Questions tagged [character-death]

For questions about issues related to the in-game death, or threat/fear of death, of a player's character in an RPG.

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36
votes
4answers
4k views

What happens when an unconscious but stabilised character is hit?

At the end of this answer to a different question ("If you succeed on all of your death saving throws, what happens?"), the answer states that: If an unconscious character is attacked, the attacker ...
15
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6answers
2k views

By RAW could I save a level 1 character that took damage exceeding twice its HP?

Yesterday I DMed a session with a party of four level 1 characters: druid, sorcerer, monk, barbarian, and a level 1 warlock whose player was absent. The sorcerer specifically is a new player (less ...
5
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1answer
514 views

What happens to the target of a “permanent” True Polymorph spell when its caster dies?

The description of the spell says specifically that after the caster has maintained it's concentration for an hour, the spell can be dispelled. The transformation lasts for the duration, or until ...
6
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2answers
311 views

Save a dying PC without being too obvious

In my last session a PC left the party and engaged a one-to-eight fight. He is dying alone in an isolated place without many chances of becoming stable and the other players will probably need some ...
8
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3answers
295 views

If a creature was flying via the Fly spell and dies, does it continue flying?

The Fly spell states: You touch a willing creature. The target gains a flying speed of 60 feet for the duration. When the spell ends, the target falls if it is still aloft, unless it can stop the ...
4
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1answer
477 views

How do immortals deal with a mortal cheating death?

So D&D characters come back from the dead all the time during campaigns through use of magic, and no one really raises too much of a fuss about it. That's fine. But if a character (and I'm more ...
5
votes
3answers
597 views

Does a creature Shapechanged into a Balor activate the Death Throes feature when reduced to 0 Hit Points?

Say a PC casts Shapechange on himself to turn into a Balor. This grants him some sweet abilities, such as: Death Throes. When the balor dies, it explodes, and each creature within 30 feet of it ...
13
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6answers
429 views

How to handle character death early on during the session?

If a player character dies in game when the real world night is just starting, how do you manage for the player to still play if he has no other character prepared? Have in mind: My players are very ...
21
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12answers
7k views

How to prevent discontent among the players when one player murders the others' characters?

I've recently had an idea for a one-shot game (in my own homebrew system that I've been using for a while) where I collaborate with a player to make things more interesting. My plan is to make it look ...
10
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2answers
349 views

In the Forgotten Realms, what happens to a human PC when they die?

In the Forgotten Realms, what happens to a human PC when they die? Do they have a soul? Where does it go? Do the resurrected remember their after-death experience?
33
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3answers
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Does a resurrected wizard remember their prepared spells?

Imagine that a wizard died in a fire, and their spellbook burned, too. They were in the afterlife for about a month and after that resurrected. They no longer have a spellbook. Do they remember ...
3
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7answers
1k views

What do I do while throwing death saving throws? [closed]

A big problem I've seen with the D&D 5E system,is that throwing death throws are not fun, not engaging, and very boring. I am playing the cleric in a party with no other healers. I get knocked ...
4
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3answers
202 views

How does Clone interact with lichdom?

Assume we have a high level wizard named Recnamorcen. Recnamorcen casts Clone on himself, then undergoes the process to become a lich before the Clone matures. Now if he dies his soul will not go ...
1
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0answers
60 views

Does the “damage for disobedience” effect from the Geas spell end when the caster dies? [duplicate]

Situation Some NPCs were under the influence of the geas spell cast by a pair of Lamias. The NPCs were commanded (1) to rebuild some buildings in a town to further the Lamias' evil goals and (2) to ...
11
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1answer
740 views

Will my familiar remember me when I re-summon it, or is it a new entity?

Playing D&D 5e, and my Pact of the Chain warlock's quasit familiar, Jimmy Peanuts, has fallen at the hands of a lizardman and vanished upon hitting 0 hp. I understand that I can cast Find ...
4
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0answers
73 views

What happens if a Vargouille victim dies before turning? [duplicate]

Title says it all, a humanoid gets the Vargouille curse, but dies before they turn. What happens, does the curse break, or just pause like in daylight, or do they still turn in the same rate, or do ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Do you die on another plane if you reached that plane via Astral Projection?

Inspired by this question. I'm not sure that I understand how the Astral Projection spell works. The description states the following: You and up to eight willing creatures within range project ...
10
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2answers
3k views

Can a Creature at 0 HP Take Damage?

Inspired by this question (and a comment underneath it), I thought we should have a solid answer on the site for this question: Can a character at 0 HP take damage?
24
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1answer
4k views

Can massive damage kill you while at 0 HP?

The rules on "Instant Death" state: 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
493 views

How does the Death Ward spell work if you are at 0 hit points and take massive damage?

The death ward spell states: [...] The first time the target would drop to 0 hit points as a result of taking damage, the target instead drops to 1 hit point, and the spell ends. If the spell ...
8
votes
1answer
273 views

Can killing the spellcaster undo a 'permanent' True Polymorph?

So I have a character (E) that, Many years ago, was True Polymorphed into an elf so his also-elven spouse (N) wouldn't outlive him so drastically. The result ended in E being roughly thirty years ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Can Bless or Bardic Inspiration help a creature from rolling a 1 on a death save?

For instance, say the creature rolled a 1 on the d20, and would have gotten failed 2 death saves, but uses their pre-given bardic inspiration and actually rolls a total of 10+. Would the creature be ...
8
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1answer
400 views

If a charmed creature receives a suicidal command and fails the repeated saving throw, do they commit suicide?

Both the Cambion and the Succubus/Incubus have abilities that allow them to charm a humanoid, who must then obey their commands until the charm effect is broken. However, both include clauses that ...
2
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1answer
214 views

What spells are there that prevent instant death from damage?

I'm currently playing a Witch in a Kingmaker game. After having to be resurrected twice, there's a lot of things that are making me question my character as a whole. While I don't get hit often, ...
3
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0answers
98 views

Does Mass Suggestion spell end if the caster dies? [duplicate]

Unlike regular Suggestion, Mass Suggestion does not require concentration nor does it require the caster to be in particular range after the spell has been invoked. What would happen if the caster ...
8
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5answers
446 views

How to introduce a new PC into the party after character death?

In the D&D 4e campaign that I am running, there has recently been lots of character death. The death itself is not the problem, because the players seem perfectly fine generating new characters (I ...
10
votes
1answer
454 views

When does the Homunculus die, exactly?

The spell description of the Xanathar's Guide to Everything spell Create Homunculus (p. 152) reads: It is your faithful companion, and it dies if you die. When the player character reaches 0 hp, ...
21
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3answers
1k views

If an attack causes additional damage after a saving throw, is it counted as a separate source of damage for the purpose of failed death saves?

If an attack causes additional damage after a saving throw, is it counted as a separate source of damage for the purpose of failed death saving throws? In other words, does it cause another failed ...
-4
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1answer
280 views

How do I adjudicate the logic modality of certain death regarding the Fast Friends spell?

When I cast the Fast Friends spell could I assign the afflicted target to a task that leads to a die roll that has a chance of 98% from death by falling damage without the spell ending immediately? ...
1
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3answers
364 views

Is there any published lore that shows Mind Flayers can extract and farm brains?

I was doing some research on Mind Flayers and read/heard that Mind Flayers will occasionally extract a brain and use it to research the effects of Psionics, and that they enjoyed the mad thoughts they ...
2
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3answers
630 views

How do I convince the GM not to kill my character specifically?

I've recently started a new campaign with my friends. The GM is using the realm of Tal'Dorei (as well as other Matt Mercer-inspired things as he's a fan.) Our group had previously managed to have ...
13
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2answers
739 views

What official PC mechanics are there that directly counteract death?

For example, the Path of the Zealot Barbarian subclass at 14th level gets the Rage Beyond Death feature (XGtE, p. 11), which prevents you from dying while raging: Beginning at 14th level, the ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Can Medicine checks be used, with decent rolls, to completely mitigate the risk of death from ongoing damage?

Here is an example of the type of situation that brought up this question. Say a PC has been pinned under the foot of a massive animated stone statue. The PC in question is knocked unconscious by the ...
15
votes
1answer
767 views

Paranoia Rebooted: Is the expectation that every mission in Paranoia begins with new characters?

I've run one-shots, I've heard the stories, and now I'm about to start a real long-running Paranoia campaign. And there's one thing I'm not sure of: Is the expectation that every major adventure ...
2
votes
1answer
389 views

Are automatic death saving throw failures from damage at 0 HP unbalanced against large groups of small enemies?

Since taking damage while at 0 hp counts as a failed death save, wouldn't a larger group of enemies potentially be more lethal than a smaller group of equal CR total? It doesn't matter how much damage ...
4
votes
2answers
291 views

Non Lethal damage and Lethal damage at 0 HP

I am unsure of how lethal and non-lethal damage interact when a character has both simultaneously. I know if lethal damage reduces you to 0 hp you start bleeding out, and if non- lethal damage ...
43
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7answers
13k views

I killed a PC's animal companion at the end of last session, but later realized it should have survived; what are my options?

Notes: I am the DM, my players are a group of 7, levels of 11 or 12. So, our last weeks session ended with a black dragon releasing an acid breath attack on the only visible enemies in a courtyard. ...
22
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2answers
1k views

Does reducing a character's max HP with a spell also reduce the “negative HP” threshold needed to cause instant death?

Here's my situation: In a fight with a group of vampire thralls, the party's wizard got caught in a corner and was being savaged by vampire bites, his max HP dropping from 24 to 11. They fended off ...
0
votes
1answer
426 views

For what reasons do players prefer to have the risk of (Player) Character Death? [closed]

The Object of the Question In my almost two decades of RPGing, I've usually treated the probability of character death as a result of random chance in a matter-of-fact manner: as a thing that is, ...
57
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6answers
6k views

Handling encounter elements that would realistically cause instant death

Creating an encounter often plays out the same for me: I come up with ideas for making the experience epic, find myself unable to solve the "what if they fail" problem, and then minimize or eliminate ...
19
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2answers
3k views

Does a creature die outright if they drop below negative max hit points of their polymorphed form?

Does a creature die outright if they drop below negative max hit points of their polymorphed form? I know a creature will revert to their normal form upon reaching 0 hit points, but a creature dies ...
6
votes
1answer
298 views

How can I bring back a dead character without resurrection?

My player's character has just died as the result of rolling natural 1 against assassin's death attack. It was a 7th level character, advancing in rogue and paladin classes. Is another way to bring ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

Is there any spell to bring back a disintegrated character?

In our latest session, one of our PCs got hit by a Disintegrate ray from an Undead Beholder. This dealt the exact damage needed, and so his character got disintegrated. Naturally, we are all sad that ...
6
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1answer
371 views

Does damage vulnerability affect death saving throws?

I know that a critical hit, which deals double damage, immediately causes an unconscious creature to fail two death saving throws. Vulnerability also causes a creature to take double damage against ...
7
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2answers
792 views

How many times can a mystic use psionic body?

If a level 20 Mystic character dies, his psionic ability has a chance to bring him back to life 1d3 days later on the same plane of existence. How often can a Mystic do this? Is it every time they die ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

When does the Death Saving Throw happen with respect to sources of automatic ongoing damage? [duplicate]

If a character is knocked unconscious with 0HP with a source of automatically dealt damage, for example, into a fire, and takes damage from it each turn, does the automatic Death Saving Throw failure ...
-4
votes
3answers
883 views

In 5e, when, exactly, is a dying/stabilizing character's turn? [closed]

The rules for Death Saving Throws seem clear to me, except for one important thing: when does the person rolling for death or stabilization get to make their saving throw? Issue came up last weekend: ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a player survive suffocation with a Periapt of Wound Closure?

The Periapt of Wound Closure's description says While you wear this pendant, you stabilize whenever you are dying at the start of your turn. In addition, whenever you roll a Hit Die to regain hit ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

Can I resurrect a corpse that has been animated?

One of my teammates has died in battle. As a noble necromancer, I do not want to carry his corpse to the temple on my shoulders, instead I plan to animate his corpse, so he can walk on its own. Then, ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

Does casting Disintegrate on a polymorphed enemy still kill it after the 2018 errata?

After the 2018 errata, the disintegrate spell description now reads: A creature targeted by this spell must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 10d6 + 40 force damage. ...

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