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5E Dragging a fallen comrade to 'safety' isn't safe

Herobizkit

Adventurer
So, assume you're behind an ally who has just hit 0 HP and fallen unconscious as a result of a solid melee hit from his opponent. Both you and the opponent are within 5' of the fallen ally, who is now prone and bleeding out. Like a good soldier, you want to get your ally out of there.

As I understand it, dragging a "grappled" target takes half your move. Assuming the DM wants to rule it like a grapple, you can drag your ally 15' away from the opponent with a move action once you initiate the grapple (which automatically succeeds, of course). Once you begin the drag, though...

Am I correct in assuming the drag would trigger an OA from the opponent? If so, I believe the attack would also be at Advantage (as the ally is prone) and any hit would be a critical (as the ally is unconscious).

Doesn't make for much battlefront heroics, bit I think that's RAW correct.

Am I missing anything?
 

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Iosue

Adventurer
You don't grapple an unconscious creature. It would be using an object as an action, or improvising an action. The grabbed ally wouldn't be fighting your movement so any move limitation would be based on encumbrance, not the grapple rules.

Also, OAs are only triggered by moving out of an opponent's reach, so the movement would trigger the OA, not the grabbing the ally, regardless of whether the grapple rules are used or not.
 

In general, fleeing from combat in 5e is really tough. The only people that can do it with any grace are Monks, Rogues, and spellcasters with access to Misty Step, Teleport, Expeditious Retreat or Word of Recall. Everyone else will have to either take more damage on the way out, or not be able to get far enough away to not just be caught next turn anyway.

Only way around it would be, I think, to add a 'fleeing' action to the game, which combined Dash and Disengage, but forbade you from attacking the turn afterwards.
 

dropbear8mybaby

First Post
Also, OAs are only triggered by moving out of an opponent's reach, so the movement would trigger the OA, not the grabbing the ally, regardless of whether the grapple rules are used or not.
Only the movement of the character doing the dragging would trigger an OA. The unconscious character isn't the one moving, they're being moved, and therefore doesn't qualify for an OA.
 

Horwath

Adventurer
There is no grapple as your friend does not make any resistance to being dragged. It's all up to your strength.

There is only potential of AoO vs you. You can do without if you grab your ally from opposite side in respect to the enemy.

99% chance is that in battle no one will spend and action to hit downed enemy while his head it being threatened by still very live and kicking enemy 2ft away.
 

ArchfiendBobbie

First Post
Dragging an ally to safety is really an invention of modern times, due to one particular battlefield phenomenon that exists today which wouldn't have during the medieval era: Covering fire.

However, since arcane casters can reach machinegun levels of magic missile use and archery is more point-and-shoot in DnD, covering fire is possible to arrange. If the archer and the mage direct their attacks to the guy you need to drag away from, that person probably has bigger concerns than an attack of opportunity on you.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
OA's are not triggered when you are forced to move out of your square, such as when another creature moves you.
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
OA's are not triggered when you are forced to move out of your square, such as when another creature moves you.
Correct.

The biggest problem here is simply that without someone to cover you and distract the enemy in front of your fallen ally, you're simply not going to be moving fast enough to get out of combat.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Dragging someone out of melee shouldn't be safe; it requires you to lower your defenses, so you should get clobbered. It's not in-genre; when was the last time you saw an action movie where someone dragged their ally away from the foe that felled them? In-genre, you'll want to turn that enemy's attention elsewhere BEFORE dragging the ally away; most likely, it's a team effort. I really like semicolons; they're useful in lots of sentences.
 


Uller

Adventurer
Why couldn't the dragger use a Disengage action to remove both himself and his fallen comrade safely?
He could. Then the encumbrance rules would apply to determine how far he gets. Chances are the enemy could just follow him on its next turn and attack him or the downed character. Removing two PCs from the fight makes it tough...battlefield heroics SHOULD be tough.

If it was easy, it wouldn't be very heroic, would it?
 


Uller

Adventurer
And besides all that...(I'm a combat veteran)...in a real fight, if your buddy goes down right next to you, dropping what you are doing to drag him away while the enemy is still able to attack you both will simply get you both killed. They WANT you to stop fighting so they can kill you better.

Do your job, Private! Stand your ground. Cover your sector. Fire at the enemy. Call for someone from behind you to come up and help your buddy. (In D&D, I believe those are called "clerics").
 

ArchfiendBobbie

First Post
Get the caster and archer focused on them while you drag your buddy away. When they're taking arrows and magic missiles, they're not likely to care about the person who appears to be just trying to get out of the way.
 


Corwin

First Post
Even *if* you wish to rule that the unconscious ally is subject to an OA, the opponent needs to give up their one and only reaction to take it. That could potentially be bad for them if the unconscious character's allies are around to take advantage of that fact.
 

Dragging an ally to safety is really an invention of modern times, due to one particular battlefield phenomenon that exists today which wouldn't have during the medieval era: Covering fire.

However, since arcane casters can reach machinegun levels of magic missile use and archery is more point-and-shoot in DnD, covering fire is possible to arrange. If the archer and the mage direct their attacks to the guy you need to drag away from, that person probably has bigger concerns than an attack of opportunity on you.
It isen't only covering fire, it is also that more modern warfare is most often ranged.
If you try to drag somebody from melee you need to drag the target faster then your enemies move, or have to drag him to a position where your enemies can't follow.
Or else they can still atack him.

If your enemies fight at range you only need to drag your fallen friend to the nearest point that gives him full cover.
 

Uller

Adventurer
[MENTION=413]Uller[/MENTION] Thank you for your service, brother.
Thanks for the appreciation. Just to be very very clear (I hate to take away from my brothers), I earned the Combat Action Badge for some very very short, very one sided "fights" where only a few shots were fired usually only by one side (SNAP! "WTF was that?"). My entire company (120 guys) only suffered a few minor injuries...more non-combat than combat. No Combat Infantry Badge...It matters to me that people understand the difference. (I have brothers that pushed a burning disabled vehicle out of a kill zone with their own burning but less-disabled vehicle in an earlier deployment...those guys are giants).
 

jayoungr

Hero
Supporter
Only the movement of the character doing the dragging would trigger an OA. The unconscious character isn't the one moving, they're being moved, and therefore doesn't qualify for an OA.
That doesn't make logical sense to me. Just because the one being dragged is unconscious, that doesn't make him/her impossible to attack. I would rule that the dragger and the drag-ee become a single unit for OA purposes, and the attacker may make an Opportunity Attack against either of them, but not both. And if the dragger has some kind of parry ability, he/she could use it to defend the unconscious drag-ee.
 

seebs

Adventurer
So, assume you're behind an ally who has just hit 0 HP and fallen unconscious as a result of a solid melee hit from his opponent. Both you and the opponent are within 5' of the fallen ally, who is now prone and bleeding out. Like a good soldier, you want to get your ally out of there.

As I understand it, dragging a "grappled" target takes half your move. Assuming the DM wants to rule it like a grapple, you can drag your ally 15' away from the opponent with a move action once you initiate the grapple (which automatically succeeds, of course). Once you begin the drag, though...

Am I correct in assuming the drag would trigger an OA from the opponent? If so, I believe the attack would also be at Advantage (as the ally is prone) and any hit would be a critical (as the ally is unconscious).

Doesn't make for much battlefront heroics, bit I think that's RAW correct.

Am I missing anything?
I don't usually think that involuntary movement provokes. So dragging the ally doesn't make them provoke.
 

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