Power Word Kill


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Thought Pathfinder RPG was trying to move away from such "save or die" spells? (And there's not even a save in this case).


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well it's Power Word KILL, not Power Word Ouch, after all.

Liberty's Edge

Zaister wrote:
Well it's Power Word KILL, not Power Word Ouch, after all.

I hope it doesn't work on the deaf now.


Since you have to reduce them to 100 hp or less first I would find it annoying if it didn't automatically kill them without a save.


I am happy enough with it, would prefer it if it just did 100hp damage, no save.


Werecorpse wrote:
I am happy enough with it, would prefer it if it just did 100hp damage, no save.

I'd agree with this. Kind of makes it more useful in the long run, since I've almost never seen it used as is (especially since you have almost no way of knowing when an opponent is under 100hp).

As a side note, while I approve of the direct removal of save or die effects, I would prefer if instead of 10 damage per CL it dropped foes to -8 or -9 hit points.


Peter Stewart wrote:


As a side note, while I approve of the direct removal of save or die effects, I would prefer if instead of 10 damage per CL it dropped foes to -8 or -9 hit points.

Then it would be called Power Word Coma. ;p


Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:


As a side note, while I approve of the direct removal of save or die effects, I would prefer if instead of 10 damage per CL it dropped foes to -8 or -9 hit points.
Then it would be called Power Word Coma. ;p

if going by name was relevant they should change slay living to 'hurt living quite a bit'

Grand Lodge

I suspect they said 'Hey, it's a 9th level spell. Let it ride.' In all honestly, I would prefer that it did a flat 100 points of damage rather than death. After all, Wail of the Banshee does 10 pts/caster level now.

The whole removal of save or die has been a bit up and down, as far as I can see. Blasphemy and the like still kill at the CL -10 mark. Phantasmal Killer is still fail two saves and die. Circle of Death is still insta-kill (though still 8HD or less, so who cares?). And Symbol of Death still does what it says on the tin.

Sovereign Court

Well there has to be at least one really scary 9th level spell left?

Who has under or over 100 hit points isn't something your spell caster probably will ever be aware of too. By that point you've probably got just as easy a time as hitting your target with much lower level spells.

Now that I'm thinking about it, it's kind of a lame spell. If it's got less then 100 hit points, why waste a 9th level spell on it? Plus it's subject to spell turning, which is probably really really bad since the wizard casting it probably had at or a bit less then 100 hp total.

I could see it being a problem for DMs if if you've got the kind of players who just kill of high/low level NPCs on a whim for fun...but well then how did you even get far enough in a campaign like that to have 9th level spells?

Wail the Banshee, now there was a spell deserving of the nerf bat. 40' radius area of effect? Fort save or die? That was insanely powerful!

Grand Lodge

Morgen wrote:

Well there has to be at least one really scary 9th level spell left?

Who has under or over 100 hit points isn't something your spell caster probably will ever be aware of too. By that point you've probably got just as easy a time as hitting your target with much lower level spells.

Now that I'm thinking about it, it's kind of a lame spell. If it's got less then 100 hit points, why waste a 9th level spell on it? Plus it's subject to spell turning, which is probably really really bad since the wizard casting it probably had at or a bit less then 100 hp total.

I could see it being a problem for DMs if if you've got the kind of players who just kill of high/low level NPCs on a whim for fun...but well then how did you even get far enough in a campaign like that to have 9th level spells?

Wail the Banshee, now there was a spell deserving of the nerf bat. 40' radius area of effect? Fort save or die? That was insanely powerful!

I'd agree that Power Word Kill is a lame spell. I've certainly never seen anyone memorize or cast it. I think if it was 'single living target, 100 damage, Fort half' or something, then you might use it.

Besides, both it and Wail of the Banshee got boned by the omnipresent Death Ward under 3.5.

Sovereign Court

Ninjaiguana wrote:

I'd agree that Power Word Kill is a lame spell. I've certainly never seen anyone memorize or cast it. I think if it was 'single living target, 100 damage, Fort half' or something, then you might use it.

Besides, both it and Wail of the Banshee got boned by the omnipresent Death Ward under 3.5.

Why would you make Power Word Kill even lamer and more useless like that? The absolute only thing it has going for it is that it maybe might just kill something outright and end combat like a round sooner.

That spell you describe already exists, except it's 150 damage for a touch attack, a will save for half damage, and a 6th level spell slot. It's called Harm. You can Wish for it I guess if you want so it's still a 9th level spell slot, but that's kind of expensive to do often.

I don't think the spell should be changed, I just was pointing out that it wasn't as horrifically overpowered in the new game.

Also as a side note, Death Ward still helps try and protect you from Power Word Kill since it'd give you a saving throw. Pretty awesome.

Grand Lodge

Morgen wrote:

Why would you make Power Word Kill even lamer and more useless like that? The absolute only thing it has going for it is that it maybe might just kill something outright and end combat like a round sooner.

That spell you describe already exists, except it's 150 damage for a touch attack, a will save for half damage, and a 6th level spell slot. It's called Harm. You can Wish for it I guess if you want so it's still a 9th level spell slot, but that's kind of expensive to do often.

I don't think the spell should be changed, I just was pointing out that it wasn't as horrifically overpowered in the new game.

Also as a side note, Death Ward still helps try and protect you from Power Word Kill since it'd give you a saving throw. Pretty awesome.

Harm's also a touch attack that can't reduce the target to below 1 hit point. This would be a guaranteed hit, don't need to be standing next to them, can kill them with the damage. And hey, you could always have it be 100 damage with no save to one target, but then people might start saying it was overpowered.

And yeah, I like the new Death Ward waaay better than the old one :)

Liberty's Edge

Anyone remember this great spell from Kobolds Ate My Baby!:

Quote:

Power Word: Buffet

With the single utterance of one magic word, the caster summons a feast from thin air -- including 1d6 pounds of sesame chicken, 3d4 pieces of slimy sushi, 1d8 spareribs, 2d12 pork dumplings and a gallon of vanilla soft-serve. This food is actually an illusion which will cause all kobolds to stop what they are doing and dig in.

Any kobold that eats this illusionary banquet immediately gets illusionary trichinosis, phantasmal food poisoning, and dewomer diarrhea.


And you think about it a 20th level Fighter wielding an axe could dish out about 100 points of damage with one critical hit. Plus Power Word: Kill sounds cool and gives mages an edge. "Does that evil wizard have power word kill? No he only had meteor swarm, so I only take 24d6 points of damage, phew!"


I guess it stayed the way it was because of that HP limit and because it's a 9th-level spell.

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