I am playing a lvl-4 halfling druid with a background as a woodworker craftsman. I would like to be able to carve small wooden creatures, and then animate them. The 5th-level spell Animate Objects seems to be a bit of overkill for this application; is there a more appropriate alternative?

We are playing AL, and the DM is quite a stickler for rules, but we can use PHB plus 1 other hardcover 5e.

This question is being driven more by a character-building motive of trying to connect the character's previous life as a wood carver to his current life as a spell casting adventurer. There is no specific (e.g., combat-related) goal.

I just thought it would be cool to have some wooden creatures to play with that can:

  • be sent on errands
  • fake out monsters/guards
  • engage in combat distraction
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    \$\begingroup\$ What do you want the small wooden creatures to be able to do? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 4 '19 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: How would you bring inanimate object to life as allies? \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Mar 4 '19 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ How are you planning on getting access to animate objects as a druid? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 4 '19 at 16:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have access to my books at the moment, but IIRC there's a pet-summoning subclass for the Druid in XGtE that might fit this character. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Mar 5 '19 at 2:36

Tiny Servant

In Xanathar's Guide to Everything, pp. 168-169, there is a spell called tiny servant that seems to be what you're looking for. It's a 3rd level spell, so you would have the necessarily spell slots next level (when you reach 5th level), but it's only on the wizard's spell list, not the druid's.

If there's a way that you or your DM can enable your druid to have access to this spell, it would enable you to animate one object rather than many objects like animate objects does.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are there by-the-book rules for accessing other classes spells? We are playing AL, and the DM is quite a stickler for rules, but we can use PHB +1 other hardcover 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – Jeremy Mar 4 '19 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jeremy: The way suggested above would not work according to AL rules. I would also recommend you add that info into your question! (along with the clarifications asked in the comments) \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Mar 4 '19 at 19:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ OP has updated what they want their carvings to do, you may want to adjust your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 4 '19 at 19:53

Consider a slight reflavoring of Conjure Animals.

The 3rd level Druid spell Conjure Animals states that:

You summon fey spirits that take the form of beasts and appear in unoccupied spaces that you can see within range.

It would be nearly equivalent, mechanically, if your character first tossed out his wooden animal statues to the desired locations, and they then grew and animated into the appropriate animals (of a CR appropriate for the spell, of course).

According to the spell,

Each beast is also considered fey, and it disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.

Your statues would thus be destroyed after the spell ended or the animal was reduced to 0 HP.

You would need to discuss with your DM whether or not this will be allowed, but as this is a change to the spell's flavor rather than mechanics, for the most part, they may be willing to accommodate you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related on How do you determine which beast appears during conjure animals? This may also impact the DMs decision. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 4 '19 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this idea; might be worth making each beast also a construct-type creature rather than also a fey-type creature to better fit the "animated objects" theme, but that depends on how far their DM is willing to go for the sake of reflavouring, since anti-fey spells and effects would no longer work, etc... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Mar 4 '19 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS - Yeah, that's moving from flavor change to mechanical change and creating a homebrew spell. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 4 '19 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ OP clarified in a comment that they are playing with adventurer's league rules. I'm pretty sure that the fluff won't matter, but the concern of what beasts are conjured becomes more of an issue. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 4 '19 at 19:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ OP has updated what they want their carvings to do, you may want to adjust your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 4 '19 at 19:54

There is no druid spell that is able to do that below 5th level

Unfortunately what you want to do is simply not a part of any druid spell lower than 5th level. In fact, animate objects is also not on the druid spell list which means you aren't able to even cast that.

If there was something specific you wanted the tiny creatures to do you could possibly reflavor other spells to have them enacting that effect, but otherwise you don't really have any options as a druid.

Tiny servant if you can somehow get access to wizard spells

If you were a wizard or could get access to the 3rd-level wizard spell tiny servant you might be able to get some semblance of what you want, but there is no obvious or easy way to do that (and you can't even cast 3rd level spells yet).

  • \$\begingroup\$ OP has updated what they want their carvings to do, you may want to adjust your answer. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 4 '19 at 19:53

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