D&D 5E Creative Surgery


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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
For me and my table... narratively it makes no sense, so rather than try and exploit a loophole in the board game mechanics to achieve the narrative result they want... the party would be told to just try and change the narrative.

I mean the very first narrative result would be that the Ranger is out of commission for the remainder of this 4 hour excursion. Yeah, it sucks to be the player of the Ranger, but that's the consequence of the actions the party took.

If the players don't want the Ranger to be sidelined for the rest of the excursion... then we will work together to create a narrative result that doesn't necessarily come out of the game mechanics. Probably something along the lines of the Ranger being able to get up and work with the party to finish this adventure, but then suffering an even graver event after its done.
 

Have you ever seen something like this happen at your table? What do you think about this tactic?
that exact thing, no... similar rules shenanigans yes.

I have seen the 3e bucket of water to get to 0 (well to be fair it was a river on the battle mat) and that is pretty close.

the amount of shenanigans I put up with is based on the table play... would the game be better and more fun if I allow this or less?

In your example, a very low level no healing party that could by bad rolls end up out of a time crunched adventure... I would most likely allow it with the "Keep in mind if you abuse this later I reserve the right to change the ruling for future use"


then again in 2e I used shocking grasp to restart someone heart so maybe I am not the best judge...
 

The risk is rolling a nat 1 and dying due to accruing two death save fails on top of the one you already have. So it's good to be a halfling in this case since you can reroll the 1. (Or having access to anything that'll let you do some rerolls as needed.)
I have a hafling wizard that is a diviner with the lucky feat... I would jump at this trick, cause I have so many get out of jail free cards, but having said that, I still would warn about abuse
 

aco175

Legend
Certainly meta thinking and if I allowed it I would likely allow it to perma-kill the PC if it failed after the first or second attempt. Falls into the 'bag of rats' trick to me.

Bigger question is why a group of PCs went into a dungeon with no potions of healing. Maybe if they were 1st level or something, but they should know to be more careful if they have no potions.

Also, shouldn't the players cry foul on the DM and make up some crap about non-level encounters or at least point to something in the DMG that says each level of a dungeon must have 3-4 potions to be found. ;)
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I have a hafling wizard that is a diviner with the lucky feat... I would jump at this trick, cause I have so many get out of jail free cards, but having said that, I still would warn about abuse
I just don't see much of an issue with abuse. It's risky, particularly for non-halflings, as you can just take the L on the time pressure and not put the stable character at risk (presuming the time pressure isn't something like "you all die"). For your halfling diviner, luck is your super power so it's on brand in my view to take a chance on a dangerous magic surgery.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Certainly meta thinking and if I allowed it I would likely allow it to perma-kill the PC if it failed after the first or second attempt. Falls into the 'bag of rats' trick to me.

Bigger question is why a group of PCs went into a dungeon with no potions of healing. Maybe if they were 1st level or something, but they should know to be more careful if they have no potions.

Also, shouldn't the players cry foul on the DM and make up some crap about non-level encounters or at least point to something in the DMG that says each level of a dungeon must have 3-4 potions to be found. ;)
As DM, the lack of preparation of the PCs is nothing I care about. If anything, I encourage it to get my body count up. :sneaky:
 

Mad_Jack

Legend
While they definitely get points for the creativity, that's also definitely pretty hardcore "bag of rats" territory - in spirit, at least, if not by RAW....

Personally, I'd apply some conditions to it if they want it to work.

First of all, on a side note, if they had any way of giving the guy temp hit points, I'd count that as good enough to bring the guy back to consciousness as long as they immediately took a short rest.

But, if they wanna try Frankenstein-ing the guy...

- They get a maximum number of attempts equal to the guy's CON score.

- Using a spell that does lightning damage gives advantage on the roll.

- Regardless of how many times the PCs try to jumpstart the guy, he will automatically end up with one level of exhaustion. For every four attempts, he gets another one.

- In the interest of saving time while making it even more interesting, the wizard casting the spell can choose to use something bigger than a cantrip to adjust the chance of success: the level of the spell used lowers the number that the ranger has to roll to get the necessary critical success by one - a 1st level spell would revive the guy to consciousness on a 19-20, 2nd level on an 18-20, etc.
So if they use a 4th or 5th level spell there's a pretty good chance of getting the guy back on his feet, but also a damn good chance of just straight-up killing him perma-dead from the damage.


In the end, it's most likely going to end up being a tradeoff of getting the ranger back but ending up with the wizard down a fair number of spell slots.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
I have never seen this, but if my players came up with it I would allow it and flavor it as trying to shock the downed character into consciousness using a dangerous form of magic defibrillation.

I do think it's a very specific edge case scenario largely caused by the unique combination of time limit scenario PLUS having a 5E party with no or very limited healing resources; the latter does happen but is quite rare in my experience.

Strictly speaking in terms of RAW, there's no question that it could indeed work.

The biggest advantage of allowing it - and it's a big one for me - is that it's a way to get the character up and the player back into the game while allowing the time-limited quest to continue.
 

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