A Carpet of Flying has the following text:

You can speak the carpet's command word as an action to make the carpet hover and fly. It moves according to your spoken directions, provided that you are within 30 feet of it.

What I'm unsure here is whether you must use your action every turn in order to command the carpet to move, or if the action is just a one-time thing to activate the carpet in the first place (thus taking no action to command the carpet to move).

  • \$\begingroup\$ can you cite where the text is coming from for easier reference? \$\endgroup\$ May 22, 2018 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah! Well, the item's description in the Dungeon Master's Guide. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gael L
    May 22, 2018 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


One-time thing

I interpret your quote to mean that the "Command Word" is for activation. It doesn't specifically say that you have to use your action to keep moving it, much like you don't have to command a mount with your action.

There are some spells that specifically require using your action or bonus action to continuously move it each turn, such as animating moving illusions with silent image or major image, or moving spell effects around such as with spiritual weapon or Bigby's hand. The flying carpet doesn't specify anything like this (in the same way that those spells do) so there is no reason to think that further actions are needed beyond the initial "command".

If it was intended to work this way (moving it with an action each turn), it would make the flying carpet kinda useless, especially compared to the spell fly or a flying mount (such as via find greater steed, for example) since you wouldn't be able to do anything else but fly. As pointed out by @T.J.L., larger carpets with many on it wouldn't necessarily suffer this problem as only one of them needs to be "driving" with their action.

I'm also reminded of a Beast Master ranger's animal companion, which can be told to move to different positions via commands which require no action. Of course, the flying carpet doesn't specify, so that could be considered an argument to claim that it does require an action since it doesn't say "no action required by you", but I think this is better taken as setting a precedent for verbal commands not requiring actions, and besides, the flying carpet also doesn't say that it does require your action.

Also pointed out by @Premier Bromanov:

[T]here is a distinction between "Command Word" and spoken directions. Whereas the Command Word is coupled with an action and spoken directions are not, and are also generic.


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