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Death and 0 Max HP

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don’t think anyone has answered @jaelis’s question about regaining spent spell slots when taking a long rest with 0 hit points. I’d be interested to know what your answers would be.

If finishing a long rest and gaining its benefits are not the same thing, then I’m sure you’d both have no problem with my wizard taking multiple 8-hour naps throughout the day and getting all his spent spell slots back.
Everything you regain after a long rest is a benefit of that long rest. The reason you don't see things like spells, vampire bite recovery, etc. listed in the long rest section is that they are specific benefits, not general ones, and get added to the general rule if they apply to you. Spellcasting is mentioned in the general resting section above long and short rest, though.

"Heroic though they might be, adventurers can’t spend every hour of the day in the thick o f exploration, social interaction, and combat. They need rest—time to sleep and eat, tend their wounds, refresh their minds and spirits for spellcasting, and brace themselves for further adventure.

Adventurers can take short rests in the midst of an adventuring day and a long rest to end the day."
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
My 2¢: revivify should have brought the character back to life with 0 hit points. The 1 hit point of healing would have been lost, and the character’s hit point maximum would still be 0. After that, greater restoration would end the reduction caused by the vampire’s bite, allowing the character to heal.
We would have been in the same situation really then since we can't cast Greater Restoration, either. If he had ruled it this way, he told me he would have had the character remain in a coma until we got a Greater Restoration and maybe required a death save daily, allowing her to recover naturally or die again. (Which is kind of pointless since we can just cast Revivify again...)

I have a new RAW interpretation I believe holds up. Unfortunately it does not agree with your DM's ruling so far.

1. Just having 0 HPs means the character starts making death saves. There are a few circumstances where it could also mean death - disintegrate, took massive damage, etc. But those are exceptions - 0 HP is not death. Three failed death saves or another killing effect is death.

2. The Vampire's Bite has a special effect triggered when if the bite brings you to 0 HPs, it kills you immediately. This is worded as a trigger, not an ongoing effect. So that can kill a character, but not re-kill one.

3. Revivify should therefore work as it says. Unfortunately, it will return the character to their maximum of 0 HPs so they will immediately start making death saves. They can't be healed up to 1 HP (the classic way to stabilize), but there are many methods to make someone stable at 0 HPs such as the Spare the Dying cantrip or a Wisdom (Medicine) check.

4. At that point a long rest (specific to vampire bite) or a greater restoration (per source of HP max reduction) will return the to positive HPs. Perhaps more ways depending on how the rest were drained.

This avoids all of the issues we've had back and forth, following the rules.
While that's certainly a valid interpretation, but our DM's is also RAW.

And you die if you have 0 hit points due to the vampire bite. Clearly the long rest portion of the bite section wasn't intended for PCs who are at 0 max hit points, but for those who are drained and remain alive. You are in a grey area, so you really can't treat it as normal with regards to resting. You can certainly rule it that way for your table, but those who are viewing it as a benefit are just as right as you are.
Yep, but that is why I started the thread. I can see several ways it could all be interpreted. I like the idea that a creature such as a Wraith or Vampire has the ability to effectively stop a spell such as Revivify from working due to the necrotic damage. Of course, I think Revivify is much too powerful anyway and it makes character death nearly inconsequential, but that is for another thread. :)
 

Hriston

Explorer
Everything you regain after a long rest is a benefit of that long rest. The reason you don't see things like spells, vampire bite recovery, etc. listed in the long rest section is that they are specific benefits, not general ones, and get added to the general rule if they apply to you. Spellcasting is mentioned in the general resting section above long and short rest, though.

"Heroic though they might be, adventurers can’t spend every hour of the day in the thick o f exploration, social interaction, and combat. They need rest—time to sleep and eat, tend their wounds, refresh their minds and spirits for spellcasting, and brace themselves for further adventure.

Adventurers can take short rests in the midst of an adventuring day and a long rest to end the day."
I agree, but the rules for recovering spent spell slots reference finishing a long rest, just like the vampire’s bite.
 

Hriston

Explorer
We would have been in the same situation really then since we can't cast Greater Restoration, either. If he had ruled it this way, he told me he would have had the character remain in a coma until we got a Greater Restoration and maybe required a death save daily, allowing her to recover naturally or die again. (Which is kind of pointless since we can just cast Revivify again...)
That’s pretty much how I’d have run it. I left death saves out of my response because stabilizing a dying PC seems trivial enough, if deemed necessary, once revivify was cast. Of course, care would need to be taken to prevent further damage to the PC, or the PC would die again. I’m not sure what you mean by “recover naturally” though, because even if a 20 was rolled on a death save, the PC’s hit points would remain at 0 until greater restoration was cast. Bringing the PC back with revivify just avoids having to use a higher level spell later, and I think it should have worked for that purpose. Once the PC was taken to someone who could cast greater restoration, further healing magic could be used on the PC, or after 1d4 hours 1 hit point would be regained naturally, and a long rest could commence.
 
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dnd4vr

Explorer
That’s pretty much how I’d have run it. I left death saves out of my response because stabilizing a dying PC seems trivial enough, if deemed necessary, once revivify was cast. Of course, care would need to be taken to prevent further damage to the PC, or the PC would die again. I’m not sure what you mean by “recover naturally” though, because even if a 20 was rolled on a death save, the PC’s hit points would remain at 0 until greater restoration was cast. Bringing the PC back with revivify just avoids having to use a higher level spell later, and I think it should have worked for that purpose.
He was thinking that while she would be in a coma, she would be getting a long rest maybe? I don't know I'd have to ask him.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
My contention is that you can’t finish a long rest unless you had at least 1 hit point when you started it.
Here's the exact wording. Taken from the SRD, though it matches the PHB:

A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps or performs light activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours. If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity—at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity—the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.

At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character’s total number of them (minimum of one die). For example, if a character has eight Hit Dice, he or she can regain four spent Hit Dice upon finishing a long rest.

A character can’t benefit from more than one long rest in a 24-hour period, and a character must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits.
If you note, first there is what you need to do to take a long rest. It talks about times, limits of light and strenouous activity.

Second paragraph is a list of general benefits that apply to all characters.

Third paragraph are exceptions that you can't benefit from more than one long rest per 24-hour period and must have at least 1 HP. Not that you can't long rest, just that when you do you don't gain the benefits in those situations.

So it's pretty clear you can long rest, just that you don't gain the benefits.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
And you die if you have 0 hit points due to the vampire bite.
Incorrect. You die if a vampire bite reduces your max HPs to 0. There is no ongoing effect.

Clearly the long rest portion of the bite section wasn't intended for PCs who are at 0 max hit points, but for those who are drained and remain alive.
There is nothing in the description of the vampire's bite to distinguish between someone who remained alive, and someone who was brought back.

As a matter of fact, we have pretty strong circumstantial evidence that this works just fine if you are brought back. Consider the case you didn't address - where a character is drained by a vampire, killed due to normal HP loss and three failed death saves, and then revivified. I think everyone expects that to work. There's nothing in the description of the vampire's bite to support your claim that the long rest portion only applies to characters who remained alive.
 

jaelis

Explorer
Yes it is the condition. You are trying to make two things into one, and that doesn't work. The vehicle for the death is a separate item. Being bitten doesn't cause death. It's just the vehicle for the necrotic damage. The one and only condition for death is to have your hit point maximum hit 0 due to the necrotic damage. Look at it like this. If I inject you with a deadly poison, the needle didn't kill you. The poison is what killed you. If you then come back due to an electric paddle or CPR, you will die again due to the poison, despite no needle being present at all.

That's what is happening with the vampire bite and the death effect. If someone is raised, they still have a 0 hit point maximum due to the necrotic damage and die again. There's no need for the bite to be a part of it as it's irrelevant except as a vehicle for the deadly attack.
It looks to me like you are basing your reading of the rule based on how you picture the vampire bite working, rather than vice versa. Which is totally fine, but not really grounds for a useful debate.
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
Well to be fair, a vampire is a CR 13 monster. It's not absurd to decide that it takes more than a 5th level spell to counter a vampire's effects.

Not that I object to your solution, just that I wouldn't say it was a no-brainer. Allowing wish to work is a no-brainer.
To be fair, I didn't say it was a "no-brainer" I said "to me, the most obvious solution is". If someone wanted to be slightly more restrictive, the raise dead spell could restore the person with 1 hp and a maximum hp of 1. They would then have to take a long rest before healing.

However, this already seems to be a lot of hoops to make players jump through to get a character raised. And while the vampire is CR13, as I pointed out, a Raise Dead spell in this case requires the consent of 3 parties: the target, the caster, and the caster's deity - who I am assuming is 1 or 2 CRs above a vampire, ;).

In this case, the party also has to jump through hoops just to get the body to a cleric of sufficient level to cast the spell. I would assume that further hoops will be required as said cleric probably won't cast the spell(s) for free and will probably require a quest of some sort to be resolved. Though this is 5e and players probably don't have anything better to do with their money than pay for clerical healing anyway. :)
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
I think I agree with you here, but boy that is a pretty contrived example.
Agreed, it's contrived. When I started writing it one of my goals was trying to show that people still considered a long rest to occur at 0 HPs if a detriment happened. There are still people disagreeing that the long rest happens in the first place. From there is became a great way to kill too birds with one stone by including both a benefit and a detriment.

In contrast, I think that regaining spell slots, eliminating levels of exhaustion, making saving throws against a disease and ending effects that are reducing your max hp are all straightforwardly benefits of resting.

So do you think you recover spell slots if you take a long rest while at 0 hp?
This is an strong point, because I have a point that I don't see supported in the rules so may be wrong.

My inclination is to break up into two groups "what happens because of a long rest" and "what happens after a long rest". So I would say that you would not regain spell slots after a long rest started at 0 - that happens because of the rest. But that, for example, a wizard that started a long rest at 0 (but ended positive due to whatever reason) could spend the 1 minute per spell level to change their prepared spells after a long rest because a long rest occurred.

But you are right - both use the same verbiage of "when you finish a long rest". And I agree with you that a caster can't regain spell slots when they aren't getting the benefit of a long rest (such as several in a day).

That's a telling argument and I'm now on the verge of thinking that the rules don't support the distinction I was making so I would be wrong.

Good job, making me examine these other points to see that the verbiage was different than in the Long Rest section.

What do you think about a wizard changing prepared spells after a long rest that started at 0. I admit if you just say "can't happen" then I've switched to your side of the argument. But you debate honestly so I think if you do see it as different you'd say so.
 

Hriston

Explorer
He was thinking that while she would be in a coma, she would be getting a long rest maybe? I don't know I'd have to ask him.
Sorry for my cross-editing. As I’ve posted up-thread, I don’t think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you can’t sleep/trance while unconscious.
 

jaelis

Explorer
What do you think about a wizard changing prepared spells after a long rest that started at 0. I admit if you just say "can't happen" then I've switched to your side of the argument. But you debate honestly so I think if you do see it as different you'd say so.
Based on how I read the rules, I would indeed say that you can't prepare spells after a long rest that you haven't benefited from. In an actual game, I would let someone do it, but that is sort of a separate question.

I agree it is good question. And at some level I agree with the distinction you are making, such as in your contrived example. I just think we really have to read "benefit" broadly here, otherwise there are all kinds of things that fall apart. IE, if an effect could reasonably be considered a benefit of a long rest, I think we are obliged to treat it as a benefit of a long rest. (Otherwise how do we decide the spell slot question?)
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
Sorry for my cross-editing. As I’ve posted up-thread, I don’t think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you can’t sleep/trance while unconscious.
A person can always take a long rest (1 / 24 hours). However, to gain the benefits enumerated, one must have 1 hp. There is nothing preventing taking a long rest at 0 hp.

Also, you don't seem to understand how trance (i.e., elves) works in game and how unconsciousness works IRL. People don't just stop healing because they are unconscious.
 

jaelis

Explorer
Sorry for my cross-editing. As I’ve posted up-thread, I don’t think a long rest is possible at 0 hit points, the most readily available (to me) in-fiction reason being that you can’t sleep/trance while unconscious.
So correct me if I'm wrong, but I would have said that you are unconscious while you sleep? Not that you are necessarily sleeping while unconscious, but you seem to be making the distinction here differently than I would.
 

WaterRabbit

Villager
I don’t think anyone has answered [MENTION=60210]jaelis[/MENTION]’s question about regaining spent spell slots when taking a long rest with 0 hit points. I’d be interested to know what your answers would be.

If finishing a long rest and gaining its benefits are not the same thing, then I’m sure you’d both have no problem with my wizard taking multiple 8-hour naps throughout the day and getting all his spent spell slots back.
Well the rule does limit you to one long rest per 24-hour period. Even if it didn't, you wouldn't be much use as a wizard if you took three 8 hour naps as you will have slept all day. So at most you could take two and still cast spells. But since you are a wizard, arcane recovery seems to be just as good. Next you will be suggesting that your coffee lock should be able to take 24 short rests per day. ;)
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
As a matter of fact, we have pretty strong circumstantial evidence that this works just fine if you are brought back. Consider the case you didn't address - where a character is drained by a vampire, killed due to normal HP loss and three failed death saves, and then revivified. I think everyone expects that to work. There's nothing in the description of the vampire's bite to support your claim that the long rest portion only applies to characters who remained alive.
Of course it would work in that case because the necrotic damage delivered by the bite attack doesn't reduce the target to max 0 hp. When the character is revivified with 1 hp, their maximum hp was also 1 point or greater when they failed their death saves. The character takes a long rest, and max hp is restored. So, no problem there. I am not sure why you brought it up, actually, unless I missed part of your discussion with Maxperson.

To be clear, the "bite" does piercing damage and maybe people are using it as synonymous with the necrotic damage that lingers and has killed a target reduced to max 0 hp. The same is true of a Wraith attack and if it reduces a target to max 0 hp. While you might believe the death end the effect of the necrotic damage, others feel it remains until removed via powerful magic or a long rest, which as has been covered, a corpse can't take.

Anyway, this could go round-and-round, back-and-forth, for years with no clear answer. RAW interpretations will differ, which is fine of course, but no one is going to win this debate. :)
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Based on how I read the rules, I would indeed say that you can't prepare spells after a long rest that you haven't benefited from. In an actual game, I would let someone do it, but that is sort of a separate question.

I agree it is good question. And at some level I agree with the distinction you are making, such as in your contrived example. I just think we really have to read "benefit" broadly here, otherwise there are all kinds of things that fall apart. IE, if an effect could reasonably be considered a benefit of a long rest, I think we are obliged to treat it as a benefit of a long rest. (Otherwise how do we decide the spell slot question?)
Okay, you convinced me. So after the revivify it would take a Greater Restoration or similar effect to bring back their max HPs.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Anyway, this could go round-and-round, back-and-forth, for years with no clear answer. RAW interpretations will differ, which is fine of course, but no one is going to win this debate. :)
Actually, [MENTION=60210]jaelis[/MENTION] just won it for the "long rest at 0 won't make it come back" side. :)

I had the concept of "what happens because of a long rest" and "what happens after a long rest occurs", which is supported reading the Long Rest section of the PHB and the Vampire's bite entry. But he called on me to look at other things that come back after a long rest, and the verbiage of them differed from the Long Rest section and matched the Vampire's bite section.

So I was wrong. It would take a Greater Restoration or similar after the Revivify.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Actually, @jaelis just won it for the "long rest at 0 won't make it come back" side. :)

I had the concept of "what happens because of a long rest" and "what happens after a long rest occurs", which is supported reading the Long Rest section of the PHB and the Vampire's bite entry. But he called on me to look at other things that come back after a long rest, and the verbiage of them differed from the Long Rest section and matched the Vampire's bite section.

So I was wrong. It would take a Greater Restoration or similar after the Revivify.
Well, I guess I never realized that was your issue. IMO it has been long established that Greater Restoration would be needed in some capacity and why our party needs a Cleric high enough level for that. With Gentle Repose also working, our DM would allow Revivify to work as well once Greater Restoration is in play. Of course, we are going with Raise Dead if we can at that point because our house-rule for Revivify is risky.
 

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