Attack the man who was just unconscious?

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Do you have monsters ignore PC's who have been brought back from unconsciousness to consciousness through a heal check or a healing power while they are still prone/before the PC has had their next turn?


It seems cruel to attack a PC right after they have been healed, but maybe players should know to delay based on initiative?


Do you have monsters ignore PC's who have been brought back from unconsciousness to consciousness through a heal check or a healing power while they are still prone/before the PC has had their next turn?

Not if the monster has a good reason not to attack the the PC. I make it something of a point to give my monsters reasons like that.

It seems cruel to attack a PC right after they have been healed, but maybe players should know to delay based on initiative?

Yeah, that seems like a reasonable lesson to learn, though I hope you're not using the attack specifically to teach them that lesson.

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Once they're healed, they are fair game.  With 4e's "carebear" policy of ignoring the negative hp when healing is applied, more often than not I find players that are healed end up at 25-50% health.  That's plenty to play ball.

The only guideline I use is to not attack unconscious players in an attempt to fully kill them.  The argument is simple:  There are bigger threats still standing.

The only caveat to this guideline is that if an AoE goes off and the unconscious person gets blasted, then so be it.  I won't have enemies specifically target them, though.

 
I don't have them ignore the said PCs by default. I look to their instincts and impulses to determine what they'd do. I do notice players will delay accordingly, so it's not often an issue I need worry about. It goes without saying that you generally don't want to kick a man when he's down, though there are exceptions to every rule.

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The only guideline I use is to not attack unconscious players in an attempt to fully kill them.  The argument is simple:  There are bigger threats still standing.

Or more important tasks to complete.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Do you have monsters ignore PC's who have been brought back from unconsciousness to consciousness through a heal check or a healing power while they are still prone/before the PC has had their next turn?

It seems cruel to attack a PC right after they have been healed, but maybe players should know to delay based on initiative?


Depends on the circumstances, and as Llathos points out, it is rarely an issue since healing tends to be higher than the damage output of a single standard monster anyway. I cases were it does matter, and I am gaming with inexperienced players I do give them a small reminder about the existence of the delay action and why delaying might be a good idea under these circumstances.

Do you have monsters ignore PC's who have been brought back from unconsciousness

Monsters are typically aware when you are conscious (I often allow a bluff check though), and most know that kicking someone when they are prone is the best time to kick them (since they grant CA).

It seems cruel to attack a PC right after they have been healed

Sometimes DM's do cruel things.
Our group tends to run with monsters not hitting downed (unconcious) heroes, though if you are KO'd, healed, and still prone, you might get the hammer dropped on you before you can stand again.

Also, extremely evil enemies are not above the dramatic coup de grace; but something like that would generally be reserved for the BBEG, not his mindless minions.

Usually, our group defaults to trying to use the monsters with the intelligence they have in combat situations. If they have a goal, they attempt to complete their goal first. If it's a fight to the death, they are gunning to get the PCs down and helpless ASAP. Martially savvy monsters like hobgoblins focus fire, attempt to take out obvious healers, and fight smart. Savage creatures tend to fight to the death, while mindless creatures like zombies don't automatically move to avoid attacks of opportunity and are prone to violating defender marks...

But the coup de grace - aah, if a guy drops THAT on a player, everyone at MY table instantly knows he is Somebody with a capital S!
So many PCs, so little time...
DMG p.40, if desired: "When a character falls unconscious, monsters turn their attention to enemies who are still up and fighting. Monsters don’t usually intentionally deal damage to fallen foes." (note: fallen in this context does not mean prone)

That said, if a PC was helpless (but above 0 HP) for a round (maybe due to a save ends power), an enemy would almost certainly CdG for extra damage... that's just good tactics.

Also, if an intelligent foe notices that the PC's are getting healed anytime they go down, they'll probably start using better tactics (i.e. making sure their target stays down) rather than continually playing whack-a-mole. I'm normally against CdG'ing PC's, but sometimes I might have to.

Anecdote: after knocking the party's cleric unconscious, I mentioned "these driders are nasty and intelligent, but they're not going to spend actions CdG'ing anyone just yet. Of course, if they see ya'll pop back up after being dropped, they'll start using suitable tactics". Then cleric got healed, popped up, and attacked rather than healing himself further. When he was taken down again, the players would've disappointed with me if I didn't CdG. So, dead cleric (and near TPK).
Something like that would generally be reserved for the BBEG



I tend to think that a battle with the BBEG could be more interesting with the threat of attacking/killing an unconscious party member. So BBEG gets the party's attention and says that unless they stop attacking/surrender/let them leave with the macguffin, the downed dwarf gets it (an he has a readied action to do so). Eeeeevil.

Regardless of the justification, for monsters attacking a recently healed character, I would definitely allow the character to take an action before doing so. It's not like a character does a back flip after getting healed back to consciousness. Also the downed character and the healer might feel cheated if they just wasted their actions and have to sit it out.


Yeah, it's a very big 'depends on the situation and the opponent' sort of thing.  Some monsters are cruel and will hit a guy while he's down, some are more honorable and won't.
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Something like that would generally be reserved for the BBEG

I tend to think that a battle with the BBEG could be more interesting with the threat of attacking/killing an unconscious party member. So BBEG gets the party's attention and says that unless they stop attacking/surrender/let them leave with the macguffin, the downed dwarf gets it (an he has a readied action to do so). Eeeeevil.

Of course, that is assuming the CDG would actually kill the PC. The funny thing about CDG in 4e is that while it wakes the players up, the damage is rarely high enough to actually kill the PC in one hit (especially with standard monsters).

Also the downed character and the healer might feel cheated if they just wasted their actions and have to sit it out.

Which is why the OP wondered wheter it was a cruel tactic, but as others pointed out, in general the players are aware of the party order and PCs can delay to prevent this tactic from being overly viable.
OVERALL REGARDLESS OF THE SITUATION.

In a game I'm DMing unfortunately there are times when the PC is unconscious but until the PC is dead I have an order for this process I drawn from the 4E D&D core rules and use as long as this matter dead or otherwise is unresolved regardless of the situation.

To begin with the combat isn't over until the enemy(-ies) are either killed, surrenders, helpless, retreats, escapes, leaves or verified they the last one(s) standing.

First the monster be in an adjacent square to inspect a PC unconscious or otherwise.

The monster must use a minor action to removed any handheld items from the unconscious PC.

The monster then must ascertain whether a creature is dead from this adjacent square with an easy DC in which I'll use a standard action for this out of fairness for the PC's teammates.

The conscoius teammates of the PC can interrupt this action as a free action (1/round) by rolling a DC that's either a Bluff, Intimidate or Diplomacy versus either the monster's Insight, Perception or Intimidate skill depending on the challenge. A successful challenge at least warrants the monster to spend another standard action to discern death or unconscious and I know this is generous to the PC's group).
In some cases when the monster has no language and no alignment is when I will use either the Monster's Nature skill or Dungeoneering skill (the one found higher) to opposed the PC's teammates distraction ploy.
(Have you ever read the tactics of the Demonweb Spider in the first 4E Monster Manual.

If the monster failed to discern that the PC is unconscious or isn't threatened then the monster will use standard action to search the unconscious PC for looting grounds and this is also in name of fairness to the PC's teammates.

If the PC regains conscousness after the monster failed to discern the PC was unconscious then the PC has a choice to bluff or fight but while the PC is unconscious, the PC is helpless, can’t take actions and it takes a -5 penalty to all defenses. Also the unconscious PC can’t be use for flanking, is unaware of its surroundings and prone.

If a monster succeeds on discerning the PC is unconscious all remains fair and the unconscious PC can be a target of action spents for attacks.

I hope this help!

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The funny thing about CDG in 4e is that while it wakes the players up, the damage is rarely high enough to actually kill the PC

Yup: I especially love CdG'ing with minions, as it actually benefits the party (while being scary).