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When Death Doesn't Mean Death Anymore


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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I don't know - I understand the changes...but, shouldn't Finger of Death actually kill if you fail your save? As the tomatoes come flying at my head, I just feel like we need a Greater Death spell to restore the horrible possibility of actually instilling the fear of real death into our characters...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Power Word Kill ?


Saradoc wrote:
I don't know - I understand the changes...but, shouldn't Finger of Death actually kill if you fail your save? As the tomatoes come flying at my head, I just feel like we need a Greater Death spell to restore the horrible possibility of actually instilling the fear of real death into our characters...

A lot of people hated SoD's since they want dramatic deaths so they disguised it as hit point damage. Technically its possible to survive the death spells now, but not likely. Even the slaying arrow only does HP damage now. I think there should be some death spells for those of us that want to use them. I think Implosion and Destruction still kill you, but I dont think they have the Death descriptor. Flesh to Stone is just as effective also. If that does not work for you it may be houserule time.


Gorbacz wrote:
Power Word Kill ?

Ahhhhhhhh, I didn't see that they didn't change that one. Thanks!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

If they have been reading Comics lately, you haven't got a chance. ;D


wraithstrike wrote:
Saradoc wrote:
I don't know - I understand the changes...but, shouldn't Finger of Death actually kill if you fail your save? As the tomatoes come flying at my head, I just feel like we need a Greater Death spell to restore the horrible possibility of actually instilling the fear of real death into our characters...
A lot of people hated SoD's since they want dramatic deaths so they disguised it as hit point damage. Technically its possible to survive the death spells now, but not likely. Even the slaying arrow only does HP damage now. I think there should be some death spells for those of us that want to use them. I think Implosion and Destruction still kill you, but I dont think they have the Death descriptor. Flesh to Stone is just as effective also. If that does not work for you it may be houserule time.

Slay living, destruction, and implosion all do damage now: 12d6 + caster level for slay living, 10 pts/level for destruction and implosion. Destruction and slay living have the death descriptor, implosion does not. None of these 3 had a change in descriptor between 3.5 and Pathfinder; I popped the ol' 3.5 PH down and opened up the Core Rulebook to compare.

What I miss is being able to use slay living or destruction on a troll, let it blow its save, and avoid all the regeneration grief by outright killing it. Now I have to burn it then hit it and hope I deal enough damage to kill it in the one round window if I'm fighting it one-on-one.


Lathiira wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Saradoc wrote:
I don't know - I understand the changes...but, shouldn't Finger of Death actually kill if you fail your save? As the tomatoes come flying at my head, I just feel like we need a Greater Death spell to restore the horrible possibility of actually instilling the fear of real death into our characters...
A lot of people hated SoD's since they want dramatic deaths so they disguised it as hit point damage. Technically its possible to survive the death spells now, but not likely. Even the slaying arrow only does HP damage now. I think there should be some death spells for those of us that want to use them. I think Implosion and Destruction still kill you, but I dont think they have the Death descriptor. Flesh to Stone is just as effective also. If that does not work for you it may be houserule time.

Slay living, destruction, and implosion all do damage now: 12d6 + caster level for slay living, 10 pts/level for destruction and implosion. Destruction and slay living have the death descriptor, implosion does not. None of these 3 had a change in descriptor between 3.5 and Pathfinder; I popped the ol' 3.5 PH down and opened up the Core Rulebook to compare.

What I miss is being able to use slay living or destruction on a troll, let it blow its save, and avoid all the regeneration grief by outright killing it. Now I have to burn it then hit it and hope I deal enough damage to kill it in the one round window if I'm fighting it one-on-one.

Oh well, I guess my players in AoW will like not having to worry about insta-death. Maybe I can flesh to stone them. :)


wraithstrike wrote:


Oh well, I guess my players in AoW will like not having to worry about insta-death. Maybe I can flesh to stone them. :)

Or beat them down and hit them with power word-kill ;)

Shadow Lodge

I kind of wish that they would be more like Save or -1 HP and Stable. I can understand the hate of a bad roll killing a character, but at the same time, I really prefer the mystique and fear that a spell caster should have with such power. If it was -1 HP, the character would still be down and out, but could be revived. And unlike something like say Sleep, the character would actually have taken all that damage, (maybe even Nonlethal damage, or a form of nonlethal that affects everyone).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Beckett wrote:
I kind of wish that they would be more like Save or -1 HP and Stable. I can understand the hate of a bad roll killing a character, but at the same time, I really prefer the mystique and fear that a spell caster should have with such power. If it was -1 HP, the character would still be down and out, but could be revived. And unlike something like say Sleep, the character would actually have taken all that damage, (maybe even Nonlethal damage, or a form of nonlethal that affects everyone).

I think having characters going to -1 hp and dying from a spell would be a nice alternative to "just" dealing damage on the one hand and killing them outright on the other hand. I did not look into the spells in detail, but I guess that will be the way I will handle it if it comes up.

Stefan


Beckett wrote:
I kind of wish that they would be more like Save or -1 HP and Stable. I can understand the hate of a bad roll killing a character, but at the same time, I really prefer the mystique and fear that a spell caster should have with such power. If it was -1 HP, the character would still be down and out, but could be revived. And unlike something like say Sleep, the character would actually have taken all that damage, (maybe even Nonlethal damage, or a form of nonlethal that affects everyone).

What a great idea. My players will rejoice, well ok so maybe they won't, but I will.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I perfer the change. For the most part a target of equal level takes enough damage to kill it, with the exception of a warrior type character that has a Con boosting item and even then only maybe. Anyone else is tost.
Not to mention the climactic battle against the BBEG might last more than a single round. However a BBEG attacking you with the spell has a good chance of killing you.
The change actually allows a major fight to be significant.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I realize it's not exactly the same thing, but the massive damage rule is still in place. Taking 50 points of damage still has a chance of killing you outright (yes I know a 15 fort save is hard to blow at high levels). This though is technically the middle ground a couple of you have asked for.

Osirion

Saradoc wrote:
I don't know - I understand the changes... but, shouldn't Finger of Death actually kill if you fail your save? As the tomatoes come flying at my head, I just feel like we need a Greater Death spell to restore the horrible possibility of actually instilling the fear of real death into our characters...

A word's a word. Circle of 'Death' never caused death either, save by inflicting hit point loss. Fireball doesn't set people on fire. Bull's Strength doesn't necessarily make you as strong as a bull. Vampiric Touch doesn't drain levels like a vampire's touch (or blood, like a vampire's bite, or in any other way mimic the abilities of a vampire).

Save or dies (and 'save or sucks') were one of the most-complained about features of the magic system, as they were 'not fun' and made those particular spells problematic to use in encounters designed to soften up the party or merely challenge them, which is why, in 3.0, every poisonous creature didn't have a chance of just instantly killing your PC, but did ability damage instead. This change is just a logical progression of where the game has been headed since 1st edition, when a 4 hit point Giant Centipede could instantly kill an 8th level character 5% of the time.

Shadow Lodge

Greg Trombley wrote:

I perfer the change. For the most part a target of equal level takes enough damage to kill it, with the exception of a warrior type character that has a Con boosting item and even then only maybe. Anyone else is tost.

Not to mention the climactic battle against the BBEG might last more than a single round. However a BBEG attacking you with the spell has a good chance of killing you.
The change actually allows a major fight to be significant.

That was the problem though. Most Save or Die Spells are intended for those Warrior types, because casters already had damage dealing spells, abut they tend not to be effective in straight fights. Particularly in cases against "boss" monsters, who do not have to worry so much about losing HP before the next encounter. Truth be told, it makes major fight less significant.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Beckett wrote:
I kind of wish that they would be more like Save or -1 HP and Stable. I can understand the hate of a bad roll killing a character, but at the same time, I really prefer the mystique and fear that a spell caster should have with such power. If it was -1 HP, the character would still be down and out, but could be revived. And unlike something like say Sleep, the character would actually have taken all that damage, (maybe even Nonlethal damage, or a form of nonlethal that affects everyone).

I've always been a bigger fan of save or -hp equal to spells level (so finger of death is -7). Not stabilized. As it stands finger of death and their ilk continue to bone players but are now only mildly dangerous to most powerful monsters.


Lathiira wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


Oh well, I guess my players in AoW will like not having to worry about insta-death. Maybe I can flesh to stone them. :)
Or beat them down and hit them with power word-kill ;)

How is beating someone down and casting Power Word Kill different from beating someone down and casting Finger of Death? (Other than the save, of course.)

Shadow Lodge

Peter Stewart wrote:
Beckett wrote:
I kind of wish that they would be more like Save or -1 HP and Stable. I can understand the hate of a bad roll killing a character, but at the same time, I really prefer the mystique and fear that a spell caster should have with such power. If it was -1 HP, the character would still be down and out, but could be revived. And unlike something like say Sleep, the character would actually have taken all that damage, (maybe even Nonlethal damage, or a form of nonlethal that affects everyone).
I've always been a bigger fan of save or -hp equal to spells level (so finger of death is -7). Not stabilized. As it stands finger of death and their ilk continue to bone players but are now only mildly dangerous to most powerful monsters.

I also have a house rule about the Death from Massive Damage. Essentually, if it is 50 damage, it is a Fort Save or -1 Hp. For every +10 damage, the DC goes up by 2 and you also can not be revived for 1 full round. Essentually you are in shock, and while Healing will get you HP (to keep you from dying from further attacks), you can not act. So the DC for 60 points of Damage is 17, and if you fail, you would be out for 1 full round. For 100 damage, the DC is 25 and you can can not be awoken for 5 full rounds.


Set wrote:
A word's a word. Circle of 'Death' never caused death either, save by inflicting hit point loss. Fireball doesn't set people on fire. Bull's Strength doesn't necessarily make you as strong as a bull. Vampiric Touch doesn't drain levels like a vampire's touch (or blood, like a vampire's bite, or in any other way mimic the abilities of a vampire).

Like belts of giant strength. In <= 2.0, a Belt of Giant Strength made you as strong as that particular giant, regardless of your current strength score. 2.0 saw the last of "it just happens." Starting with 3.0 and onward, everything is a mechanic. Sometimes I agree with it, but sometimes it irritates.

Bull's Strength: A 3.5 Bison (bull isn't listed) has a 22 STR. IMO, either the spell should raise or lower your STR to 22 or it should just be called "Strength."

Vampiric Touch: Totally agree. If it did what its name implies, it would be a much higher level spell.

Fireball: Actually, it does set people on fire. "The fireball sets fire to combustibles and damages objects in the area. It can melt metals with low melting points, such as lead (621 F), gold (1945 F), copper (1983 F), silver (1760 F), and bronze (1190 - 1630, depending on the type of bronze)." 3.5 PHB p. 231; temperatures added from Engineering Toolbox

Cremation of a human being takes ~1600 F (source) for two hours. True, its an instantaneous effect, but the fireball is at least 345 degrees hotter than that. In my house, that = save or ignite.

As a holdover from DM'ing 1.0, I rarely cast SoD's on the party. I had a bad experience with a 1.0 DM who would just decide to kill a character every week (how can 3 adult T-Rex's get all of their attacks on an elf in a dead-end alley surrounded by four stories? One of those "it just happens" that irritated). Players can cast them and I just deal with it. There are plenty of ways for me to deal with players w/o SoD's.


hogarth wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


Oh well, I guess my players in AoW will like not having to worry about insta-death. Maybe I can flesh to stone them. :)
Or beat them down and hit them with power word-kill ;)
How is beating someone down and casting Power Word Kill different from beating someone down and casting Finger of Death? (Other than the save, of course.)

The amount of beatdown. Finger of Death does 10 pts./caster level, save for 10d6 damage. So to absolutely sure you get someone with that spell, you need to pretty much beat them to negatives anyway to account for saving throws and bad damage rolls after a successful save. My suggestion just requires getting the target below 100 hp.

Oh, and I'm using a higher-level spell slot that's available to wizards and sorcerers primarily, vs. your idea which lets you use a druid as well.


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The whole game has gone soft on PCs!
I remember when a fighter had less than a hundred HPs at tenth level and only did d8+5 damage and having AC -7 was *really* something.

Level Drain, pah! Only gain a few tempory negative levels now...Death is nothing just get raised and greater restoration...No CON lose, nothing...

*mutters and shuffles off to get pipe and slippers*


Lathiira wrote:
hogarth wrote:


How is beating someone down and casting Power Word Kill different from beating someone down and casting Finger of Death? (Other than the save, of course.)
The amount of beatdown. Finger of Death does 10 pts./caster level, save for 10d6 damage. So to absolutely sure you get someone with that spell, you need to pretty much beat them to negatives anyway to account for saving throws and bad damage rolls after a successful save. My suggestion just requires getting the target below 100 hp.

My point is that Finger of Death does a bare minimum of 130 hp of damage, almost always enough to kill a creature with 100 hp (as Power Word Kill does). So the only real differences are: (a) one has a save and one doesn't, and (b) one is useful on creatures with > 100 hp and one isn't.

Cheliax

That is not dead which can eternal lie.

And with strange aeons even death may die.

HPL


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Saradoc wrote:
I don't know - I understand the changes...but, shouldn't Finger of Death actually kill if you fail your save? As the tomatoes come flying at my head, I just feel like we need a Greater Death spell to restore the horrible possibility of actually instilling the fear of real death into our characters...

I've killed more than one PC with Finger of Death from evil sorcerers. That 10 hp damage per level kills most things. There are situations where the high hit point characters can live through it or at be stabilized but for the most part it takes out those who fail their saves.


Let's look at this 10 hp/level that finger of death and destruction and wail of the banshee do. You get destruction at CL 13, finger of death at 13 or 15, wail of the banshee at CL 17. So the numbers to look at are 130 hp, 150 hp, and 170 hp. Let's also look at monsters from the Bestiary with CR 13 or greater and their hp. I'll ignore undead and constructs and only mention one dragon for brevity:

Spoiler:
Astral Deva: 172 hp, CR 14
Planetar: 229 hp, CR 16
Solar: 363 hp, CR 21
Trumpet Archon: 175 hp, CR 14
Ghaele Azata: 136 hp, CR 13
Balor: 370 hp, CR 20
Glabrezu: 186 hp, CR 13
Marilith: 264 hp, CR 17
Nalfeshnee: 203 hp, CR 14
Horned devil: 217 hp, CR 16
Ice devil: 161 hp, CR 13
Pit fiend: 350 hp, CR 20
Ancient Black Dragon: 297 hp, CR 16
Froghemoth: 184 hp, CR 13
Storm Giant: 199 hp, CR 13
Kraken: 290 hp, CR 18
Crag Linnorm: 202 hp, CR 14
Ice Linnorm: 279 hp, CR 17
Tarn Linnorm: 385 hp, CR 20
Neothelid: 230 hp, CR 15
Phoenix: 210 hp, CR 15
Shoggoth: 333 hp, CR 19
Tarrasque: 525 hp, CR 25

If you assume that the caster of destruction/finger of death/wail of the banshee beats any creature's SR and the creature fails the appropriate save, then you'll need at least a 14th level caster to kill off the weakest creature here (CR 13 ghaele azata). A 20th level caster is needed for some of the more potent creatures, and epic casters for many. Against CR 13 monsters, how many 7th level spell slots does the cleric have handy for badly injuring single CR 13 monsters? Or the wizard and sorcerer, for that matter? For CR 15 monsters, how many? And so on. Only 5 of these creatures can be killed by a caster level 20 or less using 10 pts of damge/caster level as the metric.

One of the assertions I have heard is that the amount of damage that death spells do is still enough to kill creatures. I have omitted NPCs from this list, as the hp of a given NPC can vary wildly based on their equipment and whatnot. But when I flip through the Bestiary, it seems that the death spells can't kill level-appropriate monsters on their own.

Contributor

It looks like Bestow Curse + Phantasmal Killer are the best bet left for actual save-or-die.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
It looks like Bestow Curse + Phantasmal Killer are the best bet left for actual save-or-die.

or mind fog + phantasmal killer


Nah. Bestow Curse actually requires that you get adjacent and touch the creature in question before you cast. I'll stick with the old reliable shoot 'em from range empowered enervation followed by phantasmal killer -- or disintegrate, if I'm up against something I think will easily make that initial Will save even if it's hampered by the negative levels' save penalty.

Cheliax

Kurukami wrote:
Nah. Bestow Curse actually requires that you get adjacent and touch the creature in question before you cast. I'll stick with the old reliable shoot 'em from range empowered enervation followed by phantasmal killer -- or disintegrate, if I'm up against something I think will easily make that initial Will save even if it's hampered by the negative levels' save penalty.

Energy Drain is better now...

A lot better...

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Lathiira wrote:
One of the assertions I have heard is that the amount of damage that death spells do is still enough to kill creatures. I have omitted NPCs from this list, as the hp of a given NPC can vary wildly based on their equipment and whatnot. But when I flip through the Bestiary, it seems that the death spells can't kill level-appropriate monsters on their own.

Should they? Why or why not?


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Spacelard wrote:

The whole game has gone soft on PCs!

I remember when a fighter had less than a hundred HPs at tenth level and only did d8+5 damage and having AC -7 was *really* something.

Level Drain, pah! Only gain a few temporary negative levels now...Death is nothing just get raised and greater restoration...No CON lose, nothing...

*mutters and shuffles off to get pipe and slippers*

These darn kids and their newfangled mechanics. In my day, we were lucky to have a 70% resurrection survival. And we were GRATEFUL, by God! Took a darn sight more than a couple of DC-10-to-assist-thank-you-very-much-halflings to Bend Bars/Lift Gates, I tell ya what :)

Zo

Contributor

A Man In Black wrote:
Lathiira wrote:
One of the assertions I have heard is that the amount of damage that death spells do is still enough to kill creatures. I have omitted NPCs from this list, as the hp of a given NPC can vary wildly based on their equipment and whatnot. But when I flip through the Bestiary, it seems that the death spells can't kill level-appropriate monsters on their own.
Should they? Why or why not?

I think they should be able to do it because high level death spells are basically the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch--a very high powered but limited weapon, and when it's gone, it's gone. Or at least gone for the day.

Turning them into direct damage basically just makes them Magic Missile, but not even as good as Magic Missile, because Magic Missile doesn't have a save.


well my understanding of Save or Die has always been on the assumption that there was always a small chance of real death in the game from one hit. True it might seem unfair to a layer that he gets killed from a bad die roll but that is just luck which should also play a roll in the game. However it also gave the party a small chance of victory against the BBEG as well. Back in the day Save or dies were even worse. If you got hit by one you were permanently dead. You could be animated as a juju zombie. Anyway in 3.0 with the advent of the death ward spell a party could protect itself from this adverse effect. Now that coming back from death is even easier in Pathfinder I believe Save or dies should not have been weakened.


I just think a single die roll to kill either side is too easy.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
I just think a single die roll to kill either side is too easy.

Well so is putting all your chips on one number hoping it will come out.


Frostflame wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
I just think a single die roll to kill either side is too easy.
Well so is putting all your chips on one number hoping it will come out.

What number?

I just think "Take action, pass/fail, done" doesn't feel like a fight.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Well so is putting all your chips on one number hoping it will come out.
What number?

1. And the wheel has nineteen of them and a 20. Because you can totally do that with some creatures saving throws.

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
I just think a single die roll to kill either side is too easy.

You can condense any sequence of dice rolls down to a single roll, statistically. It's how the GM describes the outcome of the roll(s) that makes a game fun, not the mechanic.


brock wrote:
You can condense any sequence of dice rolls down to a single roll, statistically. It's how the GM describes the outcome of the roll(s) that makes a game fun, not the mechanic.

I mean the feel that there's no action, just "boom" and it's over (whether or not it worked).

Qadira

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
brock wrote:
You can condense any sequence of dice rolls down to a single roll, statistically. It's how the GM describes the outcome of the roll(s) that makes a game fun, not the mechanic.
I mean the feel that there's no action, just "boom" and it's over (whether or not it worked).

Save or die : Saved, Saved, Failed - thud.

Save or damage : Saved (108 Hp left), Failed (8 Hp left), Saved (< 0 left) - thud

It's pretty much the same. I just find it easier as a GM to describe while someone died on a failed saving throw than a made one.

If you get hit squarely by a slaying spell you should die.


brock wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
I mean the feel that there's no action, just "boom" and it's over (whether or not it worked).
It's pretty much the same.........

HP loss depends on action at some point in the process. There is some movement involved. Save-or-die is literally "Boom, your dead. NEXT!"

brock wrote:
If you get hit squarely by a slaying spell you should die.

I'm not disputing that. I just don't want slaying spells.


Personally, I do not like this rules change. At first glance it looks like it is making the game less deadly for the PCS, but it actually hurts them. For the PCs, the spells are mostly just as deadly as before (Con boosted Fighter types aside, but they have a really good Fort save, so they were less afraid of the spells before). But to much of the typical opposition, Monsters with loads of HP, the spells have become less deadly.

Cheliax

Hyla Arborea wrote:
For the PCs, the spells are mostly just as deadly as before (Con boosted Fighter types aside, but they have a really good Fort save, so they were less afraid of the spells before). But to much of the typical opposition, Monsters with loads of HP, the spells have become less deadly.

And as a DM I like that. I shouldn't have to give a weak fort monster some kind of template or class level boost just to make it more likely to survive the death aspect of the older version of the spell. As long as there is a higher level equivalent that can do the trick (even with a 100 hp threshold requirement) I'm ok with it. It forces players to not rely so heavily on a single spell to get the job done.

Going back to 1st ed, this was one of the reasons why Arcane magic escalated exponentially when compared to other classes. As a DM I can always rule the death vs. hp damage any time I want. Not really a big deal IMO.


Auxmaulous wrote:
As a DM I can always rule the death vs. hp damage any time I want. Not really a big deal IMO.

I am not sure what you mean by that. Do you intend to decide how the spells works on a case-by-case basis? I would consider that very bad GM style. But I probably misunderstood you?


Hi all, this is my first post.

I just wondered if "flesh to stone" is more dangerous than "finger of death".

And in this case, why "finger of death" is 7th level and "flesh to stone" 6th.

I precise I'm a beginner.

Cheliax

Hyla Arborea wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
As a DM I can always rule the death vs. hp damage any time I want. Not really a big deal IMO.
I am not sure what you mean by that. Do you intend to decide how the spells works on a case-by-case basis? I would consider that very bad GM style. But I probably misunderstood you?

Yeah, you are misunderstanding me. What I meant is that if all these damage substitutions in PFRPG are not working for a group they are just that easy to convert back as a whole, and not on a case-by-case basis.

I don't think that finger of death or any one spell should be as powerful as they were written in early editions of the game. At least not at spell levels they are slotted at.
I think part of the problem with damage only versions, or even the older hit or miss/save or die versions is that there is no middle ground. Spells like Disintegrate or Finger of Death should also have secondary effects, one if failed and one if saved (sickened, weakened in some way, equipment damage, lingering death effect, dying, etc) vs. just being raw damage or death.


All good points. I just think that anything that is a death spell should kill. That's it. You're dead. Too bad, so sad. We've got soft on our characters. Death Ward stopped it, and yes, every self-respecting high level had death ward on, so there - no death. But damage spells still did damage.

"Death" should mean death, no questions asked. You miss it, you miss it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Tristan Kendrick wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post.

I just wondered if "flesh to stone" is more dangerous than "finger of death".

And in this case, why "finger of death" is 7th level and "flesh to stone" 6th.

I precise I'm a beginner.

Tristan, hello and welcome aboard.

In my opinion finger of death and flesh to stone are fairly equal in potential deadliness. "FoD" if you fail the save, depending on your current hp, then yes you could die. (And need resurrection, or raise dead... be a little behind in the xp curve...) and with "FtS" if you fail the save, you're not "dead" but permanently turned to stone, until such a time as a fellow PC applies stone salve or casts break enchantment or of course stone to flesh.

I hope I did well enough by you, and if anyone else wants to weigh in with a different outlook, by all means, please do.

And once again, Welcome Aboard Tristan! :)


I never understood why death effects are such a problem when by the time death effects are slamming you, you have easier access to resurrection spells. It's awesome and inspiring to say "I can kill you with but a shout to my deity and a point of my finger." But then the burly fighter winces in pain and goes,"Hah hah, it hurt me a lot but I am still alive!" So the cleric of a DEATH god has to look like an idiot casting it again or resorting to Flame Strike anyway. Not cool. The idea of an enemy ripping your soul out or just a hand gesture, some words of power, and SLOOP, there you go imploding should ALWAYS be feared and it should give the players a sense of "This isn't someone we can mob on, one of us WILL die if we handle this the usual way."

I also don't understand the strange concept of "Players shouldn't lose their characters because of a bad luck of the die roll." It's freaking D&D, crap is going to happen always on the bad luck of a die roll. You can miss, you can fail to tumble and take an AoO that will kill you, you can fail a save, you can DIE! It's no different than the "lucky" roll of a monster scoring a critical hit WITH a two-handed Power Attack coming down on you. It's no different than a failed Reflex save against a 10d6 fireball while on 10 hp. It's no different than a monster passing its CMB and bull rushing you into the lava pit.

I was peeved at disintegrate getting the shaft already. There's no need for other spells to, also. Leave the death spells be. They're deadly for a reason.

Cheliax

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I'm of two minds on 'save-or-die'.

1) Save or Die SUCKS. It's completely and patently unfair. No matter how incredible your character is, if you blow the roll it's done. Blam.

2) Save or Die is a game balancer. It is the great equalizer, like nothing else.

I've had good and bad experiences with the mechanic, and I'm happy that it's been pretty much removed from modern d20/OGL/PFRPG systems.

Though, in all honesty, there is nothing quite like taking a high level Paladin across SEVENTEEN consecutive Symbol of Death spells. "Ok, make 17 Will saves for me please?"

Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam!

The look on my wife's face was just priceless. Then the Balor attacked and it really hit the fan.

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