I am not sure I know anyone who likes "no effect."Aside from that, fireball and boulder. Overused!
thumb of death..I always call face because it is cheesy..it is stupid and in our game we get hit with something...
Thumb of Death I've never minded, and I (albeit with some sarcasm and some actual humor) enjoy hearing a target I've attacked say, "No effect" because then I can pipe up a la Rob Scarlett and respond, "Oh, I think it's having an effect." ...and hit them/taunt them/keep them distracted and annoyed until the rest of the PCs figure out what *actually* kills it.What bugs me is 'point and shoot' NPCs that have PC-backed powers. I prefer my NPCs to have a legal verbal count for, say, the spell Disrupt, and I want them to cast it correctly at the wall of chanters, not just point a thumb at them and say, "I disrupt your chanting," or "Disrupt disrupt disrupt disrupt" (the latter actually happened at an event I participated in as a player).I feel that if one is going out of their way to have their NPCs be on par power-wise with PCs and to go so far as to have almost the same spell lists, then they ought to follow the rules of it, too. An example that comes to mind is the late Illinar plot: healers always followed the PC set of rules, including needing verbal counts and no weapons within ten feet, etc..
Fireball. Everywhere used, nowhere defined...
Thumb of Death. Give me a chance to die with dignity, sword in my hand and all that. If you want your baddies to be untouchable, give them a ton of insta-death magic missiles and armor out the wazzooo or something, but let me pretend I have a chance to epicly dodge out of the way before I get ganked. Thumb of Death is just so anti-climactic. I don't mind No-Effect so much- unless I'm the NPC calling it, because for some reason there are people who think hitting harder will make it more effective. And I don't really have Char's issue with fireball, because the event holders always have the effect in the special calls explanations. I do agree with Beth that fireball and boulder to be a bit overdone.
Boulder when swung from a sword and not from a thrown boulder prop. Seems too quick and cheesy for me.
I love boulder if the boulder is large luke a bean-bag chair. I agree with Rhiannon whith boulder swung from a sword. I was at a Chaos event years back where one of the NPCs was swinging boulder off a pop 3 foot wearing a colorful winter jacket and no garb...
Now if it had been some cool looking beast with 6'6 capped in an anvil or simething, I would have been more than ok dieing by that.
I would have to say the dreaded thumb of death, except in very limited situations. I really think most calls have their time and place. A dragon shooting fireballs from it's mouth is acceptable; a troll throwing bean bags calling boulder; no effect if you are trying to kill a god (that you're obviously not supposed to be fighting) with a 12 inch scalping dagger. The only call that I can't think of an appropriate time to use would be "All within the sound of my voice die".
That could be epic