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Assuming that you use summon greater demon (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 166), and on your next turn, you still have the "control" over him granted by summon greater demon.

Now I want to use charm monster (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 151) on the demon, so that (assuming I succeed) if I lose my concentration on the summon greater demon spell, I still have a demon by my side for 1d6 rounds.

Does the demon have advantage on the saving throw against charm monster due to the fact that it's hostile to me?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close it as too broad - we have a One question = One question policy, and while your questions are related, they are still different questions. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Nov 18 '18 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The behavior is clearly explained in the spell's description. What part of that is confusing? \$\endgroup\$ – Davo Nov 18 '18 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is still two questions - one asks whether the demon is hostile or not. The other asks about Charm Monster, which again might be related (since if the demon is friendly you don't even need to cast Charm Monster), but a different question altogether. Also, as Davo mentioned, please clarify your question and your confusion, otherwise we would be just reading the spell for you. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Nov 18 '18 at 18:16
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The demon is hostile to you. It is hostile to other demons. It is hostile to all gods. It is hostile to reality itself. Demons are an extension of the abyss, which itself is a living tear in the multiverse that seeks its ultimate undoing as an expression of endless chaos.

So yeah, the demon is hostile to you, and it has advantage against your charm spells. Don't summon demons, unless you want to die fighting them.

Mechanically: Most Demons have magical resistance, and nearly all of the Greater Demons have it. So to some degree, its hostility is a moot point.

Magic Resistance: The creature has advantage on Saving Throws against Spells and other magical effects.

In the case of the summoning spell, you can impose disadvantage on the demon's saves if you happen to have acquired its true name.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I get your point, anyway I'm interested in the more mechanical aspect of the scenario. For example I'm pretty sure that a charmed demon isn't hostile to you. \$\endgroup\$ – F.Capoccia Nov 18 '18 at 20:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ "It is hostile to other demons"; no it isn't, the spell description specifically says it isn't. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 18 '18 at 23:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS Actually it merely specifies that the summoned demon will begin by attacking all the non-demons, at which point the session would be over for the adventurers assuming it ran out of mortal targets. But either way, demons are constantly attacking each other, that's fundamental D&D lore. It's only when they're grossly outclassed by a larger demon that they wouldn't try to murder it. \$\endgroup\$ – AshRandom Nov 18 '18 at 23:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would you mind if I summoned a demon for the sole purpose of destroying it for XP? \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Nov 19 '18 at 1:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ In a lore sense, I agree with you, but not in a mechanics sense (i.e. for the purposes of charm monster). \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 19 '18 at 7:52
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It is hostile, but that will not affect charm monster until you lose control

My other answer makes the assumption that hostile means the same thing as fighting against you, but this isn't necessarily true. Taking from this answer to a different question about what hostile means, the DMG (pg. 244) describes the following:

  • A friendly creature wants to help the adventurers and wishes for them to succeed.
  • An indifferent creature might help or hinder the party, depending on what the creature sees as most beneficial.
  • A hostile creature opposes the adventurers and their goals but doesn't necessarily attack them on sight.

Since a hostile creature "doesn't necessarily attack them on sight", this means that a demon doesn't have to be fighting the party to be considered hostile, and clearly demons are hostile to everything with regards to opposing everyone's goals.

Despite being hostile, the demon isn't fighting against you initially because the summon greater demon spells allows you to maintain control over the demon until it breaks free, after which point it attacks any non-demon, including you, the caster.

Whilst it isn't free of your control, it will not fight you unless you fight it first, so it will not give the demon advantage against charm monster for that reason, since that spell specifically says "fighting".

Charm monster (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, pg. 151) says:

A creature you can see must make a Wisdom save, and has advantage if you or your companions are fighting it. If it fails, it's charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions harm it. The charmed creature is friendly to you. When the spell ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you.

Also note that, as described in this question, some demons have Magic Resistance, meaning those demons will have advantage against charm monster anyway, regardless of whether you're fighting it or not, so although it's hostile, and you may or may not be fighting it, it'll still have advantage on the saving throw.

Also note that having used its true name as part of the summoning spell only affects the summoning spell, so it'll always have advantage against charm monster, being a different spell.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree, but I'd like to also note that it doesn't matter if the demon is fighting you. It only matters if you (or your companions) are "fighting" the demon. If you have not made attacks against the demon then you are not fighting it. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan B Nov 20 '18 at 20:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DanB That's a good point, I suppose you would have to fight back before you are considered fighting it. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 21 '18 at 0:03
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No, the demon would not make the saving throw with advantage*

* At least, not due to charm monster; see this question about the demon's magical resistances. This answer is ignoring that for the purposes of keeping the focus on the circumstances of advantage granted by charm monster.

The demon is not initially hostile to you, since it is under your command. Narratively, it hates you, but mechanically, it is not able to attack you unless you attack it first (or until it breaks free of your control).

Summon greater demon (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, pg. 166-167) says:

When you summon it and on each of your turns, you can issue a verbal command for its next turn without using any action. If you issue no command, it attacks any creature in reach that's attacked it.

At the end of the demon's turns, it makes a Charisma save. It has disadvantage if you say its true name. On a success, your control of the demon ends and it spends its turns attacking the nearest non-demon.

After it breaks free of your control, it can target you as a valid "non-demon" target, so it is hostile at that point, and would therefore have advantage on the saving throw for charm monster. Before then, however, it would not because it is not fighting against you at that point.

Charm monster (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, pg. 151) says:

A creature you can see must make a Wisdom save, and has advantage if you or your companions are fighting it. If it fails, it's charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions harm it. The charmed creature is friendly to you. When the spell ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you.

So if you plan to use charm monster as a failsafe against it attacking you for the next minute, then it seems like a sound plan to me. Bear in mind that the Charmed condition only means it won't attack you, so you still don't strictly have it "by your side" if it breaks free of your control; even while charmed, it'll still do what it wants so long as that doesn't involve directly attacking you.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I do agree with the point that, if you are not actively fighting the demon, then it doesn't have advantage. But don't really get your initial point that just because it can't attack unless you issue no command then it isn't implicitly hostile (not that the spell says it IS, but just don't think this can be implied from the 'no attack until you issue no command' statement). \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Nov 19 '18 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PJRZ Perhaps I'm not adding the emphasis correctly. Where I embolden "it attacks any creature in reach that's attacked it.", what I'm really trying to stress is that it only attacks creatures that attacked it, so unless you smack your own demon (all whilst you still have control over it), then there's no way it can be considered hostile to you at that point; it only attacks those who attack it (i.e. it's only hostile to those who attack it or those you tell it to attack). Does that clear anything up (and is there anything I need to adjust in my answer to make that clearer)? \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Nov 19 '18 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see what you mean now. Though I think that statement about attacking is just intended to just be a default action in lieu of you not directly commanding otherwise (because the summoning spell is still forcing its behaviour until it makes the Charisma save) and doesn't outright say anything about its hostility towards the caster. \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Nov 19 '18 at 15:42
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Yes and no .. the demon is hostile in the manner of characteristics of being a demon, but as far as the spell text is as follow:

On a successful save, your control of the demon ends for the rest of the duration, and the demon spends its turns pursuing and attacking the nearest non-demons to the best of its ability.

As per spell text, if the demon fails the save it will attack non-demons.

While the spell lasts, the summoned demon can't cross the circle or harm it, and it can't target anyone within it.

This prevents the demon from actively targeting you.

Doesn’t mean they can’t be verbally hostile towards you.

Specific > General

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that the circle is optional. \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Nov 18 '18 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Still relevant, can’t imagine not doing the circle :/ considering without the circle you become viable target ergo hostile (combat) towards you? \$\endgroup\$ – XAQT78 Nov 18 '18 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you flipped it: if the demon fails the save it will follow your command or "attacks any creature in reach that's attacked it" if there is no command. Anyway, what prevent me from commanding him to intentionally fail saving throws against my spells ? \$\endgroup\$ – F.Capoccia Nov 18 '18 at 19:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @F.Capoccia: See this question: Can you choose to fail a saving throw? (Also, in-universe, creatures have no concept of what a "saving throw" is or what it means to fail one.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 18 '18 at 20:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. The question is about whether or not the demon will have advantage on their save, but you've sidetracked yourself to a discussion on hostility and don't actually answer the question. You may get a much better response when focusing on a question on keeping your train of thought without derailing yourself with disjointed statements that aren't in context or explained how they relate to your overall answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Nov 20 '18 at 18:16

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