Best save or sucks spells


Advice


Is the save or suck caster still a viable route, I've come across a few, Blindness, Calm Emotions, Synethesia, what are some other nasty save or suck spells out there on any list.


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In my opinion, one of the strongest of these is Fear. It's on all list, it helps everyone (malus to AC, attack, saves, DCs), it's really low level, and at level 3 you can target up to 5 enemies. The other ones are just specialized versions of Fear to me.

I don't speak about the Incapacitation spells. They can be pretty powerful, but Incapacitation trait is so much of a drawback. You can't base your character efficiency on such spells, but it's nice to have one or two of those if you have the occasion to use them.


You don't get an ac malus from fear.


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puksone wrote:
You don't get an ac malus from fear.

You do, actually.

The frightened condition applies a status penalty to all your checks and DCs, and AC is a DC (p. 274 for reference). "When a creature attacks you, your Armor Class is the DC for that attack roll."

Sovereign Court

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SuperBidi wrote:

In my opinion, one of the strongest of these is Fear. It's on all list, it helps everyone (malus to AC, attack, saves, DCs), it's really low level, and at level 3 you can target up to 5 enemies. The other ones are just specialized versions of Fear to me.

I don't speak about the Incapacitation spells. They can be pretty powerful, but Incapacitation trait is so much of a drawback. You can't base your character efficiency on such spells, but it's nice to have one or two of those if you have the occasion to use them.

I think the role of Incapacitation spells should be mostly to whittle down minions. Minions of a level equal or even a bit lower than your own are still quite dangerous in Pathfinder 2, so efficiently taking them out of the fight is valuable. And the Incapacitation trait isn't such a problem with them.

Clearly, they wanted to get rid of PF1 Slumber/Ice Tomb witches one-shotting bossfights, while retaining the "I'm so cool I just one-shot your mook" moment. I think the Incapacitation trait does that pretty well.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

I think the role of Incapacitation spells should be mostly to whittle down minions. Minions of a level equal or even a bit lower than your own are still quite dangerous in Pathfinder 2, so efficiently taking them out of the fight is valuable. And the Incapacitation trait isn't such a problem with them.

Clearly, they wanted to get rid of PF1 Slumber/Ice Tomb witches one-shotting bossfights, while retaining the "I'm so cool I just one-shot your mook" moment. I think the Incapacitation trait does that pretty well.

I clearly agree.

The thing with Incapacitation is that it's very DM dependant. If your DM likes to put low or moderate encounters a lot, it's very nice to have some. But if your DM likes solo encounters and moderate to extreme CR, then Incapacitation becomes useless.
Also, if you are odd leveled, Incapacitation is nice, and worse if you are even leveled.
So, it's hard to find some common rules about Incapacitation spells.


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thenobledrake wrote:
puksone wrote:
You don't get an ac malus from fear.

You do, actually.

The frightened condition applies a status penalty to all your checks and DCs, and AC is a DC (p. 274 for reference). "When a creature attacks you, your Armor Class is the DC for that attack roll."

Also, it's important to say that Frightened condition covers nearly everything (only damage is not affected), but that it doesn't stack with anything (like Clumsy, Drained or whatever). So, if you plan on applying many penalties, it's better to choose something else. But if you look for a general penalty applying to everything, Frightened is the must.


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Vibrant Pattern.

It’s an AoE, which makes it great to handle mook groups. It dazzles as a default. And the save is a Will blind, which is amazing against combatants who are likely to group up in small spaces.

The best part?
Since it’s Incapacitation, as long as it’s your second-best spell, your whole party can walk right through it. They’ll be fine. A bit dazzled at worst.

This counts for every area Incapacitation out there - sleep, colour spray, calm emotion, scintillating pattern, synaptic pulse. Make Incapacitation work for you.

Sovereign Court

Ediwir wrote:

Vibrant Pattern.

It’s an AoE, which makes it great to handle mook groups. It dazzles as a default. And the save is a Will blind, which is amazing against combatants who are likely to group up in small spaces.

The best part?
Since it’s Incapacitation, as long as it’s your second-best spell, your whole party can walk right through it. They’ll be fine. A bit dazzled at worst.

This counts for every area Incapacitation out there - sleep, colour spray, calm emotion, scintillating pattern, synaptic pulse. Make Incapacitation work for you.

Oh that's an interesting usage of Incapacitation, hadn't seen it that way yet. Any area spell that you can use on ground zero is interesting.


Ediwir wrote:

Vibrant Pattern.

It’s an AoE, which makes it great to handle mook groups. It dazzles as a default. And the save is a Will blind, which is amazing against combatants who are likely to group up in small spaces.

The best part?
Since it’s Incapacitation, as long as it’s your second-best spell, your whole party can walk right through it. They’ll be fine. A bit dazzled at worst.

This counts for every area Incapacitation out there - sleep, colour spray, calm emotion, scintillating pattern, synaptic pulse. Make Incapacitation work for you.

What do you mean by "as long as it's your second-best spell"?


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Atalius wrote:


What do you mean by "as long as it's your second-best spell"?

Your second-highest spell slot level - that way your allies are high enough level relative to the spell to be protected by the incapacitation trait, but the largest variety of enemies possible will not be.


With Calm Emotions as long as you don't harm the creature who's affected it continues to work? So harming it's allies is ok correct, or?


Would anyone consider Confusion a decent save or suck? It could last 1 round or if your lucky 2-3.

Dark Archive

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Atalius wrote:
Would anyone consider Confusion a decent save or suck? It could last 1 round or if your lucky 2-3.

You are giving up a turn so one opponent might give up a turn, and might attack one of your team anyway. I would only do it when the only folks the target can move to and attack are its allies.

Dark Archive

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Atalius wrote:
With Calm Emotions as long as you don't harm the creature who's affected it continues to work? So harming it's allies is ok correct, or?

Yes but if one if their allies is in reach and realises what is happening then their ally can use their last attack to punch some sense into them and as its at -10 likely miss or do minimal non lethal damage.

As its a burst it seems generally solid, though incapacitation trait means it needs to be your highest level spell.


Thanks ZomB!


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Fear effects have been some of the most helpful spells for our group. It shifts the difficulty of an encounter drastically in favor of the party.

Stunned and Slowed are also extremely useful status effects as denying an enemy of actions can prevent it from being able to act or use a special multi-action ability. GREAT for a boss-killer and Monks can apply it with Stunning Fist every round if they land both of their flurry attacks.


Gloom wrote:

Fear effects have been some of the most helpful spells for our group. It shifts the difficulty of an encounter drastically in favor of the party.

Stunned and Slowed are also extremely useful status effects as denying an enemy of actions can prevent it from being able to act or use a special multi-action ability. GREAT for a boss-killer and Monks can apply it with Stunning Fist every round if they land both of their flurry attacks.

Not with the "incapacitate trait" on that stunning fist.


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Depends on the level of the enemy you're fighting. Against even level stuff it works wonders. Against higher level stuff, it's still effective.


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Command is probably the spell that comes closest to matching the 1e save or suck feel IMO. No success effect, on a failure enemy wastes an action obeying the command and if you are wise often needs to burn another undoing the command (drop then pick up, fall then stand, flee then approach and vice versa) effectively crippling their turn, crit fails are far worse.

Slow is probably the best debuff IMO, slowed 1 is huge and slowed 2 basically reduces the fight to mopping up with a tactically savvy party. Even slowed 1 on a success can be pretty important if the party takes proper advantage. Look for stuff that reduces actions as much as you can, that gets closer to the 1e save or suck which basically wasted enemies. They can still do more than the 1e save or suck approach, but with proper tactics it is one of the most effective ways of surviving the stronger fights.

For other kinds of save-or-suck type spells, Phantom Pain hasn't been mentioned much. More of a blast than save or suck, but sickened is pretty nice for imposing a penalty that sticks until an enemy burns actions to get rid of it. It also encourages the enemy to get rid of it ASAP by adding persistent damage they can end simultaneously, which makes the persistent damage weaker than normal (since it can end normally) but means you get action denial faster. This one does need heightening though, since the main effect is damage you want to keep up.


Ya Phantom Pain I'm a bit torn on, on paper it looks quite good, but the persistent damage I'm not too sold on simply because most enemies go down in 2 rounds so it's not like they will be taking damage over several rounds for it to really add up. While many enemies if focus firing can go down in 1 round.


Atalius wrote:
Ya Phantom Pain I'm a bit torn on, on paper it looks quite good, but the persistent damage I'm not too sold on simply because most enemies go down in 2 rounds so it's not like they will be taking damage over several rounds for it to really add up. While many enemies if focus firing can go down in 1 round.

The interesting part is not the persistent damage, but the debuff + direct damage. The persistent damage can be mostly ignored.

I agree with Paradozen, it's an excellent spell... But it's Mental + Non Lethal. So, many targets will be immune. What is nice is that most creatures immune to Mental are also immune to Non Lethal.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Ya Phantom Pain I'm a bit torn on, on paper it looks quite good, but the persistent damage I'm not too sold on simply because most enemies go down in 2 rounds so it's not like they will be taking damage over several rounds for it to really add up. While many enemies if focus firing can go down in 1 round.

The interesting part is not the persistent damage, but the debuff + direct damage. The persistent damage can be mostly ignored.

I agree with Paradozen, it's an excellent spell... But it's Mental + Non Lethal. So, many targets will be immune. What is nice is that most creatures immune to Mental are also immune to Non Lethal.

I thought the best bit was the debuff + action waste. To remove the debuff, enemies have to spend actions... and pass a save. It often eats two or three actions before it disappears.


Ediwir wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Ya Phantom Pain I'm a bit torn on, on paper it looks quite good, but the persistent damage I'm not too sold on simply because most enemies go down in 2 rounds so it's not like they will be taking damage over several rounds for it to really add up. While many enemies if focus firing can go down in 1 round.

The interesting part is not the persistent damage, but the debuff + direct damage. The persistent damage can be mostly ignored.

I agree with Paradozen, it's an excellent spell... But it's Mental + Non Lethal. So, many targets will be immune. What is nice is that most creatures immune to Mental are also immune to Non Lethal.
I thought the best bit was the debuff + action waste. To remove the debuff, enemies have to spend actions... and pass a save. It often eats two or three actions before it disappears.

If you are in a combat supposed to last only a few rounds, I think it's better for the enemy to keep the debuff than to try to clear it. Losing 2 actions on average is a lot compared to a -1 to everything and a few points of damage. But yes, clearly, if you lose your round removing the condition, it's awesome :D

The Exchange

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SuperBidi wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Atalius wrote:
Ya Phantom Pain I'm a bit torn on, on paper it looks quite good, but the persistent damage I'm not too sold on simply because most enemies go down in 2 rounds so it's not like they will be taking damage over several rounds for it to really add up. While many enemies if focus firing can go down in 1 round.

The interesting part is not the persistent damage, but the debuff + direct damage. The persistent damage can be mostly ignored.

I agree with Paradozen, it's an excellent spell... But it's Mental + Non Lethal. So, many targets will be immune. What is nice is that most creatures immune to Mental are also immune to Non Lethal.
I thought the best bit was the debuff + action waste. To remove the debuff, enemies have to spend actions... and pass a save. It often eats two or three actions before it disappears.
If you are in a combat supposed to last only a few rounds, I think it's better for the enemy to keep the debuff than to try to clear it. Losing 2 actions on average is a lot compared to a -1 to everything and a few points of damage. But yes, clearly, if you lose your round removing the condition, it's awesome :D

Then it does what it was supposed to do. It makes a monster lose a round or debuffs ALL DCs and checks. Debuffs that persist are wonderful uses of actions especially if you do not need to sustain it

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