Dire Death (5e Variant Rule)

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Dire Death[edit]

This is meant to change how PC's die, both in and out of combat.



If a PC's HP reaches 0 they become unconscious. Player characters may have negative HP. If their HP ever equals, or exceeds their maximum negative HP, they die. (Ex. If a PC with 20 max HP, reaches -20 HP, or lower, then they die.)

Most forms of damage should cause a PC to slowly keep taking damage after they reach 0 HP. Be they bleeding or poisoned, etc. Once they are reach 0 HP, each turn they must succeed a DC 10 + their current negative HP Constitution saving throw. They take 1d4 damage on a failed save, and no damage on a successful one. Ex. If they have -4 HP, the DC is 14.

If they roll critical failure (1), they take 2d4 and if they get a critical success (20), they stabilize, and stop taking damage. They can use any number of your hit dice to heal.


A creature can heal a PC with healing magic, but they must be healed out of the negatives and up to 0 to be stabilized or healed to 1 to wake up.

Stabilized means they no longer have to make Constitution saves and no longer take damage.)

A creature may also stabilize them with a medical kit and a medical roll. The DC for this is equal to that of DC they would make on their turn. Ex. If they have -4 hp the DC is 14. If you don't have a medical kit that DC increases by 5. If you roll a critical success (20) on your medical check, the downed player may use any number of their hit dice to heal themselves.

Fall Damage[edit]

There are new rules for falling damage. Fall damage is equal to 1d10 damage for every 10 fallen past the first 10, rounded up. Ex. If a player falls 6 feet, you round it up to 10 for 0d10. If they fall 35 feet, you round up to 40 for 3 d10.


Not Breathing: A PC can hold their breath for a number of turns equal to 10 + 5 times their Constitution modifier. If a PC isn't given a proper amount of time to hold their breath, then they can hold their breath for a number of turns equal to their Constitution modifier.

Every turn after the point where they could hold their breath, they receive 10 damage, and every other turn they take a level of exhaustion.

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