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The Command Spell says:

You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn.

The definition of the word Doff in the players handbook is:

This is the time it takes to take off the item.

Can I use the Command spell to force a target to start removing his armor. If yes, does he do it to completion? This would be 5 minutes for heavy armor.

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The spell is almost entirely up to the GM; but it does not last longer than 1 round

Much of the spell is left up to the GM's interpretation:

[...] You might issue a command other than one described here. If you do so, the GM determines how the target behaves. [...]

What any given word that is not one of the five listed does (Approach, Drop, Flee, Grovel, Halt) is up to the GM. "Doff" is not listed, so all of its effects will vary from table to table.


That said, the spell does have a duration of "1 Round" from which we can conclude that its magic does not persist beyond the first round where it takes effect. The rules on Duration state:

A spell's duration is the length of time the spell persists. [...]

The spell has no lasting effects for commands that may take a long time to perform. To manipulate somebody's actions across multiple turns you will need a different kind of spell such as suggestion or dominate monster.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Right but if he starts taking it off, you could argue it would take at least 1 rd to put it back on right? \$\endgroup\$ – Sam Lacrumb Jun 4 at 4:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SamLacrumb The idea of partially-removed armor and begin stopped mid-process isn't something the rules cover. There's no "half-armored" state that you can ever be in, nor are there rules on the game-ramifications of having gotten one tenth of the way through removing your armor; does your AC lower? Are you worse at Dex saves? Is your speed lowered? Any sort of ramifications are going to be entirely up to the GM \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jun 4 at 4:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SamLacrumb Assuming the target starts taking off its armor, what can 1 round even amount to when you need 1 minute (10 rounds) to doff light/medium armor or five times as much to doff heavy armor? It's as if you started untying a shoe but weren't even halfway done with the first shoelace. \$\endgroup\$ – Kogarashi Kaito Jun 4 at 4:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SamLacrumb There is also the problem that you have a verb but no noun associated. Doff what? Completely up to the target to decide what to doff. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jun 4 at 12:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch And probably there is more space for ambiguity or misunderstandings. What if the targeted creature doesn't really understand the command or the command is confusing: i.e. "fly" to a human, or "deblurg" (or similar nonsense). The target feels forced to comply but doesn't know how. Probably the round is spent in mild puzzlement (DM call, of course). Well, it could be a tactic for stalling in dire situations! \$\endgroup\$ – Lorenzo Donati -- Codidact.com Jun 4 at 18:23

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