I'm playing an artificer that recently took the infusion for a Homunculus Servant. The party has an extra animated shield. I think the following is acceptable, but I wanted to see if I got it wrong anywhere.

  • Homunculus is considered a creature and thus has three attunement slots it can use. Furthermore being intelligent it could actually do so if directed.

  • Using magical tinkering, I could give it a small item that when tapped would speak the animated shield's 'activation' word.

  • The Homunculus could, therefore, with proper instruction, actively use an Animated shield during combat.

Is this correct? Am I missing anything? That's all completely legal without bending any rules?


1 Answer 1


This does not work.

The description of the animated shield magic item says:

While holding this shield, you can speak its command word as a bonus action to cause it to animate.

The one attuned to the shield and holding it must be the one to speak the command word. The description does not say “when the command word is spoken” (such as by an enchanted object); rather, it is quite specific that it must be spoken by the creature wielding the shield.

Unfortunately, the Languages trait of the homunculus servant says:

Languages understands the languages you speak

The homunculus servant understands the languages the artificer speaks, but does not have the ability to actually speak any.


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