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Laurellien
2007-07-04, 02:07 PM
Does a target of a spell who is unconscious get a saving throw?

terrant
2007-07-04, 02:13 PM
Obviously not reflex, unlikely will but maybe fort.

Gralamin
2007-07-04, 02:16 PM
I believe by RAW, Unconscious people do get reflex saves

Attilargh
2007-07-04, 02:30 PM
Yes. Uncosciousness (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#unconscious) only means being helpless. Helpless characters have to make Fortitude saves against coup de graces, so I would presume they get to make them in other situations as well.

In regards to Reflex saves, helplessness only means that a character's Dexterity is treated as a 0, which means a -5 modifier, and that's it.

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 02:36 PM
Reflex, yes. Fort, yes. Will, no.

Anxe
2007-07-04, 02:39 PM
How does an unconscious person get a Reflex save? That doesn't make any sense!!!

Fenix_of_Doom
2007-07-04, 03:01 PM
How does an unconscious person get a Reflex save? That doesn't make any sense!!!

A lot of things don't make sense, e.g. if a fireball fills up a confined place you still get a reflex save, it's just a mechanic, IMO it's best not to dwell on it.

Inigo_Carmine
2007-07-04, 03:13 PM
You get all of your saves, but your dexterity is treated as 0 (as -5 modifier instead of your normal dex modifier).

Fort and Will saves are unaffected.

SensFan
2007-07-04, 04:13 PM
How does an unconscious person get a Reflex save? That doesn't make any sense!!!
Maybe he happened to be lucky enough to have been hit by a cooler spot?
Maybe the fire missed him?

Note - The above is based on my interpretation of RAW, which is that Fireball is a mass of fire taking up a 20-foot sphere, not a 20-foot ball of solid fire.

its_all_ogre
2007-07-04, 04:18 PM
also the save mechanic can also include luck.
you could happen to be lying in a slight depression while unconscious that protects you, or as your comrade takes the brunt of the fireball his body protects you from most of the blast.
best thing is that evasion would still work!
yes an unconscious monk can evade a fireball, but strap a shield on to his arm and he's toast!!:smallbiggrin:

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 04:20 PM
Fort and Will saves are unaffected.

Incorrect. If your unconscious you don't get a will save.

EDIT: Actually you automatically are considered willing and thus don't make a save.

Aiming a Spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm)
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.

Orzel
2007-07-04, 04:25 PM
Just because you can't make yourself move doesn't mean your body can move by itself. You can unconsciously seizure your under a rock or something.

Spiryt
2007-07-04, 04:46 PM
Maybe he happened to be lucky enough to have been hit by a cooler spot?
Maybe the fire missed him?



I think it's quite good explanation - it's still random effext, mostly.

Character with good reflex save and let's say 16 dex have +10 on reflex save on 10th level. When unconsiouss he suddenly have 2 so he won't probably save anyway. And with cloak of resistance, you can always say:
"your fine, durable and magical cloak saved you from major burns"

Still it's little strange when character can avoid, dunno, Resilient Sphere in this state.

So after all i think that helpless characters should get nonability : Dexterity, not only Dex 0. They can't willingly move after all.

Kurald Galain
2007-07-04, 05:29 PM
This is about as silly as healing yourself by drowning.

Dausuul
2007-07-04, 07:11 PM
Incorrect. If your unconscious you don't get a will save.

EDIT: Actually you automatically are considered willing and thus don't make a save.

Aiming a Spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm)

Hmm... I don't know as I agree with your interpretation, either by rules as intended or rules as written.

By rules as intended, it looks to me like all they're going for there is, "If a spell requires a willing target, an unconscious critter counts." Presumably this is so you can grab your unconscious buddy and teleport out of danger. I don't think it's meant to deny unconscious creatures their Will saves.

By rules as written, where does it say that a willing target doesn't get a saving throw? The bit on voluntarily failing saves states that if you voluntarily fail your save, you willingly accept the effect, but I see nothing stating the converse--willingly accepting the effect does not necessarily mean voluntarily failing your save.

PinkysBrain
2007-07-04, 07:14 PM
Reflex, yes. Fort, yes. Will, no.
Unconscious only makes you automatically willing for spells which require willing targets, it doesn't make you lose your will saving throw though AFAIK.

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 07:29 PM
SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#savingThrow)

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.

A willing target is one who voluntarily gives up their saving throw. An unconcious creature is automatically willing, and gets no saving throw as it is automatically given up.

PinkysBrain
2007-07-04, 07:31 PM
"forego" "accept" "surpress" these are all conscious actions ... kinda hard to take those when you are unconscious.

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 07:35 PM
"forego" "accept" "surpress" these are all conscious actions ... kinda hard to take those when you are unconscious.

A willing target is a target that willingly accepts the effects of a spell. Hence no saving throw.

An Unconscious creature is automatically willing. They don't get to choose to forgo a will save, the rules say they automatically forgo a will save.

Dausuul
2007-07-04, 07:37 PM
SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#savingThrow)


A willing target is one who voluntarily gives up their saving throw. An unconcious creature is automatically willing, and gets no saving throw as it is automatically given up.

The rule you quoted says only that if you voluntarily give up your saving throw, you are willing.
It does not say that if you are willing, you've voluntarily given up your saving throw.

A similar example: If you've taken Dexterity damage equal to your Dex score, you're helpless. But if you're helpless, that doesn't mean you've taken Dexterity damage equal to your Dex score.

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 07:42 PM
If you voluntarily give up your saving throw, you are willing.
If you are willing, that doesn't mean you've voluntarily given up your saving throw.

Incorrect. To willingly accept the effects of a spell (be a willing target) you must forgo a saving throw. A saving throw means that you aren't willing.


A similar example: If you've taken Dexterity damage equal to your Dex score, you're helpless. But if you're helpless, that doesn't mean you've taken Dexterity damage equal to your Dex score.

Agreed but this is a different issue.

Dausuul
2007-07-04, 07:46 PM
Incorrect. To willingly accept the effects of a spell (be a willing target) you must forgo a saving throw.

Please quote the rule that says this. The rule you quoted above only says that people who give up their saving throws count as willing. It doesn't say that anyone who counts as willing has given up a saving throw.


A saving throw means that you aren't willing.

Not by a strict reading of the rules.

Of course, if one is going by rules as intended rather than rules as written, this is a sensible interpretation... but then, by rules as intended, it seems pretty clear to me that the "unconscious = willing" statement was only meant to apply in the context of spells that specifically require a willing target.

PinkysBrain
2007-07-04, 07:54 PM
A willing target is a target that willingly accepts the effects of a spell.
This comes down to whether one sees a difference between "is" and "considered".

I see a difference especially given the context of the sentence, you don't. Neither of us will be convinced. So lets approach it from a different angle, who do you think the Sage would agree with?

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 09:08 PM
This comes down to whether one sees a difference between "is" and "considered".

I see a difference especially given the context of the sentence, you don't. Neither of us will be convinced. So lets approach it from a different angle, who do you think the Sage would agree with?

Me.

CustServe, Jack Mann, most of the CharOp's board, The Logic Ninja, and numerous other people all do as well.

A willing creature is one who has forgone their saving throw, that is the only way to be willing. Willing means that you aren't resisting a spell. Making a saving throw is attempting to resist a spell. The two are mutually exclusive.

PinkysBrain
2007-07-04, 09:20 PM
Very well, lets hit up cust serv then.

I've used this :

Under "Aiming a spell" (page 175) it is said an unconscious character is considered willing in the paragraph about willing targets, does that mean he will willingly accept a spell as described under "voluntarily giving up a saving throw" (page 177)?

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 09:23 PM
Fine with me. You should send it about 5 times though and go with which ever gets the most responses. :smallbiggrin:

/Has sent them a single question 10 times and managed to get 2 separate answers 5 times each and everyone had a different justification for their answer, some were even mutually exclusive.

Mike_Lemmer
2007-07-04, 09:24 PM
I'd have to disagree with "unconscious characters get no saving throw since they're automatically willing" for both balance and mechanical issues.

Balance-wise, that means any number of nasty spells can auto-succeed on a sleeping PC. A hidden wizard hiding 200 ft away and casting Phantasmal Killer on a sleeping PC? Instakill. Possibly even 3-4 instakills before anyone notices. Or you could substitute Dominate Person, Plane Shift, etc.

Mechanic-wise, there's one spell that contradicts the "sleepers get no saving throw" interpretation: Nightmare. Nightmare can only be cast on a sleeping AKA unconscious victim. Yet it specifically allows a saving throw. If unconscious creatures never get saving throws, why would a spell that only works on unconscious creatures allow a saving throw?

DaMullet
2007-07-04, 09:27 PM
You guys are arguing about nothing.

Several spells (Teleport, for one) have this or similar target lines:

"You and touched objects or other touched willing creatures"

Emphasis is mine.

Unconscious characters are considered willing for the purposes of determining eligibility for spells which require willing targets.

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 09:30 PM
Mechanic-wise, there's one spell that contradicts the "sleepers get no saving throw" interpretation: Nightmare. Nightmare can only be cast on a sleeping AKA unconscious victim. Yet it specifically allows a saving throw. If unconscious creatures never get saving throws, why would a spell that only works on unconscious creatures allow a saving throw?

Because whoever wrote the spell didn't know the rules for unconscious creatures?

It happens all the time, one rule or spell contradicts another. Or makes absolutely no sense. Drowning healing you or being able to act while dead for instance.


You guys are arguing about nothing.

Several spells (Teleport, for one) have this or similar target lines:

"You and touched objects or other touched willing creatures"

Emphasis is mine.

Unconscious characters are considered willing for the purposes of determining eligibility for spells which require willing targets.

Rules reference? There isn't one.

If you want to go with your interpretation you can't heal an unconscious creature unless it fails its saving throw which since it is unconcious it can't willingly forgo.

Gralamin
2007-07-04, 09:39 PM
I'd have to disagree with "unconscious characters get no saving throw since they're automatically willing" for both balance and mechanical issues.

Balance-wise, that means any number of nasty spells can auto-succeed on a sleeping PC. A hidden wizard hiding 200 ft away and casting Phantasmal Killer on a sleeping PC? Instakill. Possibly even 3-4 instakills before anyone notices. Or you could substitute Dominate Person, Plane Shift, etc.

Mechanic-wise, there's one spell that contradicts the "sleepers get no saving throw" interpretation: Nightmare. Nightmare can only be cast on a sleeping AKA unconscious victim. Yet it specifically allows a saving throw. If unconscious creatures never get saving throws, why would a spell that only works on unconscious creatures allow a saving throw?

Where does D&D Define going to sleep as being unconscious?

Emperor Tippy
2007-07-04, 09:41 PM
Where does D&D Define going to sleep as being unconscious?

In the rules on sleeping IIRC.

Gralamin
2007-07-04, 09:46 PM
In the rules on sleeping IIRC.

Where are these rules? The closest I can think of is the Sleep spell and the Unconscious Condition

The sleep spell states "Sleeping creatures are helpless"

And Unconscious states:

Unconscious

Knocked out and helpless. Unconsciousness can result from having current hit points between -1 and -9, or from nonlethal damage in excess of current hit points.

From What I'm seeing, a Sleeping character is Helpless, not Unconscious.

Further, The Helpless Condition states:

Helpless

A helpless character is paralyzed, held, bound, sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise completely at an opponentís mercy.
If you were Unconscious while sleeping, Why mention it twice?

Tallis
2007-07-04, 09:53 PM
I think the unconsious characters are willing rule is intended to apply to spells that require a willing target.
As written I would have to agree with Emporer Tippy that a willing target does not get a saving throw. However, I see nothing that indicates the rule is limited to will saves. You could willingly accept a fireball just as easily as a zone of truth.
For my games I'll stick to the rule as I think it was intended.

Demented
2007-07-04, 10:03 PM
I just have to ask....

Where does it say that unconscious creatures can't choose to forego a saving throw?
Edit: The sentence about unconscious creatures being Willing implies that they have a choice, but it's made for them.
Edit2: For that matter, where does it say that Willing creatures forego their saving throw? :smallconfused:

NullAshton
2007-07-04, 10:09 PM
Okay.... when asleep/unconscious, you STILL can make a saving throw. HOWEVER, you are counted as willing.

How does this work? Okay, polymorph requires a willing target, correct? However, it ALSO has a saving throw listed. Why does it have a saving throw listed if you have to use it on a willing target? Because polymorph can be used on unwilling unconscious targets.

Gavin Sage
2007-07-04, 10:25 PM
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. -SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm)

The rule isn't talking about saving throws at all but whether or not certain spells can target a creature in the first place. If the spell is not specifically against willing targets then the rule never comes into play at all. Further more it says nothing about saving throws at all, being denied or allowed. Which of
course makes sense since these aren't the rules for saving throws in the first place.

And in the rules for the saving throws themselves a completely separate rule states:


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. -Same place different section

Since while unconcious nothing it voluntary on your part, you cannot voluntarily forego your saving throw or willingly accept anything (albeit Will you could make an argument for since your mind is never actually off) thus you get your saving throw automatically. You being considered a target by the above rule is irrelevant since they are different areas of the rules.

Now what about say a cure spell? Well that does allow a saving throw but also has the tag of (harmless):


(harmless)

The spell is usually beneficial, not harmful, but a targeted creature can attempt a saving throw if it desires.

So you don't get a saving throw unless you choose to make one. Now I suppose this means that an unconcious creature could not say resist healing even if the controller might have a reason to, but we're getting fairly esoteric as far as that goes. Handle that on a spell by spell basis.

For others like Teleport, you get no save but have to be willing, therefore can be teleported in your spell. However that is a far cry from no save period.

@Emperor Tippy:
Also if I may notice none of these specify Will saves specifically over Fort or Relfex therefore if the first rule applies as you think, then no creature gets any sort of save while unconcious. Which would mean you are contradicting your original statement of:


Reflex, yes. Fort, yes. Will, no.

Borogove
2007-07-05, 12:40 AM
On a related topic, a creature that doesn't have a dexterity score (in the same way undead don't have a con score) automatically fails reflex saves (and dexterity checks, oddly enough).

PinkysBrain
2007-07-05, 11:04 AM
If you want to go with your interpretation you can't heal an unconscious creature unless it fails its saving throw which since it is unconcious it can't willingly forgo.
Harmless saves are an interesting exception to the normal way saves work. You have to "attempt a saving throw". For non harmless saves voluntarily giving up a save is a voluntary act, for harmless saves making it is a voluntary act.

PS. Cust Serv response :

Voluntarily giving up a saving throw is different then being a willing target. Because something is willing does not mean they would voluntarily give up their saving throw.

Person_Man
2007-07-05, 12:04 PM
Where's Lord Silvanos when you need him?

Anywho, I personally allow PC's to make all Saving Throws when unconscious or otherwise helpless (though Dex still counts as 0). I believe that in order for players to have fun, all effects must be resisted or countered by some other effect. So as a DM, I avoid No Save spells. And even if they're helpless, I want to give them an opportunity to roll something in order to save their PC's life. Though I'll be the first to admit that I've been playing D&D since 1st ed, so at this point the rules sometimes blend together for me, and I just go with what works more often then I go with RAW.

Cobra
2007-07-05, 12:57 PM
@ Gavin Sage: nice summary. You covered pretty much everything I was going to say.