The description of the calm emotions spell says (emphasis mine):

You attempt to suppress strong emotions in a group of people. Each humanoid in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point you choose within range must make a Charisma saving throw; a creature can choose to fail this saving throw if it wishes.

If a player controlled by dominate monster is asked to kill his allies, could he willingly fail the saving throw against calm emotions since he views them as enemies and calm emotions could be "dangerous" for him?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It isn't clear what is going in here, could you give more detail to the order of events here? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 26, 2021 at 14:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would he want to fail the saving throw if he wants to avoid the spell effect? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Mar 26, 2021 at 14:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like 1) BBEG Dominates TCBG (totally cool barbarian guy) 2) TCBG former ally casts Calm Emotions in an attempt to suppress the Charmed condition from Dominate 3) TCBG must Save against Calm Emotions but the spell allows him to choose to fail. Is TCBG allowed to make that decision when Charmed, or does he have to roll (his player hoping for a failure) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Mar 26, 2021 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ In which case Answerers may need to incorporate information from eh the Charmed condition (Roll20 link) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Mar 26, 2021 at 14:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ordi Could you then incorporate that (as seemlessly as possible) into the actual question? You could then flag the resolved comments as No Longer Needed and we'd get them cleaned up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Mar 27, 2021 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


It depends on what the caster is doing.

I think the answer to this is in what dominate monster actually does. Nothing in dominate says the target views its former allies as enemies; only that it obeys instructions.

Let's look at the specific effects of dominate monster:

The target is charmed by the caster. A charmed creature can't attack the charmer, and the charmer gets advantage on social rolls, but that's all. It doesn't have any impact on the target's opinion of his allies.

The caster can issue commands that the target will attempt to obey, such as "attack that creature". But obeying the instruction doesn't mean they consider their allies to be enemies. The dominate effect is forcing them to do the task as instructed, but they're not necessarily going to do anything hostile other than what they were generally commanded to do.

And finally, the caster can use an action to take total control of the target. Let's look closer at that one.

You can use your action to take total and precise control of the target. Until the end of your next turn, the creature takes only the actions you choose, and doesn't do anything that you don't allow it to do.

So here is the first place where I see anything that would stop the target from willingly failing a save; the target "doesn't do anything that you don't allow it to do", so that would potentially include choosing to fail a save, where that's an option, or being a willing target of a spell.

So it looks to me like the victim of a dominate spell could intentionally fail the save on calm emotions, but only as long as the caster isn't assuming direct control.


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