One of the DM’s Most important jobs is to keep the game moving. When we find ourselves in a situation where we don’t know the correct rule, we trust the DM to make the call on the fly based on his experience to ensure the game continues. Afterwards we look up the correct ruling in the usual places: PHB, DMG, Rules Compendium, online compendium and online forums. Yet from time-to-time we just can’t find a satisfactory answer to our rules questions. In these circumstances we’ve decided to turn to you, the people who read our blog and play D&D to help us make the call.
In You Make The Call (Part 1) we asked you to provide you thoughts and insights on strange situations that occur when you’re prone, and the ability to adjust the size and damage of area attacks. In this installment we want you to make the call on being dazed. These situations don’t necessarily come up often, but they can have a significant impact on the encounter so we want to get it right.
Can you spend an action point while dazed?
The summer that 4e was released I sat in on a seminar at GenCon where the Wizards R&D team answered a lot of general questions about the new rules. One of the questions that came up was “Can you spend an action point when you’re dazed?” The answer provided at the time was “No.”
In my home game we’ve stuck to that rule ever since. After all, dazed very clearly says that you can take either a standard, a move, or a minor action. Allowing a creature (PC or monster) to spend an action point while dazed doesn’t seem in keeping with the intent of the condition.
Looking at the rules as written there is nothing that explicitly states you cannot use an action point while dazed. After all, spending an action point is a free action and dazed says that you can still take free actions.
So the question remains, can you use an action point when dazed? My group has said no, but we seem to be the only who interpret dazed in this way. During public-play (LRF, D&D Encounters, GenCon) other players and the DMs are always using their action points when dazed. I continue to play that if I’m dazed I can’t (and won’t) spend an action point.
If you’ve already taken at least one action on your turn and then become dazed does your turn end or do you get one more action?
Believe it or not, this happens a lot in my games. Our Wizard has Thunderstaff, a level 5 (daily) Immediate Interrupt. The trigger is an enemy moves to within 2 squares of you. The interrupt lets the Wizard attack and if he hits, the target is deafened and dazed until the end of your next turn. So with some regularity a monster is dazed during his turn. Where we run into some debate is what happens when the daze kicks in?
The players believe that if the monster has already taken an action (which he obviously has in order to trigger the interrupt in the first place) that his turn ends as soon as he becomes dazed. The rationale is that a dazed creature can take either a standard, a move, or a minor action. Since he’s already taken an action his turn is now over.
The DM believes that any actions the monster took before the dazed condition affected him shouldn’t count towards his limit of either a standard, a move, or a minor action. Once he’s dazed he can then do one of these, assuming he has actions left.
Since we play that dazed creatures can’t use action points, the player’s interpretation becomes really powerful against solo monsters that often get multiple attacks and have multiple action points.
If you’re dazed at the beginning of your turn and you manage to remove the dazed with your one action, do you get the remaining compliment of actions?
This is sort of the flip side of getting dazed on your turn. What happens when you get rid of the dazed condition with your one action? We’ve always played that if you can grant yourself a save or use an item to snap out of the dazed condition that you then get the rest of your actions as usual.
I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of debate over how we’ve ruled this one. I think we’ve made the right call here. However, in light of the other questions above there may be some discussion required.
If we rule that getting dazed on your turn ends your turn (assuming you’ve already taken at least one action) then freeing yourself should give you back your full turn when it goes away. However, if we rule that you still get to take one action when you become dazed on your turn, should we revisit what happens when the dazed condition ends on your turn?
As mentioned in You Make The Call (Part 1) it’s important that any ruling be applied constantly to all PCs and monsters. This is a big reason why we’ve had so much debate in our gaming group about dazed. If the PCs can’t use an action point while dazed then this will affect the monsters in the same way. It makes powers that daze more appealing and arguably more powerful, especially against solo monsters. The same holds true for getting dazed during your turn. It doesn’t happen often, but it came up in a recent game when a monster (a Mind Flayer, I believe) dazed a PC on his turn. Should the PC’s turn end or should he get one more action? This PCs had an item that would negate the daze but it required an action to activate so it made a big difference. It brought the whole debate back to the forefront for our gaming group and we are still debating the correct way to rule on this one.
We want you to make the call. Where do you stand on the dazed debate? Have you experienced any of these issues with your gaming group? How did you handle them? For those who had never given these issues much thought before today, how would you rule on these situations at your gaming table?