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A Death spell in 5e

Michael Morris

First Post
This is a crack at a balanced death spell in 5e that happens to have a lot of flavor.
Smother
6th level Sodran enchantment
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You choose a creature in range that must breathe to live that you can see. It must succeed at a Constitution saving throw or immediately have all the air driven from its lungs and fall into the grasp of this spell. While you maintain your concentration it cannot breathe. It has disadvantage on all checks while struggling for air except for the constitution saving throw against this spell that it must make on each of your turns. When it fails a number of these checks equal to its constitution modifier + 1 (minimum 1) it drops to 0 hit points and is dying, but it must continue to make saving throws against this spell instead of normal death saving throws. If it fails three saving throws while dying it is slain.

When the spell is stopped the victim can breathe normally, but still suffers after effects until it makes a constitution saving throw to regain its breath. Until that occurs the victim has disadvantage on all checks.

If the victim was at 0 hit points when the spell ends it can begin breathing and doesn't need to make death saving throws but remains unconscious until it can finish a short rest, at which point all hit points lost to this spell are restored. If it is subjected to a cure spell at all it returns to the hit point total it had before this spell struck it, then add the healing effect of the cure spell used to awaken it.

A creature that makes its initial saving throw against this spell is unaffected by the spell.

At higher levels: When you cast this spell from a 7th level or higher slot you can maintain the spell for an additional minute for each level beyond 6th.


Since 5e has no real death spells its hard to find a baseline. Consider though that hold person will paralyze a foe starting at 2nd level, and at 5th level for monsters. It's fastest kill time is 4 rounds.
 
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KarinsDad

First Post
The con save should be at the end of each of the target's turns like other spells (consistency). Also, there's quite a few creatures with Con of 10. Having a 200 hit point creature go down to 0 hit points after more or less a single round is powerful. The minimum number of rounds should be 3 like flesh to stone (IIRC).

Also, the At higher levels part doesn't make sense. A minute is an eternity in 5E combat, so nobody would ever use a higher level slot unless they were forced to. One extra foe for each level above 6 (like Hold Person or Hold Monster) makes more sense.
 

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