Freedom of Movement VS Hold Person.


Rules Questions


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As the title states. The question arose of Freedom of Movement beats Hold Person. The question arose from the second line of hold person, "It is aware and breathes normally but cannot take any actions, even speech.".

On one hand it can be seen as a explanation of the paralyzed condition, as the first line states it gives the paralyzed condition. And paralysis is a condition countered by FoM, so FoM allows you to act while under hold person.

The second interpretation is that while you have the paralyzed condition from the first line, the second line is a entirely different condition. So even though FoM beats the paralysis given by the first line, it fails to overcome the second line which is loss of actions.

I personally think it's the second interpretation, but we were curious to see if there was any definitive ruling made. Also we were curious to see everyone else's opinions on the question.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Freedom of Movement wins.

Quote:
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web.

So, that list is examples and isn’t complete, but one of the spells (slow) is the same level as hold person for wizard/sorcerer. So the question really is do the effects of hold person, even if you parse the sentences separately, constitute “magic that [...] impedes movement”? The paralysis definitely is. And since to move you have to be able to take actions, the second sentence in isolation is magic that impedes movement, also.


Quote:
Paralyzed: A paralyzed character is frozen in place and unable to move or act.

Nothing in "aware and breathes normally but cannot take any actions" adds anything to the standard paralyzed condition. "Cannot take any actions" and "unable to act" are the same thing. Why would they add a second effect of Hold Person that's identical to the first?


Chemlak wrote:

Freedom of Movement wins.

Quote:
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web.
So, that list is examples and isn’t complete, but one of the spells (slow) is the same level as hold person for wizard/sorcerer. So the question really is do the effects of hold person, even if you parse the sentences separately, constitute “magic that [...] impedes movement”? The paralysis definitely is. And since to move you have to be able to take actions, the second sentence in isolation is magic that impedes movement, also.

so does this mean it beats staggered, dazed and stunned to? because those stop you from acting aswell.


No, the staggered, dazed, and stunned statuses are not rooted in movement. Rather a lack or restriction of movement arises from conditions. However, FoM beats paralysis and it beats hold person since those conditions are about the restriction of movement.

FoM is a tricky spell, but ultimately it comes down to whether movement itself is restricts, if that's the case FoM takes effect. (Though it doesn't prevent being stuck in an area (e.g., walls and pits)).


*bonk*

Hey! This wall is impeding my movement! Why do you hate freedom!?

Sovereign Court

Matthew Downie wrote:
Quote:
Paralyzed: A paralyzed character is frozen in place and unable to move or act.

Nothing in "aware and breathes normally but cannot take any actions" adds anything to the standard paralyzed condition. "Cannot take any actions" and "unable to act" are the same thing. Why would they add a second effect of Hold Person that's identical to the first?

Because paralysis allows for purely mental actions, whereas hold person does not.

Hold person is... poorly worded. It is an enchantment (compulsion) spell that compels you to choose to do nothing. (And are thus, for game mechanics purposes treated as having the paralyzed condition.)

As opposed to a transmutation spell that locks all your muscles in place, preventing you from accomplishing the physical actions you are attempting to do. (And thus allows for purely mental actions, including many supernatural abilities, psychic spellcasting, etc...)


My opinion, Freedom of Movement should override Hold Person. Even if it is a mental effect, so are some other forms of paralysis. Freedom of Movement doesn't say anything about it being limited to physical effects only.

The problem is that there are multiple wildly different ways for a character to attain the same negative condition.

Mummy dispair aura, poisons like Tears of Death, ghast's paralyzing touch, and the spell Chains of Light all cause paralysis but in completely different ways. Some are clearly purely mental like the mummy's aura while Chains of Light is physical as dodging the chains with a reflex negates the entire effect. Yet Ichor the 10th level Alchemist with Mummification is immune to all of the paralysis effect of each of these since he is immune to paralysis. While this makes some sense for him to be immune to the supernatural and poison effects, it doesn't make sense that he's able to ignore the effects of holy chains holding him in place yet he does ignore it since it is explicitly stated to be paralysis. (However, other effects from these things can still affect him if he's not immune to them.)

This means that it doesn't matter if the effect is mental or physical it only matters as far as bonuses or immunity to mind-affecting effects. Unless stated otherwise immunity is to the effect, not the source. So Hold Person should easily be overridden by Freedom of Movement.

However, this raises another question. Does paralysis immunity protect from Hold Person?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And this thread remind me again how people coming to the rulebook without preconceptions will see something different from people that experienced the growth and change of the game.

That phrase was the same in the 3.X versions of the game and only slightly different in earlier versions. It is simply a reminder of what being paralyzed do.

The "The King In Yellow" interpretation is interesting, it even has a basis if you read the spell in a specific way, but I have some very strong doubt it is right. The text of the spell contradict it, as you can take at least 1 action: "ch. Each round on its turn, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity."
I think it is simply an interpretation the developer haven't considered as they had a preconceived opinion on how it work, and that cause some blindness to other possible interpretations.


The King In Yellow wrote:
Hold person is... poorly worded. It is an enchantment (compulsion) spell that compels you to choose to do nothing. (And are thus, for game mechanics purposes treated as having the paralyzed condition.)

I think this is probably the strongert argument I have seen for Hold Person to defeat FoM. The fact it is a compulsion places this in the same camp as suggestion or dominate person/monster.

How is this different than suggestion: Leave me alone or dominate: attack your friends? Hold person is just a specialized form of compulsion that tells you not to move.

According t the CRB: Compulsion: A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way its mind works.

That means FoM’s text stating movement is impeded should not apply since nothing is impeding your movement, you are choosing not to move.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Globetrotter wrote:
The King In Yellow wrote:
Hold person is... poorly worded. It is an enchantment (compulsion) spell that compels you to choose to do nothing. (And are thus, for game mechanics purposes treated as having the paralyzed condition.)

I think this is probably the strongert argument I have seen for Hold Person to defeat FoM. The fact it is a compulsion places this in the same camp as suggestion or dominate person/monster.

How is this different than suggestion: Leave me alone or dominate: attack your friends? Hold person is just a specialized form of compulsion that tells you not to move.

According t the CRB: Compulsion: A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way its mind works.

That means FoM’s text stating movement is impeded should not apply since nothing is impeding your movement, you are choosing not to move.

FoM don't care about the kind of effect that hinder your movement, only if it hinder it or not. If it hinder it, it is removed by FoM.


Freedom of movement protects against hold person. Hold person is a paralysis effect, the part about being able to breath and be aware but not be able to speak is not a separate effect of the spell.

Like most spells, the basis for many conditions and states are laid out in the spells that cause them (typically found in the lowest level or first expected available spell to cause them). Since hold person is (or at least was for the longest time) the lowest level spell a PC would be expected to get or encounter that caused paralysis, they gave it a little more clarification on what happens to a target.

Similar to how sleep probably is a bit more detailed than later spells that cause creatures to fall asleep, or how barkskin contains the rules-notation on a creature without a natural armor counting as having natural armor +0, or how lightning bolt or fireball provide precedent or examples of how they interact with intervening barriers or potentially ignite flammables. Those were the first common encounter that players would have with those circumstances. Certainly GMs could get the rulings elsewhere or had a glossary, but for the longest time, players were not considered to be privy to the GM rules or handbooks. It makes sense when you look at the rules from a learning tool standpoint, where that would be the most likely place a player would run across the terminology and how it applied in game.

In this case, it's all paralysis-based for hold person.


Globetrotter wrote:
The King In Yellow wrote:
Hold person is... poorly worded. It is an enchantment (compulsion) spell that compels you to choose to do nothing. (And are thus, for game mechanics purposes treated as having the paralyzed condition.)

I think this is probably the strongert argument I have seen for Hold Person to defeat FoM. The fact it is a compulsion places this in the same camp as suggestion or dominate person/monster.

How is this different than suggestion: Leave me alone or dominate: attack your friends? Hold person is just a specialized form of compulsion that tells you not to move.

According t the CRB: Compulsion: A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way its mind works.

That means FoM’s text stating movement is impeded should not apply since nothing is impeding your movement, you are choosing not to move.

Except as I stated earlier there is nothing in FoM that says its limited to physical effects. It noticeably states magical effects not physical magic effects. Limiting it to physical restraints only has no basis of justification in the wording and thus is not a justified argument as a universal interpretation.

And what says that the held person is choosing not to move? It can just as easily be that the spell makes the person think they can’t move in which case that’s clearly magic impeding movement and thus FoM would suppress the effect.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Latrans wrote:
Globetrotter wrote:
The King In Yellow wrote:
Hold person is... poorly worded. It is an enchantment (compulsion) spell that compels you to choose to do nothing. (And are thus, for game mechanics purposes treated as having the paralyzed condition.)

I think this is probably the strongert argument I have seen for Hold Person to defeat FoM. The fact it is a compulsion places this in the same camp as suggestion or dominate person/monster.

How is this different than suggestion: Leave me alone or dominate: attack your friends? Hold person is just a specialized form of compulsion that tells you not to move.

According t the CRB: Compulsion: A compulsion spell forces the subject to act in some manner or changes the way its mind works.

That means FoM’s text stating movement is impeded should not apply since nothing is impeding your movement, you are choosing not to move.

Except as I stated earlier there is nothing in FoM that says its limited to physical effects. It noticeably states magical effects not physical magic effects. Limiting it to physical restraints only has no basis of justification in the wording and thus is not a justified argument as a universal interpretation.

And what says that the held person is choosing not to move? It can just as easily be that the spell makes the person think they can’t move in which case that’s clearly magic impeding movement and thus FoM would suppress the effect.

Globetrotter, you are adding a complex explanation that it is a compulsion and so isn't affected by FoM. It don't work.

Even if it is a compulsion that affect your brain, it is still a effect that impede movement, exactly what FoM is meant to overcome. Can you find a row in that text that say "it don't work on mental effects"? I don't see it or anything similar.
Instead we have the opposite, a phrase that say that it work against magic that impede movement, with no limitation.

A courageous attempt to say that being paralyzed don't impede your movement, but that don't work.

Sorry for your enchanter, but FoM beat his hold person.


@diego rossi: I think you might be wrong. By your interpretation, FoM overcomes any spell that limits the players ability to move their character. Dominate Person, for example, impedes the player's ability to move their PC, therefore is overcome by FoM.

So while I agree that hold person would fail, just because it uses the phrase "paralyze" and that is specifically countered by FoM, most mental condions that "impair movement" are not countered by FoM. RAW vs RAI. I think the intention is that Hold Person would work on someone subject to FoM, due to it being a mental condition, not a source of physical paralysis. But pathfinder has poor rules for situational immunities, and tends to rather take blanket immunities.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Player ability to move their character =/= character lack of free will.

FoM don't interact in any way with your ability to move a miniature. It interact with the inability of the character to move physically. Being dominated don't block your movement, it influence what you want to do. Hold person block your movement.

BTW: if we extend your argument, you are unkillable as long as you have FoM, as death will stop your movement.


Pax Miles wrote:

@diego rossi: I think you might be wrong. By your interpretation, FoM overcomes any spell that limits the players ability to move their character. Dominate Person, for example, impedes the player's ability to move their PC, therefore is overcome by FoM.

So while I agree that hold person would fail, just because it uses the phrase "paralyze" and that is specifically countered by FoM, most mental condions that "impair movement" are not countered by FoM. RAW vs RAI. I think the intention is that Hold Person would work on someone subject to FoM, due to it being a mental condition, not a source of physical paralysis. But pathfinder has poor rules for situational immunities, and tends to rather take blanket immunities.

As Diego Rossi and I have stated ad nauseum, nowhere does it state FoM is limited to physical sources that prevent movement. It works on any magical effect that impedes movement. Quit hallucinating rules that don’t exist.

You are right that blanket immunities do create some strange instances as I said above with paralysis immunity that dragons and mummified alchemist have preventing Chains of Light from paralyzing them. However, I do not believe this is the case with Hold Person and FoM. I have yet to see any evidence to imply compulsions were suppose to trump FoM. Frankly, mummy dispair aura is closer to an instance of this since the victim is overwhelmed with dispair to cause the paralysis. FoM works against the emotional overload because of blanket immunity. On the other hand, Hold Person is never mechanically explained in what it mentally does to the target. I gave an example above of a mechanism Hold Person may use that would clearly be something that FoM could work against.


I’m not saying my comment is the right way to think about it, but the fact the FoM is hard to balance/adjudicate tells me something is wrong.

This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web

That’s pretty wild. If FoM trumps dominate person, where is the line drawn? Pit spells, walls? What about sleep? That impedes movement.

Either this spell is the be all end all and most spells are useless against it, or maybe the wording of FoM is off a bit. I’m content with ruling that enchantments do not impede movement simply because it alters a persons desire to want to move. No different than a high diplomacy check... unless that would also be trumped by this spell.


As some of you are saying where does it stop if it trumps Hold Person, I would like to just also drop on the considerations of if FoM gets rid of armor speed penalties, and of difficult terrain issues, both of which are physical and yet, I have been told are not prevented by FoM.


Globetrotter wrote:

I’m not saying my comment is the right way to think about it, but the fact the FoM is hard to balance/adjudicate tells me something is wrong.

This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web

That’s pretty wild. If FoM trumps dominate person, where is the line drawn? Pit spells, walls? What about sleep? That impedes movement.

Either this spell is the be all end all and most spells are useless against it, or maybe the wording of FoM is off a bit. I’m content with ruling that enchantments do not impede movement simply because it alters a persons desire to want to move. No different than a high diplomacy check... unless that would also be trumped by this spell.

Nobody is saying Dominate Person is trumped by FoM except in flawed reductio ad absurdem examples. The line is ability to move normally, not your choice in how you move. You still move normally but not necessarily the actions you would normally choose. Most enchantment don’t impede movement, Hold Person is one of the few that do. And again, there is nothing in Hold Person that says the target chooses not to act.

Sleep is a bit closer, but FoM doesn’t protect because unlike Hold Person, the mechanics are explained as target is asleep not paralyzed. FoM doesn’t protect against sleep just like it doesn’t protect against staggering or stunning. By your agurment of how enchantments work, elementals are susceptible Sleep and its kin because they are “choosing” to fall asleep even though they are otherwise stated to be immune to sleep effects.

As for when spells like Create Pit and such aren’t protected against because the spell itself isn’t affecting the target but instead it’s the secondary affects like most conjurations that spell resistance doesn’t work on. (FoM still works against Web because it’s a grapple.)

Zephyre14 wrote:
As some of you are saying where does it stop if it trumps Hold Person, I would like to just also drop on the considerations of if FoM gets rid of armor speed penalties, and of difficult terrain issues, both of which are physical and yet, I have been told are not prevented by FoM.

Armor penalties and difficult terrain do still affect a person under FoM. Interestingly nonmagical effects aside from grappling and attacking underwater penalties are not protected against by FoM. So being tied up by a rope holds you but a rope golem fails automatically with its grabs.


Rereading it. Looks like FoM doesn't dispel Hold Person. If, for some reason, the Duration of Hold Person exceeded the duration of FoM, the target should resume being paralyzed after FoM expires.

@diego, you missed my point. If I target a creature with Dominate Person, or Command, and I command them to not move. Is their movement impeded? Seems like it is impeded as much as Hold Person would.

I understand that because FoM grants blanket paralysis immunity, that Hold Person is definitely included.


Pax Miles wrote:
Rereading it. Looks like FoM doesn't dispel Hold Person. If, for some reason, the Duration of Hold Person exceeded the duration of FoM, the target should resume being paralyzed after FoM expires.
Freedom of Movement wrote:
... to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell ...

FoM does not dispel any effects, it will suppress any on the target. So yes, if the FoM expires or is dispelled before a hindering effects, like slow or hold person then the target would be affected by them as normal for their remaining duration.


First of all if you dominate someone under a Freedom of movement, why the fck would you tell them not to move? they are dominated. Tell them to run a lap. Tell them to bark like a dog and do jumping jacks. Even if telling them to not move DID break it, why would you order them such? You are using an inane arguement to throw shade on the logical discussion. Furthermore, I would not rule you are limiting their movement to standing still rather telling them to, and they are like, sure bro, i didnt want to move anyway. There is no actual forced restriction, and even if logically it did, ok, so they would surpress the dominate to move, then the second they stopped moving, that condition would be fulfilled and dominate would re-override. It's a non-arguement. Many people I know specifically cast FoM when fighting divine types because of the obligatory hold's that will come from the clerics....

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