OneDnD Gain 1 exhaustion when dropping to 0hp?

Gain 1 exhaustion when dropping to 0hp?

  • Yes, make 0hp scary again.

    Votes: 49 72.1%
  • No, one more annoying thing to keep track of.

    Votes: 10 14.7%
  • Something else

    Votes: 9 13.2%

mellored

Adventurer
Proposed rule change: When a character is dropped to 0hp. They gain 1 exhaustion (the new version, -1 to all rolls, recover 1 per long rest).

Possibly add +Con to death saves, extra exhaustion when hit while down, turn the numbers higher for a deadly campaign, let fighters recover faster, add potions of recovery, or other tweaks.

I've been running this as a house rule, IMO, it fixes the biggest issue of 5e. Now dropping to 0 is something to avoid. Especially doing it repeatedly and bouncing back up with healing word. Get beat up too bad on the way to the boss and you may even have to retreat for a few days.

What's your opinion?
 
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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Proposed rule change: When a character is dropped to 0hp. They gain 1 exhaustion (the new version, -1 to all rolls, recover 1 per long rest).

Possibly add +Con to death saves too.

I've been running this as a house rule, IMO, it fixes the biggest issue of 5e. Now dropping to 0 is something to avoid. Especially doing it repeatedly and bouncing back up with healing word. Get beat up too bad on the way to the boss and you may even have to retreat for a few days.

What's your opinion?
Levelup uses something like this with fatigue & exhaustion but after using it for nearly a year it doesn't really change much because it's only one point. The old death at negative 10 worked because taking a 10 point hit at 1 hp put a player at -9 just like taking a 20 point hit at 10hp did. It wasn't a thing a player could expect to do several times before there was real risk. By expanding the window of safety to such an extreme degree with any amount shy of death by massive damage & similar* only being 1 point it goes from dancing a frightening razor's edge to something

* Yea if you get to negative total HP before any player can heal even a single point it would be deadly... That's just not an immediate threat unless the GM starts looking like they are channeling the adversarial killer gm feeling vibes. The GM can execute a PC at any time, that doesn't feel dangerous thoug.h Looking at your Current HP & knowing that it's only slightly more (or less) than the average attack from an opponent making it well under the likely damage for a crit is what was scary about death at neg10.
 

mellored

Adventurer
The GM can execute a PC at any time, that doesn't feel dangerous though.
Maybe gain an exhaustion each time you're hit at 0 (2 for crits?)
that allows the DM to attack downed players more freely?
1 for each failed death save?

And we can kinda keep the die at -10 thing going.
 


Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Yeah, I'll be going with 1 Exhaustion (1D&D) at 0 hp, since its way less punitive than the prior version. Also, a character dropping to 0 hp will lose Inspiration.

BUT...

I think I will remove Death Saves, having instead a Dead to Right action where a creature can take an action to finish off an unconscious creature. It gives me some narrative control over the death of my player's characters, avoiding the anti-climatic low level death from a rabbit's crit.

A character at 0 hp regain 1 hp after 1d6 x 10 minutes. The countdown doest not start until there's no hostile creature around and the character is not suffering from another condition. A medicine check can halve the recovery time and allow the character to spend a number of HD up to their PB when they wake up.
 

the Jester

Legend
No thanks. I'm not a fan of the new exhaustion rules- they're too soft- while at the same time I'm not a fan of adding a death spiral to the game. I learned that I disliked that from World of Darkness back in the day.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Maybe gain an exhaustion each time you're hit at 0 (2 for crits?)
that allows the DM to attack downed players more freely?
1 for each failed death save?

And we can kinda keep the die at -10 thing going.
I don't have any problems attacking downed players, it just doesn't accomplish anything unless I attack them enough times to cripple the PC. If I do that it has the negative impact of the group pulling back to rest off Bob's N points of fatigue (7=death) & refusing to go further until it's cleared. Worse is that at no point has anyone felt like Bob was dancing on a razor's edge or consider taking steps to avoid the razor's edge like death at zero/negative10 caused.

Back when players died at zero/neg10 simply being low on health was enough to cause players to act different & take steps that mitigate risk like the low HP player drawing back & some other PC taking steps to protect them. That shift was a positive thing in exploration & combat but is missing under this proposal

Edit: The fact that negative hp needed to be healed so getting a 10 point heal while at -9/xx would only being at 1/xx & still in critical danger was a significant factor in the risk. That's not represented either if the loss is capped at 1 per attack.
 

mellored

Adventurer
No thanks. I'm not a fan of the new exhaustion rules- they're too soft-
You can always increase the levels faster if you want it to be harder.
while at the same time I'm not a fan of adding a death spiral to the game. I learned that I disliked that from World of Darkness back in the day.
How easy was it to recover from the death spiral in WoD?

Because now it just takes a few days rest. And there will probably be features to speed it up, like the new ranger does 1/short rest, or adding it to Lesser restoration, or some other feat.
 

mellored

Adventurer
I don't have any problems attacking downed players, it just doesn't accomplish anything unless I attack them enough times to cripple the PC. If I do that it has the negative impact of the group pulling back to rest off Bob's N points of fatigue (7=death) & refusing to go further until it's cleared.
Then they best not let Bob keep dropping then.
Worse is that at no point has anyone felt like Bob was dancing on a razor's edge or consider taking steps to avoid the razor's edge like death at zero/negative10 caused.
My only experience with -10 was rolling initiative, rolling a save, and dying. There was no dancing, no chances, just death. And I never played 3.5 again.
Back when players died at zero/neg10 simply being low on health was enough to cause players to act different & take steps that mitigate risk like the low HP player drawing back & some other PC taking steps to protect them. That shift was a positive thing in exploration & combat but is missing under this proposal
Don't see why it's missing.
You currently don't care if someone drops as long as you have healing word on standby. With my suggestion you act differently when someone is near 0.
That's not represented either if the loss is capped at 1 per attack.
Multi-attack is common.
But 2 per attack could also work.
3 would give you that deadly feeling you might be looking for. Claw + claw + bite + 1 from falling = 10.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Then they best not let Bob keep dropping then.

My only experience with -10 was rolling initiative, rolling a save, and dying. There was no dancing, no chances, just death. And I never played 3.5 again.

Don't see why it's missing.
You currently don't care if someone drops as long as you have healing word on standby. With my suggestion you act differently when someone is near 0.

Multi-attack is common.
But 2 per attack could also work.
3 would give you that deadly feeling you might be looking for. Claw + claw + bite + 1 from falling = 10.
That bold bit is the point, deciding where low on HP is & how close to low that you are willing to risk the razor's edge not losing all of your HP. It was almost certain that you were going to die if you ran out of HP unless you got extremely lucky.

Death at negative10 was also an optional rule in one of the 2e books & maybe earlier, it was not just a 3.x thing.
 

mellored

Adventurer
That bold bit is the point, deciding where low on HP is & how close to low that you are willing to risk the razor's edge not losing all of your HP.
I was full HP. Just made my first character.
I litterally only rolled 2 dice ever in 3.5.

Suffice to say, I'm not a fan of that method. If I had been forced to retreat instead. I'm sure I would of played a lot more.
 

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
Then they best not let Bob keep dropping then.

My only experience with -10 was rolling initiative, rolling a save, and dying. There was no dancing, no chances, just death. And I never played 3.5 again.

Don't see why it's missing.
You currently don't care if someone drops as long as you have healing word on standby. With my suggestion you act differently when someone is near 0.

Multi-attack is common.
But 2 per attack could also work.
3 would give you that deadly feeling you might be looking for. Claw + claw + bite + 1 from falling = 10.
I tell you, the more I think about it, the more 2 levels of exhaustion makes sense.

I really hate whack a mole stuff: this puts some teeth in it and even better, makes narrative sense and creates some good situations—-both tactical and story driven.

The warrior is on his feet but is staggering forward as the orcs gain ground.

This is a rare 5e house rule that makes sense to me…very interesting.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
One level of exhaustion for dropping to zero hp.

One level of exhaustion for each failed death save.

One level of exhaustion if you finish a 24-hour period without completing a long rest.

Recover one level of exhaustion when you complete a long rest.

Wearing medium or heavy armor while taking a long rest means you do not recover a level of exhaustion.

Seems about right. Definitely makes things scary again in places.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I was full HP. Just made my first character.
I litterally only rolled 2 dice ever in 3.5.

Suffice to say, I'm not a fan of that method. If I had been forced to retreat instead. I'm sure I would of played a lot more.
Everyone is low hp at level one maybe two even at max. There was a reason why it was common to start at level 3 or 5 when the gm wanted to skip over the kill the monster in the tavern basement as a serious thing but the mechanic continued to matter as levels & HP increased. the death save & massive/neg max hp mechanic in 5e pretty much only works at low levels though.
 

mellored

Adventurer
the death save & massive/neg max hp mechanic in 5e pretty much only works at low levels though.
Using -10 requires players knowing what can deal more than 10 damage.

My way, player knowledge doesn't matter as much. If they get it wrong, or if a new DM makes things too hard and knocks everyone out, then he can just have the monster walk away leaving the party to find a hole to crawl in for a few days before trying again.

It's easier to lose the mission. But harder to lose a character.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Using -10 requires players knowing what can deal more than 10 damage.

My way, player knowledge doesn't matter as much. If they get it wrong, or if a new DM makes things too hard and knocks everyone out, then he can just have the monster walk away leaving the party to find a hole to crawl in for a few days before trying again.

It's easier to lose the mission. But harder to lose a character.
After level 5 or so level appropriate encounters rarely included anything capable of dropping a high hp character and bringing them to negative ten in one hit barring possible extremes like a giant or dragon getting a super high damage crit roll or something. The players would then know because they (or an ally) were hit one or more times & can make some estimations based on that along with how the GM describes the attack. Squishy characters like a wizard were by extension squishy & very strongly incentivized to keep away from anything including trivially low level monsters they seriously needed the group to protect them from because their low hp & low ac did not provide them much of a buffer before they were at serious risk of death. Larger monsters dealt more damage with their attacks & casters cast unpredictable spells selections making them dangerous.
 


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