dnd 5e – How can an Awakened creature be detected as such?

There are some ways of doing it with spells. All of them require the caster to be pretty paranoid, and most of them require the caster to be weirdly paranoid about this one specific crow.

Spells that identify magical effects won’t work

The duration of Awaken is instantaneous and produces a permanent effect, so the awakened creature isn’t magical or under the effect of a spell in mechanical terms. You’ve correctly identified that this extends to the charmed condition that the creature is in: it’s a special case of being charmed which isn’t the result of an ongoing spell effect. Dispel Magic and similar spells would have no effect on the creature’s awakened state, nor its being charmed by you, and spells that identify spell effects (such as Identify) will draw a blank.

Spells can reveal the crow’s heightened intelligence

If the crow is charmed, it could be made the target of Beast Bond. The spell will have no effect, because the crow’s intelligence is greater than 4. Whilst there might be other explanations for the spell’s failure, the caster will likely know that something is up.

Spells can reveal the crow’s ability to speak

Command is the most obvious. Simply compel the crow to ‘recite’ and it will be forced to give away its ability to speak

Spells can directly reveal information about the game world

This depends a little on DM adjudication, but a cleric or similar could just cast Divination and ask ‘Is this crow awakened’? Probably hard to riddle your way out of that one, so likely to get a clear enough answer. This is one of the most feasible strategies, because it would be reasonable for a paranoid caster to ask something like ‘am I behind watched?’ and zoom in from there with subsequent castings. (Commune) is more likely to get you a straight answer (yes/no) to a specific question. Contact other plane would also do it for less pious casters.

Misc.

Battlemaster Fighter and Mastermind Rogue have abilities which can discern enemy abilities relative to their own. Included here for completeness but they’re not normally available to NPCs and Zizak would have to have an intelligence of less than 10 for this to work.

Arbitrary ‘The 9th level spell Wish could obviously do this’

dnd 5e – Can another creature move through the Echo Knight fighter’s Manifest Echo’s space?

It is unclear, so the table needs to decide

Unfortunately, this mechanic of the Echo Knight is incredibly unclear as to how to adjudicate these things for moving it. I have reviewed other potential similar mechanic like spiritual weapon or telekinesis, but none of those have the same properties of the Echo Knight.

Which leaves us with a giant shrug as to what to do. In these cases, it comes down to the player talking to the DM about what they feel is fair, reasonable, and fun. There is no ‘wrong’ answer here, but you should think about the potential consequences for each decision.

Looking at how this might affect gameplay of movement, positioning, and battlefield control, it’s important to think about the edge cases – but you’re not going to cover them all. And that’s okay! When they come up, discuss together and be reasonable. If the DM provides an unhappy result, table the argument until after the game and discuss why you didn’t like it and what you think a good compromise could be.

Prepare in advance

Given the lack of clarity about this subclass in general, if a player is considering choosing it then they should discuss these issues with the DM prior to playing. Making sure everyone understands the gray areas, what ambiguities need to be agreed on, and that judgments may come up that require an immediate ruling will go a long way to to mitigating any unhappiness and setting the expectation that this subclass is a little loosey goosey.

dnd 5e – Do you need to know the creature to use Polymorph to change someone into that creature?

Polymorph spell (PHB p.266)

This spell transforms a creature that you can see within range into a new form.

The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast.

RAW, there is no restriction on the beast form excepting the Challenge Rating allowed and the caster’s ability to choose it. For a person to make a choice they need to know the choice exists and so that is all that this spell requires, the rest is handled by magic.

The important thing here is the difference between what the player knows and what the caster, the character, knows. It is the character that needs to know the about the beast form. The DM will be the final judge on what beasts the character knows about, particularly when a player pushes the limits of the spell, and they will.

For example: turning someone into a frog. This seems entirely reasonable (baring exceptional circumstances) as knowing about frogs is commonplace, even if you have never seen one (e.g. because the character comes from a desert setting that has no frogs). The frog is quite possibly an example of what the spell can achieve written in in “arcane manuals” or even the spell itself given the “turn him into a frog” trope.

However, as a second example, turning someone into an Ankylosaurus is going to take justification, in my opinion. Knowledge of the existence of dinosaurs, let alone specific dinosaurs, is quite possibly very rare, but again setting dependant. So while the player may have read the Monster Manual, the character has not and would have to have knowledge from some in-character source to be able to say “Siiiiiize of a Triceratops!” as part of their spell.

Do you need to know the creature to use Polymorph to change someone into that creature?

YES, the character needs to know about the creature to be able to choose it and it is down to the DM’s judgement whether they do.

Of course the character casting the spell may know the beast form but may not have a good idea of the beast form’s strength (the players will know this as its CR) compared to the target.

When it comes down to it this is a role-playing issue, where the player of the casting character has a responsibility to be reasonable and come armed with good in-character, good story, reasons to be able to use the beast form they want to use.

dnd 5e – Can a creature use the Banishment spell to free itself from the Maze spell?

The maze spell (Player’s Handbook, page 258) states:

You banish a creature that you can see within range into a labyrinthine demiplane. The target remains there for the duration or until it escapes the maze.

The target can use its action to attempt to escape. When it does so, it makes a DC 20 Intelligence check. If it succeeds, it escapes, and the spell ends (…)

The banishment spell (Player’s Handbook, page 217) states:

You attempt to send one creature that you can see within range to another plane of existence. The target must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be banished. (…)

(…) If the target is native to a different plane of existence than the one you’re on, the target is banished with a faint popping noise, returning to its home plane. If the spell ends before 1 minute has passed, the target reappears in the space it left or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied. Otherwise, the target doesn’t return. (…)

It seems fairly clear-cut, a creature, such as a PC, that can cast banishment is certainly not native to the demiplane created by maze. This is obviously not a way you’re intended to escape maze, but have I missed any details in this rules adjudication?

Of course, you might end up in a random place on your home plane, instead of the spot that you occupied when you entered maze, since banishment specifies plane instead of location.

spells – Can Saving Finale be used to save another creature from Phantasmal Killer?

The bard spell Saving Finale lets the bard end his performance to let one of the performance’s targets reroll a failed save:

DESCRIPTION

You must have a bardic performance in effect to cast this spell. With
a flourish, you can immediately end your bardic performance when a
creature within range affected by your bardic performance fails a
Saving Throw, allowing the subject to immediately reroll the failed
Saving Throw.

The question is, how does the bard know that the creature that he wants to help has failed a save? Phantasmal Killer reads:

DESCRIPTION

You create a phantasmal image of the most fearsome creature imaginable
to the subject simply by forming the fears of the subject’s
subconscious mind into something that its conscious mind can
visualize: this most horrible beast. Only the spell’s subject can see
the phantasmal killer. You see only a vague shape. The target first
gets a Will save to recognize the image as unreal. If that save fails,
the phantasm touches the subject, and the subject must succeed on a
Fortitude save or die from fear.
Even if the Fortitude save is
successful, the subject takes 3d6 points of damage.

If the subject of a phantasmal killer attack succeeds in disbelieving
and possesses telepathy or is wearing a helm of telepathy, the beast
can be turned upon you. You must then disbelieve it or become subject
to its deadly fear attack.

Since only the subject can see the phantasmal killer, if the bard fails his Spellcraft roll to identify what the enemy is casting, does he miss the chance to save his ally?

dnd 5e – How does the Enlarge/Reduce spell work to enlarge a creature when the target creature is surrounded?

If possible, the creature grows and is squeezing. When it grows, its weapons grow accordingly.

A creature can’t usually overlap with other creatures’ spaces. If a Medium creature is surrounded and is Enlarged, then it is now Large and squeezing:

A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it. Thus, a Large creature can squeeze through a passage that’s only 5 feet wide.

On its turn, it can move away if it has a chance, and stop squeezing.

If the creature can’t squeeze, then the enlarge/reduce spell won’t make them grow. For example, let’s say the creature was a Large polymorphed druid, already squeezing for some reason, and surrounded. When you Enlarge, nothing happens. On its turn (if Enlarge is still in effect), if it moves to a space where it can grow, then it grows to Huge, and its weapons grow then (as only now did it attain a “new size”):

The target’s weapons also grow to match its new size.

dnd 5e – Can a creature split up movement more than once?

Can movement be split up more than once, with different attacks and other actions in between?

Background

I’ve have a 12th-level Half-Orc Monk character with the Mobile feat, resulting in a movement speed of 60 (base speed of 30, +20 from Unarmored Movement, and +10 from Mobile). At this level the character has the Extra Attack ability, and (due to being at least level 6 in Way of Shadow) has the Shadow Step ability.

Here’s where my question about the movement rules comes in.

In a room of multiple opponents, that is mostly lit but with sections of dim light that are just big enough for my character to use the Shadow Step ability, I want to be able to attack one target close to me, attack one target farther away, and then move back to safety. Since my character has low hp (due to a low Con score), quickly popping here and there to poke enemies with his spear and then moving to general safety would be nice.

I figure I could accomplish it like this, but it depends on whether I can split movement multiple times:

  1. Start my turn by moving 10 feet to my first target, whom I
    attack
  2. Move 5 feet to the nearest source of dim lighting (the creature wouldn’t get an opportunity attack because of the Mobile feat, even if I didn’t hit)
  3. Use Shadow Step as my bonus action to teleport to a spot of dim lighting across the room (within 60 feet of course)
  4. Move another 15 feet to attack my second target
  5. Move with my remaining 30 feet of movement to a generally safe position.

Is the aforementioned scenario possible since I stayed within the limits of 60 feet for my character, or would I only be able to split my movement into two different movements?

It would be cool if I could split my turn into 4 movements, 2 attacks, and a teleport, but I feel like I’d only be able to do 2 movements, 2 attacks, and a teleport during my turn.

dnd 5e – Does Lightning Lure pull a creature toward you regardless of other circumstances?

Lightning Lure pulls a creature toward you:

You create a lash of lightning energy that strikes at one creature of
your choice that you can see within range. The target must succeed on
a Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 10 feet in a straight line
toward you and then take 1d8 lightning damage if it is within 5 feet
of you. (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, p. 143)

Does lightning lure pull a creature toward you regardless of other circumstances?

For instance, if you’re chained by the wrist to an immovable object, does lightning lure pull until something gives, perhaps your wrist?

My own thinking is that the RAW does not address anything like this, so it is up to the GM’s judgement.

I would like to know if this is a reasonable interpretation or alternatively, what might be a reasonable ruling.

dnd 5e – Using the optional rule on falling onto a creature, is the fall damage divided between creatures before or after damage resistance/reduction?

Lets use an example through this study: the Martial Warrior (Marty) has been knocked off of a cliff, and falls 100 feet the the bottom, into the square of a Cleric (Clarence). We will assume the DM rolls average damage. Let’s break down this fall in order from general to specific:

General Rule: PHB Fall Damage

A fall from a great height is one of the most common hazards facing an adventurer.
At the end of a fall, a creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it fell, to a maximum of 20d6. The creature lands prone, unless it avoids taking damage from the fall.

This is the original rule for falling, and the most general rule to follow. In this case, Marty takes the full damage of 10d6, 35 bludgeoning damage.

General Rule: TCoE Falling on another Creature

The second creature here gets to make a saving throw to avoid halving the damage. Clarence fails there save, and splits the damage with Marty: they both take 17 bludgeoning damage.

Specific rule: Monk’s Slow fall

Beginning at 4th level, you can use your reaction when you fall to reduce any falling damage you take by an amount equal to five times your monk level.

The damage is reduced “when you fall,” not when you take damage. This means the damage dealt by the fall is decreased, instead of reducing the damage once it is taken, through resistance, mitigation, division, diversion, etc.
In this specific case, Marty is now a 4th level Monk. If he falls onto Clarence’s space and Clarence fails their saving throw, then the damage of the fall is split between them. However the specific wording of Falling on a Creature states:

…and any damage resulting from the fall is divided evenly between them.

So the damage is first reduced by the Marty’s slow fall, and second split between the two. 35 damage is reduced by 5 times Marty’s Monk level to 15 damage, which is split between them: both characters take 7 bludgeoning damage.

Specific rule: Damage Resistance

If a creature or an object has resistance to a damage type, damage of that type is halved against it.

Clarence is not just a cleric, but a 17th level Forge Cleric in heavy armor, meaning their Saint of Forge and Fire feature takes effect, giving them resistance to non-magical bludgeoning damage. This means the damage taken by Clarence is halved, and only the damage taken by Clarence. So after Marty falls 100 feet, Clarence fails to get out of the way, and Marty’s Slow Fall Feature take effect, finally the damage that is taken is halved last. This means Marty would take 7 Bludgeoning damage from the fall, and Clarence would take 3 bludgeoning damage. If Marty had the resistance instead, this would still not be translated into reduced damage for the other person, as the resistances damage reduction is applied after the damage has been dealt.

Other Specific rules: Various Subclass abilities

All of the subclass features you have listed are great examples of damage reduction, and they all have a similar piece of wording that is different from the Monk’s Slow Fall.

Spirit Shield:

If you are raging and another creature you can see within 30 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to reduce that damage by 2d6.

Bastion of Law:

When the warded creature takes damage, it can expend a number of those dice, roll them, and reduce the damage taken by the total rolled on those dice.

Guardian Coil:

When you or a creature you can see takes damage while within 10 feet of the tentacle, you can use your reaction to choose one of those creatures and reduce the damage to that creature by 1d8.

Song of Defense:

When you take damage, you can use your reaction to expend one spell slot and reduce that damage to you…

Unlike the Slow Fall ability, which takes effect when you fall, all of these features take effect when you take damage. These would all reduce the damage after impact, when both the falling creature and fallen upon creature have already taken the damage.
Thankfully for Clarence, his Raging Ancestral Guardian Barbarian Friend (Barb) is nearby, and she uses her Spirit Shield ability to reduce the damage of the fall by 2d6. Unfortunately for Clarence, Barb rolls garbage, and only reduces the damage by 2. According to the order of operations in the PHB, the damage would be reduced first (from 7 to 5), then halved by resistance, resulting in a final devastating total of 7 bludgeoning damage for Marty, and a brutal 2 bludgeoning damage for Clarence.

spells – Can a creature forego its attended magic item’s saving throws?

Some PCs are fighting other mind-controlled PCs. The wizard casts mage’s disjunction to end the mind control effect. This works, but, in addition to doing that, the spell says that

each permanent magic item must make a successful Will save or be turned into a normal item for the duration of this spell [i.e. 1 min./level]. An item in a creature’s possession uses its own Will save bonus or its possessor’s Will save bonus, whichever is higher. If an item’s saving throw results in a natural 1 on the die, the item is destroyed instead of being suppressed.

With this in mind, can a creature that’s attending a magic item voluntarily give up the magic item’s saving throw against the disjunction so that the magic item is automatically suppressed for some minutes? Or must the magic item always attempt the saving throw—in such cases, always risking its existence to avoid a few minutes of inactivity? Or is there another option?