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One of our players got paralyzed for 10 hours by a special dart (homebrew). We were in combat when he went down, and were in combat when the effect wore off, although they were 2 separate encounters. When he woke up in the middle of the fight, we didn't know whether the paralysis counted as a long rest, so we were unsure whether he had full HP or was still injured from before.

Does being "paralyzed" for an extended period of time grant the effects of a rest?

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To begin with, we must understand that the 10-hour paralysis is a homebrewed effect, and such a condition was decisively not in view when the rules for resting were written, but we can try to surmise the interaction between the written rules and this homebrewed effect.

On the surface, the rules for long rests make no mention of the paralyzed or incapacitated conditions. So in the strictest RAW sense, there isn't a reason why you wouldn't benefit from a long rest.

But we can make some inferences from the description of long rests to rule the other way:

If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity — at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity — the characters must begin the rest again to gain any benefit from it.

I would argue that suffering from a particularly potent paralysis poison for ten hours is going to fall somewhere in this category of "strenuous activity", but maybe that depends on how your DM wants the poison to paralyze you. Do you simply lose nerve function in your body and can't move, or does the poison violently lock up your muscles?

To determine if this paralysis falls under strenuous activity, you would have to ask the one who invented it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Being completely paralyzed but awake, would be an incredibly stressful event, mentally taxing and frightening. Unless the player deliberately states they are meditating or relaxing or otherwise going to sleep while paralyzed, then it should count as a strenuous activity. \$\endgroup\$ – cde Jul 4 at 3:09
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Homebrew problems require homebrew solutions

Only your DM knows for sure if the dart he created was peaceful sleep paralysis, or ten hours of fear and struggling.

Paralyzed condition does not define this, so the item or spell shall do it, or it's purely DM ruling. Usual things like the Wand of Paralysis or Hold Person spell only inflict that condition for short amounts of time, too short for it to matter.

If you are the DM, now it is time to think about player's fun. He already lost half of the encounter, ten hours of peaceful activities and beginning of another encounter. I see no harm in giving his character benefits of the long rest. And if he will not get them, there is a risk he will go down again, and player will again have nothing to do at the game table. Thus, I would let him have it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I suspect even the DM doesn't know for sure whether it's peaceful sleep or fear and struggling. Leaving aside the relevance to the mechanics of whether it's a rest or not, I'd expect a DM with an opinion on the subject to have narrated it for flavour. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve Jessop Jul 4 at 4:03

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