Have you ever wished your game world was a little more like Narnia, filled with talking animals and intelligent trees? If so, you need to get hold of Awaken. And a few thousand gemstones.
This spell essentially gives one plant or beast the ability to think and talk as well as a baseline human – as well as providing them limbs if they’re were unlucky enough to be rooted in the ground. In addition to this, it charms them for one month, hopefully ensuring that the enormous tree doesn’t use its first thinking, feeling act to squish you into fertiliser.
Naturally, there are a couple of restrictions. If you’re casting it on a creature they have to be real dumb first. If they’re a little bit smarter than the average beast the spell will fail, so you can’t use it on Giant Eagles or the other semi-intelligent creatures.
There’s also the fact that the spell takes eight straight hours to cast, during which time you need to be touching the target. So as awesome as it would be to get a charmed, talking Tyrannosaurus Rex on side you’re going to need to put together some strong magic or elaborate plan to actually pull it off.
Beyond that – and a 1,000 gp price tag – you can pretty much go wild. With enough spell slots and a fistful of fancy gems a Druid can summon up a nice little army over the course of a few days.
However, there are a few things you need to think about before drumming up your battle-forest. For a start, once the 30 day charm wears off the newly awakened creature gets to make up their own mind as to where their loyalties lie, and if you’ve been using them as cannon-fodder for the past month it’s hard to imagine that they’ll be particularly willing to stick around.
This does leave us – or the DM, at least – with the incredible opportunity to create an unlikely villain. What’s more exciting, after all, than the possibility of fighting an awakened dinosaur turned to a life of crime?
Casting Time: 8 hours
Components: V, S, M (an agate worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
After spending the casting time tracing magical pathways within a precious gem stone, you touch a Huge or smaller beast or plant. The target must have either no Intelligence score or an Intelligence of 3 or less. The target gains an Intelligence of 10. The target also gains the ability to speak one language you know.
If the target is a plant, it gains the ability to move its limbs, roots, vines, creepers, and so forth, and it gains senses similar to a human’s. Your DM chooses statistics appropriate for the awakened plant, such as the statistics for the awakened shrub or the awakened tree.
The awakened beast or plant is charmed by you for 30 days or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it. When the charmed condition ends, the awakened creature chooses whether to remain friendly to you, based on how you treated it while it was charmed.
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The spell description seemingly states that the touch (range) happens after the 8 hours of casting. To me, that reads as the final act of casting rather than requiring a full 8 hours of contact. So you should be able to get that T-Rex if you really want.