Limitations on Mesmerist Mind-Affecting Mindless Creatures

Rules Questions

Sorcerer Undead Bloodline Bloodline Arcana (emphasis mine):

Some undead are susceptible to your mind-affecting spells. Corporeal undead that were once humanoids are treated as humanoids for the purposes of determining which spells affect them.


Mesmerist Psychic Inception Bold Stare (emphasis mine):
The hypnotic stare and its penalty can affect creatures that are mindless or immune to mind-affecting effects (such as an undead or vermin). The mesmerist can also partially affect such a creature with his mind-affecting spells and abilities if it’s under the effect of his hypnotic stare; it gains a +2 bonus on its saving throw (if any), and if affected, it still has a 50% chance each round of ignoring the effect. Ignoring the effect doesn’t end the effect, but does allow the creature to act normally for that round.


Mesmerist Spirit Walker Archetype Undead Inception (Su) (emphasis mine):
At 1st level, a spirit walker can affect undead creatures with his hypnotic stare as the psychic inception bold stare ability. This allows him to affect only undead; he must actually choose the psychic inception bold stare improvement if he wants to also affect other mindless creatures. At 3rd level when the spirit walker uses this ability, undead targets don’t receive a saving throw bonus (if they did to begin with), have only a 25% chance of ignoring the spirit walker’s mind-affecting spells and abilities, and no longer need to be under the spirit walker’s gaze to be affected. At 5th level, when the spirit walker uses his mind-affecting spells and abilities, they affect all undead normally, with no chance of failure. This ability replaces consummate liar and mental potency.


Charm Person is mind-affecting spell which targets "one humanoid creature".

Murderous Command is a mind-affecting spell which targets "one living creature".

A Sorcerer with the Undead Bloodline, above, could certainly "affect" a corporeal undead creature that was once a humanoid with Charm Person. In other words, a spell that normally cannot affect undead can affect undead as long as they meet certain conditions.

My read of the text for Psychic Inception and Undead Inception, above, especially in light of the way the Undead Bloodline Bloodline Arcana power is written (using the word "affect" in the same way), leads me to believe that a Level 5 Spirit Walker Mesmerist with the Psychic Inception Bold Stare is capable of affecting a mindless creature with any mind-affecting spell (including Charm Person or Murderous Command), unconditionally and fully for undead, and partially for other creatures.

Can somebody please give me a RAW judgment on this?

You are correct that a 5th level spirit walker mesmerist who also picks up the bold stare psychic inception can always affect undead with mind-affecting spells for full effect (saves notwithstanding) and can use the normal rules of psychic inception on any other target usually immune to mind-affecting spells.

You're saying that's the case even for Charm Person and Murderous Command, which target "one humanoid creature" and "one living creature", respectively, or spells with similar limited targets? That's the crux of my question. I know the Undead Bloodline Sorcerer can target corporeal, formerly humanoid undead with those two spells.

Looking over the abilities, I don't think murderous command works with any of them. It targets a living creature. Nothing about the abilities state that you get to treat undead as if they were living creatures. Unlike the Dirge Bard archetype which has wording that specifically allows this.

Secrets of the Grave wrote:
A dirge bard may use mind-affecting spells to affect undead as if they were living creatures, even if they are mindless (though spells that affect only humanoids do not affect them, even if they were humanoids in life).

All the mesmerist ability lets you do is get around undead's natural immunity to mind-affecting spells and abilities. Meaning spells like Auditory Hallucination and Deja Vu affect them. Spells they would normally automatically shrug off.

So, the undead bloodline sorcerer can use charm person on an allip and a dirge bard can use murderous command on it. But not the other way around and the mesmerist wouldn't be able to do either.

Is it possible to both be the "humanoid" creature type and not be a living creature? It seems Murderous Command should work just fine for Undead Bloodline at the least, if there are 0 humanoid creatures that are not also living.

What makes you say the Mesmerist inception abilities get around the mind-affecting immunity but not the targeting restrictions, if Undead Bloodline bypasses both simultaneously. Isn't Undead Bloodline just the same thing as Undead Inception, but with more limited applicability? It says it "affects" undead under limited conditions. Undead Inception just affects undead, without mentioning such conditions.

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