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I've been thinking about unconsciousness and performing a a coup de grâce lately. It came up in our game this past week and I want to make sure I'm understanding it correctly.

Unconscious reads:

While a creature is unconscious it is helpless, it can't take actions and it takes a -5 penalty to all defenses.

Helpless reads:

While a creatures is helpless, it grants combat advantage.

Combat advantage grants a +2 bonus to attack rolls.

I read this as a net +7 bonus to an attack roll (or -7 penalty to all defenses, however you read it) to Coup de Grâce. Is this a correct reading?

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@dannyT thanks for the correction! Although I do like my fat :) – wax eagle Apr 16 '12 at 20:01
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In many instances it's a net +7 to attack, but not all.

The variable is Combat Advantage. There are a number of ways to get Combat Advantage (any attack vs. Helpless/Dazed/Stunned/Surprised, melee vs. Prone, melee vs. flanked, attacking while having total concealment including being Hidden/Invisible, zones, save-ends debuffs, until-next-turn debuffs, feats, among others) but they do not stack. No matter how many ways you have CA, you only get a +2* to attack. So if an attacker is already flanking the creature with an ally, the change in net attack bonus due to Unconscious is only +5.

*For completeness's sake, there are some feats that can cause the CA bonus to be some other value.

That said, as Erik Burigo posted previously, Unconscious is extremely nasty.

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+1: A very good specification I missed to write about. – Erik Burigo Apr 16 '12 at 15:06
I'd tend to count unconscious before I count most of those other things [i.e. it's the other things that give zero, not the unconscious that doesn't give +7], but that's a hazard of saying things like "net". – Random832 Apr 16 '12 at 17:36
I agre @Random832 but if the creature was previously Flanked/Stunned/Prone and then became Unconscious, the die roll to hit only went up by 5. – Snowbody Aug 8 '14 at 18:12

Yes, it is.

You can't read it as a -7 to all defenses (bonuses on attack rolls and penalty to defenses are two different things), but you got the math.

Unconscious is a really nasty effect, and almost all attacks are auto-hit.

Remember also that, in most cases, an Unconscious creature is also Prone; and a prone creature has a +2 to all defenses against range attacks that originate from a non-adjacent source.

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meh, coup de gras doesn't work from range either so no point to that. – wax eagle Apr 16 '12 at 14:53
I try to not underestimate the imagination of Wizards of the Coast's R&D when developing future material. ;) – Erik Burigo Apr 16 '12 at 15:01
Re: Sneak Attack – CatLord Apr 16 '12 at 15:22
@waxeagle Technically Coup de Grace uses ones of its attack power against an adjacent creature, so you can do a ranged attack ... at range 1 – SteveC Apr 17 '12 at 19:44
@SteveC correct, my comment was in relation to the statement in the answer "non-adjacent source" in this case range refers to range>1 not ranged as in ranged attack... – wax eagle Apr 17 '12 at 19:46

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