It's funny. "Save or Die" is a big topic in the OSR, with strong opinions on both sides of the fence (mostly on the "pro" side of Save or Die from my experience). Yet, the simple 1st Level Sleep Spell jumps the shark, if you will.
In Swords & Wizardry Complete, a Sleep Spell takes out 2 to 16 creatures of up to 1st level with no save allowed.
Now, this is a powerful spell in the hands of the PCs. Heck, it can take out a 4HD creature, like an Ogre.
It can also decimate a PC party of 3rd level or less if used against them. For a party of 1st or 2nd level PCs, it's a nearly guaranteed TPK. (sure, Elves are immune to magical sleep, but that can't be part of the assumption of the party makeup).
How many DM's have used this against their PCs and ended a campaign before it even started? Hopefully, none, but you never know with the inexperienced DMs.
How is "No Save and Die" an integral part of the game?
Isn't what's good for the PC's good for their adversaries? ;)
Dragonlance - Campaign Setting - From the back cover: Sagas from the lands of Krynn are filled with valiant heroes destined to discover ancient secrets and vanquish terrible evils. Like ...
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