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UHR #6: Death's Door

Dying (-1 hit points and below)

When your character's current hit points drop below 0, he's dying. A dying character immediately becomes helpless, unable to take any actions. A dying character loses 1 hit point every round. This continues until the character dies or becomes stable (see below).

A successful Fortitude save (DC 15) allows the character to remain conscious for 1 round (but still helpless). The save is repeated each round until the character slips into unconsciousness.

Critical Condition

A character is considered to be in critical condition when they reach or exceed a negative hit point total equal to -10 minus their Fortitude save modifier (thus, a 10th-level Fighter with a Con of 16 would not reach critical condition until reaching -20 hp). This number is known as your Critical Condition Threshold, or CCT. Once you have reached critical condition, you can no longer stabilize on your own or recover hit points naturally, though you continue to take one point of damage each round until you are stabilized. Instead, each round you must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15 +1 per point you are below your CCT) or die.

A character who has reached or fallen below their CCT cannot naturally recover hit points, and therefore can only be brought back from the brink of death through fast healing, regeneration, magical healing, or through the Heal or Treat Injury skill.

Critical Condition and Life Support
When a character has reached or exceeded his CCT, even if he is stabilized, he is still at high risk of death. Each minute the character is not connected to active life support, he must roll a Fortitude saving throw as if to avoid dying. A failure on this save means the character is no longer stable and begins taking 1 damage each round (along with saving each round vs. death). Connecting the character to active life support increases the interval between saves to remain stable to 1 per hour. A dedicated medic watching over the character may make a Heal or Treat Injury check to assist the dying character on these saves. Use either the save result or the medic’s skill check, whichever is higher. If a stabilized character is dropped below their CCT due to an effect that decreases their Fortitude saving throw modifier (or an effect that increases the modifier ending), they are still stabilized but must make the saves to remain stable every minute or hour depending on whether or not they are connected to active life support.

Stable Characters and Recovery

On the next turn after a character is reduced to below 0 hit points and on all subsequent turns, roll a Constitution check (DC 18, action points cannot be used on this roll) to see whether the dying character becomes stable. If he doesn’t, he loses 1 hit point. (A character who’s unconscious or dying can’t use any special action that changes the initiative count on which his action occurs.)

You can keep a dying character from losing any more hit points and make him stable with a DC 15 Heal or Treat Injury check. This check requires 10 rounds (1 minute). If you have a single assistant, cut this time in half rather than using the Aid Another rules. Up to one additional assistant may use the Aid Another action.

If any sort of healing cures the dying character of even 1 point of damage, he stops losing hit points and becomes stable.

Healing that raises the dying character’s hit points to 0 makes him conscious and disabled. Healing that raises his hit points to 1 or more makes him fully functional again, just as if he’d never been reduced to 0 or lower. A spellcaster retains the spellcasting capability she had before dropping below 0 hit points.

A stable character who has been tended by a healer or who has been magically healed eventually regains consciousness and recovers hit points naturally. If the character has no one to tend him, however, his life is still in danger, and he may yet slip away.

Recovering with Help
One hour after a tended, dying character who has not reached critical condition becomes stable, roll a Constitution check (DC 18, action points cannot be used on this roll). If successful he becomes conscious, at which point he is disabled (as if he had 0 hit points). If he remains unconscious, he has the same chance to revive and become disabled every hour. Even if unconscious, he recovers hit points naturally. He is back to normal when his hit points rise to 1 or higher. Characters who have passed or fallen below their CCT cannot recover hit points this way, and must rely on outside aid to bring them above their CCT so they can heal naturally.

Recovering without Help
A severely wounded character left alone usually dies. He has a small chance, however, of recovering on his own.

A character who becomes stable on his own (by making the Constitution check while dying), who has not reached critical condition, and who has no one to tend to him still loses hit points, just at a slower rate. He rolls a Constitution check (DC 18, action points cannot be used on this roll) each hour; success indicates he regains consciousness. Each time he misses his hourly roll to become conscious, he loses 1 hit point. He also does not recover hit points through natural healing. Characters who have passed or fallen below their CCT cannot recover this way, and must rely on outside aid to bring them above their CCT so they can heal naturally.

Even once he becomes conscious and is disabled, an unaided character still does not recover hit points naturally. Instead, each day he must roll a Constitution check (DC 18, action points cannot be used on this roll) to start recovering hit points naturally (starting with that day); otherwise, he loses 1 hit point.

Once an unaided character starts recovering hit points naturally, he is no longer in danger of naturally losing hit points (even if his current hit point total is negative).

Heal (Wis)

Action
Providing first aid, treating a wound, or treating poison takes 1 minute. Treating a disease or tending a creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell takes 10 minutes of work. Providing long-term care requires 8 hours of light activity.

Treat Injury (Wis)

Time: For long-term care, the character needs to devote at least 1/2 hour of the day to each patient the character is caring for. Restoring hit points or stabilizing a dying character requires 1 minute of work (an assistant cuts this time in half). Reviving a dazed, stunned, or unconscious character is an attack action. Surgery requires 1d4 hours; if the patient is at negative hit points, add an additional hour for every point below 0 the patient has fallen. Treating disease requires 10 minutes. Treating poison or treating a caltrop or similar wound requires 1 minute.
Fast-use Medkit: Using a fast-use medkit reduces the time needed to make Treat Injury checks as follows. Restoring hit points or stabilizing a dying character can be completed as a full-round action. Reviving a dazed; stunned; or unconscious character, treating disease, or treating poison require a move action.
Chemical, Plastiflesh: Using plastiflesh chemical to restore hit points requires an attack action.
Special: Long-term care, restoring hit points, treating disease, treating poison, or stabilizing a dying character requires a medical kit. Reviving a dazed, stunned, or unconscious character requires either a first aid kit or a medical kit. Surgery requires a surgery kit. If the character does not have the appropriate kit, he or she takes a –4 penalty on the check. If the character has a first aid kit but not a medical kit, they may attempt actions that normally require a medical kit at a -2 penalty.

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Page last modified on May 08, 2007, at 06:29 PM