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Sleep immunity and voluntary save failure

Rules Questions

Suppose I have an insomniac half-elf wizard. Can he cast sleep on himself and voluntarily fail the save to get a good night's rest? Or is his racial immunity to magical sleep absolute?

I suppose the other option is hitting the bottle. But that's expensive, and terrible for the liver.

An immunity is an inmunity. A red dragon couldn't set itself on fire even if it tried. This is the same.


Poor Suetonius. He's going to have to buy absinthe in bulk, just so he can prep spells in the morning. ;_;

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have you already built this character? If not, he can trade in that immunity to sleep for some alternate racial trait.

Otherwise, if you have the time and money, you could retrain that immunity away.

My changeling went through the call of her mother during the adventure. She had terrible nightmare until the wizard started casting extended magic circle against evil twice per night. It worked because it was an external interference what caused the nightmares. I don't know what kind of nightmares does your character have.
I played a witch who also needed her 8 hours rest.
Fun thing, my changeling thought that she was an elf but didn't have sleep immunity. It was funny when enemies used sleep spells on her and worked, because it made her so confused.

I couldn't find any sleep aids in the alchemical section or any sleep gas, which would work, since elves are only immune to magical sleep.

Worse comes to worse, you could try dosing yourself to sleep. Dreaming Death causes sleep for as long as you fail saves and even affects elves. The drawback is that it costs 2,500 gp and will drive you completely insane.

Blue Whinnis and Oil of Taggit can render you unconscious. It might be a GM call whether being unconscious counts as sleeping, but if it does, Oil of Taggit may be the way to go, since Blue Whinnis causes 1 Con damage when you fail the save. It only lasts 1d3 hours at a time, but Oil of Taggit is only 90 gp. a dose and I am pretty sure you can voluntarily fail the save.

He's currently level 3, and on the wrong end of a Bestow Curse from a witch he imprudently offended. One of the "you may also invent your own curse" type. She's cursed him thus: "You may seek sleep, but your restless thoughts shall never let you catch her." He doesn't have nightmares. He just doesn't sleep. He lies awake with thoughts tumbling through his head, growing slowly more incoherent as he grows more and more tired.

The GM tells me that I can get to sleep if I somehow render myself unconscious -- say, by getting beaten into negative hit points, drinking myself into a stupor, or drugging myself catatonic. At the end of last session the party rogue took pity and bludgeoned me unconscious, but that's not a very good solution.

The witch is ... an ambiguous ally? Not an outright enemy? She's hard to pin down. Killing her would probably be hard, and wouldn't remove the curse anyway. The locals regard her with a mixture of respect and trepidation.

So far nobody wants to risk earning her ire by removing the curse magically. Which might be pretty hard anyway. I suspect she's a good few levels higher than the party.

Honestly the best approach would be to apologize and beg her to remove the curse. It may even come to that! But not yet. Suetonius is the type to look for loopholes first, and admit fault only as a last resort.

I'll ask about the retraining thing, but I kinda think my GM is just going to laugh and let me squirm. ^_^;

Drow sleep poison, Sominex on steroids.

Protection from evil will probably work but wouldn't last long. I'm not totally sure of it, but you could ask your GM.
It looks that you are somewhat enjoying this plot, so apologizing seems like an option to leave for later. I mean, your character might be kinda screwed but it seems to be making an interesting story.

Yeah. I think I'll roll with it for a while. It's interesting.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

while immunity to sleep prevents that condition, there is unconsciousness... at least it's not as bad as Undine's Curse.
Might I suggest a pinch of colored sand, a mirror, and Color Spray?

Often there is an escape clause built into the curse. Perhaps you should seek that out in a roleplaying effort to end it. Otherwise standard Remove Curse spell should work, eventually.

The bad part of that is that most of that options only last a few minutes at best.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

yes, but it hurts less than a beating (while conscious) and a wizardy thing to try.

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kileanna wrote:
The bad part of that is that most of that options only last a few minutes at best.

That may be enough if the curse is normal insomnia. If the problem is that you have trouble falling asleep but not that you wake up too easily, putting your slightly sleep deprived character into a state where he can fall asleep more easily could be enough.

Hmmmm... Makes sense.

Necromantically raising my own thread!

As a point of interest, I've just learned that at one time elves specifically could allow themselves to be affected by sleep magic. If you look at page 177 of a print copy of the 3.5 Player's Handbook, it says:

3.5 PHB p. 177 wrote:
Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw: A creature can voluntarily forego a saving throw and willingly accept a spell's result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic (for example, an elf's resistance to sleep effects) can suppress this quality.

Emphasis added. However, if you look at the 3.5 SRD, the phrase bolded above does not appear. It reads:

3.5 SRD wrote:
Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw: A creature can voluntarily forego a saving throw and willingly accept a spell's result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this quality.

And the PRD matches exactly:

PRD wrote:
Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw: A creature can voluntarily forego a saving throw and willingly accept a spell's result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this quality.

My guess is that WotC removed that bit as part of their efforts to protect their trade dress when they first released the system under the OGL. Since Pathfinder was based on the 3.5 SRD under the OGL, the phrase didn't make the jump to Pathfinder.

The PF team could have restored a similar example -- pick another creature with an immunity and specify that it's allowed to fail the save and be affected. Was omitting such an example a deliberate design choice? An oversight? A legal consideration? Who knows?

I wonder if the exception allowing elves to voluntarily fail sleep saves was present in editions earlier than 3.5? I never played any of those, so I don't have hardcopy to check.

Anyway, the in-game situation got dealt with -- Suetonius made amends with the witch, who removed her curse. I just thought since I stumbled across this that I'd post it as a curiosity.

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