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Injury and Death

There are many ways in which a character can face mortal peril. Below are some of the most commonly encountered forms.  

Hit point loss

  What Hit Points Represent   Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.   Hit Point Damage   Damage does not affect a character's performance until they reach 0 or lower. While it's encouraged to role play the effects of said damage outside of combat, a 1 hit point character is every bit as capable in combat as one at full hit points.   Disabled (0 hit points)   When a character's hit point total is exactly 0, they remain conscious but are disabled. A disabled character is unable to walk or stand unaided (whether by a wall, crutch of some form, or assisting character), and can only take a single move or move-equivalent action each round without suffering further damage. If a disabled character performs a standard or full round action, at the end of their action they take 1 damage. If this damage puts them below 0, they are now dying.   Dying (below 0 hit points)   A character below 0 hit points is dying. A dying character is unconscious and in mortal peril. Each round on a dying character's initiative, they roll a constitution save, starting at a DC of 14. If the check succeeds, the character's state does not worsen, and they repeat the process the next round. If the check fails, the DC increases by 2 on the next round. A natural 1 increases the check by an additional 2, and a natural 20 puts the character's hit points to 0, upgrading their status to disabled. If a check fails with a DC of 20 or higher, the character is dead.   Instant Death   A character who's hp is reduced low enough, whether by the blow that knocks them unconscious or further damage, may die outright. If a character's negative hit point total is greater than half their maximum hit points, they must make a DC 20 Fortitude Save or die outright. A character who's negative hit point total exceeds their maximum hit points dies outright with no save.   Non-lethal Damage  
Non-lethal damage, also referred to as temporary or subdual damage, is counted up separately from regular hit point damage. When a creature's non-lethal damage total meets their current hit points, they are disabled, just as though they were at 0, and when their non-lethal damage total exceeds their current hit points, they are knocked unconscious.
Non-lethal damage heals at a rate of 1 hp per hour. Whenever a character regains normal hit points, they can also remove an equal amount of non-lethal damage.

Massive damage

  A character who receives a single instance of damage exceeding 25 plus twice their level (or Hit Dice) is considered to have taken massive damage. If a character takes massive damage that does not leave them dead, dying, or disabled, they must make a DC 15 fortitude save. If the saving throw fails, they also take non-lethal damage equal to their current hit point total plus 1, enough to knock them unconscious.  

Ability Score Loss

  Some attacks reduce the opponent’s score in one or more abilities. This loss can be temporary (ability damage) or permanent (ability drain). While any loss is debilitating, losing all points in an ability score can be devastating.   Strength 0 means that the character cannot move at all. He lies helpless on the ground.   Dexterity 0 means that the character cannot move at all. He stands motionless, rigid, and helpless.   Constitution 0 means that the character is dead.   Intelligence 0 means that the character cannot think and is unconscious in a coma-like stupor, helpless.   Wisdom 0 means that the character is withdrawn into a deep sleep filled with nightmares, helpless.   Charisma 0 means that the character is withdrawn into a catatonic, coma-like stupor, helpless.   Ability damage is recovered at a rate of 1 point per day to each damaged ability score (or double if the character gets complete bed rest). Ability drain does not recover naturally. Both ability damage and ability drain can be recovered through the use of some spells, such as lesser restoration and restoration.  

Level Drain

  As described in Level Drain, if a character is drained an amount of levels equal to or greater than their level (or Hit Dice if applicable), then they are immediately slain.

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