The allips attack Whispers of Madness allows it to guide 3 creatures to attack other friendly creatures as there reaction if they fail a wisdom saving throw. Last night one of my players asked is this counted as a charm effect and so gave them advantage on the saving throw. Because Charm effects are usually stated as such I had a table ruling that no it didn't but I wanted to check if this was correct.
No. An effect charms only if it says it does.
The Allip’s Whisper of Madness says:
The allip chooses up to three creatures it can see within 60 feet of it. Each target must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw, or it takes 7 (1d8 + 3) psychic damage and must use its reaction to make a melee weapon attack against one creature of the allip’s choice that the allip can see.
No mention of charm, so it does not charm. Compare to the Harpy’s song:
The harpy sings a magical melody. Every humanoid and giant within 300 feet of the harpy that can hear the song must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed until the song ends.
“Charmed” is a specific condition with a very specific effect:
- A charmed creature can't attack the charmer or target the charmer with harmful abilities or magical effects.
- The charmer has advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the creature.
So for a feature to cause the charmed condition, it must explicitly state that it does. How else are you supposed to know?