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Based on the answer to this question, which states you could use it to resist an enemy's Dominate Person. If you can cast Dominate Person on yourself, would you still need to make Will saves?

I can't find any other places this has been suggested, but from my interpretation of the rules it might be possible, but you would still have to make the Will saves. Alternatively, you would be subject to a mental stack overflow and your head explodes.

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Looking at the description, I don't see anything about "opposed charisma checks (due to the stuff about multiple mental influences)." Anyone know where it's mentioned? The closest I can find is charm allowing opposed charisma check to resist a command. –  DrewS Jul 30 at 19:33
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@DrewS "Magic, Casting Spells, Combining Effects, Stacking Effects, Multiple Mental Control Effects". Though reading that shows that the trick in the other question to get a "free" save doesn't work unless there are conflicting commands involved, and once you give a command to yourself you lose the ability to do anything else, including changing your command or dismissing the spell, until the spell expires. So to work the trick, you have to perform temporary mental suicide. (Assuming you can cast it on yourself in the first place.) –  SevenSidedDie Jul 30 at 19:46
    
You could command yourself to "act as you normally would" or some such thing. You share a common language with yourself, so you aren't limited to simple commands. –  Nathan Jul 30 at 20:17
    
Cast Dominate Person on yourself with the command to renew the spell daily. ;) –  Thane Brimhall Jul 31 at 0:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 15 down vote accepted

It's complicated.

To begin with, yes, you can cast it on yourself.

The target line is "one humanoid," with no further restrictions in the text of the spell. If you are a humanoid, legally, you can Dominate yourself.

What happens next is ambiguous.

The spell is ambiguous on several key points:

  1. It is clear that the target entering the Dominated state and receiving its first order are part of the same action. But what happens first? Does the subject "become dominated" and then "receive its first order," or the other way around?

  2. Can the target still think in ways that don't require an action? Or are they in a completely will-less state?

The argument for permitting it goes like this:

You cast Dominate Person on yourself, with a command something like "act the way you want to." You are now dominated, and single-mindedly performing the task of... Acting exactly like you're not dominated.

The key point in favor of this is that there is no complexity limit on commands:

If you and the subject have a common language, you can generally force the subject to perform as you desire, within the limits of its abilities.

Doing whatever you want is certainly within your abilities, therefore you profit.

It's a little cheesy, but the "be yourself" loophole isn't without precedent in genre fiction.

Argument for not permitting it (kill it with fire):

You cast dominate on yourself. You enter a dominated state, and wait for orders. Unfortunately, you no longer have the will to order yourself around, so you wait in a will-less state ("to the exclusion of all other activities except those necessary for day-to-day survival (such as sleeping, eating, and so forth).") for the duration of the spell.

Argument for not permitting it (except at a cost):

You cast dominate on yourself, and give yourself a command (but not "be yourself," because what does that even mean?). You then enter the will-less state of domination, and are unable to change the command once given.

Appendices

I. Wishful Legalism

The "Act as you want" command can backfire terribly - think about all the occasions in which a responsible, non-psychotic adult shouldn't do or say the things he happens to want at the moment - postponing gratification, acting tactfully and respecting social bounds all goes against doing what you really want... An attentive DM could make wonders with a PC in a fugue state for a few days, acting "as he wants". Different wording can backfire just as well, for example: "do what you should be doing" can cause the dominated PC to immediately cast Dominate Person on herself again! :)

And then, when the DM narrates some psychotic action you look him dead in the eye and say "I don't want to do that." At that point the DM is either violating the rules of the spell, or dictating what your character does/does not want. Either is bad.

Remember: Unlike with alcohol, you still have your full capability to predict the outcome of your actions, and use that to determine what you actually want.

But suppose your DM does say they'll permit this type of action, and then tries to weasel out of it by twisting your intent. In this case they might get you once or twice, but they have started a war they can't win. The command can be arbitrarily long, so you simply have to sit down, write something that you feel is ironclad, and keep iterating until the DM fails to screw you (you may want to do this in a secure location during downtime).

For example, the next step in the escalation would be something like this: "act as though you hadn't been dominated, except don't dominate yourself again (for the same purpose as the casting of this dominate)."

A smart DM will just flat out say "no" and pick one of the other interpretations (or declare it a house rule).

II. Saving Throws

Dominate Person allows its targets a number of saving throws. Do you need to worry about rolling too high, and accidentally breaking your own Dominate?

As it turns out, the answer is "no." You are always allowed to voluntarily forfeit a saving throw:

Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw

A creature can voluntarily forgo a saving throw and willingly accept a spell's result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this quality.

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This could be useful for someone who knows they should do something, but generally lack the will to do that thing. Such as: 1) Dominate Yourself 2)Order yourself to work out 3)Experience working out despite your lazy and magical nature. :) –  PipperChip Jul 30 at 20:16
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Please do not argue or have extended discussions in comments. if you ahve a different position, answer the question. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jul 31 at 3:30
    
An alternative for "kill it with fire" is that the mental link overloads with feedback, like a microphone getting too close to its speaker. This is dependent on how you think "you know what the subject is experiencing" works. –  Nathan Jul 31 at 21:53
    
Another thought: When you cast it upon yourself you're basically dividing your mind into a controller and puppet but you still function normally. When someone else casts it on you what do they hit? The controller or the puppet? I would say the controller as it's the easier target. Thus there's no benefit. –  Loren Pechtel Aug 5 at 19:36

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