[RPG] Do either Speak with Animals or Awakened Mind let me use Command on animals


The spell Command states the following:

You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or follow the command on its next turn. The spell has no effect if the target is undead, if it doesn't understand your language, or if your command is directly harmful to it. […]

Therefore, one would not be able to naturally command beasts which don't speak any or at least not your language.

If I were to be under the effect of the spell Speak with Animals, however, would the beast then be able to understand me and therefore forced to follow the command? The spell doesn't say that it “understands my language“, but I can verbally communicate with it.

You gain the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with beasts for the duration. The knowledge and awareness of many beasts is limited by their intelligence, but at minimum, beasts can give you information about nearby locations and monsters, including whatever they can perceive or have perceived within the past day. You might be able to persuade a beast to perform a small favor for you, at the DM's discretion.

Similar to that, the Great Old One Warlock's Awakened Mind feature states:

Starting at 1st level, your alien knowledge gives you
the ability to touch the minds of other creatures. You
can communicate telepathically with any creature you
can see within 30 feet of you. You don’t need to share
a language with the creature for it to understand your
telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to
understand at least one language.

So this would specifically rule out beasts that don't naturally speak any language, but other beasts (that speak for example slyvan) would, whether or not I speak that language.

Also, can I use Awakened Mind with Command at all? The latter mentions “You speak a one-word command […]“, while Awakened Mind just allows communicating telepathically.

Thank you in advance!

Best Answer

Speak with Animals works, Awakened Mind doesn't

You really said it all:

You speak a one-word command to a creature you can see within range. [...] The spell has no effect [...] if it doesn't understand your language

Command has a verbal component, you need to speak a word. Since Speak with Animals lets you verbally communicate with animals, you can command them. Since Awakened Mind lets you telepathically communicate with creatures, you can't use it to command them.

In general, any spell /feature that let's you verbally communicate would let you use Command, and any that doesn't won't.

That's RAW (or at least as far as I can tell), but if your DM is ok with Awakened Mind letting you employ Command (as long as it does not get rid of the verbal component) I doubt it would be too unbalanced. If DM and player are onboard, go with it.

Also, a very conservative interpretation of Command could argue that "Speak with Animals" is not technically a language and so Command still wouldn't work, but since

You might be able to persuade a beast to perform a small favor for you

I'd say that making Speaks with Animals insufficient for Command is a bit absurd. Sage Advice agrees on this point:

Iain A. Phillips: @JeremyECrawford does casting Speak with Animals allow you to cast spells like Command or Suggestion on beasts? #DnD

Jeremy Crawford: Yes.

Also here is Sage Advice for the interpretation that Awakend mind or other forms of telephatic communication don't work for verbal components (not explicitly saying that Awakened mind won't let you use Command on a creature that doesn't understand your language if still performing a verbal component, but strongly implying it):

Jeremiah mcDonald: @JeremyECrawford oh Ruler of rules, can you advice on using Awakened Mind to cast vocal component spells such as Command or suggest?

Jeremy Crawford: Sound is the key part of a verbal component, so saying the component in your mind doesn't help. #DnD