Dying and death are pretty simply named, much as they are in other games. When your character is dying or dead is up to you, your party, and your game master, since the rules don’t label either as a condition or status effect. Your character is bloodied, wounded, helpless, and receives death checks. But you decide when they die.

Here’s how they work generally, though. When your character runs out of health, which they probably will, and frequently, they enter a sort of “danger mode,” represented by the Wounded status effect. At the start of each of their turns, they receive a Death Check. Three of these Death Checks renders them Helpless.

Right up to the point they receive the third Death Check, a character operates at full power, and it’s only through other effects that any penalties might be felt. Certain character types might be more powerful once they’ve suffered a wound, and others might be more effective against Bloodied or Wounded targets.

Once outside of combat, characters who are more healing-inclined might be able to remove Death Checks from themselves and their allies, but healing isn’t a skill that has to be trained, or a ritual that has to be purchased. I’m not sure if it’s an ability that will be limited to a character type. It’s probably an “everyman” skill, as in Guild Wars.

Temporary health, gained through a variety of different methods, never count toward your character’s health total. You’re Bloodied if your health is at less than half, and that’s that. Health is health, and temporary health is everything else — morale, blood power, magic shields, siphoned soul energy, whatever.

Your character dropping below one health and popping back up again? That’s just part of how it all works. If you want lasting injuries, you’re welcome to have them reflect on the Death Checks. Accrue a certain amount of damage, lose an eye. Or a finger. Or a hand, arm, or leg. Or whatever. The point is — that’s up to you as players.