Dying rules dropped in GTM Live game


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Bardarok wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Mudfoot wrote:

* It's essentially impossible to kill someone in one blow, even for a 20th level barbarian using a +5 adamantine greataxe on a crippled kobold grandmother.

* It doesn't matter if the blow takes you to -1 or -100; you're still Dying 1. It's simply that on -100 you'll take forever to wake up.
Neither of these is quite true in the full rules, rather than the snippet from the podcast. If you get well and truly annihilated by an attack, you die instantly. Even a 1st PC could probably insta-kill a kobold grandmother, even if the GM chose for full tracking of unconscious and dying NPCs.
For creatures that live such short and violent lives as kobolds you don't live to see your children's children unless you are pretty badass. Be careful that crippled kobold grandmother isn't a lvl 20 Oracle.

Granny is also probably sitting behind so many traps you'd take years to find them all. And laughing at you.


Please make whatever stabilise rule for PCs be the same as NPCs. This system looks as good as any other I've seen, ignoring SF's enemies don't stabilise (or earlier DnD's lack of stability).

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Hargert wrote:

I have issue with the DCs being based on the foe, one it is yet another thing to track and two I can see players getting pissed that Bob the fighter only had to make a DC 12 check because a mook got a lucky crit but Alice the fighter had to make a DC 20 check because the boss hit her with a magic missile. HP is the representation of health and wounds should be agnostic once inflicted.

That feels a lot better narratively than Bob needing a 20 because the mook got a lucky crit, and Alice only needing a 12 after a blast from the boss.

Silver Crusade

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So many people defending the idea of a character you spent months/years playing getting killed by an accidental crit from a random hobgoblin who got lucky rather than the dramatically satisfying death by powerful foe.

Simulationism often gets in the way of dramatic tension, fact is died to Hill Giant #3 is a less interesting way to die than killed by The Hill Giant Queen.


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I'm not reading it as "Bosses kill you deader than mooks" so much as "Bosses kill you better than mooks."

The finishing blow from a minion? You'll probably wake up from it soon.

The finishing blow from a worthy foe? That was a sounder hit, recovering isn't as easy.

The finishing blow from a key villain? THAT is the strike that nicked an internal organ.. you're in trouble now.

I hope the DCs for the death save is based on CR relative to your CL. That would be an interesting lightbulb moment for a PC as well.

"Damn, that ninja dropped me to zero. I rolled an 18 for my Death Save though so I get a hit point?"
"No, you are at Dying 2 now."
"... I FOUND THE VILLAIN."

Of course, that is just me liking how it LOOKS. It might not work out at the table.


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Dying and Unconscious should be separate states though. Somebody bleeding out should be able to gasp for help or desperately try to find their resonance-less potion.


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The first page of this thread really left me scratching my head. Too complicated? Bosses being deadlier is a bad thing?

Weird.

Dark Archive

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I understand the mechanic, I just don't like it.


Squiggit wrote:

Bosses being deadlier is a bad thing?

no, Bosses being deadlier without sound reason is a bad thing. If Mook #1 crits my character out of sheer luck to get me into negatives it should still matter more than the Boss throwing a shuriken at my face for -3 HP

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Hythlodeus wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Bosses being deadlier is a bad thing?

no, Bosses being deadlier without sound reason is a bad thing. If Mook #1 crits my character out of sheer luck to get me into negatives it should still matter more than the Boss throwing a shuriken at my face for -3 HP

Well that would put you at Dying 2 instead of Dying 1 so it would still take more to get back up.

Paizo Employee Designer

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I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.


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What's GTM?


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Grand Theft Matchbox
it's basically GTA with tiny tin toy cars

Dark Archive

Negative HP seems perfectly fine to me. Big hitters can naturally kill you faster then weaker things. Once you start dying you also have to make 2 consecutive saves regardless of HP you are healed? Or was that if healed positive you would only have to make 1 save to remove the dying condition.

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Davor Firetusk wrote:
Negative HP seems perfectly fine to me. Big hitters can naturally kill you faster then weaker things. Once you start dying you also have to make 2 consecutive saves regardless of HP you are healed? Or was that if healed positive you would only have to make 1 save to remove the dying condition.

1 save.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.

I love This, and it makes perfect sense. The massive wounds inflicted by the terrible giant warlord are too deep, too brutal to heal easily. The cuts from their orc slaves barely knock you unconscious. (You can give it a lot of flavor of why it does happen) and the results, according to me and my players, are great. They do not have to fear (mostly) getting one shot by some nobody in some encounter who nobody cares about. But fighting against Xanesha, Lucrecia, Staunton Vhane or the like, suddenly is nail-biting dangerous. Of Course, some of you will think that this is gamey, and we suck at playing, but the reality is... Not a lot of people find dying against some random enemy fun, not after 15 levels and 2 years of campaign.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.

no misunderstanding, I figured that out just fine. I t still doesn't make a lot of sense to tie the DC for stabilzing/recovering to the enemy and not to the amount of damage/power of the hit you recieve.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.

That's not the issue that I think is causing objection. It's that a tepid strike from a powerful foe is, by simple virtue of CR, more deadly than a powerful strike by a tepid foe.

We're in the dark wizard's tower, battling the wizard and some goblin lackeys. The fighter and the paladin both have 4 hit points, the fighter eats a fireball for 20 damage but he has his amulet of fire resistance and takes only 5, just enough to down him. The goblin pegs the paladin from across the room with a crit from a shortbow for some 26 damage. Why does the fighter have to make a higher DC than the paladin in that case?

CR is arbitrary, while with damage you can quantify which hit was bigger.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.

Whew. Then I think the DC has to do with raw damage taken when you drop to zero. Would it be like that?

Silver Crusade

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Hit points and damage are abstractions anyway.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.

To quote a friend, "You know what bugs me. They announced a playtest without releasing playtest material."

The confusion and misunderstanding is just something you are going to get when all relevant information is filtered by random people who listen to podcasts and then transcribe the experience.

I could say I appreciate you guys coming into threads and clearing things up. But I don't. An "Alpha" pre-playtest release could be doing that for you.

This drip and drab of information is pissing off my group and is not endearing us to the concept of 2e.


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MR. H wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.

To quote a friend, "You know what bugs me. They announced a playtest without releasing playtest material."

The confusion and misunderstanding is just something you are going to get when all relevant information is filtered by random people who listen to podcasts and then transcribe the experience.

I could say I appreciate you guys coming into threads and clearing things up. But I don't. An "Alpha" pre-playtest release could be doing that for you.

This drip and drab of information is pissing off my group and is not endearing us to the concept of 2e.

Yeah, for me as well. What I hate the most is that it creates spaces for misinterpretations and assumptions, even more to those who are CLEARLY against it. An Alpha would be great, fixable, every month with a patch or something like that. But I get that is not ready yet to go live. So, we need yo calm down.


TSRodriguez wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.
I love This, and it makes perfect sense. The massive wounds inflicted by the terrible giant warlord are too deep, too brutal to heal easily. The cuts from their orc slaves barely knock you unconscious. (You can give it a lot of flavor of why it does happen) and the results, according to me and my players, are great. They do not have to fear (mostly) getting one shot by some nobody in some encounter who nobody cares about. But fighting against Xanesha, Lucrecia, Staunton Vhane or the like, suddenly is nail-biting dangerous. Of Course, some of you will think that this is gamey, and we suck at playing, but the reality is... Not a lot of people find dying against some random enemy fun, not after 15 levels and 2 years of campaign.

I prefer all fights to be dangerous and not a meta game of how dangerous. This is a good example of why the "game is going supers" thread exists. Hopefully this is something you can just ignore and run damage as damage. Perhaps houserule a devastating blow number that can be achieved by any character.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Planpanther wrote:
TSRodriguez wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I think due to the lack of context from the GAMA game, there's some misunderstandings here. There's not a game term designation of "boss" or "mook" that changes anything about a creature. Rather, a powerful hard-hitting creature that's significantly higher level than you (aka, a boss unless your GM is particularly cruel) is going to make it harder to recover from dying than getting hit by a weakling. If a weakling with tepid attack hits you for 3 damage with a shuriken, it doesn't matter if the GM calls it a "boss," it's still going to be easier to recover than from a powerful creature. It's not a narrativist mechanic like a death card where the GM just decides to make it harder to recover; it's mathematical. Now it does end up having a beneficial side effect that you're much more likely to die to a boss fight than an easy random encounter with weak enemies, but that's not due to handwavium.
I love This, and it makes perfect sense. The massive wounds inflicted by the terrible giant warlord are too deep, too brutal to heal easily. The cuts from their orc slaves barely knock you unconscious. (You can give it a lot of flavor of why it does happen) and the results, according to me and my players, are great. They do not have to fear (mostly) getting one shot by some nobody in some encounter who nobody cares about. But fighting against Xanesha, Lucrecia, Staunton Vhane or the like, suddenly is nail-biting dangerous. Of Course, some of you will think that this is gamey, and we suck at playing, but the reality is... Not a lot of people find dying against some random enemy fun, not after 15 levels and 2 years of campaign.
I prefer all fights to be dangerous and not a meta game of how dangerous. This is a good example of why the "game is going supers" thread exists. Hopefully this is something you can just ignore and run damage as damage. Perhaps houserule a devastating blow number that can be achieved by any character.

I prefer all fights dangerous as well... but my players don't.

Scarab Sages

QuidEst wrote:
I like the improvement of avoiding insta-death. I also like the improvement of a heal not just popping somebody back to full operability- it removes some incentive to finish people off immediately.

It also resolves the issue of the constant up-down combat, especially in the middle levels.

Scarab Sages

Ragni wrote:


I don't really want to look to Hollywood for how RPGs are going to play,

You and I enjoy a very different style of RPG then. I prefer the cinematic style. I've done realistic before, and it was fun. But I prefer cinematic.


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@TSRodriguez Hopefully this mechanic works for your table then. Hopefully its easy to ignore for mine.

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Tallow wrote:
Ragni wrote:


I don't really want to look to Hollywood for how RPGs are going to play,
You and I enjoy a very different style of RPG then. I prefer the cinematic style. I've done realistic before, and it was fun. But I prefer cinematic.

Yes. When I tell these stories, I want the heroes to feel strong against weaker foes and more wary against stronger threats.


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Planpanther wrote:
@TSRodriguez Hopefully this mechanic works for your table then. Hopefully its easy to ignore for mine.

Yeah... I think it could be an optional rule, like massive damage on previous editions. I always liked that, but again, my players despised it Dx


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Death rules come up infrequently enough in my games that all I care about is one thing: generally having a chance to save a PC. If the system is simple, that’s nice for me as the GM. If it’s complicated and hard to figure out, then the players are on edge, and that’s also good. So long as there’s usually a chance to do something about it, we’re good.


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Zaister wrote:
What's GTM?

Game Trade Media or Game Trade Magazine. They are the same people who participated in Jason Keeley's demo of starship combat for Starfinder at last year's GAMA convention.


I get that there is a desire to have a mechanic that keeps players engaged even when their character has fallen below 1 hit point (Death saves).

But these rules seem over complicated and create all kinds of weird edge cases. Especially having death saves based off the enemy (compare a low level orc knocking a character down with a ballista to a high-level enemy knocking someone down with a weak off-hand whip attack). What are the DC's for falling below zero when there is no "enemy" like falling damage, elemental damage, etc,

I really like negative hit points. Regardless of these rules, I'll probably use a system where a person below zero saves to prevent losing more points equal to the number below zero that the character was originally knocked, and a separate save to remain conscious.

That way dying characters can be conscious and still have a last breath speech or help their party by providing information on battlefield activities.

And stabilized but still negative hp characters could be unconscious.

This also plays well with creatures or classes that maybe able to still fully function in combat in the negative hit point zone like wild boar or raging barbarians

Much more versatile and immersion nurturing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

This sounds okay to me. I don't see this as being any more complicated than the current rules (sounds actually probably more streamlined to me). And encounters with tough enemies SHOULD be deadlier in my opinion, so I am fine with that.

Really the only thing that is making me cast some side eye right now is resonance for all magical items/potions, and monsters maybe playing by different rules than PCs.

Silver Crusade

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Snickersnax wrote:

I get that there is a desire to have a mechanic that keeps players engaged even when their character has fallen below 1 hit point (Death saves).

But these rules seem over complicated and create all kinds of weird edge cases. Especially having death saves based off the enemy (compare a low level orc knocking a character down with a ballista to a high-level enemy knocking someone down with a weak off-hand whip attack). What are the DC's for falling below zero when there is no "enemy" like falling damage, elemental damage, etc,

I really like negative hit points. Regardless of these rules, I'll probably use a system where a person below zero saves to prevent losing more points equal to the number below zero that the character was originally knocked, and a separate save to remain conscious.

That way dying characters can be conscious and still have a last breath speech or help their party by providing information on battlefield activities.

And stabilized but still negative hp characters could be unconscious.

This also plays well with creatures or classes that maybe able to still fully function in combat in the negative hit point zone like wild boar or raging barbarians

Much more versatile and immersion nurturing.

If the orcs with a ballista are dealing damage well outside the range expected of their CR then those orcs should have their CR adjusted to reflect that.

Silver Crusade

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Snickersnax wrote:
What are the DC's for falling below zero when there is no "enemy" like falling damage, elemental damage, etc

Did you fall off a normal cliff or a boss cliff? Normal lava or boss lava?


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I don't think it's based on Cr. I think it's based on damage. If you're at 1 and get hit with a shuriken for 4 damage vs hit with a great axe for 40,the larger is tougher to recover from, as it should be.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

So many people defending the idea of a character you spent months/years playing getting killed by an accidental crit from a random hobgoblin who got lucky rather than the dramatically satisfying death by powerful foe.

Simulationism often gets in the way of dramatic tension, fact is died to Hill Giant #3 is a less interesting way to die than killed by The Hill Giant Queen.

That's an interesting perspective. I would say that simulationism would involve permanent death which can make things far more dramatic than the promise of resurrection. Also, resurrection is needed to keep longer story from falling apart. Death to Hill Giant #3, or Hill Giant Queen, isn't even really death.


The nice thing about death rules is that folks can, and often do, replace them with house rules and the rest of the system usually continues to work. Nothing keeps you from putting these rules into PF1e, nor prevents you from using negative HPs in PF2e.


Garfaulk Sharpstone wrote:
I don't think it's based on Cr. I think it's based on damage. If you're at 1 and get hit with a shuriken for 4 damage vs hit with a great axe for 40,the larger is tougher to recover from, as it should be.

Serious deja vu here...

For a moment I felt like a month or two ago there was a discussion about death saves being based on the base damage of the weapon and people being worried about how the +1 weapon’s larger damage had a disproportionate effect.

Which makes no sense with the timing, and the feeling’s faded, but that was weird.


Keep negative HPs. I like that your con score really matters.

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Dragon78 wrote:
Keep negative HPs. I like that your con score really matters.

Fortitude is still based on Constitution. Con still matters in dying.


Stone Dog wrote:

"Damn, that ninja dropped me to zero. I rolled an 18 for my Death Save though so I get a hit point?"

"No, you are at Dying 2 now."
"... I FOUND THE VILLAIN."

Of course, that is just me liking how it LOOKS. It might not work out at the table.

I'm just feeling that if you need the results of that roll to determine who the villain is, the GM isn't telling the story very well.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
I like the sound of this. It sounds like it has a good dramatic weight to it.

D&D 5 has the same kind of rules and it's quite the contrary in fact. Players know they have 3 rounds to stabilize you so they usually take their time as they feel no stress ...

And sometimes you fumble your stabilization check and you die at the 2nd round.

Absolutely anti-heroic !!


Ultrace wrote:
I'm just feeling that if you need the results of that roll to determine who the villain is, the GM isn't telling the story very well.

if that is the only way players find out ever, then sure, but it would work well for a surprise villain of sorts. Say a fully trained assassin in the midst of mere cutthroats.

Once in a while, of course. It wouldn't be fun all the time.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


This sounds worse than Starfinder Resolve. Hopefully cooler heads prevail and we haven't heard all the information yet.

It sounds similar to starfinder. The upside of this way of doing it you don't have to hold onto a pool of resolve to help avoid dying so you are not spending resources that could be used for game play enhancement for the off chance you get KO'ed.

Paizo Employee Designer

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Snickersnax wrote:

I get that there is a desire to have a mechanic that keeps players engaged even when their character has fallen below 1 hit point (Death saves).

But these rules seem over complicated and create all kinds of weird edge cases. Especially having death saves based off the enemy (compare a low level orc knocking a character down with a ballista to a high-level enemy knocking someone down with a weak off-hand whip attack). What are the DC's for falling below zero when there is no "enemy" like falling damage, elemental damage, etc,

I really like negative hit points. Regardless of these rules, I'll probably use a system where a person below zero saves to prevent losing more points equal to the number below zero that the character was originally knocked, and a separate save to remain conscious.

That way dying characters can be conscious and still have a last breath speech or help their party by providing information on battlefield activities.

And stabilized but still negative hp characters could be unconscious.

This also plays well with creatures or classes that maybe able to still fully function in combat in the negative hit point zone like wild boar or raging barbarians

Much more versatile and immersion nurturing.

If the orcs with a ballista are dealing damage well outside the range expected of their CR then those orcs should have their CR adjusted to reflect that.

Most likely.

I mean you can try to do it based on damage, but that scaling doesn't really work and takes a lot of math to be close to working. Even assuming you found a good multiplier on damage taken such that the dying save was something you had a chance to both recover or die more (beyond a natural 20 or 1 of course); let's pretend that was a DC 10 + 2/3 of the damage you took or something like that, you're still going to be in an impossible situation on any critical hit because it's going to double the damage. Let's see that in action: Suppose I have +20 to Fortitude saves and got hit for 30 damage. OK, that's a DC 30 (10 + 2/3 of 30) in this hypothetical system, and it looks great. These are even numbers you might roughly see in the game if the stars align. But if the same attack is a crit for 60? Now the DC is 50 (10 + 2/3 of 60), and I need a Natural 20 to succeed (it isn't even close; a Natural 20 is 10 below the DC!) You can try to get around this by making the DC based on the base damage before the crit, but then that defeats the purpose of using damage to determine the DC and you're moving towards having it based on the monster's stats anyways.


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More complicated. Less fun. Less fair. Totally immersion breaking and arbitrary.

I can't think of a single positive about all this.

I can survive getting pummeled with enough damage to drop me 10 times over, and make a single save to be back at 1 hp. Or I can get critted by a kobold for 2 points of damage that brings me to 0, roll a 1 on my save and die instantly. Given that massive overkill usually happens because of unfair encounters, while crits make up a disproportionate number of finishing blows, this seems like it is meant to replace a few harsh and frustrating but realistic deaths with unfair deaths that are somewhat more common, completely pointless and unavoidable.

Here's an alternative. Bring back negative hit points, get rid of bleeding out and stabilization, and let the dice fall where they may. It's simple, it's fair, and it works.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Snickersnax wrote:

I get that there is a desire to have a mechanic that keeps players engaged even when their character has fallen below 1 hit point (Death saves).

But these rules seem over complicated and create all kinds of weird edge cases. Especially having death saves based off the enemy (compare a low level orc knocking a character down with a ballista to a high-level enemy knocking someone down with a weak off-hand whip attack). What are the DC's for falling below zero when there is no "enemy" like falling damage, elemental damage, etc,

I really like negative hit points. Regardless of these rules, I'll probably use a system where a person below zero saves to prevent losing more points equal to the number below zero that the character was originally knocked, and a separate save to remain conscious.

That way dying characters can be conscious and still have a last breath speech or help their party by providing information on battlefield activities.

And stabilized but still negative hp characters could be unconscious.

This also plays well with creatures or classes that maybe able to still fully function in combat in the negative hit point zone like wild boar or raging barbarians

Much more versatile and immersion nurturing.

If the orcs with a ballista are dealing damage well outside the range expected of their CR then those orcs should have their CR adjusted to reflect that.

Most likely.

I mean you can try to do it based on damage, but that scaling doesn't really work and takes a lot of math to be close to working. Even assuming you found a good multiplier on damage taken such that the dying save was something you had a chance to both recover or die more (beyond a natural 20 or 1 of course); let's pretend that was a DC 10 + 2/3 of the damage you took or something like that, you're still going to be in an impossible situation on any critical hit because it's going to double the damage. Let's see that in action: Suppose I have...

Then isn't the issue with the baseline mechanic of setting DCs via monster stats at all? With negative hit points the system doesn't care where the damage came from only if it's in excess of your limits. If you want more durable PCs with regards to stabilizing you can increase that limit or change the scale of the DCs eg. Maybe only Evey 3 negative hit points increases the DC by 1. This way you don't have the weird cases of the proposed system.

Silver Crusade

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Makeitstop wrote:

More complicated. Less fun. Less fair. Totally immersion breaking and arbitrary.

I can't think of a single positive about all this.

I can survive getting pummeled with enough damage to drop me 10 times over, and make a single save to be back at 1 hp. Or I can get critted by a kobold for 2 points of damage that brings me to 0, roll a 1 on my save and die instantly. Given that massive overkill usually happens because of unfair encounters, while crits make up a disproportionate number of finishing blows, this seems like it is meant to replace a few harsh and frustrating but realistic deaths with unfair deaths that are somewhat more common, completely pointless and unavoidable.

Here's an alternative. Bring back negative hit points, get rid of bleeding out and stabilization, and let the dice fall where they may. It's simple, it's fair, and it works.

You die at Dying 4, not Dying 3. A crit just puts you at Dying 2.

As for a positive? Yes, the fact that crits don't outright kill your characters anymore. Negative HP didn't really help against those.


Personally, I'm hoping for a 'Dying Mechanic' that will give some increased lethality to the game. Unless you have seriously high level magic on your side, getting run through by a spear, roasted by dragonfire, or stomped on by some massive monster should just plain KILL you without getting a thousand and one saves. Just because you made up an epic backstory for your character should not mean they can't die.

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