Note: I don't play D&D, but reading some of the Hot Network Questions about saving throws (particularly Does Evasion allow half damage even when unconscious?) has made me curious.

According to the rules on death saving throws, taking damage means failing a death saving throw. Suppose I cast Magic Missile using a 1st level Spell Slot at a creature or PC with 0 HP, but which hasn't failed any death saving throws yet. Since all 3 darts hit, does this mean the creature or PC fails 3 death saving throws? My interpretation of the rules leads me to believe yes, but I'm not fully sure.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleMonkey I'm not sure the dupe is good. It essentially says "Whenever an attack is made it counts as 1 source of damage", but Magic Missile doesn't make an attack (no attack roll), so the question of whether that is 1 or 3 failed death saving throws remains unanswered. \$\endgroup\$
    – nwp
    May 3, 2018 at 12:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nwp I don't think it matters if an attack roll is needed or not, the linked post seems fairly clear to me that each hit is a 'source of damage' and is resolved separately. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    May 3, 2018 at 12:36
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @nwp How about this duplicate: Would striking someone at 0 hit points with an entire Magic Missile spell automatically kill them? \$\endgroup\$ May 3, 2018 at 12:37


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