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Imagine a fiend casting Enemies Abound on a creature within a Hallowed area

Enemies Abound

A creature automatically succeeds if it is immune to being frightened. On a failed save, the target loses the ability to distinguish friend from foe, regarding all creatures it can see as enemies until the spell ends

Hallow

celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead can’t enter the area, within it.
nor can such creatures charm, frighten, or possess creatures

Technically, creatures within Hallow are not immune to fear, nor does Enemies Abound rely on the creature being frightened. Hence, RAW, it seems that a fiend would be able to do it.

RAI, I see arguments both against (it is, in the end, a fear-like effect originating from a fiend) and for (one could assume that the target has fear-like feelings for the other creatures).

  1. Is there's something RAW / official ruling that would prevent Enemies Abound from working in this scenario?
  2. Assuming no for (1), would such interpretation be too far-fetched RAI-wise? I appreciate this might be too opinion based so just a secondary concern :)

As a sidenote, Mass Suggestion also has a similar wording, only for charmed

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Enemies abound is not a fear effect, nor a charm. In fact, it inflicts no condition listed on the basic books (PH, DMG, MM). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17 at 13:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MindwinRememberMonica correct, I've adjusted the wording to make it clear I'm not referring to the fear as in frightened condition \$\endgroup\$
    – falsedot
    Commented Jun 17 at 15:18

1 Answer 1

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Having hallow work against fiends' influence is intended

Hallow says:

First, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead can't enter the area, nor can such creatures charm, frighten, or possess creatures within it. Any creature charmed, frightened, or possessed by such a creature is no longer charmed, frightened, or possessed upon entering the area.

Maybe technically, the creature does not gain immunity to the frightened condition, but for all practical purposes, they are immune to being frightened by a fiend.

Because of this, I think that rules as intended, the creature will automatically succeed on the saving throw and not be affected by Enemies Abound. I mean, it's the whole point of hallow to provide protection against the fiend getting at you.

Imagine the PCs went to all the effort and sought refuge in a hallowed sanctuary or hallowed an area. To be honest, if I as a DM then tried to pull one on my players that due to the technical wording, hallow does nothing for their PCs, I would surely get an earful what kind of an **** move that is, and rightfully so. If you plan to get technical on this, you at least need to let your players know beforehand.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have to disagree. Enemies abound does not grant the frightened condition. I agree that the spell designer has piggybacked on a weird trait, but the spells gotta do what the spells say they do. There's a big logical leap between "cannot be affected by X" and "immune to X". Hallow lacks the keyword. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17 at 13:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer also fails to prove the game designers intent, as claimed (unless the author has inside knowledge, which was not disclosed). What we have is the author's well-fundamented ruling as a DM, based on common sense. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MindwinRememberMonica I'm not claiming this is RAW. There are other examples of answers that argue from a perspective of what makes sense given the text, even in the absence of explicit designer commentary; I do agree that the answer lacks such expicit commentary, and would be better if it could be added. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17 at 14:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MindwinRememberMonica Given that 5e has a game philosophy of rulings instead of rules, this seems like a niche case that the designers would rather the DM just make a call on what works for the table. This seems especially true given this is a very niche interaction. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 17 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this answer. Fiends cannot frighten, charm, possess on hallowed ground = people it is trying to frighten, charm or possess are immune to being frightened, charmed or possessed. Enemies Abound would be trying to frighten. Think of those as giving a status effect of "Frightened", you can't do that on Hallowed ground. \$\endgroup\$
    – jo1storm
    Commented Jun 17 at 18:07

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