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What would happen if a vampire was charmed/ordered magically to enter a residence without an invitation? For example if someone was inside a residence and used command to make the vampire approach, or if suggestion was used by telling a vampire to walk forward in a straight line, leading into a residence. Would either of these scenarios be treated as "inviting" a vampire even if not inside/an occupant?

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The Vampire cannot enter

The Vampire has this flaw:

Forbiddance. The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.

A charm or compulsion spell changes nothing about this. This is not about willingly entering. The vampire simply cannot enter, even if it wants, even if there is no charm. If a charm tricks him into wanting it, nothing changes: it still cannot enter. Even if a dominate monster spell was used to make it enter, it could not.

These other spells do not say they magically remove the flaw, so they don't.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So mechanically, would the spell just fail? \$\endgroup\$ May 4 at 23:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ No, the Vampire would still be charmed. It just cannot enter. \$\endgroup\$ May 4 at 23:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AriaDoherty it's just as if you command the vampire into walking into a solid wall. The vampire will still spend its movement getting closer to the wall, but then it'll stop there because it can't move further. \$\endgroup\$
    – justhalf
    May 5 at 1:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ In OP's scenario the caster of charm/command is inside the residence. Does a command to come inside count as invitation? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael
    May 5 at 11:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Michael If its done from the inside, a command to come inside would, I think, be considered an invitation. An order of walking straight does not include an invitation, and wouldn't work. That part just comes down to if an invitation was made, or not. If one was made, then they can enter. \$\endgroup\$ May 5 at 11:42
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You particular questions

You asked:

if someone was inside a residence and used command to make the vampire approach, or if suggestion was used by telling a vampire to walk forward in a straight line, leading into a residence. Would either of these scenarios be treated as "inviting" a vampire even if not inside/an occupant?

Well, who's "someone", and why don't they just invite the vampire in? And magical compulsion is just not "an invitation". Compulsion is "you must" do something. An invitation is "you may" do something.

Also, charm person won't work, because it targets a humanoid, and a vampire is undead. Charm monster will work on the vampire, but it won't compel it, you only get advantage to interact with it socially. Command won't work, because it doesn't work on undead. Dominate monster might be just the ticket though.

The DM will have to decide

I think what is behind your question is can the vampire be forced to enter a residence, without an invitation.

As is so often the case, there is a gap of ambiguity between the text of the rules and how they are implemented in the game, and the DM decides.

It's easy to conclude that the vampire can't be charmed or forced into entering

As provided by Nobody the Hobgoblin's very reasonable answer.

But we don't know what "can't" means.

See this question, "What happens if a vampire tries to enter a residence without an invitation?".

There is no rule that says which is stronger, "can't" or "must"

The Forbiddance feature says:

Forbiddance. The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.

The heart of your question is whether the vampire can be compelled into entering a residence; in other words, is "charmed/ordered magically" more powerful than the Forbiddance feature.

We don't know.

The case that the vampire CANNOT enter

Nobody stated the case very well:

"The vampire simply cannot enter, even if it wants, even if there is no charm", because the Forbiddance feature says so.

The case that the vampire CAN enter

(Well . . . actually, the case that CANNOT is not well defined.)

What if the vampire is petrified, and carried in? It is not choosing to enter. Does magic stop the vampire at the door?

What if the vampire doesn't know its a residence? It is not choosing to enter. Does magic stop the vampire at the door?

What if you remove part of the roof from a residence, and drop an utterly helpless vampire from a scaffold into the hole in the roof. It is not choosing to enter. Does magic stop the vampire at the roofline? Or does it prevent you from dropping the vampire at all?

What if you use dominate monster? The spell says, "You can use your action to take total and precise control of the target." You order the vampire through the door. It's an eighth level spell. It's not clear to me at all that Forbiddance is automatically, by the rules, without question more powerful than an 8th level spell, presumably cast by a pretty high level caster.

Maybe some of these situations can be resolved by "specific beats general", and petrification, ignorance, gravity, and compulsion are all more specific than Forbiddance. Sure, you can argue that a spell is more specific than a feature, or vice versa, but I don't know of an actual rule that tells you which is more specific. But, if so, case closed.

(Although . . . aren't most spells a specific that beats a general? Is it possible that the specificity of compulsion beats the generality of Forbiddance?)

Vampire, thy name is ambiguity

There are a lot of questions about vampires.

See particularly "Does forcing a Vampire indoors count as an invitation?". Note, answers are ambiguous. . . .

Just a few off-the-cuff ambiguities . . . Running water . . . how much "running water"? Is a trickle enough? A gutter? Rain running down a street? They could have said, "running water, for instance, a small brook". But they didn't. Sunlight . . . can it be reflected sunlight? If it's a bright sunny day, and the vampire is in shadow, the only light source is the sun; how is that not "sunlight". They could have said "direct sunlight". But they didn't.

It's easy to say, oh, it's poorly written, they should have defined these things. Maybe?

Forbiddance, I'm particularly looking at you

Forbiddance. The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.

What's a "residence"? My campsite? The barn I slept in last night? The barn I'm sleeping in right now? The barn I've lived in for the last year? The barn my horse lives in? The store where I sleep behind the counter, in the back room, upstairs? Is an entire castle a residence, or just where people sleep?

What's an "occupant"? I just moved in today. Am I an occupant? I've lived here a year, and you're my dinner guest, are you an occupant? What if you've broken into my house, or you're the minion of the vampire? And, umm, doesn't "occupy" mean you're actually in the residence right now? So . . . if the vampire leaves, and their residence is empty, how do they get back in, there's no one to invite them.

What's an invitation? Is leaving a door or roof open, an invitation? Does the occupant have to say anything, or is a gesture enough?

Yes, these are absurd and contrived examples, but they show some of the many edge cases that could occur; for instance, if a vampire is compelled.

A case study

I'm currently a player in an Eberron campaign, "Oracle of War". Published Adventure League campaign. (We're not AL, we're just using the adventure.)

We put a stake in the heart of a vampire, incapacitating and paralyzing the vamp, as per the Stake to the Heart feature. We then took the incapacitated and paralyzed vampire to the Keep of The Twelve, which floats above the city of Karrnath.

We didn't have any problem taking the vampire into the Keep. People live in the Keep. It's a residence. The published adventure assumes taking the vamp to the Keep is a possible outcome.

And, one player's perspective, it would have been deeply weird for magic to have stopped us at the gate.

Sure, you can argue that a Keep (or this specific Keep), isn't a "residence". But, people live there. The fact is "residence" isn't defined, other than the common definition, and it's ambiguous.

The point isn't about that published adventure, it's that Forbiddance is full of ambiguity.

Guidance for players

Don't count on it working or not working, by the rules. Check with the DM ahead of time.

Guidance for DMs

If you use vampires, expect edge cases. Perhaps using vampires are in part about world-building. How do vampires work in your world?

If you're trying to determine how to rule about whether a vampire can be compelled or forced into a residence, you might try altering the feature to say "can't willingly enter". Maybe you're happy with that way of resolving it, or maybe not.

Or maybe you're happy with stopping a compelled vampire. They get to the door, and they just can't go in, even though the creature that has cast dominate monster on them has "complete and total control".

Or maybe you're happy with that the magic keeps them out. That vampire statue the PCs have? It's actually a petrified vamp, and the PCs just can't get it in the door, unless one of them invites it.

Or maybe you think "specific beats general" applies.

In all of these cases, if that's the way you want it, great! I believe none of these resolutions risks breaks anything but vampires, and (my opinion), vampires are broken out of the box, and you'll need to fix them anyway.

My ruling

As a DM, hypothetically . . . I think I'd lean toward "willingly enter", and would rule that compulsion forces them in. But that's hypothetically. "Hypothetically" can lead to shenanigans. Can one vampire compel another to enter and occupy a residence, and then the first vamp invites the second? Like I said . . . vampire, thy name is ambiguity.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you are right, there are lots of questions about fringe case handling that need the DM. For example, I would think that the vampire being passively transported (petrified, falling etc) is not them entering, it is maybe them "being moved into", but then vampires are plenty smart, and easily could call upon minions or such to circumvent the forbiddance that way, which I as DM would say "no go" to. +1 \$\endgroup\$ May 6 at 7:25

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