Sleep is by far the most powerful spell a low level magic-user can cast. It can take out up to 16 adversaries (if they are low enough) and doesn't grant them a saving throw. Which is all fine and grand until you realize that same spell in the hands of your players opponents can bring the session to an awkward halt.
I have no problem hitting my players with a well deserved TPK, but taking them out without a save, even if it is to wake up tied up and captive instead of dead, just doesn't seem right. It's not all that fair, either, but I'm not so worried about fairness ;)
So, the options as I see it are:
- don't give NPC / monsters access to the sleep spell
- give Sleep a saving throw for all
- the players are special and get a saving throw against Sleep - the spell works as written for others
- allow for a save the moment the victim is touched (to be tied or killed)
The second option is probably the best I can think of, but I'm sure I've missed a few.
How do you handle "Sleep" in your campaigns?