In the Players Handbook I noticed Giant Insect spell. I was interested in Spider and Scorpion (I will further mention only the Scorpion), since they can be Beastmaster's pets. It looks like interesting function, but in this case intersect two very unique texts (Giant Insect spell and Ranger's Companion skill), both of which override rules of pets turn and I don't understand how scorpion will eventually act.

Giant Insect


You transform up to [...] one scorpion within range into giant versions of their natural forms for the duration. [...] a scorpion becomes a giant scorpion.

Each creature obeys your verbal commands, and in combat, they act on your turn each round. The GM has the statistics for these creatures and resolves their actions and movement.


Ranger's Companion

At 3rd level, you gain a beast companion that accompanies you on your adventures and is trained to fight alongside you. Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower [...].

The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative. On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action. If you don’t issue a command, the beast takes the Dodge action. [...]

What exactly happens if you cast a Giant Insect spell on your Ranger's Companion scorpion? How does he turn?

Im correct that the transorm form isn't "true form" of creature, and the Giant Scorpion still remains Ranger's Companion with all rules and bonuses? In fact, the Scorpion only has replaced Statistics and all other buffs/effects remain?

Logic suggests that the word act is explained here:

...and resolves their actions and movement

But the term itself is very confusing. I do understand correctly that the word "act" in context means "actions", "bonus actions" and "move" together? Or this term completely free for DM interpretations?

Ranger's Companion text and the Giant Insect text contain a unique override rules of acting. These rules are override or mashup with each other? In case of override, then Giant Insect begins to follow the rules of the Ranger's Companion, or vice verse?
Correct my interpretation if I'm wrong. Rules do not contradict each other, and hence mash up. The companion gains the same initiative as the player (Ranger's Companion), but acts on the player's turn (Giant Insect). Both the spell and the companion rules allow me to control the Giant Scorpion, but in case of spell the commands could be interpreted by GM, and now GM's jurisdiction is limited to the need to accurately execute my commands. However, now the Giant Scorpion can not perform any actions except Dodge if I don't order command with my action.

Since the wording of independent mount is almost similar to Ranger's Companion (for turn), I would like to mention it here. Thus we also get independent mounted Giant Scorpion with ALL its actions, but acting on OUR turn with OUR commands.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil Sorry for these troublings, I edited by advice \$\endgroup\$
    – Carpetman
    Feb 10, 2021 at 19:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ No worries! I gave the quotes a little trim to help focus in on the parts you're asking about (questions are under no obligation to quote the material they're asking about), cleaned out the old comments and reopened the question. I'd expect an answer'll come in shortly. Thanks for sticking with us. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Feb 10, 2021 at 19:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/q/116975/63061 \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Feb 12, 2021 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ and the inverse? If I polymorph a trex into a CR 1/4 and Companionize it (maybe have to charm it first), it remains a Beast and has less than 4 intelligence after the polymorph ends, does it still obey my commands? \$\endgroup\$
    – Cireo
    Jun 12, 2023 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


It is up to the GM

You are correct that various parts of these features contradict each other, and in many of those cases it is going to be up to the GM to determine what happens because there are not clear and defined rules for these cases.

Personally: The scorpion is no longer your Companion after giant insect

I would rule this way because the Ranger's Companion feature states:

[...] Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower [...]

Where giant insect makes a Giant Scorpion which is both Large and CR 4. For these reasons, I would dictate that the Ranger has no control over their Scorpion once it becomes a Giant Scorpion. Or rather, the rules from it being your Ranger Companion would no longer apply and instead the rules of Giant Scorpion would apply.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Personally, I would allow it to have both benefits. You're choosing a companion that is sub-optimal at best in every other situation, so that you can burn a level 4 slot to give it a temporary combat boost. It's like saying the fighter can no longer control himself because he got polymorphed by the party wizard into a T-Rex. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2021 at 20:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RevenantBacon And then I get to deal with trying to figure out whether it acts on the Druid's turn or the Ranger's and quite a few other interesting things.... I'll settle for the easier option on this one \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2021 at 20:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the spell was cast during combat (likely), it keeps going at the same time lt had already been going, since you can't change your position in initiative. If it was cast outside combat, I'd either let the players decide between themselves, or let it continue to act after the ranger, since it's still their companion and it wouldn't really be fair to let the druid steal it all the time. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2021 at 20:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 In that case, would you "unchain" Companion from Ranger, if he cast Enlarge on Medium size animal? In terms of RAW then the base form really not being saved in the game? After all, this is the same creature that has a continuous effect. Also, does the Ranger Companion check passively CR and size of beast, or only at the time of choosing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Carpetman
    Feb 10, 2021 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carpetman I would yes, and we don't know whether it passively checks or not but I would personally rule that it does. Similarly I would say that if you became immune to charms while charmed, the charm effect would stop charming you. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2021 at 21:14

Giant Insects interacts with Ranger's Companion depending on CR and size.

In the description there is no particular text that says something like If the targeted creature is a ranger's companion/familiar then [this happens]: this means that the normal effects of Giant Insects take place even if there is a special bond within the beast and another creature.

If the ranger's companion is a valid target of the Giant Insects spell, then two cases arise: the giant version has CR\$\leq 1/4\$ or the CR is greater than \$1/4\$. Moreover, the size of the creature has to be taken into account.

CR \$\leq1/4\$

In this case, per description of Giant Insects, the stats block becomes the one of the giant version: the CR requirement for being a ranger's companion is satisfied. If the size requirement is satisfied too, then the buffs still apply:

Choose a beast that is no larger than Medium and that has a challenge rating of 1/4 or lower. Add your proficiency bonus to the beast’s AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls, as well as to any saving throws and skills it is proficient in. Its hit point maximum equals the hit point number in its stat block or four times your ranger level, whichever is higher.

For example, if a ranger's companion is a owl then its giant version has CR \$1/4\$, but its size is Large: all the ruling of Giant Insects apply. If the ranger's companion is a badger, its giant version has CR \$1/4\$ and it is a Medium beast: all the above buffs are still active.

Turn in combat

When the beast is still a ranger's companion, the main issue regards when the beast takes its turn: the rules of Ranger's companion and Giant Insects do not give any guidance in one sense or another, hence in this case the decision is left to the DM.

CR \$>1/4\$

In this case, the beast no longer satisfies the CR requirement: the rules of Giant Insects override completely the ones of the ranger's companions. The stats of the creature become the stats of the giant version.

In your example, the ranger's companion is a scorpion: targeting it with Giant Insects transforms it in a Giant Scorpion, with all the stats of the latter but without the buffs of being a ranger's companion.

Turn in combat

Since the beast is no longer a ranger's companion, the turn in combat must be managed following the rules of the spell.

What happens when Giant Insects ends?

The beast is again the ranger's companion, per description of the spell.

What happens if an enemy casts Giant Insects on my companion?

Unfortunately, there is no saving throw against this spell: the enemy takes (temporally) control of the beast, due to the fact that there are no special rulings for companions and/or familiars. The stats block is again based on the CR.

Credits to Medix2's answer that inspired the building block of mine.


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