With multiple subraces available, there are many different ways you can build a gnome character in D&D 5E. If you opt for a forest gnome, one of the traits you gain is Speak with Small Beasts. How useful is this trait? Let’s find out with our Speak with Small Beasts 5E Guide.
How Does Speak with Small Beasts work in 5E?
This feature – which is exclusive to forest gnomes – is straightforward on its face. You have the ability to communicate simple ideas with beasts no larger than size small. This covers a full range of woodland creatures, like squirrels, rabbits, cats, or birds. Your ability to make use of this trait depends on your creativity and how flexible your DM is.
The important take away is that you can only communicate simple concepts to these beasts, not full sentences. You might be able to get back one-word responses back, but this does not mean you are able to have a full conversation with these beasts. That doesn’t mean this trait isn’t useful, though. Speaking with small beasts could help you find the objective of your adventure, learn more about your surroundings, or identify dangerous threats.
See our Gnome 5E Guide
What will the Beasts Agree to?
You can communicate simple ideas to small beasts, but what does that mean on a practical level? It is important to remember that this trait only allows communication. It does not impact your ability to command or convince the small woodland creature to say or do anything.
Your attitude to the creature will play a big part in determining how they answer. If you are friendly and provide snacks, you might get some straightforward answers about where you might find a nearby werewolf cave, or where the nearest human settlement might be. In some cases, you might even convince your beast friend to perform simple tasks.
What these beasts are willing to do is entirely up to the DM. However, you can generally expect to get little help if your are hostile. The same is true if you ask a creature to do something that is dangerous or risky. Anything a creature would not otherwise willingly do is probably off the table. Of course, that is where a high charisma score can come in.
That’s it for our Speak with Small Beasts 5E Guide. There is not a lot of complexity to this gnome trait, but it does provide you with a lot of options if you are creative. still working on your next gnome character? Be sure to check out our gnomish names guide!
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