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A party's making me question everything. I couldn't find an official quote about the wounded value being added to your dying value everytime you increase (not dropping to 0 HP, but taking damage while down already) the dying value.

So is the wounded value added to the dying value every time you increase your dying value or only when you gain the dying condition?

EDIT: Following more research on the Discord server, the conclusion seems to be that the answer was never really clear. The general consensus is that the rule is mostly followed in the way Ifusaso answered, though (and I asked to many people, personally obtaining a 75/25 split). So I am gonna accept Grood's answer as Ifusaso suggested BUT keep in higher regard Ifusaso's answer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd say accept Groody's answer since it seems to be more right by-the-book. But I'll leave mine up as counterpoints as to why you might not want to do it that way \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jan 22, 2023 at 20:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am actually also looking for help/opinions on the Discord server, so I'll wait a bit before accepting answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Snakehelm
    Jan 22, 2023 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Snakehelm did your Discord discussion yield any new information that would be helpful to include in either answer here? \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Feb 14, 2023 at 23:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ The edit is mostly what I got out of it, still waiting for an errata I guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – Snakehelm
    Feb 15, 2023 at 0:00

2 Answers 2

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You add your wounded value to your dying value when hit

When you initially are reduced to 0 by a attack that deals lethal damage, then you increase your inital dying value by your wounded value if you are already wounded at the time (Core Rulebook, p. 459, Knocked out and Dying):

As a player character, when you are reduced to 0 Hit Points, you’re knocked out with the following effects: (...)
You gain the dying 1 condition. If the effect that knocked you out was a critical success from the attacker or the result of your critical failure, you gain the dying 2 condition instead. If you have the wounded condition, increase your dying value by an amount equal to your wounded value. (...)

If you have both the wounded and the dying conditions and take damage, then you increase the value of your dying condition, and add the value of your wounded condition (Core Rulebook, p. 459):

If you take damage while you already have the dying condition, increase your dying condition value by 1, or by 2 if the damage came from an attacker’s critical hit or your own critical failure. If you have the wounded condition, remember to add the value of your wounded condition to your dying value.1

This is even more clearly spelled out on the DM screen, which explicitly states under Death and Dying for the wounded condition (kudos to @Linus):

Any time you gain the dying condition or increase it for any reason, add your wounded value to the amount you gain or increase your dying value

This is not an artifact of Archives of Nethys, it is on the actual DM screen, and if the Archives of Nethys are keept up to date with the latest versions, not an outdated DM screen:

enter image description here

For example, let's assume you are wounded 1. You get hit by and reduced to 0 by a normal attack, gaining the dying 1 condition, to which you add the wounded 1 value, for a total of dying 2. You now get hit again by another normal attack, increasing your dying value by 1 and again adding your wounded value of 1, bringing you to 4 and killing you.


1I do think the language in the main rules text is somewhat ambiguous, as it tells you to "remember" to add your wounded value to the dying value. This could also be read as as a reminder of the included wounded value, instead of telling you to add the wounded value here again. If you read it like that, the above example would end with dying 3. In a way, you would have a "real" dying value, to which you add your current wounded value at any given time, and if the total is 4 or greater, you die.

A reading that you only add wounded when you initially gain the dying condition in my view is less likely, because when you originally gain the dying condition while wounded, you increase the dying condition value. You don't add the wounded value to your dying condition value. So the sentence telling you to remember adding your wounded value should not refer to that, as you never added your wounding value to begin with. And of course, the DM screen language does away with the ambiguity.

However, this makes combat quite deadly — essentially it means a single hit when wounded and dying will kill you, while if you only apply the wounded value once, when originally gaining the dying condition, you could survive one such hit. If the DM does not like that, they could ignore that rule (or interpret it the other way) and only apply wounded when dying is initially gained.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't that "If you have the wounded condition, remember to add the value of your wounded condition to your dying value" old printing though? Can't find it on the Archives (which are supposedly always updated) \$\endgroup\$
    – Snakehelm
    Jan 21, 2023 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Snakehelm Thats straight from the Archives, in the general rules section \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2023 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ The GM screen makes it even more clear that this is the correct answer: "Any time you gain the dying condition or increase it for any reason, add your wounded value to the amount you gain or increase your dying value." 2e.aonprd.com/GMScreen.aspx \$\endgroup\$
    – Linus
    Jan 21, 2023 at 23:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ESCE, It is on the actual DM screen, not just on AON, I added it. While I dislike the rule just as much as Ifusao does, and probably would ignore it in my home game too, it seems pretty clear to me that this is the actual rule. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2023 at 8:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Here's another piece of circumstantial evidence agreeing with this answer. Mark Seifter (one of the authors of the Core Rulebook) answered the same question on Discord: imgur.com/a/xtHmKp6 I am fully aware that this is not printed rules text and only one of the authors' explanation, hence circumstantial. \$\endgroup\$
    – Linus
    Jan 22, 2023 at 11:38
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Wounded only applies once, when you become Dying

While Groody does correctly quote text involving taking damage and adding your Wounded value to Dying, I believe their paragraph about it being ambiguous is actually more accurate. Specifically, that (misleading) sentence is the only section of the book that relates damage and adding the Wounded condition's value. The Wounded Condition itself makes no reference to it being added in again.

You have been seriously injured. If you lose the dying condition and do not already have the wounded condition, you become wounded 1. If you already have the wounded condition when you lose the dying condition, your wounded condition value increases by 1. If you gain the dying condition while wounded, increase your dying condition value by your wounded value.

The wounded condition ends if someone successfully restores Hit Points to you with Treat Wounds, or if you are restored to full Hit Points and rest for 10 minutes.

Furhtermore, Dying specifies that the value increases by 1 (or 2) in its text

You are bleeding out or otherwise at death’s door. While you have this condition, you are unconscious . Dying always includes a value, and if it ever reaches dying 4, you die. If you’re dying, you must attempt a recovery check at the start of your turn each round to determine whether you get better or worse. Your dying condition increases by 1 if you take damage while dying, or by 2 if you take damage from an enemy’s critical hit or a critical failure on your save.

If you lose the dying condition by succeeding at a recovery check and are still at 0 Hit Points, you remain unconscious, but you can wake up as described in that condition. You lose the dying condition automatically and wake up if you ever have 1 Hit Point or more. Any time you lose the dying condition, you gain the wounded 1 condition, or increase your wounded condition value by 1 if you already have that condition.

The rules don't say that Wounded is added when Dying is gained or increased, which is a common distinction made in the text, even as it relates to the dying and Wounded condition...

If you lose the dying condition and do not already have the wounded condition, you become wounded 1. If you already have the wounded condition when you lose the dying condition, your wounded condition value increases by 1.


Why do I think this?

Normally, I'm pretty by-the-book. What it says isn't law, but I do take it at it's word where possible. However, the line (that only shows up in "Taking Damage while Dying") stinks of something being out of place. Foremost, it means that being hit once while Dying 1 (or having a persistent damage) is a death sentence and seems far more impactful than intended by the spirit of the rules. Also, the way it's written, I could see it being a "reminder" that your Dying value should include whatever your Wounded value was; I would guess that this would be because there was a playtest iteration where your 'dying' value was Dying + Wounded (instead of Dying being increased by Wounded) or that the writer thought that was how the rules went. Or the sentence is simply a unnecessary re-hash of the rules that were just covered in the book. Whatever the case, I don't believe it's intended that your Dying increases by 1+ Wounded when you take damage, and I absolutely believe you should not play that way regardless.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about this text. I'd have liked the answer to be that snd started out like this too, but that text made it hard to argue like this, I felt \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2023 at 18:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd say that its being written in the general rules is actually what takes away value. Because specific trumps general, and there are specific rules written on the conditions. Furthermore, that interpretation takes away value from the doomed condition AND elevates the mortality rates by so much that is not even funny. Being hit with a peristent damage effect while wounded 1 would basically spell death \$\endgroup\$
    – Snakehelm
    Jan 21, 2023 at 18:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Snakehelm Yes, I agree with that. Essentially even in the best case it would mean once you are hit when wounded and dying, you're toast. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2023 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin I kind of referenced that in my first paragraph, but to elaborate (and this includes heavy speculation), I think the sentence is misleading for any number of reasons. Maybe it was written for a way Wounded/Dying worked during playtesting, or maybe the writer thought people would be getting Dying 1 and Wounded 1 and counting that as Dying 2 without "being" Dying 2. Or maybe it's just a poorly written reminder to include the Dying condition when determining if PC's and significant enemies are alive. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jan 21, 2023 at 22:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ GM screen clarifies: "Any time you gain the dying condition or increase it for any reason, add your wounded value to the amount you gain or increase your dying value." 2e.aonprd.com/GMScreen.aspx \$\endgroup\$
    – Linus
    Jan 21, 2023 at 23:12

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