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Barbarian's Hit Points gained by Rage

Dax Doomslayer

Adventurer
Hi All,
I was just wondering how you would handle the following: A first level barbarian has 12 hit points. When the barbarian rages, his hit points increase to 14. Now say he takes 23 points of damage from an Ogre's club. What happens? Does the barbarian drop and then die the next round (-9 with the rage hit points)? Does the barbarian drop dead as a stone right there (-11 without the rage hit points)? When are those hitpoints gained from rage lost? They are not temporary hitpoints and thus lost first. How should this be handled? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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melkoriii

First Post
Dax Doomslayer said:
Hi All,
I was just wondering how you would handle the following: A first level barbarian has 12 hit points. When the barbarian rages, his hit points increase to 14. Now say he takes 23 points of damage from an Ogre's club. What happens? Does the barbarian drop and then die the next round (-9 with the rage hit points)? Does the barbarian drop dead as a stone right there (-11 without the rage hit points)? When are those hitpoints gained from rage lost? They are not temporary hitpoints and thus lost first. How should this be handled? Any help would be appreciated.

The Barbarian loses the HP gained from Raging when the duration from Raging ends.

So a Barbarian that has a CON of 14 when raging will have the HP for 5 rounds. If at the end of 5 rounds he drops to -10 or below, s/he is dead.
 

Grog

First Post
Doesn't the rage automatically end when the barbarian loses consciousness? If so, the barbarian in the above example would be dead the moment after the club hit him.
 

gfunk

First Post
The same problem existed in 3.0.

IIRC, the Sage ruled that the Rage lasts until the specified duration as long as his hp are greater than -10.

If you want a real-world rationale then think about an adrenaline surge that lasts a set number of rounds.
 

In 3.5 the text states that the rage continues even if you are unconscious.

Note that if the barbarian weren't raging he would be dead anyway. I don't see rage as making barbarians weaker in this manner. (Of course, the AC penalty may contribute to damage being taken.)
 

Dr. Zoom

First Post
Grog said:
Doesn't the rage automatically end when the barbarian loses consciousness?
No, it lasts its entire duration at which point the barbarian's Con drops back to normal as does his hit points.
 

Darklone

Registered User
Condolences to the long list of barbarians I've seen killed while unconscious on the ground and the rest of the group forgot the end of the rage...
 

Dax Doomslayer

Adventurer
Hi Folks,
Thanks for the input. In light of the answers, this brings me to another question then. If the barbarian is still standing even while in the "negative hitpoints" does he need to roll to stabalize? Does he continue to lose one hit point a round?? Thanks for all the help!!
 

kreynolds

First Post
Dax Doomslayer said:
Hi Folks,
If the barbarian is still standing even while in the "negative hitpoints"...

With the exception of certain feats or class abilities (of which the Barbarian doesn't get from the class), if he's at negative hit points, he isn't standing. He's on his back, so to speak.
 

Dax Doomslayer

Adventurer
kreynolds said:
With the exception of certain feats or class abilities (of which the Barbarian doesn't get from the class), if he's at negative hit points, he isn't standing. He's on his back, so to speak.

OK - please bear with me because I'm thick :eek: Thus is it being told that if with the additional hitpoints the barbarian is dropped below 0 hit points, he drops? If that is in fact the case, what happens to the Rage?Is it a GFunk stated that it lasts until the duration is over or does it end immediately upon being dropped? Also, when would the barbarian die? Would it be at -10 for the original hit points or -10 with the rage hit points and then once the rage ends, the character dies if no healing is administered? I would also assume the character would need to stabalize each round as normal. I'm all kinds of confused now . . .Any help is appreciated.
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
From the 3.5 SRD:
... The increase in Constitution increases the barbarian’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. ... A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A barbarian may prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, the barbarian loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued ...
In your example, an assumed Bbn1 with Con 14 and hp 12:

Round 0: Bbn1 flies into rage -> Con 18 (+4), hp 14. Rage will last 3 + 4 = 7 rounds.
Round 1: Ogre clubs Bbn1 for 23 points of damage. Bbn's hp are 14 - 23 = -9.
Round 2: Bbn is unconscious and dying. (He's also still raging!*) At the end of this round, he makes a stabilization check (10%). If this check fails, he loses another hp, dropping to -10: he's dead.
Rounds 3-7: Assuming the Bbn stabilized in round 2, he is at -9 hp for each of these rounds.
Round 8: The Bbn's rage ends. His temporary hp go away. If he was still at -9 hp (because he stabilized in round 2 and no one has cured him above that), he now drops to -11 hp and dies.

* That is, he's still raging as long as we use the 3.0 rules Sage Advice on this subject. Otherwise, it's up the DM to decide what happens to a raging barbarian who falls unconscious.

Edit: added note about Sage Advice.
 
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Darklone

Registered User
Dax Doomslayer said:
OK - please bear with me because I'm thick :eek: Thus is it being told that if with the additional hitpoints the barbarian is dropped below 0 hit points, he drops? If that is in fact the case, what happens to the Rage?Is it a GFunk stated that it lasts until the duration is over or does it end immediately upon being dropped? Also, when would the barbarian die? Would it be at -10 for the original hit points or -10 with the rage hit points and then once the rage ends, the character dies if no healing is administered? I would also assume the character would need to stabalize each round as normal. I'm all kinds of confused now . . .Any help is appreciated.
- The barbarian has more hitpoints during rage. 2/level to be exact.
- If he takes more damage than his maximum hitpoints adjusted by rage, he falls unconscious.
- Falling unconscious does not affect the duration of the rage.
- If the rage ends after it's usual duration of unmodified Con modifier +3 while the barbarian is unconscious, chances are good that he will die immediately.

Example:
Lvl 5 barbarian has 40 hitpoints
He rages, takes 45 points of damage. He's still standing and has effectively 5 hitpoints left. If his rage would end now, he would fall unconscious at -5 hitpoints and start to die (lose 1 hp per round).
Now let's assume he takes another 8 points of damage for a total of 53. He's with rage at -3 hitpoints and falls unconscious and starts to die. If his rage runs out now because of the duration, he would immediately be at -13 hitpoints: Dead.

Edit: Only second best this time :D
 
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Dax Doomslayer

Adventurer
Joshua Randall said:
From the 3.5 SRD:In your example, an assumed Bbn1 with Con 14 and hp 12:

Round 0: Bbn1 flies into rage -> Con 18 (+4), hp 14. Rage will last 3 + 4 = 7 rounds.
Round 1: Ogre clubs Bbn1 for 23 points of damage. Bbn's hp are 14 - 23 = -9.
Round 2: Bbn is unconscious and dying. (He's also still raging!) At the end of this round, he makes a stabilization check (10%). If this check fails, he loses another hp, dropping to -10: he's dead.
Rounds 3-7: Assuming the Bbn stabilized in round 2, he is at -9 hp for each of these rounds.
Round 8: The Bbn's rage ends. His temporary hp go away. If he was still at -9 hp (because he stabilized in round 2 and no one has cured him above that), he now drops to -11 hp and dies.

Thanks Joshua!! That clears up all my confusion! I appreciate your help.
 

melkoriii

First Post
Darklone said:
- The barbarian has more hitpoints during rage. 2/level to be exact.
- If he takes more damage than his maximum hitpoints adjusted by rage, he falls unconscious.
- Falling unconscious does not affect the duration of the rage.
- If the rage ends after it's usual duration of unmodified Con modifier +3 while the barbarian is unconscious, chances are good that he will die immediately.

Example:
Lvl 5 barbarian has 40 hitpoints
He rages, takes 45 points of damage. He's still standing and has effectively 5 hitpoints left. If his rage would end now, he would fall unconscious at -5 hitpoints and start to die (lose 1 hp per round).
Now let's assume he takes another 8 points of damage for a total of 53. He's with rage at -3 hitpoints and falls unconscious and starts to die. If his rage runs out now because of the duration, he would immediately be at -13 hitpoints: Dead.

Edit: Only second best this time :D

Actualy the duration is his MODIFIED Con modifier +3.

If a Barbarian has a Con of 14 plus Belt of Health (Con +2) plus Bear's Endurance (Con +4 though only +2 stack with the belt) for a total of Con 18 when he Rages his Con will be 22 and will last for 9 rounds.
 
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jgsugden

Legend
(Psi)SeveredHead said:
In 3.5 the text states that the rage continues even if you are unconscious.

I don't seem to have this statement in my PHB. I see statements that indicate what happens when the rage ends, but I see nothing that indicates that the rage does not end when the barbarian falls unconcious.

The text does not specify what happens when a raging barbarian falls unconcious. Lacking clear direction, we must turn to normal english usage of the terms involved to determine the intent of the designers. The designers used emotional terms to describe the ability. An emotional state does not persist when someone is knocked unconcious. The ability should end.

We know that the barbarian can end the rage by choice (presumably instantly). We know that certain spells can suppress rage (calm emotions, which involves a will save) instantly. These things indicate to me that the ability is not a purely physical change that the barbarian receives, even when unconcious. They indicate to me that rage involves a mental state of mind that must be maintained. Unconciousness prevents that state of mind.

I am aware of the Sage Advice from 3.0 that indicated that rage did not end when the barbarian went unconcious. That was sage advice. Not errata. Not clarifications to the text. It was *advice* on how to handle the situation from an experienced staff gamer. It is not official for general D&D terms. There have been instances where the sage advice has been contradictory to itself and instances where it has ignored the official rules. Sage advice is fine in most instances, but it is not authoritative. It is even less useful to refer to 3.0 sage advice to resolve a 3.5 issue.

This ability is called rage. It is not called adrenalin surge. It is not called ability score increase. It is not called physical change. It is called rage. Rage is an emotion. If you get knocked unconcious, your emotional state ends. Rage is described as a screaming blood frenzy. It is not described as oblivious unonciousness.

Rage should end when the character falls unconcious. That means that a barbarian with more than 5 levels will die if he goes to negative hit points while raging.
 

Devilkiller

First Post
jgsugden said:
Rage should end when the character falls unconcious. That means that a barbarian with more than 5 levels will die if he goes to negative hit points while raging.

Sure, that's how the rules seem to go, but a lot of people think it isn't much fun when barbarians are constantly dying instead of just getting dropped into negative hit points and then healed like everybody else. Maybe I just play in games where going into negative hit points and surviving is more common than usual or something.
 

Dr_Rictus

First Post
jgsugden said:
The text does not specify what happens when a raging barbarian falls unconcious. Lacking clear direction, we must turn to normal english usage of the terms involved to determine the intent of the designers.

Not logic at all.

The ability specifies a duration. In the absence of a stated exception to that duration, no such exception exists. That's precisely what makes the rule a rule, and exceptions exceptions. The fact that you might expect an exception (which isn't there) in this case doesn't mean that the correct response is to make one up!

The abilty does not have to say that the duration is the same when the barbarian falls unconscious for it to be so, any more than it needs to state any of the other possibilities which are not exceptions to the rule.

The rule is precisely the same in 3.0 as in 3.5: the duration is as stated, with no exception for when the barbarian falls unconscious. 3.5 merely points out that this is not an exception, but it never was, and you don't have to point out that something isn't there for it to not be there.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Dr_Rictus said:
The rule is precisely the same in 3.0 as in 3.5: the duration is as stated, with no exception for when the barbarian falls unconscious. 3.5 merely points out that this is not an exception, but it never was, and you don't have to point out that something isn't there for it to not be there.

Totally agree.

And I'll also point out that the interpretation that it ends instantly upon going unconscious means an automatic death sentence for any raging barbarian 5th level and higher who goes unconscious. To me, this makes the game less fun and less cinematic.
 

terror

Villager
Personally, I just let the hitpoints be removed first, and u can't end your rage early to use again.

As it don't understand it otherwise, it's pretty complicated tbh.

Like do the hitpoints even do anything or?
 

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