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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Is there a way to destabilize a character without making them fail a death save?

If this is possible, it allows an exploit: destabilize, wait for death save. Success -> wait another turn Failure/Critical Failure -> Cleric casts Spare the Dying, then destabilize again ...
User 23415's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
932 views

Can a creature tell when a creature succeeds or fails a death saving throw?

Using nonmagical senses, is it possible to tell: When a creature succeeds (or fails) a death save How many successes/failures a creature has
User 23415's user avatar
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28 votes
4 answers
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As a DM, how can I use Power Word: Kill without ruining my players' fun?

I'm currently designing an encounter with a lich for my 13th-level party. They've cruised through more level-appropriate combat encounters, and they like to come up with creative ways around difficult ...
Tack's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
3k views

In Princes of the Apocalypse, is this monster “supposed to” kill a player character?

In Princes of the Apocalypse Ch. 6, has plenty of time and warning to prepare for his encounter with the party, along with the spells to do so: He is also in possession of a powerful magic item, ...
Kerrick's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
264 views

What are effective ways to revive a Zealot Barbarian? [duplicate]

I was considering playing a Zealot Barbarian and was looking at the different ways that my character could be revived. Sure, there is the classic "lug a corpse around for the rest of the dungeon ...
Victor B's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What happens to the prepared spells of a wizard who dies and then is brought back to life?

I can't find anything on what happens to the prepared spells of a caster who dies. I did find this about a PC's attunement to their magic items: A creature's attunement to an item ends if the ...
aaron9eee's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can the Wildfire Druid ability Blazing Revival prevent Instant Death due to massive damage or disintegrate?

The 14th level Circle of Wildfire ability reads: If the spirit is within 120 feet of you when you are reduced to 0 hit points and thereby fall unconscious, you can cause the spirit to drop to 0 hit ...
RisingZan's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can you spend a hero point to avoid dying from gaining the dying condition?

If a PC is at wounded 3 and is brought to 0 HP, they fall unconscious and gain dying 4. Most PCs die when they reach dying 4, so the player would like to avoid this by spending all of their hero ...
darch's user avatar
  • 2,477
9 votes
4 answers
3k views

What is the "revolving door of death"?

In this Stack Exchange question, we have the following statement, given while discussing players taking on ridiculous risk. Sometimes players bemoan the revolving door for life and death, I suspect ...
HFOrangefish's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

When do you add the wounded condition value to the dying value?

A party's making me question everything. I couldn't find an official quote about the wounded value being added to your dying value everytime you increase (not dropping to 0 HP, but taking damage while ...
Snakehelm's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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Is the Path of the Zealot barbarian almost immortal at level 15?

I was looking at classes and subclasses, and saw the Path of the Zealot barbarian, and the question if it could become almost immortal came to mind. At level 14, the Path of the Zealot gains the ...
dndndndndnndndndnd's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there an incarnation of Death in D&D?

Simply put, I was wondering if there was a lawful neutral god whose portfolio is transporting the souls of the dead from the Material Plane to judgement. Marvel has Lady Death, the Greeks have ...
Victor B's user avatar
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20 votes
9 answers
3k views

When would I give a checkpoint to my D&D party that they can return to if they die?

My sister said she didn't like how in D&D you can die, and suggested checkpoints, what would be the best way to do that, should I have them save whenever they want, or just after major bosses?
S..'s user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
755 views

What happens to your soul when it get trapped in a Lich's phylactery?

All Liches have a phylactery that they use to trap souls so they can live forever. What exactly happens to those souls when they are trapped? Are they gone forever or just trapped in some magical ...
SuperNine09's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
284 views

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

You know a player character is going to die next session, mainly thought the stupidity of his actions (I would have to fudge too many dice rolls for him to survive). You know your player is likely to ...
The Lost Kitten's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
7k 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. ...
Opelious's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
117 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 ...
Onymos Ceutho's user avatar
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 ...
Premier Bromanov's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
September's user avatar
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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 ...
Astral bard.'s user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
Namquoron's user avatar
  • 101
11 votes
3 answers
445 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 ...
P. O.'s user avatar
  • 300
9 votes
1 answer
550 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 ...
Bucket's user avatar
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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 ...
Mushroom_DM's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Bucket's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
vonBoomslang's user avatar
  • 8,041
0 votes
2 answers
473 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 ...
Lamentix's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
103 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 ...
Ora's user avatar
  • 71
21 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 ...
Ryan C. Thompson's user avatar
20 votes
4 answers
4k 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. ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
894 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 ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
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 ...
G.M.theGM's user avatar
  • 381
17 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 ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
8k 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 ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Ifusaso's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Brandon Myers's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
351 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 ...
Sheepdip's user avatar
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 ...
Lea's user avatar
  • 141
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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?
Wannabe Warlock's user avatar
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 ...
NeRoboto's user avatar
  • 459
5 votes
1 answer
411 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 ...
Keinname's user avatar
  • 569
10 votes
2 answers
654 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,...
A Wandering Star's user avatar
31 votes
8 answers
6k 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 ...
Vokrug's user avatar
  • 419
7 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
MemeMan's user avatar
  • 1,099
10 votes
1 answer
257 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 ...
Vylix's user avatar
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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 ...
Andrendire's user avatar
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25 votes
10 answers
11k 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 ...
Bitsplease's user avatar
39 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 ...
warfa's user avatar
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