Freedom of movement is either a much more powerful spell than I first imagined or it’s badly written. I can’t decide which.
We were playing last week and one of the players cast freedom of movement, which almost immediately led to a rules discussion.
Here’s the bit of the wording I don’t like/don’t understand:
“This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that impedes movement such as paralysis, solid fog, slow and web.”
That seems breathtakingly wide and tremendously powerful. For example,
- When you are dead you can neither move or attack. (Obviously not applicable).
- When you are unconscious you can neither attack or move. (Obviously not applicable).
- When you are staggered you can only take a single action a round which means you are not attacking or moving normally.
- When your Strength or Dexterity is reduced to 0 you fall unconscious and can neither attack or move.
- When you are blinded you cannot see, which means you cannot attack normally, and you have problems moving at your normal pace.
- When you are exhausted or fatigued you suffer Dexterity and Strength penalties and (thus) are not attacking normally.
- When you are frightened you flee from the source of the fear which means you are not attacking or moving as normal.
- When you are confused you may or may not be moving and attacking normally.
- When you sleep (perhaps you were hit by deep slumber) you are neither moving or attacking normally.
- When you are stunned you drop everything and can’t take actions.
- When you are poisoned you might be paralysed or fall asleep and be thus unable to attack or move normally.
- When you wear armour with an armour check penalty or carry a medium or heavy load, your movement is hindered. Does freedom of movement negate this movement penalties?
Does freedom of movement provide immunity to all the above conditions?
Similarly, when you encounter movement inhibiting spells (such as web) you ignore their effects: However:
- When you encounter a wall of ice, stone or force can you just walk through it (like you walk through a web)?
- When you are trapped in a force cage can you escape?
- When you are subjected to flesh to stone do you ignore the effects because being a statue means you can’t move or attack?
- When you are subject to dominate person you are not acting normally, thus does freedom of movement protect you?
After all they are all magic spells impeding your movement!
And finally, a hilarious question from one of my players (which I wish I thought of myself): a party of adventurers are travelling down a dungeon corridor. One or more of them is protected by freedom of movement. Suddenly, a 100 ft. deep pit with lots of lovely spikes opens up beneath their feet. As the party plummets to their death, the wizard casts feather fall (which inhibits normal movement in that it stops you plummeting to your death). Does it affect the PC(s) protected by freedom of movement or not? (Chortle).
What Do You Think?
Does freedom of movement really provide immunity to all these effects? (Obviously not, but I’m having drawing a consistent line in the metaphorical sand). I’d love to know your take on the spell and its seemingly rather wide range of immunities. Please leave a note in the comments below.