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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Nov 2016

    Default Spell which is most effective against your party

    I have a slightly over leveled party working their way through the Dead in Thay module.

    So far my minor enhancements to the dungeon and just making all the enemies full strength has kept this interesting.

    To stir it up I was going to modify some of the Thayan spell casters a bit.

    What spells do you all both find challenging and enjoy going against? Forcecage is effective but not necesarily fun for example....unless I let a player run a freed allied demon for the durations so they just aren't sitting...hmmmm getting ideas already

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Suggestion/Mass Suggestion, especially when it is done telepathically.

    Then the player still gets to play, they just get to do it in very different ways. It can make things interesting.


    We had a bard in the party that was a massive glutton, the suggestion was "You are starving, so hungry in fact that your companions flesh looks tasty." Sure, it's stretching Suggestion a little bit, but it was really, really fun!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Jan 2019

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Slow is a great DM spell, forcing characters to change tactics while still allowing them to make choices and play.

    Beyond that though, a lot of spells that create difficult terrain and line of sight issues for the party are also a lot of fun. A sleet storm or darkness can mess with a party and force them to rethink.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Mar 2015
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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Most powerful? Kind of depends on level but a few of note:

    Minor illusion - create an illusion about a trap or hazard. Enough of my players have dumped int that they have fallen for this more than once. To be fair their characters are similar.

    Farie fire. For a level 1 spell this is brutal and can screw with a lot of tactics.

    Shield. My party likes to nova. When the weak point in the enemy can have a +5 to AC for a few co executive turns it forces other solutions.

    Divination. More a class of spells than a specific one. Enough information to lay an effective ambush and to avoid one.

    Anti-magic field. No spells. No magic items - so no goggles of darkvision, no magic weapons to fight those werewolves with, no mage armour. Such a brutal ambush spell. Use underwater for more giggles.

    Fireball. Don't underestimate it. Good damage and damage on a save. Just enough to make people question cuddling up to the party paladin.

    Synaptic Static. I might not catch the whole party, but some are going down and in the right encounter this can be brutal.

    Maelstrom. It's all about matching the spell to the circumstance. If you have some archers to pick off those pulled to the centre then nice. Having it trigger as part of a trap/ambush is neat. Can also be an effective way of handling some of the parties summoned creatures. What is particularly nasty is coupling it with some things that obstruct the view. If the party bard and wizard need to be strong enough to get out to get vision on an enemy to cast a spell on then they are somewhat impotent.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    May 2018

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Watch out of offensive casts of Plane Shift vs Cha-deficient characters like fighters, wizards and druids. It can essentially be a save-or-suck death sentence. Plunking a plate armor-clad Cavalier in the heart of the Elemental Plane of Water really sucks. Or sinks, I guess...

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

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    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Just don't overdo it with saving throws.

    Too many throws slows things down. Players always take about five times as long as needed to roll saves and if you're casting multiple effects like hypnotic pattern and stinking cloud things get out of control very quickly.

    IMO, the best spells to use are the ones that force a change of tactics. An expert counterspeller who goes after any spell of 2nd level or lower, for example, will make spells like shield and misty step suddenly be off the table, forcing the players to adapt.

    Slow is a classic here too.

    Actually any spell that somewhat-but-not-totally limits movement. Booming Blade. Thorn Whip.
    I'm a tad rude. It's a tendency of mine that I'm trying to get better about. Call me out on it if you see it.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Nov 2018

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozenstep View Post
    forcing characters to change tactics while still allowing them to make choices and play.
    This. Don't take away their ability to play, but make them adjust. Hold Person isn't really fun for anyone, as it just skips your turn. Having something that knocks them back far enough that they wouldn't be able to to reach what they're fighting unless they do something creative is more engaging while accomplishing essentially the same thing.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Nov 2016

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    My personal favorites:

    Slow: This is the best debuff a DM can ever have. It doesn't permanently take players out of the fight, but it hampers everything a player would want to do.

    Dominate Person: As mean as it sounds, I love sneakily using this spell without the rest of the party knowing, then forcing them to fight each other. Provided you have the right player, they will gladly act as the villain.

    Conjuration spells: Stuff like Conjure Elemental, Conjure Animals, ect. As long as you're good with more mooks for the party to fight, these work well.

    Fog Cloud: No more spells for the party

    Stinking Cloud: An excellent debuff, especially since Undead are immune to it.

    Storm Sphere: Another excellent spell choice.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Nov 2015

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Anything with an int save, in the game Iím dming the average int is under 10. 🤣

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Nov 2018

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    If the wizards have a construct or an ally you can use Haste to great effect

    In Mad Mage I swapped out some of the Drow Mage spells so they could buff their Stone Golem. A flying, Hasted Stone Golem is no slouch in combat.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Maybe try Wall spells? I've used them to divide parties in half, creating two separate, simultaneous encounters. Sometimes you can even divide players into groups that normally don't fight together- In my group this means separating the sorcerer from the paladin and the barbarian from the ranger.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    LordCdrMilitant's Avatar

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    Mar 2017
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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkVIIIMarc View Post
    I have a slightly over leveled party working their way through the Dead in Thay module.

    So far my minor enhancements to the dungeon and just making all the enemies full strength has kept this interesting.

    To stir it up I was going to modify some of the Thayan spell casters a bit.

    What spells do you all both find challenging and enjoy going against? Forcecage is effective but not necesarily fun for example....unless I let a player run a freed allied demon for the durations so they just aren't sitting...hmmmm getting ideas already
    It is my opinion that teleportation magic is always my favorite kind of magic. Especially teleportation magic that can be used to disengage from combat after attacking in melee or before shooting at range, and teleportation magic that can deep strike a whole squad of enemy reinforcements behind the party while they're still busy fighting the original enemies up front.

    Also, setting up the encounter areas with lots of prepared cover and dominating firing lines, and magic spells that have a pinning effect. This tends to have a devastating effect on some of my parties, who play run-up-and-hit-them-'til-they-die melee characters.

    According to some of my players [the aforementioned ones who play walk-up-and-hit-them melee characters], the most obnoxious encounter that I ever deployed consisted of a bunch of enemies who had lots of movement shenanigans, including essentially universal access to Misty Step, many ranged options, and widespread access to movement based and granting maneuvers. The end result was that they couldn't keep anybody in B2B long enough to make full attack complements, and if they got to make swings at all, they could only do so as single reaction attacks because they'd have to dash to make contact, while the enemy were able to make their full attack set every round.



    As a further observation if the party fights in the tight formation, then area-effect debuffs and blasts are very effective and very dangerous. If the party fights dispersed to avoid the blasts, then the enemy should focus on isolating and overwhelming them
    Last edited by LordCdrMilitant; 2019-09-23 at 10:24 AM.
    Guardsmen, hear me! Cadia may lie in ruin, but her proud people do not! For each brother and sister who gave their lives to Him as martyrs, we will reap a vengeance fiftyfold! Cadia may be no more, but will never be forgotten; our foes shall tremble in fear at the name, for their doom shall come from the barrels of Cadian guns, fired by Cadian hands! Forward, for vengeance and retribution, in His name and the names of our fallen comrades!

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    JakOfAllTirades's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Casting Charm Person or Suggestion against our Barbarian pretty much ruins our whole day.
    Last edited by JakOfAllTirades; 2019-09-23 at 04:32 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Yakmala's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    My current party has almost no wisdom casters so we are very susceptible to getting charmed and going mad.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    May 2015

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Enemies Abound

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Levitate type spell that just makes one character weightless and float in mid air.
    Then remind them of newton's third law when they make an attack, and send them flying in the opposite direction, preferably out of an open window.

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    May 2015

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    Levitate type spell that just makes one character weightless and float in mid air.
    Then remind them of newton's third law when they make an attack, and send them flying in the opposite direction, preferably out of an open window.
    And considering Newtown's third law a 150 lb character firing a .05 lb arrow (PHB weight) would be moved how much exactly?

    Well, not much tbh, it depends on arrow speed, an IRL value would be around 86 m/s so only 0.024 m/s or about 0.15 m/round, half a feet per round, you move one square every ten rounds :P

    EDIT: Well, actually that is per arrow fired, so if you can fire 2 arrows a round, your speed increases by 1 ft/r every round, thus after 30 rounds you are moving at 30 ft/r...

    It's still way below Fly speed and requires your action, so lets take it up a notch.

    Lets minimize weight, say we are a halfling who weighs 40 lb, lets use 60 lb accounting for equipement and stuff, and we can make 4 attacks per turn (figther 20)

    Now our acceleration skyrockets to 0.25 ft/s or 1.5 ft/r for each arrow fired!

    4 attacks a turn means 6 ft/r acceleration, after one minute we are at 60 ft /r movement

    At 4 minutes we are at 240 ft/r movement speed, and would catch up to someone with Fly using Dash every turn.

    At 6 minutes we are at 360 ft/r and would catch up to a rogue with Fly using Cunning Action, and regular Action to Dash.

    By the end of the 10 minutes (100 rounds) we would have moved 15000 ft or around 4.5 km :P
    Last edited by Rukelnikov; 2019-09-25 at 12:17 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PirateGuy

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    Apr 2019

    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Surprised nobody has mentioned Silence yet. Excellent low-level alternative to Antimagic Field. Since nearly all spells in the game require a verbal component, it shuts down effectively all casting in the affected bubble. Notably, it affects a specific point in space, meaning smart players can work around it and smart villains can figure out ways to trap PC's in it. Very fun spell.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Sep 2015
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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Bless and bane work wonders vs the party at any level.
    For the hardcore groups counter spell and dispel are used alot.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Jan 2016
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    Default Re: Spell which is most effective against your party

    Admittedly my group is not a common makeup.
    We have:
    A fighter archer
    A rogue who uses mostly daggers.
    A shadow monk
    and a Barbarian that almost never shows up.


    Any spell with an Int save. None of them have over a 10.

    Illusion spells. Just so many options.

    Darkness. Just plain great against about everyone.

    Fly. Only one archer in the group, half the group become pretty much useless.

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