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If a combat encounter is completed, and a character in the party is dying, what happens during the following rest period?

During the rest period, it's a fair given that allies may try to use whatever healing powers they have available to revive the dying character. This may include the use of Heal checks as well.

However the question still remains as to what happens if, at the end of the rest, no healing powers have successfully been used on the dying character?

How many death saves does a dying character have to throw for during a short rest? How about during an extended?

Can a dying character reap the normal healing benefits of a rest? (Spend healing surges during a short rest, or regain full HP and surges during an extended rest.)

Is dying considered "strenuous" - that is, can a dying character who is only healed at the end of a rest reap the other benefits (restored encounter/daily powers, etc) of that rest?

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2 Answers

up vote 17 down vote accepted

If there are any dying characters, or any characters taking ongoing damage, then do not go out of rounds. Keep ticking them down as long as a character could potentially die.

Consulting the rulebooks reveals that this is not explicitly stated anywhere, but I don't feel like it is such a stretch.

My feeling is that if the characters are still in danger then there can be no rest. For my groups, usually a round or two of basic heal checks after combat is over are all that is required to stabilize anyone that needs help.

The rule my group has formalized upon is that for an encounter to end, both the players and DM must agree that it is over.

  • The DM can continue the encounter to determine the outcome of any lingering effects
  • The DM can continue the encounter if he knows that there is no safe rest available at the moment
  • The Players can continue if they want to get more use out of powers that last "until the end of the encounter" and don't need the rest right now.
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Your character would certainly continue to make death saving throws during the rest, and could die as a result (unless he stabilizes).

The rules are a little fuzzier as to whether or not you can spend surges. The strictest interpretation is that it doesn't take an action ("after a short rest, you can spend as many surges as you like outside combat"), but the text never really makes it explicit one way or another. An extended rest restores full hit points, so the action issue doesn't apply.

Ultimately, it boils down to these two questions:

  • Does the character die or stabilize prior to the end of the rest?

  • Is dying considered to be strenuous?

Responses to edited additons:

How many checks need to be made during a rest?

A short rest is "about five minutes", so that means up to 50 checks need to be made before the end of the rest (assuming the character hasn't died or stabilized).

An extended rest is eight hours, which is 8 * 60 * 10 = 4800 potential checks.

The benefits of a rest are a package deal. Either the character qualifies for a rest and gets both the refreshed encounter/daily powers AND the healing, or he gets neither (a character who doesn't qualify for a rest could use second wind actions to spend surges at a rate of one per ten minutes, but unconscious characters can't perform this action).

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