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I'm currently playing a high-level (15th, about to hit 16) silksworn occultist, and am effectively the party's pseudo-full-caster. For the past few levels, I've been running into the twin issues that most of my combat options are affected by Will saves and SR; not just direct options like binding pattern, suggestion, or dominate person, but also more indirect options such as shadow beast (and just about anything said shadow beasts do). I have several options to buff the party that aren't susceptible to enemy saves or SR, but if I only use them in every combat I'll burn through them too quickly (and most are options I'd prefer to use beforehand, though that's possible maybe half the time at most).

I'm looking for good, reliable control options for an occultist that would fit one or ideally more of the following:

  • Bypasses SR
  • No saving throw
  • Reliable and useful at high levels (expect a lot of immunities and special senses; illusions are prettily handily foiled by the latter).

While I've been mostly looking in the occultist spell list, occultists also get significant UMD bonuses, so anything available as a wand or cheaper scroll, or even a staff or other magic item, would be acceptable. The party's pretty wealthy at this point, so even a single fourth-level wand, if it's reliable, would be within our means.

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Here is a few spells I'd recommend for easy control (and buffing) :

Stone Call : 2nd level spell (not on the Occultist spell list), deals a bit of unavoidable damage in a huge area (2d6) and leaves the area covered in difficult terrain for a long while. Not very useful against flyers.

Ill Omen : 1st level spell (not on the Occultist spell list), forces the target to reroll his next D20 (can be very effective if paired with another caster that casts a big save or suck spell just after your turn). Does not bypass SR.

Wall of Force : 5th level spell (Available to the Occultist), creates an almost unbreakable wall of energy which blocks line of effect for spells (such as fireballs). Used creatively, you can separate a part an enemy group and make them almost useless while you beat the crap out of the others. Can also be used defensively to protect a fallen member of the group, can be dismissed.

Dispel Magic & Greater Dispel Magic : Requires a Caster Level check but can be very very handy in loads of situation. You can also use that to counterspell if an enemy caster seems very dangerous. While it costs a feat, Destructive Dispel will turn either of these into a no-SR, Fort-save stun (sicken on a successful save).

Though if you have trouble with SR, I'd recommend you take Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration as feats if that's not the case already.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Teach some fishing, too? A list of no save & no SR occultist spells in Pathfinder can be found using the d20PFSRD search function: here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 3, 2021 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Stone call and ill omen are pretty much exactly the general sort of spells I was looking for. Wall of force is also a good one I overlooked. Overland flight's pretty far away from that sort (I do use it on this very character, but that's a beginning-of-day spell, not a combat option; also, for the record, it's self-only, so no flying barbarians). (Greater) dispel magic is a decent answer; it's also one my occultist uses (with the Destructive Dispel feat, which makes it a better answer than without). I also do already have Spell Penetration. \$\endgroup\$
    – Klinkin
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 23:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Thanks for the search tip, but that catches far too many non-control spells; the list starts with object reading, detect psychic significance, and knock, and proceeds along through things like wicker horse and rune trace. It looks to me like there's no additional terms to add that would significantly help the issue, but if you know of any, I'd be glad to hear them. The search also doesn't catch spells that can go on a wand, and replacing "occultist" with "level X" makes the prior problem worse. \$\endgroup\$
    – Klinkin
    Commented May 3, 2021 at 23:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Klinkin Oh no. I just used this spell on my barbarian for like... half a campaign. How did I not see that earlier. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dastardly
    Commented May 4, 2021 at 1:22

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