Does anyone have any stories of having used Cloudkill in their games?

Does anyone have any stories of having used Cloudkill in their games?

Does anyone have any stories of having used Cloudkill in their games?  As a 7th level spell, it ought to be pretty powerful, but it’s got a lot of obvious drawbacks.  Like that, as written, you have to have something else around also doing damage to get any effect out of it at all.  And that 1d6/target is less than the 2d6 done by the 3rd-level Fireball spell.  And that it seems pretty hard to use without affecting your own party as bad or worse as the bad guys.  And that it costs 7 points to memorize, so if you take it you have to give up, for instance, Dispel Magic and Sleep and Charm Person.

Is it really worth it?  Convince me.

14 thoughts on “Does anyone have any stories of having used Cloudkill in their games?”

  1. I think it’s really a victim of the lack of turns in DW,which is usually not a bad thing but does make damage over time effects odd to say the least. I would argue that it really isn’t worth it, as the issue in DW is very rarely doing enough damage up kill the target and is more about actually being able to hit it. The only real use I can think of is using it to assist teammates firing volleys, as you really don’t want your melee players in the cloud, as, like you said, it would be pretty nasty for players in there. All that said, I’ve never used it myself or seen it used, but it doesn’t seem like a spell I’ll be taking on my wizard. Which is a shame, as it seems like a cool concept with a lot of potential for causing mayhem.

  2. It’s really more of an evil infiltration spell.

    You go on a roof, find a hole, cast it, and wait for things to die since it flows downwards. Considering it’s basically Death’s Deadly Farts I can’t see a serious “WE NEED THIS NOW” use for it.

  3. I think you’re right, not a whole lot of redeeming features to the spell. Not sure if you are looking for house rule suggestions, but this would be mine.

    When you cast this spell, a wisp of fog drifts from beyond the Black Gates, filling the immediate area with the grasping mindless hunger of Death. Within this roiling mist, anything with 7 hp or less instantly dies, and ghostly talons carry it away. This spell persists so long as you can see the affected area, or until you dismiss it.

  4. The idea here is that rather than just dealing damage, the cloud is Death itself. Immunity to poison, undead, golem – it doesn’t matter, Death comes for all. Weak creatures are wiped out instantly, stronger creatures can endure, but if they every reach 7 hp, they are gone. 

    Given this, you might actually cast it around the Fighter; they can take a hit or two without necessarily being in danger.

  5. The Wizard seems to need a battlefield mass-damage spell, and this is what we’ve got.  And it really seems like it wants to be d6-per-round, except DW doesn’t have rounds.

    Dylan Knight’s idea of auto-killing targets with 7hp or less is interesting.  Maybe too strong?  I’d want to leave some scattered survivors, I think.  Another way I can imagine patching it is to add a couple of conditions:  do d6 damage immediately when cast, and again whenever a victim takes damage or has to take a breath.  That’s maybe a little more work to administer in play, but it has the advantage of being a more chaotic in its results, and also not allowing PCs to just ignore the cloud entirely.

  6. colin roald For added randomness, you can have it only potentially affect HP=Wizard’s level targets but make the wizard’s roll count also. 7-9, half the targets, 10+ all the targets.

  7. I have noticed here nobody jumping in with any stories of having used this spell, which makes me think the Wizards out there are basically all on my side that it’s underpowered.  Another question:  the spell says it “fills the immediate area”.  Suppose you’re outside on a battlefield full of baddies.  How big do you think the “immediate area” is?  I’d prefer not to have to argue that one out with the DM in the middle of a fight.  

    I’ll tell you my feeling, though.  I think it should be at least the size of a football field, in order to have the kind of tactical effect it seems intended for.  Agree/disagree?

  8. Far range? I don’t get the idea of arguing it out, if it seems cool, shouldn’t you be able to do it? Couldn’t they just add some other cost to making it is as big as you want a la the ritual move?

  9. Ari Black, aren’t you the one who didn’t want to let the Druid in wolf form just track someone automatically using a Shapeshift success?  I think the point is that what seems “cool, just do it” to one person might seem overpowered to someone else.  It seems like a stretch to me to consider everything in far range as “the immediate area”, and I’d want to know my DM was on board before even taking that spell.

  10. colin roald​ I was suggesting that as a resolution to Druid/Ranger overlap. I have no trouble with the Druid doing it on their own if the narrative supports. As far as range, I was offering some concrete. I like the notion of discussion during the use, especially because the lack of concrete definition may inspire players to try something that they wouldn’t with a more limiting description.

  11. colin roaldIf anything feels too strong or weak, focus on it’s strengths or weaknesses and flavor it fictionally. I have a wizard I didn’t want to spam fireball and a good roll on his close range fireball killed a fellow party member. If the GM wants to make this spell worth the 7 points, despite its lackluster description, flavor it accordingly, or as the wizard in question, flavor it accordingly if the gm let’s you describe it. (Yes, I’m teaching you a way to take advantage of an inexperienced gm. Shhh). The cloudkill clouds could be noxious and thick and make it hard for enemies to breath, much less see. Does this flavor effect the other party members? Because if the gm rules it doesn’t, you can incapacitate an army and cut every soldier down. If the gm rules it does, I have a feeling heroes are gonna be able to deal with that (wizard rituals a bubble of clean air?) better than mundane monsters or soldiers. There’s a reason wizards are seen as overpowered.

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