Suggestion 5e: Influencing Allies and Foes Alike

Written by: Staff



Time to read 15 min

Looking to become a master of persuasion in your Dungeons & Dragons campaign? Look no further than Suggestion 5e. With this powerful spell in your arsenal, you can influence both allies and foes alike, shaping the course of encounters and conversations to your advantage. Suggestion 5e allows you to subtly implant a course of action or belief in the mind of a creature, influencing their behavior for a limited time. Whether you want an enemy to drop their weapon and surrender or convince a guard to overlook your presence, this spell can be a game-changer. In this article, we dive deep into the mechanics and strategies of Suggestion 5e. From understanding the limitations and potential interpretations of the spell's suggestion to tips on role-playing its effects, we cover everything you need to know to make the most of this versatile and captivating spell. By the end of this article, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and confidence to become a skilled manipulator in your D&D adventures. So grab your spellbook and get ready to wield the power of Suggestion 5e with finesse!

Understanding the Suggestion 5e

If you've ever wanted to bend the will of your foes or subtly influence the course of an adventure, the Suggestion 5e spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is your go-to tool. In this guide, we'll delve deep into what the spell does, how to use it effectively, and provide insights from the D&D community to maximize its potential. Ready to become the master of subtle manipulation? Let's get started!

In essence, Suggestion 5e allows you to influence a creature's actions through a magically infused request. Whether you're a cunning rogue needing a quick escape or a wizard seeking to avoid confrontation, this spell offers endless possibilities. It’s not about brute force; it's about a clever twist of words that can change the tide of your adventure.

The Core Rules and Description of Suggestion 5e

Spell Level: 2nd
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, M (a snake's tongue and either a bit of honeycomb or a drop of sweet oil)
Duration: Up to 8 hours
Classes: Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Description: You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two) and magically influence a creature you can see within range that can hear and understand you. The suggestion must be worded in such a manner as to make the course of action sound reasonable. Asking the creature to stab itself, throw itself onto a spear, immolate itself, or do some other obviously harmful act ends the spell.

The target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it pursues the course of action you described to the best of its ability. The suggested activity can continue for the entire duration. If the suggested activity can be completed in a shorter time, the spell ends when the subject finishes what it was asked to do.

Not a core rule, but some Dungeon Masters will ask you to roll a d20 (20 sided dnd dice), and will then roll against you to add some flavor. 

To excel in the art of influence in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, players must grasp the nuances of persuasive tactics and the psychology behind influencing others. It is not merely about casting a spell or making a demand; it involves subtly guiding the target towards a specific course of action while ensuring that the suggestion aligns with their beliefs and motivations. By delving deep into the mechanics of influence, players can elevate their role-playing experiences and immerse themselves in the intricacies of social manipulation within the game.

While Suggestion 5e doesn’t deal direct damage, its impact can be represented through strategic advantages. Here’s a hypothetical chart showcasing how the spell can alter the course of an encounter:

Situation Suggested Action Result
Combat "Flee from this place and never return!" Enemy leaves the battlefield, reducing threat level
Negotiation "Agree to our terms and seal the deal." Ensures favorable outcomes in agreements
Stealth Mission "Act like you didn't see us and walk away." Avoids confrontation, maintaining stealth
Interrogation "Tell us the truth about your plans." Gains valuable information without torture


  1. Long Duration: Lasts up to 8 hours, making it perfect for extended plans.
  2. Versatility: Can be used in combat, negotiations, or stealth missions.
  3. Non-Damaging Control: Influences targets without causing harm, ideal for subtle tactics.
  4. Low-Level Access: Available from as early as level 3 for most spellcasting classes.
  5. Role-Playing Opportunities: Enhances narrative and character interactions.


  1. Saving Throw Dependent: Success hinges on the target failing a Wisdom save.
  2. Verbal Component: Requires the target to hear and understand you, limiting use in certain scenarios.
  3. Reasonableness Clause: The suggestion must seem reasonable, restricting extreme commands.
  4. Single Target: Affects only one creature at a time, less effective against groups.
  5. Material Components: Requires specific components, which might not always be on hand.

The Importance of Influencing Allies and Foes in the Game

In a game where alliances are forged and battles are waged, the ability to influence both allies and foes can tip the scales in favor of the players. By mastering the art of persuasion, characters can navigate complex social situations, negotiate deals, and even avoid unnecessary conflicts. Influencing allies can strengthen bonds, foster cooperation, and lead to collaborative efforts that yield greater rewards. On the other hand, swaying foes can turn adversaries into temporary allies, sow discord among enemy ranks, or even avert confrontations altogether.

To be truly effective in influencing allies and foes in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, players must hone a diverse set of skills and abilities. Charisma, persuasion, deception, and insight are among the key attributes that can enhance a character's influence over others. By investing in these abilities and strategically leveraging them in different scenarios, players can become adept manipulators who wield influence with finesse and subtlety. Whether through charm, intimidation, or diplomacy, the art of influence opens doors to endless possibilities in the game.

Puppetr master controlling people, suggestion 5e

Key Abilities and Skills for Using Suggestion 5E

In the realm of Dungeons & Dragons, mastering the art of influence requires a combination of key abilities and skills that enable characters to sway the opinions and actions of NPCs and creatures. Charisma serves as the primary attribute for influencing others, allowing players to charm, persuade, or deceive targets with finesse and flair. Proficiency in persuasion and deception skills further enhances a character's ability to craft compelling arguments and manipulate perceptions to their advantage.

1. Charisma (CHA)

  • Importance : Charisma is the primary ability score for casting Suggestion, especially for classes like Bards, Sorcerers, and Warlocks.
  • Benefits : A high Charisma score increases your spell save DC, making it harder for targets to resist your spells. It also enhances your persuasiveness, which is crucial for making your suggestions seem reasonable.

2. Wisdom (WIS)

  • Importance : While Wisdom is not directly related to casting Suggestion, having a good Wisdom score can help in perceiving and understanding situations where Suggestion might be most effectively used.
  • Benefits : Wisdom affects skills like Insight, which can help you gauge the best approach to take with your target.

3. Insight (WIS)

  • Importance : Insight helps you understand the emotions and motivations of others, allowing you to tailor your suggestions to be more convincing.
  • Benefits : With a high Insight skill, you can better determine what a creature might find reasonable or appealing, increasing the likelihood of your Suggestion being successful.

4. Deception (CHA)

  • Importance : Deception is useful for crafting believable suggestions, especially if they involve misleading the target.
  • Benefits : A high Deception skill can make your suggestions more convincing, particularly in situations where you need to hide your true intentions.

5. Persuasion (CHA)

  • Importance : Persuasion is crucial for making your suggestions sound reasonable and convincing to the target.
  • Benefits : A high Persuasion skill can help ensure that your suggestions are accepted by the target, increasing the effectiveness of the spell.

Apart from charisma-based abilities, insight plays a crucial role in understanding the motivations and intentions of others, enabling characters to tailor their suggestions and appeals to resonate with the target's desires. Additionally, proficiency in intimidation can be a powerful tool in coercing foes and instilling fear to bend them to one's will. By developing a well-rounded set of abilities and skills related to influence, players can navigate social interactions with confidence and achieve their objectives with precision.

Techniques for Influencing Allies in a Positive Way

When it comes to influencing allies in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, approaching interactions with a positive and collaborative mindset can yield fruitful results. Building trust, fostering camaraderie, and demonstrating genuine concern for the well-being of allies are essential techniques for influencing them in a constructive manner. By aligning suggestions with the interests and values of allies, players can strengthen bonds, inspire loyalty, and foster a sense of unity within the party.

One effective technique for influencing allies positively is to appeal to their sense of camaraderie and shared goals. By emphasizing the collective benefits of a suggested course of action and highlighting how it aligns with the group's objectives, players can rally allies to support their ideas and collaborate towards a common purpose. Moreover, offering praise, recognition, and rewards for allies who heed suggestions can reinforce desired behaviors and encourage continued cooperation and loyalty.

When using Suggestion, think beyond the immediate effect. Consider the broader implications of your commands. For example:

  • Combat Diversion: Use Suggestion to send a powerful enemy on a wild goose chase, giving your party time to regroup or escape.

  • Political Maneuvering: Suggest a nobleman advocate for your cause, subtly shifting the balance of power in your favor.

  • Infiltration: Command a guard to unlock a gate and take a break, allowing you to slip past undetected.

Strategies for Using Suggestion 5E: Advantages in Combat

Using the Suggestion 5e spell strategically in combat can provide significant advantages to your party, allowing you to control the battlefield and disrupt enemy tactics. By cleverly suggesting actions that neutralize threats, create openings, or sow discord among foes, you can turn the tide of battle in your favor. Whether it's causing enemies to turn against each other, creating opportunities for devastating sneak attacks, or forcing key adversaries to retreat, the Suggestion 5e spell offers a versatile tool for manipulating combat scenarios. Here are some effective strategies for leveraging Suggestion 5E to gain the upper hand in your encounters.

1. Disrupting Enemy Actions

  • Strategy : Suggest actions that directly disrupt the enemy’s plans. For example, you might suggest that a powerful spellcaster “take a break and sit down” or that a dangerous melee combatant “inspect their weapon closely.”
  • Advantage : This can remove key enemies from the fight or at least neutralize them for a few rounds, giving your party a significant tactical advantage.

2. Turning Enemies Against Each Other

  • Strategy : Suggest that one enemy attack another. For instance, you could suggest that a hostile guard “defend their honor against the rude comments of their comrade.”
  • Advantage : This can cause confusion and infighting among your enemies, reducing the coordinated effort against your party and potentially dealing damage to multiple foes.

3. Creating Opportunities for Sneak Attacks

  • Strategy : Suggest actions that create openings for your party’s rogues or other characters who rely on sneak attacks. For example, suggest an enemy “turn around and check behind them for intruders.”
  • Advantage : This can grant your rogue advantage on their attack rolls, allowing them to deal extra damage and potentially take down enemies more quickly.
several occultist gather around using magic in the parisian catacombs, dnd style , mike mignola style

Role-playing Tips for Effectively Influencing Characters in the Game

Role-playing the effects of influence spells like Suggestion 5e requires a nuanced approach that emphasizes subtlety, persuasion, and empathy towards NPCs and creatures. To effectively portray the impact of suggestions on characters, players should consider the target's background, motivations, and personality traits when crafting their appeals. By tailoring suggestions to resonate with the target's values and desires, players can increase the likelihood of their suggestions being accepted and acted upon.

When role-playing the effects of influence spells, players should focus on delivering suggestions in a compelling and convincing manner, using persuasive language, gestures, and expressions to enhance the credibility and impact of their appeals. Additionally, considering the timing and context of suggestions can significantly influence their effectiveness, as well as the emotional state and receptiveness of the target. By immersing themselves in the role of a charismatic influencer, players can bring their characters to life and engage in captivating interactions within the game world.

Suggestion 5e being used in a small town

Examples of Successful Influence Scenarios in Dungeons & Dragons 5e

In the realm of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, successful influence scenarios abound, showcasing the diverse ways in which characters can leverage persuasion, deception, and charm to achieve their objectives. From convincing a stubborn king to change his edict through a well-crafted suggestion to persuading a hostile dragon to spare a village with a compelling argument, the possibilities for influencing NPCs and creatures are limitless. These examples highlight the creative potential and narrative richness that influence mechanics bring to the game.

One notable example of a successful influence scenario is when a rogue character used Suggestion 5e to convince a rival thief to betray their criminal organization and ally with the party instead. By appealing to the rival's desire for freedom and independence, the rogue crafted a suggestion that resonated with the target's motivations, leading to a pivotal turning point in the campaign. Such instances of strategic influence not only shape the course of the story but also deepen the bonds between characters and NPCs, creating memorable and impactful moments in the game.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Influence Others and using Suggstion 5e

While mastering the art of influence can open doors to new opportunities and outcomes in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, there are common pitfalls and mistakes that players should be mindful of when attempting to sway allies and foes. One prevalent mistake is being overly aggressive or demanding in suggestions, which can backfire and lead to resistance or hostility from the target. It is essential to approach influence with finesse and subtlety, tailoring suggestions to the target's preferences and beliefs.

Another common mistake to avoid is relying too heavily on a single approach or tactic when influencing others. Players should diversify their strategies and adapt their appeals to different personalities and situations, considering the unique characteristics and motivations of each target. By being flexible and creative in their approach to influence, players can increase the likelihood of their suggestions being accepted and yield more favorable outcomes in interactions.

When employing the Suggestion 5e spell in Dungeons & Dragons, it's important to be mindful of several common pitfalls that can undermine its effectiveness. Missteps such as suggesting harmful actions, failing to consider the reasonableness of your suggestion, ignoring target immunities, overlooking language barriers, and misapplying the spell in combat scenarios can all lead to wasted opportunities and spell slots. To ensure you maximize the potential of Suggestion 5e, here are some key mistakes to avoid and strategies to keep in mind when casting this versatile enchantment.

Making Directly Harmful Suggestions

  • Mistake : Suggesting actions that are directly harmful to the target, such as “jump off a cliff” or “stab yourself.”
  • Consequence : The spell will automatically fail because Suggestion 5e cannot compel a creature to harm itself.

Not Considering the Reasonableness of the Suggestion 5e

  • Mistake : Giving suggestions that are too outlandish or obviously against the target's interests, such as asking a dragon to hand over its treasure without any context.
  • Consequence : The target is more likely to resist the spell if the suggestion is not perceived as reasonable.
Paladin man in armor pointing to the camera field of depth blured face dark scene  using suggestion 5e

Developing a Character's Influence-Related Abilities and Traits

To excel in the art of influence in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, players can develop their character's influence-related abilities and traits through strategic choices and role-playing decisions. Investing in charisma-based skills such as persuasion, deception, and intimidation can enhance a character's ability to sway others and navigate social interactions with finesse.

Spells in 5e That Are Similar to Suggestion 5e

If you’re interested in spells with similar effects, consider these:

  • Charm Person: A lower-level spell that makes a creature regard you as a friendly acquaintance.

  • Geas: A higher-level spell that imposes a more binding command for up to 30 days.
  • Command: Offers a one-word command, effective for quick, simple instructions.

Beyond mechanical abilities, players can enrich their character's influence by fleshing out their backstory, motivations, and personality traits that reflect their approach to persuasion and manipulation. Developing a compelling narrative that explains the character's penchant for influence and the reasons behind their methods can add depth and complexity to their interactions with NPCs and creatures. By immersing themselves in the role of a charismatic influencer, players can breathe life into their characters and engage in captivating storytelling experiences.

cartoon depcition of puppeting people and suggestion 5e

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Mastering the Art of Influencing in Dungeons & Dragons 5e

In conclusion, Suggestion 5e offers players a unique and powerful tool for influencing allies and foes alike, shaping the outcomes of encounters and conversations in their favor. By understanding the mechanics and strategies of influence in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, players can become skilled manipulators who wield the power of suggestion with finesse and subtlety. Whether through positive persuasion of allies or tactical manipulation of foes, the art of influence opens doors to endless possibilities and enriches the role-playing experience.

Mastering the art of influence requires a combination of strategic thinking, role-playing finesse, and a deep understanding of social dynamics within the game world. By honing key abilities and skills related to influence, exploring diverse techniques and strategies for swaying others, and avoiding common pitfalls and mistakes, players can become adept influencers who leave a lasting impact on the narrative and interactions of their Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. So, embrace the power of suggestion, hone your persuasive abilities, and embark on adventures where the art of influence shapes destinies and forges new alliances in the world of Dungeons & Dragons 5e.

Suggestion 5e FAQ

What is Suggestion 5e?

Suggestion 5e is a 2nd-level enchantment spell in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. It allows the caster to influence a creature's behavior with a reasonable-sounding suggestion that the target follows if they fail a Wisdom saving throw.

How does Suggestion 5e work?

You speak a sentence or two to a creature within range that can understand your language. If the creature fails a Wisdom saving throw, it must follow the suggested course of action for up to 8 hours or until it completes the task. The suggestion must be reasonable and cannot directly harm the target.

Can I use Suggestion 5e on an ally?

Yes, you can use Suggestion 5e on an ally. As long as the ally is not immune to being charmed and fails their Wisdom saving throw, they will follow the suggested action, provided it sounds reasonable and not harmful.

What are the limitations of Suggestion 5e?

The limitations of Suggestion 5e include:

  • The target must be able to understand your language.
  • The target must not be immune to being charmed.
  • The suggestion must be reasonable and non-harmful.
  • The spell ends if the target completes the action or if the 8-hour duration expires.

Can the target know they were affected by Suggestion 5E after the spell ends?

In most cases, the target does not automatically realize they were under the influence of Suggestion 5E after the spell ends, unless the suggestion was significantly out of character or someone points it out to them. However, the Dungeon Master (DM) may rule differently based on the context.

What happens if the suggested action in Suggestion 5e is harmful to the target?

If the suggested action in Suggestion 5E is directly harmful to the target, the spell automatically fails. The spell requires the suggestion to be reasonable and non-threatening to be effective.

How long does Suggestion 5e last?

Suggestion 5e lasts up to 8 hours, or until the target completes the suggested course of action, whichever comes first.

Can Suggestion 5e affect multiple targets?

No, Suggestion 5e can only target one creature per casting. To affect multiple targets, you would need to cast the spell separately on each one.

Does Suggestion 5e require concentration?

Yes, Suggestion 5E requires concentration to maintain the spell for its duration, up to 8 hours.

Can Suggestion 5E be used in combat?

Yes, Suggestion 5e can be used in combat, but the suggestion must be phrased in a way that is reasonable and non-harmful. The target must also be able to understand you and must fail a Wisdom saving throw for the spell to take effect.