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What happens if my mount's HP drops to 0 in combat?

Does it make death savings throws? Can I heal it and not have to spend gold on a new mount?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.se. When you have time, please take our tour. The question was a awkwardly phrased, as dying implies having failed the Death Saving Throws (for PCs). I believe what you meant it when it drops to 0 HP, and have edited accordingly. Maybe I shouldn't have (and instead explain it in an answer), but I'm not sure if it was a misconception or a miscommunication. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 5 '18 at 2:57
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It depends on the DM

The rules for Death Saving throws are specific for Player Characters (PCs). Most DMs will not use them in other creatures.

From the Monster Manual, p. 7

A monster usually dies or is destroyed when it drops to 0 hit points.

Note that NPCs and usual beasts are described in the Monster Manual as well (Appendix A and B), so "monster" is kinda broad.

Other than that, there are DMs that use the Death Saving Throw rule for the Main Villain and other NPCs, allies or foes. I use them for anything that resembles a PC, as described in "Monsters and Death" at the end of the Death Saving Throws section:

Most DMs have a monster die the instant it drops to 0 hit points, rather than having it fall unconscious and make death saving throws.

Mighty villains and special nonplayer characters are common exceptions; the DM might have them fall unconscious and follow the same rules as player characters.

So, essentially, ask your DM whether he would treat your mount as a "special nonplayer character".

If it has Death Saving Throws, it didn't die when it reached 0 HP

From the PHB p. 197

If damage reduces you to 0 hit points and fails to kill you, you fall unconscious.

While it's unconscious, you can heal it, like you can heal any PC.

If it is dead, it is dead.

You can't heal a dead creature. You can, however, resurrect it. Revivify, for example

Touch a creature that's died in the last minute. It returns to life with 1 hit point. This spell can't return life to a creature that died of old age, and it can't restore missing body parts.

Note that the cost for Revivify is 300gp, so buying a new horse is cheaper after all.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Unless it is a warhorse and you're emotionaly attached to it. \$\endgroup\$ – AntiDrondert Jun 5 '18 at 7:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Technically, nothing about the Death Saves calls out PCs specifically. Unless you can point to another section in the global Combat rules that are only specific to PCs otherwise my understanding is that Combat rules are universal by default, I think it is just DMs perogative to forego Death Saves for NPCs and Monsters simply to move things along. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jun 5 '18 at 12:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Alchymist I’ve never heard of blood counting as a “body part” in English usage, so almost certainly not. Body parts are hands, heads, legs, hearts, eyes, toes, tongues, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 5 '18 at 15:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth The reference you're looking for is "Monsters and Death" right at the end of the Death Saving Throw rules: "Most DMs have a monster die the instant it drops to 0 hit points, rather than having it fall unconscious and make death saving throws. Mighty villains and special nonplayer characters are common exceptions; the DM might have them fall unconscious and follow the same rules as player characters." \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cooper Jr. Jun 5 '18 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCooperJr. Thanks, I had read that. It is an exception to the global combat rules for simplicity which was my nitpick at HellSaint's suggestion that parts of a global combat system only apply to PCs. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jun 5 '18 at 16:29
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Usually it would die, but if there is sufficient (emotional) attachment the DM might give you a chance to save him. My DM gave Puppy, a youg worg I befriended after killing his brother and sisters, a death saving throw, because of the emotional connection that had built up between us. Also, I threatened with physical violence if Puppy died.... But thats probably unrelated :p So yeah, the DM's discretion is the main thing, as with most things, although consistency would be useful (so let everyone DS their mounts if they have RP-bonded)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.se. When you have time, please take the tour. I like the experience from the emotional attachment, but for completeness, your answer should back up the "Usually it would die" sentence, preferably from the rules, in this case. (i.e., I'm not sure how community would see "every DM I've played with would kill it right away, so usually it would die" - although it's based on experience.) \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jun 6 '18 at 0:47

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