The Command spell has the Flee option, which if failed, forces the target to spend its action to move away from the caster.

Is the target able to do the Disengage action before moving away?

I thought it would be a no (part of the use of this command seems to be to generate opportunity attacks), but I might be mistaken.


Only if it can be used while still being the fastest option

Flee. The target spends its turn moving away from you by the fastest available means.

Usually, the fastest available means will be via the dash action. But this may differ depending on type of creature and/or class.

If the fastest way for that particular creature indeed includes using the disengage action (see goblin example below), then they are able to do so.

In the much more likely case of another method being the faster option, they must do that instead.


A goblin has an ability that allows them to disengage (only) as a bonus action so they would be able to both disengage and dash, for example. In this case, there is no way the goblin can go faster so using the disengage (bonus) action would be wholly within the rules. (thanks @András)

A rogue can disengage as a bonus action as well but, since they can also use that bonus action to dash, dashing twice (action+bonus action) would be the fastest option. So a rogue would not be able to use disengage.

Sidenote: OA aren't relevant in determining flee path

Command also says:

The spell has no effect if [...] your command is directly harmful to it.

Jeremy Crawford has ruled that:

Command: Flee isn't directly harmful; OA may or may not happen. "Jump in the lava" & "Stab yourself"—harmful.

So, OA should not be a consideration for the creature in adhering to the effects of the spell.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In what case would Disengage be faster than Dash? It's safer, yes, but not faster... or could it be ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gael L
    Jan 30 '18 at 2:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @GaelL: I can't think of any off the top of my head honestly, but I cannot possibly consider all the combinations of abilities and circumstances that could come up. So, I left it general. It should be easy to apply to any given situation, but difficult to prove for all situations. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jan 30 '18 at 2:36
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ A Rogue can Dash twice if he does not use Disengage, so he can't. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jan 30 '18 at 7:16
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @GaelL a Goblin can use Disengage from a bonus action, but not Dash, so for him the fastest way can still include Disengage. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jan 30 '18 at 7:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @András: Thanks! I have corrected the rogue and added the goblin. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rubiksmoose
    Jan 30 '18 at 14:10

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