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The DND 5th Edition Wild Magic table will cause you to become a potted plant if you roll a 41 or a 42:

You turn into a potted plant until the start of your next turn. While a plant, you are incapacitated and have vulnerability to all damage. If you drop to 0 hit points, your pot breaks, and your form reverts.

When your form reverts because it becomes the start of your next turn, what happens to the hitpoints you lost as a potted plant? If you die as a potted plant and your form reverts, are you KOed and have to start making death saves? What happens in that case?

Also, is that a reference to Potted Plant from Munchkin?

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43  
"Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was 'Oh no, not again.' Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now." -THHGTTG – nitsua60 Feb 2 at 16:12
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Hot Network Questions, give me your keys. You're clearly drunk again. – corsiKa Feb 2 at 20:00
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Oh, c'mon. Who upvoted that ^^ a forty-third time? – nitsua60 Feb 20 at 16:10
up vote 51 down vote accepted

This effect does not affect your hit points at all. It makes you look different, gives you conditions, and that's it. When you take damage, you are still taking damage, and when you reach 0 hit points, you are unconscious and making death saving throws. You also stop looking like a potted plant.

Anything in gaming being inspired by Munchkin is a chicken and egg problem. Munchkin is mostly composed of gaming culture references. So, yes, but also no.

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5  
This seems correct; the effect does exactly what it says and nothing more. Unlike Wild Shape and polymorph effects, this only lasts for a single round (or less if you take enough damage). – Mark Cogan Feb 2 at 17:41
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This answer makes sense and takes the least justification. KISS principle and pith as virtues. FWIW, the ref is most likely from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy per the comment under the question and the number 42 being one of two assigned to that Wild Magic Result. – KorvinStarmast Feb 2 at 18:08

I would refer to other rules in the PHB regarding reverting to your original form. Both Wild Shape and Polymorph return you to your HP total from your original form before the transformation when your transformed form HP reach 0. Other transformative spells have similar wording. I would rule this is the case here, as well.

Given that the effect occurs on a roll of 41 or 42, even if this isn't the accepted ruling by the community as a whole, it's okay to have fun with the game. This option (using the Wild Shape/Polymorph rule for HP determination) is a more lighthearted version of the effect than the one the community agrees upon (use your current HP and when you hit 0 you revert and are dying).

I'd hate to have a PC die because he turned into a potted plant because of an Easter egg hidden in the game rules for comic relief (the reference, if you've missed it, is the number 42 resulting in the player spontaneously turning into a potted plant -- see the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for more information). Then again, that could make it even funnier: "Hey, remember the time I turned into a potted plant and that orc smashed me into tiny bits and then I started dying?"

Of course, at any table, it is okay to use either ruling. When in doubt, talk to your DM.

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Wild shape and polymorph both give you a new set of hit points. This feature doesn't. Looking to completely unrelated mechanics is a bad idea. – Derek Stucki Feb 2 at 16:49
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To call them completely unrelated mechanics is a stretch. They both result in the PC changing forms, by that virtue they are related. In this case, it's also the best example we've got. One could rule that the HP are that of a potted plant (I would say 5 HP), and then the effect would be granting a new set of hit points. In any case, it's obviously a joke mechanic meant to introduce some fun into combat. I don't think it'd be game-breaking in the least to rule it as I have. Since there is no hard rule, if you disagree you can rule it differently when you're DM. :) – LegendaryDude Feb 2 at 16:54
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-1 the 'other transformative spells' mentioned all specify that the target gains new hit points when they shift form, and that they get their old hit points back when their form reverts. If the Potted Plant effect were intended to behave like those other shape-shifts do, I would expect the text to say so. – CrusaderJ Feb 2 at 18:06
    
I did not downvote, but believe that this answer adds an extra step that isn't necessary. I see it as a usable ruling at many tables, given the point you make about the joke in question. – KorvinStarmast Feb 2 at 18:09

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