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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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
209 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
159 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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  • 529
3 votes
0 answers
45 views

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 ...
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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. ...
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7 votes
3 answers
494 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 ...
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12 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
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9 votes
4 answers
501 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 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
906 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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15 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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
201 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 ...
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6 votes
3 answers
330 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 ...
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14 votes
2 answers
1k 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?
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
179 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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  • 559
10 votes
2 answers
554 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,...
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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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  • 1,067
10 votes
1 answer
165 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
9k 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 ...
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38 votes
10 answers
8k 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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  • 368
20 votes
3 answers
791 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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  • 1,969
12 votes
2 answers
814 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
99 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?
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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 (...
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k 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
182 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 ...
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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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  • 2,368
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 ...
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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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  • 111
-5 votes
3 answers
191 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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
284 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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  • 4,622
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?
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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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6 votes
2 answers
356 views

How can victims of a Devourer / Spawn of Kyuss be restored?

In 5e, there are some monsters which can kill and transform / disintegrate PCs. While disassembling the published monsters, I made the following interesting observation: Some of these state that only ...
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  • 10.7k
10 votes
1 answer
643 views

When did D&D first move away from instant death?

Early editions of D&D direct that a character dies when reaching 0 hp, that is, instantly. Hit Points and Hit Dice Any creature reduced to 0 hit points (or less) is dead. Page B6 (D&D Basic ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do familiars get death saving throws?

Do familiars summoned by the Find Familiar spell get to utilize Death Saving Throws, or do they die immediately when they reach 0 hit points?
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19 votes
4 answers
9k views

Can a DM permanently kill a player character?

Currently my character is at 0 HP and doing death saves. The DM however, has said an Ogre is holding my character upside down by the legs and is going to potentially rip my character in half in the ...
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  • 331
11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can you cast Speak With Dead on dead undead?

The description of the speak with dead spell says (emphasis mine): You grant the semblance of life and intelligence to a corpse of your choice within range, allowing it to answer the questions ...
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5 votes
1 answer
575 views

Do non-native outsiders die of old age?

Outsiders are described so: Unlike most other living creatures, an outsider does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. The bond between Outsiders and their Home Planes is strong, ...
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  • 847
8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Can the Regenerate spell bring someone back from the dead?

The description of Regenerate states: You touch a creature and stimulate its natural healing ability. The target regains 4d8 + 15 hit points. For the duration of the spell, the target regains 1 hit ...
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  • 26.9k
5 votes
1 answer
145 views

Do a creature's special abilities still function after the creature dies?

Do a creature's special abilities still function after the creature dies? I know that, for example, the paladin's class feature Aura of Courage specifies that it doesn't function if the paladin is ...
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  • 3,403
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

Damage reduction vs Dying/Bleeding Out [duplicate]

When a character has less than 0 but more than -10 HP, they are considred "dying". According to the SRD: A dying character loses 1 hit point every round. This continues until the character dies or ...
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  • 7,608
3 votes
1 answer
262 views

How does the Reactive Healing feat work?

I'm confused as to how the Reactive Healing feat works. Specifically: The brief description talks about being knocked unconscious. If a blow would kill you outright, can you still use Reactive ...
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