gaiaswill wrote:I think your kid brother example obscures that particular point. I am not a regular D&D player, but the wording of that particular rule reads to me that an incidental contact (touch as a noun, in your words) would break the spell all the same. In my interpretation, the ward is a stealth attempt. The animal hit you, however lightly. Whether it was intentional or not doesn't matter, because it now knows you--or something--is there. Stealth broken. Even the famous SEP field is not immune from deliberate scrutiny.
But that said, I couldn't really tell whether you were arguing for or against the druids anyway. Just playing devil's advocate?
I wasn't really involved in the discussion. I just threw in my "noun vs.verb" viewpoint. But regarding your "the animal knows you are there, so stealth is broken" point, the spell is quite clear when it says:
D20SRD wrote:Animals simply act as though the warded creatures are not there.
There is no text indicating that if the animal can see you or "detect" you via some other sense that is not covered by those called out in the spell description (including blundering into you) that the animal gets a pass. The animal simply act as though you are not there.
I think the thread died a natural death shortly thereafter, but I'm not at all sure it had anything to do with my post. But I was on the side of those who said that the animal companion can't act against the person warded via Hide from Animals in any way, including ending the spell by blundering against them. If we take the example of Invisibility, it is spelled out quite clearly that only attack actions void the spell. The intent for Hide from Animals seems to be there also, just not worded as concisely. How hard would it have been to clear up any ambiguity? Very easy. But if the author of the spell and all reviewers assume the action verb when reading, then they all miss the non-action noun implications. The warded creature's ribs are touching the animal's finger, spell broken. "MMMMMOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!"
Additionally, there do not seem the be any firm rules for "blundering into." You can not actively attempt to touch an opponent without making an attack roll, which the Hide from Animals spell clearly prohibits. And there are no rules for incidental contact. There are specific prohibitions for moving through a square occupied by an opponent, however.
D20SRD wrote:You can’t move through a square occupied by an opponent, unless the opponent is helpless.
You can’t end your movement in the same square as another creature unless it is helpless.
During your movement you can attempt to move through a square occupied by an opponent.
It could be argued that if you don't know an opponent is there that you're not trying to move through a square occupied by an opponent, but the rule itself doesn't have any qualifiers, so making that argument has no real support other than common sense, and the rules of a game do not have to adhere to those of common sense. The Overrun maneuver is an attack maneuver, and so would be prohibited by the spell.
This is just one of those cases where the GM needs to make a call. The rules for combat and movement, the intent of the spell (arguable, but there are precedents), and the reading of the spell as "verb vs. noun" support not being able to order the animal companion into the square occupied by an opponent. "Common sense" (whatever that means in a game where 40' long lizards can fly and breath fire) and the reading of the spell as "noun vs. verb" support being able to do so. I believe that the weight of support lies with the former. Others may disagree.