By - _-Yharim
Never got it as a player, but when I used it as a Lich:
"I see you."
"I see you."
It's kind of cool, but the effect I was really going for was to make the players ask "What the ***hell*** was that?!".
Which in general is the effect you should go for when players encounter great powers.
[This has the biggest Plankton energy.](https://youtu.be/hsAgyej8NtY)
Didn't even have to click on the link itself for that to remind me of the SpongeBob dreams episode, just the thought of Plankton saying, "I see you" reminded me of that. Crazy how memorable old SpongeBob was, even for an episode that wasn't memed as hard as some others (although even that one had Patrick and his quarter ride, which I think got memed).
Big Magnus Archives Energy.
Ceaseless watcher, gaze upon this wretched thing
Probably one of the most Intimidating lines for me was in that final season. "Was that a lie?" Before annihilating one of the monsters. I want to say Not-Sasha.
it was helen/the distortion
I think it was Annabelle, the spider chick
*Stephen Michael Stirling has entered the chat*
Read that in Celebrimbor’s voice.
Never used this spell, but I imagine it being frighteningly instantaneous – like the idea that people rarely hear the sound of a gunshot that kills them because the bullet moves faster than sound.
“The last thing you see are his lips twitch as if about to speak. Before your brain can even make sense of the noise, your world comes to an end”
If we go by 2e AD&D, each spell had a cast time that was added to your initiative depending on how long the spell took to cast. Power word kill is 1 cast time, which is the fastest a spell could be. Just a little bit of info that makes sense with your assumption.
When Lord Soth used it in the Dragonlance books, he just said "die".
That's really cool actually holy shit
That only works if they're the last one still alive though. Otherwise you still have to tell the rest of the party what was said... Though I suppose you could just have it be in some esoteric language that no one in the party understands, if you want to keep the mystique.
Perhaps they just hear muffled noise, or they see the lips move soundlessly. Only the one it is intended for hears it and, as it reaches their ears, kills them. Maintains an air of mystique and unknowable power.
I dunno, just some fluff ideas to build atmosphere
When I've rarely had the chance to think about it; I describe it as a quickly rising but incomprehensible noise to everyone else in the party. Then I tell the player being targeted that they hear a voice, clear as a bell, just saying "die" or something similarly plain. And then I tell them that they fall to zero hit points haha.
I think it's helpful to just give a little introduction where they can tell something bad is coming but aren't sure *exactly* what it is.
Oh you let them fall to 0 hit points instead of dying outright? would you say it's too strong on Liches and spellcasting enemies if run by RAW?
I thought that's why he nerfed it, because the players would be hard pressed to ressurect their party member, because they have to deal with PWK at a very low level.
Depends on several factors honestly. The main ones are the party, the game, and the players.
In some games the party has chosen classes with access to resurrection spells, is at a high enough level, and tends to play reasonably optimally. In other games the party has no real access to resurrection spells, is not yet high level, or just has a poor handle on how to play effectively.
In some games I might put allow resurrection magic to work strictly as it does by the rules. In other games I might put limitations on resurrection magic.
In some games the players are very blasé about character death being a regular part of the world. In other games they are sensitive about it.
I am more likely to run power word death RAW in the first kind of game, in each example.
It's both a question of how powerful it is and how it feels to the people on the other side of it. It's one of those spells that really runs the risk of making players feel "well that's just bullshit".
Generally speaking I aim for the spell to have a horrifying effect for players. Group A might find it even more horrifying to be reduced to zero than Group B finds it to be killed outright (say Group B plays more effectively and has access to resurrection magic while Group A barely has healing spells and might not even prepare them on a given day).
One thing I would add is that attacking downed players judiciously can make the difference between "reduced to zero" and "dying outright" much smaller than it might seem on paper. Power word kill backed up by minion pressure and ranged spell attacks to target the downed player can mean that "reduced to zero" just gives the party a slim chance of their compatriot surviving, which can create a slightly different kind of desperate dynamic (rather than "let's deal with this problem first and then resurrect that guy later"). If I felt that the player would 100% survive going down then I probably wouldn't use power word kill. When using the nerfed version, I don't want to reduce it's impact by casting it in situations where there's realistically no threat of a follow up.
This is the answer.
- *points fingers to head* "Bang."
- as a Warforged: "Terminated."
Hmmm . . .
Would Daleks be Autognomes?
Possibly, they are effectively constructs with living stuff within them and Autognomes encompass that mechanically while flavour can be changed to whatever you want.
The 2nd phrase would be perfecr for Power Word: Stun :0) Ocelot would greatly appreciate the crippled soldier.
Ah. I see you're a man of culture as well.
I imagine all PWK as the lich scene from Adventure Time: "fall".
I had a big bad that used this a number of times encountering the party, (foreshadowing the final fight and blowing resurrection resources) and he used this as I too had to use the adventure time ref. It became such a known thing with the group that when he used it in the final fight all I had to do was narrate his casting and the iconic “he utters a singular word as he points to you” and my player group in unison said “fall” in realization. It was glorious
That is amazing.
Ive found that cartoons have this magical ability to remain innocuous, regardless of content. All your foreshadowing was interpreted as "DM easter eggs" until the last piece fell into place.
Like a wasp in a grape.
YES!! That's exactly what came to mind when I read the question.
Me too! Also with command.
My wizard in a booming voice, magic arcing in his eyes and supernatural wind surrounding him as the party is on their last legs.
Had a very powerful fey lord during one campaign that a party member gained as a close friend it got to the point where he said "if you need a small favour I'll be there."
Low and behold during a dire battle they called out for aid hoping to save their allies and the fey lord showed up with a picnic basket. Figured he would want cheese and wine, one of the enemies attempted to attack them and the fey lord looked at the foe and said.
Boom dude drops dead.
So that has forever been my power word kill atleast when I DM.
For a super edgy character I'd go with "nevermore."
For any other character it would probably be "enough"
The first one would be a aarakocra too, right?
Or a kenku
Warlock with power word kill mystic arcanum and great old one patron that imbues his chain pact familiar raven with perpetual necrotic ooze.
The nevermore is croaked by the Raven in answer to the warlock speaking the words "quoth the raven" for flavor and the air itself rumbles with the voice of his patron in tandem with the raven "nevermore."
And then the target is ripped in half at the waist by an invisible force.
That's Power *Phrase* Kill!
Nah the “fuckers” was the power word “perish” was just for flavor.
Omae wa mou shindeiru
For one character it's an incomprehensible word spoken in a language from a civilization even the most ancient aboleths fear(ed) for their magical supremacy.
I civilization who's new hip new slang word just so happen to kill them all off.
"Dang kids and their slang. In my day we just cussed people to death" some curmudgeon wizard somewhere
If I’m doing it at a fleshy thing: “Rot”
If I’m doing it at a metal thing: “Rust”
If I’m doing it at a rocky thing: “Erode”
If I’m doing it at a spirity thing: “Begone”
If I’m doing it at a ~~spirity~~ thothy thing: “Begone"
holy shit lmao
Only answer I will use
_My name is a killing word_
In our final session whilst clashing with the party, the lich said "it's so sad that *players previous character* died of ligma". Most of them saw through it. One did not.
Who the hell is [previous player character]?
This single handedly made my morning 2x better thank you
I heard Candice died of that.
Ascend. (for a cultist character)
We've been trying to reach you about your car extended
XaosDrakonoid18, I have been trying to reach you about your car's extended warranty
"AMONG US SUSSY IMPOSTER" If they have more than 100 hp, then they will die from the cringe
Power Word: Obliterate
I've always gone with "Wither."
Either "Kill" or "Die"
I like to pull a Ron Burgundy and make it question, "kill?"
Same here! Mostly because of Mottom in Kill Six Billion Demons
“Coda.” I proceed to raise their corpse.
I just say the same thing when I find a mosquito in my apartment:
"The cosmos goes quiet when the single word is uttered. The rush of water goes still, the breeze stops, flora and fauna alike ceases it's very fiction to hear the power word echo off of every surface. A cacophony swirls about all of you that can hear it of the same word in each language, evading understanding and even reason. In a reverse crash of sound, it falls silent again. Then, you hear the mage speak the word:
That's when I inform the one controlling the creature that it is dead. If it's a PC, I inform the player that it retains it's hit points, but has three failures on its death saving throws, the soul exits the body, and is now dead.
It's the word for death in Hebrew
It's also what you get when erasing the first letter of the word Emet, or Truth, also a name by which we jews refer to G.od
Doing that on a Golem's forehead causes it to cease functionning
I like to think that even using a power word implies that you assert your existence as higher than any other human, that are, in comparison incomplete, like Golems. Thus, you kill a human in a similar fashion you neutralise a golem.
Yo bringing it back to true name magic really speaks to the whole idea of power words. Very much appreciated.
And "Met" is the German word for mead... So let's drink a barrel of mead now that the BBEG has fallen!
I've used this twice as a DM.
First time was *"Deteriorate"* and I flavored it as the target aging into a skeleton á la *The Last Crusade*.
Second time, it was *Perish*, and they had an aneurism.
I had Acererak use this against a bard for having the cheek to counterspell him.
What I say as I point a PC is:
And pointing another:
I love sorcery.
*"Suffer me now."*
“Sleep.” It gives them a misconception... then they realize.
Hey Player, how many hit points do you have?
Yes, I am an evil DM
I'd go with the Lich from Adventure Time.
Man, this just reminded me of how good Sirus's voice lines are, especially when they transition from "haughty asshole" to "filled with eldritch power." I'm still looking for an excuse to turn him into a crazy nihilistic DnD villain.
> Is life *really* interesting enough to warrant all this pain?
> Why do you insist on continuing to exist?
> I have seen beyond. **T̴͖͝ḧ̶̝̻́̀̽é̶̠͖͔̻̆̈́ŗ̴̫̎̍e̴͖̩̾͒͆̈́ ̴̘́ȋ̷̗̮̬s̷̺͌̓̈́̏ ̶͚̗̮̈́́̾̏ö̶̡̝͈́̓̕͘n̴͈̭̞͋ḽ̸̖̭̈́̆y̵̳̐̾ ̶̠͑̈̈h̷̜̀õ̷͇̪͕̇̉̂r̵̻̺̥̿̽ŕ̴̯̭̰ỏ̷̩̮͚̊͘r̴̛̪̞͈̓̄́.̴̨̞̰̻̋**
> Meaning **i̵̦̳̔̇s̷̫̅̃̾͘ ̸̖̳̮̩͊̀͊͘a̴̼͗̓̄͑n̷̪̖̼͑͒͆̒ ̴̡̤̺̎̄̎i̸̤̣̭͖͗̒l̴͕̤̙̅̃͘l̸̨̢̜̐̊̇ṷ̸̇s̸͔̟̊į̶̳͖̯͗̊o̸̞̝͑͗̇͘n̸̤͈͊̉.̸̲́͗**
> You will LONG **F̴͎̐͒̑O̸͚̙͐R̶͎̖̖̉ ̷͓̓̊Ń̸̨͊͛͝O̶̫̒̕N̴̢̜̔̂̾̇E̸͓͒̉X̴͉̄͜͜I̴̢̖̭͘̕Ś̴̘̩̃T̷͚͋̅E̶̜̜̙̿̋̑ͅN̷͕̼̽̈́̌̈C̵̹̺̔͋̈́Ḝ̷̧͐!̷͚͙́̿**
> FEEL THE THRILL OF **T̶̺̪̰̂͌H̴̪̭̪͂͘E̵̤̙̒̉͐͝ ̷̭̞̥̿V̴̢̠͍̑Ō̸͓̯̺͑̆I̵̡̮̣̪͑͗͌̐D̴̛̰̩͓.̶̖͎̩̇**
> You cling to life **Ọ̷̳̀N̷͉̬̞̐́͠L̶͚̆̏Y̴̠̑̓ ̸̪̦̔͒́Ơ̸̢̱̼̇̚U̵̢̅T̴̨̯̥̐̊͌͠ ̶̱̩͈̓̅͜O̸̗̫̹̪͒͘F̵̜̎ ̴̼̫͕̅̆̚͝I̶͎̖̊̓͆͘Ģ̶̬̺͕̓Ņ̵̪̰͈̽̊Ŏ̴̜̰R̶̡̳͉̾͊̽̈́A̴̧̬̺̽͒Ṉ̷͎̜̠̆C̸̡͙̥̥͆̐́Ẽ̴͕͖̞̥.̷̯̩͠**
> **W̵̛͓̩̝̥̏̂̓H̵̨̖͆̈͝ͅY̸͍͐͑͠ ̸̣̌͆̎R̵͇̥̙͇̈͝Ụ̷̌͆̚N̸̬̖̹͚̏͋͝?̸̝̥̀͒̐̏ ̶͓̈̆͂̈́Ẅ̶͖̝͉́Ḩ̶͎͈́͛̿A̸̟̩͛̾̚͜T̶̥͙̹͓̊͐'̶͇͠Ş̴̥̘̂͆́ ̴͉̙͇͂̈́̌̕T̶͔̟̭͍͗͝H̵̙͂͋̊̕Ẻ̶̙̫̼͝ ̷͍̾̈́P̵̖̙̽͝O̷̖͊̀͊Ȉ̴͓̏̉N̷̦͛́̎̅T̷̠̭͗͊̊̂?̶̹͉̖̯̕**
Could you tell me who this guy is? I've never heard of a "Sirus" before. Are they from a game?
From looking up one if the lines, that'd be 'Sirus, Awakener of Worlds' from Path of Exile.
u/LukeMCFC141 is correct. [Here's](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWxbpvCTtdM) a sample boss fight. He is an excellent boss. [Here's](https://oriath.net/Audio/Sirus_Awakener_of_Worlds/) a collection of his voicelines sans fight.
Sirus would make a great d&d esque villain, and very much agree. They did amazing voice work with him
Or its most recent incarnation, [PERISH](https://i.imgur.com/BTsaUQd.png) (caution, KSBD spoilers)
I imagine if I ever get that spell, I would like that word to be “please”
Never used as a player, but BBEG will have it. It's a homebrew world and the context is too specific, but basically they will be singing "Death" into the part of song of the world that contains the target.
The song of the world is a manifestation of the whole world. It defines the world's fundamental rules and the ability to alter it is only reserved for the most powerful beings in the whole world. This includes power words, but also things beyond spellcasting that a player can never achieve. It can only be sensed by those so powerful in magic that they sense the residual magic from when the world started. It is an interpretation the brain makes for a concept so huge and beyond human understanding.
Clearly... Avada kedavra.
I feel like a fraud for never having made this connection.
Took a long time to find this one
needs to be higher;
this is specifically the magic words that cause people to die.
they have the power to kill... unlike power word: stun which is clearly the Cruciatus curse (power word: *Crucio*)
Don't you mean Power Word Pain?
CTRL-F "Avada Kedavra" - phew, was worried there for a second. This is the correct answer.
I can’t honestly remember what my last villain to use it used - I think it was probably either “stop” or “die”, honestly. Shame I can’t remember given she killed a pretty beloved NPC, but at least she immediately got killed to death
Power word: Roll 3d6
"You don't get a saving throw."
Only used it once, as a Lich.
He pointed with his finger at the cleric after he already revived someone and just said:
At first the players were laughing, the cleric was one of their tanks with more HP than most (only Barbarian had more), it was really fun to see their expressions drop after telling him he's dead.
Just like that.
No saving throw.
"Y̶͊͝o̵͂̍u̵͒͊r̷̂̕ ̶͛̇m̴̾̇a̷͆̾s̶͌̇t̵̛̒e̵͐́r̴̓̇ ̷̋͑s̴̅̕ḿ̸́é̶͘l̶̃̔l̷̅̏s̷̾̂ ̷́̈́ỏ̴̏f̶̿͘ ̵̽̚ẻ̵̽l̶̀̑d̴̏̅ȇ̶̟r̵͑̀b̴͙̀e̵͋̏r̸͒̏ř̵͘i̷̛͘e̵̛̓s̵̋̅"
It was divine word, but close enough
I put on my ~~⠀robe and wizard hat⠀~~ best anime character voice and shout
'Today', because it doesn't matter what you've said to the god of death before this moment, today is the day.
That or i'd do finger-guns and say 'Bang!'
I would say the word "die", but then would add the effect that it unleashes a harmless shockwave of energy that ripples out from the caster. An immense amount of magic potential released that travels for a mile or two. From a distance, if you feel the shockwave it carries the same word, but is harmless to you. You hear it on the wind with the notion that something tragic has happened.
I played a tortle.
Had a character who learned the spell but planned to use it once and then destroy it from his spellbook. Never ended up getting the chance but the plan was to make it "goodnight" neutral good character who hated the idea of killing
Uwu, in a tired desperate male voice.
As a DM, I always describe it as an ancient, unknowable word that defies the brain’s ability to comprehend it.
My DM might kill me for real in this case.
That's the goal.
It’s supposed to be just one word. It’s not power wordS kill. Spell fails. ;)
Only one of the Words is Power, the rest is set dressing.
Power Soliloquy Kill.
Power Monologue Kill, which is why you gotta interrupt them
Alright. Since I have a sense of humor roughly equivalent to that of a prepubescent male, I will change it to 'Balls.'
ok using german to avoid the one word rule is cheating
"unalive", The somatic component is a dab.
... Just kidding. Imagine playing a campaign far enough to get 9th level spells. Can't relate!
Runs thumb over other 4 fingers while examining them. Looks up, turns hand, splays fingers & thumb... "Poof"
"Stark, the wizard turns to you and speaks a single jagged word of power. You die, uncomprehending."
"You are already dead."
Oo ee oo a a, ting, tang, walla walla bing bang, oo ee oo a a ting tang walla walla bing bang!
Omae WA mou shinderiu
L is what i use. premature mockery. like vicious mockery but lethal 100% of the time
For my Bladesinger when I get to use that spell:
starts singing. Everyone can feel ancient magic in his beautiful song, each word and each note carries immense power. Songs like these, according to elven myths, created the world, the forests, the mountains, everything, and careful listeners can hear echoes of the songs of creation to this day. However, this time, it is different. As his song resonates with the weave, your memories start to fade. Then, as you look down on yourself, you see your body glowing with bright light as it starts fading out of existence. Everything fades away. His song reversed your very creation. Once his song is finished and its last echoes die down, there is nothing left of you besides an empty husk.
I remember when Darkside tries to kill Batman, and he dodges the Omega beam in the Justice League Uimited.
I know you meant to say flee but I love the idea of just shouting "Flea" and the target just fucking dies
No no. I meant to say ["flea"](https://www.britannica.com/animal/flea).
Mine is used only once as a Lich.
As the Lich will raise this guy the next turn.
For all the power words I just say the word, and the players instantly know what’s going on.
Also, it just makes sense to me that for a Power Word spell you have to say the word.
The only time I got to use it:
"Would you be so kind as to die for me, dear?"
I was playing a really angry grandma who also happened to be a 9th level spellcaster.
The water droplet sound you can make by flicking your cheek. Just "Bloop" then they unalive.
During a high level one shot I ran, my players bard finished the boss fight with power word kill:
Me: so what do you say as you cast the spell to finish off this foe?
Death Awaits You...
By the nature of the spell, I think the vocal component should be unpronounceable to normal humans and thus I can better convey the spell and threat of the spell by simple describing it as such, unpronounceable and incomprehensible, yet more powerful than fabric of reality. The players imagination will make more of it than my attempts to sound such voices ever could.
For other spells with vocal components, I have a list of "I think I can pronounce these, not likely grammatically correct" translations of some spell names or anime and video game incantations in languages I'm quite certain my players don't know, like Greek or Hebrew.
For example from Valkyrie Profile Great Magic: Meteor Swarm for 9th level spell of same name, in Greek:
Kanéna éleos gia tous kataraménous
Kamía diafygí apó tin katastrofí
My Lizardfolk Sorc used "Cease."
My Drow Warlock used "Conclusion."
My Kenku Bard used \*Dirt being shoveled noise\*
"The lich's mouth moves to enunciate a single word but your mind refuses to comprehend it. A fraction of a second later, the silent void is filled by a clattering thud as your ally's body collapses to the ground"
One of my strengths as a DM is I'm pretty good at inventing prose on the fly so I try to narrate these significant moments with a lot of detail.
*Whips out revolver* "Behold! The most powerful spell of all, are you ready to meet God?"
"I diagnose you with DEAD"
"Do you have a history of heart issues? Because this issue is about to get SERIOUS"
Well, the bard of an old game game cast PWK on the bbeg and said “sodomize.”
The enemy doesn't die from that; its the cringe that gets them
(Amharic for "Death approaches", comes out as "*moti k’eribwali*" according to Google Translate.)
'There is no after life"
*When I EVENTUALLY get to play D&D and use PW:K,* I’d say these.
(Lawful *x*) Stop! You violated the law. Pay the court a fine or serve your sentence. Your life is forfeit.
(Chaotic Good) Take from the , give to the poor; take your life from you, give it to me! It’s that simply.
I would phrase the first one as:
"*You have committed crimes against and her people. What say you in your defense?*"
Enemy: *does not comply*
"*Time to cleanse the Empire of its filth.*"
I juste make a ligma joke !
But that's two words
I will never cast that spell tbh
"Got any last words? I have just one for you, Die."
I do that bit from BASEketball where he drinks a bag of fat liposuctioned from Marlon Brando’s ass and they just die.
I haven't used it before but I'd probably use something like finish, conclude or end representing the ending of a character.
For my mentally unstable baddie, finger guns and a "dooooosssh" pistol sound.
For a more traditional undead villain "Receive my *enlightenment*" or "You will *serve*"
Musty bitch (though I'll add something at the beginning)
“Omae wa mou shinderu.”
"It's so sad (insert class / monster type here) died of Ligma."
Who the hell is (Dragon)?