Relevant snippets:

Damage at 0 Hit Points.

If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit, you suffer two failures instead.


Beginning at 9th level, you can reroll a saving throw that you fail. If you do so, you must use the new roll, and you can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Diamond Soul

Beginning at 14th level, your mastery of ki grants you proficiency in all saving throws.

Additionally, whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can spend 1 ki point to reroll it and take the second result.

Can you reroll the automatic fail death saves with these (and/or others)? I kinda think Indomitable works, but I'm less sure that "suffering a death save failure" counts as "making" the save for Diamond Soul.


2 Answers 2


No dice were rolled, so these features do not do anything

Indomitable explicitly says you can reroll a saving throw, thus, you must have rolled a saving throw, which does not happen when taking damage while at 0 HP.

Meanwhile Diamond Soul requires you to make a saving throw and the rules on "Saving Throws" state:

[...] To make a saving throw, roll a d20 and add the appropriate ability modifier. [...]

You did not roll a d20, so you did not make a saving throw and Diamond Soul cannot be applied.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So tl;dr is: You don't make a save, just suffer the fail. Right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Aug 10, 2021 at 10:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You can think of it that way, but you'd have to explain why Indomitable can't be used, which is because you can't reroll something you didn't roll. You could say it's because you didn't actually fail any death saving throw at all if you wanted to though, yes. Upvote Rykara's answer if that's the answer you want \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2021 at 12:12

Suffering a death saving throw failure is not the same as failing a death saving throw

I believe that, as the rules are worded, there are Death Saving Throws and the failures (or successes) that arise from those throws.

The rule for damage at 0 hit points says that the character in that situation suffers a failure. It does not say, for example, that the character immediately makes a throw with disadvantage or some other wording that indicates a throw is to be performed.

Rather, they accrue the failures without rolling a saving throw. Because no roll is made, abilities that manipulate the roll of a saving throw are not applicable.


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