Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Mark's Beneficent Death Rule
Under the normal rules, when a character’s current hit points drop to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score or lower, of if he succumbs to massive damage, he’s dead. A character can also die from taking ability damage or suffering an ability drain that reduces his Constitution score to 0.
With this house rule, once the character has taken that damage, and/or drain, he does not immediately die. If he is given magical curing, restoration or other treatment (such as channel energy), which brings his hit point total below his death threshold, or his Constitution score above 0, before the end of the round following the round he exceeded the threshold, and that curing has brought him below his death threshold, he will not die.
This essentially gives the character a round and a half grace period for his comrades to come to his aid.
The character is still vulnerable to the Coup-de-Grace maneuver, if he remains helpless. A Coup-de-Grace, as well as death from massive damage, and certain magical death effects, are immediate, and the character is not given this grace period. He dies. (This is usually the result of a failed Fortitude saving throw)