All you need to know about Finger Of Death 5e, zombie & death saves

Finger Of Death 5e

Does Finger of Death 5e turn you into a zombie if it drops you to 0hp in d&d ?

No, as a PC hit with 0 hit points does not die but is unconscious and dying. That is something that the Players Handbook makes a special effort to clarify. So Finger of Death 5e does not turn you into a zombie if it drops you to 0hp in d&d. Let’s look closer at how 5e works.

Dropping to 0 Hitpoints: You either die or become unconscious if you reach 0 hit points 

According to the rules, dropping to zero hitpoints will make you unconscious and cause you to begin making death-saving throws. If you have more damage than your maximum hitpoint, declining to zero will kill you. Take this example:

A cleric who has a maximum hit point of 12 currently has six hit points. She is reduced to 0 hit point if she takes 18 damage in an attack. However, 12 damage is left. The Cleric is killed because the damage she has left equals her hit points maximum.

Let’s assume that a player currently has 20 hit points left and has 30 hit points. A Finger of Death will deal 62 damage to the player, and they will be 0 hit points. They will be killed if they take more damage than their hit points and become a zombie.

Finger of Death could also affect a player who has failed at least two death saving throws before the spell’s impact. If they take damage from the spell, it will count as failing a third save throw. That would result in them being killed and made a zombie by the caster.

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Does finger of death 5e bypass death saves?

Death Saving Throws

You become Unconscious if you are hit with damage that reduces your hit points to zero and does not kill you. (See Conditions ). If you gain any hit points, this unconsciousness ends. That is quite clear: An attack that drops you to 0 hit points but does not exceed your maximum hitpoints. It will fail to kill you by Raw. Let’s take Mac, a Level 5 Fighter with a Con modifier +2, fighting with Bandits. He has taken quite a few hits, so he is now at 5 of his 44 maximum hitpoints.

One Bandit appears and attacks Mac with its Longsword. That does 1d8 damage to Mac’s AC. The Bandit also rolls a 3, dealing Mac 5 points of damage. Mac is now down to 0 hitpoints and falls unconscious.

Mac isn’t yet dead. Although he is bleeding and dying, he’s still “only Mostly Dead.” His Party’s Cleric can use Spare The Dying on him after his party defeats Bandits in the next round. He will soon die if he continues to sit there. That’s why the Death Saves are so important.

Mac is bleeding when he falls to the floor. He isn’t repeatedly stabbed with a longsword. He is just bleeding. Some of his cuts might clot as he lies down, while others may stop bleeding. His overall bleeding may also slow down. That is the Death Save. He may also pull himself out from unconsciousness and crawl away. It is the Natural 20 on Death Saving Throw (immediately gain one hitpoint).

Instant Death

Massive damage can instantly kill you. If you have less than 0 hit points, and you still have damage, you will die.

Let’s suppose there is another case just a few miles away. Rosie, the Rogue, is walking along a mountainside when a Stone Giant notices her. Rosie, a level 3 Rogue, has a Con Mod score of +0 and 18 Hitpoints. The Stone Giant throws an enormous rock at Rosie, causing her to take 37 points of damage (rolling 4d10+6). Rosie is now at 0, and the damage she takes is 19 HP. That exceeds Rosie’s maximum hitpoints. The Rock then flattens Rosie and kills her immediately.

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It’s not the Longsword that kills Mac, but the bleeding it causes. Rosie is killed by the Rock when Rosie dies. It becomes crucial when spells are added.

Finger of Death

Negative energy is sent through any creature you see within range. It causes severe pain. The target must make a Constitution saving throw. If the save fails, it takes 7d8+30 damage. It is half the damage if it succeeds.

This spell causes a humanoid to die and rise as an undead Zombie at the beginning of your next turn. It is permanent under your command, following all your verbal commands to the best of their ability.

Let’s take a look at Mac once more. After Mac is revived by the Cleric and given a long rest, Mac decides to bully a high-level Warlock NPC.

The Warlock is not amused and casts Finger of death on Mac. He fails to make his saving throw and takes in 67 points (rolling 7d8+30). He is now down to 44, but this is not enough. The damage left is 23. That doesn’t exceed 44. Mac is not dead. The RAW spell does not kill him, but he’s now unconscious.

Now, Finger of Death, an Instantaneous-Duration Spell, works by arcing negative energy through the target. The negative energy, which is the same energy that animates Undead, stops flowing through Mac’s body after the spell has ended. It has almost completely dissipated, having drained most of Mac’s power. It wouldn’t be the spell that killed Mac if he failed his next three saving throws. The magic is done. He is dying because he cannot get enough life energy to keep his heart beating or breathe.

Level 7
School Necromancy
Casting Time 1 action
Range 60 feet
Components  V, S
Duration  Instantaneous
Classes Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Mac wouldn’t come back as a Zombie because there is no negative energy from the spell animates him. The dnd 5e spell expired many turns ago after the spell’s duration (Instantaneous) expired.

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Is Death Saving throws a cause for death that triggers Finger Of Death 5e zombification?

Yes, the death saving throws can be read as:

Your body fights the necromantic energies (Failed roll), and your internal body begins to collapse. (Failed roll 2: Your mind is manipulated by the necromantic power, and you feel it becomes elementary. You want to satisfy your internal hunger. You are now dead. Unable to stop your hunger, you rise and see many creatures.

Disintegrate 5e vs Finger of Death

The Finger of Death 5e d&d is not an attack spell. Its purpose is to make a zombie out of its victim. It exists because of that. It’s not there to cause damage. That is absurd. The spell is perfect for necromancers who want to create permanent zombies. If you are not interested in necromancy, you shouldn’t be.

  • The Finger of Death does not destroy equipment or the body.
  • The Finger of Death inflicts damage upon a successful Save. Disintegrate doesn’t.
  • Grim Harvest heals Finger of Death for 21HP instead of 12.
  • The Finger of Death grants you a free Zombie minion.
  • The Finger of Death does not contain any material components
  • Disintegrate doesn’t appear on the Warlocks spell listing.
  • Necrotic damage is more interesting than Force (more things have resistance/vulnerability, more abilities boost or otherwise interact with it).