Recently, we’ve become a bit obsessed with death-sparing throws.
We’ve discussed how DMs can make death-saving throws a bit more exciting and a variety of ways that players can be insta-killed, avoiding the throws entirely.
We decided that it was a good time to look at the most dangerous throws in the game from the perspective of a player. It can be confusing as hell what will impact a save throw.
Let’s start by looking at the wording (via Roll20.net).
You must make a special saving throw whenever you begin Your turn with 0 hit points. This will determine if you are closer to death or more secure. This saving throw is not tied to any ability score, unlike other saving throws . Your fate is now in your hands, with Spells as well as features that increase your chances of a successful saving throw.
Roll a d20 . If the roll is at least 10, you are successful. You will fail if the roll is lower than 10. A success or failure does not have effect on its own. You become stable after your third success (see below). You die if you fail your third attempt. You can have successes or failures at any time. Keep track of them until you get three. When you gain any Hit points or become stabilized, both numbers are reset to zero.
Rolling 1 or 20 . When you make a life-saving throw and roll 1 on The D20 it counts as two failed attempts. You gain 1 hit point for every The HTML20 roll.
Damage at Hit points. If you take damage while you have 0 hit points, you will experience a saving throw failure. You will suffer two failures if the damage is caused by a critical hit. Instant Death occurs when the damage is greater than or equals your hit points maximum.
So that sounds fairly simple. There are no proficiency modifiers or ability scores, so you can just roll a d20 to see if you get a 10.
Well, maybe not.
D&D is still able to give players a boost in their ability to make death saving throws. This is the exact wording from the first paragraph. “Unlike other saving throws this one doesn’t tie to any ability score. You’re in control of your fate, with Spells as well as features that increase your chances of a saving throw .
This means you can get bonuses to death saving throws by magic means such as Bless or Resistance.
This is all fine and dandy, but you would expect the spellcaster not to drop a healing or Spare the Dying spell on you, even if they are planning to use an action that will help you.
Nine Hells is a simple medicine check to stabilize. It’s better than giving a +d4 on your next death saving throw.
Let’s say that no one is available to help you, whether they are magical or not.
There are still some ways players can help their characters survive death saving throws. It all depends on what class they choose before ending up in this fatal circumstance.
Death saving throws are treated as saving throws mechanically. This means you can give yourself an advantage if your Lucky feat has been completed (and you haven’t spent your day’s worth of luck on shenanigans at a tavern), or if there’s something like the Fighter’s Indomitable ability or A Chronurgy Wizard’s Chronal Shift or A Wild Magic Sorcerer’s Bend Luck or any other saving throw-altering abilities.
A full list of such abilities can be found at this rpg.stackexchange.com thread here.
This is not to suggest that players are dependent on the fates
The gods You can stack dice with death-save-altering capabilities if you don’t want your characters to die.
However, D&D players are well aware that there is no way to prepare for the double nat-1 throw.
You’ll need to pray that you are playing with a kind and merciful DM in this case.