Can a frightened creature freely circle the source of its fear?

A frightened creature A is standing horizontally or vertically next to the source of its fear B.

The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

Can A freely circle B, for example to flank them or to attack another of its enemies, or to pass them with impunity in a 10′ hallway (subject to AOO rules as normal of course)?

I am asking, because this seems somewhat counter-intuitive: If you are next to the source of your fear, the fear does not practically restrict your movement. I hope there’s something in the rules or maybe sage advice which clarifies this, other than just lack of restrictions that would apply.

What happens if you become frightened of yourself?

You might be wondering how this could happen apart from a contrived scenario of casting a spell like cause fear on yourself (which is technically allowed). Turns out, it can happen by interacting with the local wildlife of Icewind Dale.

The Crag Cat has this ability:

Spell Turning. The cat has advantage on saving throws against any spell that targets only the cat (not an area). If the cat’s saving throw succeeds and the spell is of 7th level or lower, the spell has no effect on the cat and instead targets the caster.

So I cast cause fear on a Crag Cat, it passes the save, and then I fail on my save. I become the target of my own cause fear, which means I am now frightened of myself.

The frightened condition says:

  • A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.
  • The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

Do either of these conditions apply in some way while I am frightened of myself?

You might be thinking, "why not ust drop concentration and end the effect?" Right, that would work, if the caster thought to do that. When this scenario played out in my game, the player character who was frightened of himself was so worked up about being frightened of himself he didn’t even think to drop concentration, which I thought was a great narrative expression of the effect. I ruled on the fly that he used all of his movement on his turn to run about wildly, trying to get away from himself, opting to make a quick ruling without spending much time thinking to preserve the tension of the situation. Now that I have had time to think about it, I’m not sure what the correct ruling would be.

Does Aura of Courage end the frightened condition if a frightened ally enters its area of effect?

So I just made level 10 with my paladin and got the added feature “Aura of Courage.” I understand that currently I and anyone within 10 ft of me will be immune to the frightened condition. My question then:
If one of my allies is currently frightened and runs into my Aura, do they lose their frightened condition automatically? Or would they just pass through and keep running around?

I’m interested in RAW and what other DMs have ruled here.

Would a frightened, fleeing creature be considered moving willingly?

If I were to cast a spell on a creature that causes it to become frightened of me and spend all of its movement getting away from me, would that count as “moving willingly” for the purpose of triggering effects like Booming Blade’s secondary feature?

This could be viewed from two angles. Either, you are forcing the creature to move, rendering its movement “unwilling” – or you have frightened the creature so much that it wants to get away from you, thereby rendering the movement “willing”, to some extent.

Note that, while they also don’t trigger on forced movement, opportunity attacks still trigger on frightened, fleeing creatures (whether willing or not), since the description specifically states “You also don’t provoke an opportunity attack when […] something moves you without using your movement, action or reaction“.

In this question, which was about 4e (!), the consensus seems to be that running away due to a magical fear effect would not be willing. However, I don’t see what would be the logic behind Booming Blade taking into account that a creature moves out of fear. Does the spell “decide” “Hey, this guy wouldn’t have moved if he hadn’t been enchanted. Let’s not deal damage”? Hardly.

Spells that could be part of a situation where this is relevant:

Booming Blade:

[…] If the target willingly moves before then, it immediately takes 1d8 thunder damage, and the spell ends. […]


[…] 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. […]

Thanks in advance!

Does a Paladin’s Aura of Courage prevent or suspend frightened effects?

While you’re standing in a Paladin ally’s Aura of Courage:

[the Paladin] and friendly creatures within 10 feet of [the Paladin] can’t be Frightened while [the Paladin is] conscious.

Does this prevent effects that cause Frightened from applying at all, or only suspend them while you stand near your Paladin?

Example: I am standing next to my level 10+ Paladin friend, and we are facing an Ancient Red Dragon. It uses its Frightful Presence.

Do I:

A) Do nothing – I am immune to this effect as a result of the aura.

B) Roll the saving throw – and if I fail the effect is applied to me, but the Frightened condition involved in it is suppressed as long as I am near my Paladin.

This Q&A asks a similar question, but after such an effect has already been applied to a PC – I feel the answer may be different when it comes to the initial application of the effect.

Due to the identical wording, it’s likely that any answers to this question would apply to the Devotion Paladin’s Aura of Devotion and charm effects as well.

Can you negate the Frightened condition by not looking at the source of your fear?

As the title says, if you cause a creature to be Frightened of you, as in the Frightened condition, but they can somehow manage to not see you, do they stop rolling with disadvantage to attacks/ability checks?

Below are scenarios to illustrate my question.


  • If a creature is frightened of you, and they turn their back against you to hit someone else, would they no longer have disadvantage to attack rolls/ability checks?

  • If a creature is frightened of you and they have Blindsight, can they close their eyes to stop seeing you, and hence stop rolling with disadvantage?

  • If a creature has 60 ft of movement and is frightened of you, and there is a corner they can reach in 15 ft that will block you from sight, can they run to that corner to stop being frightened, then run back to attack without disadvantage? Assume they would not provoke OA to do this, although the OA is immaterial to the question.

For the frightened condition, do transparent objects block line of sight?

There seems to be some discrepancy regarding the frightened conditions’s line of sight rules, since line of sight is not clearly defined. Perhaps intentionally so. Frightened’s disadvantage on ability checks is what I’m concerned with here.

A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.

Since you can’t cast spells through wall of force or semi-transparent objects, should the frightened condition follow similar rules? Does a piece of glass block line of sight? Can you draw a metaphorical line of sight through transparent barriers and objects?

We already know that simply not being able to see the creature does not negate the disadvantage. My question is whether or not being able to see through a barrier affects that disadvantage.

What happens if you’re frightened of a hidden or invisible creature?

A Frightened creature suffers the following effects:

  • A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.
  • The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

An Invisible creature has the following benefits:

  • An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a special sense. For the purpose of hiding, the creature is heavily obscured. The creature’s location can be detected by any noise it makes or any tracks it leaves.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have advantage.

What happens if the source of a creature’s fear is invisible or hidden?

More concretely:

  • A Wizard uses Cause Fear to frighten an Ogre, then puts on a Cloak of Invisibility. On the Ogre’s turn, he tries smack a Fighter standing next to him. Does the Ogre have disadvantage on the attack roll?
  • On her next turn, the Wizard Hides from the Ogre. When the Ogre tries to smack the Fighter again, is anything different?

Here are two related questions that may help answer this one:

  • This question asks if the frightened creature can avert or close their eyes to avoid the disadvantage. The answers articulate the difference between line of sight and being able to see a creature. Does anything change if the source of the fear is invisible?
  • This question asks if the second bullet point of the frightened condition allows a frightened creature to “supernaturally” detect the location of the source of its fears. Would the first bullet point of the frightened condition allow a frightened creature to supernaturally detect the presence of its fears?

Understanding Frightful Aura and Frightened tick down

I have a question concerning Pathfinder Second Edition:

From my understanding, when a creature enters the Lich’s Frightful Presence aura, it has to roll Will save.

Because of the nature of Frightened, every time the creature’s turn comes, it ticks down by one.

So within two turns, the aura is completely without any effect for the next 8 turns. (Gain immunity for 1 minute).

For an example of why this is weird to me: The party of adventurers made it down to the Lich’s evil lair. Beyond the door, the Lich Xarxark the Terrible awaits. The adventurers are Frightened by the Lich’s aura that permeates through the door. As the Rogue takes turns to unlock it, the Frightened value ticks back down to 0 and now the party is ready to face the Boss, undaunted.

Is my understanding correct?