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The characters in our party got a minor boon that allows us to cast either Minor or Major Restoration on ourselves once as a bonus action.

We're about to face off against an enemy that has Frightful Presence. Basically, they can cause mass fear with a high DC.

So the question is: Is Frightened a condition that either of these spells would remove?

Lesser Restoration

You touch a creature and can end either one disease or one condition afflicting it. The condition can be Blinded, Deafened, Paralyzed, or Poisoned.

Greater restoration

You imbue a creature you touch with positive energy to undo a debilitating effect. You can reduce the target's Exhaustion level by one, or end one of the following effects on the target.

• One effect that Charmed or Petrified the target
• One curse, including the target's Attunement to a cursed magic item
• Any reduction to one of the target's Ability Scores
• One effect reducing the target's hit point maximum

No explicit mention of Frightened in either one and the Fear spell (the closest thing to Frightful Presence) makes no mention of Restoration as a clearing effect (unlike other spells like Geas, Feeblemind, etc.)

So according to RAW, the answer would appear to be No, but this just seems wrong. Why would these spells remove more serious effects but not cover a much more minor one?

Am I missing some detail, or is Fear actually a special effect that completely bypasses Restoration or does it fall under the "undo a debilitating effect" wording of Greater Restoration?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why does this "just seem wrong"? \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Dec 2 '18 at 4:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I had a choice of being Frightened, Blinded, Deafened, Paralyzed, Poisoned, Charmed or Petrified... I'd pick Frightened every time. It's short-term and relatively minor compared to the rest. \$\endgroup\$ – Sum of e D pi Dec 2 '18 at 4:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SumofeDpi: That doesn't explain why you think it's "wrong" that neither restoration spell removes the frightened condition. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 2 '18 at 4:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic. While I've previously written an answer to it, looking at it again it seems to me that the question is mistitled - currently, it's "can either flavor of Restoration remove the Frightened condition". The body, however, basically says "no, not by RAW" (which is obvious / and asks "Why not?". That, in turn, makes this a question asking for designer intent, which is considered off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Dec 2 '18 at 19:33
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No, otherwise it would be mentioned by the spells' descriptions.

That being said, I believe the reason why it's not mentioned are the spells' intended usages / their themes.

Lesser Restoration allows you to remove the following conditions:

disease, [...] blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned

All of them are physical conditions, leading me to believe that the intent of the spell is to be your all-rounder spell for minor illnesses etc. Frightened is not a physical condition, therefore it doesn't fit the theme.

Moving on to Greater Restoration, it can remove the following effects:

  • One level of exhaustion
  • One effect that charmed or petrified the target
  • One curse, including the target’s attunement to a cursed magic item
  • Any reduction to one of the target’s ability scores
  • One effect reducing the target’s hit point maximum

It removes major detrimental effects, and once again, they are all physical effects (and curses), aside from the Charmed condition. In my opinion, it would be reasonable to include Frightened alongside Charmed, but since Charmed can be way more impactful than being Frightened (in one case, you run away, in the other, you might fight for the opposing team), that's probably why they chose Charmed instead of Frightened.

In addition to the previous paragraphs, there are spells that do help against the Frightened condition (sometimes limited to against specific types), just not the Restoration spells:

  • Protection from Evil and Good: immune against being Frightened (and other effects) by aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead, and advantage on saving throws for existing effects.
  • Aura of Purity: advantage on saves against Frightened (and other effects)
  • Heroism: immunity against the Frightened condition
  • Heroes Feast: immunity against the Frightened condition
  • Calm Emotions: can suppress the Frightened condition for its duration, i.e. up to 1 minute. Effect resumes afterwards, unless the duration has run out.

There are probably a few others that I failed to find.

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No, neither restoration spell removes the frightened condition

As you've correctly observed, neither lesser restoration nor greater restoration has any effect on the frightened condition.

That said, I'm pretty sure every official fear effect describes a duration, and/or an opportunity to repeat the save to end the effect.

For instance, the fear spell says:

If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn't have line of sight to you, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the spell ends for that creature.

And a sea hag's Horrific Appearance trait says:

A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the hag is within line of sight, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the hag's Horrific Appearance for the next 24 hours.

Unless the target is surprised or the revelation of the hag's true form is sudden, the target can avert its eyes and avoid making the initial saving throw. Until the start of its next turn, a creature that averts its eyes has disadvantage on attack rolls against the hag.

And the Ancient White Dragon's Frightful Presence says:

A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon's Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

The likely reason the restoration spells don't affect the frightened condition is that the condition rarely lasts long enough (e.g. out of combat) to necessitate being cured by such a spell.

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