Bards have the Bardic Inspiration feature which states:

You can use a bonus action on your turn to choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d6.

The College of Creation Bard has the additional feature Animating Performance, which creates an "animated object:"

As an action, you can target a Large or smaller nonmagical item you can see within 30 feet of you and animate it. The animate item uses the Dancing Item stat block,

Similar class features, like the Battlesmith Artificer's Steel Defender or the Animate Objects spell, say that the created/animated objects are creatures. Animating Performance does not include this language. However:

  • The class feature states "It lives for 1 hour"
  • The Dancing Item stat block is the same as a monster stat block
  • The stat block lists the item as a Construct, which is a creature type

Is the College of Creation Bard's Animated Object a creature which can benefit from the Bard's Bardic Inspiration ability?


2 Answers 2


Yes, the Dancing Item is a creature when animated.

To explain it, we can refer to the Monster Manual, in its starting pages detailing what a monster is, in particular under the Type section (added emphasys mine).

A monster's type speaks to its fundamental nature. Certain spells, magic items, class features, and other effects in the game interact in special ways with creatures of a particular type.

Bardic Inspiration, as a class feature, states:

you use a bonus action on your turn to choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you.

The Dancing Item is, for all itents and purpuses of game rules, a creature other than yourself, and unless there are specific circumstances at play, it can hear you since it's nowhere stated that it can't do so, nor that it is under the deafened condition.
It is an eligible target for a bard's Bardic Inspiration class feature.

Effects such as those of the spell animate objects or simulacrum, for instance, have to specify whether the result of their effects is a creature or not due to it/them not having a stat block we can refer to. But when we do have a stat block that tells us there is a creature type, then all evidence is presented (as the second information in the stat block, actually).



Just because the text is similar does not make them become the same. The rules for a dancing item state very clearly that it is an item, not a creature. As such, it is not a valid target for anything that can only target creatures like bardic inspiration.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see anywhere in the Dancing Item stat block or the description for the Animating Performance that says the item is not a creature. It doesn't specifically say it is a creature either, but what about the stat block that classifies it as a construct, which AFAIK is a type of creature? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26, 2021 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson AFAIK one of the main basis of the 5E rules is that they work exactly as written. The rules for Dancing Item just says it is an item so that is all that it is. While it may have a stat block and be a construct, no rule states that only creatures have such a thing. Rock gnomes, for example, can create devices that have an AC and HP score and are able to move and perform actions, but aren't in any way indicated to be creatures. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 26, 2021 at 6:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ But Constructs are creatures... Therefore the stat-block for Dancing Item does state that it is a creature. The class ability does not specify, but the stat-block does. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 16:16

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