As far as I can tell, the latest version of the Dying rules as a fairly awkward gap:
If you are knocked out by a lethal attack (e.g. an axe to the head), you gain both the Dying and Unconscious conditions. While you are Dying, you can attempt saving throws and/or use Hero points to recover to 1 HP at which time you lose both conditions.
OK, good enough.
On the other hand, when you are ONLY Unconscious but not dying, like if you were knocked out by a non-lethal attack or if an ally uses the Stabilize spell, there is nothing you can do. You just lie there unconscious until the GM says you're not, which usually takes 10 minutes but could be hours.
Unconscious: You're screwed. Just lie there and hope somebody heals you.
Unconscious AND ALSO DYING: No problem, just make your save or use a Hero point and get back into the fight next round.
So the awkward gap is, why is it relatively easy to self-recover when you're BOTH Unconscious and Dying but IMPOSSIBLE to self-recover when you are ONLY unconscious?
Allow the Recovery saving throws to continue when you're Unconscious even without the Dying condition. Same DC, no other changes to the process. A success counts exactly like you "removed the Dying condition" and fails will give you the Dying condition.
Of course, the player can decide that he doesn't want to roll a recovery save and simply remains unconscious.
Also of course, the Hero point rules still apply in case the Unconscious person fails a recovery save.
Recovery saves don't get you back up in the new rules. That was the original rules.
If you return to 1 Hit Point or more, you become conscious. As noted before, if you had the dying condition, you are slowed on your frst turn after regaining consciousness. If you did not have the dying condition when you regain consciousness, you aren’t slowed.When you’re unconscious and at 0 HP but no longer dying, you naturally return to 1 HP and awaken after suffcient time passes. The GM determines how long you remain unconscious, from at least 10 minutes to several hours.
If your dying value reaches 4 or greater, you die. You lose the dying condition upon returning to 1 or more Hit Points. When you lose the dying condition, you regain consciousness, but are slowed for 1 round. Your slowed value is equal to the dying value you had when you were healed (so if you were dying 2, you are slowed 2 for 1 round).
Since you can lose the dying condition via recovery saves, you can recover directly to consciousness. Now, there's a good case to be made that what the designers *meant* to say is, "when you lose the dying condition in this manner ..." or something. But that's not what it says.
Yeah, Joe M. quoted the relevant rule.
Any time you lose the dying condition you regain consciousness. Except with things like the Stabilize spell which has a specific rule saying this doesn't happen in that case.
Making it a poor decision to Stabilize an ally who, then, has no way to return to the fight without outside help.