Coup de Grace

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If I choose to hit a sleeping creature (Coup de Grace), and my damage proceed its bloodied value, can I still choose to knock the creature unconscious, or do I slay the target outright?  


Yes you can choose to knock a creature unconscious when performing a Coup De Grace, but only if the attack reduces it to 0 hit point, since its the requirement to be able to knock a creature unconscious.


Slaying the Target Outright: If the critical hit deals damage greater than or equal to the target’s bloodied value, the target dies.

Knock Creatures Unconscious: When an adventure reduced a monster or DM-controlled character to 0 hit points, he or she can choose to knock the creature unconscious rather than kill it.
    

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

If your CdG exceeds its bloodied value, it dies outright, you can't knock it unconscious.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Any monster reduced to 0 hit points dies outright, unless you knock it unconscious instead Wink

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Not the point.

The point is that the wording of Coup de Grace is more specific than 'reduced to 0'.   If CdG said 'exceeds bloodied value = reduced to 0', then you could choose to knock the monster unconscious with your massive crit.  It doesn't - it says 'exceeds bloodied value in damage = dead', which means that you get no choice.  If you CdG something, and exceed its bloodied value in damage, it dies, you don't get a choice about it.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Not the point.

The point is that the wording of Coup de Grace is more specific than 'reduced to 0'.   If CdG said 'exceeds bloodied value = reduced to 0', then you could choose to knock the monster unconscious with your massive crit.  It doesn't - it says 'exceeds bloodied value in damage = dead', which means that you get no choice.  If you CdG something, and exceed its bloodied value in damage, it dies, you don't get a choice about it.




I do have the same point of view as "thespaceinvader", but several of my players have the same view as "plaguescarred".

When you choose to run your dagger through some poor sleeping henchmans neck (Coup de Grace), it's inevitable that he dies! You can't say that you only knock him unconscious!

That's my point of view Smile 

Plague, what if the creature was above bloodied?

Then it's not dropping below 0, and it dies.  No chance of unconsciousness.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
It dies.
If I choose to hit a sleeping creature (Coup de Grace), and my damage proceed its bloodied value, can I still choose to knock the creature unconscious, or do I slay the target outright?

Technically, by strict RAW you slay the target outright. However, I reckon most DM's (and especially the game's designers) would allow you to instead knock it out (i.e. treat your action as a DMG p.42 stunt that mechanically does the exact same thing as coup de grace knockout).

If anything, it should be easier to knock a Helpless creature unconscious, not harder. Wink

The point of Coup De Grace is to kill a creature when dealing enought damage, even if not reducing to 0 hit points.

The point of knocking a creature unconscious is to knock a creature unconscious rather than kill it when reducing to 0 hit point  (this with Coup De Grace or not)  

So since knock a creature unconscious explicitly state that it doesn't kill a creature reduced to 0 hit points and that Coup De Grace doesn't explicitly exclude the possibility of knock it unconscious, therefore you can knock a creature you Coup De Gaced unconscious instead of killing it if the attack reduces it to 0 hit points by strick RAW. And if the creature is not reduced to 0 hit point then it dies because the rule for knocking it unconscious cannot be used. 

   


    

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

It looks like a strict RAW reading is that you would have to kill it; however, I have trouble imagining a DM not letting you turn the kill into a knockout.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
If anything, it should be easier to knock a Helpless creature unconscious, not harder. Wink



Easier than knocking out a non-helpless creature, yes. Easier than killing a helpless creature, no. Ask any Special Forces guy whether it's quicker and easier to slip a knife in a guy's back or to take him down in a non-lethal choke-hold.

The point of Coup De Grace is to kill a creature when dealing enought damage, even if not reducing to 0 hit points.

The point of knocking a creature unconscious is to knock a creature unconscious rather than kill it when reducing to 0 hit point  (this with Coup De Grace or not)  

So since knock a creature unconscious explicitly state that it doesn't kill a creature reduced to 0 hit points and that Coup De Grace doesn't explicitly exclude the possibility of knock it unconscious, therefore you can knock a creature you Coup De Gaced unconscious instead of killing it if the attack reduces it to 0 hit points by strick RAW. And if the creature is not reduced to 0 hit point then it dies because the rule for knocking it unconscious cannot be used.



That's some very convoluted logic, and I don't think it stands up. Choosing to knock a creature out is something you get to do when reducing it to 0 hit points, not whenever you kill it by any means.

Personally, I'd allow someone performing a coup de grace to choose to forego the "slays outright" part and just get the critical hit - but if the crit didn't drop the target to 0, I wouldn't let it be a knock-out blow.

That's some very convoluted logic, and I don't think it stands up. Choosing to knock a creature out is something you get to do when reducing it to 0 hit points, not whenever you kill it by any means.

Personally, I'd allow someone performing a coup de grace to choose to forego the "slays outright" part and just get the critical hit - but if the crit didn't drop the target to 0, I wouldn't let it be a knock-out blow.


Thats exactly what i was saying. You cannot knock unconscious unless the creature is also reduced to 0 hit points. Its a requirement of this rule.

But there is no difference between a creature being reduced to 0 hi point (and thus killed) by a Coud De Grace Critical Hit than by a standard Critical Hit without using this action. In both case the rule on knocking unconscious is more specific in that it allows you to knock it out instead of killing it. Thats what you're doing when Coup De Gracing it while reducing it to 0 hit point, you're killing it. Instead, you can knock it unconscious with a specific rule.

Slaying the Target Outright: If the critical hit deals damage greater than or equal to the target’s bloodied value, the target dies.

Knock Creatures Unconscious: When an adventure reduced a monster or DM-controlled character to 0 hit points, he or she can choose to knock the creature unconscious rather than kill it.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

fwiw: the 3.5 rules had the same quirk (but the 3.5 FAQ offered mechanics to do so anyway if you so desired).
I'm not clear on how you think the KO rule is more specific as that  refers to any reduced-by-0 event, including a potential CdG.  That's pretty much the definition of general.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

That's some very convoluted logic, and I don't think it stands up. Choosing to knock a creature out is something you get to do when reducing it to 0 hit points, not whenever you kill it by any means.

Personally, I'd allow someone performing a coup de grace to choose to forego the "slays outright" part and just get the critical hit - but if the crit didn't drop the target to 0, I wouldn't let it be a knock-out blow.


Thats exactly what i was saying. You cannot knock unconscious unless the creature is also reduced to 0 hit points. Its a requirement of this rule.

But there is no difference between a creature being reduced to 0 hi point (and thus killed) by a Coud De Grace Critical Hit than by a standard Critical Hit without using this action.



But coup de grace can slay a creature even if it doesn't reduce it to 0 hp. Would you still let the target be knocked out in that situation, despite the lack of the "reduce to 0" trigger?
More to the point, you're not reducing it to 0 HP.  You're killing it outright, in the same way as knocking a PC to negative bloodied does.  RAW, it dies.  It isn't reduced to 0 HP in between, it just dies.  Do not pass 'Go', do not collect £200.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
''If the critical hit deals damage greater than or equal to the target’s bloodied value''....

If the attack deals damage, it means damage are substracted from the target's hit point and thus reduced. If this reduction is equal or greater than 0, it has effectively been reduced to 0 hit points.

Every attacks reduces hit points, Coup De Grace is not different.     

Are you saying that Coup De Gracing an Elemental Ooze to death doesn't let him use Elemental Burst because he wasn't reduced to 0 hit points ?

(Or any other monsters with Triggering Powers upon being reduced to 0 hit points ?)

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Yes.  If the crit deals damage greater than the target's bloodied value, it dies.  Outright.

If the damage also reduces it to 0, those sorts of powers work I think (depending on action type, but then, that's always the case, and a whole bunch of them don't technically work at all), but that wouldn't stop it dying, and you can't opt to KO it in that situation, which was the real point..

And this does work on a full HP target, which would never go below 0.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

If the damage also reduces it to 0, those sorts of powers work I think.


Then why do you disagree that you could also knock a creature unconscious instead of killing it if a Coup De Grace dealt enought damage to reduce it to 0 hit point as well ?

Both game elements can only be used if the same event occur (being reduced to 0 hit points) 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Specific > General.  The general rule is that creatures reduced to 0 can be KO'd.  The specific rule is that creatures dealt >bloodied value die outright.  Dying outright > reduced to 0 hp.  If it's dead, it can possibly be reduced to 0 in the process, but it can't NOT be killed.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Would you still let the target be knocked out in that situation, despite the lack of the "reduce to 0" trigger?

I absolutely would, and I believe the designers would too (as evidenced by the 3.5 FAQ, and their desire to make it even easier to knock creatures unconscious in 4e). However, I acknowledge that this is outside CdG's strict wording, and thus would effectively involve a DMG p.42 stunt.

If it's dead, it can possibly be reduced to 0 in the process, but it can't NOT be killed.

"When an adventure reduced a monster or DM-controlled character to 0 hit points, he or she can choose to knock the creature unconscious rather than kill it."

I completely understand your reasoning that CdG removes that choice, but can you understand an interpretation where the choice remains?
Yes.  It's incorrect, but I can understand it.

The 'above bloodied in damage on CDG' clause explicitly removes the choice.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Specific > General.  The general rule is that creatures reduced to 0 can be KO'd.  The specific rule is that creatures dealt >bloodied value die outright.  Dying outright > reduced to 0 hp.  If it's dead, it can possibly be reduced to 0 in the process, but it can't NOT be killed.



Its more like this:

The general rule is that all monsters die outright when reduced to 0 hit point.

The specific rule of Coup De Grace is that monsters that are dealt damage equal to their bloodied value dies outright, even if it was not reduced to 0 hit point.

The specific rule of Knocking unconscious is that when you reduced a monster to 0 hit points, you can choose to knock the creature unconscious rather than kill it.

From the 2 specific rules, one circumvent the choice of killing in favor of knocking unconscious (if reduced to 0 hit points) while the other doesn't disallow the possibility of knocking unconscious.

Therefore Knocking Unconscious is more specific than Coup De Grace 
   
 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

...No.
It's incorrect, but I can understand it.

That means you do not understand the issue as subject to some interpretation. Mind you: I have no poodle in this fight (I'm merely playing devil's advocate for an edge condition that should never even come up).

We have four circumstances:
1) Target reduced to 0 by normal means (unconscious rule applies)
2) Target not reduced 0 by CdG, but damage exceeds bloodied value (slaying rule applies)
3) Target reduced 0 by CdG, but damage does not exceed bloodied value (unconscious rule applies)
4) Target reduced 0 by CdG, and damage exceeds bloodied value (both slaying and unconscious rules apply)

So it's only instance #4 were there is overlap and an opportunity for interpretation. Plaguescarred's method is applying both rules, and is treating "can choose to knock the creature unconscious rather than kill it" as an exception to any instance of death from the event that reduced the creature below 0. It would also include things like critting a zombie (but only if you also knocked the zombie below 0 hp in the process). That seems like one technically legitimate interpretation of the written text.
Specific > General.  The general rule is that creatures reduced to 0 can be KO'd.  The specific rule is that creatures dealt >bloodied value die outright.

One might also view "kill" as more general than "kill while reducing to 0 hp".

Alternately: one might view "rather than kill it" as an explicit exception to "kill" (as opposed to being an implict exception to "kill via reducing to 0 hp").

I just see alternate interpretations, s'all. It's almost certainly not RAI... but then, RAI likely wouldn't have this be an issue to begin.
A Coup de Grace question arose during my most recent gaming session.  This thread answered some questions but created more.

If a victim of Coup de Grace has the ability to make a final heroic action after going to zero hp, or after death, can they make such an attack?

If creatures are dead/dying below zero hp, wouldn't that indicate a successful CdG knocks the creature into negative hp?

Regarding general rules vs specific rules, my interpretation:

General rules apply to all situations, unless contradicted by a specific rule.  Thus the general rule for a charge is making a MBA at the end of the charge.  While a specific power saying that this power can be used in place of an MBA during a charge attack would trump the general rule.  Based upon my interpretation, both the rules knocking a creature unconscious and the CdG rules would be considered general rules.  Since neither rule specifies an exception to the other rule, they should both be equally valid.  To the extent that they are both specific exceptions to the general rule of damage causing death when a monster drops below zero hp, they could both be considered specific rules, which still does not make one more applicable than the other.

As a DM I would rule that any killing blow, including CdG can render the victim unconscious rather than killing the victim if the attacker so chooses.  However, that is my preferred way of resolving a gray area in the 4e rules, not a ruling based upon one set of logic being better than another.   
If a victim of Coup de Grace has the ability to make a final heroic action after going to zero hp, or after death, can they make such an attack?


Yes they should be able to as i said previously, Coup De Gracing an Elemental Ooze to death should still let him use Elemental Burst because he was reduced to 0 hit points, (Or any other monsters with Triggering Powers upon being reduced to 0 hit points)


If creatures are dead/dying below zero hp, wouldn't that indicate a successful CdG knocks the creature into negative hp?


No because monsters don't have negative hit points. Their hit points bar stop at 0.

RC 267 Monsters and Death: Monsters and characters controlled by the Dungeon masters usually die when their hit points drop to 0, unless an adventure choose to knock them unconscious.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter