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For example: I have primal companion "Beast of the Sea" that has only 5ft. speed on land, but 60ft. swim speed. The second effect of "Shape Water" says:

You cause the water to form into simple shapes and animate at your direction. This change lasts for 1 hour.

So a simple shape (like sphere or cube) is enough for containing an aquatic beast, and I may animate this form for following my beast too, I suppose.

One implication I see is "...at your direction" which can be interpreted as literally one direction, but then I find the effect kind of "contradictory", given that you then have to accurately calculate the direction of the hour of travel in any another cases. But even then I guess this can be represented by two questions:

  1. Can I gain aquatic speed from my animal by this shenanigan with Shape Water in one forward direction?
  2. If yes, may I "animate" direction and get full access to aquatic speed in air for 1 hour?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ "at your direction" means "as you direct", or "in response to your commands". It has nothing to do with directions in physical space. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Sep 11, 2022 at 4:49

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Yes you can, but it won't be faster

If you created a shape like a 5-foot cube of water, and engulfed your animal companion within, then they could use their 60 foot swim speed within. It would however not do them any good, as the cube is only 5 feet large, unless you also moved the shape.

Normally turn order to move the shape could cause problems, but not here as primal companions act on your own turn, so it should be possible to simultaneously move the shape and the companion.

However, how fast can you move the shape? This is explained in the first bullet for the effect:

You instantaneously move or otherwise change the flow of the water as you direct, up to 5 feet in any direction. This movement doesn’t have enough force to cause damage.

So you can animate the shape, and move it around, but only five feet each time. As your companion can already move five feet per round when out of water, this will you not gain any speed up.

The "animating at your direction" of the shape has nothing to do with movement across ground. It expresses the idea that if you choose the shape of an animal, for example a goose, that it would not be static, you could have it flap its wings, move its head etc. The animated shape is not a creature, and does not gain the creature's statistics like movement speed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Basically, the creature would be the world's fastest goldfish in a bowl. \$\endgroup\$
    – BprDM
    Sep 12, 2022 at 17:06

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