Heightening spell question


Rules Discussion


Can you basically Heighten Calm Emotions or any spell for that matter to the highest level spell slot you can? So your 9th level you could heighten Calm Emotions to a 5th level slot and it might actually work against a boss?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yes. There are no limits as to which spells you can heighten (it does not need a heighten entry). This is especially important for spells like those with the incapacitation trait, or dispel magic, which can't stop high level spells without being heightened.


Sweet, the thing is if I'm level 9 and using this spell vs a boss it just won't work cuz the boss is likely to be what 2-3 levels above me? Which would make this spell near useless even heightened to 5.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

That's right. Incapacitation only applies if they are more than twice the level of the spell. Ergo, if you heighten calm emotions to 5th-level, only enemies of 11th-level or higher have an easy time of it.


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

Calm emotions, like anything with the incapacitate trait, is not good for trying to negate something significantly over your own level. That is true.

There is some very real space between not being usable in that specific way and being useless.


I was thinking about possibly making it my signature spell at level 2 instead of invisibility but seems like Invisibility would serve be better? Or would this be a decent choice in your guys opinion to be a signature?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would probably just take invisibility (as a non-signature spell) as a 2nd-level spell, then take it again as a 4th-level spell (exchanging the 2nd-level version for something else) at 7th-level or thereabouts.

Use signature spell for things that have more than one heighten step, or that you absolutely must have heightened.


Also spells that you took for whatever reason at a higher level, perhaps to make room at lower level for more utility spells that don't need to be heightened, so that you can lower them and use them more often. Heal/Harm are pretty good examples of that, though just now I can't think of level 1 spells I'd want to crowd it up to a higher spell level for.

Sovereign Court

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You get about 1/4th of your spells as signature spells, so that gives you some idea of what you should be looking for when deciding what spells to learn.

As a note, bosses 2+ levels above yourself are like, really serious bosses. Even a creature just one level above you is dangerous, and creatures at or under your level aren't "waste of time" encounters anymore. I think incapacitation spells were mainly intended to help against the boss's mooks, not the boss itself.

It's interesting that what you can incapacitate fluctuates.

You're level 1: have level 1 spells (Color Spray), can incapacitate L2 = your level +1 creature.
You're level 2: have level 1 spells, can incapacitate L2 = your own level creature.
You're level 3: have level 2 spells (heightened Color Spray), can incapacitate L4 = your level +1 creature.

And so forth - basically your incapacitation spells are a bit more powerful on odd levels / when you just got access to a new tier of spell slots.


Say I was level 6 and I took Sooth as a Signature spell at level 1. I would have 3 other level 3 spells, in addition I would have Heightened Sooth? Or would Heightened Sooth count as being one of those 3 3rd level spells known?


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It doesn't count as an additional 3rd level spell known. Being a signature spell means you can heighten it to 3rd level if you want to, but the actual spell known is one of your 1st level spells.

If it was one of your 3rd level spells known it would sort of defeat the point of signature spell because you'd eventually hamstring yourself with lower level spells being heightened and taking up spells known.


Oh ok so if I really liked magic Missile but didn't have it as a spell known at level 1, I could just get it at level 3 and make it a Signature at that level correct?


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Yup. You get one signature spell per spell level. In Magic Missile's case that means that not only could you heighten it to 4th level and higher, but you could also undercast it to 2nd or 1st level, since it appears at level 1. Honestly MM is one of those spells I'd consider doing that with, so you can fill your 1st level slots with more utility spells and keep MM as a versatile damage option.

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