Marionette Possession lists it's save as 'Will', but it can only target willing creatures. Does the fact that it technically allows a Will save ever matter?


1 Answer 1


Yes, although you will never roll it at the time the spell comes into effect the fact it allows a Will save sometimes matters for interactions with other rules.

One situation in which the Will save matters is if the initially willing subject later decides it doesn't want to be possessed after all and is then subjected to Protection From Evil or another similar alignment appropriate spell. If the saving throw were 'none' then the Protection spell would have no chance of suppressing the possession. Since the save is 'Will', the victim is allowed a Will save to suppress the effect.

Another situation is when you have the Heroic Will Human racial feat. If no save were allowed, you couldn't spend a non-action bust out of mind control like an awesome person. But since the spell technically allows a Will save, you can.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can another situation be cited? While "[d]eclaring yourself as a willing target is something that can be done at any time (even if you're flat-footed or it isn't your turn)," I don't think at any time includes a creature being able to declare itself an unwilling target after having been the successful target of a spell! (That makes a mess of spells like teleport, for instance.) (Note that some trading card games have rules mandating constant affirmation of a target's validity, but is there a rule that says Pathfinder or D&D 3.5e does?) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Certainly! I'll go look another one up. You don't only get the second save from Protection From Evil if you weren't a willing target, though. It gives you a new saving throw and you would have to declare yourself willing and decline the new saving throw separately from the old one (assuming I understand your comment right, you were arguing that Protection from Evil doesn't work, yeah?) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 6:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, we're talkin' about protection from evil, which says that "the subject immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with)," yet when the spell marionette possession was cast the target was not allowed a saving throw because the target was willing when the spell targeted the creature! By the way, is there a reason this matters? Did you lose a PC because he was conned into being a willing target for marionette possession or something? Or are there broader implications to this than I realize? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 6:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan interesting, I'll ask a question about that. That's not what I understood willing to mean. This Q&A was inspired by the pfsrd erroneously claiming that the willing target will save is equivalent to no save and also the other question recently asked about this spell that seemed to think that the will save line was made extraneous by usage being limited to willing targets. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 6:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ (The trait Heroic Will might have the same issue: a creature "cannot use this feat to remove… effects that do not allow a saving throw," and the willing creature was not allowed a saving throw it was targeted by the effect, but I think I'll have to look forward to the other question's answers to clear up this.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 7:07

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