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The Mind Switch and True Mind Switch powers in Dreamscarred Press's psionics supplement state that you retain your hit points when you use them.

The Body Snatcher prestige class that revolves around the use of these powers has a capstone ability at 6th level that allows them to use True Mind Switch against their killer as an immediate action when you would drop to -1 or die to a death effect.

The end result seems pretty straightforward if this is used against a death effect, but I'm curious what would actually happen in the case of hit point damage. The way the ability is written it seems to assume that your former body still dies, but if the switched individuals are retaining their hit point totals, then it seems like you'd generally end up 1 hit from death in your new body and they'd just end up taking the one hit that finished you off, which often won't be lethal to them unless they're already low.

Is there something I'm missing about how this ability works, or is it kind of lackluster in the usual case of dying from hit point damage?

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You are correct, and possibly still dying

The Mind Switch spell says:

You gain the Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores of your assumed body.

You retain your own hit points, saving throws (possibly modified by new ability scores), class abilities, supernatural and spell-like abilities, spells and powers, and skills and feats (although skill checks use your new ability scores, and you may be temporarily unable to use feats whose requirements you do not meet in your new body).

You suffer one negative level while in your assumed body.

So, if you switch to a body that has a similar constitution score or lower, you do not gain any more hit points than you already had, and other than escaping a death effect, you could still be under 0 hit points and dying. Not to mention that this negative level reduces your current and total hit points by another 5 points.

But if the new body has a higher constitution score, you could possibly gain enough hit points to stay out of the dying condition. If this new body isn't very hurt either (GM Fiat though), you can easily stabilize yourself and stop dying.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure that even with the pessimistic interpretation doing the swap would save you from death, since I think you'd avoid the triggering attack (barring the negative level or a reduced con score) \$\endgroup\$
    – StephenTG
    May 28, 2019 at 19:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ The switch happens just before dying, but being an Immediate Action, it still happens after the triggering attack. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    May 28, 2019 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ The body snatcher dying goes on the stack first. Shadow is correct; since your hit points explicitly follow you, the only way to not still be dying is to have a higher CON score in your new body, even after the negative level. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2019 at 20:09

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