In a game I DM'd, a PC had cast a spell with a Concentration requirement and was subsequently Paralyzed. I quickly checked the description of the Paralyzed condition, which said nothing about Concentration but did say that the character was Incapacitated. I checked Incapacitated, which also says nothing about Concentration. I thus ruled in-game that the PC could maintain concentration on the spell even while Paralyzed.

However, post-game, I read the description of Concentration, where it clearly says that you lose Concentration when you are Incapacitated. It seems (in my opinion) like that is an important enough consequence of the Incapacitated condition that it should be listed with the description of the condition.

What the question is: are there other mechanical consequences of Incapacitated that are not listed in the description of the Condition itself, but are found somewhere else?

What the question is not: One of the Consequences of Incapacitated is that a character cannot take actions or reactions. Abilities that require the use of actions or reactions are therefore already assumed to be prohibited and do not need to be listed as part of an answer. Maintaining Concentration does not normally require spending an action or reaction.

What the question is also not: I am principally interested in consequences that I should track as a DM and that, as with Concentration, would not be immediately obvious. I would consider class-, feat-, and race-based abilities primary the responsibility of the player. For example, the player of a Barbarian who wants to use Danger Sense should know how Danger Sense works, but as a DM, I will have numerous NPC's with Concentration effects so that is something I should know. Likewise, a monster with a special effect ended by Incapacitation would not need that listed here if it was included in its stat block, but if the stat block just referenced a general ability that would then need to be looked up as well, that would be a good candidate for the list.

Related: What would be the implications of ignoring the incapacitated condition tied to the paralyzed condition?

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Based on the example given, I think this is well defined. It might be worth it to call them "mechanical consequences" to clarify. \$\endgroup\$ – Szega Jul 22 '20 at 8:23
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested in all examples of this? For example, a Barbarian cannot benefit from Danger Sense while Incapacitated, which the Danger Sense class feature explicitly states. Or are you interested only in more general examples that are not class feature or racial trait specific? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jul 22 '20 at 13:05
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ There's going to be a huge list, since many mechanics say things like "within 5 feet of the target and not incapacitated", and I doubt it is even possible to compile a full list, because there are more spells, adventures, monster features, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 22 '20 at 13:55
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This question is within scope of the character limit on rpg.se - Voted to leave open -from review. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Jul 22 '20 at 14:44
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure if this is a thing on rpg.se but this is a question where I would love to see a community wiki answer that gets extended by different people to be as complete as possible. It may be a long answer, but I think it would be a useful one. \$\endgroup\$ – findusl Jul 22 '20 at 23:30

This answer only lists the otherwise unlisted effects of each condition that could apply to practically any character (that I could find, of course).

It does not include class-specific examples, race-specific examples, feat-specific examples or other such things. Similarly it does not include monster-specific examples. An example of something not included here is that a Barbarian cannot benefit from Danger Sense while Incapacitated.

Some of the things below are also extreme technicalities; I opted to include everything I found instead of trying to make some sort of cutoff for inclusion.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, Incapacitated allies cannot enable a rogue's Sneak Attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Zimul8r Jul 23 '20 at 11:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zimul8r However that is a class-specific ability and something the Rogue would be expected to know, so I did not include it \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jul 23 '20 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Peter Thanks for that edit actually, I can't believe I forgot considering I bookmarked whether it applies to reaction \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jul 23 '20 at 12:02
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2: I feel like it would make sense for the Incapacitated condition rule to mention Bonus Actions specifically. Or at least as part of a quick reference for use mid-game, separate from the main rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jul 23 '20 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent wrap up ! \$\endgroup\$ – KilrathiSly Jul 30 '20 at 21:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.