215 votes
Accepted

How can I suggest the DM stop trying to kill us?

Unfortunately, all the group behaviours you've identified are either death-seeky or problematic. Use these interactions as teachable moments instead of problems which can simply be wished away. In all ...
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128 votes

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

What you are trying to create in a sand box is player agency. My definition of this is: Players making informed decisions that have reasonable consequences It is important to remember that there ...
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  • 187k
114 votes

How do I address the need to kill off one member of the party for on going plot?

Then you need to damn the plot secrets and talk with the player and make sure they are OK with it. You don't need to give them details on how it is resolved but they need to know they will be killed ...
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  • 8,824
106 votes

How can I suggest the DM stop trying to kill us?

The way to talk to the GM is that you sit down and talk with him. In a non-accusatory tone, you explain the way you've thought/felt playing in the game and ask him to explain what the expectations ...
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  • 172k
100 votes
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I killed a PC's animal companion at the end of last session, but later realized it should have survived; what are my options?

Ask the player. First there is nothing wrong with making a mistake, we all do it, you will make more, don't try and hide it. You're the DM you are tracking a lot of stuff mishaps happen. Just ask that ...
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  • 8,824
95 votes
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Dealing with "fearless" players

Bit of an introductory story: I got a discount from my phone company for retention, by threatening to cancel. My neighbour also threatened to cancel after hearing about my discount, but didn't get an ...
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  • 32.1k
95 votes
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My 5e character isn't very fun. How do I kill them off?

You don't need to go to the effort of plotting to kill her off. What you do need to do is speak to your GM and your group and tell them what's on your mind: your character doesn't have much to do, ...
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95 votes
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What to do about PC rerolling for great stats?

Your player is trying to game you, the system and the other players at the table. Simply put an end to that. The issues with rolling stats is that you take on the risk of getting subpar ability scores ...
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  • 21.8k
87 votes
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What spells are available to resurrect characters?

There are a small number of spells available for resurrecting players as listed below. The time limit is the maximum amount of time you have to cast this after the character dies—for example, you can'...
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84 votes

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

In all seriousness... Don't do it There isn't a way to spring this on players without hurting feelings. If you do want to do it then... Set the Expectation Beforehand GM: Hi everyone. I'm ...
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82 votes

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

Let them fail - miserably! But don't kill them... A lot of good stories start out like this: You have a bunch of over confident wanna-be heroes who want to kill the evil general with a stupid plan. ...
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  • 1,886
73 votes

How should I handle retconning (or not) a session with a drunk player and character deaths?

This is not a direct answer to your question, but a suggestion that I feel is worth noting. Don't retcon past events, expand upon them. Instead of saying this never happened, say that it has. Exactly ...
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  • 13.5k
73 votes

Does the Power Word Kill spell instantly kill PCs?

Spells do exactly what they say, whether cast on PCs or other monsters. Power Word Kill says a creature with 100 hit points or fewer dies. PCs are not exempt from this as they are also creatures and ...
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73 votes

Can a DM permanently kill a player character?

The DM can do whatever they want Your DM is the god of gods of your world. Could they do it? Absolutely. However, your DM may have something more than that involved. It wouldn't feel very good for the ...
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  • 20.3k
71 votes
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How do I kill a 20th level raging Zealot Barbarian?

Brute force won't work, but any other effect will work, provided it is hit point-dependent At first blush, the 20th level Zealot Barbarian seems unkillable, and this is true if you play the Barbarian'...
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70 votes
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What happens to dying PCs when combat ends?

Keep the drama, because dying is dramatic! The stabilization rules would remain the same whether in or out of combat. Given the importance of that, I would recommend following initiative order until ...
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  • 122k
67 votes

How can I suggest the DM stop trying to kill us?

I will not revisit the advice presented in the other answers about talking to the DM and establishing what you think the norms of this campaign would be. Instead, I would ask you to consider the ...
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  • 187k
66 votes
Accepted

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

Just say OK, I assume you teleport back to Xyz Temple, get raise dead cast for you, cast restoration, wait a week, cast restoration again, and teleport back here. It takes... [rolls a d20, saying “1 ...
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  • 317k
62 votes

How to kill a PC without hard feelings?

It all comes down to agency. What choices are the players making? If you are spoon-feeding them encounters, which they have no options but to engage, then yes, it's on you to make sure those ...
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  • 1,519
60 votes

What to do about PC rerolling for great stats?

Have all PCs generated by the same method You say in a comment that the other players all used point buy. That simplifies this problem. Tell this player: You generate with point buy, like ...
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59 votes

Handling encounter elements that would realistically cause instant death

Group Checks, Success with a Cost, and Skill Challenges These three concepts are meant to be used in tandem, but can be cherry picked to suit your style of play. I have the most experience using them ...
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  • 19.9k
58 votes
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Can massive damage knock out rather than causing instant death?

These rules have two entirely separate triggers, and if a single attack satisfies both, then so be it. The attack reduced the creature to 0 hit points, and it was a melee attack. So you can choose to ...
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  • 141k
58 votes
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Interactions between unarmed strikes, negative strength and an unconscious target

Unarmed attacks can crit, but do not do double damage Can an unarmed strike crit? - Yes If you roll a 20 on an unarmed strike, it is considered a critical hit. This means that it will ...
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  • 90.1k
57 votes
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How does anyone ever die with a Cleric

Dying in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition very rarely occurs by chance. Importantly being reduced to 0 HP only renders a player character unconscious. Finishing off Unconscious Players An intelligent ...
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  • 5,410
56 votes

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

Tell them that the side campaign ends with an epic, glorious, TPK. Making your players co-conspirators in the shape of the finale means that they will help you drive it to that epic conclusion. There'...
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56 votes
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My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

there was a spy present at the meeting where the plan was hatched and discussed If you want to warn the players off their plan in a plausible way, the existence of this spy offers some options to do ...
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54 votes
Accepted

Can massive damage kill you while at 0 HP?

Yes, Massive Damage can kill you at 0 HP Damage at 0 Hit Points. If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit, you ...
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  • 50.5k
53 votes

What are the implications of letting players retry an adventure/encounter that resulted in death?

This is a case where you need to set ground rules which manage player expectations. When you allow players to manage their own sheets, they are accepting responsibility for doing it correctly. Giving ...
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  • 1,047
52 votes
Accepted

What happens when an unconscious but stabilised character is hit?

The creature takes death saving throw failures on the initial hit Unfortunately for the character in question, your first scenario is correct. A stable creature is unconscious with 0 hp - the fact ...
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  • 24.4k
52 votes

How does anyone ever die with a Cleric

D&D 5e combat is low stakes At least, in the sense that anyone is at serious risk of dying in any given combat. Each edition of D&D has progressively made dying less likely. However, ...
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  • 187k

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