Condition For Being Bound.

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My group ran into a bit of a snag last night. They captured an Orc, tied him up, and got information. Then the rogue decided to try to Coup de Gras. I had a hard time deciding wether he was helpless or not. He was tied, hands behind his back, and feet tied together.

I saw this, initially, as restrained but that doesn't really apply either.

Now, by RAW, it seems that you are helpless only when you are unconcious.

The reason this matters is that the orc had about 59 hit points left, and the PC couldn't do enough damage without a crit to kill it. We also have a pally that objects to this type of behavior. If the PC kills it, discussion ensues, and maybe an argument with the pally. If the PC can't kill it, it might live, and be able to get help from his buds, who are nearby.

I let the coup happen, to move things along, but thought I shouldn't have.

Thoughts?
The easiest thing to do is differentiate 'combat time' from 'noncombat time'.  Once combat time is over, forget 99 percent of the mechanics, conditions, and anything else.  If he's bound and helpless, he's bound and helpless.  Think more in terms of the story than the mechanics.
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No, by RAW (emphasis mine), 'Usually you're helpless because you're unconscious.'

While the unconscious condition causes you to be helpless, the converse is not true -- being helpless does not mean you are (or must be) unconscious.  I'd say this is one of those 'DM's call' situations. 

Returned from hiatus; getting up to speed on 5e rules lawyering.

My group ran into a bit of a snag last night. They captured an Orc, tied him up, and got information. Then the rogue decided to try to Coup de Gras. I had a hard time deciding wether he was helpless or not. He was tied, hands behind his back, and feet tied together.

I saw this, initially, as restrained but that doesn't really apply either.



Someone who is Restrained can still fight reasonably effectively (only -2 to attack rolls) and still defend themselves reasonably (only granting Combat Advantage).

Someone who is *hog tied* is worse than Restrained.  It's pretty clear, in fact, that they're Helpless.

The description of Helpless says it's *usually* because you're unconscious, but not always, and while it's virtually impossible for a PC to get hogtied midcombat, that really isn't what happened here.

So!

Helpless, and thus Coup de Grace-able, seems most appropriate to me.
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The easiest thing to do is differentiate 'combat time' from 'noncombat time'.  Once combat time is over, forget 99 percent of the mechanics, conditions, and anything else.  If he's bound and helpless, he's bound and helpless.  Think more in terms of the story than the mechanics.



I agree with Salla. If the players aren't in an encounter and/or tracking initiative, let them kill the orc that's tied up.

If they are in combat, I would say being tied up could be either "Restrained" or "Helpless", depending on the creature and how much time it took to tie up the creature.  DM makes the call.

PH 54, "Your DM might rule that you can't use powers in special circumstances, such as when your hands are tied."


I agree with Salla. If the players aren't in an encounter and/or tracking initiative, let them kill the orc that's tied up.





But I wanted to see if the orc could survive, aso the pally could interject his objection, physically if needed.


I think I have a good idea for next time. I think it would have been a good idea to simply give him a -2 to attacks, and maybe only basic bite attacks, and give combat advantage. good enough.

thanks a lot guys.