After 30 days, the charm affect ends in an awakened creature or plant; it says, they will determine based on how you treated them if they like you or will stick around. Should that be a roll, or should it be purely based on how they were treated? For example, an abused homeless animal was awakened, treated with respect. fed well and given power to protect itself/get revenge if it desires, no expectations, just support, would it roll to determine, or be automatically cool with you?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you the DM or the player? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9 at 18:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am the player, however I do dm and when i DM for this guy, a good friend, he tends to argue rules as written constantly. I awakened three animals, one dog who had been abused and lost an eye and wanted revenge, one cat who had old arrows sticking out of its body from an old wound, and a song bird who I as the bard would play music with. I made sure they all ate great food, had a place to stay and paid for training if they desired it. I was told that the dog no longer trusted me due to him rolling a natural one. It does not say make a roll, and since he aruges RAW constantly, \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was trying to see if i could argue against him due to the fact that the animals are supported and given what they want, on top of being shown lots of respect and no judgement to their goals. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was semi ok with the roll until he told me that the bird who was the one who spent the most time with my character was going to make a roll. At that point I felt like it was a bad call, which we all occasionally make as a dm, but to have an awakened animal who was given exactly what it wanted to make a roll felt like it went against what the spell said which was it makes its decision, not chance does. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 at 23:44

2 Answers 2


The DM decides.

The spell description for awaken reads:

the awakened creature chooses whether to remain friendly to you, based on how you treated it while it was charmed.

No other guidance is given. Since the DM is the controller of all NPCs, which the creature is, the DM makes this decision based on how that creature would respond to how it was treated while charmed. If the DM decides to use some sort of roll for this, that is their prerogative. The few times I have had players use the spell while I was the DM, it was always abundantly clear what sort of choice the awakened creature was going to make when the time came, so I don't imagine assigning some random chance to it will make sense in most situations, unless you really are just unsure what to decide as the DM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Another way to look at it, if the PCs did that for a random creature they met, how would the creature react? It becomes a plot element; what makes the plot make sense and be fun. Also, note that most beings aren't adventure-junkies, and what the PCs do is usually objectively suicidal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Mar 10 at 15:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. What Yakk said. Flesh out the awakened as its own character (storywise). Give it a personality and the answer will be trivial, hopefully. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 10 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if those animals were abused before - they could have simply developed mistrust towards humans. Some people, who had suffered from violence tend to have bad reactions at anyone resembling whoever assaulted them and having similar race/hair colour/facial features, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Mar 11 at 22:50

Based on your comments and the wording of the spell, it sounds to me like this is an XY problem. You ask about X (Awaken), because that is where the disagreement arose, but the real problem is Y (your DM is choosing to run NPCs and/or the whole campaign in a way that you disagree with). Unfortunately, it wouldn't really be practical to write a rule that essentially says "DMs have to be good at their job," so there will always be an element of subjectivity around how a DM "should" make this sort of decision. The rules intentionally hand a lot of control over to the DM, in order to empower the DM to confront you with interesting and varied campaigns and scenarios.

As for what you should do: I would advise you to talk to your DM, preferably in private. Do not focus on the rules, because the rules explicitly allow the DM to do whatever they want. Instead, focus on how the DM's style of campaign is making you feel. Use "I" statements - don't make it sound like you're assigning blame (e.g. "When you decided to call for a roll for the songbird, I felt like I was just playing a dice game, and not like I was playing a character in a story. It took me out of the fiction."). It is probably also a good idea to ask your DM what the roll was intended to represent, and why your DM chose to call for a roll. You can (if necessary) cite the rules for the proposition that it's up to the DM, but try to avoid making it sound like you're second-guessing your DM's choice. Instead, focus on the DM's reasoning. It's possible that your DM had a different interpretation of the interaction than you did.

Some DMs are more mechanically-oriented, and some are more story-oriented. Your DM may or may not be sympathetic to your concerns. There are a wide range of possible outcomes to this conversation, from your DM absolutely refusing to have the conversation in the first place, all the way to your DM retconning the entire session. The important point is that your goal is not to "win the argument." Your goal is to figure out whether you and the DM have any common ground in what a D&D campaign should look like and how it should be run. If it turns out that your DM is unwilling to accommodate you, then you have a few choices:

  • Get used to playing D&D as a dice game, and not as a story game. Stop investing time and effort into roleplaying your character, and just go with the flow. If you have the time and inclination, consider joining a different campaign and roleplaying there instead.
  • Discuss with other players, and see how they feel. If they agree with you, then you have a stronger case to go back to the DM. Bear in mind, even if everyone disagrees with the DM's way of doing things, the DM is not obligated to change things. They might just decide to stop running the campaign instead.
  • Leave the campaign.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, maybe, discuss with GM - how 'awaken' actually works in his game from mechanical perspective to understand chance of awakening someone and them staying with you. Maybe ask whether, despite of GM doing some bad rolls for those awakened - he considers it possible to build some relations with them. Maybe ask - what is the reason for them rolling? (I know at least one GM, who'd answer 'because they were charmed for a month, i.e. forced to be your friend, despite of their own desires and now you want them to be chill with it') \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Mar 11 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sarge: Good point. Edited. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    Mar 11 at 22:49

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