What happens when a monster drains a surge when you have no surges?

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I thought it was you lost a surge worth of hp, but i can not seem to find that rule. I know that for suffication and enviromental effects you lose your level in hp, but that is the only reference to losing surges when you dont have any i can find.
Nothing happens, unless it say's it does.

Unless you want to start going into negitive surges...

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

IIRC you take damage equal to your level.....

Let me check 


EDIT I misremembered with Rules on Starvation, Thurst and Suffocation.

RC 180 Starvation, Thurst and Suffocation: When a character fails the check, he loses  one healing surge and must continue to make checks. A character without healing  surges who fails a check takes damage equal to his level.

So unless the effect state what happen if the creature has none Surge left to loose, nothing will happen.  
For exemple, the Ashgaunt's Life Drain power says what happen if a creature has no Healing Surges:

Ashgaunt's Life Drain: (standard, at-will) Healing, Necrotic
+12 vs Fortitude; 2d6+5 necrotic damage; if the target is
marked, it also loses 1 healing surge and is immobilized (save ends). If the
target has no healing surges, the attack does extra damage equal to half the
target’s bloodied total. On a hit, the ashgaunt regains 5 hit points..

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Though it is frequently purported to exist, there is no default rule on what happens if you get a surge drained when you have none left.  It's left up to the individual draining power to define the result.

(Paging mvincent, paging mvincent... We have an FAQ candidate...) 

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

Indeed.  It varies between nothing at all, lose a surge's worth of HP, lose your level in HP, lose your bloodied value in HP, or (in the case of spending a surge when below 0 and without surges), gaining 1HP.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Though it is frequently purported to exist, there is no default rule on what happens if you get a surge drained when you have none left.  It's left up to the individual draining power to define the result.

(Paging mvincent, paging mvincent... We have an FAQ candidate...) 

Agreed. Added. Thanks Tichrimo.



in a quick but fun stroll through the Compendium I found:


  • if it is from an environmental danger, you lose your level in hp (DMG 158)

  • if you have to spend a surge because you were healed, you are restored to 1 hp if you were dying (PHB 295)

  • if it's from starving, suffocating or dying of thirst, you take damage equal to your level (DMG 159)

  • if it is from the "tainted pool" hazard, you lose your surge value in hp (Dungeon #177)

  • if it is from an attack by an Oni Souleater, you are "killed and (your) body is reduced to dust." (Open Grave 172)

  • if it was from the attack of a Death Thrall Attendant, you take your surge value in damage (Draconomicon: Metallic 147)

  • if it was an attack by the awesomely named Darkness Given Hunger, you take 30 acid damage (Dungeon #188)

  • if it was an attack from a Lacedon, you take 10 damage (Dungeon 184)

  • if it was because you rolled low while using a Talisman of Fortune, you lose 1/4 of your maximum HP total (AV 178) interesting that it is specifically not your surge value

  • if you did it to get turned back from stone by Oil of Flesh Returned, however, it is your surge value in damage (AV 192)

  • if you were unlucky enough to summon a creature that dies, you take damage equal to half your bloodied value (RC 120)


undoubtedly far from exhaustive, if nothing else because I tried to avoid named critters and solos.




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That's some good hunting FLAvatar!   And just shows that there is zero consistency on this issue.  What happens when you have no surges left?  Answer:  It depends ...
Playing Scales of War

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Specific beats general.

In general, when you have an attack that drains a surge and you have no surges left, nothing happens.

UNLESS, the conditions under which you are loosing a surge has a specific effect of what happens if you have no surges left to loose.  
Well put Dane.  That sums it all up as far as I'm concerned.
Playing Scales of War

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