According to the D&D 5th edition Player's Handbook, the description of the Help action in combat states (page 192; bolding made by me):

You can aid a friendly creature in attacking a creature within 5 feet of you. You feint, distract the target, or in some other way team up to make your ally’s attack more effective. If your ally attacks the target before your next turn, the first attack roll is made with advantage.

And in the Sprite's statistics in D&D 5th edition Monster Manual (page 283):

Invisibility. The sprite magically turns invisible until it attacks or casts a spell, or until its concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell).

So my assumption is: if I tell my sprite to help me with casting my eldritch blast by:

  1. Flying invisibly around my enemy, and pointing out good spots to hit to me, helping me to aim.
  2. Spilling small amount of sand from above the enemy to distract him.
  3. Or something similar,

Then I gain advantage on my first attack with it (so at 5th level, I'll get advantage on my first missile, but not the second). And as the sprite is neither attacking nor casting, he remains invisible (but of course can still be sensed by some creatures, or heard by them).

My only concern is: Is such help strong enough to provide me with advantage?

I know that probably this question is resolved by "talk to your GM", because rules are not strict, but still I would like to hear your opinions on this topic!

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The sprite is invisible; how can the warlock see it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 15, 2015 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point! I guess he can't. But he can still comunicate with sprite telepathically. So giving advice is possible. And I guess he could also appear and turn invisible just after, just how playfull sprites like to do. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15, 2015 at 22:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Can a familiar use a Help action to grant advantage on an attack to a near by ally? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 4, 2019 at 7:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @LechOsiński Remember the sprite requires an action to become invisible, so if your solution relies on it popping in and out of visibility, you're probably taking too many actions for a single turn. I THINK it could end invisibility as a free action, but then it would be vulnerable to squishing by the enemy (i.e. the reason why using Help action all the time is not OP) \$\endgroup\$
    – jerclarke
    Jan 23, 2020 at 17:34

4 Answers 4


Since the question on whether or not a sprite can remain invisible and use its help action has already been answered, I'll jump to the one bit that hasn't been answered so far:

"My only concern is: is such help strong enough to provide me with advantage?"

Yes you get advantage

The Help action itself is quite remarkable (and underused in my experience): you give up your attack - and thus your ability to do damage yourself - in order to give one of your allies advantage on its next attack on one specific creature you choose.

You give up your Sprite's damage to the foe and in return you get a greater chance to hit, and thus have a bigger chance of doing damage yourself.

The way your sprite's Help action plays out is mostly flavour. What is does, however, is determined by the Help action's definition, which you've already found.

My answer to your question would be: Yes the Sprite would grant you advantage.


You have already stated you're aware of the fact that creatures could sense the fact that your sprite is standing/flying next to them, when you wrote: "(but of course can still be sensed by some creatures, or heard by them)"

Keep in mind that your Sprite has to be within five feet of the enemy in order to take the Help action and can still be attacked while invisible, although this means the attacker will do so with disadvantage, due to the way the Invisible condition is described:


An invisible creature is impossible to see without the aid of magic or a Special sense. For the purpose of Hiding, the creature is heavily obscured. The creature’s location can be detected by any noise it makes or any tracks it leaves.

Attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage, and the creature’s Attack rolls have advantage.

If your sprite were to stay in the enemy's reach, this means they could attack it on their turn, but with disadvantage. Your Sprite can, however, fly out of the enemy's reach without provoking an attack of opportunity, assuming it has any movement left.

RAW-wise, an attack of opportunity can only be made against a creature the enemy can see, which gives your Sprite the possibility to aid and move out of the enemy's reach without taking any damage and without requiring the owl's "Flyby" feature.

Edit: I found out this question has already been answered, for more elaborate explanations, go here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't signal your edits in text; instead, you should edit your answer to stand as if it were always the best version of itself. You may want to quote or paraphrase the relevant information from the linked question in case the relevant content changes or is deleted. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jul 4, 2019 at 7:16

You've already quoted the important bit: As far as the rules are concerned, only attacking or casting spells will break the sprite's invisibility. Your DM is free to rule however they want, of course, but strictly according to the rules the Help action won't make the sprite visible.

This is one area that is more in the purview of the DM than the rules, though, because the Help action is so vaguely defined. A strong idea for what your sprite might do to help you would definitely help your case. Possibly it could give them a slight push to throw them off balance, although your DM might say that this would reveal him.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thx for answer. I agree with it. One thought though: pushing, performed by tiny fey with Strength score 3 is probably not a best idea, and as you stated, could reveal the sprite or at least put him in real danger by revealing its position ;P \$\endgroup\$ Feb 14, 2015 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LechOsiński Good point! It's hard to come up with good ideas that won't break invisibility. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Feb 14, 2015 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ For a fey, something like "flutter in front of the enemies face so they hear noise and feel air, then fly away". That would be very distracting IMHO if they couldn't explain why it was happening. Even just "gently tickle the back of their neck" could throw someone off like crazy. The question is whether such things require a dice roll or not, but since they aren't "attacks" it seems fair to say they "just work"? \$\endgroup\$
    – jerclarke
    Jan 23, 2020 at 17:38

The rules on the sprite's invisibility are clear, they only become visible if they attack or cast a spell or lose concentration. Aiding an attack does none of these things, so therefore the sprite does not become visible if they perform this action.

However to aid an attack, the target of said attack must somehow be distracted, impeded or otherwise affected by the sprite or the attacker somehow given "tips" on how to attack. In any case the target, almost by definition, is going to be made aware of the sprite, even though they cannot see them, for the aid to be successful. It is the DM's call, of course, but it is difficult to envisage a ruling, in normal conditions*, where the target would not be aware of the sprite.

In terms of the in-game description of this "aid an attack" while invisible, the sprite could be shouting and buzzing around the target or calling strikes to the attacker or pointing out the target's weak spots etc. It is difficult to come up with a reasonable description that does not make the target aware of the sprite, though the sprite will remain invisible and the normal rules for attacking an invisible/hidden target that you are aware of apply, should the target of the attack decide to retaliate.

*there are, of course, conditions where a DM may rule, on a case by case basis, that the target is not aware of the sprite, or at least of it's true position. A perception roll may be called for and possibly a deception roll by the sprite. For instance: the use of telepathic communication to call the shots; the target being deaf; the sprite's use of an existing spell/magical effect such as telekinesis to distract while not giving away it's actual position; etc. This would all very much be down to the DM.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Re: Being aware of the sprite - I think you're right, and they would be aware that SOMETHING is messing with them, but not that they would know WHAT it is. Whether an Imp or Sprite, something is flying around the enemy, but the mere fact that the enemy doesn't know what it is IMHO is an argument in favor of allowing the Help action to succeed (and making it harder for the enemy to deal with the problem directly by squishing the familiar). (this doesn't disagree with your great answer, just adding to it) \$\endgroup\$
    – jerclarke
    Jan 23, 2020 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also: Your final paragraph reminds me that I could mix a distracting Imp and the Awakened Mind feature of GOO warlocks, so they have a confusing physical sensation AND a confusing mental sensation at the same time. I think having Awakened Mind grant advantage through distraction is too OP (and I would spam it of course) but the two together I think is justifiable horrible to imagine being done to you to grand advantage. (and importantly, I'm risking my familiar's life by putting it on the battlefield) \$\endgroup\$
    – jerclarke
    Jan 23, 2020 at 17:44

My ruling on this issue was simple. Helping to attack has the same effects as attacking and therefore invisible creatures become visible. It was not popular but it makes total sense to me.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center for more information. Can you provide some rules support for this answer? Or elaborate on why you made this ruling and what you mean by "it was not popular"? Answer posts here need to be supported by rules or experience. You can edit your post to add the information. Good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Jul 4, 2019 at 5:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aside from the misframing of the answer as stated in the previous comment, I think this is a fair ruling in a lot of ways. Personally I'd rather a DM that asks me to justify the distraction in context and denies it or make me roll if the enemy wouldn't be distracted, but just saying "it has to be visible" makes a simple rule that avoids debates if the player and DM can't negotiate it on their own. Exposing your familiar visibily (which lasts till it's next turn) is a big price to pay, so you definitely deserve the Help if you do so. \$\endgroup\$
    – jerclarke
    Jan 23, 2020 at 17:49

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