D&D 5E Creative Surgery

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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.

My D&D is usually played in a pseudo-Medieval fantasy world, where the characters don't know what fibrillation is, much less how to defibrillate.

Moreover, the characters don't know from saving throws, or the exact rules around death saves. The saving throw does not exist in the fiction, so the character's can't reference making the saving throw happen as a reason to take the action.

So, they'd have to have a in-game, in-fiction reason to think this would work, or it is not a suitable declaration of an action.
 

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Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Medicine check? "There are reports in the Simbul's Second Grimoire of the damaged being returned to life by lightning, though the event has rarely been replicated..."

Shocking grasp is a cantrip now, no? "I saw this on Rescue 911..."
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Characters can be knocked out for hours by blunt force trauma and wake up completely fine with no medical assistance, their bodies just work in mysterious ways.

It'd be cool if the Medicine skill could actually be used to heal, would help with situations like this.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Do you suppose some particular consequence might change your perception of this approach?
It would certainly change the parameters around what their viable options might be.

For example, if it's an escape scenario and they're all dead if they don't get out within the allotted time that's quite different than if going overtime causes them to merely lose out on a small monetary reward.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
My D&D is usually played in a pseudo-Medieval fantasy world, where the characters don't know what fibrillation is, much less how to defibrillate.

Moreover, the characters don't know from saving throws, or the exact rules around death saves. The saving throw does not exist in the fiction, so the character's can't reference making the saving throw happen as a reason to take the action.

So, they'd have to have a in-game, in-fiction reason to think this would work, or it is not a suitable declaration of an action.

Just out of curiosity, if your players said their characters were trying this procedure, would you:

1. Just flat-out say, "No, your characters are not doing that."

2. Say, "Your characters can do that only if you the players can give me an in-game, in-fiction reason your characters would do it - and only if I judge that reason to be acceptable to me."

3. Actively help them come up with an in-game, in-fiction reason.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I mean, it's a fantasy world. Why not?
That's my view. The group is essentially putting the fate of their companion up to the gods - and if it wasn't a halfling it would actually be REALLY risky.

And from my point of view - sure it's a bit of a ridiculous rules exploit - but at least the players are engaged enough to try it. Hopefully it would teach them to be better prepared next time.
 

Just out of curiosity, if your players said their characters were trying this procedure, would you:

1. Just flat-out say, "No, your characters are not doing that."

2. Say, "Your characters can do that only if you the players can give me an in-game, in-fiction reason your characters would do it - and only if I judge that reason to be acceptable to me."

3. Actively help them come up with an in-game, in-fiction reason.
this is a super hard qustion... but if @Umbran has the buy in of his players... they just would NOT do it
 

It would certainly change the parameters around what their viable options might be.

For example, if it's an escape scenario and they're all dead if they don't get out within the allotted time that's quite different than if going overtime causes them to merely lose out on a small monetary reward.
yeah this goes back to what I said about "fun at table"

we have a scenero where there is a timer... and someone got knocked out by a bad crit.... and we don't have healing, so this crazy metagame answer sounds to me like the players are REALLY saying
We want to keep playing" not "This is the best and reasonable idea"

part of me thinks I would maybe suggest they search the room... then find there are two healing potions hidden there
 

MarkB

Legend
I'd allow it, flavoured as trying to violently shake the character awake, but would rule that this is an extremely stressful process. For every, say, five failed death saves before regaining consciousness, the character gains one level of exhaustion.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Characters can be knocked out for hours by blunt force trauma and wake up completely fine with no medical assistance, their bodies just work in mysterious ways.

It'd be cool if the Medicine skill could actually be used to heal, would help with situations like this.
Yeah, why the medicine skill doesn't at least allow you to use HD to heal (after a minute of time at least, so it's not really usable in combat), I think is a tragedy. But, we can't have mundane skills do things better left to magic, I guess...
 

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