If a PC casts dominate person on an NPC, can they (the PC) require the NPC to cast spells? Some of the spells I had in mind were fireball, dominate, etc.


1 Answer 1


Yes, you can order a dominated NPC to cast spells

With a few caveats:
Let's look at some of the details in the spell Dominate Person

You can use this telepathic link to issue commands to the creature while you are conscious (no action required), which it does its best to obey.

You can specify a simple and general course of action, such as “Attack that creature,” “Run over there,” or “Fetch that object.”

You can use your action to take total and precise control of the target. Until the end of your next turn, the creature takes only the actions you choose, and doesn’t do anything that you don’t allow it to do.

During this time you can also cause the creature to use a reaction, but this requires you to use your own reaction as well. (SRD, p. 138, same as PHB)

Any spell that can be cast "to attack" or otherwise "do something" is eligible for you to require of the dominated NPC as long as they have it prepared/known and have the spell slot.

Note that you can also take control of the NPC with your action and exercise that with a bit more precision, with the risk that anything that it would do naturally isn't done - such as move out of the way of a rolling boulder - unless you tell it to do so. In this usage, you'd need to tell the NPC "move away from the rolling boulder" or said NPC would just stand there.

And, if it knows counterspell, or has it prepared, you can use your reaction and make the NPC use its reaction to cast counterspell (if the situation calls for it).

Getting that NPC to cast 'dominate person' on another NPC gets into some recursive shenanigans, but if you took that "total and precise control" that looks to be a way to 'chain' dominate person (providing the spell saves are missed).

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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Better? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 26, 2021 at 18:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, but one final question, lets say you were to command the to NPC to defend itself from any threat other than myself ( to stop a rebellion ) and then, since the command isn't done, I tell it to cast a spell. I'm basically asking if you are have two commands running at the same time \$\endgroup\$ Apr 26, 2021 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ The general command you offer is going to still be done under two provisions of the spell text; if you need to override what they are doing, you use your action to take over for that one round to get a specific thing done, and then they go back to 'defend themself' for the rest of the duration Make sense? Heck, under the first provision, you can tell them to resume "defending yourself" and it doesn't require any action from you. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 26, 2021 at 18:39

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