D&D 5E Fear spell, bonus action and form of dread

ECMO3

Hero
The Fear spell:
  • You project a phantasmal image of a creature’s worst fears. Each creature in a 30-foot cone must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or drop whatever it is holding and become frightened for the duration.
    While frightened by this spell, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight to you, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the spell ends for that creature.
So if my undead warlock is hit with this she has to use the dash action to flee. Doesn't say anything about bonus actions though. On my turn can I use a bonus action to activate form of dread (which makes me immune to frightened)? Can I do it before I take the dash action thereby canceling the effects of the spell and letting me move where I want and use the action I want on the same turn?

RAW I think I can.
 

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This should work. Neither the Fear spell nor Form of Dread says anything about the timing of the actions, nor does fear prevent you from taking bonus actions. So you can use Form of Dread to invalidate Fear before you're forced to take the Dash action.

This trick is also thematically cool. "You think that's scary? No, this is scary!"
 

FarBeyondC

Explorer
I personally don't agree with it, but one potential avenue that may prevent this from working is the bonus action rule which states that anything that deprives you of the ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.

Equating being forced to take a specific action with being prevented from taking actions is a stretch (which is why I disagree with the argument), but I've seen longer stretches be taken at the table, so it's something to be aware of.

For those with the ability to Dash as a bonus action, I could also see some DMs argue that the spell forces the use of the bonus action to Dash as well.
 

Iry

Hero
It reminds me of Stillness of Mind VS Dominate Person. But I would allow it. There's nothing that mechanically prohibits it, it's an extremely cool moment for the player, and it's not like I'm losing if my players are winning. :p
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
Why do you think its RAW to use your bonus action to react to the original spell?
The OP didn’t say that. The OP is asking if, in the case that his warlock fails its save against fear, it can use its bonus action on its turn before it is compelled to take the Dash action. I see no reason why this would not be allowed. The bonus action has no timing requirement.
 

Nothing in the Fear spell says you can't take a bonus action. You are immune to being Frightened, and the spell's effect says "while frightened." However, one could argue that if Form of Dread ends before the spells duration that the effect is still in place. I also feel this in particular would be RAI, and would completely allow it.
 

Ulorian

Adventurer
The OP didn’t say that. The OP is asking if, in the case that his warlock fails its save against fear, it can use its bonus action on its turn before it is compelled to take the Dash action. I see no reason why this would not be allowed. The bonus action has no timing requirement.
I see. Good point...
 

ECMO3

Hero
I personally don't agree with it, but one potential avenue that may prevent this from working is the bonus action rule which states that anything that deprives you of the ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.

Where is this rule?
 


PHB 189, Bonus Actions. But it doesn't apply here, since fear does not deprive you of using an action.
I don't agree disagree, but one might also argue that Fear does deprive the PC "of the ability to take actions". Plural. It deprives the PC of taking the Attack, Dodge, Disengage, Help, etc actions. It only allows - nay forces - one very specific action: Dash. So... perhaps no bonus action after all.

That said, at our table I'd probably let it happen. This is such a very specific corner case occurrence (an enemy spellcaster catching a Pact of the Undead Warlock in a Fear cone, said Warlock having not already used their bonus action to engage their Form of Dread, said Warlock failing their proficient Wisdom save) that in the odd case that it actually happened, we might as well give the benefit of any interpretive gray area to the player.
 

Irlo

Adventurer
I don't agree disagree, but one might also argue that Fear does deprive the PC "of the ability to take actions". Plural. It deprives the PC of taking the Attack, Dodge, Disengage, Help, etc actions. It only allows - nay forces - one very specific action: Dash. So... perhaps no bonus action after all.

That said, at our table I'd probably let it happen. This is such a very specific corner case occurrence (an enemy spellcaster catching a Pact of the Undead Warlock in a Fear cone, said Warlock having not already used their bonus action to engage their Form of Dread, said Warlock failing their proficient Wisdom save) that in the odd case that it actually happened, we might as well give the benefit of any interpretive gray area to the player.
That is ... certainly an argument that one might make.
 

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