In our party we have a sorcerer who looks for opportunities to prank our wizard and paladin. We're new to RP and aren't yet sure about our options for something like this. Is there a way for a lawful good 4th level wizard and paladin to restrain or incapacitate a chaotic good 4th level sorcerer for an hour without killing them?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Your most recent edit was helpful to help guide this question closer to where it needs to be, however, there's still two major issues. First, your question is very broad as there are countless ways to do this; coming off of that is the second issue that the matter is very opinion based. Are you seeking an answer that is within your characters' moral boundaries? If so, you need to clearly define those boundaries. If you're seeking a combat spell or other effect to bestow the in-game effects of Restrain or Incapacitated, you need to be more clearly state that to be your goal. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '18 at 2:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately, with the nature of this question, I don't think I can narrow it down much more. Since it would always be opinion based, go ahead and take this one down. Thanks for the help with it though guys, good learning experience. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11 '18 at 10:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you clarify? It's not entirely clear if you're asking how to subdue from a mechanics standpoint or from an alignment/morality standpoint. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Oct 11 '18 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Basically, what we were originally after was a list of suggestions of how our characters could use the means their abilities provide them to non-lethally subdue a PC. Alignment would be considered since we just want to mess with him and RP it wouldn't make sense to go overboard. So mechanically within morality if that makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '18 at 9:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Really, subduing was just a means to then troll, like Prestidigitation his pants being soiled and such. We were more looking for the latter than the former. But as pointed out, asking for how to mess with others is heavily opinion based and more open discussion than a single question. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14 '18 at 9:45

The rules contain the following option:

Knocking a Creature Out

Sometimes an attacker wants to incapacitate a foe, rather than deal a killing blow. When an attacker reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, the attacker can knock the creature out. The attacker can make this choice the instant the damage is dealt. The creature falls unconscious and is stable.

For my own games: whenever a player reduces an opponent to 0 hp with a melee attack, I'm ok with describing the defeat however we want: dead, unconscious, restrained, disarmed, maimed, exhausted, tied-up etc.

Another option is to Grapple your opponent, followed by a Shove (to knock them Prone and unable to stand due to being Grappled). This is at least fairly close to being Restrained, and allows the rest of the group to have advantage while finishing the job.


Here is a literal answer to your question: if you deal the sorceror damage equal to their hit points, they will fall unconscious. Then:

You can use your action to administer first aid to an Unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check.

A stable creature doesn’t make Death Saving Throws, even though it has 0 Hit Points, but it does remain Unconscious. The creature stops being stable, and must start making Death Saving Throws again, if it takes any damage. A stable creature that isn’t healed regains 1 hit point after 1d4 hours.

There's a small risk of accidentally killing the sorceror if your rolls go very badly. You can avoid this by having your paladin heal the sorceror for one hit point if they fail two death saves and are about to die.

But it sounds like you have a deeper problem, which is that your group is not on the same page about what the game should be about. This is something you need to talk about out-of-game. Is your story:

  • a cooperative story in which the group works together to solve a common goal?
  • or a competitive story in which the player characters interfere with each other, probably preventing them from accomplishing any larger goal?

If your sorceror friend wants to play a competitive game, but the two of you are looking for a cooperative game, it might turn out that either you or them needs to look for a different D&D group.

(See also: this article by Bankuei, or this related question about differing play styles.)


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