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So I'm going through the Raven Queen-patron warlock features (from Unearthed Arcana: Warlock & Wizard), and it mentions that you get a spirit that uses all the raven's game statistics. Ravens have an INT of 2 which means that they can be targeted by the spell Awaken.

Normal familiars from the find familiar spell are specifically mentioned as not being beasts, but no such mention has been made here (so far).

Does this mean that I could have a friendly druid cast awaken on my raven to improve its capabilities?

Also, would this allow me to converse with people that are far away from me, as I could telepathically speak to the raven and then the awakened raven could speak one language?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related to rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/134605/… \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Oct 31 '18 at 8:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PJRZ i specifically mentioned that the find familiar spell mentions that it is not a beast. The raven given by the raven queen has no mention of this fact. Any question linked to the 'Find familiar' spell does not help in this case \$\endgroup\$ – Karan Shishoo Oct 31 '18 at 8:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @casualcoder it's a related question of interest - someone reading about this may also be interested in how the spell applies to normal familiars. We understand that these circumstances are different, which is why it's not noted as a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Oct 31 '18 at 9:01
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The Sentinel Raven should probably not be a valid target for Awaken.

1. It's arguably a valid target, RAW

The Awaken spell states that the caster must:

touch a Huge or smaller beast or plant. SRD p. 120

The Sentinel Raven is a 'spirit sent by the Raven Queen to watch over you'. That 'spirit' 'assumes the form and game statistics of a raven' (Unearthed Arcana: Warlock & Wizard p. 2).

However, unlike familiars provided by the Find Familiar spell there is no explicit statement that the Sentinel Raven is not a beast. So it could be inferred that there is a loophole here that, RAW, allows the casting of Awaken on the Sentinel Raven.

When something takes on the game statistics of something else, that is normally considered to include the creature's entire stat block, bar anything that's been explicitly excluded. In this case that would include the Raven's status as a 'Tiny beast' (SRD. p.387) making it a valid target for Awaken.

2. However, I wouldn't allow it in my game

For the reasons you've stated, and probably others, it would be extremely beneficial to be able to cast Awaken on a Sentinel Raven.

However, Unearthed Arcana (where this archetype comes from) is playtest material and has been released for people to use without having been fully balanced for normal play.

It's likely that the Sentinel Raven has not been deliberately omitted from the usual prohibition that deliberately prevents familiars being appropriate targets for Awaken. This is the kind of oversight that's often removed before publication.

So, allowing Awaken to be cast on a Sentinel Raven in your game, while arguably not against RAW, could be a major source of imbalance.

It would certainly make Raven much more powerful than a normal familiar and so this loophole has arguably not been created deliberately. This is how I would rule it at my table, but you (or your DM) are welcome to rule as you wish at your own table.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So its another one of those RAW vs RAI arguments.... ahh well i guess we will need to wait for the actual publications/erratas before this is cleared up. Thanks for outlining how it works with RAW. Now i guess its upto my DM. \$\endgroup\$ – Karan Shishoo Oct 31 '18 at 9:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Currently as it stands your answer references the available material and makes comparisons to similar abilities, you have pointed out both why it does work RAW and why it should not be allowed. If another answer comes up at a later date with more up to date information I can make the change then, but for now this answer is the most appropriate and complete. \$\endgroup\$ – Karan Shishoo Oct 31 '18 at 9:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @casualplayer It's a general policy on this site to wait 24h before accepting questions, to avoid discouraging others from writing answers as well. 24h allow all timezones a chance to participate. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Oct 31 '18 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ It plays off the “Pact of the Chain” / “Find Familiar” mechanics, I concur that RAI (UA), it’s not a viable target for awaken. \$\endgroup\$ – XAQT78 Nov 1 '18 at 2:35

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