Hold Person 5e: Mechanics and Guide to Using the Spell

Casting Time

1 action






60 feet


Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard




1 minute ©




Verbal, Somatic, Material

Spell Description:

Choose a humanoid that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed for the duration. At the end of each of its turns, the target can make another Wisdom saving throw. On a success, the spell ends on the target.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional humanoid for each slot level above 2nd. The humanoids must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them.

2nd level, Enchantment, Control, Paralzed

Level: Bard (3), Cleric (3), Druid (3), Sorcerer (3), Warlock (3), Wizard (3), Oath of Vengeance (5), Oath of Conquest (5), Oath of Redemption (5), Arcane Trickster (7), Eldritch Knight (8)

Materials Required: A small, straight piece of iron

Number of Targets: 1 (increased by 1 for every spell slot level above 2nd)

Die Type: N/A

Number of Dice: N/A

Damage Type: N/A

Save: Wisdom

Damage On Successful Save: N/A

Statuses Inflicted: Paralyzed

Status Duration: Up to 1 minute with concentration, or ending when the target succeeds the Wisdom saving throw

Affected By Cover: No

Advantage: None

Disadvantage: None

What is Hold Person?

Hold Person is a 2nd level Enchantment spell that forces a target to make a Wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed by the caster. The caster can hold concentration on the spell for up to 1 minute and at the end of each of their turns, the afflicted target can make another Wisdom saving throw to end the effect.

Who can cast Hold Person?

Hold Person is a natural addition to the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard spell lists and all of those classes can take the spell starting at 3rd level.

Oath of Vengeance, Conquest, and Redemption Paladins get the spell on their expanded spell lists starting at 5th level. Arcane Tricksters can take the spell at 7th level when they get their first 2nd level spell slots but Eldritch Knights will have to wait until 8th level.

When and Where should I cast Hold Person?

Hold Person is a spell that has a lot of use in combat. Being able to paralyze multiple targets can be a game-changing control spell. Paralyzed creatures can’t move, so it’s nice and easy to take them down once the paralysis lands.

Why should I take Hold Person?

A paralyzed creature is very easy to take down and casting it at a higher level allows the player to get a hold on multiple enemies at once, changing the tides of fights which may have large groups of additional enemies. 

Common Questions About Hold Person