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I was wondering what the rules say about dodging while prone. I couldn't find anything from the PHB. I would imagine that rolling out of the way of attacks is possible but it would be kind of slow so I don't know how to rule it.

In my situation a cleric used Turn Undead and a frightened skeleton that was in a corner as far away as possible from it's source of fear so it's only option was to dodge. It was knocked prone and in a corner so I just ruled it so that it couldn't dodge.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 3 at 9:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify; was the skeleton unable to stand up because it was frightened? \$\endgroup\$ – Yakk Jul 3 at 20:13
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A Prone Creature can Dodge

Nothing in the rules specifies that a creature cannot take the Dodge action while under the effects of the Prone condition.

The Prone condition (PHB, p. 292) states:

  • A prone creature's only movement is to crawl, unless it stands up and thereby ends the condition.
  • The creature has disadvantage on attack rolls.
  • An attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise, the attack roll has disadvantage.

And the Dodge action (PHB, p. 192) states:

When you take the Dodge action, you focus entirely on avoiding attacks. Until the start of your next turn, any attack roll made against you has disadvantage if you can see the attacker, and you make Dexterity saving throws with advantage. You lose this benefit if you are incapacitated or if your speed drops to 0.

What would happen in this scenario is that any melee attackers against the prone dodging creature would not have advantage or disadvantage, while ranged attackers would have disadvantage.

There are additional rules on "Being Prone" (PHB, pp. 190-191), but it is mostly describing how to move while prone, and does not forbid the use of any actions, including the Dodge action.

(Incidentally, I'm imagining it would look like Samwise trying to dodge Shelob's stinger from TROTK film.)

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You can Dodge when Prone

The rules for the Dodge action simply state:

When you take the Dodge action, you focus entirely on avoiding attacks. Until the start of your next turn, any attack roll made against you has disadvantage if you can see the attacker, and you make Dexterity saving throws with advantage. You lose this benefit if you are incapacitated or if your speed drops to 0.

Note that you only lose the benefits of Dodge if you are incapacitated or your speeds becomes 0. The prone condition inflicts none of those things:

  • A prone creature's only movement option is to crawl, unless it stands up and thereby ends the condition.
  • The creature has disadvantage on attack rolls.
  • An attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise, the attack roll has disadvantage.

The prone condition does not incapacitate you nor does it make your speed become 0 so you can still dodge as usual.

Note that for attacks within 5 feet this means that the advantage granted by the prone condition cancels out with the disadvantage imposed from Dodge, so attacking a dodging prone creature within 5 feet has neither advantage nor disadvantage.

You can easily visualize what dodging an attack looks like while prone: a creature simply rolls out of the way of the attack (suggested by V2Blast)

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The dodge action is defined as:

When you take the Dodge action, you focus entirely on avoiding attacks. Until the start of your next turn, any Attack roll made against you has disadvantage if you can see the attacker, and you make Dexterity Saving Throws with advantage. You lose this benefit if you are Incapacitated (as explained in Conditions ) or if your speed drops to 0.

and prone is defined as:

A prone creature’s only Movement option is to crawl, unless it stands up and thereby ends the condition. The creature has disadvantage on Attack rolls. An Attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise, the Attack roll has disadvantage.

as you can see, neither stops the other.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The meta post on using code formatting can be found here \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Jul 3 at 9:49

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