5e DnD streamlined a lot of weird status effects and condensed tons of complicated rules right down to a couple of simple conditions. A number of them are very straight-forward, but a number of them can use some clarification. So hopefully you haven’t been blinded, paralyzed, or petrified as we undergo everything you would like to understand about 5e conditions.
If you’re incapacitated, you can’t take actions (that includes bonus actions), or reactions.
If you’re incapacitated, you’re NOT having a decent time. You’re largely useless BUT you’ll still move and check out to urge out of whatever terrible situation you’ve found yourself in. However, practically all of the consequences that incapacitate you furthermore may stop you from moving, so keep it up the lookout and just check when you’re incapacitated if you’ll actually run away.
There are a couple of things that cause a creature to be incapacitated but not unconscious, like the Enchantment Wizard’s Hypnotic Gaze. Also there a couple of status conditions that include incapacitation but not unconscious. We honestly desire the Incapacitated status just exists to be a part of other statuses to stay their descriptions shorter.
- The creature drops whatever it’s holding and falls prone.
- The creature automatically fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws.
- Attack rolls against the creature have a plus.
- Any attack that hits the creature may be a critical hit if the attacker is within 5 feet of the creature.
The Incapacitated condition is nearly never applied on its own, but usually in some combination with another condition (like Charmed within the Enchantment Wizard example), and therefore the ending of that other condition also will end the Incapacitated condition. Note that Paralyzed, Petrified, and Stunned also include Incapacitated in their portfolio of effects.
Took a glance at the spell feign death, since I actually enjoyed the concept, and noticed a couple of funny things.
- A caster could cast it on himself as a holding action in response to wreck, but couldn’t end the effect on himself because it renders the target incapacitated.
- Incapacitation doesn’t allow the person to require actions or reactions.
- Incapacitation doesn’t say anything about bonus actions, object interaction, or movement.
So a sorcerer could have feigned death sew him, appear dead for all intents and purposes, but still be ready to quicken spells, pull levers, use healing kits, and so on. Feign Death renders the target deaf and blind, but there are ways to accumulate tremorsense and therefore they wish to get around that.
The incapacitated condition likely exists for the only purpose of being added to other conditions or being one among many conditions a spell or other ability imposes. Why use incapacitated once you could just say “and can’t take actions or retains?” Likely because there could also be times once you won’t permit someone to try to come when they’re incapacitated without negating the remainder of the condition.
Looking at the conditions, this seems to truly be the intent since Incapacitation is listed as a section of several other conditions (stunned, paralyzed, and unconscious). Also, an incapacitated target loses concentration on spells, but feign death doesn’t require concentration.