If I knock a creature prone and also manage to immobilize it (or if I prone an immobilized creature of I immobilize a prone creature) can it stand up on its next turn?

Put simple: Can I stand up from prone if I'm immobilized?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Rules compendium, pg232 supports standing up with the immobilized condition. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 17, 2011 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CadenRaikoujinIyori I've added this to the accepted answer, thanks for the reference. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 20:52

3 Answers 3


Yes, a prone immobilized creature can stand up.

The definition for Immobilized could seem a little fuzzy upon first reading:

When a creature is immobilized, it can’t move, unless it teleports or is pulled, pushed, or slid.

Until you note that Move is explicitly defined:

Any instance of movement, whether it is done willingly or unwillingly. Whenever a creature, an object, or an effect leaves a square to enter another, it is moving. Shifting, teleporting, and being pushed are all examples of moves.

An easy way to sum it up would be to say that the creature cannot leave it's square by it's own actions while immobilized.

The Rules compendium states this more clearly than previous rules sources:

An immobilized creature can’t reposition itself on the battle grid, but it’s not paralyzed. It can still stand up when it’s prone... (RC 232)

If you decided to rule that being immobilized prevented creatures from moving at all then you should probably also rule that an immobilized creature can't:

  • attack
  • defend itself (ie, helpless)
  • talk

I should note that there are no conditions that explicitly prevent a creature from standing up. Neither Dazed or Restrained will prevent it. Conditions like Stunned, or Helpless would do the trick, but only because they prevent the creature from taking any action at all.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You know, that definition of move doesn't technically discount standing up as a type of movement. Given the wording, the conditions it lays out are sufficient, not necessary. I don't disagree with your conclusion, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 19:17
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ That definition of move does discount standing up from prone, because the definition says that leaving a square to enter another is moving and standing up from prone is not leaving a square to enter another. \$\endgroup\$
    – Soulrift
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a comment but disallowing talking seems like it would be limited in application e.g. paralyzing effects. So while the conclusion is sound, it may be beneficial to regulate talking while immobilized with additional DM skills rather than banning it outright. Though it could be an option if you needed immobilization to be your go-to total paralysis effect. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 11:14

Yes. Being immobilized only prevents you from moving out of your current space.

If someone is standing in your space with you, however, you must shift out of your space to stand from prone, and this is disallowed by being immobilized.


I don't agree with Pat Ludwig here.

You cannot stand up if you are prone and immobilized!

From the way I read it:

1) Standing up = move action.
2) Immobilize = no move actions except teleport, push, pull or slide.

Let me break down the 'Move' confusion. If every square represents 5ft then every PC that is above 5ft is technically shifting into another square when they stand up. With this in mind, standing up is considered a shift.

Standing Up = Shifting
I say this because if you look at what provokes Opportunity Attacks, you will see that move actions provoke Opportunity Attack with the exception of shifting. If standing up is a move action without provoking an Opportunity Action then it counts as a shift.

  • \$\begingroup\$ All small and medium creatures occupy a 5x5x5 square regardless of their actual height (or width). Standing up from prone does not move the creature into another square. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 6:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is a move action, not a move. A move is defined as leaving one square and entering another. Even if you used your 5x5x5 logic, you never left the first square. Note this definition of move comes from the Rules Compendium itself \$\endgroup\$
    – Cam
    Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 4:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ I retract my answer because the Rules Compendium, pg232 clearly says that an immobilized creature can stand up. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 17, 2011 at 17:50
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ -1 for not deleting the false and confusing answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 20:09
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mark Rogers: the answer is still here in the event someone else thinks the same way, and through reading they can get a clear understanding of where the rules clear it up. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 5:26

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