I noticed an odd detail about Conquest paladins' ability to use Fear spell regularly, and I feel like I'm missing something/literally cannot read.

The conquest paladin gets their aura at level 7.

They get the fear spell at level 9.

And they get Aura of Courage at level 10.

Basically, until level 10, casting Fear would make any of your allies within 30 ft terrified of you, too. (You can't choose, everyone has to save). Granted, if they're in 10ft of you, then their save is boosted - but it's still weird. Your main ability, and you can't use it the level you get it.
Do you have to wait until 10 for it to be safe?
And even then, if not all your allies can fit within a 20ft diameter, then you cannot cast it - they would be making a save against you.

Here it is the ability description:


3rd level illusion

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: Self (30-foot radius)
  • Components: V S M (A white feather or the heart of a hen)
  • Duration: Up to 1 minute
  • Classes: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

You project a phantasmal image of a creature’s worst fears. Each creature in a 30-foot cone must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or drop whatever it is holding and become frightened for the duration.

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, unless there is nowhere to move. 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.

Aura of Courage

Starting at 10th level, you and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you can’t be frightened while you are conscious.

At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Is this intentional, perhaps for balance?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. It looks like readers may be overlooking the idea that the effect is supposed to cover simultaneously a 30-ft. radius and a 30-ft. cone. The question may want to emphasize this contradiction and offer a link to the ability (or at least offer in what book the ability appears). Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28, 2021 at 5:53

2 Answers 2


Fear is a cone, not a sphere

The Range part of the spell description that you've copied says 30 ft. radius, but the text as well as the information on D&D Beyond list its area as a 30 ft. cone instead. Thus, according to the rules on spell areas, a spell with range of "Self (30 ft. cone)" should have a point at the caster and expand to be 30 ft. wide 30 ft. away from you. Cones can be tricky to work with, but it should be much easier to work around allies than "sphere centered on you".

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ ohhhhh. cone as in. like, the point comes out your hand. Rather than with its base centered on you. Yeah this is what i was missing. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28, 2021 at 4:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @EbolaSpreadn247 correct, with the way the spell is worded the Paladin would be at the "point" of a cone extending in the direction you choose. It could easily avoid your allies if you are standing in front of them, and you might be able to angle it between them in more complex situations. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28, 2021 at 4:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ and at lvl 10 it just allows you to friendly fire as you wish with it (while beforehand, some maneuvers might be necessary to avoid hitting them) \$\endgroup\$
    – Hobbamok
    Mar 1, 2021 at 9:43

I think what you're missing is that the area of fear is a cone. This means that the paladin can direct it to only include enemies.


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