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Disclaimer: a previous question already covers Arcane and Divine Spells vs Massive Damage, so let us concentrate on more mundane ways.

Hey I Can Chan suggested that a handful of feats eliminated the need for Massive Damage saving throws altogether, while there were a couple of semi-mundane ways to avoid automatically failing a save when rolling a 1.

What are those mysterious ways to avoid death by the Massive Damage rule?


Note: I personally know of the Steadfast Determination feat to avoid failing a Fortitude save when rolling a 1.

Note: Debating the merits of the rule itself is done here, if you are interested.

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Here's a start

  • The ancestor feat Hardy Soul (Dragon #315 64) has no prerequisites and, among other benefits, renders the creature immune to death from massive damage. As a Kara-Tur ancestor feat, it must be taken at level 1, and a creature can have only one ancestor feat.
  • The untyped feat Stoic Composure (Dragon #284 123) has as prerequisites a Constitution of at least 13 and the feats Endurance and Toughness and, among other benefits, renders the creature immune to death from massive damage.
  • The general feat Tomb-born Fortitude (Libris Mortis 30) has as prerequisites a nongood alignment and the feat Tomb-tainted Soul (LM 31) and, among other benefits, renders the creature immune to death from massive damage.
  • The general feat Steadfast Determination (PH2 83) has as its prerequisite Endurance and, while it doesn't grant immunity to death from massive damage, in addition to other benefits, the creature no longer automatically fails Fortitude saving throws on a natural 1.
  • The granted power of the domain Pride (Spell Compendium 278-9), like the above feat, doesn't make a creature immune to death from massive damage but, instead, allows rerolling natural 1s on saving throws. However, the creature must take the second result even if it's another 1. (How to get a domain's granted power without being a cleric is beyond this question's scope.)

Undoubtedly there are others.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's almost not worth mentioning, but it may be useful for a DM's monsters: a creature can simply double its death-from-massive-damage threshold by taking the variant feat Resist Death (Epic Level Handbook 111), and the feat can be taken multiple times. However, its prerequisite of 21+ Hit Dice makes it unavailable to most PCs until epic levels despite the feat not being technically in the epic category. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 3, 2017 at 16:55

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