[RPG] Is a creature counted as its own ally


This question asked about the Help Action (through the Master of Tactics for Rogue), asking if you can Help yourself and have advantage on your attacks.

This answer states that, in D&D 5E, it is unclear if you are your own ally.

This topic on GItP discusses it and Crawford explicitly states that a friendly creature is another creature, at least for Rally, but probably for all purposes. Note that a creature or a willing creature usually means including you for most spells, e.g. Cure Wounds.

So it seems you are not friendly to yourself, but what about ally? Do you count as an ally to yourself? Is "ally" and "friendly creature" the same thing? Note that the terms "ally" and "allied creature" seem to appear more in the SAC than the PHB.

Note: this question is mainly theoretical and showed up due to the discussions linked and other systems where an ally is well defined (and many times includes yourself, such as Legend or earlier editions), not due to a problem I am having.

Best Answer

No, you are not your own ally, unless explicitly said, similar to the Inspiring Leader counting yourself as a Friendly Creature.

My reasoning is mainly from two passages from the PHB. The first one, from Bard's Song of Rest

Beginning at 2nd level, you can use soothing music or oration to help revitalize your wounded allies during a short rest. If you or any friendly creatures who can hear your performance regain hit points at the end of the short rest, each of those creatures regains an extra 1d6 hit points.

Here, the context of the "allies" seems to be more flavorish, while the actual mechanical meaning follows explaining "you or any friendly creature", explicitly including you. While I agree that it could mean that "ally = you or any friendly creature", I don't interpret it in this way, mostly due to the next quote, from the Pack Tactics feature for Monsters. For example, any Wolf creature:

Pack Tactics. The wolf has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the wolf's allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.

Here, if "Ally" included the wolf itself, this feature would be "The wolf has advantage on his attack rolls. Period.", which doesn't seem rational to be intended.

The Help action also seems to assume that "friendly creature" and "ally" mean the same thing, which means another creature, alternating both terms.