My character has failed a few critical Will saves in the last couple of encounters. All encounters are pretty tight, so losing one character makes them way more difficult, not to mention that fun involved in playing an insane or fleeing character is kind of limited.

The character is currently Scout 15/Ranger 1, the campaign will bring us to level 20. He works as a secondary damage dealer (improved skirmish, a bow with a lot of bane arrows, greater manyshot) and, well, a scout.

We have very limited downtime (possibly 2-3 weeks until the end of the campaign) and very low resources (most encounters don't yield much treasure), maybe around 40k left to spend (and not at once). (This is not an issue, we like the campaign a lot.)

If I keep advancing as a Scout, I will get two more feats (I can persuade the DM to take a feat outside of the Scout's bonus list) and a lot of skill points (12/level).

I was thinking of simply boosting my will save with a Cloak of Resistance (currently just +1) and a Periapt of Wisdom, maybe with the Iron Will feat too.

But is there a better way to protect a low-will-save character from mind-affecting spells (including Fear, Insanity, Feeblemind - and other spells that fall outside Protection from Evil). I'm looking for feats, spells (max lvl 6, thus no Mind Blank), cheap magic items (see limitations above, also Mindarmor from the Magic Item Compendium is not possible), a prestige or multiclass (with at least medium attack bonus progression) fitting the concept (no clerics). No undead, no cohorts. Only official material.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How much bonus to Will are you looking for? A Cloak of Resistance +5 would give you a +4 boost and costs (only) 25k, would it be sufficient? Note that any dip into a class with a Good Will Save would instantly get you a +2 (+2 +1/2 if you use partial saves). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2016 at 11:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. As much as possible. To feel more less safe something like +7 and a possibility to reroll. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Apr 21, 2016 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ What's the gp limit of the biggest town you can get to? (While I know it isn't true for all campaigns, in campaigns I run that's a serious issue.) What casters are in the party that are willing to cast spells on you so dominated you doesn't Manyshot them to death? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2016 at 11:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan The limit is 40k, there is a cleric and a sorcerer. I'd need to get them scrolls or wands, at the end of the day they're running on fumes anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Apr 21, 2016 at 11:41

5 Answers 5


Get this anyway...

Although more interested in things that aren't stopped by protection from evil, protection from evil is too good not to mention. It's also inexpensive. Any town should have this:

  • A potion of protection from evil [abjur] (PH 266) (50 gp; 0.1 lbs.) (1st-level spell at caster level 1), in addition to other effects, includes an effect that

    blocks any attempt to possess the warded creature (by a magic jar attack, for example) or to exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment (charm) effects and enchantment (compulsion) effects that grant the caster ongoing control over the subject, such as dominate person). The protection does not prevent such effects from targeting the protected creature, but it suppresses the effect for the duration of the protection from evil effect. If the protection from evil effect ends before the effect granting mental control does, the would-be controller would then be able to mentally command the controlled creature. Likewise, the [effect] keeps out a possessing life force but does not expel one if it is in place before the spell is cast. This... effect works regardless of [the] alignment [of the creature using or attempting to use the effect].

    With its low cost and 1-min. duration, chug a potion of protection from evil before (or, if you know it'll be an issue, possibly during) every battle, just in case.

Alternatively, if the action economy is more important than your feats, the feat Shape Soulmeld (Magic of Incarnum 40-41) can permit the shaping of a planar ward (MoI 83) which then provides what you need from the spell protection from evil except, like, all the time.

...Then consider one or more of these

These are more expensive or complicated.

  • The armor crystal greater crystal of mind cloaking (MIC 25-6) (10,000 gp; 0 lbs.) grants a +5 competence bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects, and the bearer 1/day can take an immediate action to reroll a failed saving throw against a mind-affecting effect. This is likely one of the things the game expects you to get.
  • Buy a novice Iron Heart vest (Tome of Battle 149-50) (3,000 gp; 1 lb.) that's improved (Magic Item Compendium 233) with a novice Iron Heart vest (ToB 149-50) (3,000 + 50% = 4,500 gp; 0 lbs.) (7,500 gp; 1 lb.). Opt for the 2nd-level Iron Heart maneuver disarming strike [strike] (ToB 67) and the 3rd-level Iron Heart maneuver iron heart surge [special] (ToB 68). Then enjoy arguing with the DM about the effects of iron heart surge, seeing if you can blot out the sun or get rid of that annoying thing called gravity.
  • Either take 1 level in a class that grants rage like barbarian or purchase the mantle of rage (6,000 gp; 1 lbs.) (New Magic Items 2). If allowed and necessary, supplement your lone rage per day with a potion of blood frenzy [trans] (SpC 33) (2nd-level spell at caster level 3) (300 gp; 0.1 lbs.) or two. Take the feat Mad Foam Rager (PH2 80). Buy a potion of resurgence [conj] (SpC 174) (1st-level spell at caster level 1) (50 gp; 0.1 lbs.) (50 gp; 0.1 lbs.), the effect of which is to grant a second saving throw against an ongoing effect, success ending that effect. Drink this potion during the 1 round when the effect is delayed by the benefit of the feat Mad Foam Rager. If necessary, supplement this strategy with a potion of lesser restoration (PH 272) (2nd-level spell at caster level 3) (300 gp; 0.1 lbs.); the spell lesser restoration, in addition to other effects, eliminates fatigue.

    (It's terrible that the feat Mad Foam Rager is usable but once per day; see if you can talk the DM into the feat being usable once per rage. This still may not do you any good if you're relying on a combination of the spell blood frenzy and the mantle of rage, but the game as a whole will be better.)

    It's a good idea to get everyone in the party a potion of resurgence or two anyway. Just in case. Those are all kinds of useful.

  • The feat Pirate Luck (Dragon #323 90) has a prerequisite of Charisma 13. Its benefit allows the creature once per day to reroll one saving throw before the saving throw's results are revealed.

If relying heavily on potions, consider also a fantasy beer hat.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Fiend Folio’s gutworm can be a source of cheap rage for the Evil and hearty. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 21, 2016 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I dunno if I'd call Buy the DM dinner cheap. (That is, there's no price for a gutworm so you gotta do what you gotta do to get one.) Further, I'm hesitant on rage in general for this character because scout usually relies on command-word activated magic items and the skill Tumble, neither of which can be used while raging. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2016 at 13:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can use lesser planar binding to call a gutworm. You don’t even need to successfully bind it; left to its own devices, it will do exactly what you want it to. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 21, 2016 at 13:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Left to its own devices, the gutworm will do exactly what the DM wants it to do. Either way, I think its limitations and potential campaign impact ("You get infinite rage and you get infinite rage and you get infinite rage!") means, unless there's something else, I think I'll exclude it from this answer. (Probably a conversation for a different question, but I'm not sure a larval gutworm can be called; it doesn't seem to have Hit Dice outside of its host (that is, the tick attacks, the worm doesn't), and calling a non-larval one seems to mean the gutworm has a host already.) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2016 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've though about the rage ability for the character before, but as a DM I wouldn't allow a raging character to use an efficient quiver to pull appropriate bane arrows, so I didn't bother the other DM. Also, since I've got a very important quest item in my possession (not really a command activated magic item, but close), I have to be in control. This was also one of the serious problems with my latest Insanity (Protection from Evil is not enough for this one). But I like the crystal. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Apr 21, 2016 at 17:29

Let's first discuss boosting the Will Save:

  • The feat Steadfast Determination (PHB II), among other benefits, let you use your Constitution modifier instead of your Wisdom modifier for your Will save; it has Endurance as a pre-requisite which you can get for free at the 3rd level of Ranger.
  • For 25k, you can get a Cloak of Resistance +5.
  • The spell Benediction (Cleric 2, Complete Champion, p. 116) grants +2 Luck bonus on all saving throws for 10 min./level (which explicitly stacks with other bonuses).

As for re-rolls:

  • For 5k, an Amulet of Fortune Prevailing (Magic Item Compendium, p. 69) confers you the ability to re-roll one failed save 1/day.
  • The spell Benediction can be terminated prematurely to re-roll a single save throw (among others rolls).

So, just picking Steadfast Determination, Cloak of Resistance +5 and Amulet of Fortune Prevailing would:

  • give a boost of +4 +(Con - Wis) to your Will Save
  • afford you one re-roll on a failed save 1/day

And then, ask your Cleric to prepare Benediction (he should have at least one free level 2 slot!), so it's ready for a situational boost (boss' fight, etc...).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I like Benediction, could be useful as a potion or wand too. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2016 at 13:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @gaynorvader: Certainly yes, a Potion of Benediction CL 3 (the minimum caster level) would cost 600gp apiece and the effect would last for 30 min. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2016 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Benediction is very interesting, even if my DM rules out the option for the bonuses to stack (we use other luck-based spells), which is quite likely. \$\endgroup\$
    – burlap
    Apr 21, 2016 at 17:38

I don't know if you have time to work towards the Survivor's Luck feat (Complete Scoundrel pg 75) which would allow you to reroll a will save.

Other than that, have you considered wands (probably requires skillpoints in Use Magic Device) or potions of Owl's Wisdom or Remove Fear?

A level 2 bard gets access to the resistance spell (As Matthieu M. confirmed, this does not stack with the cloak as both are resistance bonuses) and the Remove Fear spell (+4 morale bonus vs fear for 10min). He can also use Inspire Courage to give a +1 morale bonus to saving throws vs charm and fear. EDIT: I forgot to mention, with Countersong, you can use a bard's perform check in place of a will save versus sound-based magical effects such as Command/Charm.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I confirm that the Resistance Spell does not stack the cloak, both given Resistance bonuses. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 21, 2016 at 12:22

Just to name a few good sources of bonuses on Will saves that haven't been mentioned already:

  • The crystal mask of mindarmor (MIC 92) costs 10,000 gp. It takes your head slot but gives a +4 insight bonus on Will saves, a named bonus less common than resistance.

  • The mask of mental armor (MIC 115) costs 4,000 gp. It also takes up the head slot but gives a +3 resistance bonus on Will saves. Cheaper than the alternatives and a comparable cloak of resistance (if all you need the cloak for is Will saves).

  • The mindvault (MIC 117) costs 8,000 gp and is one of my favorite items. I wear this in a lot of high-level campaigns. Takes up the head slot. When you activate the mindvault, your consciousness is sucked into the item, and you are completely immune to mind-affecting spells and abilities. However, you are dazed for 1 round. More importantly, you don't have to activate it until you've already failed your Will save:

    You can activate a mindvault after you learn the result of an incoming mind-affecting spell, but before the effect is applied. For example, after failing your Will save and learning that an enemy wizard has affected you with dominate person, you could activate your mindvault before the domination takes effect (thus negating it entirely).


Depending on the sort of group you're playing with, a little role playing and creative problem solving can go a long way toward cutting the Gordian Knot in these situations:

For instance, if you character has a problem with fear spells, another player's character might be able to intimidate him into running away toward the enemy, or you can take up drinking and trade some intelligence bonus for a circumstance bonus against fear effects.

Find yourself falling prey to vocal command based spells? Exploit your scout's good reflex save and awareness-skills and plug your ears every time it looks like someone might be casting a spell in your direction.

If you want to just plain beef up your will stat, you can grab the Iron Will feat for +2 will save. That and 12 charisma let you nab the Unnatural Will feat from Heroes Of Horror- that lets you add your charisma modifier to your will saves against fear effects.

The Occult Slayer Prestige Class might be worth looking at as well- the prereqs would be easy to make, and it turns your character into a mage-killer. Spell resistance, high will saves, +1d6 damage against magic users, and at second level you can turn spells against the caster once per day. Not that you'll probably get there, but fifth level even grants total immunity to mind affecting spells.


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