Can you use your Familiar to wake another creature that is affected by the Sleep spell? Or the Eyebite spell? It seems like an extremely powerful use of an already overpowered Spell, negating a 6th-level spell.

Find Familiar states:

Your familiar acts independently of you, but it always obeys your commands. In combat, it rolls its own initiative and acts on its own turn. A familiar can't attack, but it can take other actions as normal.

And Sleep states:

each creature affected by this spell falls unconscious until the spell ends, the sleeper takes damage, or someone uses an action to shake or slap the sleeper awake.

Eyebite states:

Asleep. The target falls unconscious. It wakes up if it takes any damage or if another creature uses its action to shake the sleeper awake.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ how long would you remain asleep if a cat were licking your face? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 3:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast not long, I wake up if my cats so much as crawl onto my bed lmao \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 15:50

1 Answer 1



It seems like your question is just looking for verification. Your cited sources and chain of reasoning is sound; familiars can spend their action to wake creatures up (for relevant spells).

Up to DM Fiat, of course

D&D descriptions are generally written geared toward the player, not toward every possible creature, and it is assumed the DM will adjudicate other cases. For example, the Gem of Brightness (DMG, p.171) says you can

use an action to speak one of three command words

but this clearly does not automatically give a wielding creature the ability to speak. A DM is well within their rights to rule that a familiar cannot wake a sleeping creature up, or cannot do so in the limited time given by their action- perhaps the magical slumber induced is deep, and would require more force to jar the creature awake than a Tiny beast is capable of exerting.

A note on Sleep

For at least one of the cited spells: If you don't want familiars to wake up your players who have been afflicted by sleep, but are loathe to rule otherwise- catch the familiar within the sleep effect as well.

Alternatively, the general counter for Find Familiar applies- if the familiar has been participating in combat, even a semi-intelligent enemy will eliminate the familiar. (In particular, spellcasting enemies are often capable of doing so without hurting their action economy by catching them within a damaging area of effect.)


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