Power word, kill, formerly known as Xanad's killer.[1] was a powerful conjuration spell that killed one tough subject or many weak ones.[4][3][2]


When earlier versions of power word, kill were uttered, the caster could either kill a single creature with a high amount of physical resilience, or multiple creatures with much less resilience, up to a certain total.[citation needed]

After the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR, the spell was slightly improved, being able to instantly slay a much more robust living creature, but could only affect one at a time.[3]

If power word, kill was cast as an area spell, it killed creatures in a 15-foot-radius (4.5 meters) sphere. It killed only creatures who had less resilience, and only up to certain total of such creatures. The spell affected creatures with the lowest resilience first, and worked up until it reached its limit.[citation needed]

The post-Second Sundering version of the spell could no longer kill multiple targets at once, but could still kill a single creature instantly, provided it was not extremely powerful.[2]


The spell required only a verbal component.[2]


The spell was attributed to the Netherese arcanist Xanad in −683 DR and was originally called Xanad's killer.[1]


See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 25,28. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207,209–211,266–267. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 263. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 196. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  5. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 185. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  6. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  7. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.