Does a possessing creature get a save against protection from evil?

Rules Questions

TL;DR: Does an entity which is possessed or controlled make a save against being helped by protection from evil if that's what the evil influence would want it to do?

This is a little dispute between me and the GM. In our last session, I cast protection from evil on enemy that was clearly being controlled or possessed (this was right before we stopped for the night so not everything has been revealed). The creature failed it's new save against being controlled, but the other effects still potentially interfered with the possessing entities plans.

Now the GM is saying that he thinks that since the creature would have resisted due to the influence it was under, that it should have gotten a save, and he wants to retcon it and roll a save for it next session. I'm arguing that the spell doesn't say that possessing entities can save against it, and that the target was the possessed creature, not the possessing entity, hence the harmless label on the save for the spell. Given that this is one of the intended uses of the spell, a will save to resist being helped should have been mentioned explicitly if it was necessary.

If I'm reading you correctly... Your GM wants to roll a will save for the POSSESSED creature to fight AGAINST being UNPOSSESSED because the controlling spirit would WANT it to have tried to NOT be possessed?

No. That's not a thing. Either the person being possessed wants free, and gets a will save, or they don't and, subsequently, do not. It doesn't matter what the controlling spirit wants. It matters what the controlled puppet wants.

I second Zarius' comments.

On top of that, even if the GM were right, retconning is usually a bad idea. And a retcon that penalises the players is always a bad idea.

If you made a mistake would your GM let you rewind time to correct it? No, of course not. So he shouldn't do it either. Such behaviour doesn't treat the players fairly.

Everyone makes mistakes. Unless a GM's mistake gets PCs killed or really screws up the game, he should just accept it and move on.

Actually, we retcon recent things all the time if we find that the rules were being applied incorrectly. Whether they favor the players or the enemy isn't a factor. The deciding factors are usually whether or not anything has happened since which would also have to be undone, or if doing so would bog down the session in some way. But since we ended the session mid combat shortly after the spell was used, we are currently frozen in time, so it's easy to discuss.

But yes, the GMs logic is that the spell does offer a save, and the possessed creature would resist anything else we do to interfere, so why not this? Essentially, he's treating the spell as targeting the both of them together instead of just the host. I can see the logic, even though I disagree with it. I assert that the spell targets the host and only the host, so as long as the host does not actually want to be possessed, it won't resist no matter what the entity would have it do.

The question is, is there a rules reference or faq or precedent, or something that I can point to that makes it more than just a matter of interpretation?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"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."

Clearly from controlling the target obviously does not include both since only one controlles the other is the victim. Therefore only one gets the save despite both in the targeted body. It even states that the body eg. original owner is the target not the possessing spirit there.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Protection from Evil

Range touch

Target creature touched

Saving Throw Will negates (harmless);

The key question is "Who is the owner of the body when you meet a possessed creature?"

Let's look Magic jar to see how it work:
If you are successful, your life force occupies the host body, and the host's life force is imprisoned in the magic jar. You keep your Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, level, class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, alignment, and mental abilities. The body retains its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities, and automatic abilities. A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal. You can't choose to activate the body's extraordinary or supernatural abilities. The creature's spells and spell-like abilities do not stay with the body.

You use the controller base save bonuses, not the creature, so the mind is what matter, not the physical body.

There is a new spell, Possession.
The text is the same, you use the possessor base saves.

So the creature targeted, for our purposes, is the creature possessing the body, not the original occupant of the body.

Seeing that, yes , he is entitled to a saving throw when you try to affect him with a spell that the possessing creature don't want.

For dominated creatures it work similarly if they have been ordered to be hostile against you. If normally they would be friendly and they haven't received orders of be ostile against you, they would react as they normally would.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Does a possessing creature get a save against protection from evil? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.