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By the description of the Stance keyword on the Rules Compendium, it ends in a very specific moment:

A stance lasts until the character assumes another stance or until the character falls unconscious or dies.

The system defines that when you reach 0 hit points, you are dying, and then says:

The creature is unconscious. (...) This condition ends immediately on the creature when it regains hit points.

The Ring of Invigoration has the following daily power:

Daily (Free Action) When you're reduced to 0 hit points, you can spend a healing surge.

So my question is: Does the ring's power actually kick in before the unconsciousness triggers, thus keeping up any stance, zones and other effects that require you to be alive and fighting, or does it kick in after that?

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Usually the interpretation of reactions to being reduced to 0 hit points are:

  • After all other effects of the damage/attack that made the reduction are accounted for (e.g. a Push on the attack that damaged the target).

  • Before the consequences of being at 0 hit points are themselves resolved. So the character is not yet considered unconscious or dying. Importantly, they can take actions.

The first bullet point is open to interpretation, and sometimes in practice controlled by DM or players are allowed to have things processed in a favourable order.

However, logically the second bullet point should apply in this case, as an unconscious character cannot take free actions. So unless the reaction was allowed between reaching 0 hit points and falling unconscious, the trigger for magic item use would never occur.

This logic can also be used to interpret some power and magic item effects to be equivalent to Interrupts (as opposed to Reactions), if that is the only way that they could logically work and the rules only give Free Action or No Action as the action type.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This sounds correct, but I had to read it again before deciding it was a Yes. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon Oct 2 '15 at 23:23

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