Many abilities and spells can cloud the mind, leaving creatures unable to tell friend from foe or, worse yet, deceiving them into thinking that their former friends are now their worst enemies. Two kinds of enchantments affect creatures in this way—charms and compulsions. Regardless whether a creature is charmed or compelled, it doesn’t volunteer information it isn’t asked for. Charms and compulsions are mind-affecting effects.
Charming another creature usually makes that creature friendly according to the Influencing NPC Attitudes
table(see Influence and Interaction ). Charms of this type include the various charm spells. A charmed creature retains free will but makes choices according to a skewed view of the charming creature.
- A charmed creature doesn’t gain any magical ability to understand its new friend’s language.
- A charmed creature retains its original alignment and allegiances, with the exception that it now regards the charming creature as a friend and gives great weight to that creature’s suggestions and directions.
- A charmed creature fights former allies only if those allies threaten the charming creature. Even then, the charmed creature uses the least lethal means as long as such tactics show any possibility of success, just as the charmed creature would do in a fight between two actual friends.
- A charmed creature is entitled to an opposed Charisma check against the charming creature to resist requests to do something it wouldn’t normally do even for a friend. If successful, the charmed creature decides not to go along with that particular request but remains charmed.
- A charmed creature never submits to a request that is obviously suicidal or grievously harmful.
- If the charming creature requests that the charmed creature do something that the charmed creature is violently opposed to, the charmed creature can make a new saving throw to break free of the charming effect’s influence altogether.
- A charmed creature is freed of the charming effect if it is openly attacked by the charming creature or by that creature’s apparent allies.
Compulsion overrides the subject’s free will in some way or simply changes the way the subject’s mind works. A compulsion makes the subject obey the effect’s parameters or the effect’s creator, or both.