Death Rule Changes
- Revivify, Raise Dead, Resurrection, True Resurrection, and Clone do not exist. Other spells, abilities, items or effects that raise characters from the dead without turning the character into some kind of undead creature do not exist.
- Instant death requires a single blow to bring a character below their negative max HP * 2, instead of just their negative max HP. Characters will almost never die to instant death damage. If a character is brought below their negative max HP in a single blow, it instead counts as two failed death saving throws.
- Dying requires 5 failed death saving throws, stabilizing still only requires 3 successful rolls.
- All other death rules remain the same.
If your character dies, you need to create a new character. You can rejoin the party when it makes sense, as a friend, relative, new ally or prisoner that was rescued. New characters join at the lowest party member level -1. If the characters are level 5, 6, 6, 6, and 7, your character would join at 4.
Discussion: Character death is going to be heavily modified from the rules as written in the book. I don’t like the way DnD normally handles death because there are a wide variety of spells that allow you to raise people from the dead.
This creates all kinds of problems. If someone tries to assassinate the king, wouldn’t his clerics immediately resurrect him? How do you take down the big bad guy if he can always come back? While there are some ways to stop this (you can trap a creature’s soul after it dies, then it can’t come back), it’s a bit ridiculous when literally every high level conflict in the world is all about people trying to protect their souls and trap other people’s souls.
So this game will be on hardcore. When your character dies (or any character dies), they are gone. Forever. Nothing can bring a character back from the dead. Spells and abilities that bring characters back from the dead, including but not limited to: Revivify, Raise Dead, Resurrection, True Resurrection, and Clone, simply do not exist. If anyone wants to play a Life Domain Cleric, we can talk about what to replace Raise Dead with in your domain spell list.
Note that spells and abilities that interact with dead or dying characters, but don’t specifically bring dead characters back, still work. That means you can still use Spare the Dying to stabilize someone instantly, and you can still use Speak with Dead to speak to someone’s corpse after they’ve died.
Since there is no way for players to come back from the dead, I will be relaxing the death rules and making it less likely that your characters will die. Death saving throws and instant death are softened.