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D&D 5E Mind Blank against Command

vlysses

Explorer
I have gone through many discussions regarding the effects of Mind Blank. Could not find a good source to establish whether it is supposed to work or not against Command. There is nothing in the Command spell description that indicates that it affects the mind.

How do ppl play this at their table. Do they Stick to RAW, where you could argue that Command is possible, or are you all saying "the victim is forced to do something contrary to its will, therefore it must be mind altering, therefore Mind Blank works"?

Thank you!
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
Mind Blank: "Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is immune to psychic damage, any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, divination spells, and the charmed condition. "

Command does nothing of the above. It therefore stand to reason that "The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target" refers to the specifics above.

Mind Blank is already powerful enough, but of course you can decide that it is a sort of "charm"...
 


gelf

Explorer
Mind Blank: "Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is immune to psychic damage, any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, divination spells, and the charmed condition. "

Command does nothing of the above. It therefore stand to reason that "The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target" refers to the specifics above.

Mind Blank is already powerful enough, but of course you can decide that it is a sort of "charm"...
You're only quoting half the spell there! The rest of mind blank says: "The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target."

My feeling is that command affects the mind. It's an imposed action, the removal of free will, which is a classic mind-control power.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
You're only quoting half the spell there!

Not at all, it was my full second paragraph.

The rest of mind blank says: "The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target."

My feeling is that command affects the mind. It's an imposed action, the removal of free will, which is a classic mind-control power.

It's your feeling, but it's not written anywhere that Command affects the mind. Blame 5e for not having clear tags on spells, but the "mind affecting" is tagged in 5e as the "charmed" condition that you for example have on suggestion, but not on command. If they wanted to put it in command, they would have listed that targets immune to charm like in suggestion: "Creatures that can't be charmed are immune to this effect"
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
That’s a bit rules lawyery. Using the RAW to defeat the RAI.

We have all we need to know Command effects the mind in the spell descriptions and the text of the book.

“Command 1st-level enchantment”

What kind of spell is an enchantment?

“Enchantment spells affect the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behavior. Such spells can make enemies see the caster as a friend, force creatures to take a course of action, or even control another creature l ike a puppet.”

So enchantment spells effect the target’s mind, not the spleen or liver. Got it.

What kinds of spells does Mind Blank protect against?

“Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is immune to psychic damage, any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, divination spells, and the charmed condition. The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target.”

So mind blank can stop even a wish spell from effecting the target’s mind. Command effects the target’s mind...so unless command is more powerful than a wish, mind blank prevents command.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
“Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is immune to psychic damage, any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, divination spells, and the charmed condition. The spell even foils wish spells and spells or effects of similar power used to affect the target's mind or to gain information about the target.”

So mind blank can stop even a wish spell from effecting the target’s mind. Command effects the target’s mind...so unless command is more powerful than a wish, mind blank prevents command.

5e is more fuzzy than this. Again, does mind blank say that it protects against all enchantment ? No, because Mind Blank does not protect against Bane, which is also an enchantment. Do you think that Bane affects the mind ? I see no reason for it.

Other examples of enchantments: Hex, Hideous Laughter, Sleep, Hold Person... Does Mind Blank work against all of these because they are enchantment ? I really hope that your answer is going to be "No".

So I'm sorry, but your "RAI" is not proven to be the actual intent either.

Look, I'm not against it, I'm just pointing out that it's not clear cut one way or the other, that's all.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
5e is more fuzzy than this. Again, does mind blank say that it protects against all enchantment ? No, because Mind Blank does not protect against Bane, which is also an enchantment. Do you think that Bane affects the mind ? I see no reason for it.

Other examples of enchantments: Hex, Hideous Laughter, Sleep, Hold Person... Does Mind Blank work against all of these because they are enchantment ? I really hope that your answer is going to be "No".

So I'm sorry, but your "RAI" is not proven to be the actual intent either.

Look, I'm not against it, I'm just pointing out that it's not clear cut one way or the other, that's all.
Chalk up another argument to the absurdity of natural language in game rules.
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Chalk up another argument to the absurdity of natural language in game rules.

And then some of us happen to like it, because it keeps it a simple game without the absurdly complicated jargon that PF created (moving is a physical effect of the move action, not just, you know "moving").

But if you read the rules reasonably without trying to milk them for all they're worth, there is a condition, "charmed" which is quite clear, and used by a number of spells to denote a sort of mind control, and it is also used by Mind Blank. So spells which mention that condition are clearly affected by Mind Blank and others are not. The fact that it does not appear in Command, combined with the "spell do only what they say they do" principle gives a clear cut answer.

It might be a mistake, or it might be the intent, in any case, it has little to do with natural language because in that specific case you have a clear condition which is not natural language but defined in the condition glossary.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
And then some of us happen to like it,
Of course some do. Rules lawyers love ambiguity in the rules. It's where they live and breathe.
because it keeps it a simple game without the absurdly complicated jargon that PF created (moving is a physical effect of the move action, not just, you know "moving").
Sure, but the reason that kind of absurdly stilted language exists is because rules lawyers make silly arguments that force such precision in language. If people would be cool instead of constantly trying to game the language of the rules, it would be unnecessary.
But if you read the rules reasonably...
To recap the argument, a 1st-level command spell is more powerful than a 9th-level wish spell. And that's somehow the "reasonable" argument and not laughably absurd on its face. Man, gimme 4E or the OSR any day.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Of course some do. Rules lawyers love ambiguity in the rules. It's where they live and breathe.

Except that in 5e ruleslawyers are also kept at bay by the lack of crunchiness and the fact that the DM is clearly in control to shut them down. At least at our tables, the amount of ruleslawyering is close to 0, compared to all previous editions.

Sure, but the reason that kind of absurdly stilted language exists is because rules lawyers make silly arguments that force such precision in language. If people would be cool instead of constantly trying to game the language of the rules, it would be unnecessary.

Exactly my point and the reason for liking 5e, its natural language and its DM's "rulings over rules".

To recap the argument, a 1st-level command spell is more powerful than a 9th-level wish spell. And that's somehow the "reasonable" argument and not laughably absurd on its face. Man, gimme 4E or the OSR any day.

If it's where your preferences lie, but even 9th level spells are not all powerful, and will only counter 1st level ones when appropriate, it seems only natural to me...
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
The fact that it does not appear in Command, combined with the "spell do only what they say they do" principle gives a clear cut answer.
To be fair, if the answer was truly "clear cut," there would be no question about how the spell works.

The way I parse it, using "natural language," is that the phrase "affect the target's mind" is something that command very obviously does. Or looked at another way, if command doesn't affect the target's mind, what exactly does it do?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
To be fair, if the answer was truly "clear cut," there would be no question about how the spell works.

The way I parse it, using "natural language," is that the phrase "affect the target's mind" is something that command very obviously does. Or looked at another way, if command doesn't affect the target's mind, what exactly does it do?
Clearly command targets the liver or spleen.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It's your feeling, but it's not written anywhere that Command affects the mind. Blame 5e for not having clear tags on spells, but the "mind affecting" is tagged in 5e as the "charmed" condition that you for example have on suggestion, but not on command. If they wanted to put it in command, they would have listed that targets immune to charm like in suggestion: "Creatures that can't be charmed are immune to this effect"
It's a rulings over rules edition. It doesn't need to be written there. It's clear that RAI is for mind blank to stop mind affecting spells. It's clear that despite nothing being written into command about being mind affecting, that it is. I would rule that mind blank stops command, because that makes the most sense.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
Except that in 5e ruleslawyers are also kept at bay by the lack of crunchiness and the fact that the DM is clearly in control to shut them down. At least at our tables, the amount of ruleslawyering is close to 0, compared to all previous editions.
You're the one arguing than a 1st-level enchantment spell that clearly affects someone's mind somehow does not actually affect their mind...and therefore is not blocked by an 8th-level spell that blocks any effect, up to and including wish, that affects the mind. Weren't you also complaining about how PF needs to specify that movement is a physical act. Sounds like you're using the lack of clarity in the rules of one game to shoehorn in something that's not meant to be a thing...while also complaining about the specificity of language in another game that's there specifically to prevent that exact same kind of shoehorning. Hmm...
Exactly my point and the reason for liking 5e, its natural language and its DM's "rulings over rules".
Or, you know, write solid rules in the first place.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Or, you know, write solid rules in the first place.
They tried that with 3e and 4e and failed miserably. Rules for everything, but still holes in them requiring rulings. Only with a rule for everything under the sun(and the sun, too), my players were more likely to argue what rules meant. 5e has cut that down considerably, mostly due to having fewer and vaguer rules.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
They tried that with 3e and 4e and failed miserably. Rules for everything, but still holes in them requiring rulings. Only with a rule for everything under the sun(and the sun, too), my players were more likely to argue what rules meant. 5e has cut that down considerably, mostly due to having fewer and vaguer rules.
Sure, and that's absolutely my experience as well. However, there's an excluded middle that was jumped over like they were playing a game of "the floor is lava".

The options are not: A) hyper-focused and precise rules for everything, or; B) vague, easily abused rules.

You can write precise rules that are broadly applicable. Something as simple as "all spells of the enchantment school are considered charms" would have worked. They actually did this in the description of the enchantment school, but because it's in natural language instead of rules-speak, there's enough wiggle room for the lawyers. So here we are. Having an argument about how a clearly mind-altering spell isn't actually a mind-altering spell because the rules aren't written precisely enough.
 

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