Dying rules dropped in GTM Live game


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Some notes:

  • 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 Dying 1 condition.
  • If a crit knocks you to 0, you gain Dying 2 instead of Dying 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 Dying 4, then you are dead.
  • If you make the stabilize check, you gain a hit point, but are still Dying. If you make another save at 1 HP, you are no longer Dying, and you regain consciousness.
  • If an ally heals you while you are Dying, you still have the Dying 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.


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


What happens with enemies still attacking you after you go down? Do they accelerated the dying condition?

Liberty's Edge

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SorrySleeping wrote:
What happens with enemies still attacking you after you go down? Do they accelerated the dying condition?

The way they're doing conditions so far, they seem to stack. So if you're at Dying 1 and still at 0 HP, and you take another hit, you'd be taking damage that would put you below 0 HP, so you gain Dying 1... which, since you already have Dying 1, turns into Dying 2. Also, this means that two crits means instant death if the first one is enough to drop you. Dangerous.


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RumpinRufus wrote:

Some notes:

  • 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 Dying 1 condition.
  • If a crit knocks you to 0, you gain Dying 2 instead of Dying 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 Dying 4, then you are dead.
  • If you make the stabilize check, you gain a hit point, but are still Dying. If you make another save at 1 HP, you are no longer Dying, and you regain consciousness.
  • If an ally heals you while you are Dying, you still have the Dying 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.

Thanks for the info. I don't really care for crits knocking you down a state further.

This also sounds more complicated than it needs to be. As someone who still likes PF1 I can handle it, but it doesn't sound easier than how PF 1 does it.


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Interesting, but I'd have to see it in play. Sounds like it could be more complicated than the current rule, which works fine as far as I'm concerned. But it does seem like it might be more dramatic.

But the condition being completely unrelated to damage is kind of odd. I mean a crit from a brownie with a rusty thumb-tack making you closer to death than a normal hit from a giant with a +5 Your Face-Bane greatsword is kind of counter-intuitive.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

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


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From the sounds of it, I'd like it if they kept it a tad simpler. The description makes it seem a tad complicated just to die.

Maybe it's because I don't understand some of it. Someone can be healed and yet be dying?

So, if I get a heal spell and have almost all my HP back...I'm still dying?


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Seems like the 5e method, but made complex to just be complex.


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Someone could hover on the brink of death for ages. As someone who had a party all fall below 0 HP except one person (who promptly fell off a cliff to his death before assisting anyone else). That's not fun. In this scenario they were strong enough to stabilise, but then needed to wait X period of time (1 hour I believe) before trying to regain consciousness naturally. Had this rule been in place we would have spent forever with dice rolls. Not fun.

Here's a simplification: Once you succeed a single constitution check you stabilise and become unconscious. If you fail 3 constitution checks while dying you die. You need a second constitution check to regain consciousness. If you're magically healed or stabilised you immediately stabilise but are unconscious and still need 1 successful constitution check to regain consciousness. If you take damage while dying that counts as an automatic fail.

I agree crits already have greater chance of dropping you to below 0, they shouldn't be double rewarded (sounds good for a houserule for those so inclined).

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This really feels like a solution in want of a problem.


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There has been much assuagement from Paizo staff otherwise, but the more and more that gets revealed about the game, the more and more it looks like Pathfinder: We're 5e now!(I like 5e, but not as every game)

I'm starting to have suspicions that come the release of the playtest, these comparisons to 5e will be a bit more apt than most will admit.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hmmm, i wonder how this will play with Diehard. I already like it more than Starfinder's Resolve eating take so that's a definite plus :3


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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:

Seems like the 5e method, but made complex to just be complex.

Yeah, it does seem rather 5E-ish.

Plus being unconscious in a non-dying state as a "dying" state seems um.. counter-intuitive?

Oh well, it would be worse, they could use 1e or 2e stuff. Dead instantly at 0.

I feel that they're probably going to drop PF1 non-lethal damages too and give us the icky Starfinder non-lethal system instead. Ew!


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Yeah, that sounds as strange as the 5e rules. The Dragon bit your head off, then did a happy dance on your corpse and flamed you (dying 3)
Here, take a 1 HP potion. You are fine.
I do not understand the design Goal behind this - it is neither easier nor more intuitive or realistic.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It makes you less likely to lose characters, f~&@ realism (the meta-construct of Hit Points already did that to begin with).


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Kerrilyn wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:

Seems like the 5e method, but made complex to just be complex.

Yeah, it does seem rather 5E-ish.

Plus being unconscious in a non-dying state as a "dying" state seems um.. counter-intuitive?

Yeah, being 5e like here is not a bad thing. But it's like they looked for ways to over complicate it.


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Skub wrote:
There has been much assuagement from Paizo staff otherwise, but the more and more that gets revealed about the game, the more and more it looks like Pathfinder: We're 5e now!(I like 5e, but not as every game)

As someone who also likes 5e (preferring it to the Pathfinder bloat at this point), the only similarity I see with 5e is that you don't have negative HP, and 0 is the minimum.

If anything, it's completely *unlike* 5e in that it solves (in a somewhat overly complex way) the problem of popcorn healing in 5e, where just 1 hp gets you back to conscious, so that you can stand up on your turn (only spending half your movement) and take your full attack before being knocked back down. Rinse & repeat until enemy is dead.

Sovereign Court

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I like that it is harder to get back up when you are dropped by more significant foes. It's easy to get right back up when kobolds get the drop on you, but the scary BBEG keeps you reeling for a few rounds attempting to make the check.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky wrote:
Hmmm, i wonder how this will play with Diehard. I already like it more than Starfinder's Resolve eating take so that's a definite plus :3

I think that maybe it let's you go to dying 5,6... Or gives you a bonus on the saves or both.


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I believe this rule needs fixing. It's more complicated than it needs to be.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Hmmm, i wonder how this will play with Diehard. I already like it more than Starfinder's Resolve eating take so that's a definite plus :3
I think that maybe it let's you go to dying 5,6... Or gives you a bonus on the saves or both.

*nods*

Maybe when you're dropped you can choose to take a certain number of actions before you actually drop?


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Rysky wrote:
Hmmm, i wonder how this will play with Diehard. I already like it more than Starfinder's Resolve eating take so that's a definite plus :3

There was mention of enemies that could take a reaction to attack when dropped to 0. There might be something like that.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Hmmm, i wonder how this will play with Diehard. I already like it more than Starfinder's Resolve eating take so that's a definite plus :3
There was mention of enemies that could take a reaction to attack when dropped to 0. There might be something like that.

Sweet!


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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!


Rysky wrote:
I already like it more than Starfinder's Resolve eating take so that's a definite plus :3

Definitely an improvement over Starfinder, I agree, but this is still god-awful.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The dying condition does not mean you are bleeding out. It is just how close you are to dying.

Silver Crusade

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Bloodrealm wrote:
Why does stabilizing not stabilize you?
It does. You just don't automatically regain consciousness.
Bloodrealm wrote:
Why are you still unconscious and dying even if the Cleric slaps you with magical healing energy that restores all your HP?

You're not dying (in that you don't lose HP), you just need to make the Stabilize roll in order regain consciousness.


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.

Silver Crusade

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Interested to see the Vorpal enchantment now. Do not gain Dying. Go straight to dead.


And then there's the question of how non-lethal damage affects this

Dark Archive

It seems a bit un-immersive that without any magical aid you go from being at deaths door to standing and fighting in less than a minute. If i'm reading it right you can that in two rounds. I much prefer the roll every hour to regain conciseness if your below 0HP but stable from PF1.

I would also say the naming of the dying condition could lead to confusion since you can be stable and thus not dying but still have the condition.

Scarab Sages

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I like it. It will take some getting used to calling Unconscious now Dying 1, but I like that there is no more backwards DCs created to stabilize.

I also like the fact that more powerful badguys have a higher death save DC. I think that's kinda elegant to give the BBEG more mystique and make them more fearsome.

Scarab Sages

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Ragni wrote:

It seems a bit un-immersive that without any magical aid you go from being at deaths door to standing and fighting in less than a minute. If i'm reading it right you can that in two rounds. I much prefer the roll every hour to regain conciseness if your below 0HP but stable from PF1.

I would also say the naming of the dying condition could lead to confusion since you can be stable and thus not dying but still have the condition.

How is that un-immersive? You see it in Hollywood all the time, and I prefer my immersion into gaming to be more Hollywood physics than real world physics anyways. Guy gets hit, falls down, falls unconscious, but manages to wake up just in time to be a nuisance at just the wrong time.

And if you don't like that, then watch MMA. Sometimes guys just go stiff and are out for a minute or two, and sometimes guys obviously are knocked unconscious but are awake and able to fight split seconds later.


You should be allowed to get up to Dying=Con mod and if Dying>Con mod then you die.

I'm fine with a crit taking you to dying 2 and a regular hit taking you to dying 1.


Andy Brown wrote:
And then there's the question of how non-lethal damage affects this

Good point, if it renders you unconscious with a chance to save out of it similar to a stabilized PC from lethal damage than it doesn't really work for the concept of knocking someone out.

If it gives the unconscious condition without a chance to save out of it than it seems better than normal damage since you can make them unconscious and then coup de grace them at will. That is of course assuming that PCs and enemy NPCs/monsters use the same rules which might not be the case.

I personally didn't have any problem with the negative hit point system of PF1. I don't see these new rules as an improvement.


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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.


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It is more complicated than PF1, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in itself: dying is important, so don't over-trivialise it.

That said, I don't greatly like it:
* 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.
* Crits don't need the extra help.
* 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.
* It still doesn't model the fact that (IRL) you can be fatally stabbed but still be able to function fairly normally (conscious, walking, talking) while very definitely Dying.

Needs more work.


I'd set up that variant as the death threshold equals x+Con mod(min 0). Set X at three, most likely.

Four is serviceable, though. The Con mod probably already adds to death saves anyway.

Dark Archive

Tallow wrote:


How is that un-immersive? You see it in Hollywood all the time, and I prefer my immersion into gaming to be more Hollywood physics than real world physics anyways. Guy gets hit, falls down, falls unconscious, but manages to wake up just in time to be a nuisance at just the wrong time.

And if you don't like that, then watch MMA. Sometimes guys just go stiff and are out for a minute or two, and sometimes guys obviously are knocked unconscious but are awake and able to fight split seconds later.

I don't really want to look to Hollywood for how RPGs are going to play, but I will concede on the MMA guys getting up in a few mins I think a check every minute (to regain consciousness after becoming stable) would be a good balance between hero fantasy and realism since while those guys go though some brutal stuff, getting burned by dragon fire would probably keep you down a bit longer.


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I can live with most of it, it's not better than PF, but it's not much worse either, BUT (and this is a big but)
BOSSES KILL YOU DEADER THAN MOOKS
is a pretty stupid concept. There is really no reason to connect the stabilize DC to the person/monster who killed you. that's pretty far out, even for a fantasy game


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KingOfAnything wrote:
I like that it is harder to get back up when you are dropped by more significant foes. It's easy to get right back up when kobolds get the drop on you, but the scary BBEG keeps you reeling for a few rounds attempting to make the check.

But doesn't negative hit points do the same thing already? The Big Bad should be hitting for more damage so it's harder to get back up already. The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced it's a solution in search of a problem or change for change's sake. Maybe there is room for some minor tweaks like adjusting how many negative hit points you can go into before you die. But negative hit points work fine and don't need to be replaced. Someone who has more damage needs more healing, a really powerful hit can send them straight to dead etc. This new system is both more complex and makes less sense.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

I can live with most of it, it's not better than PF, but it's not much worse either, BUT (and this is a big but)

BOSSES KILL YOU DEADER THAN MOOKS
is a pretty stupid concept. There is really no reason to connect the stabilize DC to the person/monster who killed you. that's pretty far out, even for a fantasy game

Yeah, it should be just based on how much damage is done. Which is to say, with negative hit points.

Paizo Employee Designer

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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.

Sovereign Court

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

I can live with most of it, it's not better than PF, but it's not much worse either, BUT (and this is a big but)

BOSSES KILL YOU DEADER THAN MOOKS
is a pretty stupid concept. There is really no reason to connect the stabilize DC to the person/monster who killed you. that's pretty far out, even for a fantasy game
Yeah, it should be just based on how much damage is done. Which is to say, with negative hit points.

This makes in-combat decisions much easier for tables that don't share character numbers freely. Will the paladin spend an action to stabilize their fallen friend? Against a kobold, it's probably not necessary. You know they'll likely come round. Against a boss? You know that some healing may be more necessary.

In PF1, you wouldn't know if your ally is at -1 hp, or -10. Do you heal them?


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'd like to also voice trepidation at the idea of tying the stabilize DC to the entity that put you there. It feels conceptually weird to me that getting stabbed in the kidney by creature A could be inherently more deadly than getting stabbed in the kidney by creature B if both creature A and B did 6 HP of damage when they did it.

I'd rather see the save DC scale with your current severity of the dying condition (very simple and easy to remember) or with the severity of the attack itself, like DC = 10 + [damage - last HP] (a bit more complicated to derive, but makes more thematic sense to me).

EDIT: I think either way still leaves open a design space for some creatures to have special abilities which can influence the difficulty of the check. Like if monster C has anticoagulant saliva which increases the DC by some predetermined amount, etc. Accomplishes basically the same thing, but is more conceptually intuitive.


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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.


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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.


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ugh "bosses" killing you harder is the first nuclear garbage piece of info ive heard yet about PF2. Just reminds me of monster have their own rules design. I dont need to be reminded of that...

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