Can a Monk use Stillness of Mind to remove the effects of a Dominate Person?

5 thoughts on “Can a Monk use Stillness of Mind to remove the effects of a Dominate Person?

  1. Peter Vogel says:

    This seems problematic to me. So if this is the case, any dominator with a working knowledge of this or similar abilities can simply make his first command “do not use any ability that would break my hold.” This a) encourages a legalistic approach to charming spells, and b) renders Stillness of Mind largely useless, unless the DM is kind enough to assume that his spellcasters are blithely careless.

  2. Krosse says:

    The problem is, that would be the only command it could give. The way the Dominate Creature spell is worded, it isn’t a long line of commands. It’s a very simple one sentence command.

    “Attack that.”
    “Run from that.”

    These are the examples. It’s left up to the character how to do those things.

    The wording of the spell means the control is very loose unless you SPEND AN ACTION to take complete control of the creature. Which means, you forfeit your own ability to take actions as the controller to specifically make sure it does not break your grasp during that turn.

  3. Codi Lee Pippenger says:

    How the dominate spell is worded: You can specify a simple and general course of action, such as Attack that creature, Run over there, or Fetch that object. It’s up to the character making actions on how to carry out that command. It doesn’t allow the controller to take precise and complete control unless the controller spends an ACTION to do so.

    Therefore, if the command has been completed; the character is free to defend and preserve itself until it is ordered another command. It can be argued that ‘breaking the condition’ is defending and preserving itself. And unless the controller is in complete control or has specifically said, “Do not do this action”, remember this is a very simplistic and general command; it isn’t a long list.

    You can’t do a whole line of if then statements. It’s literally just single line commands, one after the other, with the newest overwriting the previous.

    • John says:

      I think a more general command like “kill the dwarf” would negate the ability to use Stillness of Mind. You can’t really follow the command while specifically using an ability you know will free you of the command.

  4. Haravikk says:

    There are two problems that I see here:

    1. A character does not know they are charmed, so has no justification for using Stillness of Mind unless the dominator asks them to do something that the player can reasonably ask for an Insight check on.
    2. The target defends itself when it has no other command to fulfil, which usually means taking the Dodge action by default.

    I would not allow Stillness of Mind unless the Monk has succeeded on some kind of check to realise that they are/may be charmed, or has been persuaded by their allies, otherwise you are nullifying a high level spell with a secondary feature that I do not believe is supposed to be or should be an automatic “nope” button.

    Just because a character has their action free, does not mean they are free to act against the creature that charmed them (same as with locking them in a room), as they have no reason to do-so without metagaming, which is the direct opposite of roleplaying.

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