Baldur's Gate Wiki

Unconscious is a status effect that causes the afflicted character to fall to the ground for the duration of the spell or effect. They cannot move, attack, or use items. A playable character cannot be directly selected, except to view their status screen. They can receive items, but no items can be taken from their inventory. A creature affected cannot be pick pocketed. Unconscious and Sleep are related and use the same Opcode to induce the effect in the game engine.

A creature affected by the Unconscious status effect is actually being manipulated in-game by Opcode 39, titled "State: Unconsciousness [39]". There are separate status icons for Sleep and Unconscious. You can think of sleep as a deep slumber, and unconscious as a "knocked out" or comatose state. An in-game message string will use "Unconscious" when that effect is applied to a creature.

Opcode 39 applies the Unconscious effect (or Unconsciousness - is also correct), with a duration assigned. Depending on the cause, the code may also denote if the creature can be freed or awakened by damage from the state. The actual wording in the Opcode description is: Applies the unconsciousness effect to the targeted creature(s). If 'Mode' is set to 1, then the unconsciousness won't be removed by getting hurt.

In general, certain creatures are protected and are immune to Opcode 39, such as Undead, constructs like Golems, Elementals, Demons/Devils and Dragons. An exception exists in the game, where Elves and Half Elves are resistant to Sleep with a 90% and 30% resistance respectively. However, Elven kind are not naturally resistant to unconsciousness. The coding in the game engine uses another Opcode titled as "Protection: Immunity Spell and Message [324]" to denote which creatures are susceptible to sleep vs. unconsciousness. This newer Opcode occurs in EE games, and not the basic game. The basic game engine had to handle this in a different way, and it is not always implemented consistently.

Some examples of the use of the Unconscious status state/effect are the wizard spells Bigby's Clenched Fist and Bigby's Crushing Hand or a Dragon's Wing Buffet. An effect induced by a spell can normally be dispelled, and others are on a case-by-case basis - some cannot be cured or removed, and the affected creature must wait for the status duration to expire.