To truly kill your enemy


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


With spells that can raise the dead without the need of any trace of remains, how can you finish off an enemy who has many people who would just resurrect him. Short of divine powers, I so far haven't seen anything that can kill someone and they can't come back other than them dying of old age. This wouldn't always work though as not all of them age anyway. So how can you really kill off an enemy?


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Killing people is actually pretty ineffective for keeping them gone most of the time, as you've noticed.

This is why you use spells like Trap the Soul or the Helm of Opposite Alignment.

Trap the Soul locks their soul into a gem if used successfully. Combined with beguiling gift (heightened) you don't risk destroying the soul trap when using the trigger object method.

Helm of Opposite alignment turns you antithetical enemy into your ally., at least potentially. At the very least, they'll no longer be interested in whatever they had been doing as their personality is no completed inverted.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Assassins get the ability to make resurrection spells have a chance to fail.

EDIT:
True Death (Su)

Starting at 4th level, anyone slain by an assassin's death attack becomes more difficult to bring back from the dead. Spellcasters attempting to bring a creature back from the dead using raise dead or similar magic must make a caster level check with a DC equal to 15 + the assassin's level or the spell fails and the material component is wasted. Casting remove curse the round before attempting to bring the creature back from the dead negates this chance. The DC of the remove curse is 10 + the assassin's level.

Angel of Death (Su)

At 10th level, the assassin becomes a master of death. Once per day, when the assassin makes a successful death attack, he can cause the target's body to crumble to dust. This prevents raise dead and resurrection (although true resurrection works as normal). The assassin must declare the use of this ability before the attack is made. If the attack misses or the target successfully saves against the death attack, this ability is wasted with no effect.

Sovereign Court

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Hide the body.


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Also, excluding True Resurrection, if you raise someone's corpse as an undead you prevent all other forms of resurrection, if I recall correctly. Reincarnation, resurrection, raise dead all include lines that they cannot be used on someone who has been turned into an undead. Only True Resurrection says that an undead that has been destoryed can be resurrected. This effectively creates a situation where only a 17th level cleric can attempt to raise the creature.

Edit: Sorry, resurrection works too. So 13th level. Still, a decent method for little work.

Liberty's Edge

Grind 'em into little pieces and bake 'em in a cake.


Pan wrote:
Hide the body.

scrying, discern location

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Claxon wrote:

Killing people is actually pretty ineffective for keeping them gone most of the time, as you've noticed.

This is why you use spells like Trap the Soul or the Helm of Opposite Alignment.

Trap the Soul locks their soul into a gem if used successfully. Combined with beguiling gift (heightened) you don't risk destroying the soul trap when using the trigger object method.

Helm of Opposite alignment turns you antithetical enemy into your ally., at least potentially. At the very least, they'll no longer be interested in whatever they had been doing as their personality is no completed inverted.

Alignment, not personality.

He was a CE individual that loved his son and like to play with puppies? Now he is a LG individual that love his son and like to play with puppies.
He was a LG guy that hated your guts? He is now a CE individual that hate your guts.
He will regret his old actions, if he hated you because you were a sadistic torturer he will probably change his opinion of you fairly fast, but if he hated you because you killed his betrothed he probably will go on hating you because you killed his betrothed.


Joel Harris 861 wrote:
With spells that can raise the dead without the need of any trace of remains, how can you finish off an enemy who has many people who would just resurrect him. Short of divine powers, I so far haven't seen anything that can kill someone and they can't come back other than them dying of old age. This wouldn't always work though as not all of them age anyway. So how can you really kill off an enemy?

Even if you trap souls, people are going to fight you to free them and then raise them again. Helm of Opposite Alignment could work, though if he is forced to die, he may decide to simply accept the resurrection and then come back at you with back-up to take you down again.

Methods that would increase the rate of the bolded part are perhaps the most effective, while also being foolproof and nearly impossible to counter against.

If there are creatures who cannot age, find methods that would cause them to age like normal creatures, probably a spell that can do this, and then proceed to do the same as above.


True Resurrection is pretty hard to get, that level of magic is the same as, "the dark lord fell, but hell spat him back out for fear and hate of his evil and power." It's stuff that's iconic and epic (no, not *that* definition of epic) and a Big Freakin' Deal. If an enemy comes back from burning his body to ashes and scattering them in the ocean, it isn't just a game mechanic, it's a plot point. If it wasn't him, it would be his Trusted retainer or his son or something.

But to answer your question, Claxon had it right. Trap the Soul; a 30k gem will catch almost anything (even The Tarrasque) and if you use the "Trigger object" method you pretty much can't fail.

Other options include:

-Dump 'em in a sphere of annihilation. Rules are unclear if it works post-mortem, so probably not.

-Don't kill 'em in the first place. Any transmutation spell that traps 'em in a helpless form permanently can be kept in your magic bag of holding. Expose them to a cursed mind-eating object while you're at it and even if they get rescued they'll be broken and insane.

-Convert 'em. Anything from forced alignment shift to mind-slaving 'em with dominate spells.

-Age regression. I've been reading some of the Golarion location books lately and there are a couple of "fountain of youth" effects kicking around (and I see them in homebrew settings) which you could use to turn The Dark Lord into an innocent little child you raise to become The Champion of Light.

Edit: Age! Feeblemind him, strip him naked, throw him in a custom-crafted demiplane with life-bearing, dead magic, and super-fast time flow; he dies of old age in a few hours because he was too dumb to realize he could kill himself and get True Resurrected.


Joel Harris 861 wrote:
Pan wrote:
Hide the body.
scrying, discern location

Corpses are objects.

Scrying can't target a corpse and discern location requires that "to find an object, you must have touched it at least once," which can arguably mean that you actually have to had touched the corpse before you can discern it - people aren't objects while they're still alive.

So yeah, "hide the body" or otherwise disposing of it can go a long ways.

Thwarting true resurrection, wish, or miracle requires truly extreme measures, but at that point, you're playing in the big leagues and should be able to come up with your own unique solutions to the issue.


Not always completely foolproof... But you could always play a Soul Drinker. Doing the whole Soul Gem thing kind of sends the soul screaming to Abaddon.

The spell Hellfire Ray, if I remember correctly, sends the soul to Hell if they get killed by it.

Binding or summoning Daemons should work in general....

My favorite "Evil" character to play in home games is the Cross-Blood Eldritch Heritaged Daemon/Devil/Demon Tiefling. It's quite fun being a Soul Drinker, while raising up visions of abyss, devouring souls, and burning foes to cinders will Hellfire. The occasional platoon of undead doesn't hurt either. "Resurrection? P!$$ off you bloody wanker, your buddy is mine now!"... Had a rather Shang Tsung feel, minus all the kung fu.

If you really just want someone gone though, Imprisonment may work the best. Sadly, this doesn't actually kill them...


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Joel Harris 861 wrote:
With spells that can raise the dead without the need of any trace of remains, how can you finish off an enemy who has many people who would just resurrect him. Short of divine powers, I so far haven't seen anything that can kill someone and they can't come back other than them dying of old age. This wouldn't always work though as not all of them age anyway. So how can you really kill off an enemy?

Do what my wizard does. Don't kill them.

I use Trap the Soul or even something simple like flesh to stone. Then I summon a Pit Fiend or Balor (depending on the alignment of my permanently lost, unfortunate opponent), and ask them something they won't mind telling me like, "What effect would a slow spell have if I cast it on the Astral plane?"

In exchange for the information, I give them the gem/statue. To such a creature...that's a HUGE prize!

I did this when we had a Paladin player in our group who was sort of using "reverse-meta-gaming" to bully the party. He would blindly attack party members at inopportune times and give lame excuses...like when the rogue sneaked by him, saying he was startled, or when the cleric touched him to heal him thinking he was attacking. We got sick of it and I asked the DM to let me handle it instead of asking him to leave the table (in hopes that he would learn...he did).

I trapped his soul and sold him to a Pit Fiend. The DM sat there thinking about it for a minute then looked up at Steve and said, "Please create another character. This guy is gone. I hope this never has to happen again."


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Do not kill them. Capture them and imprison them in the best way you can. They cannot be brought back from death if they are not dead.

Trap the Soul into a gem. Put the gem into a box that his the most powerful non detection magic on it you can get. Put the box inside a block of lead and then have that sunk into bedrock by an earth elemental in a location that the elemental chooses so you do not know where it is.

If you can manage to somehow get a mind blank like effect on the container and it's contents even better.


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Gilfalas wrote:

Do not kill them. Capture them and imprison them in the best way you can. They cannot be brought back from death if they are not dead.

Trap the Soul into a gem. Put the gem into a box that his the most powerful non detection magic on it you can get. Put the box inside a block of lead and then have that sunk into bedrock by an earth elemental in a location that the elemental chooses so you do not know where it is.

If you can manage to somehow get a mind blank like effect on the container and it's contents even better.

Even better. Create a temporary plane with create demiplane lesser. Then create another demiplane with create greater demiplane and permanency. Then cast greater again and change the permanent demiplane to a dead magic zone area creating a portal to your temporary plane. Stow the crystal in the dead magic plane, leave through the portal. When the temporary plane expires, the only way of entering or leaving your dead magic plane ceases to be. You have now trapped whomever you want, in a plane with no way to access it.

*You should probably cast the temporary plane just before you make the add the portal and dead magic quality to the permanent plane. But the point is still the same.


Another idea:

Mage's Private Sanctum
Defeat Foe: on death, have your Cacodaemon eat them/instead of killing them soul bind
Permanent Mindblank on the gem
Incorporate gem into a BIG FRIGGIN'CONSTRUCT that also has Mindblank permanently on it
Go to a different Mage's Private Sanctum (by teleport)
Imprison the Construct

Make the Private Sanctum go away.

Enjoy!

(Mine is more easily disrupted, but, you know, it's still fun.)

Alt: have a fiend eat the gem in question.

Alt 2: Turn foe into a puppy; Gate foe to a Balor lord with the ability to poop demons; have your foe eaten by the Balor lord, who then poops a new demon.

Shadow Lodge

There's rules for "properly" killing a graveknight, that can just come back to life. Including:

- using disintegrate on them
- taken to the negative/positive energy plane (depending)
- thrown into a volcano

These solutions might work if it's for the purposes of "making rules" for not resurrecting something/someone.

Scarab Sages

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Stabilize them on negative HP (not dead) or make them undead.
Turn them to stone.
Stick them in a bag of holding.
Stab the bag of holding.

PFSRD: If a bag of holding is overloaded, or if sharp objects pierce it (from inside or outside), the bag immediately ruptures and is ruined, and all contents are lost forever.

Dark Archive

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Green slime or similar hazards are cheaply available and very effective at turning corpses into yet more green slime.

It won't stop a True Resurrection, but there's no need to fork out for a Cacodaemon Improved Familiar / Lesser Planar Ally / Lesser Planar Binding (or any of the even more expensive options like sphere of annihilation or trap the soul) if the dude isn't likely to have a 17th level cleric on retainer.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Claxon wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:

Do not kill them. Capture them and imprison them in the best way you can. They cannot be brought back from death if they are not dead.

Trap the Soul into a gem. Put the gem into a box that his the most powerful non detection magic on it you can get. Put the box inside a block of lead and then have that sunk into bedrock by an earth elemental in a location that the elemental chooses so you do not know where it is.

If you can manage to somehow get a mind blank like effect on the container and it's contents even better.

Even better. Create a temporary plane with create demiplane lesser. Then create another demiplane with create greater demiplane and permanency. Then cast greater again and change the permanent demiplane to a dead magic zone area creating a portal to your temporary plane. Stow the crystal in the dead magic plane, leave through the portal. When the temporary plane expires, the only way of entering or leaving your dead magic plane ceases to be. You have now trapped whomever you want, in a plane with no way to access it.

*You should probably cast the temporary plane just before you make the add the portal and dead magic quality to the permanent plane. But the point is still the same.

A wandering astral or ethereal (depending on where it was created) creature can find the demiplane and enter it. There was a discussion about that a few days ago, they aren't as sure as it seem.


Tacticslion wrote:
<snip> Gate foe to a Balor lord with the ability to poop demons; have your foe eaten by the Balor lord, who then poops a new demon.

See "Swallow Soul". Just in case you were wondering if this was a real thing.

Deathmaster on Infernal Dukes is a strong option as well.

EDIT: The cacodaemon thing doesn't seem as solid as previously thought. Ah, well.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:

Do not kill them. Capture them and imprison them in the best way you can. They cannot be brought back from death if they are not dead.

Trap the Soul into a gem. Put the gem into a box that his the most powerful non detection magic on it you can get. Put the box inside a block of lead and then have that sunk into bedrock by an earth elemental in a location that the elemental chooses so you do not know where it is.

If you can manage to somehow get a mind blank like effect on the container and it's contents even better.

Even better. Create a temporary plane with create demiplane lesser. Then create another demiplane with create greater demiplane and permanency. Then cast greater again and change the permanent demiplane to a dead magic zone area creating a portal to your temporary plane. Stow the crystal in the dead magic plane, leave through the portal. When the temporary plane expires, the only way of entering or leaving your dead magic plane ceases to be. You have now trapped whomever you want, in a plane with no way to access it.

*You should probably cast the temporary plane just before you make the add the portal and dead magic quality to the permanent plane. But the point is still the same.

A wandering astral or ethereal (depending on where it was created) creature can find the demiplane and enter it. There was a discussion about that a few days ago, they aren't as sure as it seem.

A wishport will also get somebody into the secured plane, and if somebody on the outside casts another wish to get them back, then they can also leave it.

It's one of the reasons why, more and more, I tend to think that a Material Plane refuge might potentially be a safer option in some scenarios.


I second the bag of holding stab plan. Lose them forever, exactly what it says on the tin.


Diego Rossi wrote:
A wandering astral or ethereal (depending on where it was created) creature can find the demiplane and enter it. There was a discussion about that a few days ago, they aren't as sure as it seem.

Link to discussion? If there is no portal from any plane to it, and the plane is possessed of the dead magic trait, how can anything enter?

Alleran wrote:

A wishport will also get somebody into the secured plane, and if somebody on the outside casts another wish to get them back, then they can also leave it.

It's one of the reasons why, more and more, I tend to think that a Material Plane refuge might potentially be a safer option in some scenarios.

By wishport do you mean teleport/plane shift using wish? If so, then it is not so simple. As a GM I would require you to first locate and know the plane exists. Knowing where the soul/body has gone should not be considered a trivial task. Also, the phrase regardless of local conditions could be interpreted differently by different people.

For instance, teleport includes this line:

Quote:
Areas of strong physical or magical energy may make teleportation more hazardous or even impossible.

That is what I believe the "regardless of local conditions refers to". Since a caster attempting to cast Wish in an antimagic zone would find that the casting fails, I would rule that a dead magic zone similar stops even wish from working. Of course, all this is very contingent on whom your GM is and their interpretation.


Claxon wrote:
By wishport do you mean teleport/plane shift using wish?

No, I mean using the Transport Travelers clause of wish, because the clause is not a teleport or a plane shift, and inherits none of their wording.


Alleran wrote:
Claxon wrote:
By wishport do you mean teleport/plane shift using wish?
No, I mean using the Transport Travelers clause of wish, because the clause is not a teleport or a plane shift, and inherits none of their wording.

As I stated, antimagic/dead magic would still block even Wish, and the "regardless of local conditions" clause doesn't get around it by my interpretation. You are free to think differently. Either interpretation could be valid.


Claxon wrote:
As I stated, antimagic/dead magic would still block even Wish, and the "regardless of local conditions" clause doesn't get around it by my interpretation.

Not really. As I said, a wish inherits no wording from teleport or plane shift, so neither of those apply.

Antimagic or dead magic will absolutely prevent you from leaving the zone of effect, because the spell can never go off in the first place. However, antimagic/dead magic will not prevent you from entering. It ignores local conditions, and a dead magic zone is absolutely a condition local to where you're attempting to go. Forbiddance, Dimensional Lock, Teleport Trap and the like are also local conditions, and a wishport would ignore them as well.

It can take you anywhere, no matter what somebody puts in place to bar passage. Its ability to do so is completely unrelated to whether or not going there is a good idea. You could have it take you right next to where the hidden soul is stored, and it will do that. It doesn't care that there's a dead magic zone in the way, nor will it care if by going there it happens to deposit you in the middle of a pool of magma. You'll care that the dead magic zone is there when you try to leave, because you won't be able to cast spells and you need to be able to cast the wish. The dead magic zone won't block a wish's ability to transport you, it will be blocking your ability to cast, and if you can't cast it, "ignores local conditions" will never happen (because, obviously, you have to cast the spell to get the effect).

There are also things that can and will circumvent even that. For example, antimagic fields have the wording "artifacts and deities are unaffected by mortal magic such as this" and dead magic planar qualities inherit their wording from the spell. So if you've got, say, a staff of the magi (which is an artifact), then you can use said artifact's ability to plane shift and there's nothing that anybody can do to stop you, dead magic or not.

Antimagic fields and dead magic zones are great mid-tier defenses, don't get me wrong, but they fall off in usefulness eventually, because they hinder your own ability to lay magical defenses and traps. If somebody really wants to get in, then they're going to get in.


I still disagree with your parsing. You're saying that the line is not in reference to the wording of the teleportation. But if it isn't, what exactly is it referring to? To my knowledge, the line in teleportation is the only restriciton about being about to teleport into a place aside from antimagic. And, if antimagic is the only thing they were trying to indicate you could bypass, why wouldn't the specifically say this works against antimagic instead of saying "local conditions". The answer is, it doesn't.


Claxon wrote:
You're saying that the line is not in reference to the wording of the teleportation.

Which line? Local conditions? Wish doesn't inherit anything from Teleport, so the line about hazardous teleportation isn't relevant (it's only relevant to spells and effects that interact with or inherit wording from Teleport). Wish takes you from one place and puts you in another. As long as it is cast, it doesn't care where you are or where you're going.

One might also point out that a dead magic zone is the opposite of a place with strong magical energy by definition.

Quote:
To my knowledge, the line in teleportation is the only restriciton about being about to teleport into a place aside from antimagic.

An area under the effect of Forbiddance or Dimensional Lock is an example of restrictions on teleportation. Wish blows right past both of those as well.


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You want to make someone go away for ever? Killing them permanently is difficult. There is however another way.

Step 1: Capture your target using whatever method you prefer. I like baleful polymorphing my enemies into squirrels but your preferences may well vary.

Step 2: Cast Mind Blank on your enemy. They can no longer be located by any form of magical scrying or divination known to mortal magic, including Wish. The spell lasts 24 hours, make sure to keep it in place until you are done. Don't lose your squirrel, it could be difficult to find again!

Step 3: Head to some out of the way place no-one is likely to come by and which is geologically stable. Some random bit of the elemental plane of earth or an outer plane is never a bad idea.

Step 4: Imprison your foe with the Imprisonment spell. They are now trapped in temporal stasis far beneath the earth. The Mind Blank will remain in place while they are imprisoned as they are in temporal stasis. No-one can find them with magic and the likelihood of someone randomly casting Freedom at exactly the right out of the way spot on an infinite sized alternate plane of existence is infinitesimal.


Alleran wrote:
Claxon wrote:
planar argument
more planar argument

Honestly, I've rolled a lot of games where dead magic demiplanes could be planeshifted INTO, you just couldn't get back OUT again. Obviously your mileage may vary, but the rules of planar physics get a bit wonky right out of the gate and the Wish spell was designed to make the rules even weirder.

If nothing else you could Wish for familiarity with the Target's planar prison, Create your own Demiplane with a portal to that plane (totally within the rules of the spell) and just open the door.

On the other hand, temporal manipulation means that the target could be dead of old age before any rescuer gets there, it's just a matter of keeping them alive. Anybody know a Persistent Vegetative State spell? Maybe some brand of perma-sleep combined with a life-support construct?

Of course banking on old age fails if they set up a proper Stasis Clone. Clone is another spell that has some elasticity to it's interpretation. There are numerous references outside the spell description towards using it for "arcane immortality" and "not aging" but it doesn't say it in the spell.

And Clone's an 8th level spell, unlike certain other resurrections...

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