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Unfortunately as the DM, I'm not the creative type, so I'm having trouble with responding as the animal when the ranger uses Speak with Animals. It seems that their only motivations, from insects up to larger mammals, are eating, avoiding injury, and mating.

For example, what kind of a response would the ranger get when he asks a sparrow if the sparrow knows where the local dungeon is? Or a spider?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you clarify what you're asking? I've tried to sum it up in my edit to the title, but I'm not sure I've captured the intent of your question. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 27 '20 at 5:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm asking for ideas on how an animal would respond to Speak with Animals; what words would they use, grammar, etc. How would it sound? As an aside, I understand why my question was closed. Is there another place on this site I should/could have asked it? \$\endgroup\$ – Rock Stone Mar 29 '20 at 6:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, idea-generation questions are a poor fit for the site, as they're entirely opinion-based; all answers are equally valid, with no way to choose a single "best" answer". Such questions may be better suited to a forum or to Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 29 '20 at 6:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Thank you! I'll be posting over there. \$\endgroup\$ – Rock Stone Mar 29 '20 at 14:52
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You can use the spell to advance the plot and act as exposition

As per the description of Speak with Animals:

The knowledge and awareness of many Beasts is limited by their Intelligence, but at minimum, Beasts can give you information about nearby locations and Monsters, including whatever they can perceive or have perceived within the past day. You might be able to persuade a beast to perform a small favour for you, at the DM's discretion.

It is reasonable to expect the animal to be able to tell you about things it has seen in the last day or locations that are within the immediate locality.

This includes knowing where villages or landmarks are, if anything strange has passed through in the last 24 hours or other things that might have interested the animal.

You, as the DM, would have to tailor this to the animal e.g. birds would have covered a much larger area, and noticed more things, than a spider or toad would have.

This spell could be used to track targets if animals would have seen them, find nearby groups of people or prey, waterways, caves, quite a lot really.

Giving the animals personality and trying to express their motivations would probably be too much as most animals busy themselves with finding food and not getting eaten by something bigger. But both of those things require the animal to be observant to the area around it.

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