The following situation came up in a recent game:

Character A cast hold person on enemy B. B failed the will save roll and became held. When B's turn came up, he got another attempt at a will save, as a full-round action, and succeeded.

The question is whether B is considered "held" until right before his turn in the next round, or he shakes it off right away, and is not considered "held" for the rest of the round?

From CRB definition of Hold Person, p296:

Each round on its turn, the subject may attempt a new saving throw to end the effect. This is a full-round action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

The first thing that the CRB says about full-round actions is, p178:

When the rules refer to a “full round”, they usually mean a span of time from a particular initiative count in one round to the same initiative count in the next round. Effects that last a certain number of rounds end just before the same initiative count that they began on.

In addition, p187 says:

A full-round action requires an entire round to complete.

A round is defined on p12 as:

Round: Combat is measured in rounds. During an individual round, all creatures have a chance to take a turn to act, in order of initiative. A round represents 6 seconds in the game world.

The way I understand this is that upon making a successful will save on their turn, B is considered "held" for the rest of the round, until right before their turn on the following round. Does this make sense?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like there are two conflicting definition of round here. The combat round (divided in turns) and a character's round (during his turn). \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Can you please provide reference for "character round" definition? I am only aware of the combat "round" and character's "turn". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 19:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's the full "round" an action takes to complete. Which means all the 6 seconds, but not out of his turn (you can do a full round action, then do a swift action). They should have called it a "full turn" action. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 0:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Agreed, the terminology is misleading in this case. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


Full round actions are typically complete during the turn of the person taking them. A fighter doesn't split up his full attack so that his last attack occurs just before his next turn, he takes them all during his turn. A spell with a casting time of a full round action (as opposed to a casting time of "1 round", which really does finish just before your next turn starts) goes off during your turn, but you can't do anything else during that turn except take a swift action and a 5-foot step.

Using the other full-round actions in the game as guides, you should be free of the hold person effect on your turn, but you can't do anything else during that turn (except a 5-foot step and swift action). You should count as being back in the fight, though: you threaten squares again if you have a melee weapon and can no longer be coup de grace'd or take sneak attack damage.


I think the description of the spell is clear in that after he succeeded on his throw, the effect is ended.

a new saving throw to end the effect

Which basically means, the spell wears off at his initiative when he succeeds, and he cannot do anything else than swift actions since he used his action.


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