When a character must make a saving throw (typically vs spell) because some entity has mentally or magically attacked them, but when there is no sensory aspect to the attack, if the character succeeds at the save, are they aware that an attack was attempted but had no effect? Is there anywhere in the 2nd Edition source books that speaks to this topic?


An Aboleth attempts to mentally enslave someone.

The aboleth can attempt to enslave creatures within 30 feet; it can make three attempts per day, one creature per attempt. If the victim fails a saving throw vs. spell, he follows all of the aboleth's telepathic commands, although the victim will not fight on the aboleth's behalf.

A priest casts the 2nd level spell Hold Person spell (or a wizard casts the 3rd level hold person spell) but the player character makes their save vs spell.

Those who succeed on their saving throws are totally unaffected by the spell.

A wizard casts the 1st level spell Charm Person but the player character makes their save vs spell.

A wizard casts the 4th level spell Confusion but the player character makes their save vs spell.

Those successfully saving are unaffected by the spell.


1 Answer 1


PHB 129, Spell Descriptions, Saving Throw (emphases in the original):

...A creature that successfully saves against a spell with no apparent physical effect (such as a charm, hold, or magic jar) may feel a definite force or tingle that is characteristic of a magical attack, if the DM desires. But the exact hostile spell effect or creature ability used cannot be deduced from this tingle.

They may know that they saved against some sort of magic attack, at the DM's option, but in no case would they know what the attack was.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This can be found on page 129 in the Players Handbook. Image of the text \$\endgroup\$
    – gene_wood
    Commented Aug 25, 2023 at 12:55

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