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Protection From Evil and Enhantments


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

So let me get something straight: a character, once warded by the Protection From Evil spell, is completely immune to any spell/effect with the compulsion/mind affecting subtype?

So a 20th-level/Archmage 10 Enchanter couldn't touch a commoner on the street, if a first-level wizard slaps Protection From Evil on him beforehand? At all?

Just wanting to make sure I got this right.


No protection from evil doesn't make you immune to compulsions/mind affecting spells.


He could if he was neutral, but if he's evil he's out of luck until the minute passes and Pro Evil ends.


Yes and no. It does not make you automatically immune to those effects, however, if you successfully make your saving throw against whatever it is affecting you at the time, or against the first effect that this spell protects you from, you then become immune to any further spells or attempts for the duration of the spell. Note that these effects are strictly limited to those that possess or control you via your mind. Command, dominate, charm person, etc. As with everything else about protection from evil, this only works against effects that come from an evil source. Also note that if for some reason the duration of the controlling effect outlasts the protection from evil spell, the controlling effect resumes it's control.

As to your original example, if the level 1 commoner had PFE cast upon him, and saved against a dominate person spell casted at him from an evil aligned level 20 archmage of death, then for the duration of that spell the commoner would be completly immune to -ANY- mind controlling or possessing effects(from evil aligned sources). Another note, he becomes immune to mind controlling from other evil beings as well, not just the original target source. This means other evil people cannot effect the commoner as well, regardless of how many level 20 evil magi cast dominate person on the lonely commoner.

Protection from evil:
This spell wards a creature from attacks by evil creatures, from mental control, and from summoned creatures. It creates a magical barrier around the subject at a distance of 1 foot. The barrier moves with the subject and has three major effects.

First, the subject gains a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saves. Both these bonuses apply against attacks made or effects created by evil creatures.

Second, the subject immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with) against any spells or effects that possess or exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment [charm] effects and enchantment [compulsion] effects, such as charm person, command, and dominate person. This saving throw is made with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect. If successful, such effects are suppressed for the duration of this spell. The effects resume when the duration of this spell expires. While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target. This spell does not expel a controlling life force (such as a ghost or spellcaster using magic jar), but it does prevent them from controlling the target. This second effect only functions against spells and effects created by evil creatures or objects, subject to GM discretion.

Third, the spell prevents bodily contact by evil summoned creatures. This causes the natural weapon attacks of such creatures to fail and the creatures to recoil if such attacks require touching the warded creature. Summoned creatures that are not evil are immune to this effect. The protection against contact by summoned creatures ends if the warded creature makes an attack against or tries to force the barrier against the blocked creature. Spell resistance can allow a creature to overcome this protection and touch the warded creature.


Here are some scenarios:

Bob has PFE cast upon him. Next, Bob is hit with Dominate Person cast by an evil spellcaster and is immune to the spell (does not need to save).

Jim does not have PFE cast upon him. Next, Jim is hit with Dominate Person cast by an evil spellcaster and fails his save. Jim's cleric buddy George cast's PFE on Jim. Jim is allowed a new save against Dominate Person with a +2 Resistance bonus and a +2 Morale bonus. If Jim makes the save Dominate Person is suppressed (although not gone). When the duration of PFE runs out Jim will be under the effects of Dominate Person again.

Matt has PFE cast upon him when he is hit with Dominate Person cast by a neutral spellcaster. Matt is not immune because the spellcaster was neutral and must save normally.

- Gauss


Gauss does make a good point that I believe the OP has caught onto that I failed to mention in my previous post and that I wasn't very clear on. PFE does make you immune to the mind-affecting or whatever spells cast upon you, AFTER PFE has been cast, but it doesn't make you auto immune to any mind-effecting spells or abilities on you BEFORE PFE is cast upon you.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Also note that not EVERY mind-affecting effect is blocked, only ones that allow the caster to exert their will over you. For instance, it would block suggestion, but not confusion or sleep. See the FAQ for more details.


I am confused over the saving throw of the Protection from Evil spell. How does it work with regards to the dominate portion of the spell and the touch/attack portion of the spell. For example, assume a character casts Protection from Evil. A vampire (for example) tries to dominate the person. I do not believe most vampires have Spell Resistance, so for this example, let's assume the vampire does not. Can the vampire dominate the character? Does the vampire make a saving throw? Does the character make a saving throw? The spell states that Will negates (I believe).

Also, what happens is the vampire tries to touch or attack the character? Does the vampire make a saving throw, does the character, both, neither?

Same example, but now there are multiple characters and a Magic Circle Against Evil has been cast. If a Will save negates the spell, does this negate the effect for ALL characters? Does each character save? Does the vampire make a save for each character?

I am really confused. Can someone dumb this down for me and please assume that I am not a rules expert. Thanks so much. Really appreciate the help!!!


In your example, if a vampire tries to use dominate person on a protected individual, the dominate fails. No saving throw required, it just fails.

The other use of protection from evil is to give a dominated person a second chance. In this case, if you cast protection from evil on a dominated person, then they can try to suppress the domination with a +2 morale bonus (not sure if you get the +2 resistance bonus as well). If successful, the domination is suppressed for the duration of the spell. Note that with this second use of protection from evil, the dominated person actually will get a will saving throw to avoid the protection from evil, as that person is no longer an ally.

The third feature of protection from evil is that the protected creature cant be hit by natural weapons/touch attacks by summoned creatures, and unless the vampire is summoned, he/she can attack albeit against a slightly higher AC. Note if you attack the summoned creature or force it in contact or it makes it spell resistance check the prohibition from attack ends.

The save listed for protection from evil is when you cast the spell on an unwilling target. The key is to look at the target, in this case creature touched. The vampire isn't the target so he doesn't need to make a save vs the spell.

Magic Circle works similarly.


@ Agodeshalf - Thank you so much. Very clear and helpful. Really appreciate it.


Agodeshalf wrote:
The other use of protection from evil is to give a dominated person a second chance. In this case, if you cast protection from evil on a dominated person, then they can try to suppress the domination with a +2 morale bonus (not sure if you get the +2 resistance bonus as well). If successful, the domination is suppressed for the duration of the spell. Note that with this second use of protection from evil, the dominated person actually will get a will saving throw to avoid the protection from evil, as that person is no longer an ally.

That's not neccessarily true, will depend mostly on how the caster words the command given, and the exact scenario.

The fact that a creature is dominated doesn't grant the caster complete omniscience about her. In fact, once the target is out of sight caster will only receive experiences like lust, pain, hunger... unless he concentrates to gain partial (not even full) sensory information. And "receiving a spell" is not an experience the caster will normally receive.

A dominated creature that receives a command will attempt to carry out that command. But as long as receiving a spell does not prevent the target from fulfilling that command, the creature may still freely decide who she perceives as an ally unless she was explicitly commanded against it.

Dominate has a 1day/level duration, so it's not normally used for close quarters (although it certainly can), but to keep "thralls" controlled long distances away; so in most cases the target will be given a lot of free reign unless the caster stays 24x7 receiving sensory input. It's pretty much common for a long distance thrall to be checked just couple times a day.


Protection from Good/Law/Chaos work the same in that regard, but only against spells from casters of the warded alignment.
As an Example, Protection from Chaos would give the same warding protection against a caster that was CG, CN, or CE, but would do nothing if the caster were of any of the other Six alignments.
It's a good spell, but it's only effective against a third of alignment casters, and none of the four spells will protect against a True Neutral caster...


Read the spell more carefully.
If you are under an effect when it is cast on you, you get a free save to suppress it provided it allows a save in the first place.
If you are under its protection, you can be charmed and dominated, but not controlled. If the charm/dominate outlasts the PfE, then you are toast.
If you are under its protection, you can not become possessed.

I had PfE going when a harpy sang. I failed the save, but was NOT forced to heed their call.

You cannot be controlled. You can fail saves against spells and effects.

/cevah


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Cevah wrote:
If you are under its protection, you can be charmed and dominated, but not controlled. If the charm/dominate outlasts the PfE, then you are toast.
PfE wrote:
While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target.

If I'm immune to an attempt to possess or control me, I'd think I was immune to any attempt to Dominate me, and therefore wouldn't have to make a save. I don't see the duration of the Dominate effect being relevant.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Cevah wrote:
If you are under its protection, you can be charmed and dominated, but not controlled. If the charm/dominate outlasts the PfE, then you are toast.
PfE wrote:
While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target.
If I'm immune to an attempt to possess or control me, I'd think I was immune to any attempt to Dominate me, and therefore wouldn't have to make a save. I don't see the duration of the Dominate effect being relevant.

The PfE spell does not prevent the need to save vs. the spell Dominate Person. It does prevent the spell from controlling your actions if from an evil caster. Same for Charm Person.

/cevah


Not sure how you read

"While under the effects of this spell, the target is immune to any new attempts to possess or exercise mental control over the target"

and conclude that you have to make the save and if you fail, you're still dominated but can't be made to do things, until the PfE runs out, at which point you become fully dominated.

I guess you could interpret it that way but I just assumed that immune meant no save required.


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Cevah wrote:
The PfE spell does not prevent the need to save vs. the spell Dominate Person. It does prevent the spell from controlling your actions if from an evil caster. Same for Charm Person.

I don't see any reason to conclude that. If a spell makes you "Immune to petrification" it doesn't mean it just delays petrification until the duration runs out. Immune is immune.


The issue is what is meant by “exercise” mental control. If I cast Dominate Person but don’t order you to do anything you’re dominated, but I’m not making an attempt to actually exercise my control until I issue an order. Cevah (and I) believe Protection from X stops such commas from affecting you, but don’t stop the spell itself.


Let's say:
(a) Vampire Dominates Fighter. Fighter fails save.
(b) Cleric casts PfE on Fighter. Fighter gets second Will save, and fails again.
(c) Before the PfE expires, the Vampire orders the Fighter to knock out the Cleric.

Do you think (c) is a "new attempt to exercise mental control over the target" and would therefore fail? It's a new order, after all.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Let's say:

(a) Vampire Dominates Fighter. Fighter fails save.
(b) Cleric casts PfE on Fighter. Fighter gets second Will save, and fails again.
(c) Before the PfE expires, the Vampire orders the Fighter to knock out the Cleric.

Do you think (c) is a "new attempt to exercise mental control over the target" and would therefore fail? It's a new order, after all.

Choice (c) is not a new attempt to possess. It is an attempt to exercise mental control. However, since the Fighter failed his second save, the Domination effect is not suppressed. Fighter goes after the Cleric.

Had the Fighter made the second save, the Fighter would have ignored the order, because the Domination was suppressed.

Once the PfE wears off, the Vampire can command the Fighter as normal.

Please note, PfE blocks new attempts to possess, and attempts to exercise mental control. It does not block spells.

/cevah


To me, a Dominate spell (or the Vampire ability that isn't a spell) that you get a Will save against is an attempt to exercise mental control that you're immune to if you have PfE up.

Individual commands are not, generally speaking, new attempts to exercise mental control. If they were, the Fighter who failed his second save would be immune to these commands for the duration of the spell, and you agree with me that he's not.

Are you defining "a new attempt to exercise mental control" as "a command that you would normally have to obey due to mental control triggered by a spell or effect that was inflicted on you during the period you were under the influence of Protection from Evil"? That seems... convoluted.


To take a real world analogy, a regulation forbidding exercising managerial control over a company doesn’t forbid buying enough stock in it to be able to appoint a board member, it only forbids you actually exercising such control by actually nominating someone to the board or communicating influence to management. Here, casting Dominate is buying into the company (allowed), but exercising control by issuing an order that is followed is like appointing a board member or calling the CEO with recommendations (forbidden).


Matthew Downie wrote:

To me, a Dominate spell (or the Vampire ability that isn't a spell) that you get a Will save against is an attempt to exercise mental control that you're immune to if you have PfE up.

Individual commands are not, generally speaking, new attempts to exercise mental control. If they were, the Fighter who failed his second save would be immune to these commands for the duration of the spell, and you agree with me that he's not.

Are you defining "a new attempt to exercise mental control" as "a command that you would normally have to obey due to mental control triggered by a spell or effect that was inflicted on you during the period you were under the influence of Protection from Evil"? That seems... convoluted.

You are misreading the spell.

The new attempt is referring to possession. It is not referring to exercising control.
Quote:
the target is immune to any (new attempts to possess) or (exercise mental control over) the target

The "or" refers to the two verbs: attempt, exercise.

PfE does not make you immune to spells or SLAs.
It prevents possession by an enemy.
It prevents control by an enemy.

Since control is issued by commands, and not new spells. This shuts down control spells while under the effects of PfE. Once the PfE expires, the spell (if still active) allows control as normal.

/cevah


Cevah is right. Basically it goes like this.

Spell is cast

1. Save is made=The spell can not do anything.

2. Save is failed.

3. Pfe is cast. Any further castings are blocked, but the spell that is already in effect is still going.
If the new save is passed see 3a.
If the new save also fails see 3b

3a. PfE is cast and the target makes the save. The compulsion spell does not end. It just means that it can't be used to command the target to do anything until PfE expires.
As soon as PfE expires the target can be commanded to by the caster.

3b. PfE is cast and the target fails the save. He must do as he was commanded.


wraithstrike wrote:
3. Pfe is cast. Any further castings are blocked, but the spell that is already in effect is still going.

New spells are NOT blocked. Their effect may be prevented while PfE lasts.

/cevah


"the target is immune to any (new attempts to possess) or (exercise mental control over) the target"

So, breaking that down:
"the target is immune to any new attempts to possess the target"
and
"the target is immune to any exercise mental control over the target"

That second one makes no grammatical sense. The only coherent way to parse it is:
"the target is immune to any new attempts to (possess) or (exercise mental control over) the target"

(And if you were immune to any exercise of mental control over you, then the dominated Fighter in the example we discussed above would not have obeyed the vampire's command. But you agreed that he wouldn't be.)


wraithstrike wrote:
Cevah is right.

(You're actually agreeing with me.)


I see the argument he is making now. It isn't 100% without merit if you look at the rules closely enough. I still think the intent is to grant immunity to the spell.
As written it could be argued that you still have to make the save, but the command after the save can't make you do anything while the spell is up, which is different than not even having to make a save at all.

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