[RPG] If a character is stunned at the same time they’re granted an attack, what happens


Last game we had the following situation:

A custom made monster used the following attack against a player character:

Slash: std: 22 vs AC, 3D10 + 14, on successful hit 50% to stun the target

The player character was hit and took the damage, and the 50% chance succeeded and stunned him.

Stunned: you grant combat advantage, you can't take actions, you can't flank an enemy

The player's character is a warden with the Bloodied Outburst class feat:

Bloodied Outburst (11th level): Whenever you are first bloodied in an encounter, you can make a melee basic attack against an adjacent enemy as a free action.

The damage the player's character took put him into bloodied, so he wanted to exercise his feat. I denied the player this attack since he was stunned.

After the game I checked here what the right way is to resolve this and I found this question: If an attack does damage and causes the target to make an attack, which happens first?

According to this the situation is resolved in the order it is written, from top down, from left to right.

I am not sure if I've gotten it right:

  • Does this mean that I first finish the monsters attack then apply the wardens feat?


  • Do I roll the damage against the warden first, then the warden his basic attack, then he's stunned?

Does the Warden get to use his feat at all?

Best Answer

Specifics matter. For this feat, the attack is granted as a free action. In this specific case, your homebrew monster attacks, does damage, and stuns. The free action does not state that it interrupts the attack, and therefore resolves after the attack. Because the character is stunned, the resolution fails due to not being able to perform the action.

Immediate action states:

If an effect has a trigger but is neither an immediate action nor an opportunity action, assume that it behaves like an immediate reaction, waiting for its trigger to completely resolve. However, ignore this guideline when the effect has to interrupt its trigger to function.

Therefore, as the feat has to wait for its trigger to resolve, and it's not explicitly an immediate interrupt, and stunned explicitly prohibits taking actions, the character stands there and looks stupid.

Specifically, unlike "no actions", "free actions" are things in themselves. They belong to the class "Action." There are no specific rules allowing free actions during stunned, therefore they are forbidden by the wording of stunned:

The creature can’t take actions.

This kind of "don't bother this turn" is why the stunned condition produces such copious amounts of no fun at all and should never ever be part of an at-will attack.