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Seal Fate is a 4th level spell, which gives the target weakness 2 for one type of damage. The save determines the duration:

  • Critical Success The target is unaffected.
  • Success The target gains weakness 2 to the chosen damage type until the end of your next turn.
  • Failure As success, but the duration is 1 minute. If the creature is reduced to 0 HP by the chosen damage and its level is 7 or less, it dies.
  • Critical Failure As failure, but the duration is unlimited.

Compare this to a heightened Vampiric Touch, as it has the same school, traditions, range, target and saving throw:

  • Critical Success The target is unaffected.
  • Success the target takes 4d6 damage (14 on average)
  • Failure the target takes 8d6 damage (28 on average)
  • Critical Failure the target takes 16d6 damage (56 on average)

If you use Seal Fate, on a Success you need 7 damage instances in a round just to break even, which is beyond unlikely, unless you build for it1, or the enemy actively cooperates, like attacking you while you have Fire Shield up.
On a Failure, you have more time to get the 14 damage instances, but in my experience, no creature tends to live longer than 3 rounds.
And then we have not even mentioned the useful temporary HP you get from Vampiric Touch

So why/when would I use Seal Fate?


  1. it could work with splash damage, when every party member uses the 3rd action to toss an Acid Flask, and trigger the weakness even on a miss, but it still has a huge opportunity cost, like keeping a hand free
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Persistent damage is also a relevant category here, in addition to splash. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Sep 29, 2022 at 16:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE, persistent damage of one type can trigger only once per round, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Sep 29, 2022 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but it still synergizes very well with weakness. Especially if you chose, say, acid, in which case things like an Acid Flask could trigger the weakness in multiple ways. Fire is also usually pretty easy to get as persistent damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Sep 29, 2022 at 23:57

1 Answer 1

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You would not

Seal Fate is a curse, and curses are rather plot devices than combat equipment. They are meant to be used on, not by PCs. Quite a lot of them never end on a Critical Failure, and as you wrote, monsters tend to die in a minute at most.

For the PCs, if they have to live with it for years, or at least until a Remove Curse, it cannot be crippling.

Basically, beside Blood Vendetta and probably Bloodspray Curse, they are not really competitive with other spells on the same level. I would rather cast a 3rd level Vampiric Touch than Seal Fate.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While it does seem like more of an NPC spell, the critical failure effect could also be potent on any recurring villain - if you fight them the next day after they/you run away, then this is basically a free spell. A really annoying tactic would be to have all of your party spell casters attempt this on some creature that you're confident you can run away from (maximizing the chance of CF), then flee and come back the next day. Then you either have burned a relevant spell slot on Remove Curse from them, or know how to get some juicy bonus damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Sep 29, 2022 at 16:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE, if you use something on them that is actually useful, they might not come back tomorrow, as they die today :) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 29, 2022 at 18:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also a recurring villain is probably of high enough level not to fail the save, let alone critically \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Nov 29, 2023 at 12:43

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