How does Unconscious work when it's not caused by dying?


Running the Game

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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We got confused about this last night. A monster has Greater Constrict, which on a failed save renders the subject unconscious.

All of the rules I could find for the Unconscious condition seem to assume that the unconscious creature has zero hit points.

Unconscious wrote:

When you’re reduced to 0 Hit Points, you fall unconscious...

If you return to 1 Hit Point or more, you become conscious.

So does that mean that a constricted creature immediately falls to zero hit points? That doesn't make sense. People don't wake up every morning and chug a healing potion because they only have one hit point left after waking up!

If it doesn't mean that you fall to zero hit points, do you immediately wake up, because you have "1 hit point or more"? If not, how can you awaken an unconscious creature?

Sovereign Court

I ruled it so that the constricted unconscious character wasn't dropped to zero HP and any healing would return the character to consciousness.


Unconscious, if I remember correctly, is a condition, and is usually caused when a creature hits 0 HP, though if spells and effects like Sleep are any indication, this isn't always the case.

In short, being unconscious wouldn't change your HP total, but it does mean that you drop anything you are holding and are prone, become flat-footed, the whole 9 yards. Oh, and you won't wake up for 10 minutes unless some outside stimulus causes you to become awake (such as a PC slapping you awake for whatever actions needed as determined by the GM, or being healed).

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Oh, and you won't wake up for 10 minutes unless some outside stimulus causes you to become awake (such as a PC slapping you awake for whatever actions needed as determined by the GM, or being healed).

Where do you see this? I looked through the updated rules and I was not able to find any reference for how to remove the Unconscious condition, except by "returning to 1 or more hit points." Which, if you don't lose any HP when you gain the condition, would be instantly, right?


Stabilization and Recovery rules explain it.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Stabilization and Recovery rules explain it.

Those explain it in the context of death & dying. But what happens if you fall unconscious for some other reason? In the original example, it was a Greater Constrict attack, but I could imagine a number of other ways a character could get knocked out without actually taking enough damage to drop them to 0 HP.


This is indeed odd. Rather easy to judge by situation, but the rules language is weak. That lovers overall confidence in the rules; if I have to fudge in one place, I might as well fudge in many places.

Hopefully this will get fixed in the final product.

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