Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 74
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Power Word spells and balance points

    Power Word: Kill is a single-target 9th level spell that deals 100 points of damage or less with no save. It's deeply underpowered - for the same spell slot, you could polymorph into or Gate in a creature that would do that much dpr and have other uses besides - but here's something interesting. If we take from this that an offensive Power Word spell inflicts a level-appropriate condition and substitutes hit points for saving throws....

    .... we can actually categorize Sleep as essentially our lowest-level power word spell, a 1st level spell that imposes the Asleep condition with a hit point threshold of ~22.

    I have stolen this insight from another thread, which is currently discussing the balance point of Sleep, and the interesting thing is that the consensus I've seen across various forums since 5e came out is that Sleep starts out strong, but scales really poorly. How poorly? Well, if cast as a 9th level spell, it has a hp threshold of ~94. Kinda sounds like the 100 of PW:K, no?

    On the other hand, our only other vanilla offensive Power Word spell is Stun, at 8th level, which has a substantially higher threshold of 150 points. It's still probably on the weak end for its level and will lose out to Demiplane, Antimagic Field, or even Dominate Monster (which offers an initial save but no automatic saves after that, and therefore ultimately involves fewer saving throws than PW:S), but it's interesting that the hit point threshold is so out of whack relative to the other two hitpoint-gated spells.

    I'm not sure where I'm going with this, to be honest. I guess the question is, what would an appropriate threshold be for a given spell level? (And for that matter, what's an appropriate effect? Other spells grant AoE Fear at 3rd level or temporary exhaustion at 4th, but given PW:S is all the way at 8, there's arguably a penalty for the "automatic" nature of the spell... then again asleep is actually pretty strong for 1st level, so idk.)

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    Power Word: Kill is a single-target 9th level spell that deals 100 points of damage or less with no save. It's deeply underpowered - for the same spell slot, you could polymorph into or Gate in a creature that would do that much dpr and have other uses besides - but here's something interesting. If we take from this that an offensive Power Word spell inflicts a level-appropriate condition and substitutes hit points for saving throws....

    .... we can actually categorize Sleep as essentially our lowest-level power word spell, a 1st level spell that imposes the Asleep condition with a hit point threshold of ~22.

    I have stolen this insight from another thread, which is currently discussing the balance point of Sleep, and the interesting thing is that the consensus I've seen across various forums since 5e came out is that Sleep starts out strong, but scales really poorly. How poorly? Well, if cast as a 9th level spell, it has a hp threshold of ~94. Kinda sounds like the 100 of PW:K, no?

    On the other hand, our only other vanilla offensive Power Word spell is Stun, at 8th level, which has a substantially higher threshold of 150 points. It's still probably on the weak end for its level and will lose out to Demiplane, Antimagic Field, or even Dominate Monster (which offers an initial save but no automatic saves after that, and therefore ultimately involves fewer saving throws than PW:S), but it's interesting that the hit point threshold is so out of whack relative to the other two hitpoint-gated spells.

    I'm not sure where I'm going with this, to be honest. I guess the question is, what would an appropriate threshold be for a given spell level? (And for that matter, what's an appropriate effect? Other spells grant AoE Fear at 3rd level or temporary exhaustion at 4th, but given PW:S is all the way at 8, there's arguably a penalty for the "automatic" nature of the spell... then again asleep is actually pretty strong for 1st level, so idk.)
    Power Word: Kill does not deals damages at all. If the creature has 100 HPs or less, the creature dies. No save, no attack roll, no loss of HPS, no question.

    Meaning it bypasses all immunities, all the types of resistances, including Legendary ones, all the features that mitigates saves or attacks, and all the "if you get to 0 HPs X happens" tricks, including a Druid's Wildshape.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    MN, US
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Meaning it bypasses all immunities, all the types of resistances, including Legendary ones, all the features that mitigates saves or attacks, and all the "if you get to 0 HPs X happens" tricks, including a Druid's Wildshape.
    This. In addition, the last Sage Advice clarified that a Wild Shaped/Polymorphed/Shapechanged target dies if the *form* has not enough HP: the base creature's HP are invisible to the spell.

    For example, a Druid with 150 HP max and has taken no damage, but is Wild Shaped into a form with 99 HP dies outright to Power Word Kill.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    LordCdrMilitant's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Inner Palace, Holy Terra
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    That doesn't make PW:K good.

    Kill a target with 100 wounds or less is not particularly impressive for a 9th level spell, particularly because it does nothing if the target has more than that.


    It's a great PC killer, which is pretty much the wrong way to use it because a GM shouldn't be aiming to ID their PC's, but kind of generally terrible for a player to use themselves. A Meteor Storm is almost always a better pick, since it does 140 damage with 70 on a pass anyway, and with two damage types it's fairly proficient at still hitting through resistance. Your only concern is catching your fighter in your danger-close bombardment.

    Also, at level 17+, most targets that you would consider using your level 9 spell slot against have more than 100 wounds, so it's kind of an adds-clearer which really should be blast.



    Sure, you can construct situations where it's the ideal option, but you kind of have to go out of your way to construct those situations so the player has a chance to use their cool point-and-die spell.
    Last edited by LordCdrMilitant; 2020-10-17 at 08:08 PM.
    Guardsmen, hear me! Cadia may lie in ruin, but her proud people do not! For each brother and sister who gave their lives to Him as martyrs, we will reap a vengeance fiftyfold! Cadia may be no more, but will never be forgotten; our foes shall tremble in fear at the name, for their doom shall come from the barrels of Cadian guns, fired by Cadian hands! Forward, for vengeance and retribution, in His name and the names of our fallen comrades!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    It's pretty scary if you swap it in on the Archmage (with allies) your level 11 PCs are fighting.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ProsecutorGodot's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    It's pretty scary if you swap it in on the Archmage (with allies) your level 11 PCs are fighting.
    Chris Perkins did this once (well he didn't exactly use the Archmage stat block, it was Manshoon)on a DCA stream way back in the day. PW:K is one of those spells that is significantly more deadly in the hands of an NPC. By the time a PC has access to it they're facing bigger threats than a "simple" Archmage.

    It's also why it would be difficult to increase this threshold at all without consequences. A lot of PC's at the level range your party can encounter (and be expected to defeat) a spellcaster with 9th level spells are still in or very close to the "you die" threshold.

    So I guess the threshold and spell level depend on the effect. There's probably no easy answer of what is "fair" with every use case considered.

    EDIT: Oh, and if you're calling Sleep as the bottom line, one rung above is Color Spray. It has a less advantageous effect than Sleep, and as a consequence, a slightly higher baseline. ~33 hit points.
    Last edited by ProsecutorGodot; 2020-10-17 at 09:57 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by ProsecutorGodot View Post
    Chris Perkins did this once (well he didn't exactly use the Archmage stat block, it was Manshoon)on a DCA stream way back in the day. PW:K is one of those spells that is significantly more deadly in the hands of an NPC. By the time a PC has access to it they're facing bigger threats than a "simple" Archmage.
    Meh. It's still counterable by a 3rd level Counterspell, 4th level Death Ward, or 3rd level Revivify, not to mention 2nd level Invisibility or plain old Hiding. It's not a bad sucker punch if the party doesn't see it coming (i.e. if you PWK the Revivify caster after the Counterspell dude has used his reaction on Shield and there's no Death Ward up and the Revivify caster has no Glyphs of Raise Dead set up anywhere), but it's not powerful like e.g. Psychic Scream or True Polymorph (Adult Silver Shadow Dragon) or even Invulnerability is.

    I wish it were a bonus action or even a reaction (which the caster can take at any time). That would make it feel like a Power Word spell. The whole point is that they are supposed to be weaker, but very quick to cast.
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

    Everything on the Internet is opinion but purple text is my way of highlighting that I am not interested in persuading you to share mine.

    This is the Most Important Video You've Never Seen About 5E Design. 5E designers Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson tell you how game design was done, how classes were balanced against each other, etc.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ProsecutorGodot's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Meh. It's still counterable by a 3rd level Counterspell, 4th level Death Ward, or 3rd level Revivify, not to mention 2nd level Invisibility or plain old Hiding. It's not a bad sucker punch if the party doesn't see it coming (i.e. if you PWK the Revivify caster after the Counterspell dude has used his reaction on Shield and there's no Death Ward up and the Revivify caster has no Glyphs of Raise Dead set up anywhere), but it's not powerful like e.g. Psychic Scream or True Polymorph (Adult Silver Shadow Dragon) or even Invulnerability is.

    I wish it were a bonus action or even a reaction (which the caster can take at any time). That would make it feel like a Power Word spell. The whole point is that they are supposed to be weaker, but very quick to cast.
    It was Counterspelled in this example, for what that's worth. I didn't mean to make it sound like it was the best option at current either, clearly there are better, even lower leveled spells, that would be a much bigger threat to the PC's.

    Honestly, I think I'd be okay with changing it's action economy. I think the only thing about it that could be problematic is if the HP threshold was changed.

    Side Note: Having a Glyph of Raise Dead set up in one of the extra rooms in our parties tavern is something I need to have set up later.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Glyphs of Raise Dead
    No such thing. GoW's targetting restriction won't work on a corpse.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ProsecutorGodot's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    No such thing. GoW's targetting restriction won't work on a corpse.
    That's okay, Raise Dead does target a creature. A dead creature.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by ProsecutorGodot View Post
    Side Note: Having a Glyph of Raise Dead set up in one of the extra rooms in our parties tavern is something I need to have set up later.
    Be careful to set a password or something on it, or you might accidentally start a new urban legend. :-)
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

    Everything on the Internet is opinion but purple text is my way of highlighting that I am not interested in persuading you to share mine.

    This is the Most Important Video You've Never Seen About 5E Design. 5E designers Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson tell you how game design was done, how classes were balanced against each other, etc.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    It's not a bad sucker punch if the party doesn't see it coming
    Yah. Given the strength of the effect at that level, it's a good thing it has some counters if you do see it coming.

    Of course, counterspelling it depends on either: counterspelling everything you can (reasonable against an archmage); your DM ruling nicely with the PHB lack of a rule that you know what spell is being cast; with Xanathars having an ally burn a reaction and a DM that lets them yell a warning out of turn. Not to mention having two counterspellers for when they counterspell your counterspell.

    But even so ... like you said, it's possible to deal with if you know it's a threat. But that means it's still scary enough to prompt thinking of a counter.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    It's one of the victims of the asynchronous HP scaling for monsters and PCs. PCs have a hard time getting over 100 HP before the teens while monsters are looking at those numbers in Tier 2. This means it's still a decent spell against level 10 PCs (and always against Druids) but it's pretty horrible in the hands of a PC. Monsters can easily hit half a thousand HP while even a level 20 Barbarian only has 278 max and that's with the innate level 20 Con bonus that's available to no other class. Level 20 Wizard (in their natural form) probably only has slightly under 200 HP (182 with 20 Con or 16 Con and Tough) so it doesn't take too much damage for them to have to Counterspell every Power Word thrown their way. Of course, that's not really how Wizards fight (Shapechange, Magic Jar and company do exist) but it's worth noting as something of a baseline.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2020-10-18 at 02:54 AM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2018

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Divine word is low key strong at least?

    I do wish the other power words explored a similar space.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Powerword: Stun

    Too niche. It may be nice against a lich, but there are better spells around to deal with these situations. If it worked at full health it would be nice. At 150 it's useless and only works well in a party vs single enemy scenario.



    Powerword: Kill

    This one suffers from another problem, namely the 1 spellslot per day. You want your 9th spellslot to be more versatile than that. However if you know that you have to do a boss fight, and you are already prepared with your simulacrums, contigencies etc, PW:K is a good idea because you can calculate the average damage of the party and bring down the big bad in 1 or 2 turns. Dealing with minions then is easier.

    For example against a tarrasque (676) as a lvl 20 party with +3 items etc (I'm not an expert on magical items so this will probably not be optimized):

    (I've used a damage calculator I've built for most of these values)

    The hasted (wizard concentration) samurai can do 130~ dpr with action surge (546) - +3 Bow
    A multiclassed (sorc or fighter dip) tempest cleric with call lightning can do 180 damage or 90 if legendary resistances are used. (366 or 456) - Tome of Understanding
    An EA hasted (simulacrum concentration) tenser transformed valor bard (Bard concentration) can deal 75~ (291 or 381) - +3 Bow
    The simulacrum can try an upcasted disintegration for 96 or 0 (LR) (195 or 381 (no more LR))
    A hasted (paladin concentration) vengeance paladin with 2 5d8 smites can deal 110~ (85 or 271) - Fire Giant's Belt, +3 GS

    So there is a scenario where a power word kill can seal the deal.

    Of course this can all go sideways if the damage rolls don't work that well or the tarrasque rolls 20 on dex saving throws or party can't prebuff or the party gets counterspelled or or or, but it's a possibility and perhaps it's worthwhile to prepare it.
    Last edited by Gtdead; 2020-10-18 at 06:17 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by ProsecutorGodot View Post
    That's okay, Raise Dead does target a creature. A dead creature.
    Dead creature is an object. A specific type of object, so you won't try to use it on a chair or something, but an object nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtdead View Post
    An EA hasted (simulacrum concentration) tenser transformed valor bard (Bard concentration) with foresight + swift quiver can deal 75~ (291 or 381) - +3 Bow
    If the bard concentrates on Tenser's Transformation, who's concentrating on Swift Quiver?
    Last edited by JackPhoenix; 2020-10-18 at 06:11 AM.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Worth noting that Power Word: Kill one-shot NPCs using the Archmage statblock.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Dead creature is an object. A specific type of object, so you won't try to use it on a chair or something, but an object nonetheless.



    If the bard concentrates on Tenser's Transformation, who's concentrating on Swift Quiver?
    Oh you are right I will edit it out. I used a foresight + SQ build at first, but then changed it to tenser's which performed similarly with less resources. The build only assumes tenser's + simulacrum haste and I just forgot to fix the text.
    Last edited by Gtdead; 2020-10-18 at 06:17 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtdead View Post
    Powerword: Kill

    This one suffers from another problem, namely the 1 spellslot per day. You want your 9th spellslot to be more versatile than that. However if you know that you have to do a boss fight, and you are already prepared with your simulacrums, contigencies etc, PW:K is a good idea because you can calculate the average damage of the party and bring down the big bad in 1 or 2 turns. Dealing with minions then is easier.

    For example against a tarrasque (676) as a lvl 20 party with +3 items etc (I'm not an expert on magical items so this will probably not be optimized):

    (I've used a damage calculator I've built for most of these values)

    The hasted (wizard concentration) samurai can do 130~ dpr with action surge (546) - +3 Bow
    A multiclassed (sorc or fighter dip) tempest cleric with call lightning can do 180 damage or 90 if legendary resistances are used. (366 or 456) - Tome of Understanding
    An EA hasted (simulacrum concentration) tenser transformed valor bard (Bard concentration) with foresight + swift quiver can deal 75~ (291 or 381) - +3 Bow
    The simulacrum can try an upcasted disintegration for 96 or 0 (LR) (195 or 381 (no more LR))
    A hasted (paladin concentration) vengeance paladin with 2 5d8 smites can deal 110~ (85 or 271) - Fire Giant's Belt, +3 GS

    So there is a scenario where a power word kill can seal the deal.

    Of course this can all go sideways if the damage rolls don't work that well or the tarrasque rolls 20 on dex saving throws or party can't prebuff or the party gets counterspelled or or or, but it's a possibility and perhaps it's worthwhile to prepare it.
    You also have to know enemy HP to do that. And if you just e.g. True Polymorphed your Tenser's Bard into a Marilith and swapped the +3 Bow for a Belt of Fire Giant Strength, you'd have a Marilith with Tenser's absolutely wrecking Big T's ****: 7 attacks at advantage with +12 against AC 25 for 64% hit rate (9,75% crit rate) and you're doing 2d8+7+2d12 = 29 per hit or 31 for the tail. And Haste for the 8th attack. So (29 * 0,5425 + 51 * 0,0975)* 6 + (31 * 0,5425 + 55 * 0,0975) * 2 = 124,23 + 44,36 = 168,59 damage. Which is about equivalent to the extra damage your Power Word: Kill would do but keeps on giving and can be precast (but after the Bard has cast their Tenser's of course) and doesn't run into issues if damage doesn't fall as expected (admittedly in this case you'd have to deal with getting swallowed afterwards but that's fine, you have the Teleport action available and Tarrasque is going down in short order anyways). Of course, he could also disengage with the Haste action and get out. And since we assume buffs are up, the Wizard would still have an action left to do something like shoot Big T in the face with a spell.

    Frankly, all those Hastes are kinda wasted; when your characters are doing 8ish attacks in a round, 1 more is just a drop in the bucket. The only case where the Haste may be worthwhile is the Pally where they natively only get 3 attacks (PAM or similar) so an extra for an extra Smite could provide reasonable damage.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Troll in the Playground
     
    stoutstien's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    SD
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Most of the big carryover spells from older editions were taken down a few notches. Look what they did to my holy/divine word.

    Shifting effects based on HD to HP just didn't work all that well. I think CR would be a better approach. PW: kill being able to instantly kill any CR X and lower feels better IMO.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

    All credit to the amazing avatar goes to thoroughlyS

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    I think CR would be a better approach. PW: kill being able to instantly kill any CR X and lower feels better IMO.
    How would you make it work against PCs?

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    * You also have to know enemy HP to do that. And if you just e.g. True Polymorphed your Tenser's Bard into a Marilith and swapped the +3 Bow for a Belt of Fire Giant Strength, you'd have a Marilith with Tenser's absolutely wrecking Big T's ****: 7 attacks at advantage with +12 against AC 25 for 64% hit rate (9,75% crit rate) and you're doing 2d8+7+2d12 = 29 per hit or 31 for the tail. And Haste for the 8th attack. So (29 * 0,5425 + 51 * 0,0975)* 6 + (31 * 0,5425 + 55 * 0,0975) * 2 = 124,23 + 44,36 = 168,59 damage. Which is about equivalent to the extra damage your Power Word: Kill would do but keeps on giving and can be precast (but after the Bard has cast their Tenser's of course) and doesn't run into issues if damage doesn't fall as expected (admittedly in this case you'd have to deal with getting swallowed afterwards but that's fine, you have the Teleport action available and Tarrasque is going down in short order anyways). Of course, he could also disengage with the Haste action and get out. And since we assume buffs are up, the Wizard would still have an action left to do something like shoot Big T in the face with a spell.

    Frankly, all those Hastes are kinda wasted; when your characters are doing 8ish attacks in a round, 1 more is just a drop in the bucket. The only case where the Haste may be worthwhile is the Pally where they natively only get 3 attacks (PAM or similar) so an extra for an extra Smite could provide reasonable damage.
    * Yea I assume metagaming knowledge or at least some way to know what you are up against (in game research or something, depends on DM). But no matter if you have that or not, you can always maximize the output of the party and the DM will let you know if you can use PW:K (otherwise it's a completely pointless spell that should never ever be prepared)

    Yea with marilith you can do stupid damage. A bladesinger 18/fighter 2 with shapechange can do stuff like that by himself. Get the best belt, a simulacrum with magic weapon and foresight and have fun dealing 300+ damage to the tarrasque in a round. Or cast foresight on yourself 1 second before long rest (yay for cheesing long rest rules) and have the simulacrum cast disintegrate or something.

    Having enough damage to kill the tarrasque in two rounds is always fun. Also having 28 AC (bladesong+shield) and defensive advantage, along with resistances to most types of damage and advantage to saving throws isn't too shabby either ^^

    I kinda like pitfiend a bit more as a shapechange target.. oh wait, you can do that too next turn.

    Wish there was a way to throw a tenser's in here for the 2d12 per attack but alas, I don't see any way. Do you know any? :p
    Last edited by Gtdead; 2020-10-18 at 07:51 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Troll in the Playground
     
    stoutstien's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    SD
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    How would you make it work against PCs?
    Unsure. doesn't really matter IMO. No matter how tactical a table plays PW:K isn't a good use of that slot. Death is just too easily reversed.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

    All credit to the amazing avatar goes to thoroughlyS

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Colossus in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtdead View Post
    * Yea I assume metagaming knowledge or at least some way to know what you are up against (in game research or something, depends on DM). But no matter if you have that or not, you can always maximize the output of the party and the DM will let you know if you can use PW:K (otherwise it's a completely pointless spell that should never ever be prepared)

    Yea with marilith you can do stupid damage. A bladesinger 18/fighter 2 with shapechange can do stuff like that by himself. Get the best belt, a simulacrum with magic weapon and foresight and have fun dealing 300+ damage to the tarrasque in a round. Or cast foresight on yourself 1 second before long rest (yay for cheesing long rest rules) and have the simulacrum cast disintegrate or something.

    Having enough damage to kill the tarrasque in two rounds is always fun. Also having 28 AC (bladesong+shield) and defensive advantage, along with resistances to most types of damage and advantage to saving throws isn't too shabby either ^^

    I kinda like pitfiend a bit more as a shapechange target.. oh wait, you can do that too next turn.

    Wish there was a way to throw a tenser's in here for the 2d12 per attack but alas, I don't see any way. Do you know any? :p
    There's no real good way to go about it. About the only way I can think of is have someone Magic Jar possess you (or in general possess you), cast Tenser's, and then vacate your body (with Tenser's still on but Concentrated on by somebody else) and you then return to cast Shapechange on yourself. You could, of course, do this with your Simulacrum but that's a bit bothersome. It's worth noting that Magic Weapon doesn't really work with Marilith: you can only buff one weapon with it, which is pretty useless when you are attacking with 6 others. Actually, one of the weakest parts in Marilith is the difficulty of buffing all the attacks. True Polymorph + Tenser's sidesteps a lot of the issues but of course, that loses you your class features which means you can't combine it with Elven Accuracy or other fun stuff (Shapechange Foresight Elven Accuracy Bladesinger would be plenty of fun).

    But yeah, Shapechange is generally better but for Tenser's fun specifically, True Polymorph makes your life a bit easier. Though it's ultimately still the inferior spell probably. One fun way to go about Shapechange is also to Shapechange into a Planetar and use e.g. Crossbow Expert + SS + EA to shoot the living out of something with those sweet +5d8 bonuses on each attack. This is again a good user for Haste since it only gets 3 attacks naturally but all of them are in the neighborhood of 50 damage and with extremely decent crit potential. 4 attacks at...whatever the Hand Crossbow would do + 15 + 5d8 is plenty reasonable (and it can even be a +3 Large Hand Crossbow for +18 instead and with decent hit bonuses): we're looking at maybe 4x 2d6+18+5d8 at +9 with EA and Advantage for 57,81% hit rate vs. AC 25 and of course 14,26% crit rate for (0,4355 * 47,5 + 0,1426 * 77) * 4 = 126,6658 or (0,7324 * 37,5 + 0,1426 * 67) * 4 = 148,3848 so SS is actually not worth using (though you still want it to attack at 120' with Hand Crossbow of course). Nowhere near what a Marilith can achieve due to there not being Dex boosters comparable to Belt of Giant Strength and due to Marilith having that raw doubling of attacks but still pretty decent; Oathbow could probably do more though.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, Fighter 2 actually gives you Archery fighting style too. That's actually a pretty big boost to damage; 72,54% hit rate with SS for (0,5828 * 47,5 + 0,1426 * 77) * 4 = 154,6528 with SS or (0,7934 * 37,5 + 0,1426 * 67) * 4 = 157,5348 without it, so still slightly favourable to not SSing but pretty darn close.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2020-10-18 at 08:46 AM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
    Being Bane: A Guide to Barbarians Cracking Small Men - Ever Been Angry?! Then this is for you!
    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    Unsure. doesn't really matter IMO. No matter how tactical a table plays PW:K isn't a good use of that slot. Death is just too easily reversed.
    Death of a PC often has a domino effect. If one drops at the beginning of the fight everything gets harder.

    Not to mention the stakes get higher because death is only reversed if the PCs win.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2020-10-18 at 08:44 AM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    MN, US
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    This. In addition, the last Sage Advice clarified that a Wild Shaped/Polymorphed/Shapechanged target dies if the *form* has not enough HP: the base creature's HP are invisible to the spell.

    For example, a Druid with 150 HP max and has taken no damage, but is Wild Shaped into a form with 99 HP dies outright to Power Word Kill.
    Having thought about it a bit more, PW:K is a very reliable answer to "what can the PCs do to a BBEG after successfully Polymorphing it".

    That said, it's still a very bad use of a 9th-level slot and prepared spell.
    Last edited by x3n0n; 2020-10-18 at 08:51 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    stoutstien's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    SD
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Death of a PC often has a domino effect. If one drops at the beginning of the fight everything gets harder.

    Not to mention the stakes get higher because death is only reversed if the PCs win.
    eh, its a pretty big gamble on the NPCs part to rely on PW:K to win encounters. by the time your facing lv 9 spells on a regular as a player you almost expect someone to get dropped every once in a while. bringing a PC back to life is cheap and simple where dealing with a MS being dropped on a city can't be fixed with a diamond and spell slot.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

    All credit to the amazing avatar goes to thoroughlyS

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Valmark's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Montevarchi, Italy
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    I've seen it repeatedly and am kinda confused- where does it say that somebody Polymorphed or similar dies in their true form too when targeted succesfully by a PW:K or similar effects? (Dunno if there are. I think mindflayers have an insta-kill ability?)
    I won an argument with my GM -15/08/2017- (20:32 GMT +1)

    Want to try a WereWolf or Mafia game? Do you already know it and want to play it? Crazier Idea Mafia currently recruiting!


  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    @Eldariel

    Oh damn, I hadn't thought about the magic weapon problem with Marilith. I'll need to recalibrate :p .I recently started exploring the 9th level transformation spells and they are pretty fun. Changing into a dragon is effectively a 120 range aoe fear. Marilith has all these attacks.

    Pit Fiend is probably the best bruiser and Bladesinger abilities scale so well with it. Basically you become end game boss. Running around with 19 Natural AC + 5 (bladesong) + 5 (shield spell) = 29 and resistance to non magical attacks is fun. Add foresights etc and an enlarge to avoid shallow (although I'm not sure if there any point to it anymore), song of victory (all attacks are considered melee weapon attacks) and you can beat the tarrasque senseless by yourself. You kill it in ~8 turns while it needs 12 to kill you, dealing a mere ~25 dpr against foresight + resistance while you do ~85
    Last edited by Gtdead; 2020-10-18 at 09:33 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    MN, US
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Power Word spells and balance points

    Quote Originally Posted by Valmark View Post
    I've seen it repeatedly and am kinda confused- where does it say that somebody Polymorphed or similar dies in their true form too when targeted succesfully by a PW:K or similar effects? (Dunno if there are. I think mindflayers have an insta-kill ability?)
    New sage advice compendium:

    [NEW] What happens if Iím polymorphed or Wild Shaped into a creature with fewer than 100 hit points and then Iím targeted by power word kill?

    You die.
    Last edited by x3n0n; 2020-10-18 at 09:56 AM. Reason: Reformatted

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •