Content of the article: "How would you have handled this as a DM? As a player?"
I am a "forever DM" who has had the recent privilege of being a player for the first time in over a decade. The game is run by my friend who I met from him playing in one of my games. This is his first time DMing and I think he is doing a great job. I am playing a Knowledge Cleric and have a few ways of dealing damage but primarily focus on debuffs and support. I generally choose my spells based on the tools that I think fit my character's personality best.
Last night my group was approaching a place where we knew there were harpies. While exploring, we triggered the harpy attack and they started singing, which can charm. I got excited – we just hit 3rd level and I had chosen to prepare Silence as one of my spells. I felt like I had a chance to really shine and help the party. The DM ruled (correctly, IMO) that I could not cast it right away since we needed to make our Wisdom saves, and I failed mine. No worries, I can cast it on my first turn in combat.
I rolled high and acted after two other companions and said I was casting Silence. The DM said that he was ruling that I could not cast that spell because I was charmed. This felt pretty awful and I am sure it showed on my face, though I think I continued to communicate fairly calmly. I pushed back, citing that the charm effect means that I cannot attack my charmer or target it with harmful abilities or magical effects, and that Silence was neither. I also pointed out that this kind of situation is what the spell is for, and it just kinda sucked to be told I cannot use the tool my character has to manage the situation.
After some questions about the functioning of Silence my DM let me go ahead and cast it, though it certainly didn't feel triumphant anymore. Overall everyone kept having fun and we ended up having to end the session mid-battle but another player remarked the battle felt "epic" so I think that also speaks to that my speaking up was not too disruptive.
Regardless, after the game I thanked my DM for letting me cast Silence and apologized for taking time to argue for it in the middle of the game and acknowledged I probably should've just accepted the ruling and waited until afterward to talk about it. He didn't seem to think it was a big deal though and everyone playing are pretty chill.
As someone who overthinks things and thinks a lot about D&D, I've been thinking about this scenario and am curious about the thoughts of others. How would you have handled this as a DM? What about as a player?
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