[RPG] Can a snake be prone


It sounds like a silly question, but it caused way more discussion the other night in my Adventurer's league game than I'd care to admit…

In 5e, the prone condition is described as:

A prone creature’s only movement option is to crawl, unless it stands
up and thereby ends the condition.

A snake's only option is to crawl, and isn't capable of standing, as it has no limbs.

Is a snake (or snake-like creature) considered constantly prone?

If not, can such a creature be knocked prone?

Best Answer

Yes, Snakes can be prone


Prone is a condition (PHB, 290). And the only way to avoid that condition is to have some form of immunity or something else mechanically that prevents a creature from getting the condition.

For creatures, the statblock lists Condition immunities (if there are any). Spells, items, etc. will also state if there are any conditions that they prevent/mitigate.

No snake statblock lists immunity to the prone condition.

With no immunity to the condition Prone, they are susceptible to that condition and its effects.

Jeremy Crawford has confirmed this as well

If a monster is immune to the prone condition, that fact is noted in its stat block. Even legless creatures can be knocked over, destabilized, and the like (I've watched an upended snake flop around in real life—shudder).


Traditionally, we imagine prone as lying on one's stomach (and the associated 5e mechanic of crawling) - which is synonymous with a snake's normal movement of crawling. However, given that there is no condition immunity to snakes for Prone, then we have to think of it someway else. Maybe the snake is disoriented, or on its back, or in some position that leaves it with the same mechanical disadvantage as a bipedal creature on its stomach.

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*Tastes like chicken