Divine healing and dying

I need a clarification on the rules concerning healing and the Mortal Wounds table. In our game last night, we had a situation where someone was taken to -3 hp, and then a Cure Light Wounds brought them up to above 0. The player argued that he shouldn’t have to make a Mortal Wounds because at the time he would have to, he was conscious. My ruling was that he had to roll because he was taken down, but because of the healing, he would be treated as if he was at 0, giving the +5 bonus. But this wasn’t a completely satisfactory answer either, because I’d hate for someone to be healed to consciousness - and then die because of a poor Mortal Wounds roll. But the rules are not clear on this point. On p. 104, it gives an example where someone is brought down to -12 hp, and then a Cure Light Wounds brings them up to -2, and this is their hp for purposes of the Mortal Wounds, but I don’t see anything that would suggest that they don’t have to make a roll if they’re immediately brought back to positive hp.


I’m not an Autarch and I don’t play one on TV but here is how I do it. I use the modifiers on the bottom of the chart found on page 106. To explain, I had a player just this past week reduced to -2 HP. Her character’s normal maximum is 15 and another character immediately went to her aid when she dropped using a healing potion. She rolled a d20 and applied the following modifiers to it:

0 for Hit Points (since it was below zero but less than -1/4 HP)
+1 For the Cure Light Wounds Potion
+2 because she was treated within 1 round of injury
+1 for her Constitution Modifier

She rolled a 13 then added +4 based on the modifiers giving her a total of 17. Since Healing magic was used she only needed 1 night’s bed rest to be active.

If magic is used in the process of saving them, then I count as the needed magic to keep them alive or for recovery. If it isn’t and that is noted on the chart, then I describe it to the person doing the healing as the dying character getting worse and at this point only magic might be sufficient to save them.

Disclaimer: Not an Autarch

When brought to 0 or fewer hp a character is in a quantum state of mortal wounding. They may already be dead or merely shocked, depending on the mortal wounds roll. No amount of healing will save you from the mortal wounds table since you might have been killed instantly and have already died. Magical healing gives you a bonus to the roll (as noted at the bottom of the table) and can help in recovery (or not dying if you roll a “must get to 1+hp in X time” result).

The healing doesn’t help the negative hp modifier and can’t bring you back before the roll, otherwise you could just throw your -52hp companion in a sack, drag him a few days to town, then pay for a few dozen cure light wound spells until he is good as new. He’ll be fine unless you check on him.

Disclaimer: Also not an Autarch

First, when brought below 0 HP, that first healing spell does not restore HPs at all. All it does is give you a bonus on the chart. Thus, there’s no way for you to be conscious when rolling on the table. If you roll well enough, the character might wake up with 1 HP. Otherwise, he’s either already dead-dead, or is going to need more healing spells to actually restore HPs.

Also, the example on p.104 doesn’t say that the character was healed to -2 HP, it says that the character gets a -2 on his roll because he’s so far below 0 HP (based on the modifier list at the bottom of the chart).

So, things didn’t go quite right, but your player should definitely have rolled on the chart. That said, by now, I’d just tell him he got lucky this time and do it right next time.

Dang lack of editing…

The above seemed kind of harsh to me. I was just trying to be super-concise to avoid confusion. No disrespect intended. The MW table is different (and awesome) and takes some getting used to.


This is how we play it too, with no HP restoration from magic applied during the mortal wounds roll.

You are correct, apparently I misread that. And, no, you weren’t rude at all. :slight_smile:


Would Lay on Hands count as a healing spell for the mortal wounds table? If so, what level of spell would it be considered? I mean, it is healing magic after all.

I count it as a healing spell, and give it a +1