Duergar have certain immunities:

Immune: paralysis, phantasms, poison

Paralyzed is a separate condition from Stunned, however, and I haven't read anything that says a creature that's immune to paralysis is immune to stuns, but the debate happened at the gaming table yesterday. The case brought forth was Paralysis being a higher form of Stunning - akin to Frightened being a higher form of Shaken.


I was a monk trying to use stunning fist against a duergar. The GM said, your stunning fist attempt fails because they are immune to paralysis. I pointed out that stunning is a separate condition. Since the topic turned into a discussion that took up over 15 minutes of game time, I finally accepted his ruling and moved on.


Are creatures immune to paralysis, by proxy immune to stunning?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Zangief, I edited your question to be less specific, in line with the Question you submitted at the end of the post. I feel like my answer applies to both the old and new version, feel free to re-edit or rollback the edit if you disagree with the change. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 7:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Encourage the GM to post a counter-answer; I don't see one coming from another source. I'm interested in that perspective. (For example, although for D&D 3.5e, see this question.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Paralysis immunity does not imply stun immunity.

Being paralyzed is not an increased form of being stunned. Their sources and actual effects are completely different:

A paralyzed creature…

  • is frozen in place.
  • cannot move at all, its Str and Dex are, effectively, 0.
  • is helpless
  • has generally been the victim of a paralytic poison or spell.

A stunned creature…

  • is unable to take actions, but can still take nonactions (like a 5-foot step).
  • loses its Dex bonus to AC (if any) plus suffers a −2 penalty on Armor Class (and a foe's combat maneuvers that use its CMB gain a +4 bonus).
  • drops any held equipment.
  • has usually been the victim of powerful or tactical blows, such as to the head.

Paralyzed means you are completely frozen in place, whereas stunned means it's like getting hit by a boxer's right cross to the chin — you're so close to being knocked out, you can't properly defend yourself — that you're basically just stumbling around.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer answers "Yes" to the opposite of the title question and listed in-body question. For the sake of reducing confusion, maybe the bold text should read "No, a Duergar (and other strictly paralysis immune creatures) can be stunned." \$\endgroup\$
    – Axoren
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 21:21

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