Imagine your party is making camp near a dungeon that the party is planning to delve. If you have the Minor Illusion cantrip and are the member of the group keeping watch for hostile creatures, can the sound (for example, a lion's roar which is an example sound given by the spell description) wake sleeping party members within the spell's range (30 feet)?

Does the distinction between mundane or magical sleep affect the outcome? What if the group was drugged with a reagent that causes the same effect as the sleep spell. Can the group member on watch still wake the party members within range?


1 Answer 1


Not for magical sleep

The sleep spell states:

"each creature affected by this spell falls unconscious until the spell ends, the sleeper takes damage, or someone uses an action to shake or slap the sleeper awake." - Basic p. 101

The spell only has a maximum duration of 1 minute so this shouldn't come up too often anyway.

For unmagical sleep (sleeping, elf trance) it's GM Discretion

The rules don't cover this at all. Sleep is primarily only mentioned with regards to spells or the requirements for a short or long rest.

  • Go with what feels right for the narrative, reward player initiative and have the PC party members wake up at the sound of the roar.


  • Have each player roll a low (10) perception check to be awoken by the noise. Those who failed are heavy sleepers unaffected by the noise.
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the perception DC is 10 or lower, why even bother rolling? Passive perception is 10 + perception bonus, so anyone who has a 10 or higher in Wisdom or is proficient in the perception skill should pass automatically. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 5:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Passive perception shouldn't apply in this case and 10 was a random dc number, make it 15 if you like. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2014 at 6:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Dyndrilliac Also, I'd give The Look to any player of mine who tried to claim their character was as good at perceiving their surroundings asleep as awake. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 4:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe What about Elves? They trance instead of sleep, and trance leaves them semi-conscious and aware of their surroundings. They are also proficient at perception by default. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 7:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ The sound of battle, I think, is about the same volume level as a lion's roar. The DC for hearing a battle is 5. You can give them a penalty of -5 for being asleep if you like, or not if you're feeling generous (Or want to appease the elf in a trance). \$\endgroup\$
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Aug 26, 2014 at 15:06

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