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?

Death Ward with Polymorph

A sorcerer in our group is quite fond of using polymorph to change herself into a giant ape (MM page323). At one point in our game last night she managed to grapple a Bheur (Winter Hag), that was riding a Nightmare (flying evil Pegasus). And during the fight the mount was killed sending them all into a 1200ft nose dive which did 120d6, (311dmg) to her polymorphed Ape form, which was it turned out exactly 3 points from killing her instantly with the massive damage rule (PHB page197).

An argument about the damage rule ensued, which I felt was squared away with simple math, but it then lead directly to another argument over the fact that she got to remain in her Giant Ape form because she still had the spell Death Ward active on her sheet. This might have just been simple confusion over how much time had passed after their long rest, as in her case she had Death Ward active for 16 total hrs, not 8, because of the divine sorcerer’s “Extended Spell” metamagic (PHB page102).

The argument then CONTINUED to the entire table’s near complete exasperation, as it became a debate over whether, or not, she should be reverted back to her original Sorceress form because she hit 0hp (which triggered the ward), or if she never actually hit 0hp because ward keeps you at 1hp…. Ugh

I made a ruling at the table that yes, she’s going to continue on as a giant ape at 1hp despite taking over three hundred damage, regardless of how “ridiculous” the other players found it to be because those are the rules and also: “Because: MAGIC”. But the RAW question that’s now eating at me is: Does the spell Death Ward keep you at 1hp after you technically hit 0hp, or do you just never go below 1hp?

How to alleviate the tedium of PC death at higher levels?

In our high-level Pathfinder game, player characters die relatively often, whether to save-or-die or just to high damage.

When a PC dies, then players either defeat the enemy or escape, and unless the player wants to start playing a new character, they then teleport to a safe place, bring the corpse to a temple, pay for raise dead and restoration and hopefully remember to cast the second restoration again in a week.

This seems like a simple process, but in practice it tends to eat up quite a bit of time which is not particularly interesting. The teleport could miss, inhabitants of town might react to PCs returning, PCs might want to haggle down on the price of raise dead and the party might want to spend the downtime between the two restoration spells somehow. It is noticeably slower in real time than a PC falling unconscious and getting tapped with a wand of cure light wounds until at full HP.

Can this time somehow be minimized or made more fun?

After death & reincarnation does a wizard need to recast Find Familiar? Does he or she get the previous one or a ‘new’ one?

A wizard dies – but his familiar escapes unharmed. He &/or she (the wizard) is Reincarnated, via the spell. He &/or she gains a new race with new abilities. Basic skills, proficiencies, physical (Str / Dex / Con) and psychological abilities (Int / Wis / Cha) all change as RAW dictates (‘its complicated’).

He &/or she had a familiar previous to death. The familiar survived, as noted, as he &/or she &/or it (possibly spayed?) was off on an errand and did not die.

What happens upon wizard seeking his &/or her familiar?

Does the wizard need to re-cast Find Familiar? If he &/or she does (&/or does not), does this wizard gain the same old shape (fae, celestial, fiend) & style (possibly spayed?) familiar as previous – or is it a brand-spanking-new fresh off the press familiar out of the Outer Planes?


Repeat of Question: Wizard has familiar. Wizard dies YET familiar is okay. Wizard gains a new body. Wizard must re-cast Find Familiar: yes / no? Wizard gets a NEW familiar, yes / no?

Does Command Undead last past an undead’s death and raising?

If an undead creature fails its save against the Necromancy wizard feature Command Undead, and then dies and is raised or rejuvenated (eg a lich coming back from their phylactery) are they still affected by Command Undead? If so, do they have to still be undead (eg could Command Undead followed by killing them and casting a high-level resurrection spell give you control of a living creature)?