Just to clear up how I'm adjudicating things in my G+ games from now on...
When you are reduced to 0 HP, you are Unconscious and totally defenseless, but not Dying.
At -1 to -3, you are Dying.
At -4 and below, you are Dead. (This is roughly consistent with LotFP).
Dying: every round, roll under your CON score to remain stable. Every roll above your CON, subtract 1 HP until the character is at -3. When you are at -3 HP, it takes two rolls above CON to die instead of one.
(Example: RavenAngst the 1st level Magic User got scratched by a fierce House Cat for 4 Damage. RavenAngst is now at -1 HP. His companions are too busy to attend to him, so the next round RavenAngst's player rolls a CON check. He rolls above his CON score. He is now at -2 HP. The next round he rolls below CON and his state does not change. However the round after that, he rolls above again and RavenAngst is now at -3 HP. If he rolls above his CON twice more before being Stabilized or healed in some way, his character will die.)
Stabilizing: Any conscious character whose player can convince me they would know how to bind wounds can attempt to revive an Unconscious character or stabilize one who is Dying. This is done through a WIS check (roll under), with a penalty equal to the amount of negative HP the receiving character has. Character A can only attempt this once on Character B until Character B is healed above 1 HP then knocked below it again. This action takes an entire round, during which no movement or other action is possible.
The effects of success are as follows:
Unconscious: the receiving character is now at 1 HP and conscious.
Dying: the receiving character is now at 0 HP and Unconscious. They cannot be healed further through Stabilizing, but only through magical or herbal healing, 8 hours of rest, or other healing methods.
Mutilation: Any character healed from 0 or less HP through non-magical means shall gain a mutilation or deformity to be randomly rolled by the DM.
Dead: The character sheet must be torn up and mailed to a popular OSR figure, who will then eat it. Just kidding. The character can be raised magically within a number of days equal to the Dead character's CHArisma.
Alternatively, if the Dead character has previously used a Time Chamber of Agalloch, their essence from the time of use can be retrieved from the chamber with the proper ritual and Magitech engineering. Only Dead characters can be revived/duplicated this way. The character must be reverted to the level and items they had at the time the character used the chamber.
But it's not like you guys know about those yet.
PvP: I doubt it will come up, but if PCa's player thinks his character would attack PCb, I will not get in the way. I will adjudicate PC vs PC violence as fairly and mercilessly as I am able.
No Mercy: I am working every day towards being a more merciless DM. Challenge is fun. Risk is fun. Stakes are fun. If there is no risk of death, does it not take away sweetness from the honey of victory?
Oh man, somebody stat up Honey of Victory!