Creatures with the minion trait (like animal companions or familiars) get 2 actions when their master uses an action to order them to act.

The confused condition causes the creature to attack wildly.

What would happen when these 2 things combine? Can the minion now act even without its master using an action? Does the minion still get 2 actions, or does he now get 3? What would be its initiative?

If the confused minion acts as a "normal" creature with its own initiative and 3 actions, I could see a player confusing its animal companion on purpose as a viable strategy, on the other hand if the player can just not order anything so the minion does nothing despite being confused, it would make no sense.


1 Answer 1


The minion always has 2 actions, but the rest is ambiguous.

This is a difficult question since the rules around a minion taking actions that it isn't explicitly commanded to do are unclear. I don't know of any errata that covers this case either, in which case it would be an ambiguous ruling (see "ambiguous rules" sidebar) and therefore at the GM's discretion. My conclusion from reading the condition and minion rules is that the minion would have two actions and would use them without needing to be commanded, but it would still be restricted by the Confused condition. My reasoning is as follows:

Nothing would override the minion trait, so following the trait's rules means that the minion would still only have 2 actions and would act on your turn, though at what part of the turn it would act is unclear. (Personally, I GM a group where one player has a minion with the Independent ability, and I rule that the minion acts after the player has run out of actions but before their turn ends.)

The Minion trait does offer examples of times in which a minion would take actions even if it wasn't commanded by its master: "If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for long enough, typically 1 minute, mindless minions usually don't act, animals follow their instincts, and sapient minions act how they please."

The Independent familiar ability also creates a case where a minion acts without being commanded. From the text of that ability, the Minion trait, and the text of the Confused condition's second paragraph, it would seem that a minion can act without being commanded, and it follows that the minion would use those actions to attack wildly per the condition's rules.

To me, this offers some pros and cons to a player who might consider confusing their own minion: they won't have to command it, but the minion might endanger itself or attack the player's allies.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would rule that Minions would act during their master's turn but before Actions are performed 1) to prevent them from avoiding the issue by not Sustaining a spell or similar and 2) because NPC's win initiative ties. Not sure if you think that adds to your answer, but thought I'd point out my reasoning. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2021 at 19:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I hadn't considered that NPCs win ties; that's a good point. Personally I like giving players the option of getting out of the effect, but your interpretation is probably closer to RAI. Ultimately it's GM preference, so I'll leave the answer unedited. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rumel
    Aug 11, 2021 at 20:18

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