right next to them.


I will agree if you're facing a huge creature at level 1 or low levels... something went wrong.

I like colour spray because I love the visual appeal of it.


It's less about being in reach and more about being in move distance. Ideally, if a spell fails, you wasted your action, but you're still safe because you're far back enough from the target with more durable party members between you and it. If color spray fails, you're within 15 feet of your target and probably don't have any allies preventing it from closing the distance and clubbing you to death. It's a less serious version of the touch spells conundrum--in the latter case, you're in danger of a full attack instead of just one hit.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

For 1st- or 2nd-level characters, sleep. After that, color spray.

The 4 HD total limit on sleep is the biggest issue.


To add to what blahpers and others are saying about the 15ft cone. The point of origin is a grid intersection that is part of your space meaning if there are any back line foes you wish to include you are possible adjacent to their front line ... and even those 15ft away are a 5 foot step and a reach weapon from striking you. It may not even require a move action to put not just one foe but several of them in melee range without use of move actions on their part. In other words best be sure of the potency of your save DC (and or your buffed AC/HP). On the other hand there's no creature/number of target limit or HD cap to what can be effected.

It also means if they get in your face you may be able to cast then move away an option that won't exist if Sleep is your available spell. Hopefully you won't take a bunch of AoO's on top of the damage you took when they got in your face moving away.


Yqatuba wrote:
Do you have any examples of low level nonlethal combat spells that fit this? I figure every good aligned sor/wiz should have at least one such spell incase they are forced to fight innocent people for whatever reason.

Here are a bunch of 1st level spells:

Air Bubble gets you escape via water.
Animate Rope can occupy someone's attention.
Cause Fear can cause others to go away.
Expeditious Retreat gets you out of trouble.
Grease is good for slowing down people.
Hydraulic Push can knock down some folk.
Hypnotism can delay some folk.
Mamory Lapse is good for fixing an "oops" moment.
Mudball temporarily blinds your target.
Obscuring Mist is another.
Ray of Sickening can cause someone to loose interest in you.
Sanctuary gets you ignored.
Shadow Trap can stop one person from following you.
Summon Minor Monster with 1d3 skunks is good for dissuading others from following.

/cevah


Charm person to make an enemy in to a friend.
Hydraulic push to push them away
Burst of Radiance damages only evil creatures but it temporarily blinds anyone failing the save.

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