Our group surprised an enemy while he was sitting on a sofa (enjoying a slave massaging him), what kind of conditions apply to him?

He is not prone, because to be prone, he should be lying on the ground.

Is he flat-footed? The description says:

You’re distracted or otherwise unable to focus your full attention on defense

Which can be fitting the situation.

There are specific bonuses or penalties?


1 Answer 1


DM's call

There is no condition called "sitting and being massaged", not even one for sitting (no massage). Your DM will have to adjudicate that.

For what it's worth, flat-footed seems to be about the best fit from the available list of conditions, if you want to use one of those. The penalty effect is: "You take a –2 circumstance penalty to AC." Depending on how positioned, heavy and serious about their work the slave is, maybe even grabbed -- but from your description (sitting, not lying), it sounds like that would be overdoing it.

If they were lying on the sofa, maybe even on their stomach, the DM might use prone condition instead. While it says "lying on the ground", so technically they are not prone, they are in a situation that would be quite similar in regards to the penalities they should experience trying to get up or defending themselves when attacked. But if thay are just sitting, getting a neck massage or something, they are probably able to easily jump to standing, so this would be too much.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd only add that a GM should consider the amount of effort it is to stand up when deciding between actually being Prone vs. Flat-footed. If it would take more than a second to stand up, they should probably be "Prone" with the caveat of not actually being laid out on the floor. More likely, they would be able to spring up and begin moving fairly easily and that's not necessary. It might also be worth mentioning the inclusivity rules that indicate that a wheelchair-bound character should, by default, be considered capable of interacting with the world as well as others. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jan 15, 2023 at 21:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ref: Assistive Items sidebar \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jan 15, 2023 at 21:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Thank you for the pointers to the Assistive items. They say "The rules are intended to allow disabled characters to adventure alongside other adventurers without encountering significant roadblocks.", so that wouldn't have to apply to someone without handicaps and not using these items, I think. I agree that prone makes sense if they were lying on the sofa (even though it is not the ground). If they are just sitting there, getting a neck massage, I'd think its too harsh, they should be able to get up easily. I'll update it. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15, 2023 at 21:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I wasn't sure about that one tbh but it stands to support "only" making them flat-footed \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jan 16, 2023 at 0:44

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