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We are playing an epic level campaign in which all PC's and most NPC's are 20th level. This has been really fun but I am quickly finding that it is very hard to get an advantage over some of the people I am fighting.

I am fighting a 20th Level Magus with the Bladebound and Kensai archetypes and I NEED him to fail a will save. The DC on the will save is 25. I don't know his stats but that's not that great at all against a 20th level character of any type.

What spells/methods/techniques can I use to help him fail this save?

-I have considered Mind Fog but he will most likely save against it.

-I am playing a ninja but he insists that he is immune to being flat-footed, surprised, or flanked so I cant use my capstone to lower his wisdom (How the hell can he do this? I see Iaijutsu Master but the way I am interpreting that is that he always acts in surprise rounds. He can act all he wants if he doesn't know I am there...!)

-I have a 17th level Mindchemist/Psychonaut Alchemist cohort, but I cant seem to find anything good there that will help (although she is damn good at UMD and will be casting a scroll that is the reason I need him to fail this save)

//On a side note...can a magus spellstrike when under the effects of silence? (My ninja drinks a pot of silence and gets in melee range)//

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Iaijutsu Master does not completely prevent flat-footedness, as he is still flat-footed until he acts for the first time. This will be rather early however, since his initiative will easily be in the 30s. –  MrLemon May 12 at 14:51
    
Wisdom-affecting poisons, maybe? –  Alexander May 12 at 15:21

2 Answers 2

It sounds like the foe is always going to succeed on all his saving throws. That means developing another method of

Getting a Target to Fail a Willpower Saving Throw

  • The ioun stone (flawed mulberry pentacle) (8,700 gp; 0 lbs.) causes its possessor to take a -2 penalty to Willpower saving throws. According to the glossary penalties

    are numerical values that are subtracted from a check or statistical score. Penalties do not have a type and most penalties stack with one another.

    In other words, ask the DM if the penalties from multiple mulberry pentacles stack (maybe couched as, "Were my character to have several of these spinning around his head, would he suffer the penalty multiple times?" if the DM-player relationship is particularly adversarial--see below). Then determine if creatures can be involuntary possessors of ioun stones: "When a character first acquires a[n ioun] stone, she must hold it and then release it, whereupon it takes up a circling orbit 1d3 feet from her head," says the description, but later the text says that ioun "stones only float when sent spinning around the head of an intelligent (Int 3+) creature." Emphasis mine. Experiment on the cohort. If penalties stack and involuntary possession is possible, the spell invisibility [illus] can affect objects; a level 17 alchemist should be able to manufacture such ioun stones and render them invisible, while a level 20 ninja may be able to succeed on a sufficiently high enough Sleight of Hand skill check to send spinning around a sword saint's head a handful of invisible mulberry pentacles without the victim noticing.

  • The spell limited wish [univ] causes the target to suffer a -7 penalty to his next saving throw, and the spell wish [univ] can force the target to reroll a successful saving throw via undoing misfortune. (Hey, it was a misfortune... for the ninja.)

That's all I have that don't also require another saving throw or conspirator (like MrLemon's witch). If the first method doesn't work, the ninja's still facing a level 20 character who likely has multiple methods of rerolling his saving throws (e.g. a golf bag full of luck blades). Thus, even with a limited wish and a wish involved, success is far from guaranteed.

That's because failing a saving throw ends characters' careers. It should be difficult--if not impossible--to make a character fail a saving throw outright by any means. We readers--at this point in the question's evolution--don't know what spell the cohort's casting from that scroll, but a failed saving throw could lead to the success of spells like dominate monster [ench], imprisonment [abjur], magic jar [necro], or trap the soul [conj]. Neither the DM nor you want those kinds of effects possible sans a saving throw, or even with a saving throw yet obscenely reduced.

The Foe's Probably Invulnerable Anyway

I'm speculating here, but if the DM's already told you the foe always acts in the surprise round, is never flat-footed, and can't be flanked, then--while that combination of abilities is possible--it sounds like the DM's subtly telling you No, and he wants you to find the foe's Secret Hidden WeaknessTM instead of confronting the foe directly. That shouldn't stop your attempts to confront the foe directly, but expect such confrontations--no matter how convoluted your plan--to fail until your ninja's found the MacGuffin or mastered the secret technique or whatever. It might be worthwhile questing for that rather than a method to make the foe fail a saving throw.

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Use your Capstone ability

Not being flankable, surprisable, and not flat-footed† does not mean immune to sneak attacks.

He will still be denied his DEX-bonus (as well as his INT-bonus) to AC when:

  • He can't see the attacker, this is anything from a simple hide, to invisibility (which you have easy access to), to him being blinded. This can be prevented by having the Blind-Fight feat (for melee attacks), or the Improved Blind-Fight Feat (for ranged attacks, partly) though. It doesn't work at all if he somehow has blindsight (which I highly doubt).
  • He uses the acrobatics skill to move across a narrow or slippery surface. Grease, a 1st level spell, requires (easily beat) acrobatics checks to move, and is an easily accessible source for that. Note that if he doesn't leave the greased area, you can pile shuriken upon shuriken of sneak attacks on him using greater invisibility.
  • He is cowering, paralyzed or stunned. Thought these might be hard to achieve.
  • He is pinned (by someone other than you). Too bad your Alchemist seems to be the smart type, rather than Mr. Hyde.
  • The attacker sucessfully feints in combat against him.

† Though he WILL be flat-footed until he first acts in combat, even with Iaijutsu Master (Unless he has other means to prevent that, of course).

Other ways to reduce his saves

  • Shaken and Sickened are easy to inflict and both reduce saving throws by 2.
  • Poison sounds decent, but there are no injury poisons that reduce wisdom, and for those that do exist (inhale or ingested) the DC seems to stop at 15.

Other Character class features

  • A Witch's Evil Eye Hex will reduce his will save by 4, effectively no save, forever (-> Cackle Hex).
  • A Witch's Misfortune Hex will force him to re-roll everything, effectively forever. He does get a Will save though, so you need a high level witch for that.
  • A Dual-Cursed Oracle's Misfortune forces him to re-roll exactly once, no save.
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