what is the RIGHT way to use SoD? The WRONG way?

I'm not talking about if they should be in or how, but how they've been used in existing games of D&D. Personal experiences and all, players and DM

So for DM's that like SoD, what are your guidelines of properly using this effect?
For DMs that like SoD, but had it go horribly wrong, how did you misuse this immense power?

For players who have fought against SoD and enjoyed it, how did it remain a fun challenge for you?
For players who have fought against SoD and HATED it, where did it go wrong?

'cause a lot of Dee n' Dee isn't just math and numbers, its the players at the table.
So you got the topic, now...

BEGIN!
In the traditional sense, Save or Die is inherently dumb. However, 4e seems to have gotten a proper handle on it with the save or save or save or die effects. So I guess if people just can't be immersed unless their every choice in character design can be rendered meaningless by a few unlucky rolls, I think the cascading effects are at least relatively fun and allow for some nifty tension with other people trying to grant you additional saves and such.

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
Do Something or Die, that's the right way about it.   The stoning effect hits, and the victim begins to petrify -- if they are not saved/do not save themselves, they will turn to stone.  The Death Ray hits: victim collapses deathly pale and will expire in mere moments of nobody rushes to his/her side with some sort of curative.  The shorter the time you have to react, the nastier the effect is, and chances are the "hit" still costs the target actions or utility even if they pull through, meaning these effects aren't painfully all or nothing.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."
On Worldbuilding - On Crafting Aliens - Pillars of Art and Flavor - Simulationism, Narritivism, and Gamism - Shub-Niggurath in D&D
THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

IMO: true Save or Die (the pre-4e kind) is best used only in circumstances where you'd be willing to say "you just die"; and your players wouldn't be indignant about it.

In such cases, it is an act of mercy to grant the save, when they should be dying.



In all other cases: The saving throw grants a false sense of balance, and gameplay, to something that ultimately comes down to either "you just die" or "nothing special happens".
There is no right way to use Save or Die (or Save or Petrified, or Save Or Otherwise Completely Out Of The Game).  As RPJesus says, it's inherently stupid for a character's life to come down to a single instance of random chance.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I have never seen SoD executed well.  Unfortunately, I have seen it used badly.  Probably my best example of it being used badly is SoD monsters being on random encounter tables.  I recall one adventure where the dungeon was created on-the-fly.  The adventure had a plot, one that had all of us interested in it, and the DM had rooms he knew should be in the dungeon.  However, he was filling in the rest with random rooms/corridoors and random encounters.  We were doing alright.  Then we turned a corner and there was an SoD monster without warning.  We rolled initiative, but some of us failed.  We weren't given the option to look away before the creature unleashed its deadly gaze.  The cleric and the fighter both died first.  I ran like hell.  The mage and rogue spent the rest of the night asking "why did you let us die?"  I spent the rest of the night asking myself "Why do I play this game again?"

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The only "save or . . ." effects I've seen are in 4th ed, and it seems the best idea to give players a chance to avoid bad bad stuff.  I know others either love it, feeling it adds a sense of danger, or hate it feeling that it kills their fun.  Some feel it adds or subtracts from immersion. 

Personally, the chance to die at a single die, to go from full HP to none and beyond is abhorrent to me; I've suffered enough Reaper/Doom/Kill/Whack/etc spells in different video game RPGs to develop a severe hatred for such effects.  However, the best of those effects are things like gradual petrification, poison, venom, sap, slow, etc.  In other words, effects that take place over time, and can be removed with somewhat ease.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Sometimes, I think people confuse cool flavor with good design. I've been running the 'Expedition to Castle Ravenloft,' and without spoiling anything, at one point the entire party is probably going to get hit with an unexpected save-or-die. The idea behind this save-or-die is actually kind of clever, but the actual effect is so devastating that it could easily lead to a 'Game Over' (and nobody cares about your flavor text if the game is derailed or ended because of it.)

The first time I played this module, the party wiped cuz of this; the DM scrambled to say "Oh, wait, uh, that actually DIDN'T happen." It still soured the mood of the players, myself included. (When I got to this point when running the module, I kept the flavor but had it auto-fail, more as a scare tactic that this monster could take you out with one attack.)

---

Common SoDs are okay if there are easy ways to work around them. Someone on their way to being petrified, or instantly petrified? Someone can dig out and use a 'Soft' on them. Additionally, SoDs shouldn't be able to hit multiple characters unless there's an onset delay (so characters can make the choice of eliminating the effect or going berserker-style until the effect sets in). With readily-available 'cure's, delayed suck is exhilerating, while instant suck is a little aggravating.

More deadly Death effects (one that could easily finish the party, perhaps without a roll) are okay as long as the players know ahead of time what is coming. They can then prepare accordingly. These types of effects are actually a story obstacle though, similar to the DM telling the players "You discern that portal leads to the Elemental Plane of Fire. Oswald the spellsword knows that you could burn to a crisp there in seconds" or "You know traveling through the northern woods is almost certain death, as a powerful elder green dragon reportedly lives there. As a reminder, you're still having trouble with orcs." Such effects should not just 'happen' to be in an adventure, and clues to their existence should not be ambiguous or easily missed.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
I think as a DM one must figure out if the players can handle and enjoy SoDs before starting the campaign. I.e., if you have Salla in your group... don't use it at all.

If the group can't handle SoDs, I would refrain from using spells and monsters associated with such powers in your campaign at all. If you let the players face the Medusa, or they get hit by a disintegration ray and they don't get turned to stone or disintegrated, it utterly destroys the suspension of disbelief. Use one of the other hundreds of spells and monsters instead, there are enough of them. I really regret letting a player face a 4th edition beholder as his first beholder the other day. He will now forever associate beholders with a weak monster that PCs eat for breakfast.


If your group can handle SoD monsters I would avoid springing the monsters on the PCs. Instead, let them know that there will be such a monster or see it in the distance so they have the option of fleeing or planning the encounter. If they decide to flee, allow them another way to complete their quest, but let there be story consequences for their cowardice.

This will give extra touch to their characters, how do they cope with the fact that a village was sacked because they were afraid to stand up to the evil wizards power of disintegration? Does one turn to the bottle, does another find peace in a temple. How can they seek redemption and find themselves again?
  


The Character Initiative


Every time you abuse the system you enforce limitations.
Every time the system is limited we lose options.
Breaking an RPG is like cheating in a computer game.
As a DM you are the punkbuster of your table.
Dare to say no to abusers.
Make players build characters, not characters out of builds.




There are two right ways to use SoD: either it doesn't matter whether the victim saves or dies, or the setup is such that, with proper tactics, it will never be necessary to attempt a save.

If the group can't handle SoDs, I would refrain from using spells and monsters associated with such powers in your campaign at all. If you let the players face the Medusa, or they get hit by a disintegration ray and they don't get turned to stone or disintegrated, it utterly destroys the suspension of disbelief. Use one of the other hundreds of spells and monsters instead, there are enough of them. I really regret letting a player face a 4th edition beholder as his first beholder the other day. He will now forever associate beholders with a weak monster that PCs eat for breakfast.
  


See, I faced my first beholder in 4e, and it was one of the hardest fights I've had in any game. (Those goddamn eye rays, and it could eat the defenders mark attack once/round without worry)

Why? Because the GM included a couple of his minions, and had him above our level.

An on-level solo monster is supposed to be a regular fight. If you want a hard fight you go above level. It's not like CR where the fight difficulty and the CR are sometimes completely unrelated.
Hey folks,

I'm  moving this to D&D Next Mechanics since it fits better there

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Monica

Wizards of the Coast Online Community Coordinator

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Much like a Justin Bieber CD, the right way to use Save or Die mechanics is not at all.
That's the thing, you give your players the options of avoiding the SoD.  Look at Perseus and Medusa, he planned ahead and used a mirror shield. He was able to avoid his death coming down to a single die roll.  If you eliminate SoD, you can't recreate Perseus vs. Medusa in your D&D game.

There can be a lot of intense, dynamic situations when SoD is right around the corner.  Whether it be implementing a novel strategy in combat, or cleverly avoiding the situation.


The problem is, when you make it Save or Die, people stop treating it as "Just Die"

Which is what it really is, Save or Die just randomises it between "Just Die" and "nothing happens"

The save should be a mercy, you go "Well, you should just die, but I'll grant you a save"; but instead it becomes an excuse "Hey, I didn't just kill you, it was a save or die effect". And so people don't use Save or Die creatures as though they were "Just Die" creatures.

Which is the only good way to use them.

If Medusae were "Just Die" creatures no-one except the most evil GMs would have them as a surprise encounter. Due to them being "Save or Die" 3.5 specifically advised the GM to use them as a surprise encounter. The game designers thought that "Save or Die" was a fair thing to surprise people with.

If the group can't handle SoDs, I would refrain from using spells and monsters associated with such powers in your campaign at all. If you let the players face the Medusa, or they get hit by a disintegration ray and they don't get turned to stone or disintegrated, it utterly destroys the suspension of disbelief. Use one of the other hundreds of spells and monsters instead, there are enough of them. I really regret letting a player face a 4th edition beholder as his first beholder the other day. He will now forever associate beholders with a weak monster that PCs eat for breakfast.
  


See, I faced my first beholder in 4e, and it was one of the hardest fights I've had in any game. (Those goddamn eye rays, and it could eat the defenders mark attack once/round without worry)

Why? Because the GM included a couple of his minions, and had him above our level.

An on-level solo monster is supposed to be a regular fight. If you want a hard fight you go above level. It's not like CR where the fight difficulty and the CR are sometimes completely unrelated.



The party was level 11 and I used a Level 15 solo death tyrant that I had modded so he could use his death rays in close combat without penalty. I also spiced up the to-hit ratio.

He was still shredded to pieces since the party used their powers to keep him immobilized, blind, slowed, debuffed and/or dominated every turn, while the PCs were buffed up to their noses. While he did manage to suck out one of the characters every healing surge, the character was never in any real danger  since the damage output is too low to give a surprise death. The PC running low on healing surges could have opted to make a coordinated retreat at any time, while the fighter of pretty much infinte healing surges could have stayed all night.

Was the beholder a comparatively hard monster... Yes...
Was it ever dangerous... No...

Could I have made it dangerous... Yes, by making the encounter level even more ridicously high above the character levels, but the beholder would not have been dangerous in itself. I could also have used the beholder in a spot where he started out flying high above the PCs with them having no chance to get the first controlling power launched. But that would have left half the players bored to death, while watching the casters have their fun. Actually what probably would have happened is they walking to a spot where the beholder could not reach them unless he reached the ground, and then he would have been screwed anyway.
 
A true beholder (read pre 4th) would be dangerous from the battle started til the battle ended. Sure... it would not have had the same bucketload of HPs that this beholder lugged around, but the fight would have been much much much more dangerous, and not so prolonged and dull.

The PCs were pretty much laughing at the beholder when he shot his weak rays at them.
   
The only way to make a battle dangerous in 4th is by adding a bucketload of monsters so the damage output goes through the roof. Otherwise, the healing will be more than able to keep pace. And I can only assume how happy my players would be if one got killed while I was running a level 20 encounter for a party of level 11s.


The Character Initiative


Every time you abuse the system you enforce limitations.
Every time the system is limited we lose options.
Breaking an RPG is like cheating in a computer game.
As a DM you are the punkbuster of your table.
Dare to say no to abusers.
Make players build characters, not characters out of builds.




The problem with your death tyrant is an example of one of 4E's true failings. Solos suffer too much from status effects. They need serious abilities to shrug effects left and right to be a real threat to the PC's.

This has nothing to do with save or die.
Yes, status effects that keep a creature locked down are as or more deadly in 3e than in 4e, it's just that it's less noticeable in 3e because it dies in one round after it's been hit with the save or lose power.
The problem with your death tyrant is an example of one of 4E's true failings. Solos suffer too much from status effects. They need serious abilities to shrug effects left and right to be a real threat to the PC's.

This has nothing to do with save or die.




It is true that the major failings with beholders lie elsewhere, but SoD is a part of it. Beholders should have a ray of disintegration and a ray of stone to flesh. With such rays, the beholder is truly a source of fear for adventurers looking for excitement. With rays only dealing cruddy damage or immobilizing PCs they are nothing but pathetic obese overhitpointed kobold shamans.

For people looking to fight a true beholder I'd like to have the option of introduing one without houseruling it like crazy.  

And for people looking to fight a beholder that has had all of its eyes gimped to sub-par damage spells. They can fight obese overhitpointed kobold shamans instead. The monster manual is crowded with them, and it's the same thing. 

 


The Character Initiative


Every time you abuse the system you enforce limitations.
Every time the system is limited we lose options.
Breaking an RPG is like cheating in a computer game.
As a DM you are the punkbuster of your table.
Dare to say no to abusers.
Make players build characters, not characters out of builds.




Save or die was is like gambling.   It was very exciting stuff!    The good news is that death wasn't permanent in a fantasy world.     You might die instantly only to have the cleric of the party resurrect you with his staff on his turn. 

In 4e,  Save Twice or die is even more danagerous because you are basically out for the remainder of the encounter, and hopefully it isn't a back-to-back encounter.    

As for how to use Save or Die, I say do what the role playing calls for.   If your medusa has a very high INT, she might try to ambush the PC's.    Perhaps she will make them think she is something else, like an old hag just to catch them off guard.  Truth is, there really is no geneva convention to limit how monsters and players will use their save or die powers.  

As for 5e, if save or die returns then spells and powers that counter it like Protection from X and Raise Dead must be available in combat again. 


It is true that the major failings with beholders lie elsewhere, but SoD is a part of it. Beholders should have a ray of disintegration and a ray of stone to flesh. With such rays, the beholder is truly a source of fear for adventurers looking for excitement. With rays only dealing cruddy damage or immobilizing PCs they are nothing but pathetic obese overhitpointed kobold shamans.


Having recently run a 4e beholder eye tyrant fight wherein the beholder whomped the PCs something fierce, I have to disagree with that statement.
For people looking to fight a true beholder I'd like to have the option of introduing one without houseruling it like crazy.

How is changing two of its eye rays "houseruling it like crazy"?
The change takes 5 seconds.
Ready, here I go...

Replace Entombing Ray with the following:
8) Entombing Ray: Ranged 10; 22 vs. Fortitude; the target is petrified (no save).

Replace Death Ray with the following:
9) Death Ray (Necrotic): Ranged 10; 19 vs. Fortitude; the target dies.

Bam.  SoD.  Done.

Now, to address the OP, I have found that SoD doesn't enhance the game.  Players don't need the risk of instant death to be scared, nor do they need the threat of instant death in order to want to prepare or learn about the threats they will face.
I far prefer the mechanic of 4E, where you die/are petrified/whatever after the second failed save.  It makes it scary, but you have time to react.

There's nothing wrong with SoD unless it's something that's used either by players or DM without prior discussion.  So long as everyone at the table is aware it's a go and agrees that's cool, it's kewl.  Simple enough.

I'm saying this from the 'good experiences' camp - and I've had characters die from all sorts of SoD effects ... including Phantasmal Killer.  Two saves.  I expected to fail the Fort and did so epically.  Will, though, was another matter.  Whoops.    Instead of packin' up my crap an' bailin', I made a new character.  And that was fun.  Other times I had characters brought back.  It all depended upon the particular campaign and the campaign particulars.  Anyhoo, we always discussed what was and wasn't allowed before we even put a pencil to paper.  Served us well for over 20 years.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Having time to react actually creates a greater sense of fear and tension. If a SoD cam kill you unexpectedly their is no fear because it happens too fast. If it takes two failed saves your players will have an oh sh@! Moment where they scramble to stay alive.
It is true that the major failings with beholders lie elsewhere, but SoD is a part of it. Beholders should have a ray of disintegration and a ray of stone to flesh. With such rays, the beholder is truly a source of fear for adventurers looking for excitement. With rays only dealing cruddy damage or immobilizing PCs they are nothing but pathetic obese overhitpointed kobold shamans.


Having recently run a 4e beholder eye tyrant fight wherein the beholder whomped the PCs something fierce, I have to disagree with that statement.



I could imagine eye tyrants being more interesting. They have a few SoDs and a little higher damage.


The Character Initiative


Every time you abuse the system you enforce limitations.
Every time the system is limited we lose options.
Breaking an RPG is like cheating in a computer game.
As a DM you are the punkbuster of your table.
Dare to say no to abusers.
Make players build characters, not characters out of builds.




Having time to react actually creates a greater sense of fear and tension. If a SoD cam kill you unexpectedly their is no fear because it happens too fast. If it takes two failed saves your players will have an oh sh@! Moment where they scramble to stay alive.



Umm ... if I saw a Wizard once I got to a level where SoDs were available, I knew that Wizard could kill me if he had prepped the right spells and if I wasn't properly set up, didn't have the right gear, wasn't with the right ally, said ally wasn't prepped, etc as soon as I saw it.  It wasn't out of the blue if he decided to Power Word Kill me, I was concerned he may for quite some time.  Adding another roll doesn't add anything IME.  That tension was already there.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]


That's the thing, you give your players the options of avoiding the SoD.  Look at Perseus and Medusa, he planned ahead and used a mirror shield. He was able to avoid his death coming down to a single die roll.  If you eliminate SoD, you can't recreate Perseus vs. Medusa in your D&D game.

There can be a lot of intense, dynamic situations when SoD is right around the corner.  Whether it be implementing a novel strategy in combat, or cleverly avoiding the situation.




Uh... You see, that (meta)game is cute the first few times. It then devolves into an excersise in tedium.

Adventurer: Alright, do we have the Ascension Kit ready? Let's see, mirror? Check. Unicorn Horn? Check. Break Enchantment, Stone to Flesh, Death Ward... Check. Check. Check. Can we finally move on please?

Hopefully, planning or gambling arent going to be the only way to deal with big problems (SoDs) this time around...

I could imagine eye tyrants being more interesting. They have a few SoDs and a little higher damage.


The Beholder in Monster Vault would also be a perfectly nasty fight, it's just that soloes prior to MM3 were basically giant punching bags. Other than bugged monsters (such as pre-errata needlefang drake swarms) pretty much no even-level encounter in 4e is remotely challenging.

It is true that the major failings with beholders lie elsewhere, but SoD is a part of it. Beholders should have a ray of disintegration and a ray of stone to flesh. With such rays, the beholder is truly a source of fear for adventurers looking for excitement. With rays only dealing cruddy damage or immobilizing PCs they are nothing but pathetic obese overhitpointed kobold shamans.

 


You know, my experience has been pretty much the exact opposite of that. While I'll admit 4e does occasionally run into the "sac of hit points" issue, some of my favoritest encounters have been long gruelling fights where I pull through by the skin of my teeth. Conversely, one of my least favorite encounters was with some Bodaks who hit me with the thing that reduces you to 0 Hp. I was just like "Cool, glad I spent like 6 feats on my survivability, I'm just gonna go read a book until somebody gets a chance to heal me." Granted that fight wasn't like terrible or anything due to having an awesome DM and the rest of the parties' theatrics, but for me personally, fear and excitement were like the opposite of what I felt.

Although the cascading effects 4e uses where somebody is going to die, but they have to fail a few saves first actually create a good deal of excitement, as people are scrambling to grant extra saves, coming up with crazy workarounds, or praying to the RNG every turn.

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
Save or Die should be telelgraphed. Save or Die should be at least Save or Save or Die, so the PARTY can react to try and rescue the poor targetted character. Save or Die should be used sparingly and only used when the character have access to Raise Dead or Ressurection. Using Save or Die on a level 1 group (without a storyline element) is just dickish and if I played in a game at level 1 and got insta-gibbed in the first set of encounters, I would bow out of that game at the end of the session.

It simply wouldn't be fun for me.

SoSoD is what I would prefer, 4Es, SoSoSoD is perhaps too kind. I also like the idea of a threshold before it becomes a Death effect (aka, deals damage unless target is bloodied, at which point the first save drops him to -1, second fail, dead).
Truth be told, 2 Saves or Die/Whatever really wouldn't chap my behind that much.  And it still allows for preparation and has an impact on in-combat strategy.  Actually, it has the potential to have more since there's more other players can do.  I suppose I'm not opposed to that idea at all. 
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Forwarning and counters:

1) Know that a save or die is comming.
2) Have options to counter it.
2b) The counters need to be reasonably achiveable within the given time.

Good example:  (Medusa)
Knowlage: Statues of people turned to stone.  They are all trying to shield their eyes.  You hear a rattling noise.
Availible Counter: Closing your eyes.  Blindfolds.  Run.

Bad forwarning: (Sphere of annihilation)
Knowlage: There's a hole in the statues mouth. Large enough to crawl in.
Availible counter: Don't crawl in.

Bad counter: (SoD spell)
Knowlage: You are hit by a phantasmal killer and have 2 turns.
Availible counter:  Clerics (which you might not have) has a spell (which he may not of prepared) to remove the effect.

Good example 2:  (disease)
Knowlage:  You are sick.  You will die in 3 days.
Counter:  Find a special herb/spell.  A library is 1 day away.  The herb/scroll is 1 day away from the library in an area surrounded by gnolls.

Good example 3:  (poisoned)
Knowledge: You will die in 3 rounds.
Counter: Heal check that everyone has.  A spell that you may have.  A potion you may have.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

Forwarning and counters:
1) Know that a save or die is comming.
2) Have options to counter it.
2b) The counters need to be reasonably achiveable within the given time.



May as well make it a skill challenge against death, at that rate. Most of those SoD terrors are otherwise terrificly poor combatants; neutralizing their raison d'tre leaves nothing but a transparent, one-sided fight.



That's the thing, you give your players the options of avoiding the SoD.  Look at Perseus and Medusa, he planned ahead and used a mirror shield. He was able to avoid his death coming down to a single die roll.  If you eliminate SoD, you can't recreate Perseus vs. Medusa in your D&D game.



I don't perceive that as a problem.

D&D can be challenging and interesting without resorting to screwjob mechanics like SoD, especially considering how inherently un-interesting SoD is.  Doesn't matter what you do, it all comes down to one single die roll.  No tension, no tactics, no nothing.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Partial effects and Action Economy, Shin

If it eats your action, and the action of an assistant to counter the SoD attack, and the attack, though countered, still did light dmage, it's acting as a form of battlefield control.  By making you waste more actions than it loses, the properly countered "killer" monster still acts as a threat, ESPECIALLY when used in a mixed encounter with monsters more capable of dealing damage (But which would fold to the full ungimped fury of the PCs), putting them in the general category of "status inflictors"

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."
On Worldbuilding - On Crafting Aliens - Pillars of Art and Flavor - Simulationism, Narritivism, and Gamism - Shub-Niggurath in D&D
THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

The right way to use Save-or-Die effects:
Against NPCs that have either outlived their narrative significance anyway or whose death could hold narrative significance of its own. In these cases, though, the PCs rolls no dice anyway, so it's really just up to the DM to decide whether it's better for the narrative for the NPC to die or not. Thus, no mechanics are necessary for Save-or-Die effects, and their execution and consequences are entirely DM-adjucated to benefit the narrative.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Partial effects and Action Economy, Shin

If it eats your action, and the action of an assistant to counter the SoD attack, and the attack, though countered, still did light dmage, it's acting as a form of battlefield control.  By making you waste more actions than it loses, the properly countered "killer" monster still acts as a threat, ESPECIALLY when used in a mixed encounter with monsters more capable of dealing damage (But which would fold to the full ungimped fury of the PCs), putting them in the general category of "status inflictors"



Partial effects on SoDs were not the norm. At best, they'd come from melee attacks that did rather pathetic damage for it's challenge level.

SoDs that actually wasted actions were even rarer. Hard counters for those effects were prepared right before, or well before, combat even started; Delay Poison, for instance, didn't require you to actually react to a poisounous effect. The only straight cases come from gaze effects, and even then, not all the time (Death Ward vs Death Gaze).

Still, that's a lot of annoying details to go through just to reduce a creature from a cheap OHKO to a glorified mezzer...

Side rant: Why the hell did a lot of these SoD monsters have to keep up with the combat effectiveness of PCs, anyway? What makes a generic Mind Flayer or a non-mythic Medusa inherently any tougher than an average person?



I know they didn't, but they should going forward.

Here's an idea for a SoD effect

Sever Soul
(Relevant Attack Stat vs. Fort) or (Fortitude Partial)1
If the spell is successful, the target's soul is severed from his or her body.  A severed character's body is functionally dead, though it retains its current Hit Point total.  The character's soul, though, does not immediatley depart the mortal plane, and may continue to act on his or her initiative.
A severed tests wisdom2 to return to his or her own body as a standard action.  If a character tests and fails on his or her own turn, or neglects to test on his or her own turn, the character is treated as failing a death save.3
If the spell fails, the target takes [Light to moderate, psychic-type] damage from the strain.


1 Depends how next decides to do defenses
2 Roll your Wisdom score or under on a d20.  there's been a lot of boards natter about ability scores as target numbers, and I like it in some cases.
3 I liked what I've heard about death saves.  They seem a versitile mechanic.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."
On Worldbuilding - On Crafting Aliens - Pillars of Art and Flavor - Simulationism, Narritivism, and Gamism - Shub-Niggurath in D&D
THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

@Tevish

Well that makes things different. Now you're adding a buffer against SoD effects, you know besides just gambling and preparation. Which is actually much better, IMO.

All the examples I see of 'proper' use of SoD are also situations where 'Death, no save' is appropriate.
I see plot device enemy, who is brought down to fightable status by plot device counter element
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Forwarning and counters:

1) Know that a save or die is comming.
2) Have options to counter it.
2b) The counters need to be reasonably achiveable within the given time.

Good example:  (Medusa)
Knowlage: Statues of people turned to stone.  They are all trying to shield their eyes.  You hear a rattling noise.
Availible Counter: Closing your eyes.  Blindfolds.  Run.

Bad forwarning: (Sphere of annihilation)
Knowlage: There's a hole in the statues mouth. Large enough to crawl in.
Availible counter: Don't crawl in.

Bad counter: (SoD spell)
Knowlage: You are hit by a phantasmal killer and have 2 turns.
Availible counter:  Clerics (which you might not have) has a spell (which he may not of prepared) to remove the effect.

Good example 2:  (disease)
Knowlage:  You are sick.  You will die in 3 days.
Counter:  Find a special herb/spell.  A library is 1 day away.  The herb/scroll is 1 day away from the library in an area surrounded by gnolls.

Good example 3:  (poisoned)
Knowledge: You will die in 3 rounds.
Counter: Heal check that everyone has.  A spell that you may have.  A potion you may have.



ah, exactly what I was lookin for, thanks!




Thinking more about SoD and the plot... I guess it'd be like being confronted with a raging river filled with pirana slimes, and the Plot is on the other side.
You can jump in (with the chance of drowning/being eaten/DIE), or you go look for a boat or a bridge or something.