D&D 5E Slowed instead of Unconscious at 0 HP House Rule - Play Report

Stalker0

Legend
I actually think the 1 minute duration for your slow is the best part of your houserule.

It fixes a lot of people's concerns about no impact at 0 hp. You have ensured that going to 0 hp has a lasting legacy for the fight, even if the person is healed. However, the impact is not as long lasting as the common exhaustion variant people like. I feel like your houserule is more in line with standard dnd while still fixing some of the issues with 0 hp and death saves.

I think pulling back from that removes some of the teeth. Going to 0 hp should be nasty business, and I think your rule mirrors that very well. I might actually try it in my next game.
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Thinking about making a slight change to the rule, by giving PCs a chance to save from the Slow effect at the end of their turns. Goal is to slightly lessen the impact of this rule on front line fighters. Debating on where between 15 and 20 I want to set the DC at...
  • When a character regains HP, the period of Slow continues for 1 minute, or until a spell such as Lesser Restoration is cast to end the effect. Characters also can make a DC15 Con Save at the end of each of their turns to end this effect early.
or to simplify even more
  • When a character regains HP, players make a DC19 Con save at the end of each of their turns to end the Slow effect. A spell such as Lesser Restoration can also end the effect.
Fighter, Barbarian, and Sorcerers are the only ones proficient in CON saves. For characters like the Monks and melee Rogues, who aren't proficient and also rely on their mobility for mitigating attacks, those DCs are very uncommon to make. Melee Rangers and Paladins also aren't proficient, but they don't need their mobility quite as much.

If you want to reduce it, maybe it lasts 2 turns past your last failed death save. Then you aren't introducing proficient in CON or not as a big modifier for frontliners, and it doesn't even need another roll.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
@Stalker0 @Blue My thought was that with a DC19 a character with a 10 Con would take on average 10 rounds (1 minute) to make the save, while at best a Barbarian with a 22 Con at level 20 would get out of the slow in just under 2 rounds on average. A monk or a rogue would likely have either a +1 (7.5 rounds) or +2 (5 rounds) to their Con Save, and even someone who dumped con for some reason could still make it in 20 rounds. Though, thinking about it, would probably need to introduce a 1 minute long DC10 Heal check to end the effect as well in case someone rolling for stats got into a situation where the save was impossible.

Still noodling on this. I like the bit of randomness this adds, but the 1 minute rule is much cleaner.
 

A little over a year ago, I start toying with a new 0 HP rule variant ... Last week, we had it come into play for the first time, and everyone agreed that the rule was fun and worked great, so we'll be keeping it.

A friend of mine who is starting up a new campaign is planning to use this variant by ThinkDM: Death Saves Revived

Good to hear how it has played out for you. The next time I start a 5e game I'll use this, with el-remmen's ideas on when unconsciousness occurs. One thing I like about it is that it has a slight mechanical nod towards the mortally wounded informational encounter who dies after he chokes out "it was the six-fingered man!" As well as giving the PCs a chance to do something as they fade beyond just laying there.

Cheers!
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Good to hear how it has played out for you. The next time I start a 5e game I'll use this, with el-remmen's ideas on when unconsciousness occurs. One thing I like about it is that it has a slight mechanical nod towards the mortally wounded informational encounter who dies after he chokes out "it was the six-fingered man!" As well as giving the PCs a chance to do something as they fade beyond just laying there.

Cheers!
Oh yes, I do like @el-remmen 's idea that when you have more fails than successes you drop unconscious. Have to remember to bring that one up with the group before our next session.
 

Quartz

Hero
Debating on where between 15 and 20 I want to set the DC at...
I think it depends upon how fun you want to make the play experience. You want to encourage the front line to be the front line and that means the risk of going to 0 HP. You also want to encourage the second line to do their bit, which includes healing the front line. So I think you want to start with DC 10 and see how it goes. DC 10 means that the fighter, barbarian, and paladin will probably - and at high level almost certainly - make their roll (but they could always roll a 1) whereas for the other classes it's about 50:50.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Had an absolutely nail-biting combat with these rules last weekend, with 3 instances of PCs having 2 failed death saves and either having a 3rd attack miss their AC for a 3rd or rolling a success on their turn. Players are 5th level now (but no-one has Revivify). The combat itself went from the PCs gaining the advantage, to suddenly going into full scramble mode when the tank dropped to 0 HP, to looking for an escape, to sticking it out and getting the win. Everything I wanted out of the rule :)

That said, several players voiced that they would love to have a save to end the Slow when over 0 HP (to at least give the illusion of a chance) so we've decided to make the following tweak. The DC19 for the Con save is based on a 10% Chance (1 Minute) for a character with average Con and no trained save to end it. Will see how that plays out next session.

Dropping to 0 HP
  • When a character drops to 0 HP, they are Slowed, as per the spell, but remain conscious. All other effects of being at 0 HP remain the same (death saves at start of turn, failed death saves for taking damage)
  • When a character regains HP, they may make a DC19 Con Save to end the Slow at the end of their turn, a spell such as Lesser Restoration will also end the effect.
  • When a character is brought back from the dead, the period of Slow lasts until after completing a short or long rest, or until a spell such as Greater Restoration is cast to end the effect.
 

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