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If a PC has entered the ethereal plane via some magic e.g. Oil of Etherealness or the Etherealness spell, and then is knocked unconscious while they were midair, what happens to their body? Does it fall? Do they go prone but remain aloft?

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2 Answers 2

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They go prone but do not fall

The Ethereal Plane also disobeys the laws of gravity; a creature there can move up and down as easily as walking. (DMG)

No gravity means no falling.

Prone is a feature of being unconscious:

The creature drops whatever it’s holding and falls prone. (PHB)

I imagine the Ethereal plane as being in deep space.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer, that's what I figured but I wasn't sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tyscribz
    Sep 16 at 1:59
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You do not fall, go prone, or gain the prone condition

Going prone (falling down so as to be flat on the ground) is the effect of gravity when going limp from being unconscious.

But there's no gravity in the Ethereal Plane.

The Ethereal Plane also disobeys the laws of gravity; a creature there can move up and down as easily as walking.

There is nothing to cause a creature to move when it goes unconscious, and the very concept of "down" is subjective in a place without gravity. So a creature doesn't fall down when they go unconscious.

But does the creature gain the prone condition anyway? Gaining the prone condition has three effects.

  • A prone creature must stand up before moving (crawling excepted). This makes no sense here.

  • A prone creature has disadvantage on Attack rolls. This is ostensibly because the creature's movements are restricted by the ground its lying on. This makes no sense here.

  • Creatures have advantage or disadvantage on Attack rolls against a prone creature. This is ostensibly because a creature lying down takes less space and might have some form of cover. This makes no sense here.

None of the effects of the prone condition make sense for a creature that isn't prone. Without anything independently causing the creature to actually become prone (lying on the ground), a creature going unconscious in a place without gravity does not gain the prone condition.

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