Unless it results in death, damage isn’t permanent. Even death is reversible through powerful magic. Rest can restore a creature’s hit points, and magical methods such as a cure wounds spell or a potion of healing can remove damage in an instant.
When a creature receives healing of any kind, hit points regained are added to its current hit points. A creature’s hit points can’t exceed its hit point maximum, so any hit points regained in excess of this number are lost. For example, a Shaman grants a ranger 8 hit points of healing. If the ranger has 14
current hit points and has a hit point maximum of 20, the ranger regains 6 hit points from the Shaman, not 8.
A creature that has died can’t regain hit points until magic such as the revivify spell has restored it to life.
The best way to save a creature with 0 hit points is to heal it. If healing is unavailable, the creature can at least be stabilized so that it isn’t killed by a failed death saving throw.
You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check.
A stable creature doesn’t make death saving throws, even though it has 0 hit points, but it does remain unconscious. The creature stops being stable, and must start making death saving throws again, if it takes any damage. A stable creature that isn’t healed regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.
Psychic, Mana, Heart, and Vitality damage are all forms of nebulous damage. Restoration works to restore this loss if the person cannot recover on their own, as do the Recovery spells.
Healing spells in general do not address most diseases. For that, you need a Cure disease spell, which always works.
When you drop to 0 hit points, you either die outright or fall unconscious, as explained in the following sections.
Whenever you start your turn with 0 hit points, you must make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw, to determine whether you creep closer to death or hang onto life. Unlike other saving throws, this one isn’t tied to any ability score. You are in the hands of fate now, aided only by spells and features that improve your chances of succeeding on a saving throw.
Roll a d20. If the roll is 10 or higher, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail. A success or failure has no effect by itself. On your third success, you become stable (see below). On your third failure, you die. The successes and failures don’t need to be consecutive; keep track of both until you collect three of a kind. The number of both is reset to zero when you regain any hit points or become stable.
When you make a death saving throw and roll a 1 on the d20, it counts as two failures. If you roll a 20 on the d20, you regain 1 hit point.
If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. If the damage is from a critical hit, you suffer two failures instead. If the damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum, you suffer instant death.
Massive damage can kill you instantly. When damage reduces you to 0 hit points and there is damage remaining, you die if the remaining damage equals or exceeds your hit point maximum.
For example, a cleric with a maximum of 12 hit points currently has 6 hit points. If she takes 18 damage from an attack, she is reduced to 0 hit points, but 12 damage remains. Because the remaining damage equals her hit point maximum, the cleric dies.
On death, there is a space of liminality that can last up to a week in which one dwells, not quite dead, not quite alive, and this is the liminal space – the time between death and entry into the Great Cycle, where they will be reincarnated into a new life in a different Mortal Plane.
Liminality is where the magic of resurrection and reincarnation can come in and is also the place to which a person is shunted when one is possessed or taken over.
A liminal Person cannot interact with the living worlds, and it is said that this is there for people to have a chance to reflect on their life before moving to the next one.
In game terms, the liminal space is where a character who has been killed is shunted to until such time as they are forced to move on, and this is why there is a time limit on resurrection and reincarnation spells.
There are four ways to return to life after death, but all but one are subject to limitations of mortals. The fourth is to have a Power restore your life.
Raising the Dead
Raising the dead must be done within 7 sunrises of the death. On the 8th Sunrise following death, the spell will fail, regardless of level or skill of the caster, as the Quintelan has moved on.
Resurrections on Wyrlde require the original host body. The spell will restore the body to a whole state but will not reduce or alter age. It will continue the Cycles for that person, and they can live out their life to the end of their normal cycle assuming something doesn’t kill them. Resurrection will not give someone more years than they are allotted, however – resurrecting a 118-year-old person will still leave you with a 118-year-old person who is going to die in a few years anyway.
If a person has exhausted their full gift of years, they cannot be resurrected.
Resurrections, of any sort, must be done within 48 sunrises of the death. On the 49th Sunrise following death, the spell will fail, regardless of level or skill of the caster.
Resurrections which happen after the first 7 days have a chance of failing. The caster must succeed on a Mana Check with a DC of 20 minus the Caster’s level plus 1 for each day after the 7th.
Reincarnation spells must be done within 15 years of the death of the individual.
It is important to note that after 7 days, a dead person is reborn into a new life on a different dimension within a different plane as an infant, and casting this spell will cause them to experience death in that new life, with full recollection.
Reincarnation restores a body to a state of 15 years of age. They are not reborn, and the spell will reach out and draw back together the Selves into a new whole, leaving them with full memory of their life, but also any memories of the life they are drawn from if they were reincarnated 3 or more years after death.
This experience can drive someone mad if they fail a sanity check against a DC 12+1 for each year that they lived on the world.
Most GMs have a monster die the instant it drops to 0 hit points, rather than having it fall unconscious and make death saving throws.
Mighty villains and special nonplayer characters are common exceptions; the DM might have them fall unconscious and follow the same rules as player characters.