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Hi everybody, 


I was wondering if being unconscious necessarily meant to be at 0 hit points. I was using a drow NPC that had poisoned weapons (as shown in the Monster Manual), and a PC was hit by one of them. He failed both saving throws and fell unsconscious, but had 50 hit points when this happened. We weren't sure, but we played it out as if he retained his current hit points instead of dropping automatically to 0, though he still had to be healed before becoming conscious. Did we do it right?

Maybe we did it wrong, but that would mean drow poison is really powerful, and could unbalance the game if a PC got his hands on it, which actually happened after the players defeated said drow. As a DM, I know I could always make limitations when it comes to finding or buying this kind of poison, but I just wanted to be sure before doing this.


Thanks in advance,


Unconscious is a condition entirely separate from hit points - it just happens to be *applied* to most PCs when they drop to 0HP.

You didn't handle it right, I'm afraid.

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When you are sleeping you are unconcious.  But not at 0 HP.

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Being Unconscious has no effect on your hit points.  Going to 0 hit points, however, will make you Unconscious.  Two different things.

Unconscious means:

     The creature is helpless (Helpless is a particular condition with its own rules).
     The creature can’t take actions (not even free actions, but can do things that are "No Action".)
     The creature takes a -5 penalty to all defenses.
     The creature is unaware of its surroundings.
     The creature falls prone, if possible.
     The creature can’t flank.


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thespaceinvader wrote:

Unconscious is a condition entirely separate from hit points - it just happens to be *applied* to most PCs when they drop to 0HP.

You didn't handle it right, I'm afraid.


  They actually did handle the HP correctly, based on his post. The character remained at 50 HP which is correct. 

What was incorrect is that the character would not have to be healed to be made conscious again, and in fact, as Drow Poison is written, healing would increase his HP but would not effect his consciousness at all.  A character that fails two saving throws against Drow poison is unconscious until the end of the encounter.  There are some utility powers that may allow the character to take some actions for a round, such as Maiden's Waking, but that's it.


mellored wrote:

When you are sleeping you are unconcious.  But not at 0 HP.

  Important clarification here, which is spelled out in the RC but I don't have it handy to reference the page number - the unconsious condition and the unconsciousness of natural sleep have similar side effects, but if you're naturally sleeping, you can be awoken by normal means.  If you're made unconscious by an effect, it lasts as long as the effect says it does, and taking damage or someone trying to awaken you will have no effect.


As an aside about Drow Poison, note that failed saving throw effects only occur when failing saves at the end of your turn, and never when failing saving throws granted by other powers (such as by a leader's utility or healing power, an item, or a feat that grants a save at the start of a turn).


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