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5E Shadow Sorcerer: Can the sorcerer make the Hound of Ill Omen NOT attack?

Finglas

Explorer
Does anyone know of an official ruling on this? Or, if not, how does your group play this?

I’m asking because of spells like Charm Monster or Hypnotic Pattern, where the sorcerer would want a target to have disadvantage on the save, but wouldn’t want to then cause damage to the target. Or, of course, there could be a situation where the sorcerer casts Hold Person or Hold Monster, with the goal of capturing the target alive for whatever reason. The target would get disadvantage on the save, but in this case (for once, haha), the sorcerer would not want the target to be torn to pieces by an out-of-control hound.

I’ve searched, but haven’t found a definitive answer, and could see it being ruled either way.
 

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Dausuul

Legend
The rules say the only action the hound can take is to attack the target. They do not say it has to take that action, however. It has the option to do nothing.

I assume the player controls the class feature unless otherwise stated, which would mean you could direct the hound to hold back.
 


It's actually an interesting question - certainly the hound does not have to attack, but nor does it say it is directly controlled by the player. By implication the hound can decide for itself if it wants to attack or not.

I think most reasonable DMs would allow the player to control the hound though.
 

Finglas

Explorer
Thanks!

I was figuring it was an “ask the DM” kind of thing, but wanted to get an idea of how most people would do it, if there’s no Sage Advice for it.

I would rule the same way as you all would, if I was the DM, but in this case I’m playing a shadow sorcerer who just leveled to 6th, and I won’t argue if my friend, who is the DM for our current game, says no. :)
 

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