I’m losing a lot of actions with my (Druid) conjured animals, especially when there are lots of actions, and the battle is fluid.

So many things change during a turn, so that my verbal command, issued during my turn, has typically long since been obsoleted or is far less optimal. For example, an invisible enemy is exposed, or a charmed target needs to be hit, or innumerable other circumstances arise.

Can I issue the “verbal command” on the conjured animals' turn? Or does the verbal command need to be issued on my turn?

(And is the answer an “official” answer? The DM might overrule it anyways.)

Otherwise it’s like tossing the dice and hoping my command is still applicable at the time of their action.

Being a concentration spell makes it worse as it limits my actions enough as it is without the added pain of losing a turn as the animals do something not what needed to be done.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Apr 12, 2020 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ What kind of commands are you giving that they're unable to follow by the time their turn arrives? There is a definite answer to this question under the rules, but I'd like to know the actual problem you're having. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Apr 12, 2020 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


You can only speak at all on your turn.

From the section titled "Other Activity on Your Turn":

You can communicate however you are able, through brief utterances and gestures, as you take your turn.

That said, I'm not sure what kind of commands you're giving, but in general they should be able to do something useful no matter how the situation changes before their turn. If the command is "protect that guy", then unless the guy teleports away or gets disintegrated immediately after that, they're going to be able to protect him somehow. (Unless nobody is threatening that guy, and then the fight's over, right?) If it's "attack the orcs" then they should pick an orc and attack until they run out of orcs.

Also remember that even with no orders, they will defend themselves against hostile creatures.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The OP has given some good examples of what commands may need to change round by round. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2020 at 9:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a severe and as far as I can tell unintended nerf to the spell, if the summoned creatures last for 2 fights and roll higher than the caster in fight 2 they do nothing on turn 1 because they haven't been given a command? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Apr 13, 2020 at 10:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri First, you can give them a command immediately after summoning them, and they'll act on it when their turn comes up. Second, if you're in combat, they should never "do nothing". They will defend themselves by instinct. You only need to give commands to get them to do something more specific. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Apr 13, 2020 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Pureferret No, there are no examples of commands. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Apr 13, 2020 at 14:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pureferret What I'm trying to get to is table protocol. Is a command "Kill the wizards", or "Move to grid position C11, use your Bite attack against the wizard on the right, and then your Claw attack against the wizard on the left"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Apr 13, 2020 at 18:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .