I like DnD 5e a lot. It's why I put stuff up on here. But one thing I don't like are the Death and Dying rules and how they interact with short action ranged healing magic.
To summarize, it's waaaay too hard for a PC to die in 5e. Generally speaking the buffer of three failed death saves and ranged healing magic via a short action gives the party ample time to get their fallen comrade back in the fight with no significant opportunity cost. This is not a good thing for me. It reduces my feeling that combat is dangerous and takes some of the fun out of fighting.
And then there's the "whack-a-mole" effect. Because the standard rules don't track negative hit points, and because dying is highly improbable, being reduced to zero HP is just a temporary inconvenience for my PC. It has no lasting downside. In fact it has an upside! It turns out to be more efficient, both healing wise and action wise, to wait until my PC reaches zero hit points before popping him or her back up into the fight with short action ranged healing magic.
I don't want combats that don't feel dangerous. And I certainly don't want there to be an inherent advantage in postponing healing until my PC is unconscious and bleeding out.
So how can this be improved? I suggest creating the possibility of longer lasting injuries (and even death) and other setbacks when a PC is reduced to zero hit points. This added layer of risk reinforces the feeling that combat is dangerous, that even victory might come at real cost, and also discourages the kooky whack-a-mole effect.
Which hopefully increases the fun for everyone.
Houserule #2: Injuries and Setbacks Table for DnD 5e
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