Dying and Dropping


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

When you fall to -1 hitpoints and flop over artlessly, do you drop everything?

What of shields, which are more worn than 'held'?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Shields are strapped.

Never states you drop anything.

Have you never heard the term "...from my cold dead hands"?

Grand Lodge

Yea, it just gets... tricky... since it doesn't say you drop prone either, but most of us agree that it would be silly if people just stood there staring off into space upon defeat, even if, by RAW, that's what happens, you just stop moving.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, when reduced to -1 or lower, you go unconscious, which does make you drop prone.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Shields are strapped.

Never states you drop anything.

Have you never heard the term "...from my cold dead hands"?

Doesn't work that way, medically. If you pass out, your hands lose their grip. Anything in them is dropped, although you should also know that most shields were NOT strapped to your arm, as that is impractical unless you are on horseback.

If you die, your bowels and bladder immediately release, in case you are wondering. That's how you can tell someone died recently, as opposed to faking it, and you won't find that tidbit in any movie, too gross.


Piccolo wrote:
Anything in them is dropped, although you should also know that most shields were NOT strapped to your arm, as that is impractical unless you are on horseback.

Of course, how it worked in the real world has no bearing on how it works in the game. Considering bucklers, light shields, and heavy shields all specifically say they are strapped on your arm.


I cannot recall a rule, in any of the previous versions of the game, that said what happened to held items when you fall unconscious or dead. Since there is nothing in RAW that says you drop something, you could rule that the person holds onto what they had, until someone takes it from them.

If you would prefer some realism in your game, you could make up your own rules. Say a weapon in hand (with no weapon locks/weapon cords etc) has a 75% chance of being dropped. A shield would have a chance of sliding off your arm, if it goes limp, but would be less of a chance of dropping than a held weapon. Say a 25% chance of dropping. These numbers are just off the top of my head, just an example of what you could do.

And unless the person is falling a great distance or there are some other circumstances, I would rule that any dropped items are within 5' of the body.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

We are talking about Dying, not Dead.

Shields are called out as being strapped.

Locked Gauntlets or Weapon Cords solve the weapon issue.


Jeraa wrote:
Piccolo wrote:
Anything in them is dropped, although you should also know that most shields were NOT strapped to your arm, as that is impractical unless you are on horseback.
Of course, how it worked in the real world has no bearing on how it works in the game. Considering bucklers, light shields, and heavy shields all specifically say they are strapped on your arm.

The rules have many errors, like weapon weights of swords and the like being massively too heavy. Most of the original game stats are unchanged, and they were based very heavily on medieval scholarship available at the time, which was flawed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Okay.

Are we looking for a RAW answer?


Darned if I know. I just know the bald facts.

Another error is that 30ft per 6 second round translates to 3.4mph, which means the overland travel distance per 8 hours is wrong by 3 miles. Should be 27 per 8 hour day, assuming no difficult terrain.

Grand Lodge

RAW would be nice, especially since I play PFS more often than not.

The quote on unconscious is, alas, unsatisfying:

Unconscious creatures are knocked out and helpless. Unconsciousness can result from having negative hit points (but not more than the creature's Constitution score), or from nonlethal damage in excess of current hit points.

Ok, that tells me little. It doesn't say you drop things though, so I guess you don't?


Would probably only serve to overcomplicate things if you drop things when you die. Already painful enough if you have to get back up. Endless cycle of channeling, taking an AoO, and falling back down.

Edit: RAW I don't even see it say you fall when you die. YMMV.


What happens when you are knocked out and helpless, then? Well, you lose consciousness, and your muscles naturally relax. If you are helpless, you can take no actions, and you cannot move nor attempt to react to stimulus.

I'd say that means you drop like a rock and your held items clatter to the ground next to you, imho.


Nah, means the 80 pounds of armor and weapons keep you well balanced and keep you from falling down. Seriously, that stuff keeps you from moving conciously!

Kidding, but I've always seen different tables run it differently. Losing your gear only makes that more difficult.

Grand Lodge

That logic is compelling, until you hit paralyzed, with doesn't knock you over, nor make you drop items, despite also rendering you helpless and entirely unable to move.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Likely, you drop things you are holding.

I am not finding that yet though.

Grand Lodge

It could be, and often is assumed, but no one says as much, hence the question about dropping things when you enter dying state or not. Alas, it seems there is no RAW on the matter one way or the other, but I do appreciate the looking.


I generally treat dying and/or unconscious as a severe state of the stunned condition which would make you drop anything you hold in hand, I never thought of having a character make that fortitude save versus a stunning attack that drops him to -10 just in case he gets back up.


yea I think that you fall to the ground and drop any thing thats in your hands, although I have never tried being knocked out when holding a sword, but i think that if it happens I would fall to the ground and drop the sword. Although i think it would be weird if someone was knocked out and keep standing and holding any items in their hands, I think boxing would have to change some of it rules, unless the hit each other until dead, then they would fall over...... I think paizo believes that we know what happens to someone when they get knocked out, and to save space not put it in the book.

Sovereign Court

Paralysed is it's own kind of weirdness, because while you can't move a muscle, you can still breathe and keep your balance. Whereas real-world paralysis caused by some spider bite would probably cause you to fall over because you can't move.


Weird. I always thought if one was paralyzed suddenly, you fall over. Sometimes, you really need to be more of a critical and logical thinker to run this game, as opposed to being a rules lawyer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Magic.


Piccolo wrote:
If you die, your bowels and bladder immediately release, in case you are wondering. That's how you can tell someone died recently, as opposed to faking it, and you won't find that tidbit in any movie, too gross.

Off topic, I know but, my brother is a firefighter and EMT who's encountered a few dead people on the job and, in his experience, this has never held true. Just saying....

Sovereign Court

Paralysis is just weird. But I prefer the "rules lawyer" way, where you can paralyse someone with magic (neat) without them falling over (people standing around helpless are a villain ego trip; having them fall over looks less impressive), or being unable to breathe (if Hold Person also caused suffocation, it would need a drastic level bump...)

Sure, it's not entirely realistic. But the game is better off if paralysis isn't any more deadly than it currently already is.


Honorable Goblin wrote:
Piccolo wrote:
If you die, your bowels and bladder immediately release, in case you are wondering. That's how you can tell someone died recently, as opposed to faking it, and you won't find that tidbit in any movie, too gross.
Off topic, I know but, my brother is a firefighter and EMT who's encountered a few dead people on the job and, in his experience, this has never held true. Just saying....

Give it time; not all of the body dies at the same time, but is in progress the instant the heart stops and the brain shuts down. Also, the amount released would vary, since it depends on when you last used the bathroom.

Ever hear of "the smell of death"?


So it's immediate, but you have to give it time? Makes perfect sense.

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My group has never once discussed what happens in the 10 or so years we've been together. By unspoken consent you drop whatever you carry. Items secured stay in place.

When we were playing 4th edition a guy who had only done whatever their society play was called fell unconscious, then was healed. He stood up and attacked. About half the table informed him he had to pick up his weapon. He said only "But it doesn't say..." and that was the end of it. It was revealed to me at that moment that our assumption was not universally held.

Sovereign Court

I think we've never had people drop stuff, but if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

But I tend to feel sorry for people who get struck down, getting up from Prone is pretty nasty already. I'm okay with cutting players a bit of slack there; if they can survive standing up they've earned the opportunity to hit someone.

The "you'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands" bit is icing on the cake.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Paralysed is it's own kind of weirdness, because while you can't move a muscle, you can still breathe and keep your balance. Whereas real-world paralysis caused by some spider bite would probably cause you to fall over because you can't move.

Breathing, like heartbeat is primarily controlled by autonomic nervous system so all forms of magical paralysis (and some paralytic poisons) can "freeze" the victim without suffocating them.

Hold person, as compulsion is especially easy to explain as it is magical compulsion to stand still - which explains why its victims do not fall down.

Grand Lodge

Doesn't explain why ghoul claws doesn't knock you over when paralyzed. Pathfinder rules are funny at times.

Sovereign Court

All the explanations feel a bit strained. I think it's better to not look too closely, and instead accept rules which have good enough balance.

Sovereign Court

In Pathfinder and 3.5 you only dropped held items when you had the panicked or stunned conditions. That is all.

--Schoolhouse Vrock

Grand Lodge

Well, there we go. It's settled. Dying does not force dropping. It's just a popular houserule.

Dark Archive

you'll have to pry my blackblade from my cold dead hands


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't mind dropping things when you go unconcious, since I'd imagine you can easily pick them up once you come to on account of you already being on the floor.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Weapon Cords are awesome by the way.

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