Character's lower body crushed by rock - How can a party save him?


Advice

Lantern Lodge

So I'm working on some story ideals for a homebrew and the ideal of a NPC getting crushed by a falling rock, requiring the party to find a way to save him quickly before he dies.

But... that's when I'm fumbling on HOW can the party save this man?
This story event is planned for a party level of 7-9 or higher.

Story event breakdown:
- Party sent to rescue/seek out a wizard for information
- Wizard found battling giants attacking his tower
- Party helps take on giants (encounter)
- As party defeats giants, damaged tower collapses on wizard, crushing his lower body. (lower torso and legs)
- Party must act quickly to save wizard (about 10 rounds)

So how can a party save this wizard? Questions and thoughts:
- A cure spell won't work on such a serious wound and the crushing rock would prevent any proper healing.
-Removing the rock will kill the wizard in the next round, as the rock is the only thing holding the wizard's upper body together.
-Would fast healing help?
-How long can a person stay alive, missing most of his lower organs?

- And if they do somehow save the wizard from bleeding to death, how would they go about restoring his lower body and limbs?

I'm need advice on what I could do to help a party tackle such an story event. Or is even such a story event appropriate for a lv 7-9 party?


Two spells come to mind. Heal and Regeneration. Problem solved. These can be put onto scrolls if necessary.


Regeneration and Raise Dead. Or reincarnation.

If his lower body is well and truly crushed, he is probably just dead. Either he bleeds out quickly when the move the rock, or they can't heal him properly. With the rock keeping things in place he might last for a while.

I remember reading a story about a man who was in a car accident that had something like this happened to him. He flew through the windshield (IIRC) and was pinned between a rock wall and the bumper of the vehicle. His lower torso was severed from belly button down pretty much. He went into shock but was alive. When paramedics got to him they contacted his family and kept him "stable" long enough for his family to arrive so he could say goodbye. As soon as they moved him or the car he died instantly. The pressure was the only thing keep him from immediate death.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

How many cubic feet is the rock?


at 1st i thought you asked how to get him from under the rock (to which id go with ether a summent that can move throught\borrow or earth to mud\shpe stone)
as for making him not die.
that depand on HOW is he daying? (as in - what mechanic is used?)
does he take bleeding damage each turn? is he considered "grappeld" having the rock deal grapple-crush damage each round? or maybe this is considered an enviermntal hazard similar to lava that being in it deal X damage each round?
- these seem the most likely rules to be used(maybe all together) in this case.
each has it's own ways of dealing with. healing mostly will only help for a while. but unless the izard can be removed from rock(or the other way arond) the death will eventuly happen. if you want to prevent easy save by healing you can also incluse a pit\cave in to which the wizard has fallen which prevent touch healing to ge to him.

as t ohow to save him. my very first idea is teleport and or flesh to stone.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I have a cheaper solution.

Salve of the Second Chance, for 1,600 gp.

Do him in. Pull what is left out. Reincarnate him.


Several ideas:
- Pull him out quick, if he dies cast breath of life
- Cast infernal healing, it will hopefully keep him around 'till you get him free.
- There is a magical item in "hungry are the dead" that replaces the lower body. If that should be around they could chop off his lower body and replace it with the magic item, then raise or resurrect him. He will then be a wizard with a bowl instead of his lower body it provides armor and allows him to fly.
- There is one of two alchemical items with troll in its name. It gives fast healing and stops all bleed damage. That could keep him around for some time, too.
- Stone shape to turn the rock into a stretcher that also keeps his remaining organs where they are. Then add fast healing or any mighty healing spell.


I suggest casting regeneration, then moving the rock in the same round that the spell is cast.


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Unfortunately, letting him die and bringing him back is a lot easier than trying to save him.


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They don't need to save him to ask questions. Speak with Dead works as long as the face and neck are intact.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Honestly, what you are trying to do doesn't fit well with the mechanics of the system. Basically, if you have a single hp you aren't dying. "Can't cure such a serious wound" isn't really a thing in Pathfinder.

I would be tempted to change your scenario slightly while trying to keep the elements you feel are important. If the wizard is incapacitated or trapped in a position that will soon be deadly (for example, he is stuck somewhere with a rock about to crush him) you can maintain the time elements of needing to act quickly without having to change the game rules. Add in some environmental hazards that the rescuers have to deal with, and you could have a pretty exciting encounter.


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Dave Justus wrote:

Honestly, what you are trying to do doesn't fit well with the mechanics of the system. Basically, if you have a single hp you aren't dying. "Can't cure such a serious wound" isn't really a thing in Pathfinder.

I would be tempted to change your scenario slightly while trying to keep the elements you feel are important. If the wizard is incapacitated or trapped in a position that will soon be deadly (for example, he is stuck somewhere with a rock about to crush him) you can maintain the time elements of needing to act quickly without having to change the game rules. Add in some environmental hazards that the rescuers have to deal with, and you could have a pretty exciting encounter.

This was my first thought. By rules you can cure wounds him to keep him alive. So it's up to however you want to rule it.

Lantern Lodge

Thanks for the advice. I guess the game mechanics don't really work well in this situation.

As Tsriel said, Heal and Regeneration can work, but both will be beyond the current level of the part.

Other options like letting him die, then bring him back works, but kinda defeats the intent of the event.

I guess I will have to work more on this.

*The Flesh to Stone spell ideal... might work... given that the npc is a wizard... and might be able to quickly direct the party to get a scroll of Flesh to Stone from his tower to use it on him. It would at least give the party time to look for a better solution.

By the way, assuming the Flesh to Stone turns not just the wizard's upper torso, but all the urh... bits that were crashed like the legs into stone. Would it be reasonable to assume a couple of castings of Make Whole or Make whole, Greater spell could piece the body together? For a Stone to Flesh spell?


Make whole would be a tad cheesy, but a simple application of stone shape with some skillful sculpting might do the trick. At least as far as internal organs are not involved.

Main problem here seems to be what Claxon mentionned - a rock that crushes half of someones body actually starts keeping him alive from that point. If you remove it its like removing a plug, just that the pipes here is the bloodflow system.

Or add the two together - get the shape right, then apply some repairing spells to make insides correct as well.
As long as you're the GM you're not so limited by cheese. Especially things that nobody sees don't have to play by the rules and once the outer shape is in place intestines shouldn't be very visible

Liberty's Edge

Guys. Guys. We're forgetting something major here.

Just go find some cybernetic leg replacements, hook them up to our about to be cadaverous wizard, and when he craps out, cast Raise Dead on him.

Now he's a CYBERWIZARD.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Snorb wrote:

Guys. Guys. We're forgetting something major here.

Just go find some cybernetic leg replacements, hook them up to our about to be cadaverous wizard, and when he craps out, cast Raise Dead on him.

Now he's a CYBERWIZARD.

He then gets into another slow death situation. This time, he gives his "Tears in the Rain" speech.

His Dove Familiar weeps.


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Secane wrote:

So how can a party save this wizard? Questions and thoughts:

- A cure spell won't work on such a serious wound and the crushing rock would prevent any proper healing.
-Removing the rock will kill the wizard in the next round, as the rock is the only thing holding the wizard's upper body together.
-Would fast healing help?

Ok, wait a minute. You just made up two houserules (i.e. that Cure X Wounds wouldn't help and that moving a rock would kill the wizard without any kind of save or HP loss or whatever), then asked, "Can this other rule get around my houserules?"

Seriously, none of this is how Pathfinder works. You're making stuff up and then asking us how to get around what you made up. There's no such thing as a crushing injury that can't be Cured, or holding someone's body together with the thing that crushed them in Pathfinder. There are Hit Points and saving throws and, well, that's it. If you're dealing with something else, it doesn't matter what you decide because it's all arbitrary anyway.


What's the strength check to move the rock?

Scarab Sages

Scoop him up on a floating disc, make it permanent, use healing magic to tidy up around the edges. Refer to him henceforth as "Magister X."


I have to agree that you’re saying that cure x will not save him have no basis in the rules. As GM that is of course your prerogative, but that also means that the way to keep him alive is also up to you. Considering the lowly cure light wounds spell can stop a severed artery (Bleed damage), I am not sure what you reasoning is that a cure critical will not work.

The only rule that allows death without going to negative HP is the massive damage rule. If the wounds are so severe that cure spells will not work even raise dead will not work. Raise dead requires the body be whole which you have stated it is not. What it really comes down to is if you want him to live he does, if you want him to die he does.

If all you are looking for is some dramatics then you could require the rock be moved before the cure is cast. The spell could need to be cast exactly when the rock is moved. This might require a couple of rolls from the players. The person lifting the rock would need to make an appropriate STR roll. I could also see requiring all players involved needing to make DEX rolls to coordinate the procedure.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Dimension Door. It allows you to escape grapples. It's reasonable that the wizard couldn't cast it himself, what with the obscene Concentration check of being crushed.

The problem is two fold. First, you need to get the wizard out before you can heal him. Stone Shape or Passwall, maybe even Transmute Rock to Mud may work. Other options might be Freedom of Movement. My choice would be Dimension Door. But all of this runs with the idea that only a caster can free him. I don't like that as an encounter design, so you should probably offer a Knowledge (Engineering) or some Profession skill check. After all, surely miners have to deal with cave-ins? It is a similar concept.

The second problem is healing him. He's in serious bleeding out trauma condition, if he isn't already dead. He'll need a regeneration cast on him. Even Raise Dead might not work. After all, Raise Dead doesn't restore lost limbs. Are crushed/shattered/smashed limbs restored? I'd say that's pushing it. Breath of Life is a good option, but it sounds like Regeneration is the solution there. That is likely beyond the capabilities of the party, being level 7-11. The earliest they could get Regenerate is level 13. So you should probably stick with the idea that it doesn't require Regenerate, and some lesser power would work. Have him be at negative and bleeding out, and any healing would work. Even a stabilize check, so long as he's free of the collapsed building.


I would rule that the act of removing the stone deals additional damage. That could reflect the story claxon told. It explains why he can talk while being about to die.


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Come people let's think outside the box here. Okay so you don't want a "cure" spell to work, how about con damage and/or con bleed? Have the rock do con damage and bleed on impact, have it deal more upon being moved. While the cure can stop the bleed it can't recover the damage so it is some help but you'll need other things.

Alternatively you could use the physical "disease" track from unchained to emulate the crushing. Then you can list what the spells or cure conditions are.

Both are well within the rules with just a bit of play so you aren't making up swaths of houserules.


If you don't want to go the cybernetics route, as described above, there's the more "low tech" option of the Clockwork Prosthesis.
http://www.archivesofnethys.com/MagicWondrousDisplay.aspx?FinalName=Clockwo rk%20Prosthesis


First thing is first OP, make sure to inform the party that healing magic and damage will be working differently than RAW. Secondly, do you plan to continue on with the some wounds are beyond healing magic rules? If so, you would do well to define that. Both to be fair to your players, and to deal with the inevitable fact that you have introduced concepts that, at least partially, bypass the standard HP and healing rules and your players will take advantage of that. Put a spike in a bucket and put the bucket on his head and all that jazz.

Bradley Mickle wrote:


The second problem is healing him. He's in serious bleeding out trauma condition, if he isn't already dead. He'll need a regeneration cast on him. Even Raise Dead might not work. After all, Raise Dead doesn't restore lost limbs. Are crushed/shattered/smashed limbs restored? I'd say that's pushing it. Breath of Life is a good option, but it sounds like Regeneration is the solution there. That is likely beyond the capabilities of the party, being level 7-11. The earliest they could get Regenerate is level 13. So you should probably stick with the idea that it doesn't require Regenerate, and some lesser power would work. Have him be at negative and bleeding out, and any healing would work. Even a stabilize check, so long as he's free of the collapsed building.

Raise Dead doesn't make much sense. If it can't restore lost bits, then it can't restore the bits of blood, bone, and meat left on the ground and your enemy's blade. Pretty sure you still need that.


Corrik wrote:

First thing is first OP, make sure to inform the party that healing magic and damage will be working differently than RAW. Secondly, do you plan to continue on with the some wounds are beyond healing magic rules? If so, you would do well to define that. Both to be fair to your players, and to deal with the inevitable fact that you have introduced concepts that, at least partially, bypass the standard HP and healing rules and your players will take advantage of that. Put a spike in a bucket and put the bucket on his head and all that jazz.

Or he could do it all within the rules with little to no house rules with my suggestion above. Not everything is HP damage.


Corrik wrote:
Raise Dead doesn't make much sense. If it can't restore lost bits, then it can't restore the bits of blood, bone, and meat left on the ground and your enemy's blade. Pretty sure you still need that.

If you look at Raise Dead, it specifically states that lost limbs do not regenerate. It depends on whether you consider legs that have been made into a pancake to be considered lost limbs. Personally, I think the whole concept should be that he has severe bleeding damage that won't go away until he's removed from the cause (healing doesn't stop the bleeding until removed). Or like Onyxlion suggested, an ability drain.


You might want to prepare for the party to run for help if this is level 9. I have been in a lot of parties that always had 2 teleports memorized by that point. Teleport one to go find the high priest who can cast the level 6 and 7 spells that will fix this and teleport two to bring them back to the dying guy.


Onyxlion wrote:
Or he could do it all within the rules with little to no house rules with my suggestion above. Not everything is HP damage.

So you'd rather he introduce the concept that kinetic energy and rocks deals bleed and/or con damage? I'm sure there will be no future shenanigans to be had with that.

Bradley Mickle wrote:
Corrik wrote:
Raise Dead doesn't make much sense. If it can't restore lost bits, then it can't restore the bits of blood, bone, and meat left on the ground and your enemy's blade. Pretty sure you still need that.
If you look at Raise Dead, it specifically states that lost limbs do not regenerate. It depends on whether you consider legs that have been made into a pancake to be considered lost limbs. Personally, I think the whole concept should be that he has severe bleeding damage that won't go away until he's removed from the cause (healing doesn't stop the bleeding until removed). Or like Onyxlion suggested, an ability drain.

Actually it doesn't specifically mention lost limbs.

Relevant Text:

Quote:


While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life.

What it does specifically state is a lot more vague. So it can close and sew wounds, but it can't regenerate missing parts. Now, neither "whole" nor "parts" are specified so we'll go with the definitions. Whole: All of; entire. Part: Some, but not all of something. So strictly RAW, you need 100% of a body to use raise dead without consequence. So that means no missing blood, bone, or meat. Obviously this makes it far less useful to anyone who died even the slightest bit violently. You wounds may sew up, but obviously missing parts are going to have complications. Sure a bit of missing blood or muscle may not be too big of a deal, but some missing grey matter or part of your stomach is going to have pretty severe consequences.


And it's a foregone conclusion that the wizard will be standing underneath the collapsing tower?

Lantern Lodge

@mplindustries, Corrik, Mysterious Stranger

It is really less of a case of house ruling how cure spells works and more of a "I got this nice story event, but how do I make it work in the game?" situation.
I'm looking for a way to present this story event to the party, without taking away the urgency of the situation

A cure spell would likely be very helpful in keeping the wizard alive longer, but I want to present a situation that is much more dire.

-
@Onyxlion,

As Onyxlion mentioned, the crashing rock would be more like a con damage and/or con bleed.

By the way, Onyxlion, I think you presented the answer to this situation. The crashing rock is really more like a constant con damage and/or con bleed effect, taking away a number of con points every round or min. Removing the rock can be represented with a roll of a d6 or more to present the sudden lost of blood and internal organs (with no more rock to hold everything in.)

The entire event's con damage, could be mentioned to the party as specific to this event, due to the circumstances involved.

The party would really be on a timer to save the wizard.
My party could use a combination of cure spells to stop a bleed out and maybe restoration to stabilize the wizard.

Should the party be able to stop the bleeding and stabilize the wizard, the lost of his lower body can then be represented as a circumstance disease effect, aka he is going to keep losing con every day, unless the party can regenerate his missing organs/limbs.
Restoration and remove disease would be like stopgap measures to prevent the build up of toxins in this body due to missing vital organs and keep him alive.
*Neither spell would be able to cure the wizard outright, as he would be suffering specifically from blood poisoning, due the lack of vital organs to remove toxins from his blood. Aka the party must eventually find a way to regenerate his organs. Aka, it is a disease that will keep returning, until his organs are restored.

This works much better this way. Thanks Onyxlion! I kept forgetting that healing is NOT just about HP. Ability score damage/drain is also very common as a game reach higher levels.

-
@Gregory Connolly, Bradley Mickle,

I will try to hint the use of teleport spells to the wizard of the party. Especially if the Cleric, Paladin or Druid players are not present that day.
Always good to have multiple options for the party.

Thanks everyone for all the input!
-

Edit: @Korlos, Well no. The story is far from set. The party is only around lv 5 at the moment and we are on the slow XP track.

My original post is more of an example is such a situation.
I try to avoid setting anything in stone as the party's story can change quickly as time goes by.


The thing to remember is not to introduce rulings that players can take undo advantage of. Doing this means that opponents, higher level spellcasting opponent's no less, can be easily defeated, bypassing defense and HP, by just having some rocks fall on them. An event that isn't hard to cook up at the levels this event will be happening. After all, why fight the big bad when we can crush him under rocks for constant con damage?

If cooking up a way to keep the wizard alive is your goal, have him already be injured. Not a recent injury mind you, an old one that needs some sort of magical dialyses device (or whatever) that gets damaged or stolen during the fight. No rules issues to worry about, easier to say healing doesn't fix it, and you can still have several options for your players to go about the situation. Recovering the whatever, fixing it, making a new one, or anything else they can think of to heal him or keep him alive long enough to get the info.

Lantern Lodge

@Corrik,

Actually that kinda of make sense too.

And.... just got an ideal...

What if the wizard is found in a state of turned to stone with his lower body already missing?
Does the party turn him back to flesh?.... possibilities....


Corrik wrote:

The thing to remember is not to introduce rulings that players can take undo advantage of. Doing this means that opponents, higher level spellcasting opponent's no less, can be easily defeated, bypassing defense and HP, by just having some rocks fall on them. An event that isn't hard to cook up at the levels this event will be happening. After all, why fight the big bad when we can crush him under rocks for constant con damage?

If cooking up a way to keep the wizard alive is your goal, have him already be injured. Not a recent injury mind you, an old one that needs some sort of magical dialyses device (or whatever) that gets damaged or stolen during the fight. No rules issues to worry about, easier to say healing doesn't fix it, and you can still have several options for your players to go about the situation. Recovering the whatever, fixing it, making a new one, or anything else they can think of to heal him or keep him alive long enough to get the info.

First off I already have characters that try to get around rules like this so I don't see it as an issue because I can handle it as a GM. Also I was figuring that it was a massive amount of weight/volume which isn't that easy for PCs to lift nor carry around with them, if they wanted to set up an ambush with a landslide then dang right I would let them use it, its called interesting game play. Published mods have actually used this by the way and it didn't cause anyone in the game to want to crush enemy's with rocks.

With that said I also like your idea as well but I don't see it as any different because they can always find out what did it to them and try it on others. You're the GM you set up things to use rules in ways the PC's can't that's your job and you can say "no it doesn't work that way".

@Secane
Post back at some point and let me know how the session went.


Corrik wrote:


If cooking up a way to keep the wizard alive is your goal, have him already be injured. Not a recent injury mind you, an old one that needs some sort of magical dialyses device (or whatever) that gets damaged or stolen during the fight. No rules issues to worry about, easier to say healing doesn't fix it, and you can still have several options for your players to go about the situation. Recovering the whatever, fixing it, making a new one, or anything else they can think of to heal him or keep him alive long enough to get the info.

This isn't a bad way to go.

Bad accident, he lost some internal organs. He created a device using necromancy that keeps him alive. It could be permanently solved by a Regeneration spell, but like many old-crotchety men, he doesn't want to go see the doctor and is satisfied with his magical duct tape approach.

In the mean time, his ailment can be delayed by magical spells. A Cure Light Wounds doesn't solve the problem, but it alleviates it for... an hour. Then he needs another CLW. Maybe a Lesser Restoration works for 2 hours and Restoration works for a whole 12 hours. Now the party has to go get the device back while dragging the wizard along and managing their resources to keep up alive until it can be recovered.


mplindustries wrote:
Secane wrote:

So how can a party save this wizard? Questions and thoughts:

- A cure spell won't work on such a serious wound and the crushing rock would prevent any proper healing.
-Removing the rock will kill the wizard in the next round, as the rock is the only thing holding the wizard's upper body together.
-Would fast healing help?

Ok, wait a minute. You just made up two houserules (i.e. that Cure X Wounds wouldn't help and that moving a rock would kill the wizard without any kind of save or HP loss or whatever), then asked, "Can this other rule get around my houserules?"

Seriously, none of this is how Pathfinder works. You're making stuff up and then asking us how to get around what you made up. There's no such thing as a crushing injury that can't be Cured, or holding someone's body together with the thing that crushed them in Pathfinder. There are Hit Points and saving throws and, well, that's it. If you're dealing with something else, it doesn't matter what you decide because it's all arbitrary anyway.

There is something similar in the rules: Regenerate is called out as reversing amputation even though there are no rules for causing it.

Lantern Lodge

@Onyxlion,

I will. It would be quite some time in the future tho. :)

The party has only just hit level 5 and is on the slow xp track. The game has been running for about a year+. We try to have it every Sunday, but there are many times we can't make it, so its on advantage of 2 games per month.

I will likely repost here in 6 months or so.


Amputation

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Turn him to stone. Repair and revert him back to flesh.


GeneticDrift wrote:
Turn him to stone. Repair and revert him back to flesh.

Flesh to Stone > Rock to Mud > Craft: Sculpture > Mud to Rock > Stone to Flesh

That's a lot of moderately high level spells and is going to be pretty pricey compared to simple amputation but whatever works for you I guess.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
Turn him to stone. Repair and revert him back to flesh.

Flesh to Stone > Rock to Mud > Craft: Sculpture > Mud to Rock > Stone to Flesh

That's a lot of moderately high level spells and is going to be pretty pricey compared to simple amputation but whatever works for you I guess.

Well I want to have fun....

Gaseous form might work for the OP as well. Turn to gas then heal to full.


1) Use a fireball to cauterize the area. [Produce Flame might be better. Any fire spell would do.]

2) Curing HP does not restore limbs. Heal him up, but when retrieved, he has stumps for legs, or even less. Use regeneration at leisure.

3) Polymorph the stone into a new lower body attached to him.

/cevah


Secane wrote:

...How long can a person stay alive, missing most of his lower organs?

...

Johnny "The Half-Boy" and "King of the Freaks" Eck seems to have lived a healthy, active, upbeat and positive life just fine for nearly 80 years with an underdeveloped lower body that Eck described as being "snapped off at the waist". (See Tod Browning's infamous exploitation/horror film "Freaks" for example.)

Of course, Eck was born that way... not sure about someone subjected to that as a violent, bleeding trauma.

In regards to magic, Eck took part in an amusing twist on the sawing-a-man-in-half illusion:

Spoiler:

Shamelessly copied from Wikipedia:

In 1937, Eck and Robert were recruited by the illusionist and hypnotist, Rajah Raboid, for his "Miracles of 1937" show. In it they performed a magic feat that amazed audiences. Raboid performed the traditional sawing-a-man-in-half illusion, except with an unexpected twist. At first Robert would pretend to be a member of the audience and heckle the illusionist during his routine, resulting in Robert being called on stage to be sawed in half himself. During the illusion, Robert would then be switched with his twin brother Eck, who played the top half of his body, and a dwarf, who played the bottom half, concealed in specially-built pant legs. After being sawed in half, the legs would suddenly get up and start running away, prompting Eck to jump off the table and start chasing his legs around the stage, screaming, "Come back!" "I want my legs back!" Sometimes he even chased the legs into the audience. The subsequent reaction was amazing - people would scream and sometimes even flee the theater in terror. As Eck described it, "The men were more frightened than the women - the women couldn't move because the men were walking across their laps, headed for the exit." The act provided the perfect jolt by frightening people at first but then caused just as much laughter and applause. The illusion would end with stage hands plucking up Eck and setting him atop his legs and then twirling him off-stage to be replaced by his twin Robert, who would then loudly threaten to sue Raboid and storm out of the theater. Their act was so popular that they played to packed audiences up and down the East coast.

How does a man survive being sawed in half, and chase his legs around the stage?

A Wizard Did It!

In a world of dragons and magic and so on, I bet a talented wizard could survive the ordeal in any of a variety of magical ways....


Mining pick and cure light wounds. This really isn't the problem in a fantasy setting that it is in real life.


Miracle or Wish, rock is OP.


Flesh to stone Mr Giles corey, haul him back to town, then use break enchantment on him.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If I were you, I'd not make up a bunch of rules in order to create a highly suspect and forced scenario.

Instead, just use the "Cave-ins and Collapses" rules from the Environment chapter of the Core Rulebook. They are more than adequate to handle this kind of situation and, hell, it's even about the right CR!

Cave-Ins and Collapses:
Cave-Ins and Collapses (CR 8)
Cave-ins and collapsing tunnels are extremely dangerous. Not only do dungeon explorers face the danger of being crushed by tons of falling rock, but even if they survive they might be buried beneath a pile of rubble or cut off from the only known exit. A cave-in buries anyone in the middle of the collapsing area, and then sliding debris damages anyone in the periphery of the collapse. A typical corridor subject to a cave-in might have a bury zone with a 15-foot radius and a 10-foot-wide slide zone extending beyond the bury zone. A weakened ceiling can be spotted with a DC 20 Knowledge (engineering) or DC 20 Craft (stonemasonry) check. Remember that Craft checks can be made untrained as Intelligence checks. A dwarf can make such a check if he simply passes within 10 feet of a weakened ceiling.

A weakened ceiling might collapse when subjected to a major impact or concussion. A character can cause a cave-in by destroying half the pillars holding up the ceiling.

Characters in the bury zone of a cave-in take 8d6 points of damage, or half that amount if they make a DC 15 Reflex save. They are subsequently buried. Characters in the slide zone take 3d6 points of damage, or no damage at all if they make a DC 15 Reflex save. Characters in the slide zone who fail their saves are buried.

Characters take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per minute while buried. If such a character falls unconscious, he must make a DC 15 Constitution check each minute. If it fails, he takes 1d6 points of lethal damage each minute until freed or dead.

Characters who aren't buried can dig out their friends. In 1 minute, using only her hands, a character can clear rocks and debris equal to five times her heavy load limit. The amount of loose stone that fills a 5-foot-by-5-foot area weighs 1 ton (2,000 pounds). Armed with an appropriate tool, such as a pick, crowbar, or shovel, a digger can clear loose stone twice as quickly as by hand. A buried character can attempt to free himself with a DC 25 Strength check.

So the wizard in question takes 8d6 damage immediately (important if he happened to be wounded already from the skirmish with the giants) and then suffers 1d6 nonlethal damage each round thereafter. Since the PCs can reach him already, they can use healing spells to buy themselves more time, but until they dig him out, he will continue accruing nonlethal damage, and will eventually pass out and die.

(Remember, nonlethal damage becomes lethal damage after it equals the victim's total maximum hit points).

Characters will have to move the dirt, debri, and boulder(s) using their hands, tools, spells, or creative ideas before he dies. Since it doesn't sound like simple loose stone, however, but one truly massive one, the PCs may have to find even more unconventional means of getting him out.

The rules are more than adequate to handle this situation, while also creating an exciting race against time, as the PCs attempt to save their informant. If they can't save his life, perhaps they can at least keep him alive and conscious long enough for him to tell them everything they need to know.

"It's kind of funny really. I don't even feel a thing."

If you just make something up and go off the book, then you've broken the social contract of everyone agreeing to follow the rules as shared to everyone by the rulebooks. (And if you're not going to use the rulebooks, why do you even have them?) It would be no surprise to me if you ended up facing accusations of railroading, or worse.


In terms of saving him, if the characters can stop the bleeding (and I'm assuming they can at this level) he should be able to survive longer than that.

When people get crushed by a car or something, if you remove the car they die almost instantly (which is why paramedics carry a tourniquet).

This isn't due to bleeding, it's blood poisoning (prepare for a biology lesson).

Human tissue (specifically muscle, but really all tissue) requires energy to function, without it, the tissue dies.
In the normal course of events, they use oxygen to get that energy, and the oxygen is delivered in the blood.
When the muscles are deprived of oxygen, they have a secondary method to get oxygen. Essentially, the muscles start to burn fat and/or muscle tissue to get sugars to use for energy, the main problem with this is that it produces Lactic Acid.
Most people encounter this when they run for too long, and get a stitch. This essentially happens because the body can't deliver enough oxygen fast enough to keep up with demand, so the body starts to burn fat/muscle for energy on top of the oxygen coming in from the blood (that's why fit people don't get stitches, their heart/lungs are better at delivering oxygen).

Lactic acid isn't too bad in this form, but it hurts.

Now imagine the car crash (or fallen wizard tower).
The wizard's legs are crushed, effectively stopping any blood from getting to his legs, so the tissue in his legs starts burning tissue in an attempt to survive, and creates lactic acid as a result. The human body can absorb a certain amount of lactic acid without much more than a bit of pain (like when you have a stitch).
After a certain point though, if you were to lift the tower, the lactic acid build up would be enough that the acid in the blood, rushing to the wizard's heart would kill him (Blood poisoning).

The way I'd do this encounter is this:
If they can stabalise the wizard in 2 rounds (use some cure magic just to stop the bleeding etc) he won't die of shock.
If they can then get him out from under the tower in under 30 seconds or so, he'll be fine (after some more restorative magic and some precautions to make sure the bleeding doesn't start up again).
If they take longer than 30 seconds, he has to take a fort save or die when they remove the rock.
For the Fort Save, pick a DC that's achievable but could be failed, and add +2 for every round after 30 seconds that he's in there. That means if they take 1 minute to get him out, that's a +10 to the DC, if they take 90 seconds, that's a +20, 2 minutes is a +30 ... let's be honest, a wizard isn't going to make it at this point.
You could also let players work out what's happening with some knowledge checks, and maybe counteract this with some kind of neutralise poison or somesuch.

That's my idea, adds some value to Knowledge skills, and gives a few extra interesting ideas. This is of course WAY more konwledge than any of your players are likely to have, so you might have to give them some hints (maybe the wizard's got some anatomical knowledge, so if he's concious he could give them some hints like "DON'T MOVE THE ROCK OR I'LL DIE OF BLOOD POISONING!!!")

Anyway, that's my 2 cents, goodluck with it

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