Dying rules dropped in GTM Live game


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I like hero points for helping keep a character alive.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm a big fan of the Death Flag.


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Planpanther wrote:
I like hero points for helping keep a character alive.

Speaking of hero points: I've heard there is something like this in PF2. However, there has been nary a peep about it in any of the blogs or dev comments in threads. I wonder if and when that is going to be a blog, and how it is going to look?


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I tried implementing the new death mechanic in our game yesterday. Our sorceress was hit by an arrow and went to -2 hp. She went to 0 instead and got "Dying 1". The save DC i set to 10 + Monster CR, which came out at 15 (CR 5, party is level 3).
Our oracle sabilized her immediately, and then healed her for a few hp. Turned out to be good, she failed 3 saves during the battle.
When the battle was over she rolled a fourth save and finally got back up. She now has the Dying condition + staggered (which comes closest to losing an action in the new rules). She will lose both conditions after a 4 hour rest.
Both me and the group found that mechanic very cool and we stick with that


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RumpinRufus wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:

Every single new piece of information we get makes me hate this more and more.

Why would the death save be harder based on the enemy? And don't say "because the boss hits you harder" because if it's based on the enemy then you could be hit for the same amount of damage and still have a harder save.
Why does stabilizing not stabilize you?
Why are you still unconscious and dying even if the Cleric slaps you with magical healing energy that restores all your HP?
WHY THE FRIGGIN' DEATH SAVES?! THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH NEGATIVE HP! It was simple and easy to understand!
Stabilizing does stabilize you, and once you get healed you are only "dying" in name only, you aren't at any risk of death.

It would be nice if "Dying" meant "dying" - easier for new players to understand (and for an old one like me:-)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
GRuzom wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:

Every single new piece of information we get makes me hate this more and more.

Why would the death save be harder based on the enemy? And don't say "because the boss hits you harder" because if it's based on the enemy then you could be hit for the same amount of damage and still have a harder save.
Why does stabilizing not stabilize you?
Why are you still unconscious and dying even if the Cleric slaps you with magical healing energy that restores all your HP?
WHY THE FRIGGIN' DEATH SAVES?! THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH NEGATIVE HP! It was simple and easy to understand!
Stabilizing does stabilize you, and once you get healed you are only "dying" in name only, you aren't at any risk of death.
It would be nice if "Dying" meant "dying" - easier for new players to understand (and for an old one like me:-)

I don't mind. Afterall if they made a second condition "Not Dying" (just because I can't think of a word to mean close to dying but not) that was just "If you get to 0HP this Condition instead becomes Dying" is awkward and probably more of a cognitive load than having an expanded Dying condition.


Malk_Content wrote:
GRuzom wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:

Every single new piece of information we get makes me hate this more and more.

Why would the death save be harder based on the enemy? And don't say "because the boss hits you harder" because if it's based on the enemy then you could be hit for the same amount of damage and still have a harder save.
Why does stabilizing not stabilize you?
Why are you still unconscious and dying even if the Cleric slaps you with magical healing energy that restores all your HP?
WHY THE FRIGGIN' DEATH SAVES?! THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH NEGATIVE HP! It was simple and easy to understand!
Stabilizing does stabilize you, and once you get healed you are only "dying" in name only, you aren't at any risk of death.
It would be nice if "Dying" meant "dying" - easier for new players to understand (and for an old one like me:-)
I don't mind. Afterall if they made a second condition "Not Dying" (just because I can't think of a word to mean close to dying but not) that was just "If you get to 0HP this Condition instead becomes Dying" is awkward and probably more of a cognitive load than having an expanded Dying condition.

A “Stable” condition should cover it.


This is weird. It sounds deadlier, and at the same time more forgiving.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rek Rollington wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
GRuzom wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:

Every single new piece of information we get makes me hate this more and more.

Why would the death save be harder based on the enemy? And don't say "because the boss hits you harder" because if it's based on the enemy then you could be hit for the same amount of damage and still have a harder save.
Why does stabilizing not stabilize you?
Why are you still unconscious and dying even if the Cleric slaps you with magical healing energy that restores all your HP?
WHY THE FRIGGIN' DEATH SAVES?! THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH NEGATIVE HP! It was simple and easy to understand!
Stabilizing does stabilize you, and once you get healed you are only "dying" in name only, you aren't at any risk of death.
It would be nice if "Dying" meant "dying" - easier for new players to understand (and for an old one like me:-)
I don't mind. Afterall if they made a second condition "Not Dying" (just because I can't think of a word to mean close to dying but not) that was just "If you get to 0HP this Condition instead becomes Dying" is awkward and probably more of a cognitive load than having an expanded Dying condition.
A “Stable” condition should cover it.

Stable is a good word that still has problems. For one Stable is a positive adjective (becoming a noun through condition) and thus you wouldn't expect higher numbers of it to be a bad thing, but they would be in this context. Stable 3 is way worse than Stable 1 and worse still that not being Stable at all!

It also still has the problem of being a Condition whose entire existence is to say "If you hit 0 HP swap me out for another Condition" which to me is just as or more confusing than having that be part of dying and is a waste of CRB space.


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Maybe it just should be "mostly dead"

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I propose "Out" instead of "Dying". It then becomes

  • There are no negative hit points - if you take damage equal or greater than your HP, you go down to 0 HP and get the Out 1 condition.
  • If a crit knocks you to 0, you gain Out 2 instead of Out 1.
  • Each round, you must make a save to stabilize. The save DC is based off the enemy - a boss may have a higher death DC than a mook, so you are more likely to be killed by bosses.
  • If you reach Out 4, then you are dead.
  • If you make the stabilize check, you gain a hit point, but are still Out. If you make another save at 1 HP, you are no longer Out, and you regain consciousness.
  • If an ally heals you while you are Out, you still have the Out condition, even though you have positive HP. You still need to make a stabilize check to regain consciousness. But, once your HP is positive, you are no longer at danger of death from failing your checks - failing a stabilize check just means you stay unconscious.
  • The Stabilize cantrip puts you at 1 HP.

BTW Many thanks to the OP :-)

Liberty's Edge

So... if a mook or trap knocks you down but there's a boss in the room you're more likely to be killed?
Weird.

Liberty's Edge

Jester David wrote:

So... if a mook or trap knocks you down but there's a boss in the room you're more likely to be killed?

Weird.

By the official rules, it's based on the level of the actual individual who took you down. Or at least we haven't seen any evidence otherwise.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I find it all a lot more complicated. The negative hit points model seems intuitive to me. I have been playing Starfinder with the way it handles death and dying, and I'm not a big fan of it--basically, as long as you have at least 1 Resolve left, you're immune to death.


If they want characters to be more survivable, especially against crits, yet for dying to still be more dangerous than a mere 1 HP/round bleed, there's plenty of ways to do it with the negative HP chassis. And the negative HP chassis is a better way to represent how people who reach the brink of death before stabilizing usually take days or weeks of care in our real, magicless world to wake up.

So, say instead of -Con, you can reach a negative HP total of half your max HP before you die. With the buff in 1st level HP this is pretty comparable to PF1 at first, maybe a little lower, but still gives you some wiggle room. At higher levels, this gives you a lot more room - even in the face of an enemy critical hit while at low HP.

While you're dying, maybe now you lose cumulative HP each round. To approximate their apparent desire for you not to be able to hold out very long without help, let's say it is 1d4 the first round of dying, 2d4 the second round, 3d4 the third round, and so on. This will wreck even a high level character pretty quickly, matching up to the design intent... But luck can help you hold on longer. And you aren't having to track a complicated persistent condition.

Then, make the negative HP stick. When you heal from negative, don't just start from 0 like in the Brand. If you are deep into negative, you might still be unconscious after healing. Yes, this means players sometimes won't get back into the action immediately, but it does make a brush with death more meaningful.

And they can always implement a system where a player who is "not in scene" for any reason - whether because they're unconscious or the party split up - can contribute to the action "in spirit." Maybe once per turn, a player who is otherwise not playing can use something like the Aid action to either help an ally or impede an opponent.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While negative HP have many advantages, they eat so much of the healing needed to regain consciousness, that a downed PC gets back into the fight with only a few HP left

Even a small wound that would be negligible in other circumstances will put this character down again

I think the PF2 system aims at avoiding this phenomenon while keeping the reality elements that players appreciate in negative HP

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