The Telekinetic Feat (TCoE, p81) says that:

As a bonus action, you can try to telekinetically shove one creature you can see within 30 feet of you. When you do so, the target must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + the ability modifier of the score increased by this feat) or be moved 5 feet toward you or away from you. A creature can willingly fail this save.

So a wizard in my game uses hypnotic pattern and tries to shove the creature using Telekinetic's bonus action. I said that the creature would break free from the spell, since it's been shoved. but he argues that the spell says:

The spell ends for an affected creature if it takes any damage or if someone else uses an action to shake the creature out of its stupor. (PHB, p252)

meaning that it would take a full action or damage to break the spell, and he goes further to say that if a creature with multiple attacks took the shove action instead, it could free his allies only shoving and not damaging them or using its full action to free only one ally.

We didn't came to an agreement, yet I think both arguments are pretty reasonable, so I came here to ask you guys what your interpretations are.


This seems pretty straightforward to me. There are two ways to break the effect of hypnotic pattern

  1. The affected creature takes damage
  2. Another creature uses its action to shake the creature out of its stupor

Obviously, the first case doesn't apply here, since there's no damage taken.

I would say that the second case also doesn't apply

The phrasing "uses its action to shake the creature out of its stupor" implies that the action is intentional. Unless the other creature is trying to break the pattern effect, the condition will persist through all sorts of other actions - casting other spells on the creature, healing it, grappling it, or shoving it (either physically, or with telekinesis).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Bonus actions are actions - the rules introducing bonus actions clearly state this \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    May 9 at 5:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 That's the kind of 'makes no sense' position that forgets that the term bonus action is in fact an additional action: Bonus Actions Various class features, spells, and other abilities let you take an additional action on your turn called a bonus action Mark, I am commenting to Medix, not taking a position on your answer, but please consider that; you may or may not wish to adjust yor position. \$\endgroup\$ May 10 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Indeed - Action with A - and either of them is an additional action. \$\endgroup\$ May 10 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, that distinction was a bad move on my part. I've removed it. \$\endgroup\$ May 10 at 15:31

The spell explicitly states exactly when it ends

The spell ends for an affected creature if it takes any damage or if someone else uses an action to shake the creature out of its stupor.

The affected creature has not taken damage, and nobody has used their action to specifically take the "shake the creature out of its hypnotic pattern stupor" action, so the creature is not woken up.

This action of shaking a creature is its own unique action, and can be taken only when somebody is under the effects of hypnotic pattern. Taking the Attack action in order to shove a creature, or using the Telekinetic feat in order to shove a creature, is not the same as taking this completely separate action, so the creature is not woken up.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While I think this is a bit of hair splitting, the reasoning holds together if you use Action, versus action, as the premise. I'd rule otherwise, though: shoving and shaking are close enough to each other to have the same effect. That considered, I can see why you might (action ecnomy wise) prefer to impose the Action cost for overcoming that spell effect. (Given how often my bard uses Hypnotic Pattern, this interpretation would get her up vote (with extra cheese and extra pepperoni)). I won't vote either way. \$\endgroup\$ May 10 at 14:46

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