Our druid wants to talk to an (not so aggressive) owlbear. But this seems harder than expected.

  1. Speak with animal: only for animal type.
  2. Wild shape: only for animal, plant or elemental type.
  3. Tongues: "Tongues does not enable the subject to speak with creatures who don’t speak.". Owlbears don't have a listed language (int 2).
  4. Wild Empathy: this can make it friendly, but we still can't understand it.

Is there a (easy) way to communicate with an owlbear? 3.5 if possible, inspiration from other sources are allowed as answers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested in options from similar systems, like Pathfinder, that could be adapted to 3.5 as a houserule? \$\endgroup\$
    – Umbranus
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ 3.5 if possible, inspiration from other sources are allowed as answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Me_Maikey
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sadly, tongues isn't usually a druid spell. Also, closely related and might offer some additional options besides the one I presented. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 12:42

2 Answers 2


It's possible a generous DM would allow the 8th-level druid spell speak with anything [div] (Masters of the Wild 94) to facilitate communication with magical beasts possessing Intelligence scores of 1 or 2, the description saying the spell "enabl[es] you to communicate with any living creature, including unintelligent ones," but the spell's effect also says it merely duplicates the effects of the spells speak with animals, speak with plants, and tongues, and that list of spells—as you already know—doesn't technically include the ability to communicate with magical beasts possessing Intelligence scores of 1 or 2.

Likewise, a generous DM may allow the spell tongues—not normally a 3.5 druid spell—to be cast on the magical beast, allowing the magical beast to talk for the duration! Despite the obvious problems of getting close enough to touch successfully the magical beast and that the magical beast's allowed a saving throw against a spell it (probably?) can't identify, the game doesn't appear to have anticipated this sort-of hostile use of the spell tongues against a creature lacking language, and, when used this way, the DM may reasonably rule that an affected creature still can't talk.

Thus, short of the extraordinary ability tongue of the sun and the moon that's possessed most often by a high-level monk, a level 6 character with a Constitution score of 13 can take the feats Shape Soulmeld (beast tamer's circlet (Magic of Incarnum 60)) (MoI 40) and Open Least Chakra (crown) (MoI 39-40) and bind the circlet to the crown chakra.

Thereafter, during a round in which the wearer has essentia invested in the soulmeld (likely requiring a third feat), the wearer can use an effect like the spell speak with animals (PH 281) except that the wearer can also speak to magical beasts that possess Intelligence scores of 1 or 2.


As you allowed other sources I have some inspiration from Pathfinder:

  • Share language spell: you grant the target creature one language you understand. Level 2 spell
  • Truespeak spell: every creature understands what you want to communicate (one way) ~5 level spell
  • Many Celestials in PF have the truespeech ability and some of them can be summoned by summon monster. For Example the Lantern Archon with SM3. This Guy could used to translate (but only for a short time)
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Where are these spells from? \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 11:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume Pathfinder. \$\endgroup\$
    – Me_Maikey
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Me_Maikey That's the point, you shouldn't have to assume - the answer should tell you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 12:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure the spell share language does what the asker wants ("If the target lacks the mental capacity to grasp an actual language it still gains enough knowledge to respond to and carry out even extremely complex commands or suggestions coached in the language (whether written or spoken)"), but, damn, that truespeak spell is awesome and even better, in fact, than the level 17 monk's tongue of the sun and the moon. (And the truespeak spell's also not a typical Pathfinder druid spell! Why?!) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 13:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Truespeech is normally an ability possessed by some kinds of Celestials and that's what the spell mimicks. As Druids have little to do with Celestials that might be the reason for not being a Druid spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Umbranus
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 7:16

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