The target had to be a living creature for this spell to be effective. The newer version of slay living required a successful melee touch attack in order to cast, but the older versions operated at a range of 90 ft (27.4 m). In this respect, they were very similar to finger of death.
If the target was able to overcome the death magic, they were not killed outright but were then subject to damage on the order of an inflict serious wounds spell, which still might have been fatal.
- Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 280. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 224. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
- David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 284–285. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
- Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 153. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
- Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 187. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
- Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 50. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.