Fast-talking is essential for any D&D adventure, no matter if you’re a vampire trying to act normal or a thief trying to steal the jewels from the queen your party was hired to protect. A healthy dose of magic can help persuade others, but no magic is more important that the charm person spell.
It can be difficult to know who can use it and when, as well as how to ensure it succeeds. This is our guide to the Charm Person spell, 5e.
The Stats for Charm Person
Here’s what the Player’s Handbook has to offer for Charm Person.
- Enchantment: 1st Level
- Casting time: 1 action
- Range – 30 Feet
- Components: V, S
- Duration : 1 Hour
Charm a humanoid that you can see within your range. If you or your companions are trying to fight it, the creature must make a Wisdom saving throw. It fails to make a saving throw and is charmed until it ends the spell or until you or your friends do something harmful. You are regarded as a friend by the charmed creature. The spell ends and the creature realizes it has been charmed.
Higher levels. Casting this spell with a slot of 2nd or higher level spell slots allows you to target one more creature for every slot level above 1. When you target them, they must be within 30ft of each other.
Who can use the Spell?
It is a first level spell. This means that any class can choose it from the first-level list. This spell is great for characters who are interested in manipulating their environment and the people around them. This spell is a good fit for bards, since they are able to talk easily and convince people. Use the charm spell to amplify your bard’s natural talents and have some fun.
Wizards can also make use of this spell to gain access to restricted areas or otherworldly information. This spell is also available to sorcerers and druids.
Why would you use it?
Every adventurer should have the ability to persuade others to change their mind about how they do things. These social roadblocks, whether they are a king or shop leader, guard captain or bandit leader can be helpful in guiding players and campaigns in different directions. This could force players to think of different solutions to problems and to complete quests to gain access to these NPC’s goodwill.
Sometimes the fate of the entire world is at stake or players simply don’t have the time to play politics. Charm Persons can help you to remove roadblocks and make someone indifferent into a friend.
How does Charm work?
Charm Person makes someone view you as a friend and is more likely to do what they say. Charm Person is not mind control, but a way to make someone feel more friendly.
It’s like asking your neighbor to help you do something instead of asking your best friend. You would probably ask a friend or neighbor to help you move to a new place or to drive you there. They will likely refuse to do so or require some compensation to make it fair. If you ask your best friend to help, they will gladly do the job and not ask too much.
Charm can transform someone into your character’s best friend. This makes it easier to persuade them. Even though they will say no to some things, particularly those that would cause harm to them or others, they may still refuse to do certain things. Other requests may be more reasonable.
The spell lasts for an hour. To avoid any effects, the affected character can make wisdom saving throws at the beginning of the spell. They are charmed for an hour if the spell succeeds. This sounds like a great spell. Let’s not forget the last part. This is what most players forget when they cast a charm on a noble or guard captain.
There are down sides to the Charm Spell
The spell ends and the creature realizes it was charmed
You can charm a king for an hour but they will find out what you did after the hour ends. This could be problematic. If the king owns a vault that he can unlock only with items inside NPC needs, and your party charms him into opening it so they can rob it of their treasure, the charm will eventually wear off. The King will then be aware that your party robbed his castle and won’t be happy. This spell can be used sparingly, but it can open up interesting roles for the DMs.
If the spell is broken, it can have serious consequences for the party. It could lead to new opportunities, events, and future encounters depending on the actions of the person who was charmed.
Races and characters with high wisdom scores, creatures immune to charm, and monsters who use charm spells will all be resistant to mind alteration. This list includes elves and fey people, as well as most vampires and other supernatural beings.
It is not mind control. However, it makes the other person more palatable to you. If your request is outrageous or causes them direct harm, they can refuse to comply and force you to find another route.
What about Monsters?
Charm Person is now able to target humans and other humanoid animals. These monstrous races include gnolls and goblins as well as lizardfolk. Charming monsters like undead, harpies and merfolk or animals with this spell is not possible. Charm Monster and other domination spells can charm them, but charm person is only applicable to humanoids.
You can find out if the creature is a monster, or a monstrous humansoid by looking at its stat blocks.
When to Use Charm Person
This spell can be used to persuade a single target as a roleplaying or non-combat spell. You can’t cast this spell in combat, as the target will have the advantage for saving, which may be friendly to you. However, it is not friendly to your allies. The spell ends and your enemy will likely still be your enemy after it’s finished.
Although you can use this spell in combat, there are too many things that could go wrong to make it useful. This spell is best used to aid in persuasion and roleplaying. You might use it to tell a guard that your friend is free from responsibility, convince a shopkeeper or trick a thief to leave you alone.
You might be able convince people to join you at higher levels if you charm more people.
How to Defend against Charm Persons?
You can learn any spell you want, but your enemies could learn it and use it against yourself. Vampires, demons, and other creatures are all capable of using charm person to subvert your defenses and make you feel like good friends. This could cause you to be separated from the party, create some inter-party conflict, and even lead you to say or do things that are not in the best interest of your new friend.
You will need to be able to defend yourself against it. Fey and Elves have an advantage in saving against being charmed so it’s a good idea to play as one of these characters. To make the saving throw more accurate, you can play as a character that has a high wisdom score. You can also count on your friends because any damage done while charmed could cause the effect to be broken. Your party may just want you to lose your charm!
Your saving throw can be increased by certain classes and skills such as the Paladin’s Aura of Devotion or the Bard’s countercharm. Some rare items can also provide immunity to charm. Your DM will determine how these items are introduced to the world.
The best defense is that it is not mind control. Although it might require some communication outside of the character with your DM to do so, you can still make a case that your character wouldn’t do certain things. You can still effectively roleplay your character. Although it may take some time to get comfortable, you can still roleplay your character and perhaps even become a different person for a while.
Charm Person FAQ
Question: Can it be dispelled before the hour is up?
Answer: Charming people last for either one hour or until the charmed person is unable to stop them. There are many ways charm can be removed. The charm can also be identified after it wears off.
The identification spell is able to tell if someone has been charmed. A dispel magic spell will cancel any charm spells.
Dispel magic cannot affect certain natural charm abilities, like the charm that a vampire uses. Better to roll high for saving throws in that situation.
Question: What happens if a Charm Person fails?
Answer: If the target succeeds in their wisdom throw, and the spell falls on them, there are two options most DMs will choose. If Charm Person falls, the spell doesn’t get a grip on the target’s minds and it’s a wasted action. Others DMs believe that the spell failed because the target was resisting it actively. They would be aware that they were being charmed.
Let’s take, for example, the attempt to charm an orc. The spell failed and the orc defeated it, according to the rules.
The creature will know that you charmed it when the spell ends. The orc will then know that you tried charm it, as technically the spell ended when the creature defeated it. It can be confusing, and most DMs will handle it differently when the issue arises.
It will have a house rule. Once it is in place, you may be a little cautious about using the spell, depending on which side your DM is on.
Question: Can it be used to harm?
Answer: The command is the higher-level domination. Mind control spells and mind control spells say that the target will not obey any harmful or suicidal orders. If you ask someone to take a step, and they refuse, it will send them into a pit filled with lava. Charm person is a lower version of these spells so you won’t be able persuade anyone to hurt themselves or put them in danger.
Although charm can be a great way to get someone to do your bidding, it won’t make them die. Charming someone can get you a lot, but they’ll snap out of it quickly and go back to normal. This is why it’s not advisable to use it in combat.