A Warlock who chooses the Archfey patron gets the Fey Presence feature at level 1 (PHB, p. 109). The PHB says this ability, when used, lasts “until the end of your next turn”:

Starting at 1st level, your patron bestows upon you the ability to project the beguiling and fearsome presence of the fey. As an action, you can cause each creature in a 10-foot cube originating from you to make a Wisdom saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. The creatures that fail their saving throws are all charmed or frightened by you (your choice) until the end of your next turn.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

When a character uses the power out of combat, how should this be handled by a DM? How long does it last? Should “your next turn” be interpreted as the player's turn?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I've edited out the overly broad idea-generation portion of your question asking what could be done with this ability out of combat. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 10, 2019 at 21:53

3 Answers 3


6 seconds

A round in combat, which is the period between any character’s turn and their next turn, is defined as 6 seconds.

It’s not a feature that is intended to be used outside combat and is therefore not very effective.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not sure if the effectivity clause of this answer is necessarily useful; surely in roleplay it could be possible that summoning a frightening presence, even for 6 seconds, could provoke some kind of lasting effect socially. \$\endgroup\$
    – user52772
    Jun 11, 2019 at 13:27

It is not really possible to use Fey Presence "Out of combat"

In addition to Dale M's answer, which will often be the simplest method of dealing with the matter, consider the following scenarios:

The Warlock uses Fey Presence on a hostile creature.

This is akin to making an attack. Initiative should be rolled.

The Warlock uses Fey Presence on a non-hostile creature.

There may be other creatures nearby who react to this action. Party members may want to act as well before the ability's effect wears off. Non party members may be see this as a hostile action and decide to attack.

Either way, initiative should be rolled to establish an order for any subsequent activity and to demarcate what can occur before the effect wears off.

In short. you can't use this ability "out of combat" because this is a combat ability and using it would put the character and target (etc) in combat. Again, though, this is the "longhand" form of events. A DM would be wise to identify if anyone else (and any NPCs) would like to act in response and, if not, use the round-equivalent amount of time (six seconds).


Fey presence lasts around 12 seconds when used outside of combat because turns happen almost simultaneously within each round. If something is still active at the start of a second round (even if only until the end of that turn) it falls within that second round. So the ability lasts for around 12 seconds.

As the time section of the PHB notes, rounds can also happen in "fast pace situations" so this is not an ability that just applies in combat and combat is not the only time you can see rounds or (by extension) turns being relevant.

To respond to the other poster, using fey presence on a hostile creature is not akin to making an attack. Initiative should only be rolled if the creature or its allies has cause to believe they are under attack. As the DMG explains, a creature that is hostile to you may not be interested in attacking you. They could simply just not like you. Fey Presence does not reveal to any affected creature that it has been used on them. So it's use is not cause to roll initiative.


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