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Negative HP conundrum


Advice

Taldor

Last session, the PCs confronted a banshee. She wailed, and all made their saves except the rogue.He takes 140 points of damage and dies immediately (the damage dropped him somewhere to -60. The cleric runs up to the rogue and casts breath of life. But even with the healing domain, he cannot heal enough hitpoints to bring him back to negative above his constitution. So i rule that he stays dead.
I can see that they disapprove, but they suck it up, dole out the cash for the diamond and raise their friend.
Then after the session they tell me that they think that a character shouldn't be able to be reduced to less then negative con in hitpoints.

Still thinking about that one. Any opinions?


He's still dead for two reasons.

Breath of Life wrote:
If the healed creature's hit point total is at a negative amount less than its Constitution score, it comes back to life and stabilizes at its new hit point total. If the creature's hit point total is at a negative amount equal to or greater than its Constitution score, the creature remains dead.

This describes your situation.

Also:

Breath of Life wrote:
Creatures slain by death effects cannot be saved by breath of life.

A banshee's wail is a death effect.


If a guy gets hit by the magical equivalent to a nuke, I think it is perfectly fair to say that he is beyond the reach of power of that spell. Unless it is powerful enough to build him a new body from scratch, the spell just is not able to repair the magnitude of the damage.

Now, it might be reasonable to say that a body should have a maximum level of damage that can be inflicted before it becomes a pink mist, but I think that would be far more than negative con. A rapier thrust through the brain could reduce you to negative Con, but leave 99% of the body intact. A body that has been burned to ash or dissolved in acid has experienced far more damage than that. What that maximum should be is another question all together.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hama wrote:

Then after the session they tell me that they think that a character shouldn't be able to be reduced to less then negative con in hitpoints.

Still thinking about that one. Any opinions?

Why? Should no one be so damaged that they are beyond magical healing? Is it because you can't be healed above your total hitpoints? What is their reasoning beyond 'it is bad for me'?


I am of the thought that victories should be earned, but I am not their GM. I would suggest talking to the group and trying to reach a compromise on when death should be ok. It could be worse. In 3.5 you just died no matter how many hit points you had. If a character has a weak save he should also shore that save up. I never dump con, and I take great fortitude if I am using a class with a low fort save.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

the spells says if the healing brings you have negative con you come back to life
they are saying it should at most need 1 hp to do this

if that was in way way the intention why have the part about needing to healing above negative con

I just can not see there point of view


Hama wrote:
Then after the session they tell me that they think that a character shouldn't be able to be reduced to less then negative con in hitpoints.

I am assuming they stated it differently? Otherwise they are stating no characters should ever actually die, since exeeding your negative con in HP is how you die. If they are saying you should never be reduced to less than negative con HP's they are saying you should never die.

In any case Take Boat's answer is 100% spot on to handle the situation.


First off, as was already mentioned a Banshee's Wail "is a sonic death effect" and Breath of Life can't bring people back that have been slain by it anyway, no matter how many or few negative HPs they have.

Secondly though, I can see their argument that a death effect wouldn't reduce someone to "more dead than dead". By RAW it does, but it made some sense if it didn't.
However considering Breath of Life doesn't work on it, I'm not sure that distinction has any effect on any other spell.

By the time they face CR 13 creatures they should have put some money aside for the inevitable rezz from time to time.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gilfalas wrote:
If they are saying you should never be reduced to less than negative con HP's they are saying you should never die.

Not quite.

Dead wrote:
When your character's current hit points drop to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score or lower, or if he succumbs to massive damage, he's dead.


Your party's wrong. Period.


Heh. People on the internet are pricks, some times. All this "ZOMG THEYRE WRONG" vitriol is a little crazy.

The effect of the rules change would be, effectively, so long as Breath of Life can be cast, all you can die to is death effects.

If all your players agree on it, I wouldn't see why you wouldn't make the change. It won't really affect you that much.

-Cross


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I think it all comes down to 'what is fun for everyone.' If the group doesn't want to ever risk death that can be great if everyone agrees. If the group want death to be a real risk then that is great too.

What are the penalties for the Player when his character dies? Does he have to sit out till a new PC can be brought in? Till the PCs are in town? Does he lose a level or end up with less wealth? Even inadvertently? These are issues of 'fun' and balance that irk players and GMs alike.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You know, "you're pricks" is a tad more offensive than "they're wrong" when in fact they are wrong. But whatever...


Stop ripping off my screen name for your threads titles people!


If breath of life would work in this situation, there wouldn't be any description in it about "If the healed creature's hit point total is at a negative amount less than its Constitution score, it comes back to life and stabilizes at its new hit point total. If the creature's hit point total is at a negative amount equal to or greater than its Constitution score, the creature remains dead." Because if they couldn't get any lower than that, this would always be fulfilled. As others have said, of course, the fact that it was a death effect is another mark against them. There are two clear-cut reasons why breath of life wouldn't have saved him, and really no valid argument (not including a house-rule) why it would.


Hama wrote:

Last session, the PCs confronted a banshee. She wailed, and all made their saves except the rogue.He takes 140 points of damage and dies immediately (the damage dropped him somewhere to -60. The cleric runs up to the rogue and casts breath of life. But even with the healing domain, he cannot heal enough hitpoints to bring him back to negative above his constitution. So i rule that he stays dead.

I can see that they disapprove, but they suck it up, dole out the cash for the diamond and raise their friend.
Then after the session they tell me that they think that a character shouldn't be able to be reduced to less then negative con in hitpoints.

Still thinking about that one. Any opinions?

I understand where their argument comes from. In 3.5 death was clarified to -10, no matter how many hit points you took. There was no accumulation of negative hit points beyond death. That's the kind of thing they are thinking, and it sounds particularly applicable when talking of death effects.

Unfortunately, it simply isn't that way in PF. As pointed out by others, the rules very clearly state that you DO accumulate a negative hit point total after death.

-Cheers

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