You have health, you have maximum health, you're alive.
You have 0 health. You have been incapacitated. You are unconscious.
If you have a regeneration rating it will automatically trigger at 1 minute and you can spend energy to heal. Characters may choose to move to dead at this point (NPCs with no friends).
If you don't have a regeneration rating or you don't have energy to activate your regeneration, after 10 minutes you are now dead.
If your maximum health is 0 or you've been incapacitated for 10 minutes you are now dead. Dead is an interesting state. First off your maximum health immediately drops to 0 if it wasn't already. You can be targeted by insight and you can be resurrected (even if you're not human). There's a couple of other powers that can target dead people, but we'll talk about those later. If you're dead, you're in a pretty bad spot, you don't want to be here.
If you are dead for 10 minutes you become Decaying.
Decaying is when you can drop your tags and get up. Depending on what you are, you may not have to do so yet. A decaying vampire or wraith goes OOG immediately. A decaying shifter or human may continue to play a body for as long as they want, or until a power destroys their body (spoiler). Once you hit the decaying stage your character is gone and can not be brought back.
Look here. I made a chart:
I'm also going to take this opportunity to show off some of the new formatting we're looking at for powers. While the majority of powers will continue to cost 1 energy, we wanted to clearly spell out what will not. Touch is a "new" category of powers that require touch to activate and are resisted with willpower. Touch powers are not considered attacks, unlike mental, status, and damage powers which are considered attacks.
Resurrection - (Touch)
Cost: 1 Willpower
After the caster spends 1 minute meditating while touching a dead character he may activate this power to bring them back to life. A dead target will have their maximum health returned to 1 and be healed a single point of health. An incapacitated or conscious target will be healed 1 point of health.
Insight – (Touch)
Cost: 1 Energy
Call: “Insight <question>”
The caster touches a target that is dead. The target must answer any questions the caster asks truthfully per character knowledge. This power ends when the target becomes decaying or when the caster is no longer touching the target.
Why the changes to the above powers?The infinite timer on Resurrection had some major concerns from a rules perspective. First off it encouraged people killing a target near the end of an event where the chance for resurrection was low. This artificial timer didn't sit right. Also, we wanted resurrection to be cool and not just a human thing. Shifters are alive and can be resurrected. There was some big war about that or something. We figured that the dead state gives a time period in which someone could be resurrected without becoming a burden. Another fear we had was a character staying IG as their character's body all night in hopes of being resurrected. While I'd admire the hardcore aspect of this, I don't think it's actually something we want in the game. This gives a clear path from which a character moves from living to incapacitated, to dead, to gone in a clear and concise way.
Insight has been heavily used as the best truth telling method of the game. The line I've heard repeatedly is "beat them down and insight them". While the energy restrictions that exist in a limited energy system would limit it's abuse the one question one answer system still isn't great. We wanted to take this power back to where it belonged. In canon the power was really used to extract information out of a dead body, not a live one. If you came across a corpse you could get info out of it (usually only about how it died). We wanted to keep some of the original investigative nature in insight but we wanted to up the ante on it. As it is written in the new system, if you want the truth, you need to get it from their cold dead eye. You also get tons of info for a single energy point.