Going unconscious DDI does not mention that a creature drops any held items, yet it seems logical to do so.

Is this mentioned elsewhere in the rules that I am not aware of? Has WoTC ruled on this question before?

  • \$\begingroup\$ The way I've ruled it is that the weapon is dropped, but unless it's tampered with it can be picked up again as part of the move action to stand up. I figure the weapon is basically sitting on your hand and it shouldn't take a whole minor action to grab it. Even if it's on the ground, you plant your hand on the handle as you push yourself up. No need to spend a minor (or to action tax a player who already missed turns). But interloping enemies can easily kick the weapon away if they have the actions. \$\endgroup\$
    – valadil
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @valadil - that's functionally identical to how I've decided to rule it (unless I'm missing a rule somewhere). I was going to allow enemies to pick up any items held by unconscious characters. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 18:39
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @valadil "...as part of the move action to stand up" presumes the character is going to stand up. I've had plenty of times where standing up after a recovery just wasn't worth the trouble for some reason or another (usually there was something better to do with that third action, or I really needed to get out of that square on that turn - so I'd just crawl). Making it a general free action as F. Randall Farmer has suggested may perhaps be more appropriate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Iszi
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 20:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That depends... Did he roll a 1? \$\endgroup\$
    – user1303
    Commented Jan 26, 2011 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


Perhaps the default answer should be: "Yes, falling unconscious causes you to drop items whatever you are holding, but if an item remains within reach, you can pick it up again when you regain consciousness as a free action."

This allows for speedy recovery to combat without removing the game play opportunity for the item to become out-of-reach (rolled away, stolen, or borrowed by a party member.) When considering these possibilities, it seems unlikely that you should normally hold something while unconscious. Seriously, what if I want to take the scroll-of-save-the-party from you - would I have to make a strength check or something?

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm agree, but it happens to my daughter to fall asleep with her teddy bear, and later in the night I try to remove it and she always resist even if she is deeply sleeping. \$\endgroup\$
    – tmow
    Commented Jan 27, 2011 at 10:36

You are right it is not mentioned. his sounds more like a situational adjudication by the DM.

It may depend on a number of things. The creature may be able to maintain a loose grip on the weapon/item held by the type of creature, say undead or far Realm, or if the terrain the fall on isn't too difficult. On the other side the terrain might be difficult or unstable like a hill and they tumble/slide a short distance or a swinging bridge, then they are likely to drop/lose a hold of everything they have. It may be that even if they do drop the item, when they regain consciousness they could easily retrieve it as they stand up as part of the move action. Tough call.

I would say that as a group you might want to discuss this one and set a house rule.


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