Unconcious = Willing?

Swedish Chef

Explorer
The spell "Benign Transposition" has a target selection of "Two willing characters" and a save of "None".

Now, if a front line fighter goes unconcious during battle, and the cleric volunteers to be transposed in order for the mage to help stabilize the fighter, would the fighter be considered "willing"?
 

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Dracorat

First Post
Usually the default stance is that all friendly characters are willing recipients of any spell cast by a friendly character (even potentially harmful ones) and all others are unwilling recipients.

However, there is no official (RAW) definition (to my knowledge at least) of what officially constitutes "willing".
 

Pyrex

First Post
SRD said:
Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if you’re flat-footed or it isn’t your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing, but a character who is conscious but immobile or helpless (such as one who is bound, cowering, grappling, paralyzed, pinned, or stunned) is not automatically willing.

Emphasis mine.

Edit: Which means in addition to being able to cast Benign Transposition on an unconscious ally, you can cast it on an unconscious foe...
 



Lackhand

First Post
While I agree with the interpretation of my favorite orcish proverb ("The unconscious are always willing!"), this does raise some interesting questions.

If you're willing, do you get a saving throw against whatever the effect might be?
Signs point to no.

Doesn't that mean that you don't receive a save versus any effect -- fireball when unconscious (which is perhaps fair, since that's a little silly) -- when unconscious?
Relevantly, what about the Nightmare spell?

Discuss. :)
 



Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Lackhand said:
If you're willing, do you get a saving throw against whatever the effect might be?
Signs point to no.

There's a difference between "Willing creature" and "creature foregoing saving throw".

Most spells that affect "One willing creature" or whatever permit no saving throw.

I can be a willing creature, yet still roll Will saves to which I am entitled.

An unconscious creature is a valid target for Levitate (target: one willing creature), but he will still get to make a Will save against Inflict Light Wounds. Indeed, he must; in order to forego his save, he must elect to do so, and while unconscious, he isn't making any decisions.

The exception is Harmless spells, where you can choose to make a saving throw (if one is permitted), but the default is that you do not. So a conscious person can elect to make a saving throw against, say, Darkvision; but if they are unconscious, they cannot make that decision, and so the spell takes effect.

Regarding fireball in particular, and Reflex saves in general, I hold that an unconscious creature cannot make them; an unconscious creature is helpless, with an effective Dex of 0, and is therefore considered paralyzed, and cannot move.

Per the text of Evasion, a creature must have room to move in order to make a Reflex save.

And if a creature cannot move, then no amount of room is sufficient 'room to move', prohibiting Reflex saves.

This is not a universally held position, however :)

-Hyp.
 

Dracorat

First Post
Actually in regards to saving throws, it has been stated directly in the FAQ:
Exactly when can a character make a Reflex saving throw? The saving throw section on the Player’s Handbook
says Reflex saves depend on a character’s ability to dodge
out of the way. Does that mean you can’t make Reflex saves
if you can’t move?

A character can attempt a Reflex save anytime she is
subjected to an effect that allows a Reflex save. A Reflex save
usually involves some dodging, but a Reflex save does not
depend completely on a character’s ability to move around. It
also can depend on luck, variations in the effect that makes the
save necessary in the first place, and a host of other miraculous
factors that keep heroic characters in the D&D game from
meeting an untimely fate.
In most cases, you make Reflex saves normally, no matter
how bad your circumstances are, but a few conditions interfere
with Reflex saves:
• If you’ve suffered Dexterity damage or Dexterity
drain, you must use your current, lower Dexterity
modifier for your Reflex saves.
• If you’re cowering, you lose your Dexterity bonus (if
any). The maximum Dexterity bonus you can have
while cowering is +0, and that affects your Reflex
saves accordingly.
• If you’re dead, you become an object. Unattended
objects can’t make saving throws.
• If you’re entangled, your effective Dexterity score
drops by –4, and you must use your lower Dexterity
modifier for Reflex saves.
• If you’re exhausted, your effective Strength and
Dexterity scores drop by –6, and you must use your
lower Dexterity modifier for Reflex saves.
• If you’re fatigued, your effective Strength and
Dexterity scores drop by –2, and you must use your
lower Dexterity modifier for Reflex saves.
• If you’re frightened or panicked, you have a –2
penalty on all saving throws, including Reflex saving
throws.
If you’re helpless, your Dexterity score is effectively
0. You still can make Reflex saves, but your
Dexterity modifier is –5. You’re helpless whenever
you are paralyzed, unconscious, or asleep.
 


Dracorat

First Post
I am surprised honestly. You must be one of the most legalistic people on these boards.

But then, if I can disagree in the whole swift actions debate I guess I should expect you to have your own quirks here and there =P =)
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
I agree with Hyp about everything except the Reflex saves. That is an inference he is making from Evasion, not a rule.


Bottom line, unconscious creatures only autofail saves versus spells that are Saving Throw: Willing or Harmless or None. Otherwise, they have to get a save (even a Reflex save) since foregoing a save is a conscious decision.

(harmless): The spell is usually beneficial, not harmful, but a targeted creature can attempt a saving throw if it desires.

Deciding to attempt a save against a harmless spell is a conscious decision. Harmless spells otherwise imply that no save is normally made.


The important thing to remember is:

Some spells restrict you to willing targets only. Declaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if you’re flat-footed or it isn’t your turn). Unconscious creatures are automatically considered willing,

The unconscious willing statement is in a section on aiming a spell and a paragraph specifically discussing willing spells.

It is not in the normal saving throw area. It has nothing to do with any spells except Willing target spells.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Dracorat said:
I am surprised honestly. You must be one of the most legalistic people on these boards.

When it comes to the rules, certainly. If I feel that the FAQ is incorrect on a rules issue, I don't feel constrained by it.

-Hyp.
 

boolean

Explorer
Hypersmurf said:
Regarding fireball in particular, and Reflex saves in general, I hold that an unconscious creature cannot make them; an unconscious creature is helpless, with an effective Dex of 0, and is therefore considered paralyzed, and cannot move.

So unattended magical items automatically fail Reflex saves at your table?
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
boolean said:
So unattended magical items automatically fail Reflex saves at your table?

An unattended magical item is not 'any creature', so the Evasion quote is inapplicable.

An unattended intelligent magical item is a creature, so they fail.

-Hyp.
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
shilsen said:
[Orc dating 101]The unconscious are always willing[/Orc dating 101]

Ah, I see someone already went there. Saves me the work.

Remember, people, we're talking about D&D here. The "unconscious = willing" line won't hold in any court on earth.
 

Vrecknidj

Explorer
I seem to recall a 1e description of someone chained to a rock still getting a save, despite the utter improbability of there baing any reason for the save. And, if I recall, the argument given was that a successful save indicated that something happened to protect the character and that it was, in effect, the DM's job to explain what that something was (i.e. story-telling still matters).

So, in that sense, a sleeping person still gets a Reflex save against a fireball, even a person sleeping in a very tight space.

Dave
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
Vrecknidj said:
I seem to recall a 1e description of someone chained to a rock still getting a save, despite the utter improbability of there baing any reason for the save. And, if I recall, the argument given was that a successful save indicated that something happened to protect the character and that it was, in effect, the DM's job to explain what that something was (i.e. story-telling still matters).

So, in that sense, a sleeping person still gets a Reflex save against a fireball, even a person sleeping in a very tight space.

Dave

That stretches it too much for me. In my opinion, the DMs explanation should go like this: "You were chained to that rock and fireballed right in the face, no way in all the hells were you going to avoid that. Sorry, life's hard, but luckily for you that's not your problem any more."

I'd give someone a -20 on his ref save, since this is practically impossible, but that's it.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Kae'Yoss said:
That stretches it too much for me. In my opinion, the DMs explanation should go like this: "You were chained to that rock and fireballed right in the face, no way in all the hells were you going to avoid that. Sorry, life's hard, but luckily for you that's not your problem any more."

"As with a Reflex save for any creature, a character must have room to move in order to evade. A bound character or one squeezing through an area cannot use evasion."

Does a creature chained to a rock have 'room to move'? The second sentence suggests that a 'bound character' is an example of a character who cannot use Evasion... as with a Reflex save for any creature.

While I admit that my 'sleeping' ruling requires some debatable interpretation of 'room to move', I don't think there's anything ambiguous about a bound character - per this paragraph, a character chained to a rock cannot make a Reflex save.

-Hyp.
 

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