Item Power
ItemPower Staff Purple
Cost Icon Mana.png 400
Icon Book DeathIcon Book DeathIcon Book Death

"Death" is an Item Power imbued through Icon Death.pngDeath Magic. At a moderate casting cost, it may be added to Weapons created for Heroes via Create Artifact, and offers a chance to slay a figure in a unit with each attack. Some of the 250 premade Items possess this power, and these can be found mainly as Treasure during the campaign.

Effect Edit

To enchant a weapon with this effect, the Wizard draws up a reservoir of Icon Death.pngDeath energy from his mana to fire his forge. The finished product bears a curse that can slay living creatures outright.

  ItemPower DeathTouch The "Death Touch" ability (never displayed)  

Death is automatically used whenever the Hero makes an attack affected by their weapon (Icon Melee Normal.png Melee Attack with a Sword or Mace; Icon Melee Normal.png Melee or Icon Thrown.png Thrown Attack with an Axe; Icon Ranged Bow.png Ranged Missile Attack with a Bow; or Icon Ranged Magic.png Ranged Magical Attack with a Wand or Staff).

When used, it forces the target unit to make one Icon Resist.png Resistance roll per Icon Figure.png figure in the source unit. To resolve this effect, the game rolls a random number between 1 and 10. This is then compared to the target's current Icon Resist.png Resistance -3. If the rolled number is higher than the modified Resistance score, the target unit is struck for Icon Damage.png Damage Points equal to the full Icon Hits.png Hit Points of one of its Icon Figure.png Figures, slaying one figure instantly and possibly inflicting further Icon Damage.png Damage to the next figure in line.

Timing within the Melee Attack Edit

Death takes effect at the same time the weapon's normal damage is resolved. For Bows, Staves, or Wands, it does not apply during Icon Melee Normal.png Melee combat at all. For Axes, Maces, and Swords, it functions as a Melee Touch Attack. For Axes, if the Hero possesses a Icon Thrown.png Thrown Attack, it is also added to this attack (allowing the Hero to effectively use the ability twice on each voluntary attack).

As a Melee Touch Attack, Death is executed simultaneously with the unit's Melee Damage; thus, Icon Figure.png figures destroyed by a Icon Thrown.png Thrown, Icon Breath.png Breath, Ability StoningGaze.png Gaze Attacks or Ability FirstStrike First Strike will not deliver Death, and figures destroyed by Death will still deliver damage unless the unit is attacking and has Ability FirstStrike First Strike (or a Icon Thrown.png Thrown Attack, in case of Axes).

Immunity Edit

Units with Death Immunity and/or Magic Immunity are impervious to Death. They do not need to make any Icon Resist.png Resistance rolls, instead completely ignoring the attack.
Also, any unit with Icon Resist.png 10 remaining after all factors have been computed, as well as any Charmed hero, is rendered effectively invulnerable to Death by virtue of its resistance score.

Example Edit

To illustrate, say B'Shan aims a "Bow of Death" at a unit of Icon MultiFigureUnit.png 4 Gargoyles from the opposite end of a battlefield. At this distance, his Icon Ranged Bow.png 4 has about a 3% chance of doing more than Icon Damage.png 0 against the Gargoyles' Icon Defense.png 8. Meanwhile the "Death" power attached to the bow has a 60% chance of beating this opponent's resistance, given by d10 versus Icon Resist.png (7 − 3), and dealing exactly Icon Damage.png 4 in this attack. It involves no Icon ToHit.png To Hit component or range penalties, checks Icon Resist.png Resistance rather than defense, and its magnitude is always the max Icon Hits.png Health of Icon Figure.png 1 Figure.

Strategy Edit

There are a number of Item Powers that inflict a resist or suffer effect on the Hero's target. Among these, Death, save at -3 or die is both cheap to cast and difficult to resist. It can pose a threat where other mechanics will fail, as in the example above.

Still, in the scheme of things these powers all have serious shortcomings, rooted in their being Touch Attacks:

  • Victims of a Touch Attack make one resistance roll per attacking figure, and Heroes are Icon SingleFigureUnit.png Single-Figure.
  • Touch Attacks are designed to scale up with Icon MultiFigureUnit.png Multi-Figure Units, so individually their effects are paltry.
  • Dangerous enemies frequently either have Icon Resist.png 10, or something close, remaining after Death's resist penalty, or could be immune to death.

In essence, "Death" only gets one chance to succeed per attack, only kills one Icon Figure.png Figure if it does so, and might not be of much use at all against particularly tough creatures. Unlike a straight defense or damage boost, this power requires some reflection about what sort of opponents you expect your Heroes to be facing.

Other Item Powers that inflict a resist or suffer effect on the Hero's target:

Icon Item Power Color Magnitude Effect
ItemPower Destruction Destruction Icon Chaos.png5 Resist or suffer Icon Damage.png × Icon Figure.png
Ability LifeSteal Vampiric Icon Death.png5 Suffer Icon Damage.png d10 − Icon Resist.png
ItemPower Death Death Icon Death.png3 Icon SpellSave.png -3 Resist or suffer Icon Damage.png × Icon Figure.png
ItemPower DispelEvil Holy Avenger Icon Life.png3 Icon SpellSave.png -4 Resist or suffer Icon Damage.png × Icon Figure.png
Ability StoningTouch Stoning Icon Nature.png2 Icon SpellSave.png -1 Resist or suffer Icon Damage.png × Icon Figure.png

Acquisition Edit

Create Artifact Edit

Main article: Item Crafting

With Icon Death.png3, "Death" may be added to a Weapon of your own design through Icon Arcane.png Create Artifact. Making strong Items through this spell is an incredibly expensive and time-consuming process, though more reasonable with the Artificer and Runemaster Retorts.

Casting Cost Structure for "Death"
Base Runemaster Artificer Both
Icon Mana.png 400 Icon Mana.png 300 Icon Mana.png 200 Icon Mana.png 100

Overland Edit

Main article: Magical Items in Treasure

The game data files contain 250 pre-defined Items. Of these, eight possess the "Death" power. This power causes a premade Item to demand that the Wizard have particular Spellbooks in order to appear in Treasure, and the requirements are irregular. Note how in the case of this power, none of the pre-defined items require a Icon Death.pngDeath Spellbook in order to find.

There are three different ways by which you can acquire one of these pre-defined Items:

It is often better to acquire items in this way, as it means you do not need to spend any time or Icon Mana.png Mana to create them. Still, Items found through these means are in no way guaranteed to exactly suit your needs.

The table below lists the pre-defined Items with this power.

Premade Items with "Death"
Icon Mana.png Item Attributes Realm Powers Required Ranks
500 Item Mace 1 Deathbringer Death

Icon Nature.png3
1100 Item Wand 7 Kraken Wand Icon Melee Magic.png 2 Icon Mana.png 10 Death

Icon Chaos.png3
1500 Item Bow 8 The Undertaker Icon ToHit.png 2 Icon Mana.png 5 Death

Icon Chaos.png3
2150 Item Staff 9 Purple Rain of Death Icon Melee Magic.png 5 Icon ToHit.png 2 Icon Defense.png 2 Death

Icon Life.png3
1000 Item Axe 7 Tree Tamer Icon Melee Magic.png 3 Death
Giant Strength
Icon Sorcery.png3 Icon Chaos.png3
1550 Item Mace 7 Fist of Destruction Icon Melee Magic.png 1 Destruction
Icon Sorcery.png5 Icon Chaos.png3
3050 Item Axe 1 Axe of Chaotic Death Icon Melee Magic.png 5 Chaos
Icon Sorcery.png6 Icon Chaos.png3
Merchant Only
Icon Mana.png Item Attributes Realm Powers Required Ranks
3800 Item Wand 1 Wand of Doom Destruction
Magic Immunity
Icon Nature.png5 Icon Sorcery.png3 Icon Chaos.png6 Icon Life.png5

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