What constitutes ‘safe route’ in the Fear spell?

Fear description says:

While frightened by this spell, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move.

Imagine these scenarios, where all happen in a narrow corridor and the caster is at front of you:

  1. Behind you is a deep pit of 10 ft wide. You could jump, but if you fail your Athletic roll you fall to the pit and die.

  2. Same as 1, but you won’t die but take a lot of damage.

  3. Same as 1, but you have fear of height.

  4. Behind you is a flaming corridor, which deals damage for every 5 ft you move.

Those represent uncertain situations where it might or might not be safe to cross the escape route. The fourth scenario represents a certain situation where you will take damage, but not necessarily kills you, if you try to escape using that route.

What is the treshold of ‘safe’ in the spell description? Must the victim run through the route even if there is certain danger? What if the danger is highly probable, but not certain? Do those routes considered available, but safest?

How to deal with fear of taking dependencies

The team I’m in creates components that can be used by the company’s partners to integrate with our platform.

As such, I agree we should take extreme care when introducing (third-party) dependencies. Currently we have no third-party dependencies and we have to stay on the lowest API level of the framework.

Some examples:

  • We are forced to stay on the lowest API level of the framework (.net standard). The reasoning behind this is that a new platform could one day arrive that only supports that very low API level.
  • We have implemented our own components for (de)serializing JSON, and are in the process of doing the same for JWT. This is available in a higher level of the framework API.
  • We have implemented a wrapper around the HTTP framework of the standard library because we don’t want to take a dependency on the HTTP implementation of the standard library.
  • All of the code for mapping to/from XML is written “by hand”, again for the same reason.

I feel we are taking it too far. I’m wondering how to deal with this since this I think this greatly impacts our velocity.

[ Politics ] Open Question : Are Trump supporters filled with fear and anxiety every day?

that the 2020 election is coming up and Democrats are highly likely to take back the presidency? that a left wing woman of color, Kamala Harris, could be our next president? -that Mueller could release his report at any time and charge Trump with several crimes? -that the N word tape or any other tape or evidence of bad things Trump has done or said could come out?

What are the limits of Reflective Fear?

In D&D 3.5 fear is a very fun mechanic, typically the province of enemies but also something you can build a character concept around. Rather than describe all the rules here, I’ll link to this handbook on how fear works and how best to use it. This specific question is about the capstone ability for fear-based prestige class Dread Witch:

Reflective Fear (Su): At 5th level, any fear effect against which you successfully save is immediately targeted back at the source. You still gain the benefits of absorb fear. If the source of the fear effect fails its save, everyone else who might have been subject to the fear effect (such as your companions) immediately gains a second saving throw to shake off the effects, as they observe the object of their fear itself grow terrified.

I love this ability, but there are a lot of cases where it’s not clear exactly how it works. If a spell both causes a “fear effect” and does something else – either natively or because a fear effect has been added with Fearful Empowerment (another Dread Witch ability) or the Fell Frighten metamagic, for example – is only the fear portion of the spell reflected, or is the entire spell the “fear effect” and thus reflected? What about AOE: the effect is “targeted” back on its source, so does that mean only the caster is affected or that the spell affects everyone in a normal radius centered on the original caster? Last but not least, are metamagics that were applied to the original ability also reflected, and if so is the caster or the Dread Witch in control of metamagics like Chain Spell (which allows a single-target spell to target multiple nearby creatures, typically of the caster’s choice)?

What do victims of the fear spell do if their speed is reduced to zero?

The fear spell reads:

Each creature in a 30-foot cone must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or drop whatever it is holding and become frightened for the duration.

While frightened by this spell, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight to you, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the spell ends for that creature.

What happens if it has space to move, but its movement speed is reduced to zero?

Does the Fear spell work with an Oath of Conquest paladin’s Aura of Conquest?

Oath of Conquest paladins emanate an Aura of Conquest starting at 7th level (XGtE, p. 38):

Starting at 7th level, you constantly emanate an aura while you’re not incapacitated. The aura extends 10 feet from you in every direction, but not through total cover.

If a creature is frightened of you, its speed is reduced to 0 while in the aura, and that creature takes psychic damage equal to half your paladin level if it starts its turn there.

Conquest Paladins can also prepare the fear spell starting at level 9, which states:

Each creature […] must succeed on a Wisdom save or […] become frightened for the duration.

An affected creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest route on each of its turns […] If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn’t have line of sight on you, it can make a Wisdom save.

This question makes it clear that the caster is the source of the fear by virtue of being the character to cast it. However, while the caster is the “source” of the fear, it’s not clear that this is qualifies as “of you” and fear does not explicitly state that the creatures are afraid of you.

Contrast this with the cause fear spell (XGtE, p. 151), which does state this:

The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of you until the spell ends.

Or of the Conquest paladin’s Conquering Presence Channel Divinity option, which does as well:

As an action, you force each creature of your choice […] to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature becomes frightened of you for 1 minute.

It’s clear that a Paladin who uses either Conquering Presence or cause fear would trigger the psychic damage of Aura of Conquest, but would s/he trigger it by casting fear?

Can you count as your own enemy? Using Bane with Reflective Fear

The Dread Witch prestige class (Heroes of Horror) has a nifty little ability called Reflective Fear:

Reflective Fear (Su): At 5th level, any fear effect against which you successfully save is immediately targeted back at the source. You still gain the benefits of absorb fear. If the source of the fear effect fails its save, everyone else who might have been subject to the fear effect (such as your companions) immediately gains a second saving throw to shake off the effects, as they observe the object of their fear itself grow terrified.

Seems a little situational for a capstone ability… but there’s a few tricks you can pull with this once you realize your own spells can activate it. For instance, if you have a beneficial spell (that has a visual effect) you can use fearful empowerment (another Dread Witch ability, 1/day) to give it a fear effect and cast in on yourself, chaining it until you fail your save against the fear effect. Now take that idea a little bit further and do the same thing with an AOE spell (either a fear spell or use your fearful empowerment). Endless fun. Potentially literally.

Which brings us to today’s specific question: does this work with bane? The spell targets every “enemy” within 50ft; if they fail a will save it inflicts a penalty on attack and will saves against fear (cue evil laughter, yes please). But can you count as your own enemy, targeting yourself and initiating a chain of infinite debuffs (until you fail the will save)? I’m tempted to argue that since you’re casting a hostile spell at yourself, yes you do, but that… seems a little too circular.