The feat Craven (Champions of Ruin 17) gives a character -2 to saves vs. fear effects, and requires that the character "cannot be immune to fear." This question discusses how immunity to mind-affecting effects (of which fear effects are a subset) interacts with Craven. I'm interested, though, in how Craven interacts with a character who is immune to some fear effects, but not all of them.

Some examples of such immunity include:

  • The skullclan hunter (Miniatures Handbook 21), who becomes immune to fear effects from undead at level 3.
  • The illithid slayer (Expanded Psionics Handbook 147), who at level 9 gains cerebral immunity, letting her be selective about which mind-affecting effects affect her.
  • Classes like the dragonrider and platinum knight (both from Draconomicon) who are immune to frightful presence, a type of fear effect.
  • Any creature that succeeds on a save vs. frightful presence, and becomes immune to it for the next 24 hours.

These are all examples of being immune to some fear effects but not all. If such immunity does disable Craven, then a rogue who succeeds on a save vs. a dragon's frightful presence suddenly loses access to one of their best feats, which feels ridiculous. On the other hand, if immunity to some types of fear, but not all, doesn't disable Craven, then an illithid slayer can say, "I'm immune to all mind-affecting effects except Gith's own demoralize power," and be functionally immune to fear unless they encounter the mythical hero of the githyanki, and that also feels ridiculous. On the third hand, many things that are both RAW and RAI in 3.5 "feel ridiculous," so gut feeling isn't necessarily useful here. Perhaps there's a meaningful distinction to be drawn between the above cases beyond "make a DM call on a case-by-case basis." Maybe there's some other example of partial immunity and full immunity and how those interact, or some other game element that I'm not recalling that insists a character not be immune to something.

So, does immunity to some types of fear, but not all types of fear, disqualify one from benefiting from the Craven feat?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just for your interest, to further complicate things, there are haunting mists spell, which is fear effect without being mind-affecting. It is also from pathfinder, so it may be irrelevant, but PF is based on 3.x, and it doesn't seem they coherently changed how fear works. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2022 at 20:18

1 Answer 1


The way I propose to handle this is, if it would meet a requirement of “Must be immune to fear,” it breaks the requirement on Craven.

None of the things you list meet that standard.

But there is no specific rule anywhere describing this. Ultimately, this is only how I handle it—not how the rules say to handle it. You’ll have to ask the DM how it will work in your particular game.


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