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Restrained in 5e – How Bad is it, and How to Counter It

The official description of Restrained is as follows: (Source – Roll20)

  • A Restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it cannot benefit from any bonus to its speed. A restrained creature cannot fly.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s rolls have disadvantage.
  • The creature has disadvantage on dexterity saving throws.

Countering Restrained is usually done by a Constitution Saving Throw, Sometimes Dexterity Saving throws. Breaking out of the restrained condition can also be accomplished typically using a Strength Check if it is caused by something like a net or handcuffs.

Causes of Restrained

Restrained in 5E DND caused by a net

There are numerous causes of the restrained condition, including class and monster abilities, Special weapons, Feats, Environment hazards, magic items, and more.

Monster Abilities

Class Abilities

  • Channel Divinity {Nature’s Wrath} (Paladin 3rd level Oath of the Ancients Feature) [Player’s Handbook pg 87]
    • Strength or Dexterity Saving throw (it’s choice)
    • Saving throw repeated at the end of each of the restrained target’s turn

Special Weapons

  • Net [Player’s Handbook Pg 148]
    • DC 10 Strength saving throw
    • Affects Large or smaller creatures
    • Does not affect formless creatures, such as ghosts, or huge creatures.

Feats

Environment Hazards

Magical Items

Spells

Counters to Restrained

Curing Restrained in 5E DND

Counters for this condition are pretty limited, outside of roleplaying and GM discretion. They are as follows:

Spells

Magical Items

How Bad is Restrained?

As far as conditions go, restrained is roughly on par with prone when it comes to severity. However, it is a bit harder to contend with, in that it tends to be harder to cure when caused by magical means. The fact that creatures have advantage on attack rolls against you while you are restrained doesn’t help, and you have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws, and any attacks you attempt to make while restrained.

Restrained also makes flying characters fall out of the sky, which can lead to fatal levels of falling damage very quickly. Ruin your GM’s day by making the BBEG fall to their death if you happen to be dealing with one that tries to fly away early on and you remember this tip.

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Devon Kubacki

Hi there, I'm Devon, nice to meet you! I am the founder of Notes of Yore, and I'm an avid fan of tabletop games, particularly Dungeons and Dragons. I've been playing for just under two years now, and can say that I am hooked...or rather grappled by it. I hope you find my work here on NoYo helpful, and thank you for reading!View Author posts

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