My question is inspired by @HeyICanChan's answer to this question. It seems community generally shares his wiew on the topic.

I'm interested in the way creature affected by Feeblemind spell interacts with Ability Damage or Drain to its Int or Cha scores, which are rendered to 1s via the spell.

  • Does the spell weirdly grants immunity to Ability Damage/Drain as

    no matter what workarounds are attempted or what other effects are employed a creature that's been affected by the feeblemind has Intelligence 1 and Charisma 1 until the effects of the feeblemind are removed

    is a part of an accepted answer?

  • Does any damage/drain causes such a creature to become unconcious as above quotation in fact refers to ways to increase those ability scores?
  • Or does this combination result in some complitely different outcome?

I've added tag, as I'm mostly interested in this system and I think that both Feeblemind mechanics and an outcome of the interaction I asked about are the same in both systems. If I'm wrong, it would be kind to enlighten me with your answer, why am I.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ One of my favorite differences between D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder is that the Pathfinder Handle Animal skill allows teaching tricks to any creature — regardless of the creature's type albeit at a significant penalty for not being an animal — if the creature's Intelligence score is 1 or 2… and that includes humanoid victims of the feeblemind spell! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan D&D also has this clause actually :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 21:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, but it takes too long and you gotta hunt for it. In Pathfinder, it's, like, right there. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 22:08

3 Answers 3


This answer is for Pathfinder. Not sure whether it is true for D&D3.5 as well.

Feeblemind sets your int and cha to 1 and prevents it from being changed.

Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain: Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score.

Emphasis mine.

As ability damage does not really reduce the abilities, while under the effect of feeblemind you can still take damage to your int and cha and you immediately fall unconscious if you do.

Ability drain actually reduces the relevant ability score.

As ability drain really reduces the ability and those two abilities are fixed to 1 you kind of are immune to cha and int drain. Only kind of because it is not clear whether the drain occurs but is countered by feeblemind resetting the score to 1 instantanously. But in effect it could make itself felt as soon as feeblemind is cured, if the form of cure does not heal ability drain, too.

For example the heal spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ability score damage doesn't reduce an ability score, but ability score drain does. So far as I can tell, that section in the quotation's is not titled Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain but titled Ability Score Damage, with Ability Score Penalties and Ability Drain listed afterward separately. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I copy pasted it from the prd but as I did not quote the whole section it might be that you are right and drain is specified later. \$\endgroup\$
    – Umbranus
    Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ (It's cool. You can follow the links in my comment to see that they are specified later.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 26, 2017 at 17:08

Stacking rules say this:

Spells with Opposite Effects: Spells with opposite effects apply normally, with all bonuses, penalties, or changes accruing in the order that they apply. Some spells negate or counter each other. This is a special effect that is noted in a spell’s description.

Instantaneous Effects: Two or more spells with instantaneous durations work cumulatively when they affect the same target.

Duration rules say this:

Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences might be long-lasting.

Neither the PF nor 3.5 Feeblemind spell explicitly overrides either of these rules.(the quoted text is the same for both versions)

My reading is this: Feeblemind sets your base stat values to 1 for Int/Cha, and this effect is now the new base stats of the target character until X, Y or Z happen. Until then, he acts as if he had Int/Cha 1, and all the other behaviors. Including acting normally in response to ability damage, drain or similar effects. Also including spells and items like Eagle's Splendor, which will improve the stat as normal.

The spell does not say it grants immunity to anything and also is not persistent, so reading it as if its capable of affecting what happens to the character in the future is a very generous reading.


You become immune to ability damage and drain

If "The subject remains in this state until a heal, limited wish, miracle, or wish spell is used to cancel the effect of the feeblemind" is read to prevent further stat alteration in a positive direction, it also prevents alteration in a negative direction. That is certainly not the only reading of that passage, as abiilities that set scores to a certain value may well be interpreted as doing so before, rather than after, later alterations, and the rules on spell interactions support that this is sometimes the case. Nonetheless, when operating under the interpretation in the linked answer, those scores remain 1 regardless of negative, as well as positive, alteration.


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