D&D 5E Question about a Warlock spell / pact feature (Death House spoiler)


This is a two part question about the use of a certain spell in a specific situation as well as my handling of it...

(I tried to avoid an outright spoiler but a good player could figure it out so STOP READING unless you want to be spoiled.)

In the final fight in the basement of the Death House, my 2nd level Warlock (with a Great Old One Pact) led off with a Dissonant Whispers spell. The DM read the spell card and said nothing happened. OK. When my initiative came back around (and one party member was already assimilated by the 'Vegetable Borg') I asked the DM for an Arcana check to try to figure out what happened. I rolled high and the DM said it appeared the monster didn't hear the spell and noted that my character doesn't see any ears. I said, "But wait, I have telepathy!" but the DM said, "What are you going to do?" At that point I ran although not far or fast enough, but that's another--horrible, horrible--story.

Rules question: Can a Dissonant Whispers spell ("You whisper a discordant melody that only one creature...can hear, wracking it with terrible pain...") be cast using Awakened Mind ("...your alien knowledge gives you the ability to touch the minds of other creatures. You can communicate telepathically with any creature you can see...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.")? More specifically, would it work on a monster with Condition Immunity: Deafened?

My handling of it question: Should I have tried to cast the spell again stating that I would do so telepathically? My biggest regret is that my protest about using telepathy was bogus. Probably as a result the DM didn't acknowledge the possibility (or the understanding) of casting it this way. I hate rules lawyering but I've read people on EN World talk about casting Suggestion telepathically and it doesn't seem outrageous. And the party really needed something because, to paraphrase Locutus/Jean Luc, resistance was futile. Since Bolothamog, my Far Realms patron, is not answering my questions I thought I'd ask EN World.

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First Post
By raw I believe the answer to this would be, no they would still be immune. The spell itself specifically says creatures that can't hear you are immune to its effect. The text of the spell is clear though it's intent maybe a tad murky. As a DM I would probably rule yes though, possibly offer advantage on the save for the beasty, that's just me though.


The shambling mound would still be immune because it knows no languages, so your Awakened Mind telepathy would not work on it ("...the creature must be able to understand at least one language")

If you were to use this combination on a creature that knew at least one language, then yes I would say it would work - but other DM's night stick to the RAW and say a deafened creature is immune, period.


Thank you all. It's about what I thought DMs would say. Despite 5 Shill's strong argument against, I probably should have tried it, with that explanation of how I was casting the spell differently, because dodging didn't work well at all. At one point in the fight, I was unconscious and engulfed in the Mound and rolled a 20 death save to stabilize at 0 HP only to take more damage and die again. Arrrrgh!!!


I think even via RAW it would work. (assuming the creature has a language). They still 'hear' you, just in a non-typical manner.


The sticking point for me would be the "discordant" part rather than the "whisper" part. Given that telepathy doesn't involve actual sound or language, can it convey a melody?

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