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Death and 0 Max HP

Hriston

Explorer
No it's not. what happens normally is your hit point maximum is unaffected entirely.
That’s what I just said. The hit point maximum reducing effect of the bite is not normal. It reduces your hit point maximum. After that, normal processes resume, and your hit point maximum stays at its new reduced value (until you finish a long rest).

There is no "normally" when talking about maximum hit points being reduced. Something reduced them, and something is keeping them reduced or there would not be continued reduction.
The vampire's bite is what reduced your hit point maximum. The reduction is just what it is, the fact of your hit point maximum being less than it was before you were bitten. That's what continues to be the case until some hit point maximum restoring effect undoes the effect of the vampire's bite. The reduction caused by the vampire's bite has the special property that it can be undone by finishing a long rest. Your hit point maximum staying reduced until an effect undoes the reduction is perfectly normal. Normally, your hit point maximum doesn't change from whatever it is unless you gain a level or increase your CON modifier.

Why is max hit points reduced in the first place? It's not necrotic damage that does it, because lots of things do necrotic damage and max hit points don't get reduced.
Your hit point maximum is reduced because that's one of the effects of being bitten by a vampire. The bite does what it says it does.
 

Hriston

Explorer
Nobody on our side is confusing anything. Disagreement with you does not imply confusion. It's just a different, but valid opinion we have about how the attack works.
I didn't mean to imply that you were confused, just that you were conflating the reduction of the target's hit point maximum with the effect that reduces the target's hit point maximum and kills the target if it reduces the target's hit point maximum to 0. Is that not the case?
 

Hriston

Explorer
Your interpretation is equally valid. I just don't agree with you that the hit point maximum is mystically reduced by nothing. All the bite does is necrotic damage and we know that necrotic damage does not reduce maximum hit points. My interpretation that there is some other effect going on that is reducing maximum hit points, and since necrotic damage doesn't kill at 0 max hit points, is also responsible for the death, is just as reasonable.
I never said that the target's hit point maximum is reduced by nothing. The target's hit point maximum is reduced as one of the effects of the vampire's bite. I agree with you that this effect is separate from the bite's necrotic damage, which is why I laid out the various effects of the bite up-thread. It's good enough for me, however, to simply say that all of these effects are caused by the bite without positing any mystical intermediary phenomena. We're talking about a vampire after all!
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I never said that the target's hit point maximum is reduced by nothing. The target's hit point maximum is reduced as one of the effects of the vampire's bite. I agree with you that this effect is separate from the bite's necrotic damage, which is why I laid out the various effects of the bite up-thread. It's good enough for me, however, to simply say that all of these effects are caused by the bite without positing any mystical intermediary phenomena. We're talking about a vampire after all!
We know for a fact, though, that there is an ongoing effect on the body that extends after both the last bite and death. Otherwise there wouldn't be anything to trigger the rising within a day if buried. We feel that the ongoing effect would also kill again, you don't. Both of our interpretations are valid.
 

Hriston

Explorer
We know for a fact, though, that there is an ongoing effect on the body that extends after both the last bite and death. Otherwise there wouldn't be anything to trigger the rising within a day if buried. We feel that the ongoing effect would also kill again, you don't. Both of our interpretations are valid.
This is the conflation I was talking about. Not only is the target rising as a vampire spawn a tertiary effect of the vampire's bite, but it's also an effect of the target being a humanoid and being buried in the ground. Why would that effect kill you when that's not what it says it does?

The killing effect follows immediately upon the target's hit point maximum being reduced to 0, which follows immediately upon a hit because that's what the bite says it does.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
This is the conflation I was talking about. Not only is the target rising as a vampire spawn a tertiary effect of the vampire's bite, but it's also an effect of the target being a humanoid and being buried in the ground. Why would that effect kill you when that's not what it says it does?

The killing effect follows immediately upon the target's hit point maximum being reduced to 0, which follows immediately upon a hit because that's what the bite says it does.
Except it isn't conflation. It's interpretation. You view the effect as tertiary. I don't. I see it as part of the same effect that kills the victim. Both views are valid views. At this point that's the main contention. We see both interpretations as valid. Your side seems to view your interpretation as the one true way.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
The problem with that picture is that the rules don't mention vampire attack draining blood, so that's an assumption on our part apparently. :p
How can you tell it is draining the blood? Maybe the blood is just flowing from the wound, as blood does when the target is bitten. I guess that is your interpretation. I hope it is valid! ;) j/k
 

jaelis

Explorer
So here’s an actual argument to consider. There are many effects that reduce your max hp. As far as I recall, all of them say you die if it is reduced to zero. You could reasonably generalize from that that you always die if your max hp is zero.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
So here’s an actual argument to consider. There are many effects that reduce your max hp. As far as I recall, all of them say you die if it is reduced to zero. You could reasonably generalize from that that you always die if your max hp is zero.
Fine, I'll bite. Like what? How are they reduced? How are they recovered?

If, like the vampire, they are also only recovered via a long rest (or powerful magic), which I suspect they are, then YES, the same argument applies and our interpretation would be the same.

(The dead horse vampire is rising from its grave! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!!)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Fine, I'll bite. Like what? How are they reduced? How are they recovered?

If, like the vampire, they are also only recovered via a long rest (or powerful magic), which I suspect they are, then YES, the same argument applies and our interpretation would be the same.

(The dead horse vampire is rising from its grave! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!!)

Not sure what you are biting on. That post agreed with us. :p
 

Hriston

Explorer
Except it isn't conflation. It's interpretation. You view the effect as tertiary. I don't. I see it as part of the same effect that kills the victim.
That’s conflation. You’re combining multiple effects into one. The target dies is one effect. The target rises as a vampire spawn is another effect. They each have their own separate conditions.

The reason “the target rises as a vampire spawn” is a tertiary effect of the bite is that the bite has three primary effects:
1. The target takes piercing and necrotic damage.
2. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by the amount of the necrotic damage (restores on a long rest).
3. The vampire regains a number of hit points equal to the reduction.
Effect 2 gives rise to a secondary effect: the target dies if effect 2 reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
Which further gives rise to a tertiary effect: the target rises the night following burial as a vampire spawn under the vampire’s control if (a) the target is a humanoid, (b) the target is slain by the secondary effect of effect 2, and (c) the target is then buried in the ground.

Also, I think it’s worth repeating that the duration stated for the reduction of the target’s hit point maximum caused by effect 2 (until the target finishes a long rest) applies only to the numerical reduction of the target's hit point maximum itself and not to effect 2 in general or its secondary and tertiary effects. By conflating all of these, particularly the stated duration of the reduction and the secondary effect, you get the odd result that the target remains dead as long as its hit point maximum is 0, when that isn't a stated effect of the bite.

Both views are valid views. At this point that's the main contention. We see both interpretations as valid. Your side seems to view your interpretation as the one true way.
I can get to something like your interpretation by regarding the duration of the "reduction" (until the target finishes a long rest) as applying to not only the action of the hit point maximum being made less, but also everything that follows from that action (i.e. death if hp max is reduced to 0, etc.), but I would also need to make what I feel are some grammatical errors to get there. I think there's been a reluctance on the part of the defenders of your interpretation in this thread to discuss what those errors are.

My goal isn't to invalidate your interpretation. You're welcome to it. IMO, it relies too much on extratextual beliefs about what's going on in the fiction, but that's really just a matter of taste.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I can get to something like your interpretation by regarding the duration of the "reduction" (until the target finishes a long rest) as applying to not only the action of the hit point maximum being made less, but also everything that follows from that action (i.e. death if hp max is reduced to 0, etc.), but I would also need to make what I feel are some grammatical errors to get there. I think there's been a reluctance on the part of the defenders of your interpretation in this thread to discuss what those errors are.

My goal isn't to invalidate your interpretation. You're welcome to it. IMO, it relies too much on extratextual beliefs about what's going on in the fiction, but that's really just a matter of taste.
I would just add that with any interpretation of the rules, I try to keep my interpretation to the simplest option and what's going to work for the game.


So in this case we know one way of dying in the game. There are several, all stated pretty much as "when X happens you die". My interpretation of the rule is "if you go from max HP of 1 or more to 0 you die". Once you're at 0, you can't be reduced further.

This is a special case because we also have max HP drain, but there's no rule that specifically states "you can't be raised from the dead if you have 0 max HP".* In addition, we know people can be alive with 0 hp.

But the reason I'm bothering to post is to explain how I look at the "how does this work in game" aspect. If you follow the rules strictly you can't raise your max HP above zero if you're dead. You can't long rest, you can't cast greater restoration on a corpse.

Without another house rule (greater restoration simultaneously with raise dead) even true res wouldn't work. It's perma-death. Pretty harsh since wights also have a similar attack and are only a CR 3. Since we're pretty much making up the rule on how to handle this, I think the easiest solution is best: you can be raised from the dead even if you can only have 0 HP. After a raise dead you're alive but unconscious and need a greater restoration or similar. No jumping through hoops, no special ceremonies required. Treat it like any other death and reduced max hp scenario.


*Unless you use circular logic to say that this particular effect means you can't be raised so that's the rule that it doesn't work.
 
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Hriston

Explorer
I think the easiest solution is best: you can be raised from the dead even if you can only have 0 HP. After a raise dead you're alive but unconscious and need a greater restoration or similar.
Like I said up-thread, revivify should have brought the PC back to life with 0 hit points. I mean, 300 gp of diamonds isn't chump change!
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Like I said up-thread, revivify should have brought the PC back to life with 0 hit points. I mean, 300 gp of diamonds isn't chump change!
Are you kidding? 300 gp is nothing at all...

As it is, Revivify is WAY TOO POWERFUL! Basically, once you reach 5th-level or have access to a 5th-level cleric or such, character simply won't die (and stay dead) unless the DM is a prick. Without the risk of death, the game is pretty boring IMO. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised with the state of things...

Gone are the days of the Resurrection Survival Check... Gone are the days of Insta-death around every corner... No wonder so many people are returning to older systems and other games. While 5E has a lot of great things going for it, character mortality is hardly one of them. Personally, I'm glad our DM ruled Revivify didn't work, it actually added some horror and despair to the game. Now, we have to race to find a way to save our fallen comrade and hope we can find a cleric powerful enough and have enough money to pay for it, or our DM will likely require a quest for the service.

And while I agree with Oofta that the easiest solution is best: saying Revivify simple isn't powerful enough is a pretty simple and easy solution IMO. You can't be raised if your max hp is 0. Nice and terrifying! I LOVE IT! MWAHAHAHAHA!:)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And while I agree with Oofta that the easiest solution is best: saying Revivify simple isn't powerful enough is a pretty simple and easy solution IMO. You can't be raised if your max hp is 0. Nice and terrifying! I LOVE IT! MWAHAHAHAHA!:)
I don't think the easiest solution as the best. I think the solution that makes the most sense is the best.
 

Hriston

Explorer
Are you kidding? 300 gp is nothing at all...
300 gp is six pounds of gold, worth over $137,000 US by today’s prices. I wouldn’t exactly call that chump change, although it does seem like a bargain for bringing back a fallen comrade.

I actually think your party may have had more interesting logistical issues to deal with if your companion had been brought back with a 0 hit point maximum than you did having to transport her corpse. Keeping the copper pieces on her eyes sounds like a bit of a challenge, but if she were alive, you’d have to be careful about causing any damage, or she’d die instantly, but I guess at that point you could just cast revivify again, so I kind of see what you mean.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You know what has always bugged me about 300gp worth of diamonds, or 10,000gp worth of diamond dust? What happens if you walk into a country that has a diamond mine and diamonds are worth 20% less there? Does the fact that your 300gp worth of diamonds just dropped to 240gp worth of diamonds keep you from casting the spell? And since diamonds are commonly used for spells and are generally consumed forever, diamonds should be fairly rare and hard to come by after thousands of years of consumption, so fewer and fewer of them will be needed to hit the 300gp mark as time goes by.

It seems to me that it should be a weight of diamonds, like say 10 carats or something.
 

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