Is it possible to use Contingency + Vampiric Touch to save yourself from unconsciousness?
In a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition game, I am playing a Wizard and considering the interaction between the contingency and vampiric touch spells. My goal is to explore the possibility of utilizing contingency to trigger vampiric touch when I fall unconscious, or immediately before falling unconscious with the intention of regaining hit points and potentially saving myself from remaining unconscious.
Here’s the specific scenario I envision: I cast contingency and choose vampiric touch as the contingent spell to be stored. The circumstance I describe is “When I fall unconscious while another creature is within my reach.” When this condition is met, the vampiric touch spell takes effect immediately, whether I want it to or not, and forces me to make a melee spell attack against a creature, thereby healing myself for half the amount of damage dealt, if any, and potentially preventing further unconsciousness.
The vampiric touch spell satisfies the requirements of contingency with regards to level and casting time, and has a range of “Self”. However, I’m uncertain about the mechanics and timing of the interaction between these spells in this specific scenario. I know that generally spell that require concentration aren’t desirable contingent spells due to the chance to break your concentration on other active spells, but it seems a moot point in this case, since the unconscious condition would break that concentration as well.
As far as I’m aware, nothing actually prevents you from making attacks while unconscious, the associated incapacitated condition just prevents you from taking any action that would normally allow it. I’m also aware being incapacitated cause you to lose concentration on a spell, but I haven’t seen anything preventing you from initially casting it while incapacitated other than the restriction on actions, which contingency circumvents. Are there any rules or restrictions that would prevent this combination from achieving the intended effect? If so, what alternative approaches could achieve a similar outcome? Are there alternative timings, or circumstances that would better achieve my goal?
I appreciate any insights or clarifications regarding this potential synergy between contingency and vampiric touch.
Spells referenced are available in the SRD.
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Components: V, S, M (a statuette of yourself carved from ivory and decorated with gems worth at least 1,500 gp)
Duration: 10 days
Choose a spell of 5th level or lower that you can cast, that has a casting time of 1 action, and that can target you. You cast that spell—called the contingent spell—as part of casting contingency, expending spell slots for both, but the contingent spell doesn’t come into effect. Instead, it takes effect when a certain circumstance occurs. You describe that circumstance when you cast the two spells. For example, a contingency cast with water breathing might stipulate that water breathing comes into effect when you are engulfed in water or a similar liquid.
The contingent spell takes effect immediately after the circumstance is met for the first time, whether or not you want it to, and then contingency ends.
The contingent spell takes effect only on you, even if it can normally target others. You can use only one contingency spell at a time. If you cast this spell again, the effect of another contingency spell on you ends. Also, contingency ends on you if its material component is ever not on your person. ↩︎
Vampiric Touch3rd-level necromancy
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
The touch of your shadow-wreathed hand can siphon life force from others to heal your wounds. Make a melee spell attack against a creature within your reach. On a hit, the target takes 3d6 necrotic damage, and you regain hit points equal to half the amount of necrotic damage dealt. Until the spell ends, you can make the attack again on each of your turns as an action.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd. ↩︎
This question includes material taken from the System Reference Document 5.1 (“SRD 5.1”) by Wizards of the Coast LLC and available at https://dnd.wizards.com/resources/systems-reference-document. The SRD 5.1 is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. ↩︎