[RPG] How could the Awaken spell be cast on highly intelligent plants and beasts


In D&D 5e, the Awaken spell allows a gain of intelligence and ability:

After spending the casting time tracing magical pathways within a precious gemstone, you touch a Huge or smaller beast or plant. The target must have either no Intelligence score or an Intelligence of 3 or less. The target gains an Intelligence of 10.

How does one get this Awaken spell to work on plants or animals with an Intelligence score higher than 3?

The baboon and some giant creatures have an Intelligence of 4 (or greater). Even the Shambling Mound would be an amazing pet (for a month), were it not so deeply clever. Yet, if high school taught us anything, baseline and expected intelligence is not guaranteed. Perhaps there is a work-around?

  • Give the target a Feeblemind spell first.

  • Enroll them in high-contact American sports.

  • Polymorph them into a more-stupid beast, then they change back smarter! Though StackExchange gave this one a complicated answer.

  • Admit that the author is probably making a bigger deal out of this than necessary and just House Rule the damn thing.

How can one imbue bonus Intelligence (and myriad abilities) to plants and/or beasts with a wee bit too much Intelligence?

Best Answer

You have to reduce their Intelligence below the threshold

You will need to reduce their Intelligence in order for this to work.

Wishcould potentially be used to do this, but may come with its own consequences for a request like that.

Here are a few more options.

Both of the options below require giving an NPC an immensely powerful item or arranging for a very strong relationship between the NPC and a demon lord.

Giving an artifact with major detrimental properties to the creature

The DMG has an option for DMs to give artifacts (and other magical items) beneficial and detrimental properties:

Each artifact has its own magical properties, as other magic items do, and the properties are often exceptionally powerful. An artifact might have other properties that are either beneficial or detrimental. You can choose such properties from the tables in this section or determine them randomly. You can also invent new beneficial and detrimental properties. These properties typically change each time an artifact appears in the world.

An artifact can have as many as four minor beneficial properties and two major beneficial properties. It can have as many as four minor detrimental properties and two major detrimental properties.

If you were to gain access to an artifact, and have it exhibit the following major detrimental property, then it could work:

When you become attuned to the artifact, one of your ability scores is reduced by 2 at random. A greater restoration spell restores the ability to normal.

However, you would need get an artifact and have the creature attune to it. And have either the DM provide this property or have it randomized.

Giving a deck of many things to a creature and hoping they pull the right card

Thomas Markov's answer suggests this as another possibility. The Idiot card in the deck of many things says:

Idiot. Permanently reduce your Intelligence by 1d4 + 1 (to a minimum score of 1). You can draw one additional card beyond your declared draws.

Demonic Boon

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes relates that NPCs/Monsters may given a boon by the DM in relation to a Demon lord. The Jubilex is able to offer:

Up to a +8 bonus to Constitution, with an equal penalty to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma