This little gem of a spell, found in _Races of the Dragon_, is a level one
save-or-die spell. It is virtually guaranteed to eventually kill anything with fewer than 50 hit points in a single casting, and has a good chance of killing anything with less than a hundred HP with repeated castings and a bit of patience. Moreover, a single 1st-level enemy sorcerer is capable of achieving a TPK with this spell. And if players have it, their opponents should have it too.
The spell has to be altered. We could just remove it, but that removes a unique bit of flavor from the game that I, at least, otherwise appreciate. So instead, we'll modify it to bring it more in line with existing spells.
Power Word: PainEdit
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 4
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft + 5 ft/2 levels)
Target: 1 living creature with 100 HP or less
Duration: Varies; see below
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
You utter a single word of power that causes the target to be wracked by shooting pains all throughout its body. These pains are random, constant, and excruciating, causing interference with any actions that require concentration.
The spell's duration depends on the target's current HP, as follows:
|50 or less||4d4 rounds|
While this spell is in effect, targets take a -2 penalty to all actions, attacks, and Reflex saves. Actions that require concentration or precision, such as Disable Device checks, Concentration checks, or Will saves, are instead at a -4 penalty. The target also takes 1d6 nonlethal damage at the start of its turn.