The stunned status on 3.5 reads like this:

A stunned creature drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).

So in strict RAW 3.5, can a character do anything at all if he is stunned, or is he doomed to lose a round?

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    \$\begingroup\$ he can breathe... \$\endgroup\$
    – user902383
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the GM requires roleplaying for some mental actions (for example, thinking about a complicated plan and formulating a complex strategy, or counting things, etc. requires some in-game time), could it count as "doing something"? If the stunned character is conscious, he can indeed spend that time in a useful way by coming up with a plan, and telling it when the stun ends. \$\endgroup\$
    – vsz
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


Yes, he is losing that round.

Unfortunately a stunned character cannot do any action.

If your GM allows it, you can rule-bend it and be able to do some non-actions, like the 5-foot step.

From http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm

Not an Action
Some activities are so minor that they are not even considered free actions. They literally don’t take any time at all to do and are considered an inherent part of doing something else.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a really hardcore effect, if you think that so many things in dnd can stun a character, even many low-level spells \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 16, 2014 at 13:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Drunken_Guy Yes, it is. It's also something a lot of creatures have immunity to, and that immunity or relief from is fairly common in spell or item form. Consider daze: you still get to do nothing, though you are not defenseless and don't drop your gear. On the other hand, it's very hard to get any kind of resistance to. A lot of optimizers therefore treat stun as quite meh ("yeah, it's great if you can find something worth stunning that's not immune"), but treat daze as second only to death for desirable things to land on the other guy. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Daze is great, stun is lame, half the time something is undead or buffed or an elemental or whatever. Daze is something nearly nothing is immune to, there's like exactly one ability (mark of the dauntless) that makes you 'immune'. I like stun as a condition, though. Knocking people for six seems fair to me to do sometimes. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 14:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that non-actions are also unavailable as a general rule, since most (all?) of them are done as part of some other action. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 16, 2014 at 15:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but when you mix that with language like "technically" (which means the opposite of house rules), it makes it hard to tell whether you're saying it's part of the actual rules or part of a house rule. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 16, 2014 at 15:39

I'm not sure wether this can be considered RAW.

There is an item in the Magic Item Compendium

Third Eye Clarity

3000 gp, 1/day, immediate mental action, face slot

You can activate this crystal to negate any one of the following conditions affect­ing you: confused, dazed, fascinated, or stunned. You can activate the eye in response to an effect that would impose one of these conditions (for instance, after failing your save against a monk's Stunning Fist attack but before the stun takes effect)

Since this Item allows the character to negate the Stunned Condition and takes an immediate mental action to activate, it can be argued that purely mental immediate Actions can be taken, even if stunned.

However, upon rereading the description I think the item text actually implies that you need to do it before the stun takes effect therefore undermining the argument above.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The wording "You can activate the eye [...]" might also be a special permission to do that action when it would normally be impossible to do so. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ "You can activate the eye in response to an effect that would impose one of these conditions" makes me think that this acts more like Contingency (an event triggers the use, not the owner). My 2 cents! \$\endgroup\$
    – Vereos
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 13:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vereos Two different uses: activate to negate something currently affecting you, or activate to prevent something about to affect you. Relevant since, e.g., stun causes you to drop anything you're holding the moment you get stunned, so preventing it is much better than negating it afterward. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan is correct, there's two different times you can activate it. One of them is actually while you are stunned, so the argument about mental immediate actions being allowed during a stun is valid. Or it might just be this item. Or (highly probable) the author didn't really think about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 14:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MrLemon The description doesn't give an exception for when you are unable to take any action, just says what it does when activated, so it can't be used while stunned. It has that activate-as-a-response clause to take care of those circumstances. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 16, 2014 at 15:35

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