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All Rules in Possession

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Rule Interactions

Source Occult Adventures pg. 205
Several different mechanics allow a creature to influence or control another creature, and sometimes it isn’t clear how these competing effects should play out, whether it be possession versus compulsion or even possession versus possession. These systems interact in the following ways.

Possession versus Charm and Compulsion: Possession overrides charms and compulsions that are in control of another creature. Neither type of effect prevents the other from functioning, but possession bypasses the mind and takes direct physical control of the body—which may result in a possessor enslaving an intelligence that is essentially helpless already because of a compulsion. Compulsion and charm effects move with the mind or soul of the creature originally targeted. For example, if you cast mind swap on a dominated creature, the domination effect remains active but transfers with the originally dominated mind to its new host body, and a dominated creature capable of possession could possess another creature while still remaining dominated.

If the host’s mind or soul is not displaced from the body, a dominating creature can still telepathically interact with its now-possessed target, even though the target is helpless within its own hijacked body. The dominating creature can even command the target to explain what the host body is doing, if the host has access to its senses.

Conversely, a caster can target a possessing creature with a compulsion or charm effect. If the possessing creature is the only mind or soul in the host body, the compulsion or charm effect works on the possessing creature normally. If the possessing creature is later evicted from the body, the compulsion or charm effect remains active on the possessing creature when it returns to its original body. For instance, if a mesmerist is using mind swap on a bard, and a succubus uses her dominate monster spell-like ability when she meets the possessed bard, the mesmerist must attempt a saving throw against the spell. If he fails, the mesmerist becomes dominated by the succubus, and when his possession ends and he returns to his body, he remains at the mercy of his new mistress.

When both the host creature and a possessing creature occupy a body at the same time, a charm or compulsion effect can target either one. However, the caster must be aware of the possessing creature’s presence in the host body in order to target it. Otherwise, the effect targets the host by default, generally with limited effect.

Possession versus Divination Effects: Possession does nothing to obfuscate or block most divination spells. For example, if an evil mesmerist is possessing a paladin, detect evil will sense the presence of an evil creature when the paladin’s body enters the area of effect. The Hidden Presence feat can assist a possessing creature in foiling divinations. If a creature’s body and soul are in two different locations, as in the case of a caster of magic jar, divination spells that depend on location, such as locate creature or scrying, fail to produce results. The exception is discern location; this powerful spell provides both locations unless the body and soul are protected by mind blank or a deity.

Possession versus Possession: If you attempt to possess a creature that is already possessed, the possessing creature must succeed at the possession spell’s save or be ejected, allowing you to enter the host. If the possessing creature voluntarily fails its save, first that creature is automatically ejected and then the host attempts the Will save instead. A possession effect that doesn’t allow a saving throw automatically causes the possessing creature to be ejected.