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?
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.