Why are animated things susceptible to sleep? I had an encounter with an animated knife and broom and it is possible to send them to sleep. It seems counterintuitive to me.

Can someone give me an idea of why that is?

And how to "roleplay" i.e. a sleeping knife or a broom that takes psychic damage?

broom (herokuapp) & knife (D&D Beyond)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi! Welcome to RPG.SE! You might want to take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Can you try to clarify your question a bit? The items you linked are literally immune to psychic damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 10:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ohh, funny apparently this is different in different sources oO Then only the last part of my question to sleep remains \$\endgroup\$
    – Xanlantos
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 10:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also note: they are constructs. Constructs are tricky... here's a primer on them \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 11:06

1 Answer 1


It depends on how they were put to sleep. If using the sleep spell, it shouldn't have worked. The sleep spell says:

Undead and creatures immune to being charmed aren’t affected by this spell.

And the broom of animated attack and animated knife are immune to being charmed, so they shouldn't be put to sleep by the sleep spell, or anything that works like it.

Assuming the broom or knife could be put to sleep, they'd be easy to roleplay. They'd just lay there and not do anything.

However, both the broom of animated attack and the animated knife have the False Appearance property:

False Appearance. While the knife remains motionless and isn't flying, it is indistinguishable from a normal [broom/knife].

So while they can't be put to sleep, they could appear to be sleeping, although at 1 intelligence it might be more instinctual than strategic. In other words, even if they could be put to sleep, you couldn't tell, because they be motionless and thus indistinguishable from the normal form of the object.

(Although, at the DM's descretion, a sleeping broom or knife might actually give itself away by moving in its sleep. So, perhaps, you roleplay a sleeping broom or knife, as opposed to one just pretending to be asleep, by having it twitch or shift positions, although, since RAW they're immune, you're pretty deep into DM-ruling territory. But in the right setting it could be pretty funny.)

And since they are immune to psychic damage, you can throw as much psychic damage at them as you like, and they won't budge, so hitting them with psychic won't cause them to do anything at all, whether sleeping ,pretending to be sleeping, or having a cup of tea.

I knew a guy once, had a bad experience with a drawer full of animated knives, lying there, pretending to be asleep. He was forever suspicious of knives after that. Every knife he saw, he'd be like, Is that just a knife, or is it just lying there, pretending to be asleep, waiting to attack?

  • \$\begingroup\$ How would someone roleplay a sleeping animated knife? \$\endgroup\$
    – Xanlantos
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 11:41
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Xanlantos I put that in there. I wonder if sleeping knives dream of electric sharpeners, and if they do, is that a good dream or a bad dream? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 11:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Xanlantos Zzzzzzzzzzzz \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 12:45

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