Greetings, Bards, Druids, and Rangers looking for allies and fluffy friends. The spell we discuss in this article is Animal Friendship from the 5th edition of D&D.
What is Animal Friendship 5e, and how does it work
- Casting time: 1 action
- Level: Level 1 enchantment
- Range: 30 feet
- Target: A beast you can see within range
- Components: Verbal, Somatic, Material (a morsel of food)
- Duration: 24 hours
- Classes: Bard, Druid, and Ranger
When you cast Animal Friendship in 5e, you can convince a beast within the range that you mean no harm to it.
Choose a beast that you can see within the 30 feet range. The beast must be able to both see and hear you. The spell will automatically fail if the beast has an intelligence level of 4 or more.
If the beast’s intelligence is three or less, it has to do a wisdom saving throw. If it fails, then the beast will be charmed by your Animal Friendship. If it succeeds, there is no effect.
Upcasting Animal Friendship
When you upcast the enchantment to the second spell slot or higher, you can affect one additional beast level above the first.
Animal Friendship advantages and drawbacks
- Great spell if you pick the proper beast and play in a natural setting. There are tons of beasts that you can convince to leave you alone.
- Lots of fun for level 1 adventures. There is nothing more fun than the villain sending a strong beast towards you, and you convince it to cuddle and chill on the sidelines. It is also advantageous if you come under attack from a strong beast and you want to save your strength for a later battle.
- WIS saving throw: not many creatures with a low INT have a good WIS saving throw. So the odds that your spell will succeed are pretty high, making it a very reliable level 1 enchantment.
- The duration for Animal Friendship 5e is 24 hours. That time is more than enough for almost all your Animal charming-related needs. You do not have to worry about the spell ending all too much.
- Animal Friendship in 5e does not scale very well. So it is not all that useful to upcast it.
- You need all three components to cast it. So you will likely not be able to convince the beast about to eat you in a pit to leave you alone if you do not have food on you or if your hands are bound. We love spells that only use verbal components or do not require material.
- It only works for the caster! The beast will not attack the caster. However, it is still hostile towards other party members!
Best uses and beasts for Animal Friendship 5e
Stop monsters from attacking you.
There are quite a few beasts that are strong but have a low INT. One of these types is Dinosaurs. For example, the allosaurus has a 2 CR but low enough intelligence that the spell works on it. Unfortunately, many regular animals also have a low enough intelligence for the spell to work. So dangerous forests suddenly become much more manageable to explore as a low-level party.
Common beasts you might encounter during a forest walk:
Stop beasts from fleeing
Another good option for animal friendship is to stop beasts from fleeing. Often enemies can spot you by birds flying away, so you can avoid this with animal friendship. The same goes if you want to catch a particular quick animal.
For example, if you spot a messenger pigeon and don’t want to blow it to smithereens because you want to read the message, the Animal Friendship 5e spell can convince it to stay in place.
Mess with your party
Is your party picking on you? Make them see your worth by stopping a giant dinosaur from attacking you by charming it with this enchantment. Your party probably will realize that the creature is only friendly towards you, the caster. However, it will still attack other targets.
Advice and tips
- Remember the scope: the beast is convinced that the caster means it no harm and leaves him or her alone. It is easy to overlook that the beasts’ opinion toward the other target does not change! So do not think you are in the clear just because you were able to convince the beast you won’t do anything to it.
- You do not control the beast: Do not forget that you do not control the beast. They only leave you alone. So you can not give it any commands or bring it with you on your adventure. If you want a cool familiar, there are better options, like the Pseudodragon familiar.
- Use it to stop beasts from fleeing: Many players don’t realize this fact, but you can use the spell for more than just stopping beasts from attacking you. You can also convince them to stop running from you. Another low-level magic that is good for that is Lightning Lure.
- Know your ecology: a good DM will not allow you to look up the stats of beasts when encountering them. So make sure you research before wandering in the forest to check if they have INT 3 or less.
Read the following guides to make your adventures even more fun!
Animal Friendship FAQ
Does Animal Friendship tame or control the beast?
No, Animal Friendship does not tame or control the target beast. The beast is simply docile towards the caster and nothing else. In previous editions of DnD, you had a chance to tame it and teach it tricks. However, this gimmick is not the case in 5e DnD. A lot of Dungeon Masters thus homebrew the spell a bit and make this possible when the player rolls a nat 20.
Does Animal Friendship work on Druids that shapechanged?
Imagine an enemy druid shape changes into a guardian of nature beast. Does that mean you can charm the druid with Animal Friendship? Well, the only way to use this enchantment on a druid is if that druid has an INT of 3 or less. The spell will have no effect if it has an INT of 4 or more.