How to upscale the death house and still keep it fun?

Due to Reasons™, my intro level to my current run of Curse of Strahd for a new group didn’t involve the Death House, I wrote my own intro-level this time.

I always had a lot of fun running it for other groups, though, so wanted to keep it in the game for a later stage. I’ve already written it in the world in a place that’s pretty likely to be found by the players.

The issue is that I still want to keep it a Death House, which it clearly is at levels 1-3, but I expect the party to find it at the earliest by level 5, probably 6. While it still would not be a breeze, I ran a number of the encounters with likely upscales of their current party and it did not feel deadly at all. I could just up all DCs and make each monster group a bit larger, but I don’t feel like that’s particularly interesting.

Assume my Plan™ survives first contact with the players and they find the House. What is an interesting way to upscale the Death House to party level 5-6? The party will be either 4 or 5 characters, depending on who can make which session, and the group is paranoid enough about dying that they seem to insist on running at least 2 healers at all times.

Enemy Follows the Player Even His Death Animation Triggered

I have a 2D game project and I am coding but still on learning level. If I put simply, its based on player’s escape and enemy follows to hurt him. Important case is, I am using A* PathFinding for this because there are obstacles for enemies and they need to pass them.(A stars pathfinding here: https://arongranberg.com/astar/ )

Problem is: Enemy following Player, wherever he goes on the flat rectangular scene, but when I kill enemy while following, his death animation triggered and he dies in 3 seconds but he still keeps following me while he is dying process going on and even when he is lying down on the ground. Simply flies to me.

What I need is to make him stop at that very location when his "isDead" parameter gets triggered. Because of A* using, I couldn’t find a way to do it and override A* somehow.

This is the code I use for attack when close to player, and isDead function:

public float stopDistance; private float attackTime; private bool isCloseForAttack; public float attackSpeed;  public void Update() {     animator = gameObject.GetComponent<Animator>();      if (player != null && !isDead)     {         if (Vector2.Distance(transform.position, player.position) > stopDistance)         {             animator.SetTrigger("isNotRunning");         }         else         {             animator.SetTrigger("isRunning");             if (Time.time >= attackTime)             {                 StartCoroutine(Attack());                 attackTime = Time.time + timeBetweenAttacks;             }         }     }      IEnumerator Attack()     {         player.GetComponent<Player>().TakeDamage(damage);          Vector2 originalPosition = transform.position;         Vector2 targetPosition = player.position;          float percent = 0;         while (percent <= 1)               percent += Time.deltaTime * attackSpeed;         float formula = (-Mathf.Pow(percent, 2) + percent) * 4;         transform.position = Vector2.Lerp(originalPosition, targetPosition, formula);         animator.SetTrigger("attackMove");          yield return null;      } } } 

How does Halfling Luck affect the probability of surviving my death saves?

The probability of a mere human surviving a series of unmodified death saving throws has been established as 59.5125%. But Halfling Luck applies to death saving throws in a dramatic way: A roll of 1 on a death save normally counts as two failures, but halflings are much less likely to suffer this result.

Previous work in the field of calculating the effects of Halfling Luck does not apply directly to death saving throws, because of this asymmetry between races concerning how terrible it is to roll a 1.

How much more likely is it that a halfling will survive a series of death saving throws as opposed to one of those poor unfortunate nonhalflings?

How many enemies will challenge my party of four 1st-level characters, but not result in certain death?

I was asked to DM for a one-shot with people wanting to try and learn the game. I have created a not-too-complicated world in which they can run around and interact with its inhabitants.

The problem I face is the number and strength of foes that can be encountered. How do I prepare a challenge to the players while they learn the game? I want them to be a little afraid while still having chance of saving the town/rescuing the princess or prince/find the treasure.

  • These are completely new players, there will be 4 of them.
  • They will play level 1 characters: a paladin, barbarian, rogue and sorcerer.
  • I play a separate campaign with other people but have never been a DM before.
  • We expect to play for about 4 hours – unless everyone is having fun and wants to continue, of course.
  • Based on decisions, the enemies will be either goblins or pirates. I tend to keep these enemies around the same level.
  • I would like to introduce one “boss” in the shape of a goblin chief/pirate captain.

How many enemies, based on the information above, would make for a balanced and fun game? I don’t really want everyone to bite the dust on their first game ever, but also want to keep it interesting at the same time.

Is there a 5e magic/mechanic that could cause an item to disappear/teleport/planeshift on death?

I am running a 5e campaign where my players may encounter the Xanathar. Being the murdering hobos that they are, they may eventually successfully kill him since he is just a normal beholder stat block. He has a couple magic rings, including a Ring of Mind Shielding.

I was thinking of having his soul go into the Ring of Mind Shielding on death and then have the ring disappear to a place he can be true resurrected/wished to life later on.

Would there be a mechanic/spell that allows me to do such a thing? I try my best to make things within the rules instead of just DM ‘it happens because I say so’.

Thanks in advance! The loss of the Xanathar to the realm would be truly disappointing.

What is considered a successful death saving throw?

I’m fairly new to D&D and I wanted to run a session with some friends. I’ve been doing a lot of research but can’t seem to find an answer to this question. I understand how the mechanic works, three successes or rolling a 20 being stabilized and the opposite being death. However what I want to know is what would be considered a success? Is this up to the DM or is there a guide? I would assume anything above 10 would be a success and anything below would be a failure but I’d like clarity.

How do I clearly foreshadow a potential out-of-combat death?


Let me first set the scene

The group I DM for is in a position where they are at the mercy of a group of people who are contemplating what to do with the party.

I have decided on a game of chance to decide their fate (It makes narrative sense), and at a certain point one of the PC’s may do so badly that their fate is to be killed (Again it makes narrative sense).

The particular method of death is that they are going to be pushed off a very high ledge.

While I do plan to give the player chance to do something to avoid this fate (Running, bribing, fighting, etc.) the gist is that if the player doesn’t do anything they will be pushed to their death.

The player may well trust the ‘enemy’ because there is a likelihood that other members of the party have had amusing fates, and be curious to find out their own.

Further to the above:

Some of my players read this site, so I was trying to be vague, but the players are already ‘captive’ in this scene, and due to language barriers the level of communication is minimal. As such I can’t forewarn the party, and I think having the enemy communicate clearly for the first time cheapens the scene.

The PC’s are literally sat at a table playing cards and losing may mean being thrown off a cliff. They don’t know the rules, can’t read the cards, can’t understand much of what is said around them and are 100% out of their element.

Examples:

  1. Player draws the king > character doesn’t know what it means > NPC’s lead character somewhere > something potentially ominous happens such as being surrounded by NPC’s > character is given his stuff back and set free
  2. Player draws the queen > character doesn’t know what it means > NPC’s lead character to a cliff edge (The ominous happening) > character is pushed over

So:

What techniques are there to ensure that this player knows they face potential death, without just outright telling them?

Basically when they get to the cliff edge I want them to have a good idea that they are going to be pushed off.

Note on answers: I am playing D&D 5e but I am very influenced by ideas from other systems so I am happy to hear about how to successfully pull this off as a GM, regardless of system. I don’t stick to RAW either.

DnD 5E: Magic item for one final defiance at death

I’m playing a fighter in a pretty standard D&D 5th edition game. Currently 7th level. I’m wanting to ask my DM for a magic item that would be something like the following. I’ve tried to make it something that would let me go out with one heroic bang (and also give one of my backup characters a chance to shine…) without making it something that is "always on", hence the drawback if it’s not used. I’m also trying to make this a conscious decision as one final act of defiance. Perhaps it’s something given to soldiers of a certain army? Anyhow, I’m wondering if this is a reasonable item to ask for and if there exists anything similar to this that already exists rather than being goofy homebrew of an inexperienced player. And if there is anything that can be done to improve it, mechanically or wording-wise.

Bead of Final Countdown:

When a creature is locked in mortal combat, it may become apparent that this will be its last such encounter. The creature can use a bonus action to place this bead in its mouth, biting down on it. This begins to charge a delayed blast fireball. When the creature dies (not just unconscious, but truly dead) the fireball explodes as in the spell, dealing damage to all creatures in range and destroying the creature’s body. If the creature does not die within two minutes, or if it removes the bead from its mouth, it suffers one level of exhaustion from the stress of holding such an explosion in its mouth.

What is the interaction between “Touch of Death” and “Undead Fortitude”

The "Way of the Long Death" monk has a feature called "Undead Fortitude":

Touch of Death

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, your study of death allows you to extract vitality from another creature as it nears its demise. When you reduce a creature within 5 feet of you to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier + your monk level (minimum of 1 temporary hit point).

(Bold added for emphasis). How does this work when a WotLD Monk reduces a zombie to 0 hit points and the blow is shrugged off by undead fortitude?

Undead Fortitude

If damage reduces the zombie to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5+the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead.

I could see this working one of two ways:

  1. A zombie takes a hit, and drops to 0 hit points. Then Undead Fortitude kicks in and on a success, the zombie comes back to 1 HP. The zombie had been reduced to 0 hp, so ToD activates.

  2. A zombie takes a hit, and makes a roll to see whether it drops to 0 or 1 HP. On a success, it drops to 1 HP and had never dropped to 0, therefore ToD does not activate.

Is there any official ruling on this case? If not, what is a reasonable interpretation of these rules?