The Summon Bestial Spirit appeared in Unearthed Arcana 2020 edition Spells and Magic Tattoos.

In our campaign we are allowed to use the spells to playtest the material. I was wondering whether she could feasibly use this spell alongside Wildshape (something small), to be able to travel distances by air, or to infiltrate.

It came up when our druid used the air-based form of the Summon Bestial Spirit spell, which has a fly speed of 60 ft. The idea was to turn herself into a Tiny Beast such as a Spider (MM, p.337).

My additional query about this air travel is how she could potentially instruct the spirit.

Could she tell the spirit in advance of Wildshape (PHB, p.66) something like:

  • when I turn into a spider and go on your back, fly towards that castle;
  • if I tickle your right ear veer right;
  • if I tickle your left ear, veer left;
  • if I pull your feather, go up;
  • if I push down your feathers down, go down

2 Answers 2


This might work, but some things are up to the GM

You might be able to mount the spirit

The summon bestial spirit spell states:

[...] The spirit manifests physically in an unoccupied space that you can see within range. This corporeal form uses the Bestial Spirit stat block below [...]

From this we can conclude that the spirit is physically there and interactable (it is corporeal; it can be attacked as well). So now we just need to check whether it works as a mount. The rules on "Mounted Combat" state:

[...] A willing creature that is at least one size larger than you and that has an appropriate anatomy can serve as a mount [...]

If you become Tiny (through Wild Shape most likely), then the spirit is one size larger so it qualifies there; however, it will be up to the GM whether the spirit has the appropriate anatomy to serve as a mount for whatever creature you turn into.

You can command the spirit while Wild Shaped if you can speak a language

The rules on controlling a mount state:

[...] You can either control the mount or allow it to act independently. Intelligent creatures, such as dragons, act independently.

You can control a mount only if it has been trained to accept a rider. [...]

The spirit has an Intelligence of 4 but whether or not that counts as intelligent and whether or not the spirit has been trained to accept a rider will be up to the GM. Regardless, the summon bestial spirit spell states:

[...] The creature is friendly to you and your companions for the spell’s duration. In combat, the creature shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. It obeys verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you). If you don’t issue any, it defends itself but otherwise takes no action. [...]

Thus it will at least obey the commands you issue. Notably, if you don't issue any commands it simply won't do anything, though it's a bit unclear how (if at all) that clause applies outside of combat or if the spirit is considered an independent mount.

Important to remember is that the spirit understands any languages you speak, so if you somehow turned into a Tiny beast that knows a language, you could communicate verbally while in beast form (if you somehow turned into a telepathic Tiny beast, the GM will have to decide whether you can command the spirit). In other words, if the beast you turn into does not know a language, then you cannot command the spirit.

What sort of commands you can give is up to the GM

Issuing commands is something the GM will have to decide. Can you issue a non-immediate command: "fly up in five minutes"? What about tasks that take more than six seconds: "bring me home"? Do you have to issue a command every six seconds? How does the spirit having only 4 Intelligence impact this? It's unclear how complex commands can be and what their requirements are, so it'll be up to the GM.

Alternatively, just get grappled

The Small spirit can grapple (as far as I'm aware) every official PC race. This would mean it moves at half-speed but it still allows for a rather sizeable amount of aerial movement. (60 feet per turn using the Dash action, and you have 1 hour so that's roughly thirty-six thousand feet covered). This avoids practically all questions about appropriate anatomy, controlled vs independent mount, languages spoken, and command complexity while also letting you keep a use of Wild Shape.


Yes and No

Yes, you can combine a concentration spell with Wild Shape, since Wild Shape does not break concentration. But there are no guarantees this will work exactly as expected. There are various reasons why this should or shouldn't work at all, it's your DM who has to say the last word.

Why this might work:

  • The spell duration is 1 hour, it might be enough to reach the destination; the spell requires concentration, and Wild Shape itself doesn't break concentration
  • A Druid in Wild Form apparently can mount other creatures
  • According to the spell description you can command the spirit verbally, so you presumably can describe what do you want it to do; this also qualifies the spirit as "willing" target for mounting
  • The spirit can fly and being "corporeal" presumably can carry things and creatures, so it can carry the caster as well, providing its body is small enough

Why this won't work:

  • You've basically trying to mount the spirit manifestation, and the DM might rationalize it has no "appropriate anatomy" suitable for mounting
  • Alternatively, you might fall in the process. A DM might ask you for an ability check in midair to see if you can hold
  • The air manifestation stats block doesn't say the spirit can carry things at all; one might argue it can't carry creatures since has no action for this
  • A tiny spider might be not so tiny, so it might be too heavy for the spirit. See How tiny is a Tiny spider?
  • Spiders have poor vision, so you can't actually control the mount in air being in this form; you basically can't see the destination so you completely depend on the spirit capabilities
  • The spirit manifestation might be not smart enough to figure out any complex command (apparently, it has an Intellect of 4)
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Encryptor Thanks for your answer and reasoning - they are really helpful. I think the reference in the other answer as to being able to mount if the creature is one size larger would cover at least one of the problems (size). In your answer did you mean to put "Why this might not work" as opposed to will not? \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Jun 13, 2020 at 18:58

You must log in to answer this question.

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