Comments: I recently started DMing after playing 4th edition D&D around 10-15 times. While going over player and DM books I started to wonder if regeneration works while a PC is dying.
For example, a level 2 fighter by the name of Korgul is down to -2 hit points. In the previous round he used Boundless Endurance. Since his modifier for the skill gives +2, that is a regeneration of +4. This would mean that he would get to 2 hit points at the start of his round and become conscious? Or does the regeneration stop?
Well this turned into to 2 questions actually. First one is about regeneration and dying in general. Does dying count as bloodied in relation to Boundless Endurance.
To me, as a DM, if regeneration worked while dying it would seem overpowered.
Gamer Forge Response:
Regeneration does take effect after you fall below zero hit points. Most of the regeneration powers require you to spend an action of some kind to activate, so you must be conscious to use it. If the regeneration is in effect before the character falls, then it stays active while they are down. No need to deny what is rightfully won. BUT, keep in mind that death saving throws must still be taken when a character falls below zero hit points, as usual. In short, regeneration is fair game.
Gamer Forge Listener Email:
Name: Richard Besley
Comments: When I first started playing with a group of completely new players, one of the first things I did was to explain the alignments as best I could at the time. When describing Chaotic Neutral, my exact words were, "A chaotic neutral character will do whatever he wants to do, so long as there is a reason that is justifiable to at least him behind doing so."
Well, recently, I'm beginning to think that that explanation is not exactly accurate, or at least not perfectly clear.
To explain, through every game I have played with this group, I have regretted each and every time I allowed a player to play a chaotic neutral character. The exact same thing will happen, no matter how many times I explain why it shouldn't. Said character will, for no reason I can fathom other than because his player (and by extension the character itself) wants to. Anything from using a squirrel to test out a new spell, to burning down the local pub to stop the flow of polluted beer, to openly mocking authority figures until nothing short of character death is put on the table, and even then only because I made the desire for self-preservation a required character trait. This is not to say that they do this because they prefer to, or that it's simply a style of play that they find more fun. We've played campaigns where I banned chaotic-neutral alignment, and everyone enjoyed themselves without this being an issue. It's simply that, whenever this issue comes up, I'll point it out to them and they'll reply with some variant of, 'I'm a chaotic character, and I'm being chaotic. Why is that wrong?" I don't have an answer to that.
So, what's a better way to describe a chaotic neutral character? How do I explain to this group that, even if the alignment is 'chaotic,' that doesn't mean they have to play either chaotic-stupid, or insane?
Gamer Forge Response:
Your alignment isn't like the alignment on your car! These things can change and shift like the winds. When it comes to not making your character "Chaotic Stupid", DCR says:
1. What defines chaos and neutrality, and what happens when you combine the two? "Chaotic Neutral", as defined by Dungeons and Dragons, states that chaos must balance the scale between good and evil, without preference to either one. This is much easier than it sounds. Being unpredictable is only small part of the big picture. The end result should be something along the lines of everything balancing out, and neither side is ahead. That's the real problem. "Chaotic Neutral" involves nobody truly getting ahead in anything.
2. Motivation! Alignment is a motivation, not a justification. It's about the start of the action, not the end. Your character's alignment is never a reason to commit a good or evil act. If the character is already bent on burning down an orphanage, he/she is gonna do it. But this also means that the character is already evil. We say that an alignment can change as soon as your GM decides that your motivations are clear. If you are hell-bent on being "Chaotic Neutral", be aware that that can change just as easily as your actions do.
3. You are an outsider! As "Chaotic Neutral", you will be extremely hard to deal with, professionally and personally. Your shifting attitudes and actions will make you hard to pin down and even harder to rely on. That's just it: you will ultimately be unreliable! Nobody will want to count on you. So what's the point of even playing? You may as well be playing a computer game. Sadly, this is where being this alignment hits a dead end. We say that it's best to just steer clear of "Chaotic Neutral". Alternately, just do away with alignments all together.
Bonus XP: Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski. That's the only real exemplar of "Chaotic Neutral" we can think of. Which absolutely proves the point that this alignment is unreliable. Funny? Yes. Adventure? Not at all. At best, he is motivated by laziness and keeping Walter off his back. Remember this the next time you decide to pop that movie into your DVD or Blu-Ray player.