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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5
votes
1answer
436 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 ...
28
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4answers
38k views

Does a Paladin's Aura of Protection Affect Allies' Death Saving Throws?

In D&D 5e, the Paladin feature Aura of Protection allows allies within 10 feet of you to add your charisma modifier as a bonus to their saving throws, as long as you are conscious. Certainly this ...
7
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0answers
67 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 ...
53
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8answers
3k views

How can I quickly get a player back into a session after their character dies? [closed]

As a GM, what kind of techniques could I use to help a player re-join the gaming session after their character dies? I want to avoid any major interruptions to the flow of the adventure. I would also ...
34
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3answers
8k views

Interactions between unarmed strikes, negative strength and an unconscious target

Consider this improbable yet possible scenario (which nonetheless came up at our table last night): A PC is unconscious and currently making Death Saving Throws. A weak (8 Strength) and hostile NPC ...
12
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1answer
1k 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

How does Halfling Luck affect the probability of surviving my death saves?

The probability of a mere human surviving a series of unmodified death saving throws has been established as 59.5125%. But Halfling Luck applies to death saving throws in a dramatic way: A roll of 1 ...
57
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2answers
265k views

What spells are available to resurrect characters?

What official spells exist that can be used by characters to resurrect their fallen comrades in Dungeons & Dragons? Which classes can cast them and at what level?
25
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10answers
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 ...
35
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10answers
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 ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Can the duration of Gentle Repose be extended by multiple castings?

The paladin in my group just died, and we want to bring him to an archdruid to reincarnate him. The group needs 12 days to reach the archdruid, so in this case one casting of Gentle Repose is enough ...
20
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3answers
410 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 ...
7
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4answers
2k views

How can I plan a TPK finale that doesn't look planned?

A campaign I was GMing in the past abruptly stopped because of stuff IRL, with characters trapped in a tower in the center of a city that is being destroyed by a huge demon. When the group gets back ...
57
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7answers
70k views

How do I kill a 20th level raging Zealot Barbarian?

At 20th level, the Path of the Zealot barbarian (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 11) can rage indefinitely by virtue of starting a new rage just prior to their initial rage ending. This is ...
-5
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1answer
143k views

What is considered a successful death saving throw?

I'm fairly new to D&D and I wanted to run a session with some friends. I've been doing a lot of research but can't seem to find an answer to this question. I understand how the mechanic works, ...
13
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8answers
4k views

How do I clearly foreshadow a potential out-of-combat death?

Let me first set the scene The group I DM for is in a position where they are at the mercy of a group of people who are contemplating what to do with the party. I have decided on a game of chance to ...
12
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2answers
749 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 ...
11
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1answer
1k 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?
29
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12answers
5k 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 (...
3
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0answers
96 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?
32
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4answers
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 ...
19
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2answers
4k 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 ...
12
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2answers
6k views

Will revivify work on a creature killed by Extract Brain?

Mind flayers (Monster Manual, p. 222) have the Extract Brain action: Extract Brain. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one incapacitated humanoid grappled by the mind flayer. Hit: The ...
4
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1answer
141 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 ...
7
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1answer
2k views

If the Power Word Kill spell is cast on a Polymorphed creature, what happens?

I have read that the polymorph and power word kill spell combo can be annoying for DMs but I'm confused on why it works. In the description for the polymorph spell it states: The transformation lasts ...
12
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3answers
10k views

Do you make death saving throws out of combat?

Death saving throws are made on each turn where you are dying and not stable. However, the rules specifically talk about making saves during combat rounds - so what about after combat? Two PCs are up, ...
22
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1answer
3k 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 ...
59
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11answers
8k views

What to do when a player character does something that seems suicidal?

Every now and then a player character does something extremely risky because "it would be fun." What are some good ways to handle this as a GM, for the different styles of play? I like ...
29
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1answer
13k views

If you're unconscious and making death saving throws, and an attack from within 5 feet of you hits you, does it cause 2 failed death saves?

In the PHB, it says that three death saving throw failures means you die; taking any damage causes 1 failure, and a critical hit causes 2 failures. But the unconscious condition says that attacks ...
12
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1answer
10k views

Does the Zealot barbarian's Rage beyond Death feature let you survive if you receive healing regardless of your death saves?

In Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p. 11), the Path of the Zealot gives a barbarian the "Rage Beyond Death" feature at level 14 (emphasis mine): Beginning at 14th level, the divine power ...
37
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5answers
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 ...
152
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13answers
19k views

How can DMs effectively telegraph specific dangers in D&D?

There are some play-styles of D&D in which the spectre of player-character death is considered a feature of the game rather than a bug. For my own reasons (which aren't the point of the question), ...
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0answers
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
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1answer
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. ...
-5
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3answers
178 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 ...
11
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4answers
18k views

What happens when a familiar from the Find Familiar spell “dies”?

The 5e PHB is pretty unambiguous about familiar "death". Per the find familiar spell description: When the familiar drops to 0 hit points, it disappears, leaving behind no physical form. It ...
5
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2answers
192 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 ...
23
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2answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
2k 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 ...
6
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2answers
232 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 ...
10
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1answer
440 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 ...
19
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4answers
8k 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 ...
12
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2answers
1k 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?
35
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9answers
9k views

Players better at dealing damage than taking damage

I'm currently DM'ing a high powered D&D 3.5 game with 4 PCs (Wizard, Druid, Rogue/Assassin and Bard) and a DMPC (Minotaur Barbarian) at ECL 11. My concern is that whenever I try to create a ...
9
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1answer
480 views

Has it ever been officially stated how long it takes for a soul to transform into an outsider after death?

Okay, correct me if I’m wrong: In the Pathfinder Universe, souls travel along the River of Souls after death, then hang around Pharasmas Boneyard for a while, get judged and then get send to ...
11
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2answers
1k 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 ...
28
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5answers
8k views

Can I resurrect a corpse that was previously animated as undead?

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, ...
3
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1answer
255 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, ...
8
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4answers
3k 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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