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Words of Power Unleashed

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The Words of Power system first introduced by Paizo in Ultimate Magic is a respectable attempt at producing a modular magical system that does not divorce itself from the notion of Vancian and spontaneous casting where it is due. Its problem, like so many of the ideas in first party Pathfinder publications, is in its published content to ambition ratio. Simply put, Words of Power is a skeleton; only the heart of what the system should be is even present. The weird spells that make magic fun to begin with simply are not there. Instead, this move into the wonders of something modular rehashes only the most basic spells. This, all on its own, deals a deathblow to the system, as variety and combinatorial possibility is the selling point of every modular system ever.

Thankfully, the core concept of Words of Power is relatively sound, so all that is needed to make it fun is to expand upon the various words that make up the content. Words of Power Unleashed offers a selection of 3 new target words, 4 new meta words, and 10 new effect words chosen that add tactical depth and, most importantly, fun options to your wordcaster.

Here's a sample!

Negative Reinforcement
School divination;
Level bard 2, cleric/oracle 3, inquisitor 2, paladin 2

Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance yes
Target Restrictions selected


The target of a wordspell containing this effect word is brought under magical scrutiny. If the target attempts to make a saving throw against this spell, he takes 2d6 points of nonlethal damage with no saving throws allowed; it is aware of this backlash before it attempts a saving throw. Whenever the target is asked a direct question, its answer is subjected to a Sense Motive skill check whose bonus is equal to the caster's caster level + his Wisdom modifier. If the target attempts to lie, fabricate, or otherwise obfuscate the truth, it must make a Bluff skill check. If the spell's Sense Motive check is equal to or greater than the target's Bluff check, the target is clubbed upside the head by an invisible emanation of force for 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A successful saving throw negates everything but the 2d6 points of retributive damage for attempting to make a saving throw. The caster has no link to his wordspell and only knows whether or not the target takes damage from an unseen force. As such, creatures somehow capable of absorbing the damage from this ability can lie freely.

Boost: Damage dealt by this effect word is lethal force damage.

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April 1st, 2014
I suppose that the price for the word count is pretty good, and there are some innovative ideas here, but overall, for my purposes, I found it near completely useless. Some of the ideas here were a stretch and because of my own additions to the Word of [...]
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File Last Updated:
June 12, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on June 12, 2013.