A Dryad can use Fey Charm to charm a beast or humanoid. The result is that:

  • The target is charmed; it cannot willingly harm the Dryad.
  • The target is charmed; the Dryad's social checks against it have advantage.
  • The target 'regards the dryad as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected.'
  • The target 'takes the Dryad's requests or actions in the most favourable way it can.'

The Dryad can issue commands to beasts using its ability to speak with beasts and plants. Can it also issue commands to charmed humanoids who do not share an understanding of Elvish or Sylvan (the two languages spoken by the Dryad), or is the ability's effect limited in these cases to the effects of the charmed condition and the regarding of the Dryad as a trusted friend?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ One interesting elaboration on this would be to ask if a charmed person would be compelled to use other methods at their disposal (such as innate telepathy or a spell) to bridge the language barrier with their "friend" and thus enable the Dryad's requests to be understood. \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    Jun 7 at 19:38
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @gto I don't see that as something to consider. The Charmed condition doesn't say anything about forcing you to attempt to initiate a conversation with the charmer, and I absolutely can't see any case where stating that you have to spend a spell slot because someone Charmed you could ever be considered reasonable. Plus, most telepathy available to players (such as the one from the warlock class) is one-way. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7 at 19:48
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @RevanantBacon I'm not arguing the case one way or the other. I'm simply saying it seems like a necessary addendum to the discussion because, not considering rules and only imagining in-game reality, it's an entirely reasonable speculation. If you suddenly ran into a "trusted friend to be heeded and protected" that you could only communicate with through magical means, wouldn't you automatically expend the resources to do so (unless there was a dire, urgent need to conserve)? \$\endgroup\$
    – gto
    Jun 7 at 21:05
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @RevanantBacon it's an inference from the description of Fey Charm - you regard the Dryad as a trusted friend. That's not flavour text! It invites DM adjudication and does not arbitrarily exclude the use of spell slots. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lovell
    Jun 8 at 14:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @RevanantBacon it's not a hidden rule - it's in the description of the Dryad's Fey Charm ability. It's what the ability says it does, so it's what the ability does. Spells and abilities which inflict the charmed condition often come coupled with a more precise, subjective description of what's going on. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lovell
    Jun 8 at 20:48

The dryad can issue any command it likes, but the text of the spell spell doesn't say that it grants a shared language or psychic bond. It doesn't matter how dear to me my friend is; if we don't speak a common language, we will have trouble communicating.

However, spoken language is not the only form of communication! If the dryad can communicate a request in such a way that the target can understand it, the target will do their best to fulfill it. Intelligent creatures (including most adventurers) will understand a lot of nonverbal commands (ex: holding a finger over your mouth will be taken as a command to be silent).


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