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As a player, would this piss you off?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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

Having your long time character suddenly snuffed out by a Power Word: Kill spell from the GM? No save, no chance to avoid. Nothing. Just an unceremonious collapse unto death in front of "Enemy Spellcaster A."

Cheliax

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I need more information, because while I feel the anger building, I don't quite have the necessary vitriol built up to start nerd raging.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, I'd be mighty peeved. Unless the GM also comes back with a "But divine favor resurrects your corpse to its full faculties" or some s+#! and he says "I just wanted to see the look on your face!".

Then I'd laugh.


This is why spellcasters shouldn't get any other nice things. That just means next time you should play a spellcaster and level him up so he can do that same strategy to the DM.

You have to remember that the spell works both ways, my friend. Just give a taste of their own medicine, and you'll have an equal amount of vengeance dealt with.

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

At what level? I mean at a certain point "Meh, i was dead but i got better" is part of the game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Is it a legitimate spell? Is the campaign at a high enough level that it is fair game? Could your character or someone in your party cast the same spell?

If so then you can get your butt raised as quickly as you got slayed. So no.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Not if we were playing in a game where instant death was expected from time to time. It wouldnt be my default assumption though - i think such campaigns should be flagged as such, so you know what youre getting into.

I died a half dozen times in the tomb of horrors and it was expected. Going in you didnt spend a lot of time crafting a complicated backstory. It would bug me in a paizo AP, though.

Shadow Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No. Thems the breaks.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Having your long time character suddenly snuffed out by a Power Word: Kill spell from the GM? No save, no chance to avoid. Nothing. Just an unceremonious collapse unto death in front of "Enemy Spellcaster A."

Nope, but I have been under some brutal GM's. With that aside, if the group's playstyle is not normally like that, then I understand why a player would be upset. Changing up like that is not a good look to most most people.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sure, I'd be pissed. If I really dug my character, I'd be very upset.

But not at the GM, unless it was completely out of left field, like he hit you when you were potion shopping.

I think it's good to like your characters so much you don't wan them to die, and get a bit upset if they do. But it's a story, and people die in stories...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ravingdork wrote:
Having your long time character suddenly snuffed out by a Power Word: Kill spell from the GM? No save, no chance to avoid. Nothing. Just an unceremonious collapse unto death in front of "Enemy Spellcaster A."

It shouldn't give you a pissed off feeling... it should make you feel relieved. Never again will you need to play with that particular GM.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Given that it's a ninth level spell and requires you to be at 100 hp or less or it just fizzles, I would probably recognize more as a danger at that point. By the time you're usually facing those levels of spells ressing tends to be fairly regular. If dropped on a low level party for no reason then yes I would take issue.

Layout and Design, Frog God Games

Are you fighting Orcus?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is this hypothetical or did that happen to your character? If so, maybe you should ask yourself "What have I been doing as player to irritate my dm to the point where he would do that to me?" I mean if your face to face play style is anything like your online posting style then I would imagine that kind of thing happens to your characters nearly every session.

Of course the spell is in the core rules of the game. Players use it, so therefore dms can use it. Maybe you should direct your rage towards the developers for making such an unfun spell part of the game's core rules- not that you are actually annoyed (or even suggested you were), you're just trying to stir the pot, which is cool if that's your thing, and you have proven time and again it is.

It should also be noted that you can bounce back from it with a raise dead spell, and you could have avoided it with a death ward spell. You could also avoid it by playing 4E where they got rid of most that sort of thing (I speak blasphemy).

As a player I wouldn't really care because it's just a game, and I can always bring in a new character. S~&$ happens. PCs die. Maybe said player had some really weird munchkin abomination that the dm just couldn't resist nuking...

Osirion

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Its all good until the GM starts singing...you know, ala Goose and Maverick....

"....You've lost....that living feeling.....whoa that living feeling...You've lost that living feeling now you're gone...gone...gone...whoa-whoa whoa...dah dum...ba dum, dum dum...."

Then you can nerdrage and facepunch to your hearts content.


Without the deatails there is not much to say in this thread.


22 people marked this as a favorite.

I have had it happen.

We had a DM that would unfairly kill people. This would happene frequently with no save, or give crazy DCs that were not possible.

He made a campaign he spent many hours making maps and such. He wanted us to make characters with impressive storylines and back stories and go through this huge adventure. Of the 6 of us he killed 2 after the first serious fight at level 1, and had them rerolling characters.

My character was Gerrod the farmer. He is adventuring so he can afford his own farm. Well the first cache of gold got me 105 gold pieices. I retired and opened a chicken farm.

He was so furious he never playted with us again.

Shadow Lodge

Brilliant, sir. Just brilliant.

Cheliax

What Caius said.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I had a dm like that too. His name was Gary something. Gary Gygax if I recall correctly. We were in this place called the Tomb of Horrors and there was this green face on a wall...

Finlanderboy wrote:

I have had it happen.

We had a DM that would unfairly kill people. This would happene frequently with no save, or give crazy DCs that were not possible.

He made a campaign he spent many hours making maps and such. He wanted us to make characters with impressive storylines and back stories and go through this huge adventure. Of the 6 of us he killed 2 after the first serious fight at level 1, and had them rerolling characters.

My character was Gerrod the farmer. He is adventuring so he can afford his own farm. Well the first cache of gold got me 105 gold pieices. I retired and opened a chicken farm.

He was so furious he never playted with us again.

Shadow Lodge

18 people marked this as a favorite.
CyderGnome wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Having your long time character suddenly snuffed out by a Power Word: Kill spell from the GM? No save, no chance to avoid. Nothing. Just an unceremonious collapse unto death in front of "Enemy Spellcaster A."
It shouldn't give you a pissed off feeling... it should make you feel relieved. Never again will you need to play with that particular GM.

G#$&*$n it, REALLY? You're gonna write off a GM just because he used a spell that the party's caster probably spams like it's going out of style?

I've got news for you, the spell list isn't divided into sections for PCs and NPCs. What's fair for the goose is fair for the gander.

G&%$$+n, I get the feeling some of you guys run away screaming if your 20th level characters encounter anything above a CR 5 challenge.


This all kinda depends. If you're like level 7, it's more of a "rocks fall" scenario and yeah, I'd be pissed. On the other hand if your group is level 15 and you're in a showdown with the level 17 BBEG wizard... well, then all's fair, right?


Your characters death should be in some way your fault. Killing someone is a descriptive text is just rude. There should be some mistake that the character should be able to eventually deduce that was their mistake. If you are going to finisht he campaign by killing their character is the onyl exception I see to this.


Finlanderboy wrote:
Your characters death should be in some way your fault. Killing someone is a descriptive text is just rude. There should be some mistake that the character should be able to eventually deduce that was their mistake. If you are going to finisht he campaign by killing their character is the onyl exception I see to this.

Does going into a dungeon count as a mistake?

How about rolling a 1?

I think there are lots of situations where characters are going to die for no real tactical error. Adventuring is dangerous and the dice aren't always kind. At least when there is no save, you can't really be mad at the dice for letting you down.


To make angry a high level wizardwith a low level Pc should be counted as a mistake.(if that was the case)


If you put yourself in a situation there is a 5% chance of death and are aware of that then yes. If you take the risk to fight and the dice go against you, it is your fault. If your DM puts you in a bar and gave you no chice of positioning yourself or preparing yourself for a save that could kill you it is poor DMing.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I would not be too fussed, upset yes, but more at myself.

What level are the PC's, if they don't have access to resurrection (either through party power, or wealth) then it is a little unfair.

Otherwise it is par the course.

Though remember that a lot of things like land, marriage and inheritance are based on till death so dying can raise some interesting questions.

I have a standing rule that any character who can't afford to be resurrected or does not have the spell power at hand can be brought back from the dead by the gods.

Now this is usually at a greater cost than if done by normal means, and usually involves person quests for the god in question, relating to the reason they died, and what that god's portfolio was.

As an example: a player in one of my games (his first tabletop) found his character married off in the first session with the wife being killed overnight by the local bad guy. This was a plot point to engage the party as they were invested in the wedding as we roleplayed it happening.

Then chasing the bad guy to his lair, the players character was death touched and died as a result. All in the first session.

So the gods intervened and brought him back with the task of resurrecting his wife. Unfortunately her soul had been stolen by a fiend and became the focus of the character from then onwards.

64 sessions later (4 years real time playing 3.5), at level 36 he managed to wrestle her spirit from Orcus himself and the campaign ended on a high note.

So while death sucks, its how the players and GM's handle it in game that matter.

And adding quests for resurrection can be fun :)

Also having players create a will for their characters before starting a campaign and pulling it out when they die, and having NPC's trying to enforce their wishes adds alot of RP opportunities.


Horbagh wrote:
This all kinda depends. If you're like level 7, it's more of a "rocks fall" scenario and yeah, I'd be pissed. On the other hand if your group is level 15 and you're in a showdown with the level 17 BBEG wizard... well, then all's fair, right?

Yeah, context matters a lot. Also the question of whether it's perma-death or you just get raised after the fight.


It all depends on the context.

Is the GM just a jerk and killed you because he felt like it? Yes, you should be upset and you avoid being in a game with him ever again.

Were YOU the jerk and the GM killed you because you were a jerk? No, you brought this on yourself, you jerk.


Finlanderboy wrote:
Your characters death should be in some way your fault. Killing someone is a descriptive text is just rude. There should be some mistake that the character should be able to eventually deduce that was their mistake. If you are going to finisht he campaign by killing their character is the onyl exception I see to this.

The player would also have had to allow his hit points to get low enough for the spell to work. The NPC caster just took advantage of your situation, just as if you had rolled a nat one and died from a fingre of death spell.


Maybe said character had some sweet swag and the players secretly bribed the dm to kill the character so they could take it for themselves. Power Word kill won't destroy your gear!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Ravingdork: more detail please.

Was this part of a level appropriate encounter, or were you low level?

Were you innocently minding your own business, or were you towel-flicking his love spuds, metaphorically speaking?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Finlanderboy wrote:
Your characters death should be in some way your fault. Killing someone is a descriptive text is just rude. There should be some mistake that the character should be able to eventually deduce that was their mistake. If you are going to finisht he campaign by killing their character is the onyl exception I see to this.

The question here is: Was there any information available leading up to that encounter that might have suggested that casting a few defensive spells might have helped (Death Ward would have allowed you a save, and Spell Resistance would have also have provided you with some protection).

It's a nasty thing to do, but if there were clues (and maybe a few scrolls) left about that would suggest this could happen, then you could have taken some steps to protect yourselves before entering the encounter.


Context matters.

If you're at an appropriate level for facing an enemy that can cast 9th level spells, then them's the breaks.

If not, there might be reason to be somewhat upset, but still, context matters.


I'd be angry, but...

It's perfectly legal within the rules. If you fall under the hit point cap, you die, no save.

There's all kinds of ways for a DM to screw someone over. Perhaps in retaliation for Scry/Buff/Teleport tactics. Or perhaps you missed a clue. Or perhaps you have a killer DM and should find a new one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dude there are no more details, it's just a hypothetical post intended to stir the pot. That's how he rolls.

Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

@Ravingdork: more detail please.

Was this part of a level appropriate encounter, or were you low level?

Were you innocently minding your own business, or were you towel-flicking his love spuds, metaphorically speaking?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

RD says he is always clear about when his post are hypothetical and when they are real. We shall we which one this falls into when he responds again. For now there is no point in debating the point until he give more info on this real or false scenario. :)


Unless you want to make up your own scenarios to give it context. That can be fun:

"So I built this feral template thri-kreen barbarian, fighter, druid to go with my fellow party of all humans in our urban mystery campaign, and we were sneaking up on the arch-villain's lair when I decided (against the advice of my fellow party members) to charge through the front door in my rage so that I could land a 6 arm pounce power attack on him, but he had this delayed Power Word Kill spell ready that nuked me with no save. I'm so pissed."


or "An hour before game time, I was getting busy with the dm's wife. She happened to text him and tell him in the middle of the session. Suddenly this wizard showed up and out of no where threw a power word kill spell down on my beloved character. I'm so pissed!"

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Having your long time character suddenly snuffed out by a Power Word: Kill spell from the GM? No save, no chance to avoid. Nothing. Just an unceremonious collapse unto death in front of "Enemy Spellcaster A."

Why should it? There are tons of ways to be one shotted in this game and most other roleplaying games. You can have a fighter cleave you in half with a critted power attack, you can have a mountain fall on you, Sudden Death can always be a real possibility.

You either put on your grownup pants and deal with it, or go play a video game where you can always respawn when you die.


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I suppose it depends on the word. I mean, I'd be annoyed if my character dropped to "Pasketti!" or some silly baby talk. Something cool like "Havok!" or "Exsanguinate!" wouldn't bother me.


Getting victimized by that spell is pretty far down on the list of mean things a GM can do to a PC.

Back when I played D&D, I'd take having PW:K cast on my low-hp character long before I'd ever want to see that other 9th level spell - the most feared, terrifying spell in the game before Pathfinder nerfed it - cast on any of my characters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
RD says he is always clear about when his post are hypothetical and when they are real. We shall we which one this falls into when he responds again. For now there is no point in debating the point until he give more info on this real or false scenario. :)

Ask and you shall receive.

CONTEXT
Scenario: Hypothetical PC/NPC battle (not a "murder in the market" as it were)
Level: Low enough that the party doesn't have 8th-level spells, much less 9th-level spells; coming back from the dead possible, but costly or otherwise highly inconvenient
Enemy: Generic spellcaster (of the faceless stormtrooper variety) with a scroll, not the BBEG and not high enough to cast 9th-level spells in his own right

LazarX wrote:
There probably is no information to get, This is most likely yet another [one of his posts] where he's figured out another topic guaranteed to [start an interesting discussion]. From what I can see RD spends far more time theorycrafting and building his dream batch leveled concept characters than actually playing.

Fixed it for you.

If things are going well, I get about one game and one new pre-made character (which is unlikely to ever see play) each week. So, yeah, it's fair to say I spend more time on these forums than in games. I imagine most people on here fall into that category. :P


Ravingdork wrote:

Scenario: Hypothetical PC/NPC battle (not a "murder in the market" as it were)

Level: Low enough that the party doesn't have 8th-level spells, much less 9th-level spells; coming back from the dead possible, but costly or otherwise highly inconvenient
Enemy: Generic spellcaster (of the faceless stormtrooper variety) with a scroll, not the BBEG and not high enough to cast 9th-level spells in his own right

Yes, this would piss me off. However, if the GM fiat murder were corrected with a GM fiat resurrection, and the whole scenario fed a plot of some kind, I'd get over it real quick.


There is likely a roll involved then, as the NPC would need to make a caster check to a 9th spell off from the scroll. There would be a real possibility of him failing to cast the scroll, so it's not a guaranteed kill for the gm.


In a situation where my character is confronted with a power word kill, I would expect that either I was aware of my adversary having that ability and had prepared the best defense against it that I could (such as spell turning, high spell resistance, an anti-magic field, or even a combo of improved dispel and greater dispel magic or contingency to help mitigate the spell), or that I would have an easy way to "shrug off" the effect of the spell (such as a friendly cleric willing to bring me back, or well over 100 hit points and immunity to the spell).

Worst case scenario, I had opportunity to prepare myself against my opponent's capabilities and failed to do so, meaning the death is my own fault.

...and if none of that is the case and I've just been the target of a "randomly a wizard you never heard of even though he is better at magic than you assassinates you with a single spell you can't defend against" from my GM, I stand up, say "Thanks, but no thanks," and walk away from the game I am unable to enjoy.

Note: I assume I would have knowledge of my opponent or immunity to the spell by the time it shows up in game because I only play one of two types of characters-scholarly wizards (who should know what they are up against) and fighters of legendary prowess (who hit 100 hit points about 3 or 4 levels before that spell starts coming their way)


Hmm...maybe this theoretical character / party should invest in a wand of Death Ward.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

A scroll of instant death? Kind of like fighting 20 kobold adepts with 20 wands of lightning bolt with 1 charge each. Weak sauce.

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