[RPG] Can a zero-HP, unconscious and stable character be woken up prematurely


Whenever you drop to 0 hp you become unconscious (and are dying). If you manage to stabilize you will wake up in 1d4 hrs with 1 hp.

We had a situation where an unconscious character was stablized, but the party had no healing magic left. The unconscious character rolled a 4 on the d4. Since the other party members were reluctant to wait for 4 hrs for him to regain consciousness, the question came up if this can be sped up. They took a short rest and wanted to know whether the unconscious character would be able to use his HD to regain hp.

As the DM I ruled that it was not possible to wake him up without healing magic, because with 0 hp you remain unconscious until your hp rises to at least 1. This only happens after 4 hrs naturally. If I had ruled that a successful medic check would have woken up the character then I'd effectively ruled that using the medic skill would restore hp. And that is not the case as far as the rules are concerned (RAW).

Also, spending HD during a short rest would require the injured character to be conscious so that wouldn't be an option, either.

Did I miss something? Are my characters actually able to wake their injured comrade prematurely, or are they unable as I suspected?

Best Answer

You can't treat the time you spend unconscious as a short rest.

Short Rest

A short rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.

There's a big difference between that and an hour spent unconscious because you almost died. I suspect that as far as the ability to regain hit points is concerned, the "tending to wounds" bit is the most important.

As you say, there is nothing in the rules that allows a Medicine check to restore hit points. In your capacity as the DM you are free to change the rules however you wish, but within the scope of the rules, only magic or resting can restore hit points.