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A Mummy has an ability called Dreadful Glare:

The mummy targets one creature it can see within 60 feet of it. If the target can see the mummy, it must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or become frightened until the end of the mummy's next turn. If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, it is also paralyzed for the same duration. A target that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to the Dreadful Glare of all mummies (but not mummy lords) for the next 24 hours.

The Berserker Barbarian has the Mindless Rage feature:

Beginning at 6th level, you can't be charmed or frightened while raging. If you are charmed or frightened when you enter your rage, the effect is suspended for the duration of the rage.

Say a Mummy uses its Dreadful Glare action on a Barbarian who is currently raging and has the Mindless Rage feature. What happens if the Barbarian fails their save by 5 or more? Does the Barbarian become paralyzed because they failed their save so badly? Or are they unaffected because they are immune to fear and the two conditions must be applied together?

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The lore given in the Monster Manual provides an answer

The stat block of any monster is not given in isolation, the Source Book (in this case the Monster Manual) provides lore of each monster presented, and there is no fluff text in 5e (it's rules text all the way down).

Creature of Ritual. [...] The overwhelming terror that foreshadows a mummy’s attack can leave the intended victim paralyzed with fright. [...]

This lore segment makes it clear that the paralysis caused by the Mummy's dreadful glare ability in the stat block is caused by the targeted creature being so frightened they are paralysed.

Since the Barbarian cannot be frightened, the Barbarian cannot be frightened into a state of paralysis. Thus the Barbarian is entirely unaffected by the Mummy's Dreadful Glare ability, while the Barbarian is under the effect of their Mindless Rage ability.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Nice find! I instinctively guessed at this, but for some reason didn't think to go looking for proof. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 8 at 11:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Remembering there's no "superfluous" text in the books. Even those lore entries are part of the rules. The combined content of both this answer and the one by @SeriousBri show how the game mechanics and text are extremely well-woven together. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Oct 8 at 14:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does the raging barbarian even have to roll in this case? If not can another mummy try to use this ability later once the barbarian isn't raging? Or does it count as a successful save? \$\endgroup\$ – Mathaddict Oct 9 at 16:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mathaddict that is a good question, which if you read the various linked questions and comments in this one seems unclear, so you might want to raise it as a separate question. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 9 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mathaddict that isn't within the scope of this question (or this answer), but as SeriousBri suggested I would suggest asking a question about this if there isn't one already on the site. \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Oct 11 at 11:30
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The conditions are linked so the Barbarian would be neither paralyzed nor frightened

The Dreadful Glare feature simply states:

[...] If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, it is also paralyzed for the same duration [...]

emphasis is mine.

You can't also be paralyzed if you are not frightened in the first place.

Even if you were paralyzed;

[...] If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, it is also paralyzed for the same duration [...]

emphasis is mine again.

You are only paralyzed for as long as you are frightened, which is zero time because you are immune to fright.

Finally, the theme of this power is that you are scared stiff (There is even a phrase for it!), so thematically is makes sense that if you aren't scared, you aren't scared stiff either.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Does the "same duration" not just refer to the "until the end of the mummy's next turn"? \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Oct 8 at 10:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro that would be the duration, if the immunity to fear didn't alter the duration to zero first. At least the way I read it, but I see both ways. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 8 at 10:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I parse that the same, usually there is a single 'thing', in this case the fear, with one or more effects. If the 'thing' doesn't land, then neither can any of the effects. Your example you likely be worded as 'the target takes 2d6 damage and is frightened' to show that the damage lands regardless. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 8 at 11:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm uncertain whether the following questions support or do not support your idea: "Is a creature immune to a spell's damage type immune to the spell's other effects?" and "Does a creature that is immune to all outcomes (conditions, damage, etc.) of an effect still make a saving throw?" \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 9 at 15:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 certainly seems a tricky issue, a few different answers every time a question like this gets asked. Every different spell seems to be interpreted based on its specific wording. I am not sure I like that, but I think it is the only sensible option, and I (personally) am quick to ignore RAW when it doesn't match how I see the dnd world. RAW you might be right in the general case, but with each spell having at least slightly different wording I am not sure how often that general case applies. It's probably just a DM fiat thing. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 9 at 15:48
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There is no saving throw roll that could be missed by 5

In D&D 5e you only roll the dice when the outcome is in doubt. The Barbarian in this rage state cannot be frightened (effectively, immune), therefore no saving throw against the frightened condition is rolled, and consequently there is nothing to check to see if it misses by 5 or more. As illustro points out in this answer:

Creature of Ritual. [...] The overwhelming terror that foreshadows a mummy’s attack can leave the intended victim paralyzed with fright. [...]

.. the paralysis caused by the Mummy's dreadful glare ability in the stat block is caused by the targeted creature being so frightened they are paralysed.

Not frightened, thus not subject to be paralylzed in this way.

Likewise, the barbarian can't be charmed. If a Harpy showed up there isn't any need to roll a save versus the charmed condition, since this raging barbarian cannot be charmed.

A further example: if a young red dragon is immune to fire damage, do you roll the red dragon's saving throw versus a fire ball? No. There isn't any point.

Only call for a roll if there is a meaningful consequence for failure.

When deciding whether to use a roll, ask yourself two questions:

Is a task so easy and so free of conflict and stress that there should be no chance of failure? (DMG, p. 237)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure I love the final dragon example. The players may not know the dragon is immune to fire and so 'rolling' may still be an option until they know for certain. +1 anyways for the rest of the answer, though :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Oct 8 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch That's a meta game issue between DM and players. I personally see no reason to play that kind of mind game with the players if the dragon is immune (roll a save but mark off no damage). It is easy to narrate "that attack seems to not bother the dragon at all" and not even roll. If we put ourselves in situ the "not bothered" would probably be obvious to the wizard who cast the fireball, particularly if they were used to seeing opponents react to being burned. Granted, that kind of immersion will vary by table. I see your point on the example as being table dependent. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 8 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Somewhat supporting Q/A: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/156204 except that immunity and automatic success aren't quite the same situation: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/147078 \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 9 at 13:20
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I believe illustro's answer is most correct, despite Medix2's reasonable position. This is because even if the two effects are not logically linked, the second and usually (but not necessarily) more severe effect has the first one as a prerequisite. This means the first effect needs to apply, and if the save fails by 5 or more, then and only then the second effect applies, as a result of the magnitude of failure. The second effect cannot apply if the first fails to apply, either by immunity or roll. If the second effect was meant to be stand-alone without the first as prerequisite, then it would be a stand alone effect.

If the target can see the mummy then:

  1. ... it must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw against this magic....

and

  1. ... it must succeed on a DC 11+5 Wisdom saving throw against paralyzed because of....

At the above hypothetical declaration, it is obvious that the second effect is totally independent of the first.

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The conditions are not linked so the Barbarian would be paralyzed but not frightened

This answer is incorrect as the lore found in Illustro's answer shows that they are linked. The following is an examination of the wording without reference to the lore.


The Dreadful Glare feature simply states:

[...] If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, it is also paralyzed for the same duration [...]

There is no connection made between the frightened condition and the paralyzed condition. Additionally I believe that "for the same duration" means "until the end of the Mummy's next turn" not "for the duration it is frightened", but I can certainly see that interpreted either way.

Compare this to the fear spell which states:

[...] While frightened by this spell, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns [...]

Here the requirement to take the Dash action only exists while frightened. There is no such linking in the Mummy's ability so in this case the Barbarian would be paralyzed for failing the save by 5+ but would not be frightened due to their Mindless Rage feature.


Another example of linked conditions is the flesh to stone spell which states:

[...] A creature restrained by this spell must make another Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns [...]

Here the Constitution saves (and their effects) are only made if the creature is restrained by the spell itself. The Dreadful Glare feature uses neither of these more "obvious" linking methods which leads me to believe that they are not linked.

Finally, the Dreadful Glare feature is similar to the Ghost's Horrifying Visage feature:

Each non-undead creature within 60 feet of the ghost that can see it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. If the save fails by 5 or more, the target also ages 1d4 × 10 years.

The question "How does a ghost's Horrifying Visage aging interact with immunity to the frightened condition?" currently has a decently upvoted answer by BlueMoon93 arguing that the frightened condition and the aging are not linked. As Dreadful Glare uses similar wording, I would assume it is likewise, not linked.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you parse the "same duration" portion? \$\endgroup\$ – illustro Oct 8 at 10:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @illustro the duration is until the end of the Mummy's next turn, presumably they just wanted to save words and I can't say I've seen them write it out in full elsewhere \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 8 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I read your flesh to stone edit as disagreeing with your conclusion. The 'a creature restrained by' is the equivalent of saying 'also'. Both mean 'when the first thing is in effect'. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 8 at 11:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 good find, that does back up your answer, but I still find myself disagreeing (for the same reasons). \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 8 at 11:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Journer I just can't read "also" in that way. If I say that somebody "grows three inches and also ages ten years" and they are immune to aging they would still grow taller \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 8 at 15:01

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