46

Since the goblin is sleeping, you could rule that the rogue surprises the goblin and gets a free round of actions before the goblin can react. In this case initiative is rolled as usual, but only the rogue gets to act on the first round (so if the goblin wins initiative, it still gets to act only after the rogue completes their turn). Even if you don't rule ...


39

Don't get knocked unconscious While this is not the answer you're looking for, it's about the best one we can give. An unconscious character can, by the plain English definition of the word, not act. Both in the reality of the game world as well as the rules, that not bleeding out is the only thing your character can do. If your character keeps getting ...


32

Yes. This is implied by the rules on death saving throws (PHB p.197), which state in part (emphasis added): If you take any damage while you have 0 hit points, you suffer a death saving throw failure. Note that damage while you are at 0 hit points doesn't reduce your hit points, though: A creature's current hit points (usually just called hit points) ...


30

Optional rule: Lingering Injury There are no rules in the PHB limiting how often a PC can get up after being knocked to 0 HP. For DMs who don't like there being few consequences for dropping to 0 HP, in the DMG on page 272 there is an optional rule for lingering injuries that covers any PC who: Receives a critical hit Drops to 0 HP but is not killed out ...


28

The answer to this is the combination of a few different rules, most which are found in the Player's Handbook ("PHB"), with a few extra notes found on page 77 of Xanathar's Guide to Everything ("XGE"), because these sort of questions did come up after the initial rules release. First off, XGE makes its clear that when you're asleep, you have the unconscious ...


24

There's room for a DM to rule both yes and no The rule for unconscious says: can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings It is interesting to note that it does NOT say: can't move, speak, or hear. There is no definition of "surroundings" in the game but a plain English understanding would be something along the lines of "all the stuff (...


20

No. (Unless they are asleep and you are using optional rules from XGtE) From your quote: Unconscious ... An unconscious creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings... Emphasis mine. A related question (Can a bard grant bardic inspiration to an unconscious creature?) has an answer that says (...


15

It is up to the DM "Willing" and "unwilling" are not game terms and are not defined anywhere in the rules and thus we are stuck with generic definitions. Unwilling: not willing; reluctant; loath; averse: opposed; offering resistance; stubborn or obstinate; refractory: "Willing" at least is pretty clearly a choice, you are mentally choosing ...


12

It isn't exactly clear, but the implication is that you cannot delay when unconscious. The section is titled Special Initiative Actions, and you cannot take "actions" while Dying "You" must make the choice to delay, something your character is (probably) incapable of doing while unconscious By choosing to delay... you decide to act... waiting to see what'...


11

The Paralyzed condition lasts until a minute passes (or you pass the save); in general, conditions tell you when/how they end The section on "Conditions" states: [...] A condition lasts either until it is countered (the prone condition is countered by standing up, for example) or for a duration specified by the effect that imposed the condition. In this ...


9

Yes, but damage is a different concept at 0 HP than at nonzero HP. Hit point mechanics change when a character reaches 0 HP. The character can still be hit with attacks and other damaging effects, but they don't take additional points of HP damage. Instead there are two variations: 1. Failed death saves Instead of taking damage, a character at 0 HP that ...


9

Timing is Everything Let's take a look at the two abilities, and see what they say about timing. Death Saving Throws: Whenever you start your turn with 0 hit points, you must make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw,[...] Healing Spirit: [...] Until the spell ends, whenever you or a creature you can see moves into the spirit’s space ...


9

Talk about teamwork I've had dozens of parties where there's only one cleric with healing magic, but I've never seen that Cleric make more than two death saving throws in a combat, generally not even a single one. If you are constantly going down and nobody is helping you back up, your team is doing a pretty bad job at..well... being a team. Ask the ...


8

There are the Lingering Injuries optional rule In the standard rules there are no lingering effects from damage, including that which reduces a creature to 0 hit points (other than the obvious lingering effect of death). However, on page 272 of the Dungeon Master's Guide there are a set of optional rules for lingering injuries. It's up to you to decide ...


8

To add to AlienAtSystem's answer, you can also boost your resilience by way of stat increases (ASIs) and Feats (if your GM allows them). Some useful ones might be: Tough: Your hit point maximum increases by an amount equal to twice your level when you gain This feat. Whenever you gain a level thereafter, your hit point maximum increases by an ...


8

Death saves are not supposed to be fun What level is this character? I understand levels 1-3 are difficult, a nasty crit from anything and you're all done. But 4th+ you should be able to eat a hit and gauge how many more your character can take. If one hit takes half your life, get out of close combat. Your party should pick up some slack and let you have ...


8

Others have answered what you cannot do, or how you can prevent this from happening. What you can do is describe your moans in agony, your blood pooling around you, and your casual conversation with the God of Death, Boatman, or whoever Shepherds the Dead into their Final Resting Place. Tell them that you're not ready to go yet, and someone will be along to ...


6

Ask your teammates to administer a potion of healing A Potion of Healing can be administered to an unconscious creature by any other character, although it takes an action: administering a potion takes an action Talk to other players in advance, let some of them carry a healing potion and help your cleric when he is down, instead of just watching him ...


6

No The description of the unconscious condition says: can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings If there were some ambiguity around awareness with being unconscious, these rules quell that ambiguity by stipulating that a creature that is unconscious is also unaware. It is likely the word “unaware” is used because many creatures in D&...


4

An attack is anything with an attack roll; saving throws do not have an attack roll so they are not attacks and do not interact with the unconscious rule. The Player's Handbook states: If there's ever any question whether something you're doing counts as an attack, the rule is simple: if you're making an attack roll, you're making an attack. (See the ...


4

The advantage and the disadvantage cancel out here A creature who is affected by sleep is both unconscious and prone. As the rules for prone that you quoted say, attacking a prone creature from more than 5 feet away causes disadvantage.1 An attack roll against the [prone] creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature. Otherwise,...


4

As a DM I roll (most) die in the open - death is a real possibility. This was discussed in session zero, and we all prefer that excitement in our game. This means party plays a lot more cautiously, scouting, planning, and running away (I told them in session zero there are things that can kill them without breaking a sweat, and it is their job to know when ...


2

As far as I know, there isn't anything in the rules that gives the penalty you speak of. From PHB p 197 (emphasis mine): If damage reduces you to 0 hit points and fails to kill you, you fall unconscious. This unconsciousness ends if you regain any hit points. and The number of both [death saving throws] is reset to zero when you regain any hit points ...


2

Your answer is in the PHB description of unconscious, "[the creature] is unaware of its surroundings." Unaware means "you have no knowledge of [whatever spell is being cast]" Using your example of Bolstering someone, it would be impossible to encourage them with words if they have no knowledge of the words you're using. While the encompassing answer ...


2

Yes. The context of that rule is key. It's a limitation on the previous paragraph, which is titled "Moving Around Other Creatures" and says you can move through the space occupied by another creature, if that creature isn't hostile. (Or if it's much larger or smaller than you, but I'll ignore that for now.) Further context comes from this very important ...


2

DM's choice There is no specific rule for this, or it would say so in the spell description. All it says it that the creature hears the message in its mind, which for the purposes of being asleep wouldn't be that different from somebody speaking to you while sleeping. Though there is an argument that the sleeping creature is more likely to remember and ...


1

There is no official answer It would be up to each individual DM to decide how to handle this situation. Other possibilities include: The spell fails as the recipient cannot receive the message. The spell delivers the message, but the recipient only becomes aware of it when they properly awaken. The spell delays delivery of the message until the recipient ...


1

Any melee attack can be a knock-out blow. You've quoted the complete rules on the matter. The type of damage is not relevant, only the source of the attack - melee or ranged. Both a melee weapon attack and a melee spell attack are melee attacks. There are no general rules that allow a knock-out blow to be made with any kind of ranged attack, neither ranged ...


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