How to cast 5e / 5th lvl ‘Awaken’ (spell) on ‘highly intelligent’ plants and beasts?

The 5e Awaken spell allows a gain of intelligence and ability:

After spending the casting time tracing magical pathways within a precious gemstone, 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.

How does one get this Awaken spell to work on plants or animals with more than three (3) intelligence score?

The baboon and some giant creatures have four (or more) intelligence. Even the Shambling Mound would be an amazing pet (for a month) were it not so deeply clever. Yet, if high school taught us anything, baseline and expected intelligence is NOT guaranteed. Perhaps there is a work-around?

  • Give the target a Feeblemind spell first.

  • Enroll them in high-contact American sports.

  • Polymorph them into a more-stupid beast, then they change back smarter! Though StackExchange gave this one a complicated answer.

  • Admit that the author is probably making a bigger deal out of this than necessary and just House Rule the damn thing.

Repeat of Question for Exchangers of Stack: how does one imbue bonus intelligence (and myriad abilities) to plants &/or beasts with a wee bit ‘too much’ intelligence?

What opportunities exist in D&D 5e in order to turn into beasts, while maintaining personality and mental characteristics?

What opportunities exist in D&D 5e in order to turn into beasts, while maintaining personality and mental characteristics (Intelligence, Wisdom and not necessary Charisma)?

As far as I can see, one of the obvious solutions is Wild Shape. Are there any other options?

What are the fanner beasts?

I’m reading some of the original lore for Dark Sun, and the dray are described as herding "fanner beasts", supposedly some sort of lizard-like creature. But I can’t find any information about what these beasts actually look like or what their characteristics and stats are. Can anyone point me to some good sources of information about "fanner beasts"?

Can I use a beast’s weapon attacks while polymorphed?

So I’m reading over the spell as I’m progressing through DnD, and I realized you can polymorph into a Tyrannosaurus Rex if you’re of 8th level or beyond. In the PHB, it says:

The new form can be any beast whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target’s (or the target’s level, if it doesn’t have a challenge rating). The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. It retains its alignment and personality. The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and it can’t speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech. The target’s gear melds into the new form. The creature can’t activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment.

This being said, can I use the attacks that a Tyrannosaurus Rex would be able to use? It says I can’t benefit from any of its equipment, but I wouldn’t necessarily label attacks as equipment, although it can be features that the monster would have. If so, does that mean I would gain:

Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: (4d12 + 7) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the tyrannosaurus can’t bite another target

Tail: Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: (3d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage.

Tl;dr I just need confirmation on if I acquire these new attacks during a Tyrannosaurus polymorph.

Can Forest Gnomes secretly converse (like Thieves Cant) with other Forest Gnomes/Firbolg/Speak with Animal Users via Speak with Small Beasts?

My party has two Forest Gnomes and a Firbolg and they want to use their racial features to secretly communicate.

Forest Gnomes have

Speak with Small Beasts: Through sound and gestures, you may communicate simple ideas with Small or smaller beasts.

Firbolg’s have:

Speech of Beast and Leaf: You have the ability to communicate in a limited manner with beasts and plants. They can understand the meaning of your words, though you have no special ability to understand them in return. You have advantage on all Charisma checks made to influence them.

Speak with Animals reads:

You gain the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with beasts for the duration. The knowledge and awareness of many beasts is limited by their intelligence, but at minimum, beasts can give you information about nearby locations and monsters, including whatever they can perceive or have perceived within the past day. You might be able to persuade a beast to perform a small favor for you, at the GM’s discretion.

  1. Through their shared knowledge of Speak with Small Beasts can Forest Gnomes communicate simple ideas to each other?
  2. Can Forest Gnomes understand a Firbolg speaking to them as it would a small animal even though it could not respond in turn.
  3. Would a Speak With Animals user be able to eavesdrop on either?

LMOP: what beasts live in Neverwinter Wood?

I’m DM’ing for the first time, for a group of first-time players. I chose the LMOP-campaign because it would be the easiest both for them as for me.

This week, we had our first session. 3 of the player-characters got humiliated (mainly because of bad rolls, but still… it was funny), but one player, who was a druid, was the star-player, killing 3 of the 4 monsters in the first encounter (I’m trying to be vague enough to avoid spoilers).

This druid will play a Moon Circle druid at level 2, which is (so I read elsewhere on SE) the most overpowered subclass in 5e.

We talked a while about how Wild Shape worked, and how strong it was, but after a while I noticed something that we both somehow missed all the time:

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before.

So the druid must have seen the beast before. I guessed that this would mean that the character must encounter the beast while playing, before it can shapeshift into it (when playing RAW). However, the player argued that in her lore it says that she lived in Neverwinter woods all her life, and that she would have seen lots of creatures already. I have to admit, this makes a lot of sense.

So… how should I handle this? Is she allowed to shapeshift into any creature of the list? Or is it required for her to see them during the adventure?

Or… what I was thinking: maybe I should make a list of creatures that we can assume roam around in Neverwinter woods, and that she can use. (For example: we can expect wolves, but probably not camels…) I looked for resources on this, but can only find this information for plants. Not animals.

If a Lizardfolk druid is in Wild Shape, and uses his Hungry Jaws trait, does he use the damage from the beast’s bite or the lizardfolk’s bite?

Lizardfolk have a feature that gives them natural weapons in the form of their jaws. This bite deals 1d6+Str damage.

Hungry Jaws. In battle, you can throw yourself into a vicious feeding frenzy. As a bonus action, you can make a special attack with your bite. If the attack hits, it deals its normal damage, and you gain temporary hit points (minimum of 1) equal to your Constitution modifier, and you can’t use this trait again until you finish a short or long rest. (VGM 113)

Assuming you transform into a beast shape with the ability to perform a bite, the Hungry Jaws trait should be available to you, as racial features transfer over when you transform if the new form is capable of them.

Given this circumstance, would you use the Lizardfolk’s racial bite, or the bite attack belonging to the new form?