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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What should I do to prepare a player for his character's death [closed]

A particular player of mine, has done something stupid with his character (Leroy Jenkins level stupid). Our last session we left as a cliffhanger, but I see no way forward that doesn't end with his ...
9 votes
7 answers
5k views

Is it appropriate to bring a player character back after they had been "killed"?

A player character "died" in battle early on in this current arc I'm DMing, and I had already decided that either this character would be in pursuit by the big bad or would be taken captive. ...
2 votes
1 answer
95 views

Can an epic knight/death delver use Nine Lives after Loyal Beyond Death?

What if my character is a level 20 Knight (PHII) and it got the Loyal Beyond Death (Ex) class feature and also has the Nine Lives (Ex) because it is a level 10 Death Delver (HoH) as well and his HP ...
9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Do you have hit points while dead?

There are a few effects in D&D 5e that cause a creature to die without regard to its hit points. One of them is the exhaustion condition, which has the effect of "Death" on a character ...
10 votes
1 answer
581 views

How does the Oath of the Crown paladin's Divine Allegiance feature interact with features that cause instadeath if the target's reduced to 0 HP?

Oath of the Crown paladins have the 7th-level feature Divine Allegiance (SCAG, p. 133). If someone within 5 feet of the paladin takes damage, Divine Allegiance lets the paladin use their reaction to ...
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23 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do I leave a game after character death without hurting other players' feelings?

My character died. It was mainly my fault, and I believe the DM gave me several chances to get out of the situation myself. I just didn't think of it and was, like oh, yeah. We went over this. I did ...
10 votes
1 answer
406 views

Medicine and Stabilizing

While I won't question my DM because it is his game and he is running it his own way, I was curious on one of the rulings that was made and wanted to see what the official rules on it were. We are ...
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11 votes
3 answers
426 views

Is death the end of an encounter for the character?

A lot of abilities/feat/tricks/spells last for what is defined as "an encounter". For example the Barbarian rage is bound by two effects linked to an encounter. At the end of the rage, the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
495 views

When does character death happen?

If a character receives more damage in an attack that they have hit points and get down to -10, at what point in the round do they die. Do they die in the attacker's round? At the end of the current ...
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14 votes
7 answers
3k views

How do I make a non-permanent death more impactful?

One of my players is going to be playing the homebrew Felis race for the campaign I'm going to be running. In the race description, it states that they have nine lives, and they typically die once ...
6 votes
3 answers
924 views

New Character on Player Character Death, what level?

I have just had a character death. The party are 14th level but there is little to no chance of resurrection etc (and not sure the player would want to anyway), the character was the party Cleric and ...
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3 votes
1 answer
519 views

What happens if I roll a 1 on a death saving throw but the result is 10 or above? [duplicate]

The death saving throw is, as both the name implies and explicitly defined in the rules, a saving throw. It also has the particular rule... Rolling 1 or 20. When you make a death saving throw and ...
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0 votes
2 answers
226 views

Death Save Successes

When rolling for death saves, if you survive, you become stable on 0 hp. However, I had seen somewhere that if you end your turn on 0 hp, you must roll for death saves. So if I succeed in a death save ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Why don't non-Changelings die when killed in the Dreaming, but get kicked out into the Umbra instead?

Inspired by this post: What happens when a Changeling dies in the Dreaming? So, yes, Changelings killed in the Dreaming (as opposed to just by chimerical damage in the mortal world) are killed for ...
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20 votes
6 answers
3k views

How can I resurrect a creature that died entirely by starvation or dehydration?

The section of the rules on food and water states that exhaustion resulting from starvation or dehydration cannot be cured until the cause has been eliminated (emphasis added): Characters who don't ...
20 votes
4 answers
3k views

If the Feign Death spell is cast on a warlock, what happens to their Pact Boon item? Does it matter whether their patron is "tricked" by Feign Death?

When a warlock dies, if they have a Pact Boon item from their Pact Boon class feature (e.g. a Book of Shadows from Pact of the Tome; or a talisman from Pact of the Talisman), it crumbles to ash. ...
7 votes
3 answers
690 views

Is there a way to bring a Specter back to life?

The Wraith has this ability: Create Specter. The wraith targets a humanoid within 10 feet of it that has been dead for no longer than 1 minute and died violently. The target's spirit rises as a ...
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Where do souls go upon death and when are they free to be raised?

Where do souls go when they die in 5e? Is it still an outer plane matching their alignment like in earlier editions? Are the souls of evil creatures going to the lower planes? The spells that can ...
9 votes
4 answers
594 views

Can you recall a soul from Hades with Raise Dead?

Raise Dead (and other resurrection spells) all have a variant of this clause: Raise Dead: If the creature's soul is both willing and at liberty to rejoin the body, the creature returns to life ...
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is it possible to heal before dying as a Zealot Barbarian?

I apologize if the title of this post isn't spot on, but it's a multifaceted question. Firstly, I'm a little confused about a how Barbarian's rage functions as combat ends. As written: Your rage ...
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16 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can you revive a character who was killed by a Night Hag's Nightmare Haunting?

The Night Hag has an ability that can reduce a character's hit point maximum via nightmares provided they are evil. It then proceeds to state: If this effect reduces the target's hit point maximum to ...
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can you undo a Slaad infection?

Both the Red Slaad and the Blue Slaad's Claw attacks have an ability that, if they hit and the target is a humanoid that fails a Constitution saving throw, infects the target with a disease. For ...
7 votes
1 answer
369 views

Can Hero Points prevent death by Death Effects?

One of the general options for using Hero Points is Spend all your Hero Points (minimum 1) to avoid death. You can do this when your dying condition would increase. You lose the dying condition ...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is damage while unconscious cumulative?

In 5e DnD, the massive damage rule still applies while unconcious at 0 hp, but is the damage taken during unconciousness cumulative? For example, a character with max 20 hp is hit for 25 damage. A ...
6 votes
3 answers
336 views

How could I keep a player engaged if I can't bring his dead character back to life a for a few sessions? [closed]

I have a storyline I'm writing based in an Arctic setting. The party will have to engage in a battle of survival against the elements - kind of a Napoleonic retreat from Moscow - which is likely to ...
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

What happens after the Clone spell activates?

I have literally never played D&D before. I’ve just been doing some “research”. I’ve been looking at necromantic spells, and I noticed one called Clone. As I understand it, the spell creates a ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What happens to a familiar if the master dies and is brought back?

If a character who has a familiar dies and is then raised via raise dead or even reincarnation, is the familiar still bound to that character or is that bond broken at character death?
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

How can a player smoothly transition from death to playing a hireling?

When a you roll last breath "On a miss, your fate is sealed. You’re marked as Death’s own and you’ll cross the threshold soon. The GM will tell you when." Sometimes, the fictional ...
5 votes
1 answer
242 views

Can the soul of a creature get swept up by a Psychic Wind while going through the astral plane after dying?

I heard that in the "standard" setting for D&D, when your character dies, their soul goes travelling through the Astral Plane until they eventually end up in the outer plane they belong ...
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10 votes
2 answers
585 views

Broccoli games: or, how do you deal with unfun sessions before you get to have fun again?

This may be a silly question, but I'm still quite curious. How do deal with unfun game sessions that you feel are still kind of required? The context of my question is, our group just had, effectively,...
31 votes
8 answers
5k views

What are the DM's responsibilities when dealing with a character's death?

This facet of RPGs is the thing with which I have the least experience/comfort level.  I'm sanguine about the idea that Dungeons etc. are inherently dangerous places, and that the PCs behavior is ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can a Half-Orc's Relentless Endurance trait save it from its soul being stolen when it dies?

Half-Orcs have the Relentless Endurance racial trait: Relentless Endurance. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can't use this ...
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10 votes
1 answer
182 views

Can a player character avoid dying as long as they still have Plot Points?

I've read Cortex Prime and now I'm wondering whether a PC could die. The rule said that "you can spend a PP to avoid being taken out of the scene" (which I translate as dying). Does this ...
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19 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does a Swarmkeeper lose their swarm if they die?

In Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, the Swarmkeeper Ranger's "Gathered Swarm" feature states the following (emphasis added): A swarm of intangible nature spirits has bonded itself to you and ...
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26 votes
10 answers
10k views

How does anyone ever die with a Cleric

I'm relatively new to the game and DMing a group who are all also new to the game, so maybe this is something obvious that we just don't know. Last session the party was beset upon by a group of ...
38 votes
10 answers
9k views

How do I help a player terrified of their character dying in combat?

Relatively new DM with a group of 5 players (some with ttrpg experience, some not) through a twist on the essentials kit module. One absolute first time player is running a 3rd level rogue with low HP ...
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20 votes
3 answers
940 views

DoIP Dragon Barrow Area D5 – how is this not a likely TPK?

I'm running Dragon of Icespire Peak, and my players have encountered the Dragon Barrow. This question relates to the mechanics of a specific part of the quest, so I've liberally used spoiler blocks to ...
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12 votes
2 answers
834 views

Slaying the Target Outright

In Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition's Player's Handbook I. on page 288 states: Under "Coup De Grace," there is the rule "Slaying the Target Outright": "If you deal damage ...
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3 votes
0 answers
104 views

Can you die instantly if you take enough damage? [duplicate]

If you have a max HP of, for example 27, and you have 0 current HP, and then take another 27 dmg, do you die instantly?
29 votes
12 answers
6k views

How to avoid killing player characters due to a single (un)lucky roll?

Especially at low levels, Pathfinder characters can usually be killed easily by a single enemy attack, provided the dice fall in said enemy's favor. An example: The PC has a Constitution score of 10 (...
user avatar
32 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to alleviate the tedium of PC death at higher levels?

In our high-level Pathfinder game, player characters die relatively often, whether to save-or-die or just to high damage. When a PC dies, then players either defeat the enemy or escape, and unless the ...
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What ways (other than advantage) are there to improve the total for a death saving throw?

What ways (other than advantage) are there to improve the total for a death saving throw? For instance, the bless spell allows you to add 1d4 to any saving throws you make during the duration. I'm ...
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4 votes
1 answer
199 views

Can spells that stabilise you when you'd die overrule death from exceeding negative constitution?

Characters die from damage when their health is reduced below their negative Constitution score. However, some spells stabilize you when you'd die. Can these spells stabilize you even from damage that ...
37 votes
5 answers
7k views

How do I engage someone who is playing his character poorly?

I am DMing a game where one player has never quite seemed happy. He regularly questions rulings and gets quite hurt when he tries to do things with his character and they don't succeed. He is playing ...
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0 votes
0 answers
37 views

What happens when an attack with a raider drops a hero to 0 hp? [duplicate]

So, imagine you are hit by a monster and dropped down to 0 hp. But then the same attack also requires you to make a Constitution save or take extra damage. Is this attack treated as a single damage ...
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

If a player's character is absorbed by a gibbering mouther, do they make death saving throws as normal, or are they instantly killed?

I am a DM for the Tomb of Annihilation published adventure. My group will be exploring an abandoned mine near Fort Beluarian, so I wanted to create a level mini-dungeon for a party of five people. ...
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-5 votes
3 answers
194 views

Are there any well-known, proprietary RP games in which a powerful wizard can compel suicide or murder? [closed]

Are there any well-known, proprietary RP games in which a powerful wizard can compel suicide or murder? I'm not a player but I sometimes read questions and answers here. Out of curiosity I wondered ...
5 votes
2 answers
325 views

How is a soul different from the living creature that it came from?

Short Version If someone who can cast a spell like Plane Shift or Gate dies, what prevents their soul from simply casting the spell and returning to the Material Plane? Explanation From what I can ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does the Death Ward spell protect against the effect of the Implosion spell?

The death ward spell protects against death effects. Is implosion's instant death a death effect for this purpose?
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does a character automatically fail one death save when they drop to 0 hit points?

I have a question regarding death saves and whether anyone knows an official source that can determine this. So according to my DM's interpretation of the RAW, if an attack brings you below zero hit ...

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