D&D 5e Hold Person vs. Hold Monster

D&D 5e Hold Person vs. Hold Monster

Hold Person & Hold Monster Overview

Some spells in 5e are confusingly similar, and one such example is the difference between Hold Person and Hold Monster. The purpose of this article is to offer a brief but thorough examination of the similarities and differences between these two spells, and hopefully help you decipher whether you need to learn/prepare none, one, or both of them. 

Similarities Between Hold Person and Hold Monster

Both Hold Person and Hold Monster are paralysis spells. Since they both target an opponent’s Willpower, their success is dependent on the caster’s Wisdom ability score. They both have a casting time of one action and a duration of 1 minute. Note that because they are concentration spells, you won’t be able to cast any other concentration spells for as long as either Hold Person or Hold Monster is active. At their respective lowest levels, you can use Hold Person and Hold Monster against one target, but at higher levels you can use them against more targets.

A human wizard casting hold person on another human.

Differences Between Hold Person and Hold Monster

There are a few important differences between Hold Person and Hold Monster. First of all, while Hold Person has a range of 60 feet, Hold Monster has a range of 90 feet. Hold Person is a 2nd level spell, whereas Hold Monster is a 5th level spell. This might seem like an arbitrary difference until you consider the last, most important distinction between the two spells. Hold Person can be used solely on humanoids, whereas Hold Monster can be used against all creatures. Since humanoids are considered a type of creature, this means that Hold Monster can be used against virtually any opponent. But note that there is one important exception to this rule: Hold Monster cannot be used against undead, which is important to remember lest you try to paralyze a zombie and get your face eaten off.

I hope this clears some things up regarding the differences between Hold Person and Hold Monster. You can always find more information on the D&D Beyond website, or in your Player’s Handbook. As always, happy adventuring!

Sam

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