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In a recent combat situation, a Yuan-ti cast Suggestion on one of my players, a cleric, and ordered him to run away from combat. Ingeniously, another one of my players, a monk, made an opportunity attack against the cleric as he left melee range. Because the monk has the Sentinel feat, he reduced the cleric's speed to 0 and prevented him from leaving combat.

My question is whether an opportunity attack can be made against an ally. RAW, an opportunity attack can only be made against a "hostile" creature:

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach.

Would an opportunity attack against an ally compelled by Suggestion be valid in this case?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I love what the Monk did there \$\endgroup\$ May 20 at 17:43
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RAW As you say, the opportunity attack needs a hostile creature

As you pointed out opportunity attack reads:

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. To make the opportunity attack, you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature. The attack interrupts the provoking creature’s movement, occurring right before the creature leaves your reach.

The Cleric wasn't attacking the monk and the suggestion spell itself says:

You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two) and magically influence a creature you can see within range that can hear and understand you. Creatures that can't be charmed are immune to this effect. The suggestion must be worded in such a manner as to make the course of action sound reasonable. Asking the creature to stab itself, throw itself onto a spear, immolate itself, or do some other obviously harmful act ends the spell.

So for the Cleric to become hostile it must seem a reasonable course of action to them.

As a DM, however, if you want it to happen it can

I'd just ask myself:

  • Does the monk really know the Cleric is acting against their will? Or is this straying into meta knowledge
  • If the Cleric truely believes fleeing was a reasonable course of action and the Monk attacks them for it, is there conflict there?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ The monk would not know that the cleric was acting under the influence of a spell, as he could not use his reaction to identify the spell. The question begged is whether running away from combat (to the monk's knowledge, at the cleric's own will) could be considered a "hostile" thing to do as it works against the interests of the party. \$\endgroup\$
    – ConfusedDM
    May 19 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ConfusedDM The Monk doesn't know the Cleric is fleeing the whole encounter - they might just be repositioning. They would know once the Cleric is 30 ft away and not showing signs of slowing but by then it is too late. \$\endgroup\$ May 19 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Considering that the target of Suggestion needs to both be able to "hear and understand you", this means that you need to speak the instructions out loud. Further, since the spell requires both a material component and a verbal component, anyone that can see or hear the caster knows they are casting a spell, since they can see the handling of the material component and/or hear the speaking of the magical words. This means that knowing that the Yuan-ti just cast a spell on the monk and told him to go away is definitely not meta knowledge. \$\endgroup\$ May 19 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevanantBacon yeah, that makes sense. Still, this begs the question of whether a creature forced to do something in a way that acts against the interests of the party is hostile if they're not actually attacking the party. You might as well consider a player that fails a Dex saving throw to be hostile because their being hurt negatively affects the party. \$\endgroup\$
    – ConfusedDM
    May 19 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RevanantBacon The chances are it isn't meta but situations vary - in a world where magic is extremely rare how much knowledge does the monk really have on spells? They know the cleric agreed with the suggestion but do they know the spell was what caused that? These are just questions to consider, not a definite list of complaints. \$\endgroup\$ May 19 at 14:42

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