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In a ongoing campaign I'm playing a character themed around ghosts and possession. I'll later gain access to the Possession spell. But I don't have a grip on how it's supposed to work regarding initiative.

If I in the middle of combat successfully possess another creature using the said Possession spell or something similar. Do I act on my own initiative count or on the initiative count of the possessed creature? I can't find a RAW answer on this in the books.

The Spiritual Training feat seems to imply that I act on the possessed creature's turn. (because this feat becomes weird if the possessed and possessor don't share a turn and the possessor acts before the possessed.). The feat also implies that the possessed and possessor share an action pool.

Spiritual Training

While dominated or possessed, you can attempt a Will save as a swift action to temporarily regain control over your body.

On a successful save, you can act normally for 1 round. On a failed save, you cannot attempt to regain control for 1 hour, but the possessing consciousness can’t take a swift action that round.

My question boils down to:

  • I've looked for a while on rules on this, I couldn't find any. Did I miss them?
  • Are there any other spells/feats/effects that imply or straight-up state how initiative works if you steal someone's body in the middle of combat?
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    \$\begingroup\$ RE: "The Spiritual Training feat seems to imply that I act on the possessed creature's turn." Where does Spiritual Training imply that? It seems to be discussing exclusively a possessed creature that has the feat, not the creature doing the possessing. (And whoever wrote that feat should've reread magic jar.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan The feat stops making sense if they have seperate turns and the possessor is first. Using the feat, the possessed can take a swift action to try and break free for one turn, but this doesn't make sense if the possessor already acted using his body. Does the possessed body move twice? And how does the possessed use the possessors swift action if the possessor already acted this turn? \$\endgroup\$
    – Snappie
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 9:21

2 Answers 2

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By the rules, you still act on your own initiative

Nothing here says your initiative changes. The reason why you think Spiritual Training will break seems to be because you assume "one round" is "one player's turn", while it actually refer to a whole 6-second span: during one round, each creature gets one turn. Yes, it will occasionally let the body act twice in a row and then seemingly skip a turn, but unless this gets abused over and over it shouldn't be an issue.

Making the possessor act on target's initiative makes it more powerful as it can effectively give them one more turn (if the possessed acts right after the possessor). For this reason my suggestion is to rather houserule it -assuming you want to houserule it- as making both possessor and possessed act on possessor's initiative. The possessed can loose a turn, but that's not a big deal considering then can't really act.

As a sidenote, this spell seems badly worded anyway as it never states the possessor can actually control the possessed's body. You shouldn't feel compelled to follow it rules-as-written if you want to use it in your game.

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It's unclear, ask your GM

As you've already noticed, there is essentially no guidance for initiative after possession, either in the spell or in the Occult rules. The Combat rules don't include any interactions relating to dominate or possession.

Most likely, you will act once per round on the target's initiative. This requires the least bookkeeping, makes the most sense narratively, and is closest in line to other effects like dominate where the "possessed" and "possessor" each still have Turns/Actions (the main difference being that with possession, the possessor no longer has their own Turn because your body is busy being soulless and seemingly dead).

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