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I'm planning to attend a beginners D&D session in a few days time. This is a casual session with stock random characters.

For (ahem) reasons I'd like to get killed quite early on in the game. The aim is to do something, preferably a single, plausible action, that's likely to result in my character's death but without it being too obvious as a suicide attempt.

I know very little about DND beginner sessions, but I strongly suspect that the bulk of it will be spent in dungeons. There may even be a dragon.

What is that action?


For the record, I'm looking for a technical/social solution within the rules of the game, not a social engineering solution in real life (faking a cramp, faking a call, speaking to the DM, etc).

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Falling Damage is a good way that you can control fatal damage.

Caveats:

  1. Dice are involved, and may thwart your designs
  2. You don't control the environment, the DM does.

I've fallen and I can't get up.

You have to set yourself up to fall at least 40 feet if you are a 1st level character, but I'd recommend falling at least 50 feet.

Why? Your objective is that the character is subjected to 'Instant Death' upon impact.

1d6 of damage per 10' feet of falling. Average 3.5
50' gives you 17.5 damage, on average.
60' gives you 21 damage, on average.

Dropping to 0 Hit Points(Basic Rules, p. 75)

When you drop to 0 hit points, you either die outright or fall unconscious, as explained in the following sections.
Instant Death
Massive damage can kill you instantly. When damage reduces you to 0 hit points and there is damage remaining, you die if the remaining damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum. For example, a cleric with a maximum of 12 hit points currently has 6 hit points. If she takes 18 damage from an attack, she is reduced to 0 hit points, but 12 damage remains. Because the remaining damage equals her hit point maximum, the cleric dies.

If you choose a 1d6 HD character (Sorcerer or Wizard) you are most likely to do more than your maximum HP of extra damage and be killed outright; your character is dead.

But the Dice May Betray You

From 50' up, you have a 99% chance to simply drop to 0 HP and be ... mostly dead. (Take at least 8 damage, which is 1d6 plus an expected 2 HP for a Constitution bonus). The trouble for your plan is with the death saving throws as you lie there if you take less than double maximum damage.

Death Saving Throws (Basic Rules p. 76)

Whenever you start your turn with 0 hit points ... make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw ... Roll a d20. If the roll is 10 or higher, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail.
On your third success, you become stable (see below).
On your third failure, you die.
The successes and failures don’t need to be consecutive; keep track of both until you collect three of a kind. The number of both is reset to zero when you regain any hit points or become stable.

Your party may thwart your plan buy using healing, or a spell, or an ability to make you stable. That is why taking twice your maximum damage is so important. They can't aid you if you suffer instant death. Even so, fall away from, not toward, the party to make their helping you less likely.

But those traitorous dice can foil your plot on a single roll if you do less than twice maximum, with a natural 20 on any death saving throw.

If you roll a 20 on the d20, you regain 1 hit point.

The difference between 1 HP and 0 is a step function. 1 HP, alive. 0 HP, dead or dying.

Stack the odds in your favor; fall from as high as you can.

This anydice roll of 5d6 demonstrates how you are unlikely to survive a 50' fall. The chance that you'll do at least 14 damage in 85% (representing a 1 HP constitution bonus) and at least 16 70% (representing a 2 HP constitution bonus).

Precisely how to do that in a given encounter is up to your taking advantage of the opportunity, and making an attempt to do something that results in your falling at least 50' ... the higher the better.

Play with the anydice function, to increase the 5d6 to higher values to 6d6 or 7d6 to see how close you can get to a fall with a very high 90's percentage chance of double your damage.

The game won't do this for you; carpe diem!

Your challenge is to find something very high, and have your character fall off of it in a way that does not look obvious. (That is up to your role playing skill). Part of your requirement is that it not look like a suicide, so you have to establish early on that your character likes to climb things, whether or not that character is any good at it. You'll need to be subtle about this or you'll tip your hand on the "suicide by gravity" scheme.

And I won't forget to put roses on your grave ...

Final Caveat: Rule Zero

The DM may, when you fall, fudge the damage role. No rule in the book can (technically) overwrite Rule Zero.

Also, the DM, who looks to be setting you all up with pre-generated characters, may simply offer you another pre-generated character to replace the dead one so that you can keep on playing. There's nothing in the above answer, nor in the game engine, nor in the rules, that can in a foolproof way solve that social (and perhaps for you, awkward) scenario. If you arrive at that point, Zeiss Ikon's answer might look really attractive.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Perfect. And I can disguise this by insisting on keeping climbing up things to "get a look around". \$\endgroup\$ – Valorum Apr 28 '17 at 19:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Best of luck on ... uh, that sudden stop. Feel free to accept the answer if you find that it solves your mechanical problem. I can't help with the social stuff discussed in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 28 '17 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the point of this characters is to just die I would not expect a +2 Con modifier. while a -1 might make it a little obvious what they are trying to die, a +0 or +1 wouldn't be super unreasonable. \$\endgroup\$ – diego Apr 28 '17 at 19:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @diego From the problem statement, it appears that the characters will be pregen. I agree with you, however. I assume these will be randomly generated low-level characters, with randomly assigned races, classes and with a grab bag of different weapons. – Valorum 47 mins ago \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 28 '17 at 19:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CM_Dayton I already edited in the final caveat, not sure if it was in before your comment. Did that capture your point? (I agree). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 28 '17 at 20:54
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Given (based on comments on the question and chat) you can't/won't talk to the GM about your need to get out of this one session, it's probably more sensible to simply beg off -- an American term that means "come up with an excuse before you actually show up". Ideally, it should be something that's either hard to check/verify, or something no one would bother to check.

Failing that, getting killed early in the gaming session is a very improvisational task -- what will work if you start the session with "You've arrived at a huge iron-bound door set into the face of a cliff" won't work in "You're all sitting in a tavern in Littleton while a musician performs badly." I used to have a positive talent for it when I was trying to get a character to second level in AD&D (around 1980), but doing it intentionally without looking like suicide seems like a tall task.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've downvoted because the bulk of this answer seems to be devoted to a social engineering solution. Also, I know very little about DND beginner session, but I strongly suspect that the bulk of it will be spent in dungeons. There may even be a dragon. \$\endgroup\$ – Valorum Apr 28 '17 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Valorum Sure you didn't upvote by mistake? \$\endgroup\$ – Zeiss Ikon Apr 28 '17 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Apparently my downvotes are "recorded but not displayed" \$\endgroup\$ – Valorum Apr 28 '17 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/339184/… \$\endgroup\$ – diego Apr 28 '17 at 18:59

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