One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Generally speaking, characters get saving throws vs. most spells, whether they are conscious or not. The spells listed in the OP are all good examples of spells that a character gains a save against, whether they are conscious or not.
As to damaging spells, we have most often imposed a -4 save penalty (representing that the character is at least as bad off as a character who is blind) on spells that normally allow a save for half damage due to dodging for those who are held, unconscious, paralyzed, stuck to the floor, etc. It is also reasonable to treat unconscious characters as having an effective Dexterity score of 1, meaning they suffer a -6 penalty on saves vs. effects that involve dodging to avoid some of the damaging effect. No extra damage is done beyond what a spell can normally do - the character is just more likely to bear the full brunt of the damaging effect. Item saving throws are unaffected by such a penalty; the items are just more likely to have to roll an item saving throw in the first place due to the character failing theirs.
For spells allowing a save for reduced damage unrelated to "dodging" any effects, there is no penalty. Most such spells are about overcoming a character's physical or mental fortitude in some manner, such as finger of death or charm person, and so a character being unconscious or unable to move would be a non-factor anyways. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Fri May 17, 2019 11:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
Thanks for your feedback Lanthorn and Cebrion. It was my opinion also that unconciousness shouldn't preclude saves against mind-affecting spells, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being harsh on my players!
I was NOT letting them make saves, just like I give enemies in meless an automatic hit. However, I like the penalty as if they had a 1 dex. In fact, I don't know why I don't use that for wis too, if it's a mind affecting spell. I may start doing that for all spells in this instance.
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