Let's say you're at 23 HP and your CON score is 15. You're hit by Finger of Death cast by a 13th level Wizard, and as a result suffer 130 damage. Are you left at -107 HP, or does it simply drop you to -15 HP?

In 3.5e, I think it would have left you at -10 HP. However, I cannot for the life of me find anything in Pathfinder that says it wouldn't just leave you at -107 HP.


3 Answers 3


I can't find an explicit ruling on this, but In the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, page 562, under Death Attacks it states:

"In case it matters, a dead character, no matter how he died, has hit points equal to or less than his negative constitution score."

This implies that it's possible for damage to reduce health lower than negative con.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree. Once you have a lower HP score than your negative con, you're dead. If you went 1 below or 100 below this limit does not make any difference in a technical sense. In a cinematic sense, it still might :-) \$\endgroup\$
    – thomax
    Aug 15, 2013 at 12:14

You can go below -CON. The character would be at -107 hit points.

The spell Breath of Life relies on characters being able to have less than -CON hp in order function as written. (You could not use the spell in this specific scenario, as finger of death is a death affect)

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Kethryweryn I feel your edit was to dramatic and have I reverted it. I added the information you provided to my answer to hopefully clarify the situation. Please consider posting that information as a comment in the future. \$\endgroup\$
    – Colin D
    Aug 16, 2013 at 12:20

It would leave you at -107 HP. Nowhere in the rules does it say there is a minimum your health can reach. Besides, specific rules (like powers) always beat the broad rules. Going past your negative CON makes it much harder to revive, as the fatal wound is clearly much worse than most.

The best way to picture it is to compare your heart stopping (any easy fix, just shock it untill it pumps again) and your heart being torn out.

  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you think you could explain why you feel your answer is justified? \$\endgroup\$
    – LitheOhm
    Aug 15, 2013 at 20:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While I'm not won by the analogy, +1 for bettering this through editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Aug 20, 2013 at 12:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ The analogy is weird, yeah. :P +1 for the rest of it though! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2013 at 13:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry for the weird analogy, but it was the first one I could come up with \$\endgroup\$
    – Flotolk
    Aug 20, 2013 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is kinda tough to make a good analogy when taking about death in any case. If anyone can find one that's more appropriate, please replace it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flotolk
    Aug 20, 2013 at 17:45

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