D&D Conditions 5E Guide | Effects, Dangers, and Uses

D&D conditions 5e

One of the most frightening aspects of Dungeons & Dragons 5E is when a condition is placed on you. Conditions are the result of spells or attacks, and cause your character to be debuffed in some way. Conditions cover being physically sick to tired of walking to… becoming completely made of stone. And when a condition is called out, it’s sometimes confusing to know exactly what effects are placed on you by the condition. What happens when you are poisoned? How about if you’re stunned? Or knocked prone? For some players of 5E, this is old knowledge. But, if you need a refresher, then our D&D Conditions Guide 5E will help you out!

D&D Conditions 5E Guide

There are 14 total conditions that can be applied to you in 5E (if you count Exhaustion as another health bar, which you should!). Few creatures will be able to apply more than one (unless they’re a high-level caster. Then they could have all of these!). If you get a condition applied to you multiple times, you take the penalties of them all. But, on the bright side, you can only get Disadvantage once! So if two debuffs give you disadvantage to Ability Checks, then you only have to roll one dice and take the lowest. That’ll show the myriad of bodily problems that you’re having who’s boss!

List of Conditions

These conditions will have the effects, the (most likely) Saving Throw that you’ll have to make to resist it, and a brief description. Do not take these too close to heart; there are a ton of effects that apply these conditions, and you might find yourself making many types of saves to avoid them!


  • You fail all sight-based ability checks.
  • Your attack rolls have disadvantage, attack rolls against you have advantage.

Saving Throw: Constitution (Based on the Blindness Deafness spell).

Your eyes are either permanently or temporarily clouded, to the point where you can’t see. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight at all; it’s assumed that you’ve trained well enough that you can still swing weapons or sling spells in the general direction of enemies. In fact, if you’re a magic user… You kinda don’t care? Like, you can just use DC based spells. Blindfire those fireballs! Although your DM might make blindness matter more.


  • You can’t attack the charmer or target them with harmful things.
  • The charmer gains advantage to interact with you.

Saving Throw: Wisdom/Charisma

You’re allured by a target. Usually, this means you are forced to become friendly with them, but it can be more or less powerful; you can fall in love with a forest nymph, or become simply acquainted with the mob boss. This doesn’t mean you turn on your friends; you’re simply more likely to hear them out, and you can’t attack them at all. Learn a Charm spell if you’re worried about bosses pounding you into dust.


  • You fail any check that requires hearing.

Saving Throw: Constitution (also based on Blindness Deafness).

Deafened is a really bad version of Blindness. It’s less effective in combat, and less effective out of combat. You can argue that Deafness would make a guard panic less, since they aren’t completely blind. But they might still panic if their ears aren’t working anymore. It has its uses, like if a Bard is trying to use buff spells on an ally, but tends to be not great.


  • Disadvantage on ability checks and attack roles while the spooky person is in sight.
  • You can’t move closer to the spooker.

Saving Throw: Wisdom/Charisma

Frightened is actually really similar to charm, but more general. If you want to protect the whole party just a bit (rather than yourself totally), Frightened does the charm. You can keep a target from approaching your Wizards or Clerics by using Frighten… And monsters can do the same to you! If you plan on being a melee warrior, try to have ways to get rid of Frighten. Otherwise, you won’t be able to approach something to beat them up!


  • Speed reduced to 0
  • Only lasts while the Grappler is able to grapple.
  • Effect removed if the Grappler or Grappled is moved away from the reach of the effect.

Saving Throw: Strength/Dexterity, Athletics

Grappling is usually a contested Athletics check, but is sometimes a saving throw. Grappled is not bad by itself; there needs to be an effect attached to being grappled (or another hard-hitting creature) to make Grappling worth it. In older editions, Grappling also applied debuffs to AC and chance to hit… It’s sad to see such a powerful condition brought so low. Don’t grapple, it does so little.


  • You can’t do anything!

Saving Throw: Constitution/Wisdom, Athletics

You are usually incapacitated by an effect that ties you up, breaks your mind, or knocks you out. Incapacitated tends to be tied to other effects, but there’s a few things that just incapacitate you. And, since you can’t do anything while incapacitated… There’s not much to do after! Effects that Petrify, Paralyze, Fascinate, or knock unconscious somebody are what you’re looking for.


  • Impossible to see, is constantly heavily obscured, but is not silent.
  • Attack rolls against the creature are disadvantaged, but the creature’s attack have advantage.

Saving Throw: Wisdom

This is the only buff condition on the list. You’re hard to see, and harder to hit. Invisible creatures are extremely annoying, so make sure a caster has an effect that lets you hit the damn things. Spells like Faerie Fire (or tactics like throwing a bag of flour at them) are pretty useful.


  • Incapacitated
  • Auto-fails Strength and Dex saves.
  • Creatures have advantage to hit you, and you get crit if you’re hit within 5 feet by anything.

Saving Throw: Wisdom

Something has caused your body to completely seize, unable to shift or move. Usually, this is a spell effect, such as Hold Person, or the aura of a creature. This is one of the scariest effects in the game, but it’s nothing compared to…


  • Becomes made of an inanimate object (weight increases, no aging).
  • Incapacitated and unaware of surroundings.
  • Attack rolls against have advantage.
  • Auto-fails Strength and Dexterity.
  • Resistance to all damage.
  • Immune to poison and disease (does not cure the poison or disease).

Saving Throw: Constitution (Based on Flesh to Stone)

Petrification is nearly impossible to land; it requires many failed saving throws, and it goes against Constitution, which a lot of creatures have proficiency in. However, if you petrify something (or are petrified), it’s so hard to remove! This is basically a death sentence, and is a valid alternate way to take someone alive.


  • Disadvantage: Attack rolls and Ability checks

Saving Throw: Constitution

Poisoned is a pretty common debuff. A lot of gross-out enemies have this condition in an aura around them or on attacks. And it’s fairly powerful because of that! Unless, of course, you’re a magic user. In which case you should swap to DC-based magic, like Fireball, and ignore the attack roll penalty. Bring on the saving throws!


  • Can only crawl to move (unless you stand).
  • Disadvantage on attack rolls.
  • Attack rolls within 5 feet have advantage. At range, attack rolls have disadvantage.

Saving Throw: Strength/Dexterity/Constitution

You’ve tripped! Sometimes, this can be a valid option; you drop prone to avoid a swarm of arrows, for example, and the arrows have disadvantage. Usually, however, you don’t want to get completely destroyed by melee enemies. This is the easiest way to get advantage in the game for melee warriors. Tripping people really isn’t that hard, when you want it!


  • Speed set to 0.
  • Attack rolls out have disadvantage, attack rolls against have advantage.
  • Disadvantage on Dexterity saves.

Saving Throw: Strength/Dexterity/Constitution

Restrained is incredibly strong, and is basically what Grappled used to be. Getting a creature restrained is a bit harder, however; you usually need pretty strong spells (like Flesh to Stone) to get this potent status effect. But, the debuffs it applies are so good.


  • Incapacitated (but can kinda speak).
  • Auto-fails Strength and Dexterity saves.
  • Attack rolls against have advantage.

Saving Throw: Constitution/Wisdom

Your brain don’t work too good, huh? Stunned is usually when you get overwhelmed by information, or hit way too hard. It’s like a slightly better Paralyzed, but more effects can stun you (and creatures around you) than can petrify you.


  • Incapacitated, and unaware of things.
  • Drop everything.
  • Fail Strength and Dexterity saves.
  • Attack rolls against have advantage.
  • Auto-crits against you, if the attacker is within 5 feet.

Saving Throw: Wisdom, Out of Health

Getting knocked unconscious is normally due to running out of health, but sometimes this can be caused by spells. While unconscious, you just get the crap kicked out of you, but usually you don’t care too much about the critical hit clause. Hilariously, you still have your Dexterity Bonus to AC, so you can still dip and dodge while taking a dirt nap… Just not as well!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.