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Part of the description of the hallow spell includes the following effect (emphasis mine):

First, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead can't enter the area, nor can such creatures charm, frighten, or possess creatures within it. Any creature charmed, frightened, or possessed by such a creature is no longer charmed, frightened, or possessed upon entering the area. You can exclude one or more of those types of creatures from this effect.

Say a creature is already charmed, frightened, or possessed by a listed creature type, and then the hallow spell is cast on an area that includes the creature. Is the charm/fear/possession effect ended, suspended, or unchanged when the spell is cast?

In other words, is casting this spell on the area such a creature is in enough to end one of these effects? Or must the creature leave and reenter the spell's area to achieve this?

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RAW, the afflicted creature must leave and re-enter the spell's area.

I acknowledge that this is counterintuitive.

Jeremy Crawford explained spells like this in this Sage Advice article:

Some spells and other game features create an area of effect that does something when a creature enters that area for the first time on a turn or when a creature starts its turn in that area. [...]

Reading the description of any of those spells, you might wonder whether a creature is considered to be entering the spell’s area of effect if the area is created on the creature’s space. [...] Our design intent for such spells is this: a creature enters the area of effect when the creature passes into it. Creating the area of effect on the creature or moving it onto the creature doesn’t count.

Because the spell description for Hallow specifies entering the area as the trigger, this official Sage Advice ruling tells us that creating the hallowed area on top of the afflicted creature does not cure them of charmed, frightened, or possessed; they must leave the area and re-enter.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Our design intent for such spells [...]" but hallow is not one such spell. It does not use the "enters that area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn in that area" phrasing that that is about. It only uses "upon entering the area." \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 22:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say 'RAW', I think you mean 'Rules as Intended'; surely you don't mean to suggest this Sage Advice entry re:design intent indicates that the intent corresponds to the actual rules on the matter, no? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 22:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ When design intent is articulated as an official ruling, RAI and RAW are the same thing. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 22:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 I think that this spell's phrasing being a strict subset of the "such spells" phrasing should lead to the same conclusion (at least for that clause of the spell). \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Commented Jun 27, 2020 at 23:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ That said, I think you're right about what RAW says for hallow, but I suspect it's not the design intent. If hallow mentioned that starting your turn in the area ended such an effect, it'd probably make more sense. I'm guessing they didn't really account for the possibility of a frightened, charmed, or possessed creature already being in the area when the spell finishes being cast, especially given the 24-hour casting time of the spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 6:37

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