[RPG] Is the demon summoned by the Summon Greater Demon spell hostile to you


Assuming that you use summon greater demon (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 166), and on your next turn, you still have the "control" over him granted by summon greater demon.

Now I want to use charm monster (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, p. 151) on the demon, so that (assuming I succeed) if I lose my concentration on the summon greater demon spell, I still have a demon by my side for 1d6 rounds.

Does the demon have advantage on the saving throw against charm monster due to the fact that it's hostile to me?

Best Answer

It is hostile, but that will not affect charm monster until you lose control

My other answer makes the assumption that hostile means the same thing as fighting against you, but this isn't necessarily true. Taking from this answer to a different question about what hostile means, the DMG (pg. 244) describes the following:

  • A friendly creature wants to help the adventurers and wishes for them to succeed.
  • An indifferent creature might help or hinder the party, depending on what the creature sees as most beneficial.
  • A hostile creature opposes the adventurers and their goals but doesn't necessarily attack them on sight.

Since a hostile creature "doesn't necessarily attack them on sight", this means that a demon doesn't have to be fighting the party to be considered hostile, and clearly demons are hostile to everything with regards to opposing everyone's goals.

Despite being hostile, the demon isn't fighting against you initially because the summon greater demon spells allows you to maintain control over the demon until it breaks free, after which point it attacks any non-demon, including you, the caster.

Whilst it isn't free of your control, it will not fight you unless you fight it first, so it will not give the demon advantage against charm monster for that reason, since that spell specifically says "fighting".

Charm monster (Xanathar's Guide to Everything, pg. 151) says:

A creature you can see must make a Wisdom save, and has advantage if you or your companions are fighting it. If it fails, it's charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions harm it. The charmed creature is friendly to you. When the spell ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you.

Also note that, as described in this question, some demons have Magic Resistance, meaning those demons will have advantage against charm monster anyway, regardless of whether you're fighting it or not, so although it's hostile, and you may or may not be fighting it, it'll still have advantage on the saving throw.

Also note that having used its true name as part of the summoning spell only affects the summoning spell, so it'll always have advantage against charm monster, being a different spell.