According to the glossary, creatures get saving throws when the Dominated effect compels them to enter hindering terrain or throw themselves into a pit.

Is the saving throw rule limited to just these two cases, or would a creature also get a save when compelled to do worse stuff, like stabbing himself through the heart with a dagger or other things that would instantly kill him?

Example: our psion dominated a solo boss (modeled after Elminster Aumar, not immune to charm) and demanded him to completely cut his own head off with his longsword, which would instantly kill or at the very least very gravely wound him.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I prefer the "charge of provoking OAs from... everyone who wants one." which is... cheesy and horrible. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2013 at 14:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Those saves you mention happen whenever you would try to force move someone into dangerous or hindering terrain. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2013 at 14:25

2 Answers 2


Dominated is defined quite specifically in the rules:

The creature can't take actions voluntarily. Instead the dominator chooses a single action for the creature to take on the creature's turn: a standard, a move, a minor or a free action. The only powers or game features that the dominator can make the creature use are ones that can be used at will, such as at-will powers....

(multiple, PHB 277, RC 230).

The ticket I think is that asking a creature to cut its head off is not an at-will thing (unless it's a hydra). It's very much a 1/lifetime type thing.

A now deleted comment mentioned that this ruling was boring. However, dominate is a very common condition, especially at higher levels. In particular it's a very common condition for monsters to inflict (while only a small group of PCs have access to it). If a PC can compel a monster to kill himself that might break an encounter, which is bad, but not the end of the world. However, if monster can compel a PC to kill himself, that is in fact very, very bad for your game and violates many of 4e's basic design principals.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just finished typing that out, heh. Basically the idea is that it's a combat situation, so it takes combat actions. Cutting it's head off is less combat (roll-play) and more story (role-play) and thus falls outside what Dominate can do. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2013 at 14:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Even without it being as extreme as getting the mob to kill himself, there's nothing stopping you from making him charge an ally and provoking OAs on the way. Or just taking a stroll through all of your allies before attempting to jump down a pit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shane
    May 10, 2013 at 17:29

I suppose, we need to read "creatures get saving throws when the Dominated effect compels them to enter hindering terrain or throw themselves into a pit" how something like:

"Creatures get saving throws when the Dominated effect compels them to do something dangerous to life".

So in case the target enemy is falling saving throws, he did dangerous thing also if it's attack himself. But such as at-will powers - not instant dead like)

  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem with that phrasing is that just about anything you'd want the monster to do would be "dangerous to life" namely attacking allies or moving to provoke OA's. I would probably agree that doing things not explicitly a Move/Standard/Minor and at most an At-Will power would probably draw one however. (being forced into a pit and the like by a power already draws an extra saving throw so this is not unusual to the system) \$\endgroup\$
    – Lunin
    May 10, 2013 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Heh not so complicated) Cut off your hand it's dangerous to your life action. And moving is not, even it give provoke. Attack enother creature also don't make damage to you. Anyway it's my view, if it's wrong (of course it can be), i change it. Thx \$\endgroup\$
    – Kai
    May 11, 2013 at 6:54

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