When a creature dies, does it continue to suffer from conditions? The reason I ask is because of the Item Daily Power on the Orb of Fickle Fate:

A target within 10 squares of you takes a -2 penalty to saving throws and you or an ally within 10 squares of you gains a +2 power bonus to saving throws (target's save ends both).

If the creature dies without ever making the save, I assume the bonus applied to yourself or an ally would end, but I am not able to find any rules in the books about conditions while dying or dead. Is this assumption correct? Is there anything in the literature to address this situation?


3 Answers 3


The following is my opinion on the matter. TBH I'm less sure of it than I was 10 minutes ago, but that's mostly due to lack of a solid ruling from the compendium.

Save ends conditions end when you die. They do not end when you are unconscious.

The important thing here is that when a PC gets to 0 HP and continues to make saves, they are merely unconscious and dying. When a monster gets to 0 HP unless otherwise noted, they are dead. That means all conditions on them end and they are done. Dead means dead.

When you kill the monster, the benefits to you end because the monster has effectively saved by death.

That's the distinction at work here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ while i do not disagree, is there anything in the literature that says "Save ends conditions end when you die."? \$\endgroup\$
    – jbabey
    Nov 27, 2012 at 21:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jbabey will look for a source. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Nov 27, 2012 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jbabey looking at the raise dead ritual, is suggests that the subject is free of all temporary conditions, but permanent effects remain. That's a start. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Nov 27, 2012 at 21:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let's look at the reverse condition to find the answer: The text, if it applies to dead creatures that never made their save, would extend forever. There is no range listed and no time limit. Notice: You don't have to STAY within 10 squares of the creature to keep the bonus, just be within 10 to cast. So if death doesn't end the bonus, then you'd keep the bonus... Forever. \$\endgroup\$
    – DampeS8N
    Nov 30, 2012 at 16:09

I'm new here, but I've been playing for several years so here is my take on your question.

I'm not sure if you'll find something that spells it out directly..I think after so many generations of RPGs it's usually accepted that most effects end on death. However, here you have an item that is causing the issue and not a direct spell per say.

With these rare instances I think there are 2 questions that could help determine the status of said magic item. I think the answers to these will almost always determine that the same "rule" applies. But there are so many magic items out there that you never know...

Q1: Does the item in question work even when not worn or held..as in when they very first found the item laying in a secret chest somewhere, were it's powers active? (usually the answer will be no, but rare circumstances could change that)
A1: If the answer to that is Yes, then maybe, it depends on your answer to Q2. If the answer to that is no, then the spell/effect should end for the same reason as the answer to my Q2

Q2: What or whom does the spell effect. (Answer is usually a "creature") Breakdown: What is a person? A: A "creature" What is a dead person (non-animated/undead)?
A2: A "corpse," which is effectively an object. If the target of the spell/item is creature, then a corpse (again, non-undead) no longer fits that description and the spell/effect should end.

I think these 2 questions will help resolve those questions in these rare instances. Ofcourse, there's always the answer that it's the DMs world and they have final say, but personally, I like consistency..it ensures balance and lets the players know/understand the world their in.

Edit: A dead creature cannot make saves..they auto fail

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for the bit about targeting a creature and not a dead body \$\endgroup\$
    – jbabey
    Nov 30, 2012 at 1:48

Most conditions end on death - certainly those that "end on save".

Some quotes about status changes on death from the rules:


Death or Unconsciousness Ends: A creature’s auras end immediately when it falls unconscious or dies.


Death Ends: A conjuration ends immediately if its creator dies.


Death Ends: Polymorph effects end immediately on a creature that dies.

Ki FocusDDI:

Once you attune yourself to a ki focus, no one else can be attuned to it until you are no longer attuned to it or you are dead.

Hit PointsDDI

When an unbloodied creature is killed outright, the creature does not become bloodied in the process. It is just dead.

Though I could not find a specific list of what conditions end on death, it is abundantly clear that for monsters, all conditions are meant to end in the rules as written. I'm sure there are exceptions and that is why we have DMs.

As a DM, I'm not about to continue to make savings throws for dead creatures, it's silly. I'm in a hurry to remove the figures from the battlefield.


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