I already read this question but its more just rehashing the book: What does the Warlock's Fey Presence ability actually do? - my question has more to do with exact mechanics.

A mob of skeletons (undead) got the jump on me so I used Fey Presence to Frighten them since Sleep and Charm would have no affect.

I then ran away and all 5 skeletons took opportunity attacks against me. If they're frightened and won't move towards me shouldn't they be basically cowering for the moment allowing me to run away?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @nwp rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/78479/can-undead-be-frightened/… \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nwp Please do not answer in comments on this stack. We reserve comments for their intended purpose: suggesting improvement or requesting clarification. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Whether or not skeletons can be frightened is not really relevant to this question and would not count as an attempt to answer. Did you mean to say "Do not discuss side issues in comments"? \$\endgroup\$
    – nwp
    Jun 20, 2017 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nwp I received flags indicating your comment was an answer in comments, so I guess it looks near enough people including myself got a bit confused. My apologies for confusing your intent. In that case it's simply discouraged: we'd move it to chat or remove it when it's flagged or we notice it, unless people seem to think it's pretty good & have upvoted it a lot. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Frightened doesn't mean cowering. If you don't walk away there is nothing stopping them from attacking you when their turn comes up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jun 20, 2017 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


Opportunity attacks do not require movement to take and the Frightened state does not stop a creature from rolling attacks of opportunity, at a disadvantage.

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. To make the opportunity attack, you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature. The attack occurs right before the creature leaves your reach.

A frightened creature has disadvantage on Ability Checks and Attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight. The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ To tie in the mechanics to the narrative: It's like when batman suddenly pops up in front of a goon. The goon is terrified, and certainly wouldn't approach batman if he started walking somewhere else, but he still (with disadvantage of course) tries to get a solid blow in if he can. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ethan
    Jun 20, 2017 at 23:15

Yes, they just can't follow you after the OA

The frightened condition stop them from attacking you, it only states(PHB, 290):

A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is in sight

Creature can't willingly move closer to the source of it's fear.

They can still attack you, at disadvantage, but they can not follow you after you've escaped.

Skeleton condition immunities

In addition, Skeletons in 5e can be frightened. They only have Condition Immunities to (MM, 272):

Exhaustion, poisoned

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think Ryan meant the opposite of what you're stating. His PC is moving away from a stationary, frightened mob of skeletons. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tsugihagi
    Jun 20, 2017 at 13:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the second part -- Skeletons can't be slept... can they? One DM I play with allowed that to happen but looking last night when this DM said they couldn't be he seemed to be correct. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanFromGDSE, it's a separate question that you should post, but yes, skeletons can be put to sleep. The MM doesn't give them immunity to that condition. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 13:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical the MM may not but the spell reads, "Undead and creatures immune to being charmed aren’t affected by this spell. " \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 14:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical and others - new question: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/101933/… \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2017 at 14:14

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