The Command spell does the following:

You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn. The spell has no Effect if the target is Undead, if it doesn't understand your language, or if your command is directly harmful to it.

Can the Command spell be used in combat to force a foe to drink poison?

Presumably, the caster would hold out a vial of poison when giving the order.


1 Answer 1


It’s up to the DM.

The important bit here in the command spell description is:

The spell has no effect if the target is undead, if it doesn't understand your language, or if your command is directly harmful to it.

If the affected creature discerns that the command is harmful to it, the spell fails. But how the creature interprets the command is up to the DM.

Command does not charm the target.

This is a reason this plan may not work. Command does not charm the target - they still understand you to be a foe. It seems reasonable that they would be suspicious of the liquid you offer to drink and may determine that it is directly harmful.

Because of this, I would rule that it wouldn’t work, but it would not be unreasonable to rule that it does work. Ask the DM.

After all, the spell description itself says it’s up to the DM:

Some typical commands and their effects follow. You might issue a command other than one described here. If you do so, the GM determines how the target behaves. If the target can't follow your command, the spell ends.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As a DM I would potentially allow it but it would very much depend on the circumstances. If you take out a bottle labeled poison and give it to the player then it is highly likely they won’t. But, let’s say you have already secretly poured the poison into a glass of wine, you are passing a glass of wine over. In this case I would probably have the player make a deception role with a suitable DC based on the level of subterfuge. It also depends on the effect of the potion. So if a player commanded someone to drink a sleeping potion I may allow this as it won’t directly harm the character. \$\endgroup\$
    – Richard C
    Nov 22, 2020 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will just say that as a DM if a player asked me this would be a definite “you can certainly try” answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Richard C
    Nov 22, 2020 at 18:22

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