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Hold person

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Hold person was an enchantment spell that could rigidly immobilize one[2] or a few[5][6][10] humanoid creatures for a short time.


This spell worked on humanoid creatures only. Older versions of hold person were limited to a few man-sized or smaller creatures,[5][6][10][note 1] but the new version could be cast at any one humanoid regardless of size.[2] While under the influence of this spell, the subject could breathe and be aware of his or her surroundings through their senses, but could not perform any action that required speech or movement due to being rigidly paralyzed.[2][5][6][10] Victims of the older version of this spell had one chance to resist the magical effect or freeze in place for two minutes per experience level of the caster. The odds for resisting increased slightly when hold person was cast at more than one creature.[5][6][10] The newer version of this spell was more fragile; the held creature could repeatedly attempt to break the spell every few seconds with a feat of willpower.[2]

If cast on multiple targets, they had to be within a 20 ft (6.1 m) cube at a range no greater than 120 yd (110 m).[5][6][10] The newer version had a range of 100 ft plus 10 ft per level (30 m plus 3 m per level).[2] Note that flying creatures (held up by movement of wings for example, not a fly spell) would plummet to the ground, non-water breathing creatures could drown, off-balance creatures could tip and fall,[2] and conditions such as bleeding wounds, poison, or disease were not stopped or suspended by this spell.[5][6][10]

This spell had no effect on the undead[5][6][10] and could be canceled at any time by the caster.[2][5][6][10]


In addition to verbal and somatic components, all variants of this spell except the newer divine version required a small straight piece of iron for the material component.[2][5][6][10]


See AlsoEdit


  1. These included brownies, dryads, dwarves, elves, gnolls, gnomes, goblins, half-elves, halflings, half-orcs, hobgoblins, humans, kobolds, lizardfolk, nixies, orcs, pixies, sprites, troglodytes, and others.


  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211, 251. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 241. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  3. Richard Baker, James Wyatt (March 2004). Player's Guide to Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 181. ISBN 0-7869-3134-5.
  4. Monte Cook (Oct 2002). Book of Vile Darkness. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 66. ISBN 0-7869-0672-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 150, 205–206. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 193, 261. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  7. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 152, 153. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  8. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), pp. 185–187. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  9. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 45, 74. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.

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