D&D 5E Is rolling a death save a valid trigger for contingency?

The reason to do it this way is 0hps is a floor. You never go less than 0 so if I go to 0 and then suffer more damage it is a failed death save, as long as I do not fail 3 before the start of my turn I will be healed and then can immediately take actions.
I was thinking if you had been hit while down (an auto crit) and then failed the next death save, the reaction might occur after your next failed save. Then I looked it up and it is either or, your choice. So you are good there.
The second part is contingency does not state that the character does not need to have the components of the spell. Meaning, do you just get to ignore the verbal and somatic component of cure wounds because you obviously can't do them while unconscious? I guess if you are casting it while casting contingency, then it wouldn't matter.
As reference to the others, it seems perfectly reasonable to have it cast while being knocked unconscious or during a death save. I don't think that part matters because mechanically it doesn't alter the game one way or another.
 

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MarkB

Legend
As reference to the others, it seems perfectly reasonable to have it cast while being knocked unconscious or during a death save. I don't think that part matters because mechanically it doesn't alter the game one way or another.
It actually makes quite a difference. If the contingency triggers on a failed save, it will occur either on your next turn (allowing you to then act immediately) or when you take additional damage (in which case death is even more imminent and you probably need to get healed now).

If it triggers the moment you drop, it happens on the turn of whoever took you down. If they have attacks left, they may be able to drop you again immediately. Even if not, you're now prone and on low HPs with who knows how many enemy turns before you get to act again, leaving you highly vulnerable.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Now a better example would be casting resistance on the Barbarian who just failed his save against Hold Person; the player characters obviously know that saving throws happen and when- as loathed as it is by many, silvery barbs is absolute evidence of this fact.
They know that certain spells can be resisted, anyway. And that certain enchantments can be shaken off with an effort of will. 🤷‍♂️

The second part is contingency does not state that the character does not need to have the components of the spell. Meaning, do you just get to ignore the verbal and somatic component of cure wounds because you obviously can't do them while unconscious? I guess if you are casting it while casting contingency, then it wouldn't matter.
The components come in when you make the spell contingent (similar to how they do when someone makes a scroll), so that's not an issue.

As reference to the others, it seems perfectly reasonable to have it cast while being knocked unconscious or during a death save. I don't think that part matters because mechanically it doesn't alter the game one way or another.
It actually makes quite a difference. If the contingency triggers on a failed save, it will occur either on your next turn (allowing you to then act immediately) or when you take additional damage (in which case death is even more imminent and you probably need to get healed now).

If it triggers the moment you drop, it happens on the turn of whoever took you down. If they have attacks left, they may be able to drop you again immediately. Even if not, you're now prone and on low HPs with who knows how many enemy turns before you get to act again, leaving you highly vulnerable.
It does make a difference, as you say. Of course, trying to set up your contingency to be delayed, not taking effect immediately on you getting dropped, has the same kind of risks. Or worse. Those enemy turns could just as easily take place before your own next turn that you're trying to wait for, and someone could just finish you off in the interim.

Putting my head into the place of a character in that position, if I'm in the middle of a melee I want as little time down, unconscious and helpless as possible. The plan of "wait to get healed until my own next turn so my opponent doesn't keep attacking me on their turn" seems entirely dependent on an assumption that an enemy won't bother trying to finish you off once they drop you. That seems like a bad assumption, unless it's a metagame one that "my DM doesn't have bad guys hit downed PCs."
 
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MarkB

Legend
Putting my head into the place of a character in that position, if I'm in the middle of a melee I want as little time down, unconscious and helpless as possible. The plan of "wait to get healed until my own next turn so my opponent doesn't keep attacking me on their turn" seems entirely dependent on an assumption that an enemy won't bother trying to finish you off once they drop you. That seems like a bad assumption, unless it's a metagame one that "my DM doesn't have bad guys hit downed PCs."
That's why making it trigger on a failed save is a clever option, if possible. If nobody attacks you after you drop, you wake up on your turn. If they do attack you, that has the effect of making you fail a save, which triggers your contingency immediately, and you wake up right then, after having absorbed that attack essentially for free.
 

It actually makes quite a difference. If the contingency triggers on a failed save, it will occur either on your next turn (allowing you to then act immediately) or when you take additional damage (in which case death is even more imminent and you probably need to get healed now).

If it triggers the moment you drop, it happens on the turn of whoever took you down. If they have attacks left, they may be able to drop you again immediately. Even if not, you're now prone and on low HPs with who knows how many enemy turns before you get to act again, leaving you highly vulnerable.
Oh yeah, I understand the small mechanical difference. I just meant in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't seem like either way will be "breaking the game" so to speak.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
That's why making it trigger on a failed save is a clever option, if possible. If nobody attacks you after you drop, you wake up on your turn. If they do attack you, that has the effect of making you fail a save, which triggers your contingency immediately, and you wake up right then, after having absorbed that attack essentially for free.
Yes. For me this seems to be hinging an IN-character decision on OUT-of-character knowledge of a mechanical system that represents something the character could not be aware of.

The idea that you can be hit with a weapon while unconscious and dying "for free", with no risk, is a corner case of a mechanical subsystem totally at odds with how injury works or how the character would be able to conceive of it.
 

ECMO3

Hero
The plan of "wait to get healed until my own next turn so my opponent doesn't keep attacking me on their turn" seems entirely dependent on an assumption that an enemy won't bother trying to finish you off once they drop you. That seems like a bad assumption, unless it's a metagame one that "my DM doesn't have bad guys hit downed PCs."

This is true and what I am considering is probably metagaming as I know the DMs playing style and he does not generally attacked downed characters. They occasionally get caught in fireball or something and we have had deaths, but enemies move on once a PC goes down.

Now when I DM on the other hand it is the opposite. If a PC goes down when I am DM, intelligence enemies will concentrate on that PC and even run from the other side of the battlefield and take AOOs to make sure he is permanently out of commission before healing word comes out.
 

Through another discussion, and in insanely poorly worded sentence (which should be two) in the PHB, it appears your trigger would happen after a death save. So if you were hit while down, and then failed your death save, your trigger would never happen. Just another variable to throw in that equation.
 

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