The request must be brief and reasonable. Even after the spell ends, the creature retains its new attitude toward you, but only with respect to that particular request.

So although the spell itself has a duration, the effect it causes is somehow "Instantaneous". The creature affected by this will always be affected (to that particular request) no matter what.

Hence, in a low-level campaign, if a wizard PC see an NPC and wants to make him a permanent thrall, perhaps the PC can cast Charm Person (change attitude to Friendly) then Hypnotism (change attitude to Fanatic for the following suggestion, which means basically the NPC will agree with anything they say) then say "how about you obey all my orders from now on"? Would that become a non-epic version of Enslave (epic spell) for gaining a cohort?

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    \$\begingroup\$ RE: "''[H]ow about you obey all my orders from now on'?" You may be interested in answers to this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 12:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I have seen similar questions, but no one seems to be approaching Hypnotism. Firstly, it is "a single request" instead of "a course of activity", which means there's no limitation on action here; secondly, this chain makes the NPC's attitude become Fanatic which means the NPC "will give life to serve you", and that makes a lot of requests, including those suicidal ones, become reasonable and acceptable for them. In this specific case, "obey all my orders from now on" is no longer something that would be against the description of the Hypnotism spell, I believe. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 12:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Even if the DM does not accept Fanatic attitude, Helpful attitude can still make that NPC a permanent friend (so a permanent charm effect) with something like "from now on we are besties" it seems. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 12:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hypnotism says, "The request must be brief and reasonable." Are you saying that the bar for reasonable has changed because the creature's been the subject of hypnotism and that changes its attitude? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Yeah, exactly. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


In general, I would advise against using anything from the Epic Level Handbook for characters who are not higher than level 20. An epic D&D character can be so good at balancing that they walk on clouds, or so good at swimming they can swim up waterfalls. "Epic" isn't just a term to make it sound cool: using those rules, characters do things that only make sense in the context of epic poems and myth. So while there is, in theory, an attitude beyond Helpful in 3.5e, Fanatic, it should be used exclusively as the result of the actions of epic characters.

Setting aside the Fanatic attitude, any hypnotic suggestion that equates to a dominate effect is neither brief nor reasonable. The highest mechanical relationship in non-epic play is Helpful. If you hypnotize someone and say, "How about you obey my orders from now on," it doesn't matter how helpful they are, they'll still say no and probably be pretty offended. If your best friend in the whole world suggested such an arrangement, you wouldn't agree. Since the subject views the request in a friendly light, they'd probably laugh it off as a joke rather than shank you for trying to brainwash them, but that would be the extent of it.

The text "the creature retains its new attitude toward you, but only with respect to that particular request" just means that the guard who let you by won't raise the alarm once the spell is over, or the official who gave you an invitation to the duke's ball won't have that invitation cancelled as soon as you leave the room—it's there to make sure the subjects of the spell don't immediately undo whatever you've convinced them to do, and that's it. It can't ever actually change people's opinions of you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ DM definitely should somehow balance the act and prohibit some actions that could possibly allow non-epic characters to achieve what epic characters can do. Just one minor question, I'd never seen anyone can stably walk on the cloud yet. Even for an epic character, getting +110 on balance seems to be mission impossible (I tried to build something like that and failed :D) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hypnosis is like being a very charismatic person: they can encourage you to do quite a bit, but they can't mind control you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 18, 2023 at 19:23

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