Can a Magic Circle Against Evil block the night hag's Dream Haunting (Su)? The dream haunting has the flavor of "exercising mental control over the creature," but the dream haunting description only seems to rely upon the night hag hovering over the creature.


No, it will not protect the recipient of the Magic Circle against Evil.

The Magic Circle only does three things, none of which impede the Night Hag:

  1. Prevents summoned creatures from entering the area. The Night Hag isn't a summoned creature.

  2. Prevents domination-type mental control over the target's actions. The Dream Haunting doesn't exert any kind of control, let alone metal control of physical actions.

  3. Grants a bonus to AC and saving throws against attacks or effects from any evil creature. Unfortunately, Dream Haunting doesn't grant a saving throw so the bonus doesn't come into play.

So the Night Hag can ethereally enter the Circle just fine, can hang about and trouble the victim's dreams so that they lose CON in the morning, and can do that without granting a saving throw. If the victim somehow did get a saving throw (perhaps from a magic item that gave saving throws against things like this regardless of whether they normally get one), only then would the Circle have any effect, and then only a +2 to the save.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Protection from evil does ward against mental control other than "domination-type". But the night hag's ability isn't any type of mental control. \$\endgroup\$ – starwed Jun 21 '13 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ The wording on protection from evil is a bit ambiguous on the point of what, exactly, constitutes mental control: dominate clearly counts, but does charm? Hard to say. Enchantment (Charm) effects are explicitly included, but charm isn't really the same as "control"... \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 21 '13 at 19:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, also -- regardless of the title, the question was only about the second point. Discussing the first and third uses of the spell is probably not necessary. \$\endgroup\$ – starwed Jun 21 '13 at 20:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @starwed Probably not necessary, but it does provide a full-spectrum "this is everything it does, and none fit" to the intuition that a circle that protects against evil sounds like it should stop the night hag's dream haunting. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 21 '13 at 22:24

No, because that is not ongoing mental control. Protection from evil states that

the barrier blocks any attempt to possess the warded creature (by a magic jar attack, for example) or to exercise mental control over the creature

It does not ward against any mental attack, just those that result in mental control. The dream ability is simply an attack against the creature through their dreams; it doesn't let the hag tell the creature what to do, and therefore protection from evil will not help you here.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't the "or to exercise mental control" exactly match the supernatural ability's description and thereby include it in what the circle prevents? Does it really matter whether it's brief or ongoing? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 21 '13 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie AFAIK "to exercise mental control" does not mean "to control his mind" but "to control his actions with my mind". I don't think the duration is relevant. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Jun 21 '13 at 17:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Yes, I see what you mean. Though a close reading gives me an answer from a different angle... \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 21 '13 at 18:02

Dream Haunting is not "controlling" the targeted creature, thus it's not blocked by protection against evil and similar spells.

  • \$\begingroup\$ protection from evil does not specify that it only works on [mind-affecting] effects. \$\endgroup\$ – starwed Jun 21 '13 at 17:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're right, I've been foiled by a player for years. Fixed. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Jun 21 '13 at 17:53

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