What action is it to use a Goodberry?

As with many things in 5e, the devil is in the details.

Considering that a Thief Rogue’s Fast Hands (using objects as a bonus action instead of an action) work with “Use an Object” but not “Use Magic Device” action, I wish to know what’s the kind of action that you do when you use a Goodberry (either for self use or to feed an ally with), and therefore, if a Thief Rogue could benefit from his Fast Hands ability with said Goodberry.


It requires an Action to use, as specified in the spell description:

A creature can use its action to eat one berry.

Fast Hands does not come into play here as Goodberry has more specific rules for its use. While it is an object, but so is a shortsword, for example, and Use an Object doesn't let you swing the sword as an attack using a Bonus Action, because there are more specific rules for attacks in the game.

This is the same line of thinking here: Can a character grab a potion from a pack and drink it without using their action?- Where drinking a potion requires a more specific action than Use an Object.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ A berry is an object in normal English. This isn't a bad answer, but your saying that it isn't an object defies the description of the goodberry itself. Consider revising. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22 '18 at 0:00
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think a comparison that would address KS's comment there ^^ would be with, say, a potion of healing which says that one can use an action to use or administer a potion of healing. Goodberry lacks such verbiage. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jun 22 '18 at 0:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Fast Hands doesn't work with a potion of healing either, because it only lets you do the Use an Object action as a bonus action; according to Crawford, "magic item use is its own thing", not the Use an Object action. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 22 '18 at 3:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GaelL Up to ten berries appear in your hand and are infused with magic for the duration. A creature can use its action to eat one berry. Eating a berry restores 1 hit point, and the berry provides enough nourishment to sustain a creature for one day. The berries lose their potency if they have not been consumed within 24 hours of the casting of this spell They are indeed conjuration, as they still exist as objects after the magic wears off, and they are indeed, for 24 hours, magically infused objects. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22 '18 at 16:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, "Fast Hands" does not translate to "Fast Mandibles" or "Fast Digestion". You might be able to pop it in your mouth faster than anyone else, but presumably its the mastication and esophageal digestion that takes an action rather than the act of popping it into your maw. Not RAW, just a noteworthy observation on how to explain this in world. \$\endgroup\$
    – cpcodes
    Jun 22 '18 at 16:29

Due to the fact that the spell describes the berries as "infused with magic", I take their consumption as the equivalent of using a magic item. Magic item usage has specific rules governing this case:

Activating some magic items requires a user to do something special, such as holding the item and uttering a command word. The description of each item category or individual item details how an item is activated. Certain items use the following rules for their activation.

If an item requires an action to activate, that action isn't a function of the Use an Object action, so a feature such as the rogue's Fast Hands can't be used to activate the item.

(From the DMG & SRD's Magic Items -> Activating an Item section)

As such, I would rule that no, goodberries could not be consumed as a bonus action via Fast Hands.

Were it not for this rule and the berries being described as magical, then I would say yes, the action to consume them would be subsumed into the "Use an Object" action type as per that action's description:

When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action.


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