Power Word Spells: Lore of the First Language (PFRPG) PDF

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Welcome to Power Word Spells: Lore of the First Language, the latest product in the new Super Genius Presents line of books!

Power word spells are one of the most interesting elements of the “assumed setting” described by the rules of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. Though the power word spells do not have any description of how and why they are different from other spells, both their naming convention (each being “power word” and then a single action or condition) and their unique game mechanics make it clear they are a different kind of magic.

It’s also clear that while power words are enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting], they aren’t limited to forcing a target to do something normally within the power of its conscious mind. There’s no rule to suggest that characters can willingly go blind, become stunned, or kill themselves by will alone, yet the power word spells produce those effects. These are, on the other hand, the kinds of things that adventure fiction suggests that a creature’s mind can do to itself subconsciously, either as a hypnotic suggestion or as result of trauma. Much as a creature can faint if sufficiently surprised or suffer hysterical blindness if subject to sufficient trauma, power words seem to be able to call upon the powers of the mind to do things beyond conscious control.

When considered from the perspective of adventure and fantasy fiction, it becomes reasonable to wonder what else power words can do. In the expanded spells below, the power of the mind to control the body is expanded to include spontaneous combustion, loss of senses, and potentially permanent changes of alignment and memory. While these are beyond the scope of most enchantment spells, they are certainly no less reasonable than suggesting a creature can will itself to drop dead, as power word kill does.

So, what makes power words different from other spells? Why do they focus their power into a single word that affects the minds of their targets, but don’t even need to be heard to be effective? To answer those questions we first take an in-depth look at what we can learn from power word spells’ unique rules, then present a new game element—the First Language.

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Lovely idea but has some real issues.

3/5

I love the idea of Power Word spells. I think this work was put together with a lot of thought and I think affection for the concept but there is a real issue with what has been presented here.

The Good: New spells. Lots of them. New feats, some nice ones that build upon each other and let the player create a very textured and thematic character.

The Bad: The mechanics in the concept.

One of the issues with many offensive wizard/sorcerer spells is that they become effectively worthless. They only advance so far with their damage dealing and it's a terrible idea to restrict yourself to a spell that does 4d6 damage and never anymore once you've passed a certain level.

Even with two feats dedicated to bumping up the hit-point range that these spells impact each and every spell in this list will become absolutely worthless to a mage after he passes them by a couple of levels. The spells won't be worthwhile until well into battle, often to the point where the defeat of the adversary is pretty much a given.

So a wizard or sorcerer really trying to follow this theme is going to end up with a decent chunk of their spell selection moldering on the shelf, never to be cast again.


Potentially paradigm-changing pdf of brilliant spells

5/5

This pdf is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 13 pages of content, so let's check this out!

There's an inherent power in language, as any gamer can attest - words can not only change our perspective, they can create worlds in our imaginations and ruin and save people, relationships and even spark wars, as some of the darker chapters in our history have shown.

In fantasy gaming, especially with the 3.5-tradition, words have a more immediate power - in this supplement, an explanation is given by assuming that once a primal language was used to structure the universe and that, while diminished in power, in word spells some components of this power yet remain.

Word-spells...well, last session, I had an eye-opening encounter: One of my high-level clerics obliterated a whole squad of elite assassins (sans the two leaders) with holy word. No saves. SR and Hit points, that's it. Now, all standard power word-spells belong to the higher levels. How then, are these balanced at lower levels? Simple and yet brilliant - reduce the number of hit points and offer less debilitating conditions.

Thus, this pdf e.g. introduces level 1 spells like power word dazzle or power word fascinate - this changes the basic assumptions of encounters quite a bit, favoring groups over individual combatants. It's probably this consideration and potential tactics paradigm shift a GM as to take into account that made this release under the "SGG presents"-banner. Advice on how to deal with it etc. is also provided. A total of 20 power-word spells are presented.

The pdf also 7 new feats - from ones that increase the threshold of hp you can affect with your power words to the ability to swap prepared spells for power word spells or cast them with metamagic without increasing casting time if you're a spontaneous caster and even sue lower level power words as spell-like abilities.

Spell-lists for all the arcane classes are covered, since the power words are generally considered to be rather arcane.

The pdf ends with the new logos domain, which grants massive power-word access to divine casters so inclined.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 2-column standard of the product line and once, again, the cover is awesome - I wish a version without borders were included in the deal. The pdf comes fully bookmarked. Owen K.C. Stephens is a master of crunch and its balance and errs on the side of awesome and awesome this truly is - SGG is best in my opinion when they push the boundaries of what can be done with the rules and this humble supplement of spells is plain awesomeness - scarcely does one see a small pdf that might provide such a potential paradigm-shift in tactics. Even better, the pdf's content can rather easily be restricted and shelled out in small increments if you're wary of such changes. This supplement pushes boundaries in all the right ways, is brave, smart and balanced - I love it. After the stellar offering by Argonax's magic, power words make for the second definite winner in this awesome product line. Innovation of this caliber is almost compulsory in its necessity of being recommended and thus, my final verdict will be 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


So sayeth he....so shall it be done....

5/5

With a weight of 15 pages (cover and OGL eating two of those) this PDF starts us out with an absolutely gorgeous cover piece of art from Lin Bo. The iconography of this cover piece definitely convey the sense of ancient secrets of power. Internally, the artwork is B&W, with pieces ranging from good to OK. This PDF continues a new look from the SGG camp for layout, going with a full page cover and dual column with embedded artwork formatting approach. Editing and spelling both appeared to be excellent, nothing really jumped out and caught my attention.

Building an entirely new game mechanic, and form of magic, from three spells essentially would be daunting to say the least. It's not like there was truly a lot there to establish a ground work to build on, nothing established and accepted anyway. And yet, that's exactly what has been done here, and done in a logical, clear and understandable manner. The flow of thought behind the choices make sense, utilizing what could easily have been a game unbalancing element with an impressive precision, a more scalpel approach as opposed to the sword. What we end up with is essentially the first spoken language holding within the sound of the words the power of perfection, in that these are the terms that originally defined the universe, and all within it, before the many races and beings diluted the language down into their own tongues. An entire language that reverberated with power through those who spoke it. As time marched on this language lost a great deal of its inner power due to it no longer being the pinnacle of definition for reality, but it still operates perfectly as a form of channeling mystic powers into a clear and precise singular thought.

Introducing 7 new feats all tied to the concept of learning and exploring more of the First Language, we are given:
First Language Syntax - increasing the hp categories of your power words by a percentage, and a Greater variety of same feat.
Heighten Power Word - increase the effective level of your Power Word spells, thereby increasing the hp maximums.
Lore of the First Language – read magic at will as well as communicate in any language.
Master of the First Language – Swap prepared spells for power word spellslingers
Speaker of the First Language – power word spell as a spell like ability
Split Word – two targets with one power word spell, splitting the effect between them.

What book on a new avenue of magic to explore would be complete without new spells, Owen was kind enough to give us 20 within this collection, and I personally am hoping to see a Bullet Point at least giving us a few more. Bards, the Magus, Sorcerers, Wizards, and Witches all see new spells added to their lists with this set, with a great deal of overlap (obviously). Not wanting to go through the entire list and ruin the book for you, we'll pick out a few choice samples, such as Power Word Mute, Frighten, Combust, Inspire and Bleed. The mechanics for each operate as the original three, targeting a specific range determined by the targets current hp total at the casting of the spell. And yes, we now have Power Word options all the way down to level 1 spells, with Dazzle, Fascinate and Hesitate. Spells are presented in standard class listings followed by full definitions. Contained within the spell descriptions is a ¾ page discussion on the issue of balance, and what had to be considered and weighed with the design of these spells, as the issue of balancing a body of spells with no saves is a concern, and done wrong, could destroy a game. I'll tell you this much, the argument put forth within this discussion makes some very good points that put the power word spells in a different light by comparing them to the spells they share levels with, and the circumstances under which they must be used or simply not have the desired effects.

Finishing out with a new treat for clerical types, the Logos Domain draws upon the primal power of the First Language, with a domain spell list taken from the collection of twenty new spells. Along with the spell list, Logos followers receive three domain powers (based upon level) such as bonus languages from Wisdom as well as Intelligence, with no limit on languages to choose from. Voice of Power allows for a swift action casting of a power word spell, and Power Word Command – acting as a the command spell. It should be noted that only through this domain do clerical types have any access to these additional power word spells.

Final thoughts, this is the type of book I love to see design wise. Taking something small, but iconic, from the accepted collective that we all know and have fond memories of utilizing and being victimized by throughout the years, and expanding it to allow for so much more. The idea of specialists comes to mind instantly, and I can only hope the Geniuses are contemplating along those very same lines (if not someone else...hint..hint). Is there potential for mass abuse and game breaking mechanics? Sure. There was in Ultimate Combat and the APG also. Any playgroup can tear down the system if you let them, which is why it is up to a GM to control the flow of new material, and take the initiative to introduce ideas properly. This is one of those ideas that is worth that introduction, as there are some truly cool ideas contained within the simplicity of the power words. And besides, who doesn't want to field a spell chucker with an arsenal of power that requires not but one word to unleash?

Final rating can be no less than a 5 for this, as my only complaint is that I want more. An archetype, more spells, perhaps even a bloodline...there is so much here to work with.


In the beginning was the Word

5/5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the gods, and the Word was Theirs. They were with the gods in the beginning. Through them all things were made; without them nothing was made that has been made. In them was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

I don't write reviews from the standpoint of a reviewer. I write them from the standpoint of a GM and player. I'll let others write about the technical aspects.

This is one of the things I have always enjoyed, spells that are simple commands but have great power. When I first downloaded it I was looking to see the 20 spells promised and a few feats. What I got was the history of the First Language along with the spells, feats, and a domain. As a bonus, Mr Stephens added a bloodline to the message boards just because we thought it would be fun.

I spent a week adding the files to Hero Lab and I have to say that I can see how balanced everything is. There is a sidebar (actually a whole page) dedicated to explaining how to balance these types of spells.

In case you were worried that you might not be able to affect tough creatures because of hit point caps on the spells, have no fear, there are three feats that address that concern. If you wanted to see if you can affect two creatures at once? No problem. There's a feat for that too.

There are seven feats, 20 spells, and one domain to make your characters One with the Word.


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Contributor

Now available!

Scarab Sages

The second Super Genius Presents book is now available: Power Word Spells: Lore of the First Language. This product explores what makes power word spells (power word blind, power word stun, and power word kill) different from other spells, and presents the idea of a First Language, a potent ur-tongue from which all other language eventually evolved.

The product includes:
What Makes Power Words Different?
A discussion of how power words work, and what that means about their nature.
The First Language
Introduction of a new element for a campaign, the mythic First Language, from which power word spells come.
New Feats
New feats focused on power words and mastery of The First Language
First Language Syntax
Greater First Language Syntax
Heighten Power Word
Lore of the First Language
Master of the First Language
Speaker of the First Language
Split Word
New Power Word Spells
1st-Level Spells
Power Word Dazzle
Power Word Fascinate
Power Word Hesitate

2nd-Level Spells
Power Word Combust
Power Word Decelerate
Power Word Trip

3rd-Level Spells
Power Word Bleed
Power Word Inspire
Power Word Sicken

4th-Level Spells
Power Word Burden
Power Word Frighten
Power Word Mute

5th-Level Spells
Power Word Beguile
Power Word Deafen
Power Word Weary

6th-Level Spells
Power Word Stagger
Power Word Surprise

7th-Level Spells
Power Word Daze
8th-Level Spells
Power Word Confuse
9th-Level Spells
Power Word Nauseate


Mew power words? Are they in the language of the Catfolk? ;-)P
All joking aside..I have been waiting for a product like this for ages. Thanks!

Scarab Sages

Blackerose wrote:

Mew power words? Are they in the language of the Catfolk? ;-)P

All joking aside..I have been waiting for a product like this for ages. Thanks!

See, this is why my actual game products get an outside editor...

Fixed, and I hope you like it!

Scarab Sages

Liz Courts wrote:
Now available!

Thanks, Liz!


Must own...must wait until payday...it's only one day...I have been wanting to play a character that has mastered spells like this. Now do decide if he's going to be a sorcerer or wizard. I'm leaning toward sorcerer.

Dark Archive

Can't wait to check this out! Darn that lack of free time!


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Actually, the timing on this is perfect. Debating on an Eldrtich Godling character with something unique in their spells, looks like I found it! Now to get the DM to approve it. LOL.

Scarab Sages

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Must own...must wait until payday...it's only one day...I have been wanting to play a character that has mastered spells like this.

We have considered the slogan "Super Genius Games: Reading Your Mind Since 2009!" But we decided it was a bit creepy. :)

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Now do decide if he's going to be a sorcerer or wizard. I'm leaning toward sorcerer.

There is definitely a very interesting style difference between power word-heavy sorcerers, and pw-heavy wizards. Sorcerers, with their limited spells known, can end up being the coup de grace kings, able to bring nearly any fight to a close 1 or 2 rounds early, but often struggling early in a fight because most of their options depend on a target having low hit points. (In fights with lots of flunkies, they often become snipers, eliminating 1 target at a time).

Wizards, I found, generally just prepare 1 pw spell per level, but also become encouraged to pick up blasting spells again. Suddenly dishing out hit hp damage becomes step 1 or a 2-step tactic, and they don't *need* to dish it out faster than warriors to take advantage of their own blaster spells.


So...Power Word bloodline? :D

Scarab Sages

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
So...Power Word bloodline? :D

That's a GREAT idea!

How about this?

True Speaker Bloodline
A powerful user of Power Words, and master of the First Language, existed somewhere in your ancestry. So great was his mastery of the power words of the First Language that mystic echoes of his superior use of power words reverberate still, in your arcane powers.
Class Skill: Linguistics
Bonus Spells: power word dazzle* (3rd), power word decelerate* (5th), power word sicken* (7th), power word burden* (9th), power word deafen* (11th), power word stagger* (13th), power word blind (15th), power word stun (17th), power word kill (19th).
*Indicates a new spell presented in Super Genius Presents: Power Word Spells, Lore of the First Language
Bonus Feats: First Language Syntax*, Greater First Language Syntax*, Heighten Power Word*, Lore of the First Language*, Master of the First Language*, Speaker of the First Language*, Split Word*.
*Indicates a new feat presented in Super Genius Presents: Power Word Spells, Lore of the First Language
[b]Bloodline Arcana:[b] Whenever you cast a spell with Verbal components, and no other components, you add your Charisma bonus to your caster level when determining the spell's range.
Life Sense (Su): Your strong ties to the lifeforce-targeting abilities of power word spells allows you to easily judge a creature's remaining hit points. As a move action you can make a Heal or Perception check against any creature you can see to determine its remaining hit points. The DC of this check is 10 + (creature's CR). This check is rolled in secret by the GM. If you miss the check by 5 or more, there is a 25% chance you seriously misjudge the creature's hit points, gaining an answer that is 50% too low, or 100% too high.
Polyglot (Su): At 3rd level, you can understand any form of speech or writing with a successful DC 15 Linguistics check, and may speak or write in any language with a DC 20 Linguistics check.
Arcane Word (Su): At ninth level, your mastery of the magic of words expands you spellcasting options. Select one 1st-level bard, cleric, or witch spell than is language dependent. You gain this as a bonus spell known, and treat it as a sorcerer spell. You may select an additional spell of this type that is 1st or 2nd level at 13th level, and one that is 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at 17th level.
Echoing Word (Su): At 15th level, once per day when you target a creature with a power word spell, and the spell has no affect at all on the target, you may select a new target for the spell as a swift action.
One With the Word (Su): At 20th level you become one with the first Language. You gain telepathy that allows you to communicate with any creature with an Int of 1 or higher within 100 feet. Your language-dependent spells function on any creature with an Int of 1 or higher. You are also forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the your type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects.


That is Awesome.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The main suggestion I would have is instead of learning the hit points, you learn if a power word spell of your choice would work. Less metagame info revealed that way :)

Super Genius Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
That is Awesome.

There's a reason he's a Genius. ;)


R. Hyrum Savage wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
That is Awesome.
There's a reason he's a Genius. ;)

And he shows that reason with every release!


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
So...Power Word bloodline? :D

That's a GREAT idea!

How about this?

True Speaker Bloodline
A powerful user of Power Words, and master of the First Language, existed somewhere in your ancestry. So great was his mastery of the power words of the First Language that mystic echoes of his superior use of power words reverberate still, in your arcane powers.
Class Skill: Linguistics
Bonus Spells: power word dazzle* (3rd), power word decelerate* (5th), power word sicken* (7th), power word burden* (9th), power word deafen* (11th), power word stagger* (13th), power word blind (15th), power word stun (17th), power word kill (19th).
*Indicates a new spell presented in Super Genius Presents: Power Word Spells, Lore of the First Language
Bonus Feats: First Language Syntax*, Greater First Language Syntax*, Heighten Power Word*, Lore of the First Language*, Master of the First Language*, Speaker of the First Language*, Split Word*.
*Indicates a new feat presented in Super Genius Presents: Power Word Spells, Lore of the First Language
Bloodline Arcana:[b] Whenever you cast a spell with Verbal components, and no other components, you add your Charisma bonus to your caster level when determining the spell's range.
Life Sense (Su): Your strong ties to the lifeforce-targeting abilities of power word spells allows you to easily judge a creature's remaining hit points. As a move action you can make a Heal or Perception check against any creature you can see to determine its remaining hit points. The DC of this check is 10 + (creature's CR). This check is rolled in secret by the GM. If you miss the check by 5 or more, there is a 25% chance you seriously misjudge the creature's hit points, gaining an answer that is 50% too low, or 100% too high.
Polyglot (Su): At
[/b]...

Now to get all this into Hero Lab and convince my GM that your stuff should be allowed in the upcoming game. He's not leery about 3pp stuff. He's leery about 3pp stuff in my hands.

Scarab Sages

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Now to get all this into Hero Lab and convince my GM that your stuff should be allowed in the upcoming game. He's not leery about 3pp stuff. He's leery about 3pp stuff in my hands.

If you want, you can tell him that if he has any problems with your character, I'll be happy to point out your weaknesses, and what other stuff from the same product can be used to destroy you.

You know... if you think that'd help. :D


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Now to get all this into Hero Lab and convince my GM that your stuff should be allowed in the upcoming game. He's not leery about 3pp stuff. He's leery about 3pp stuff in my hands.

If you want, you can tell him that if he has any problems with your character, I'll be happy to point out your weaknesses, and what other stuff from the same product can be used to destroy you.

You know... if you think that'd help. :D

He's going to look it over before he decides. He wanted to keep things with just Core then I reminded him he's going to have a magus and an inquisitor and he approved a fighter archetype from Ultimate Combat. He's going to be running Serpents Skull and is a bit concerned that my experience with gaming will make it more challenging for him.

I think I can convince him to allow it on a provisional basis. I can also tell him to come here and ask for ways to stop my character. I don't think I'd be any more powerful than any other caster, just very focused. Sometimes that can be a bad thing.

Once I get it all in Hero Lab, I can send you a copy if you would like. It's going to take me a little while though. I get bored entering data so it takes me longer than normal.

Scarab Sages

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
He's going to look it over before he decides. He wanted to keep things with just Core then I reminded him he's going to have a magus and an inquisitor and he approved a fighter archetype from Ultimate Combat. He's going to be running Serpents Skull and is a bit concerned that my experience with gaming will make it more challenging for him.

It will, or course. So... be gentle?

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I think I can convince him to allow it on a provisional basis. I can also tell him to come here and ask for ways to stop my character. I don't think I'd be any more powerful than any other caster, just very focused. Sometimes that can be a bad thing.

Focus is a two-edged sword, yes. Seriously, if he gets flustered, have him ask me directly on Facebook or something. I'm a very hands-on designer. :)

Once I get it all in Hero Lab, I can send you a copy if you would like. It's going to take me a little while though. I get bored entering data so it takes me longer than normal.

I'll absolutely want to see it. I'll pass it along to John Halpin once you;re done!


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
He's going to look it over before he decides. He wanted to keep things with just Core then I reminded him he's going to have a magus and an inquisitor and he approved a fighter archetype from Ultimate Combat. He's going to be running Serpents Skull and is a bit concerned that my experience with gaming will make it more challenging for him.
It will, or course. So... be gentle?

Gentle? Never! I haven't been a player in a campaign in over 20 years and I've never had the opportunity to play a character from 1st level to the maximum for the game. I've primarily GMed for 30+ years. I just realized I've GMed longer than he's been alive. Maybe I should be a little gentle.

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I think I can convince him to allow it on a provisional basis. I can also tell him to come here and ask for ways to stop my character. I don't think I'd be any more powerful than any other caster, just very focused. Sometimes that can be a bad thing.
Focus is a two-edged sword, yes. Seriously, if he gets flustered, have him ask me directly on Facebook or something. I'm a very hands-on designer. :)

I mentioned that he should friend you on Facebook. I also told him that you are often here to answer any questions and provide advice.

I'll absolutely want to see it. I'll pass it along to John Halpin once you;re done!

I'll get crackin!

Scarab Sages

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I just realized I've GMed longer than he's been alive. Maybe I should be a little gentle.

You think? I mean, you have more experience with, well, everything than he does. :D

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I mentioned that he should friend you on Facebook. I also told him that you are often here to answer any questions and provide advice.

QFT


2 people marked this as a favorite.

HEY!! How come I didn't make the cut?! What are you tryin' to say, here, Stephens? Huh?

Let's have it out. Right here, right now. You and me, mano e mano, zipper vs. zipper-undoing-dweomer. I guarantee you'll be caught with your pants down, sir.

;D

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Power Word Unzip wrote:
HEY!! How come I didn't make the cut?! What are you tryin' to say, here, Stephens? Huh?

A thousand apologies, good sir! My intern goblins, responsible for bringing me lists of appropriate power word candidates, never even showed me your resume. It is an oversight of the highest villainy!

Power Word Unzip wrote:
Let's have it out. Right here, right now. You and me, mano e mano, zipper vs. zipper-undoing-dweomer. I guarantee you'll be caught with your pants down, sir.

No need, I assure you! Instead, let's just add you, here, as a bit of "bonus" material, shall we?

Power Word Unzip
School enchantment (compulsion) [joke, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 3, bard 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one living creature with 45 hp or less
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

You utter a single word of power that instantly causes on piece of clothing (including magic clothing, such as magic boots and gloves, but not a shield or armor of any kind) to completely unzip, untie, and unlace itself and fall off one creature of your choice, whether the creature can hear the word or not. Any creature that currently has 46 or more hit points is unaffected by power word unzip.


Mr Stephens I sent you a copy of the Hero Lab files I created. As a bonus, I added the bloodline as well.


A spellcaster that uses the Lore of the First Language feat should definitely consider using the Scrollmaster archetype from Ultimate Magic. If you can read magic at will, you might as well bring something to read (and fight with!)


I think that a read of the Kate Daniels series would provide a really interesting way to flavor this. Merely seeing a new word of the first language provokes a struggle to master it (that could mean you down on the ground screaming -- and that's if you succeed). But then speaking a single word has immense power, since its primal nature reshapes reality.


Some of those sorcerer bloodline abilities might also be useful to adapt as abilities for a focused arcane school (as per Advanced Player's Guide) that allows an enchanter to specialize in power words.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Power Word Unzip

School enchantment (compulsion) [joke, mind-affecting]; Level antipaladin 3, bard 3, sorcerer/wizard 3, witch 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one living creature with 45 hp or less
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

You utter a single word of power that instantly causes on piece of clothing (including magic clothing, such as magic boots and gloves, but not a shield or armor of any kind) to completely unzip, untie, and unlace itself and fall off one creature of your choice, whether the creature can hear the word or not. Any creature that currently has 46 or more hit points is unaffected by power word unzip.

This is very reminiscient of a Bard Spell from 1001 Spells called Pants. Don't recall the level offhand (the book is at home), but the spell drops the target's pants around his/her ankles.


Pants is a cantrip that can be fixed with a move action.

Scarab Sages

Many thanks to General Dorsey for the review!

Scarab Sages

Fredrik wrote:
I think that a read of the Kate Daniels series would provide a really interesting way to flavor this. Merely seeing a new word of the first language provokes a struggle to master it (that could mean you down on the ground screaming -- and that's if you succeed). But then speaking a single word has immense power, since its primal nature reshapes reality.

I've also seen some Skyrim fans talk about how much it links with new character ideas they recently developed.

I think one of the reasons I have always loved power word spells so much is that the idea of words with real magic power is a common trope in a lot of my favorite fantasy fiction. I'm glad to have expanded those options for people with similar tastes in fantasy. :)

Sovereign Court

Words of Power always make me think of Ged.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Running a Skyrim-esque game set in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and using the Words of Power system is on my RPG bucket list.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


Life Sense (Su): Your strong ties to the lifeforce-targeting abilities of power word spells allows you to easily judge a creature's remaining hit points. As a move action you can make a Heal or Perception check against any creature you can see to determine its remaining hit points. The DC of this check is 10 + (creature's CR). This check is rolled in secret by the GM. If you miss the check by 5 or more, there is a 25% chance you seriously misjudge the creature's hit points, gaining an answer that is 50% too low, or 100% too high.

This is great, but right now, there is no other way for a character to even guess whether or not a monster has been weakened sufficiently to be vulnerable to a power word spell. Sure, the players know how many hit points a monster has and how many hits it's taken, but there really should be some way an enchanter or Logos-domain cleric can estimate this sort of thing in-character.

And, speaking of enchanters, I've been thinking about a focused arcane school for those who wish to specialize in power words; I'd call it Locution. A Locutor would probably replace the enchanter's aura of despair at 8th level with the Logos domain's power word of command ability. He could keep the basic enchanter's dazing touch, but I'm not sure what he could use to replace Enchanting Smile. A Locutor wouldn't be interested in the subtle manipulations that most enchanters favor; he would speak, and creatures would obey.

Scarab Sages

RickSummon wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


Life Sense (Su):
This is great, but right now, there is no other way for a character to even guess whether or not a monster has been weakened sufficiently to be vulnerable to a power word spell. Sure, the players know how many hit points a monster has and how many hits it's taken, but there really should be some way an enchanter or Logos-domain cleric can estimate this sort of thing in-character.

I agree.

But.

A lot of groups already have rules they use to determine such things. Healing checks. Perception checks. Appropriate Knowledge checks. If I introduce a new universal way for something so basic to be resolved, I risk taking away the ability of characters to do it well or do it at all (if I change it to a different skill with no synergies to their characters, or make it a feat or other resource when they currently do it without having to pick up a special ability). Given how basic "how many hit points does it have" is, this is going to be in existing houserules a lot.

Other groups will feel a character SHOULDN'T be able to gain such information without s supernatural or magic resource. After all, spellcasters don't automatically get to know what the save bonuses of monsters are, and there's debate about how much you can learn about immunities and resistances from Knowledge checks. Such groups wouldn't want such rules to be added, and GMs often don't want to allow anything from a source where they see something they need to ban right off the bat.

This option, making it a magic power for sorcerers in tune with the spells that work off it, allows it to be added to a game without changing how the core rules of that game already function.

Another way to handle this would be to make suggestions in a sidebar.

RickSummon wrote:
And, speaking of enchanters, I've been thinking about a focused arcane school for those who wish to specialize in power words; I'd call it Locution. A Locutor would probably replace the enchanter's aura of despair at 8th level with the Logos domain's power word of command ability. He could keep the basic enchanter's dazing touch, but I'm not sure what he could use to replace Enchanting Smile. A Locutor wouldn't be interested in the subtle manipulations that most enchanters favor; he would speak, and creatures would obey.

That's all very cool. If I'd thought of it, I might have included such a thing in the book. :)


Out of curiosity, why did you have the Logos domain's first level power not follow the same pattern as the other domains for number of uses per day (3 + Wisdom modifier)?

Scarab Sages

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Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Out of curiosity, why did you have the Logos domain's first level power not follow the same pattern as the other domains for number of uses per day (3 + Wisdom modifier)?

While that is the most common formula, it's not universal. The animal domain's 1st level power is a number of rounds per day equal to 3 +{ level. The feather sub-domain gives consistent bonuses to Perception and initiative checks in surprise rounds.

In this case, I felt the 1st level power was too powerful to allow as often as normal while also situational enough that a well-balanced character wouldn't need it that often at lower levels. This was the solution to not making it overpowered early, but still useful later in life.


Makes sense. Thanks for the insight.


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Review here, RPGnow and at NerdTrek. And of course, not reading through this thread of comments before reading and reviewing the PDF, you can ignore my request for a bloodline, as I see that has already been granted, lol. I would love to see those Hero lab files if they are going to made available to the rest of us though, just saying.


I can email them to you.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
I can email them to you.

That would be excellent, Thank You, I would appreciate that very much.

Spoiler:
KTFIsh7@yahoo[dot]com

Scarab Sages

Thanks for the review, KTFish7!

We're looking at ways to spread the HL files around. I'm happy for anyone who has them now to share them until we have an official way to get them distributed. :)

Grand Lodge

D20pfsrd.com has a community dataset you can put into your auto-updater. It includes a dataset for SuperGenius games that does a pretty good job of distribution.

Until SGG's new man has the time to slog through all his projects, that's probably the best way to distribute for now.

If you send the datasets to tim.shadow@d20pfsrd.com, he'll take a look at them, clean up what he can, and toss them in.


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poizen37 wrote:

D20pfsrd.com has a community dataset you can put into your auto-updater. It includes a dataset for SuperGenius games that does a pretty good job of distribution.

Until SGG's new man has the time to slog through all his projects, that's probably the best way to distribute for now.

If you send the datasets to tim.shadow@d20pfsrd.com, he'll take a look at them, clean up what he can, and toss them in.

Beaten to the punch. I've got a couple more that I'm hoping I can get over to him in the next couple of weeks too.


Wish this was a product for the Words of Power system, but the bloodline and Power Word Unzip spell makes up for it!

Scarab Sages

Azten wrote:
Wish this was a product for the Words of Power system, but the bloodline and Power Word Unzip spell makes up for it!

One reason I made "Power Word Spells" the first part of the title was to make sure people knew what this was, and what it wasn't (that is, more power word something, and not words of power).

I may tackle the later at some point, but this actually spoke to me louder.


Perhaps a different way for a power word-focused caster to determine the hit points of his targets would be something like this.

Power Word Resonate
School: enchantment (compulsion) [mind-affecting]
Level: bard 1, magus 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V
Range: close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: one creature per round
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: none; Spell Resistance yes

Once per round, as a swift action, you can utter a word of power that causes a single creature to resonate with an arcane tone that only you can hear. The pitch and harmonics of this tone allow you to determine the current number of hit points the target possesses, so long as that number is no greater than ten times your caster level.

Note that in the first round, you take one standard action to cast the spell and a swift action to target a creature; in subsequent rounds, only a swift action is required.


Reviewed here, and sent to GMS magazine. Couldn't post it on DTRPG since I didn't get my copy there.

Stellar work! Cheers!

Scarab Sages

Many thanks for the review, End!

I'd be happy to send you a DTRPG copy if you'd like to post your review there. :)


If you'd do so, I'd post it immediately. :)

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