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D&D 5E What to do about Hypnotic Pattern?

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
You said they take long rests if they don't have Hypnotic Pattern. Maybe you could interrupt their long rests more often - especially (but not only) when they don't have HPattern.

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So the PCs have figured out how good a spell is. Has the rest of the fantasy world not figured it out too?
Exactly. I was thinking - EVERY spellcaster who can cast a 3rd level spell casts it on the players. Always, first. Ideally they also have the Sorcerer's metamagic for "Careful spell". As the players come up with solutions to get around it, the world reacts and starts to use the same solutions...

That said, in the game I'm a player, I'm going to ditch Telekinesis for my 10th level Sorcerer and take Hypnotic Pattern :devilish:
How does casting the spell on the players fix the problem of the player using the spell all the time?


The groups I DM for always have someone with hypnotic pattern, as soon as they're high enough level to take the spell. This is because one particular player has learned how good it is and therefore always takes it. Always. No exceptions. And if that PC runs out of spell slots to cast it, they'll rest instead of fighting without it.

I've spread out the baddies so that they can't all be caught with one spell.

I've given the baddies magic resistance.

I've had the baddies use their turns to wake each other up.

None of them seem to prevent the fights from becoming predictable, at least where hypnotic pattern is concerned. I really hate that bit at the end when the whole party is whaling on the one poor leftover who was looking at the pretty lights while his buddies got slaughtered.

Does anyone have suggestions for any other way to deal with the spell?
I do not think HP is OP. A good spell yes, but not overly powerful. Here are some pointers if it is dirsupting your game:

1. Enemies get a save, meaning some of them in any large battle will save and if the enemy are proficient in wisdom a lot of them will save.

2. Creatures can be shaken out of it, and as we established some enemies will save. Also any enemies you damage are out of it immediately, meaning only those you can one-shot will be killed while under the influence. So if the wizard goes and incapactiates 7 of 10 your first turn with HP, then the fighter hits one and doesn't kill it, then the 4 of them go and wake four of their colleagues .... now you are one turn into this and you are using your concentration to keep 2 of 10 enemies incapacitated. Yes the other 8 all lost an action, but if you fireballed them they all would have all lost 27 hps, so that is a wash. That is also assuming your DM does not let the incapacitated enemies use their action on the same turn they are shaken out of the stupor. If he does than only 4 of the 8 lose an action the first round.

3. It is a concentration spell - again go back to 1 - there will be unaffected enemies and if a wizard with a concentration spell is incapacitating 7 out 10 bad guys, smart enemies who did save are going to target the spell caster, even if it means taking OAs to do it.

4. It is of limited use if surrounded or you have enemies on multiple sides. You will catch your own party in it.

5. Tons of enemies are outright immune to it, including I believe all undead. In this respect it may be more powerful than say a fireball against most enemies, but it is far less versatile. Have the players go into a crypt full of undead and it is a waste to prepare that spell (or worse have it as your sole 3rd level spell).

5. If your players are resting too much attack them while they are resting.
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Is this a moon, or is it a space station?
Does Hypnotic Pattern work on swarms?

Since the spell creates light, if it is cast in the dark, have something come investigate the flash. So much for sneaking in.
Or a swarm of bats / bugs / whatever lurking back in a dark corner is startled by the light and immediately flees the area ... straight through the PCs.
... Or worse: your light woke up a bear.

Team Rival knows the group likes Hypnotic Pattern so they start off by casting Darkness if they can get a Surprise Round.

Charm Person the caster. "Let's talk this over like reasonable people." No super-spell (at least this one time).


Personally I try to avoid adversarial DMing to "teach players a lesson"
This isn't about teaching players a lesson. It's about keeping combats from becoming samey and avoiding that depressing anticlimactic mop-up phase at the end.

When I said it was worth a try, I just meant that having enemy casters use the spell sometimes is one tool for doing that. But no, I don't plan on doing it in every fight.


You said they take long rests if they don't have Hypnotic Pattern. Maybe you could interrupt their long rests more often - especially (but not only) when they don't have HPattern.
Also I think they can only do one long rest per 24-hours if I remember correctly. So if they fight a battle 15 minutes after resting and use all the hypnotic patterns, they have 24 hours before they can get another one.
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