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The Sequester spell says:

If the target is a creature, it falls into a state of suspended animation. Time ceases to flow for it, and it doesn't grow older.

Both "suspended animation" and "time ceases to flow" are not game mechanics terms.

Is the creature able to perceive its surroundings? Is it able to take actions and reactions? If not, can you say the creature is unconscious or incapacitated that way?

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The creature can't perceive its surroundings or take actions

The character is stuck in time, and taking an action requires a certain timespan. If one second lasts forever, then you can't feasibly take an action.

Likewise, it can't see or hear anything, as those too would require a passage of time. As far as they are concerned, the moment they go to sleep, and the moment they wake up, are one and the same. No time has passed in their mind.

However, that does not mean the creature is incapacitated, as nothing in the spell says that the creature is incapacitated.

The reasoning "it can't take actions or reactions, therefore it's incapacitated" is flawed in itself. "Bob has disadvantage, so he must be blind!" could be true, but it doesn't have to be, he could be poisoned, cursed, fatigued, etc.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your last correlative argument is a bit flawed. There is only one condition that imposes the lack of action and reaction and that is Incapacitated (though others invoke it)... there are many that impose disadvantage to something. So it is, in fact, reasonable to say if you can't take actions or reactions you are effectively Incapacitated. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jul 19 '18 at 15:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth being surprised also means you can't take actions or reactions (in the first round only until your first turn) but that does not mean you are Incapacitated \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jul 19 '18 at 15:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz Why not? Incapacitated is only not being able to take actions or reactions... A=B then B=A. Effectively when you are surprised you are in fact incapacitated by definition... even if the rules don't call it out explicitly. \$\endgroup\$ – Slagmoth Jul 19 '18 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth: "=" is the wrong operator here: "A implies B" doesn't automatically mean "B implies A". Being incapacitated implies not being able to take actions or reactions, but the reverse doesn't hold. \$\endgroup\$ – hoffmale Jul 19 '18 at 20:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz It not being your turn and your having used your reaction also makes you unable to use actions and reactions. If that counts as being incapacitated, you should automatically lose your grapple on any creature you grapple if you take a reaction at any time. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jul 19 '18 at 23:51
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Jeremy Crawford ("Sage Advice") has said several times that if something isn't a game term, it should be interpreted as normal English in the most obvious way.

"Suspended animation" and "time ceases to flow" indicate that the creature is unaware and unable to think or act. Given that, while it doesn't specifically mention the unconscious or incapacitated conditions, it's certainly reasonable for the DM to apply the relevant effects in this case.

However, since they are in a timeless suspension rather than just asleep, it would also be reasonable to rule that they don't necessarily fall prone and drop everything as specified by the unconscious condition; the DM could rule that you could sequester a knight standing upright with his sword in hand, ready to do battle.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If Sequester makes its target fall prone and drop everything, then it stands to reason that Time Stop does the same to everyone else. That doesn't strike me as a good idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Dayton Williams Jul 22 '18 at 9:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ It depends on how you interpret 'time ceases to flow'. Does it mean literally frozen in an instant of time, like a star trek stasis field, or does it merely mean time stops in metabolic terms, a la Rip van Winkle or Arthur on Avalon? Both of those are valid interpretations of the effect of Sequester, but Time Stop clearly refers only to the former. Whether the 'fall prone and drop everything' part of the 'unconscious' condition makes sense depends on how your DM feels about that. \$\endgroup\$ – Darth Pseudonym Jul 23 '18 at 20:35

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