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I am using the illusion tree and I tend to use the calm spell to deal with hostile mobs. The spell renders the target passive. The fear spell makes the target run away.

The calm spell seems to be advantageous because:

  • The mob is passive, even if I am attacking its allies
  • The mob stays close, so I can deal with it after I have killed its allies
  • It can be cast in town with no punishment (fear counts as a crime)

Is there any reason to ever use the fear spell, when calm seems much better?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Attacking a calmed target will cause it to reinitiate hostilities with you.

By contrast, you can beat the crap out of a feared target with little chance of being retaliated against.

This is a marked advantage in some cases.

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Didn't think about that at all actually. This answers my question outright, thanks! – theorise Dec 18 '11 at 22:51
I should mention that I use calm, wait for the enemy to turn around, then one hit them with a backstab. It seems to make them pay no attention to you, so if you are out of sight and you sneak, they don't 'see' you. So for me as a stealth character, it seems calm is better. For anyone else, fear probably works better. – theorise Dec 19 '11 at 9:40
note that, though calm will be removed if you attack them whereas fear will not, a feared enemy will often alert other enemies nearby. I use both as a result. – Asdafgh Apr 29 '12 at 18:26

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