[RPG] Can Kenku speak with minor illusion?


The cantrip's description states you can make a sound that can be "your voice or someone else voice."

could a spellcasting Kenku use it to speak regularly without mimickry?

Best Answer

Yes, but...

According to Jeremy Crawford, the Minor Illusion spell can be used to mimic complex sounds like speech,

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but you must consider the limitations of this tactic:

  • It takes an Action to cast this spell, so you might not be able to reply to someone until several seconds after another person spoke to you. So it could be difficult to interrupt, or to enter a fast paced argument.
  • The spell lasts a minute, and you cannot alter what it does while it is running (other than to end it). So you would have to select what you wanted to say ahead of time, or cast the spell again part way through. And if your previous statement wasn't finished, you would need to take an additional action to cancel the previous spell before casting another one (or else the two statements would overlap), possibly creating as much as a 12 second gap between a prompt and your reply.
  • Remember that "If a creature discerns the illusion for what it is, the illusion becomes faint to the creature. (PHB, p260)". So it's possible that if someone you are talking to realizes you are using an illusion to speak, they might subsequently have difficulty understanding what you are saying (DM's discression).

The cantrip is a viable way to get around the Kenku's limitations, but it is not without limitations of its own.

EDIT: Although Minor Illusion does not have any verbal components, it's worth noting that Kenku can cast spells with verbal components as well, which could permit communication through more complex spells as well: Source

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