Combat Via a Sphere of Annihilation


Rules Questions


Hello everybody.

It's come to my attention that I may soon be in possession of a sphere of annihilation on my arcanist, and it already had a talisman of the sphere.

My question is simple: How would you use a sphere of annihilation in combat?

Reading what it does, it seems like it might be the control check vs Touch AC, but it could also be a Reflex save by the enemy to avoid when you push it into the square. What resolves whether an opponent suffers the effects of a controlled sphere of annihilation?


The DC30 check to control the sphere is set.

With the talisman doubling both your level and INT modifier for the check, you are pretty much guaranteed to make it.

There is no rolling against Touch AC or any other AC. There is no Reflex save.

You control this thing with impunity and it acts especially as a swarm in your control.


That seems insanely powerful. I understand my character will have it as a McGuffin sort of thing and it's meant to be, but does that seriously mean that if something is in range it can just move the sphere to it and destroy it instantly, no save, no attack roll?


Yeah it doesn't seem to target Touch AC or anything, but it also doesn't tell you how you make it touch things. I'd probably have it be a ranged touch attack.

Has anyone seen one used in an AP?


Quite the double edged sword...

pfsrd wrote:
”If two or more creatures vie for control of a sphere of annihilation, the rolls are opposed. If none are successful, the sphere slips toward the one who rolled lowest.”

Better hope your opponent doesn’t roll better than you!


Speaker for the Dead wrote:

Quite the double edged sword...

pfsrd wrote:
”If two or more creatures vie for control of a sphere of annihilation, the rolls are opposed. If none are successful, the sphere slips toward the one who rolled lowest.”
Better hope your opponent doesn’t roll better than you!

His talisman doubles both his INT modifier and his level for the DC30 check... nobody without one of these talismans is going to be capable of besting his check...


Some sphere spells offer Reflex saves to negate, but the Sphere of Annihilation item has no such wording.

It would be treated as a swarm, simply moving into your square/coming into contact with any part of you.

The control DC is meant to be high, and have the chance of backfiring.

The talisman gives you this object as a controllable swarm of Annihilation...


VoodistMonk wrote:
Speaker for the Dead wrote:

Quite the double edged sword...

pfsrd wrote:
”If two or more creatures vie for control of a sphere of annihilation, the rolls are opposed. If none are successful, the sphere slips toward the one who rolled lowest.”
Better hope your opponent doesn’t roll better than you!
His talisman doubles both his INT modifier and his level for the DC30 check... nobody without one of these talismans is going to be capable of besting his check...

My point is, if the gm gives him a sphere of annihilation there is going to be an enemy that can counter it. Pretty boring adventure otherwise. Horribly bad if an enemy gains control of it.

How do you walk around with it anyway? It’s not like you can pick it up and put it in your pocket.

It sound more like a curse than a boon.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The problem with 'owning' a sphere of annihilation is that you have to concentrate to move it around. Even with a talisman, that means a move action every other round. That cuts your overland movement rate by 25%... assuming you can get the sphere itself to move that fast.

In order to get a sphere to move a standard pace of 30 feet per round you need to get 50 or higher on the control check. The talisman changes that from very difficult to trivial at around 15th level.

Most creatures can run away at 120' per round... faster than any character can move the sphere even with a talisman. If they have ranged weapons/spells they could thus avoid the sphere while continuing to get attacks in. Thus, it is really only useful against unintelligent creatures, those who don't know what it does (which goes out the window after it has been used to annihilate one of them), and those that can't run away.

You also have to keep a potentially unstoppable weapon in your vicinity. Yeah yeah... the character has a talisman. Doesn't help if it is suppressed (e.g. by Dispel Magic)... or the character is asleep.


VoodistMonk wrote:
There is no rolling against Touch AC or any other AC. There is no Reflex save.

But doesn't that mean there is also no Attacking with it?

If you Move into my square, that doesn't mean you hit me: it just means you moved into my square.

A sphere would be the ultimate siege engine, annihilating any structure in came in contact with. If you had a GM who liked Resurrecting his BBEGs and setting them on you again, well, not any more! If it were the square and not creature you were attacking,

VoodistMonk wrote:
a swarm

Yup, swarms done and dusted!

If I'm right, you use the Sphere' as a portable hazard you would Grapple, Bull Rush, or Reposition opponents into. You use it in conjunction with the party's sword-and-board fighter who has Shield Slam, or you use a Summoned Creature do your Bull Rushing for you.

Speaker for the Dead wrote:
My point is, if the gm...

That is my point as well. The Sphere' is a minor artifact. We are squarely in GM's houseruling territory, here.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
But doesn't that mean there is also no Attacking with it?

Pretty sure that's exactly what it means.

It's a black hole. It kills stuff.

CBDunkerson has the right of it, I think. It's not something you tote around with you on your travels. It's something you keep in your secret evil lair.


Yea, it's a black hole, which you are moving from close range. It's not a projectile.

It doesn't sound like something a PC should have permanently.


VoodistMonk wrote:
Speaker for the Dead wrote:

Quite the double edged sword...

pfsrd wrote:
”If two or more creatures vie for control of a sphere of annihilation, the rolls are opposed. If none are successful, the sphere slips toward the one who rolled lowest.”
Better hope your opponent doesn’t roll better than you!
His talisman doubles both his INT modifier and his level for the DC30 check... nobody without one of these talismans is going to be capable of besting his check...

If I was the GM letting them have the sphere of annihilation and the talisman, you better bet that the NPCs are going to have a talisman too. For that extra "oh s~&#!" factor that you should expect but will still be surprised by,


With a +6 int headband, and an int-buffing template or two. ;)


Sorry for the late reply.

Yeah it's more that the sphere is a McGuffin and there are likely to be RP consequences to using it willy-nilly. My character will likely carry it around as a show of force and a deterrent.

Note it's a mythic game, by the way. It doesn't have a talisman per se, but rather used a true wish (the really good kind) to mimic the Control Sphere ability some creatures and classes can get, which gives immunity to spheres and a talisman-mimic passive. This was as much part of the story as something we did for power. Involved winning the wish in another adventure.

The character will actually walk around with the detriment of having one hand dedicated to holding the sphere to guard it (it's sought after by Evil Dudes™ and is technically called a Void Orb; an advanced sphere needed to complete an artifact BBEGs (plural) want) which it keeps in its demiplane spherical holding cell and guards when it's home. So it will move easily enough with it, but it'll pretty much ruin the ability to use all its staves and wands between casting, and then its metamagic rods are almost useless.

As a general rule though, it'll only sling the thing if it has no choice and has to to protect the orb. I just want to know what that would involve if the fecal matter hit the rotating wind blades.

So general consensus so far is basically "One guy gets screwed over when you control check it if it's in range."?

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