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While DMing for DnD Encounters, I had an interesting rules concern come up, that I can't see handled in the rules specifically. We always assumed that when a character or monster goes unconscious via hitting 0 HP, that any marks applied by that creature ended (after all, the creature is no longer threatening, if they're out of the battle like that!)

One of the players, playing the Battlemind, insisted that their mark should stay active and effective while they were dying. The power in question is Battlemind's Demand, which reads:

Effect: You mark the target until you use this power again or until the end of the encounter.

Which is correct? Does a mark applied go away when a monster or PC is incapacitated? For that matter, does the mark drop when they are dead, or only when the normal end of round/end of encounter/other mark applied conditions are met?

I went with the decision at the table that the mark dropped--as otherwise, I can see monsters specifically including downed enemies in bursts and blasts just to avoid the penalty--or even deciding that the best tactical decision is a coup de grace, to remove the mark once and for all. If the mark is supposed to stay up--how do you handle it, tactically?

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up vote 21 down vote accepted

Check out the Player's Handbook rules update. It provides the following clarification to the MarkedDDI condition:

A mark ends immediately when its creator dies or falls unconscious.

Of course, this makes sense. The idea of being marked is that the creature, for whatever reason, regards the originator of the mark as a threat. This might be because of a divine or psychic compulsion, because of a teleportational link thingy, or because the fighter just won't get out of its face. At any rate, a creature would have to have an Intelligence in the negative digits to regard a dead or unconscious character as a threat.

Note that all abilities and powers that grant the Marked condition should specify the duration of the condition. Two common durations are "under the end of your next turn" and "until the end of the encounter" Any duration can be overridden by the specific note about the condition ending when its creator dies or becomes unconscious.

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According to the compendium under the marked condition:

"A mark ends immediately when its creator dies or falls unconscious."

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Could you potentially add a page number reference? Thanks! –  Emrakul May 3 at 0:14
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I would definitely have the mark go away, as it represents some sort of action on the part of the marker. In the case of the Battlemind, I think they are sending some kind of psionic signal. I tend to take the flavor text fairly seriously though, as I need some kind of explanation of how powers are actually working within the game world. Not sure if there's an official rule for this.

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In 4e, the official rules actually would be to completely and absolutely ignore all flavor text for rules questions - if it's explicitly said in flavor text that it works like X, then according to rules as written, it means nothing - the listed effects happen with the listed conditions, and nothing else does. –  Peteris May 3 at 11:26
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