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Emperor Tippy
2010-09-24, 09:18 AM
I'm 99% sure that you are always considered willing (and thus forgo a saving throw) when asleep or unconscious. Unfortunately I can't remember where this is stated.

So can anyone tell me?

mcl01
2010-09-24, 09:21 AM
http://srd.dndonlinegames.com/magicOverview.html#aiming-a-spell

Check out the Target Portion.


Target or Targets: Some spells have a target or targets. You cast these spells on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. You must be able to see or touch the target, and you must specifically choose that target. You do not have to select your target until you finish casting the spell.

If the target of a spell is yourself (the spell description has a line that reads Target: You), you do not receive a saving throw, and spell resistance does not apply. The Saving Throw and Spell Resistance lines are omitted from such spells.

Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if youíre flat-footed or it isnít your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless (such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or stunned) is not automatically willing.

Asheram
2010-09-24, 09:24 AM
I'm 99% sure that you are always considered willing (and thus forgo a saving throw) when asleep or unconscious. Unfortunately I can't remember where this is stated.

So can anyone tell me?

Yeah. It's one of the most creepy rules of all time...

"Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if youíre flat-footed or it isnít your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless (such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or stunned) is not automatically willing."

From the SRD. Under "Aiming a spell"

Edit: Gah. Ninjad... and even by a proper ninja!

Emperor Tippy
2010-09-24, 09:42 AM
Thanks. I checked a good chunk of the SRD but of course it is under targeting spells, not saving throws or condition summaries.

douglas
2010-09-24, 09:44 AM
Note: Being considered willing is distinct and separate from forgoing a save. Being unconscious means it is possible to use willing-only spells like Teleport on you, but it does not mean you automatically fail saves against, say, Mindrape.

The fact that it is only relevant for spells that specify "willing only" is why it is in that section instead of the general saving throws section.

Emperor Tippy
2010-09-24, 09:50 AM
Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw

A creature can voluntarily forego a saving throw and willingly accept a spellís result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this quality.

An unconscious character is always willing.

douglas
2010-09-24, 10:01 AM
No, that is not what that sentence means. It states that a creature can a) forgo a saving throw and b) willingly accept a spell's result. It does not state that either option necessarily implies or equates to the other. Yes, they would typically go together, but when willingness is caused by a technicality such as being asleep, the difference matters.

Also, the saving throw entry in spells like Nightmare (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/nightmare.htm) that only work on sleeping targets would be utterly pointless if your interpretation were correct.

Duke of URL
2010-09-24, 10:02 AM
An unconscious character is always willing.

That's actually ambiguous. The full context is:


Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if youíre flat-footed or it isnít your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing...

I think it is equally valid to rule that the phrase "Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing" applies generally or only applies to "spells [that] restrict you to willing targets only".

douglas
2010-09-24, 10:08 AM
Also, as Duke of URL pointed out, the "unconscious = willing" sentence is quite clearly in the context of spells that require willing targets, and it applying specifically to that matter and nothing else due to context is a valid parsing of the wording as written.

Emperor Tippy
2010-09-24, 10:20 AM
You can rule either way, I prefer ruling that unconscious=no save unless otherwise specified (such as Nightmare).

douglas
2010-09-24, 10:27 AM
As a player, or as a DM? Ruling that unconscious = always fail all saves vs spells leads to some rather broken results. It also contradicts at least one FAQ answer, as I recall, and probably several.

Also, the location of the rule and its context make RAI abundantly clear in my opinion, and RAI is that it's specifically for willing-only targeting requirements.

mregecko
2010-09-24, 10:43 AM
You can rule either way, I prefer ruling that unconscious=no save unless otherwise specified (such as Nightmare).

So if someone disintegrates you while you sleep, you're auto-nuked? If someone scries on you while you sleep, you get no save? You can Magic Jar someone in their sleep and they get absolutely no save against it? Dominate Person on an enemy that you knock them to -1, and you now control them fully?

I mean, if you want to rule it that way, feel free.... But it sounds to me that either a player playing with those rules or a DM playing with those rules is going to make someone very upset.

-- Mr. E. Gecko

Emperor Tippy
2010-09-24, 10:45 AM
As both a player and as a DM.

As a player it rewards you for managing to sneak into the enemies room without waking them up.

As a DM it does the same thing and get's around saving throws on things like Scrying and Wishing that the PC's are in front of the BBEG.

It honestly only matters if the players have either already defeated the baddy (and knock them unconscious) or have managed to sneak into his presence without being detected or waking him up (which is relatively easy to prevent).

douglas
2010-09-24, 11:04 AM
In my view, it makes the primary defense against far too many spells much too easy to overcome. Seriously, with your interpretation if you find an enemy asleep at any distance where you could conceivably target him, that enemy is your plaything. There are way too many ways to cast spells from extremely long ranges for this to not make sleeping near-suicidal.

The TPK-worthy exploits this makes possible are near endless unless your party is engaging in theoretical Astral-Projecting-from-his-MMM-cast-on-private-demiplane level paranoia. I would seriously consider refusing point blank to play in any campaign that ruled this way, that is how broken I think this interpretation would be.

As a player, I would feel that playing a Warforged or other means of never sleeping, or always sleeping in an impregnable fortress while immune to almost everything, would be absolutely required for anyone and everyone in the entire setting, PCs included, who has significantly powerful spellcasting enemies. Anyone who ever sleeps without spectacular protections will die or be enslaved the instant his enemies get around to it.

As a DM, I doubt it would matter very often except in how thoroughly it would break verisimilitude unless I make everyone sleep in near invulnerability, and I would not expect the players to find a world like that, and the requirement that they behave in similar fashion, to be fun.

Hague
2010-09-24, 11:07 AM
If unattended inanimate objects get a saving throw against effects, sleeping creatures do too, otherwise you're implying that simply being asleep makes your immune system shut down. Sleep in a room filled with filth? Automatically contract filth fever. Sleeping creatures get saves, they just don't get dex bonuses to reflex saves.

mregecko
2010-09-24, 11:09 AM
As both a player and as a DM.

As a player it rewards you for managing to sneak into the enemies room without waking them up.

As a DM it does the same thing and get's around saving throws on things like Scrying and Wishing that the PC's are in front of the BBEG.

It honestly only matters if the players have either already defeated the baddy (and knock them unconscious) or have managed to sneak into his presence without being detected or waking him up (which is relatively easy to prevent).

Yeah, you can stick with that if you find it preferable... I personally would never play in a game where it was the case.

An invisible wizard sneaking up a couple hundred feet away from the party and using a Metamagic Enlarge rod and Dominate Person on all sleeping party members is something any of my DM's would do. And easily within the CR for a 7th level party (9th level wizard with 11k in gear), which really won't have much defense against that.

Or how about a wizard goes into your room at the inn before you get there, hides out in a rope trick, and casts spells on you while you sleep?

For a PC, who cares if there's a big bad dragon? Dragons sleep all the time! Just sneak into its layer under a Silence & Invis Sphere spells, and use a Metamagic Rod of Silent + Hold Monster. It will never wake up! If 5th level spells are too high for you, pull this off with Charm Monster at 7th level.

Basically, there are too many ways to sneak up on people unaware (either at range or with prior planning) in D&D. Especially at low levels. If you use this rule at level 20, then yes, people should never even have to sleep by that level. They should also have Foresight up at all times, Mind Blank, Contingencies, etc... But the brokenness that can be (and would be in any game I play) pulled off by DM and PC alike would be ridiculous at anything < 14th level I would say.

-- Mr. E. Gecko

Emperor Tippy
2010-09-24, 11:16 AM
I fully agree. I just like the play style that expects paranoia and death at the first mistake.

If you mess up, you die. If you aren't properly paranoid, you die. If you are stupid, you die.

Adventuring, for me, is a very risky business where 99% of the people die within the first year and by the time you reach level 20, you are paranoid as a matter of course.

Fax Celestis
2010-09-24, 11:30 AM
Don't forget that failing a save against a sleep spell while wearing plate makes you fatigued tomorrow.


Sleeping in Armor

A character who sleeps in medium or heavy armor is automatically fatigued the next day. He or she takes a -2 penalty on Strength and Dexterity and canít charge or run. Sleeping in light armor does not cause fatigue.

Hague
2010-09-24, 11:33 AM
Ooh, nice one, Fax. It's strangely on-topic and totally illogical and yet entirely within the rules. You win the thread!

Greenish
2010-09-25, 09:59 AM
An unconscious character is always willing.While both being unconscious (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#unconscious) and sleeping make characters helpless (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#helpless), nothing (except common sense :smallwink:) says that a sleeping character is unconscious. (Indeed, the entry for "helpless" mentions them separately, and "unconscious" entry only speaks of unconsciousness as a result of damage.)

ericgrau
2010-09-25, 11:30 AM
It's one of those confusing rules where even if this is so (and I don't know, though it seems like it is), you may want to decide on a case by case basis. And sleepers have the potential to wake up.

IMO, as a totally made up house rule, fortitude and will saves wouldn't always auto-fail. Sometimes with effects like poison and nausea it makes little sense to even be able to choose to auto-fail. Reflex saves could auto-fail or get a gigantic penalty (and you wake up from it).

herrhauptmann
2010-09-25, 12:13 PM
Was thinking about this the other day (when I couldn't sleep). Had decided that ref saves you'd count as helpless, so really no saves, I mean, how would you roll out of the way of a fireball or dragon breath?
Fort saves you'd still get them, though you might not get all your magic bonuses unless you sleep in full gear.
Will saves, I wasn't so sure on. Some I could see an argument for forgoing your save because you're asleep, others not so much. Sleeping you're 'considered' helpless, but you still get to make listen checks to wake up.

Chipp Zanuff
2010-09-25, 12:20 PM
An unconscious character is always willing.

That has so many Unfortunate Implications (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnfortunateImplications) I don't know where to begin.

Claudius Maximus
2010-09-25, 12:41 PM
I'm with douglas on this one, and I even believe that you get a save by RAW. "Willing" has a game definition in the context of spell targeting, but you're using that to mean "willing" in a more general sense that includes willingly failing a save.

By the way, being helpless does not make you autofail reflex saves.

Skorj
2010-09-25, 12:47 PM
3.5 is a bit sloppy about "game keywords" vs ordinary English, but that section is clearly talking about the "willing" keyword, which is only used in a few places, not about the "will saving throw". Saying that sleeping means you don't get a reflex save is reasonable, no will save is debatable, no fort save is just wrong.

I would never rule "no will save" simply because it exaggerates the power advantage of Tier 1-2 classes over the rest, and making the way class balance is broken even more broken? Nothing good can come from that. At mid level, when PCs and their opponents still can be expected to sleep, scry would always work for for anyone you've ever heard of. That means teleport works 97% of the time! And SoL spells would always work. Scry-and-die becomes the fundamental tactic of the world.

Welcome to the Tippyverse. Everyone who the powerful casters have heard of, and who sleeps, is now dead or mindraped. Everyone. And how could you run a game, even ignoring the realistic social consequences? Once the party caster gets teleport, there's no longer any point in creating CR-appropriate opponents who sleep! What a strange place that would be.

Emperor Tippy
2010-09-25, 03:48 PM
Who sleeps without Anticipate Teleport (or greater anticipate teleport) up? Outside of their MMM?

By the time the PC's are at the point where sudden death assassinations are commonly attempted, they have all the tools needed to ensure that they aren't successful and that even if successful they come back to life.

Edhelras
2010-09-27, 05:32 AM
Our party is trying to interrogate an Evil cleric with good will saves. He has so far saved against the Zone of Truth and the Detect thoughts we're using (the party is lvl 4).
Right now the priest is unconscious after a battle, and has been recaptured. I was wondering: If we cast Zone of Truth and expose him to Detect thoughts, then we cure him and wake him up - will he automatically fail his Will save?

It would be cheesy, perhaps, but on the other hand, he would be more vulnerable while unconscious or asleep.

Benly
2010-09-27, 05:41 AM
Man. I hope you're real careful about setting your alarm clock when you're due to make the save to shake off a negative level. ;)

Rainbownaga
2010-09-27, 06:57 AM
Man. I hope you're real careful about setting your alarm clock when you're due to make the save to shake off a negative level. ;)

Surely this only applies to spells though. Something that always bothered me was the option of willingly failing fortitude saves against things like poisons and drugs- Seriously, how would that even work?

Benly
2010-09-27, 07:20 AM
Surely this only applies to spells though. Something that always bothered me was the option of willingly failing fortitude saves against things like poisons and drugs- Seriously, how would that even work?

It is ridiculous, and yet you can do it. And since we are, for reasons the logic of which escapes me, choosing to extrapolate from unconscious creatures being "willing" for targeting purposes the notion that they must also be willingly forfeiting their saves, I see no reason not to presume that they are also willingly forfeiting their saves vs. poison, disease, negative level malingering, death from coups des graces, experience loss from familiar death, and whatever else you can think of to put on the list.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-27, 07:39 AM
Isn't the auto willingness only for stuff that actually relies on the target being willing to work, like some teleports and (harmless) spells? (i.e.: Benign Transposition) I don't recall anywhere saying that sleeping = failing saves

Quietus
2010-09-27, 09:09 AM
Our party is trying to interrogate an Evil cleric with good will saves. He has so far saved against the Zone of Truth and the Detect thoughts we're using (the party is lvl 4).
Right now the priest is unconscious after a battle, and has been recaptured. I was wondering: If we cast Zone of Truth and expose him to Detect thoughts, then we cure him and wake him up - will he automatically fail his Will save?

It would be cheesy, perhaps, but on the other hand, he would be more vulnerable while unconscious or asleep.

By the rules they way they're written, no. "Willing", as a keyword, applies only to spells which require the subject be willing (as noted in their descriptions), such as Teleport. An unconscious character can be Teleported against their will, because they're considered Willing.

Sorry, sleeping. Unconscious is not sleeping, due to D&D's weirdness.

The "Characters may willingly forgo a saving throw" is NOT using the "Willing" keyword; It's using English. This section is intended for such things as Cure X Wounds and Owl's Wisdom, where someone wanting the benefits of these spells doesn't have to make the save if they don't want to. That portion is NOT intended to say "Slay living = 100% win on sleeping opponents".

Lhurgyof
2010-09-27, 09:19 AM
By the rules they way they're written, no. "Willing", as a keyword, applies only to spells which require the subject be willing (as noted in their descriptions), such as Teleport. An unconscious character can be Teleported against their will, because they're considered Willing.

Sorry, sleeping. Unconscious is not sleeping, due to D&D's weirdness.

The "Characters may willingly forgo a saving throw" is NOT using the "Willing" keyword; It's using English. This section is intended for such things as Cure X Wounds and Owl's Wisdom, where someone wanting the benefits of these spells doesn't have to make the save if they don't want to. That portion is NOT intended to say "Slay living = 100% win on sleeping opponents".

Indeed, playing in a game where the DM doesn't make that distinction would really suck. Everyone would be tippy-verse wizards with more contingencies than hit points.

Edhelras
2010-09-28, 03:43 AM
By the rules they way they're written, no. "Willing", as a keyword, applies only to spells which require the subject be willing (as noted in their descriptions), such as Teleport. An unconscious character can be Teleported against their will, because they're considered Willing.

Sorry, sleeping. Unconscious is not sleeping, due to D&D's weirdness.

The "Characters may willingly forgo a saving throw" is NOT using the "Willing" keyword; It's using English. This section is intended for such things as Cure X Wounds and Owl's Wisdom, where someone wanting the benefits of these spells doesn't have to make the save if they don't want to. That portion is NOT intended to say "Slay living = 100% win on sleeping opponents".

I can see this. But - at least - wouldn't it be appropriate to give a -2 penalty to the Will save for prisoners who are exposed to the Zone of Truth and other Will-dependent spells just as they wake up or are being roused from unconsciousness? Most people are more vulnerable at that point. And the DMs best friend is a -2 or +2 adjustment for unfavorable or favorable circumstances.

ericgrau
2010-09-28, 04:34 AM
Possibly but that would fall under the general purpose DM -2/+2 fudge rule not any rule on unconsciousness / saves.