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I was looking at the shillelagh cantrip, whose description states (emphasis mine):

The wood of a club or quarterstaff you are holding is imbued with nature's power. For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon, and the weapon's damage die becomes a d8. The weapon also becomes magical, if it isn't already. The spell ends if you cast it again or if you let go of the weapon.

And then looking at the animate objects spell, whose description states:

Each target animates and becomes a creature...

And later lists different object stat blocks, including their attacks.

A number of questions came to mind:

  • Can you use your spellcasting ability for the animated object's
    attacks?
  • Does shillelagh changing the damage die affect the animated object's statblock?
  • And also, is this even possible? Shillelagh ends when you let go of the weapon (which is now a creature), and the rule on "Moving Around Other Creatures" states:

    Whether a creature is a friend or an enemy, you can't willingly end your move in its space.

What happens when you cast animate objects on a weapon affected by shillelagh?

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You cannot cast animate objects on a weapon affected by shillelagh.

The description for animate objects specifies:

Choose up to ten nonmagical objects...

The description of shillelagh states:

The weapon also becomes magical, if it isn't already.

Therefore a weapon affected by shillelagh is not a valid target for the animate objects spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You could conceivably cast Shillelagh on an animated object you were holding. I don't think it would break the Animate Objects spell. It wouldn't have any effect at all on the Animated Object stats, though - those are entirely independent of any weapon stats. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Jul 26 at 20:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden I would say you wouldn't be able to do it in that order either because it is no longer a weapon, but instead a creature. That would be like saying you can wield your gnome companion and cast barkskin and shillelagh on him. \$\endgroup\$ – BCPowers Jul 27 at 21:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BCPowers Casting Barkskin on a gnome does not make them a club or staff. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Jul 30 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenBarden And objects under the effect of animate objects are no longer weapons. \$\endgroup\$ – BCPowers Aug 28 at 0:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BCPowers I assert that that's "DM ruling" territory, rather than being clearly determined one way or the other. "gnome with barkskin" is a much clearer case. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Barden Aug 28 at 14:58

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