Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Once the character is suffocating (after failing the Constitution check to continue holding her breath), she takes 1d6 Constitution Damage per round. If any of this damage remains at the end of the round it is taken, the PC becomes unconscious. Once the character’s Constitution score drops below 0, the character begins dying and will thereafter take one point of Constitution Drain per round until she is restored to positive Constitution, or dies. The character dies when their negative Constitution score equals their normal Constitution score (not the adjusted score). During that time period, the character may have negative Constitution score from both damage and drain, see below. Note that a character may be negative their Con because of damage taken due to drowning. This damage is still recorded, and on the following round, the Drain begins.
For example, Christina has a Con score of 12, and she is no longer holding her breath. She takes 1d6 Con damage, with the result of a 2, and drops into unconsciousness (with a current Con of 10). On her next turn, she takes 6 points of damage, dropping her Con to 4. The third round, she takes 3 damage, dropping it to 1. Finally, on her next turn, she takes 5, dropping her score to -4, and Christina is now dying. Her friends manage to pull her from the water three rounds later, meaning she has taken 3 points of Constitution drain (leaving her with a Con of -7). They cleric casts cure moderate wounds on Christina, which acts as a restoration (see below), restoring 7 points of damage (not drain). Her Con score is now -1, and if she is not restored another 2 points within 7 rounds (12 rounds (her original Con score), -3 for dying while drowning, -1 round for pulling her out, -1 round for casting the cure spell), she will die. She takes no additional damage or drain, but her body cannot endure the damage done to it by drowning.
Damage taken by drowning, if the character survives, is recovered at a rate of 1 point per minute. A successful DC: 20 Heal check by an attending character will double this amount, but the character must have constant medical attention to recover at this rate.
Furthermore, cure spells act as lesser restoration spells for the purposes of curing drowning damage, with their d8s converting to d4s, with no additional points per level healed. For instance, a cure light wounds spell restores 1d4 points of drowning Constitution damage, cure moderate wounds restores 2d4, cure serious 3d4, etc. Restoration spells work normally against this damage.
Finally, any cure or restoration spell will bring a character back from death if it is cast within 1 round per the character’s original Con score, from the time she reached 0 Constitution or below by taking drowning damage. If the character’s Con score is below 0 after this time, the character still dies.
Note that channel energy is not a cure spell.
Constitution Drain taken by drowning is removed in the usual fashion.