#RPGaDay2020 Day 3 — Thread

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One of the challenges with the RPGaDay word prompts is to find an interesting twist on the word in question. With a word like ‘thread’, day three’s prompt, there are a couple of obvious avenues, but instead of discussing narrative threads or the common thread that ties rpgs together, instead I share with you an under-used Dungeon’s & Dragons spell that just might save your skin… Why this spell in particular? Why, because one of its spell components is a piece of thread.

Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound
(Dungeons & Dragons 5e)

4th level Conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V S M (A tiny silver whistle, a piece of bone, and a thread)
Duration: 8 hours
Classes: Wizard

You conjure a Phantom watchdog in an unoccupied space that you can see within range, where it remains for the Duration, until you dismiss it as an action, or until you move more than 100 feet away from it.

The hound is Invisible to all creatures except you and can’t be harmed. When a Small or larger creature comes within 30 feet of it without first speaking the password that you specify when you cast this spell, the hound starts barking loudly. The hound sees Invisible creatures and can see into the Ethereal Plane. It ignores illusions.

At the start of each of your turns, the hound attempts to bite one creature within 5 feet of it that is Hostile to you. The hound’s Attack bonus is equal to your Spellcasting Ability modifier + your Proficiency Bonus. On a hit, it deals 4d8 piercing damage.


So, while I posted the 5e version of the spell above, Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound has been around since second edition, appearing in the 1989 Player’s Handbook. It’s a spell that just never caught on at our gaming table, which is too bad.

As you can see from a cursory glance, it is a powerful spell. While it is limited by the fact the hound cannot move, conjuring it to guard over a door, the entrance to your rope trick, or any confined space is really a no brainer.

This thing is invisible, lasts eight hours, is password protected, ignores illusions, and can see invisible and ethereal creatures. And this little puppy has got bite, dealing 4d8 damage while autonomous so it’s not costing you an action.

So, the next time your party is settling down for a long rest, consider casting Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound. You’ll be glad you did.

—Bob Freeman
Bordermen Games


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