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Does Freedom of Movement allow you to move even if you have the stunned condition from a spell such as Power Word Stun?

Freedom of Movement

..spells and other magical effects can neither reduce the target’s speed nor cause the target to be paralyzed or restrained

Stunned

A stunned creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can't move, and can speak only falteringly.

Specifically, my confusion is that the text says "reduce the target's speed".

I'm not sure if reducing speed is the applicable case since stunned just says "can't move".

Plenty of other effects say something specifically about reducing a target's speed, but not the stunned condition.

To be clear, I understand that FoM does not in any way prevent a creature from being stunned (only paralyzed or restrained), but I am looking for specific rules regarding the question of "can't move" either being or not being a reduction in speed.

So, RAW, does Freedom of Movement allow you to move while stunned by a magical effect?

Please be sure to reference as much as you can to rules and sources in your answers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your interpretation of FoM and PWS was consistent with some previous editions of the game, but not 5e \$\endgroup\$ – JP Chapleau Dec 18 '17 at 13:47
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Freedom of Movement explicitly disallows the application of two conditions to the subject of the spell, namely they can't be paralyzed nor restrained.

Stunned is also a condition. It is not listed under FoM as disallowed. Stunned also does not reduce the target's speed. It states that the target can't move, whereas other conditions, as you noted yourself, explicitly state an altered speed value.

The paralyzed condition is almost the same as the stunned condition, the only differences being that 1. a paralyzed creature can't even speak falteringly, 2. attacks targeting a paralyzed creature and coming from an attacker within 5 feet of the paralyzed creature are critical hits. Paralyzed inflicts another condition, incapacitated on the target. So does stunned. Stunned does not inflict paralyzed on the target. FoM explicitly disallows paralyzed, but it does not mention stunned, ergo FoM does not protect against stunned, nor against spells that apply stunned, such as Power Word Stun. Considering there's no Power Word Paralyze and no Power Word Restrain, this seems to be a conscious design choice.

I'm not sure I like this, but this is how I read RAW: FoM does not allow movement when its target is stunned regardless what applied said condition to its target (and no matter that stunned is a weaker version of paralyzed.)

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RAI I think the reasoning behind this is that stunned affects your mind, not your speed. Your speed is the distance the creature can cover. When stunned, its speed is the same, only the will to cover the distance unaffected speed would allow it to cover is impacted. (Also, the word "move" in the definition of stunned covers not just the movement of the legs or similar which allows the creature to go some distance. A stunned creature doesn't gesticulate, etc either. At least in my interpretation.)

(PHB 5e 1st printing, 2014, no errata, pages 244, 291-292)

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I think it's there in my answer, in the third sentence of the 2nd paragraph: "Stunned also does not reduce the target's speed." In RAW, the definition of stunned not featuring the word speed means it isn't affected (imo.) RAI I think the reasoning is that stunned affects your mind, not your speed. Your speed is the distance the creature can cover. When stunned, it's speed is the same, only the will to cover the distance speed would allow it to cover is impacted. (Also, move covers not just the movement of the legs. A stunned creature doesn't gesticulate, etc. IMO. :)) \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Dec 17 '17 at 0:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I've just tried to do that -- hope it helps. (If not, I might try again tomorrow, with a bit more brains, as I'm quite tired atm. Sorry. :)) \$\endgroup\$ – OpaCitiZen Dec 17 '17 at 0:43
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Freedom of Movement doesn't prevent one from becoming stunned, by Power Word Stun, or any other effect that would cause this condition.

Freedom of Movement only specifies that...

...spells and other magical effects can neither reduce the target's speed nor cause the target to be paralyzed or restrained. (PHB p. 244)

Jeremy Crawford, on Twitter, has also stated that the spell does not prevent you from losing the ability to move altogether, it just presents magical effects from reducing your speed to 0 or becoming paralyzed or restrained.

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