Can a Barbarian enter a Rage on his turn in combat if he's charmed by Charm Person, or similar spells?

Last week during one of my games, our DM had a Cambion use a charm on the Barbarian, which he failed the saving throw and was 'charmed'.

On his turn, he used his bonus action to enter a rage and 'break' the charm. The DM didn't agree on this. Who is right? The Barbarian then continued on to attack with his normal action.


2 Answers 2


He can suspend the charm if he is at least a 6th level Path of the Berserker Barbarian

The Path of the Berserker Barbarian gains the Mindless Rage feature at 6th level.

Beginning at 6th level, you can’t be Charmed or Frightened while raging. If you are Charmed or Frightened when you enter your rage, the effect is suspended for the Duration of the rage.

The charm isn't "broken" in that it isn't removed entirely, only suspended until he stops raging. Additionally, the charmed condition does not prevent a barbarian from raging. So, the player in this case has the ability to rage and "power through" the charm.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity...was your barbarian friend Path of the Berserker, DM Patman? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 19:43

Charmed is not the same as it was in previous editions.

The charmed condition states (PHB, p. 290):

  • A charmed creature can’t attack the charmer or target the charmer with harmful abilities or magical effects.
  • The charmer has advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the creature.

That's it.

Nothing prevents a charmed creature from:

  • Raging
  • Casting Dispel Magic (or any other spell) on themselves
  • Fleeing the creature that charmed them
  • Attacking the allies of the creature that charmed them
  • Warning their own allies about the Charm effect
  • Putting their hands over their ears and going "Lalalalalala"

Note though, that the Cambion's Charm ability does require you to follow their spoken commands, so if he had commanded you to do something that would prevent your rage, or explicitly told you not to rage, you would not be able to.

Combining this with Adam's answer regarding the Path of the Berserker Barbarian's level 6 feature Mindless Rage clearing a Charm effect, yes a Barbarian can use Mindless Rage to ignore the Charm effect while raging.

Note: A regular rage effect does NOT automatically ignore the Charm effect, at the time of this writing, only Path of the Berserker Barbarians of 6th level or higher may ignore the effects of a Charm of Fear effect while raging

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The description of the charmed condition might be a little misleading. Most powers/spells that impose the charmed condition have additional "while charmed by this power" effects listed in the description. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim Grant
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 23:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are correct Tim. I did edit the answer at one point to include the note that the Cambion's Charm specifically makes you follow it's spoken commands. It still seems to me, that unless the Cambion specifically commands you not to rage, it would not prevent you from raging, as it has no text indicating you cannot act freely when not commanded. Additionally, if the Cambion told you to attack your allies as a Barbarian, chances are you'd instinctively rage, thus breaking the effect. \$\endgroup\$
    – Randomorph
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 16:45

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