D&D 5E Disintegrate and power word kill IN SWORDS

so last year I gave my party 2 powerful items (Speed Metal and Death Metal see spoiler) and I had a player say that death metal (based on PW kill) was WAY too powerful. However in the spell jammer adventure (pre adventure?) on beyond they introduced a new sword item that seems to be in the same spirt, a sword of disintegration (see spoiler).

In theory these are VERY powerful spells to build into swords, but I wonder are they really?

so this +1 short sword had to be attuned, and once it was you got access to a charge using power (but it resets to 0 charges when attuned to a new person) and an always on ability.
Always on, at the end of a round that death metal does damage, any creature damaged that has less then 3xyour current HD hp dies.
any creature killed (by damage or effect) by death metal nets it one charge up to a max of your prof + cha mod.
You can as an action spend a charge to release a burst of necrotic energy. Everything in 10ft of you takes 1d10 necrotic damage and makes a Con save dc 13 for half damage... this counts as damaging a target for always on ability

These long swords Don't have a +1, BUT if they reduce a target to 0hp they turn to dust.

This short sword requires attunement and doesn't have a +1. It does however have an activatable ability that triggers anytime you make 2 or more attacks with it in the same turn. As no action you get a bonus attack that is at disadvantage, if it hits you ONLY deal 1d6 damage no bonus, however if it hits you get to make another attack at disadvantage on and on to a max of your prof# of bonus disadvantage attacks


Now the same player that was a duel short sword wielding rogue (assassin) 3/Ranger (gloom stalker) 3 the two I made up (and he stole from an evil bard hence the names) had not only been unhappy that he could make so many attacks, but even more unhappy with the 'kill things auto that after he hits has 18 or less hp' I tried to explain that at most that was ending the fight 1 action or round sooner, and even at 20th level if he spent no HD it would only be 60hp or less and by that level the party should throw that in a round easy.

So he has quit my game saying we are not a good fit, but we remained friends. I asked him the other day about the disintegrate effect and he told me "That sounds like one of your overpowered items"

am I just a WAY bad judge of power level, because none of this seems that outlandish to me (but my two short swords came into a 6th level game, the WotC disintegrate sword can come in at a level 1 adventure)
 

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I like those.
The SPell Jammer Swords can be adapted to be a very useful assassin, hitman weapon.

The death metal is cool. The power could be base on remaining hit points to trigger more often.

The speed metal may produce many rolls, that may be boring on the long run.

We can imagine smite effects for weapon. like: Once per day on a hit you deal 10d6 extra necrotic damage. The extra damage and the time per day can be adjust according to level and play style.
 

I like those.
The SPell Jammer Swords can be adapted to be a very useful assassin, hitman weapon.
that was my first thought as well
The death metal is cool. The power could be base on remaining hit points to trigger more often.
yeah, that's what it is your current HDx3 compared to the current HP at the end of your turn in the round
The speed metal may produce many rolls, that may be boring on the long run.
yeah I had that feel too... but I figured with the disadvantage you would either need to be fighting low AC monster minions or get real lucky to get a lot, and either way I figure "I hit, Ihit again, I hit again" would be exciting at the table
We can imagine smite effects for weapon. like: Once per day on a hit you deal 10d6 extra necrotic damage. The extra damage and the time per day can be adjust according to level and play style.
yeah that could be cool too
 

the Jester

Legend
Killing someone who still has hit points is far more powerful than reducing a body at 0 hps to dust. I don't think it's a very good comparison. Your Death Metal sword is very powerful, especially in the hands of a higher level pc (20th level means insta kill on anything with 60 hps or less). It's pretty unbalanced by the standard 5e paradigm; however, many home games' balance assumptions are very different, so it's hard to judge in its own right without being in that game.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
So he has quit my game saying we are not a good fit, but we remained friends. I asked him the other day about the disintegrate effect and he told me "That sounds like one of your overpowered items"
Was he thinking that it also inflicted additional damage akin to the disintegrate spell? Because based on your description, all it's really good for is cleaning things up in a fight, leaving no evidence behind, and, probably most strongly, keeping any power based on going past 0 hp from working and keeping enemies from returning to the fight via healing (and let's be frank, how often does that happen for NPCs/monsters)?
 

Your Death Metal sword is very powerful, especially in the hands of a higher level pc (20th level means insta kill on anything with 60 hps or less).
well 1st I didn't plan on the game getting above 15th level (and it only made it to 11th by the last fight 12th by last session) and again, I don't know that killing something at 60hp or less is really that powerful, it at most is cutting 1 last round off the fight.

and in the game we often spend a few HD so the later in the 'day' we are the less powerful it is.
 

Was he thinking that it also inflicted additional damage akin to the disintegrate spell? Because based on your description, all it's really good for is cleaning things up in a fight, leaving no evidence behind, and, probably most strongly, keeping any power based on going past 0 hp from working and keeping enemies from returning to the fight via healing (and let's be frank, how often does that happen for NPCs/monsters)?
no he knew you had to bring to 0 on base damage....
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I see why we call you "GMforPowerGamers" now!

To answer your question, they ARE absolutely way OP, but not game breakers, really. I'm kinda shocked that your player found them a problem - IME players generally give little thought to power, or just plain love it (when it's given to them, not monsters!) Was your player also a DM? That would make more sense to me.
 

the Jester

Legend
well 1st I didn't plan on the game getting above 15th level (and it only made it to 11th by the last fight 12th by last session) and again, I don't know that killing something at 60hp or less is really that powerful, it at most is cutting 1 last round off the fight.
I mean... +60 to damage sounds pretty good to me. And there's no comparison to an effect that happens after you hit 0, in my eyes.

But like I said, depends on the campaign environment. Super powerful magic items are super cool, if the campaign won't break under their weight. I have quite a few in my game, even if they mostly aren't in the hands of pcs. I mean, I have a ring that lets an attuned spellcaster cast each prepared spell of a given school once without using a spell slot. That is, by any normal measure, utterly broken.
 


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