In my experience, there are two things that kill PCs: falling rocks and dominate effects. And while you can ward off the former by buying your GM pizza, surviving an unexpected control magic is a bit trickier.

Like the Handbook says, this mess can come in multiple forms. It might be a literal dominate person spell. It might be a confusion effect. It might even be something as exotic as demon possession, like the one that caused a soft reset in my own campaign. But whatever form it takes, a dominate means one thing: your trusted ally has turned to the dark side, and is now trying to kick your ass. They’ve got all the powers of a fully equipped PC, they’re already in the party’s backfield, and you’ve got to snap ’em out of it.

Now the most straightforward approach to surviving these situations lies in a swift TKO. All you’ve got to do is deliver a bit of nonlethal damage to your afflicted ally and then heal ’em back to full once the dominate has worn off. Unfortunately, it’s the big guys with low resist-mind-control saves and fat HP pools that typically get mind-whammied. This is where dispel magic type effects really earn their keep. Break enchantmentmind blank, and Protection From Evil And Good all put in work here, and keeping a scroll or two of these spells handy is important. But if you go the silver bullet route and keep specific answers in your back pocket, make sure that more than one PC can use them. There’s nothing that sucks harder than watching your cleric get dominated and realizing she was the only one who could have broken the spell. Look at it this way: Batman keeps kyrptonite in his utility belt, but what happens when Superman and Batman get dominated? If you want to be a good Robin, you’ll have an answer for that situation.

So what do you say, gang? Do any of the rest of you guys have solid anti-dominate strategies? Have you ever been caught without an adequate answer, and subsequently got beat by your buddies?  Or worst of all, have you actually been guilty of unwitting murder while under the influence of such malign magics? Let’s hear all about your most memorable dominate-related dust-ups down in the comments!


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