Pre-emptively mind controlling yourself to stop others from doing the same

Rules Questions

Maybe it would be easier to cast a protection from x spell but you can't always predict the alignment of your enemies and those spells only have a duration of 10 minutes as opposed to Dominate's days. Can you Dominate yourself to get an opposed Charisma check against other mind controlling effects?

I liked the trick of having the party bard cast charm person on you (to make you friendly with them) and it means that rather than using your will save to prevent charm effects, they have to beat a Charisma check against the bard. Yes this is horribly cheesy and may not work, but I find the interactions quite amusing.


I would say no. You're already in control of your own mind so the spell would have no effect.

I don't know that Dominating yourself would work (though it would on others, of course) but a contingent Suggestion probably would, as far as I can see. Basically, you could Suggest to yourself (or an ally) something along the lines of "If, sometime in the subsequent X hours, someone orders me to act in a way that is detrimental to the party, I will disregard any orders from them."

You could also be more specific, depending on the exact effect you wanted to achieve, as well as details like "do I know if I fail a save to certain kinds of mind-affecting spells?" or "how likely am I to recognize what kind of a spell is being cast on me?". etc.

It could also trip you up if you're not careful with the wording, so I don't know that it's something you'd necessarily want to have running all the time, but if you know you're going into combat with a Dominate-happy opponent, well, the extra roll would be nice...

Hmm, inserting a post-hynpotic suggestion to provide yourself with additional layers of mental conditioning and protection, is something of a genre trope. I like the idea.

I actually did this in Curse of the Crimson Throne. My Bardic Performance allowed me to use Suggestion on my allies -- they would forego their saves. I don't remember what my wording was, but it was something like "You will ignore impulses to attack members of this party" or something.

Wording really is an issue, however. There may be times when a party needs to attack each other for some reason. If everybody has the above ^ suggestion, then if a party member IS put under the effects of a mind-control spell and is able to attack other party members ... then nobody else can subdue that character without also resisting the Suggestion.

I generally don't allow characters to "know" that they've been mind controlled unless they identify the spell being cast and know they were targeted -- I run most of those magical effects such that the target still believes they're in their right mind. Further, you don't really know your mind is fighting something off unless you are specifically targeted by a spell, and you make your save -- THEN you know you were targeted by some hostile effect. Otherwise, suggestions made to protect you that begin with "If you've been mind-controlled ..." are likely to fail because you often don't know or believe that you have been.

On the same note, a lot of mind-affecting effects change how you perceive enemies, and Confusion effects cause you to stop regarding creatures as allies. So contingent Suggestions may be worded rather well, and then fail to work because a Charm Person or a Confusion cause creatures to be regarded in a way that is disadvantageous for your safeguard.

Shadow Lodge

"If you feel the need to attack any of those currently in this room, you will only use non-lethal methods, and stop when they are subdued."

How's that for a start?

The DM gets to decide whether it kicks in if your party members leave the room, and it turns into a parody of the "create an uncorruptible wish" game.

Although there is an argument that the Suggestion works differently depending on how the target understands the Suggestion, so if your example party where attacked later that day, a dumb character might attack one of the indicated creatures nonlethally because he understood the Suggestion in very simple terms, but an intelligent character might act freely since he interpreted the Suggestion to apply against creatures currently in the room the Suggestion was made -- and none of those creatures are in the room any longer.

"Don't harm Rothgar, Felos, Donovan, or Sigwigger" seems like a good suggestion.

Yes, although it seems like the most intuitive Suggestions also have corner cases where they become ... disadvantageous.

"Don't harm Rothgar, Felos, Donovan, or Sigwigger".

A Cloaker attacks, grapples, and envelops Felos. Rothgar cannot attack the Cloaker because it would harm Felos.

A monster has very strong DR and possibly elemental resistances. The fighter can barely punch through it, but it's having no problem chewing through the party. It could be overcome with splash weapons or area of effect attacks, but not without hitting the party fighter ...

A Rot Grub burrows into Felos' arm. Donovan cannot use Heal to pry it out before it kills him because healing him would harm him.
Sigwigger goes crazy and starts lobbing Fireballs at the party. Rothgar cannot do much other than Grapple him because even subdual damage is harm.

A high-level skeletal monster attacks Rothgar, affecting him with a horrible black fire that deals cold damage and drops his Constitution round by round. Sigwigger knows that the fire can be suppressed by dealing fire damage, but that would be harmful.

(That last one happened to our party. It was actually kind of funny -- we kept having to burn our ally to keep his Con from hitting 0, and healing him to keep him alive from our constant damage, until the effect could be overcome.)

In D&D, love hurts. It's definitely a trade-off to be considered! But I suppose if it was all free benefits, that would be unfair, wouldn't it?

Hm. If you have a Suggestion not to harm your husband, and he is killed and turned into a zombie, is it still your husband?

Sure you can DOMINATE yourself, just watch Fox News!

All jokes aside, I would rule, no, the spell fails. You are being a munchkin.

Someone else can CHARM, SUGGEST, or DOMINATE you. SUGGESTIONS should have something immediately actionable, not contingent. Contingent compliance is more like a general CHARM, I feel all warm and fuzzy to the caster . . . . .

Shadow Lodge

NeonParrot wrote:
SUGGESTIONS should have something immediately actionable, not contingent. Contingent compliance is more like a general CHARM, I feel all warm and fuzzy to the caster . . . . .

'Suggestion' actually has a contingent condition built into the spell.

Perhaps you may feel that way, but Suggestion explicitly allows for you to make a Suggestion in which you specify actions that trigger a special activity.

I can see DMs wanting to rule against it but I don't see any reason it's illegal by RAW. Besides, the phrasing of the Suggestion might actually make it a trade-off. As I outlined above, there are some decent reasons you might want the option to attack your teammates.

Shadow Lodge

Serum and Troubleshooter are right. The contingency function is built into the spell:

Suggestion wrote:
The suggested course of activity can continue for the entire duration. If the suggested activity can be completed in a shorter time, the spell ends when the subject finishes what it was asked to do. You can instead specify conditions that will trigger a special activity during the duration. If the condition is not met before the spell duration expires, the activity is not performed.
Troubleshooter wrote:
Hm. If you have a Suggestion not to harm your husband, and he is killed and turned into a zombie, is it still your husband?

Nope, "till death do you part."

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