3e SRD:Energy Drain, Negative Levels, and Level Loss
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Energy Drain, Negative Levels, and Level Loss
Most energy drains require a successful melee attack—mere physical contact is not enough.
A creature gains 5 temporary hit points for each negative level it inflicts (though not if the negative level is caused by a spell or similar effect).
Each successful energy draining attack bestows one or more negative levels on the opponent. A creature suffers the following penalties for each negative level it has gained:
- –1 to all skill and ability checks
- –1 to attack rolls and saving throws
- –5 hit points
- –1 effective level (whenever the creature’s level is used in a die roll or calculation, reduce it by one for each negative level)
If the victim casts spells, she loses access to one spell as if she had cast her highest-level, currently available spell. (If she has more than one spell at her highest level, she chooses which she loses.) In addition, when she next prepares spells or regains spell slots, she gets one less spell slot at her highest spell level.
Negative levels remain for 24 hours or until removed with a spell, such as restoration. After 24 hours, the afflicted creature must attempt a Fortitude save. The DC is 10 + one-half the attacker’s Hit Dice + the attackers’ Charisma modifier. (The DC is provided in the attacker’s description.) If the saving throw succeeds, the negative level goes away with no harm to the creature. If the save fails, the negative level goes away, but the creature’s level is also reduced by 1. The afflicted creature makes a separate saving throw for each negative level it has gained.
A character with negative levels at least equal to her current level, or drained below 1st level, is instantly slain. Depending on the creature that killed her, she may rise the next night as a monster of that kind. If not, she rises as a wight.
A character who loses a level to an energy drain instantly loses one Hit Die. The character’s base attack bonus, base saving throw bonuses, and special class abilities are now reduced to the new, lower level. Likewise, the character loses any ability score gain, skill ranks, and any feat associated with the level (if any). If the exact ability score or skill ranks increased from a level now lost is unknown (or the player has forgotten), lose a point from the highest ability score or ranks from the highest-ranked skills. If a familiar or companion creature (such as a paladin’s mount) has abilities tied to a character who has lost a level, the creature’s abilities are adjusted to fit the character’s new level.
The victim’s experience point total is immediately set to the midpoint of the previous level.