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If my Shadow Sorcerer survives to level 6, I will have a Hound of Ill Omen.

As a Bonus Action, you can spend 3 Sorcery Points to magically summon a hound of ill omen to target one creature you can see within 120 feet of you.
{snip stats and moving through objects and creatures}
The hound appears in an unoccupied space of your choice within 30 feet of the target.

I will summon it next to the target for the purposes of this question. (within 5')

Roll Initiative for the hound.

For this question, the Hound's initiative roll ends up being the same as mine.

Additionally, while the hound is within 5 feet of the target, the target has disadvantage on Saving Throws against any spell you cast.

Here is where the order of operation concern comes in.

  1. I have used a bonus action to summon the Hound

  2. I can use an Action to cast a spell: I specifically want to cast Hold Person.

  3. The Hound can attack on its turn (when I summon it)

    It is my understanding that the target will have disadvantage on the saving throw versus Hold Person. If the target fails its save, the Hound will be able to attack the held target with advantage, and will have an automatic critical on any hit.

Is there a problem with this order of operations? The bonus action should be usable by me before I cast that spell, and summoning the Hound does not appear to be a 'cast a spell' action.

On the rare occasion that our initiative aligns, I'd like to take full advantage of it.

Will this work?

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You can definitely summon the hound and cast a spell

The Hound of Ill Omen feature states:

[...] As a bonus action, you can spend 3 sorcery points to magically summon a hound of ill omen to target one creature you can see within 120 feet of you. [...]

Note that this is just a bonus action, it isn't any sort of more specific thing so you could call it the "Hound of Ill Omen bonus action" if you wanted. The bottom line is that it doesn't count as casting a spell or anything similar, so that's one base covered.


You can definitely summon the hound adjacent to the target

You are also correct that the hound can appear directly next to the target. The only restrictions are that it must be within 120 feet of you and within 30 feet of the target. Being next to the target is certainly being less than 30+ feet away.

If the hound is directly next to the target, they are within 5 feet of it and thus it will have disadvantage on its saving throw against hold person.


It is up to the DM whether the hound goes after you or not

The rules on "Initiative" state:

If a tie occurs, the DM decides the order among tied DM-controlled creatures, and the players decide the order among their tied characters. The DM can decide the order if the tie is between a monster and a player character. Optionally, the DM can have the tied characters and monsters each roll a d20 to determine the order, highest roll going first.

Weirdly enough, the hound isn't exactly DM-controlled since what it does is completely predetermined, so the DM does not decide the tie break. Meanwhile it also isn't a character, so players do not decide the tie break. Since there simply isn't a rule, this is likely left up to the DM. If it happens that the hound goes before you, the hound would not be able to take its first turn until everybody else had taken one (similar to if it rolled an initiative directly before your own).

I personally would let the player decide when the hound goes because the hound is formed from a player's class feature, but that's just my reasoning.


Assuming the hound goes after you, this all works

Thus if the hound goes after you, you can cast hold person and do whatever else with the rest of your turn, and then it will be the hound's turn, when it can make a Bite attack against the target with advantage.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jun 28 at 4:06

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