The undead template from pathfinder tells the following about undead:

  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).

What I'm currently not sure about is: How far stretched is this immunity?

Thus are undead immune vs. persuasion / seduction attempts? And are they immune vs. mind affecting spells and supernatural powres?


2 Answers 2


They are immune to anything and everything that says it is mind-affecting. That includes all enchantment spells, plenty of non-enchantment spells, morale bonuses, large numbers of spell-like and supernatural abilities, and all fear effects including the entirety of the Intimidate skill (see FAQ sidebar).

Whether or not “persuasion / seduction attempts” are mind-affecting depends on what rules, exactly, you are using for that. Certainly all magical forms of these things are mind-affecting. Unfortunately, it is entirely unclear whether or not Diplomacy and Bluff are technically mind-affecting, and thus cannot be used against undead.

  • \$\begingroup\$ for the diplomacy / bluff...that goes into the persuasoin / seduction attempts direction though (as it is the diplomacy skill usually that is used for that) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jul 27, 2017 at 13:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasE. Well unfortunately, I could find no official statements one way or the other from Paizo on the subject of whether or not you can use Bluff or Diplomacy on undead. That question has been a point of contention for some time, going back to 3.5. The kind of thing you would have hoped Paizo would clarify, but oh well. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 27, 2017 at 13:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ tbh it makes sense for mindles undead that they are immune vs. that but for vampires..... guess that will be up to campaign rules each. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jul 27, 2017 at 13:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you please provide a source to your answer? Where exactly is it written this way? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 27, 2017 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I'll accept your answer tehre but it could be that I will make an addon question soon, as I'm still wondering there about vampires and other intelligent undead (like mentioned the idea that a vampire can neither be lied to nor persuaded sounds strange to me, but I want to do some background work there first before I decide if I ask there a follow up questoin). \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jul 27, 2017 at 14:09

Things intelligent undead are immune to (that are relevant to this question):

  • Any spell, spell-like ability, supernatural ability, or extraordinary ability that has the mind-affecting descriptor

  • Any spell or spell-like ability belonging to the charm, compulsion, pattern, or phantasm subschool

  • Any supernatural or extraordinary ability that produces a charm, compulsion, pattern, or phantasm effect (as stated specifically in that ability's description)

  • Morale bonuses

Things unintelligent undead are immune to (that are relevant to this question):

  • All of the above

  • Diplomacy checks

Since neither the skill descriptions of Bluff and Diplomacy nor the undead traits make mention of not using social skills against intelligent undead, it's assumed that this is allowed. (While you could make the argument that you can Bluff a mindless undead, why would it care what you have to say?)

If this seems a bit unintuitive, think of it this way: Seduction and persuasion are about convincing a vampire to agree with you. Mind-affecting abilities are about forcing a vampire to agree with you (magically or at least supernaturally), to which they're immune.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you clarify if this is "common sense" based ruling you'd make in your game, or if there are rules that back your interpretation that non-magical effects bypass immunity to mind-affecting? Is it just that you are claiming that mind-affecting should be treated as a keyword, and Bluff/Diplomacy lacks that keyword? Where does immunity to Diplomacy show up from, if not from that rule? Basically, I'm asking for the reasoning behind your claims (I'm not disputing them). \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jul 28, 2017 at 17:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm treating "mind-affecting" as a keyword that an effect either has or doesn't have, because if you don't, it raises a whole lot more questions than it answers. (Is a convincing argument "mind-affecting"? A well-written poem? A disguise?) The Diplomacy immunity of unintelligent undead comes from the skill description-- it can only be used on creatures with an Intelligence of 4 or more. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2017 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perfectly fair -- can you edit that assumption into your answer? The conclusions are reasonable, but how you drew them is valuable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jul 31, 2017 at 17:16

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