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We assume that Constructs have "guts of gears" or magically infused stone, clay, or other materials.

It is unclear if they even have a mouth or digestive systems.

We found other SE answers showing which creatures cannot use scrolls but found others suggesting wide leniency for many other types of magical items. But what about magical potions?

Can Constructs use magical potions?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the title contradicts the body. The title is "Can Constructs drink potions", and the body asks if the Construct creature type prevents this creature from drinking a potion. The answer might be "no, just being a Construct does not prevent you from drinking", but that does not mean that any creature with the Construct type can drink. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 18 '18 at 11:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor When a post title need a minor fix, it’s discouraged to use comments. Just edit the title. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 18 '18 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I am not sure that would be a minor fix. Changing the title to something like "does Construct creature type make the creature unable to use edible magic consumables, like potions" shifts the main point of the question. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 18 '18 at 16:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Titles should always represent the question accurately. If the title doesn’t match the question, edit. If the edit would change the question, then it’s not an accurate title fix and shouldn’t be done. And shouldn’t be suggested in a comment either. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 18 '18 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie apparently, the title edit trick did not work \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 19 '18 at 9:16
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Yes, constructs (in general) can drink potions.

For reference, the construct type is described in the basic rules identically to its description in the introduction to the Monster Manual:

Constructs are made, not born. Some are programmed by their creators to follow a simple set of instructions, while others are imbued with sentience and capable of independent thought. Golems are the iconic constructs. Many creatures native to the outer plane of Mechanus, such as modrons, are constructs shaped from the raw material of the plane by the will of more powerful creatures.

Nothing in the rules prevents constructs in general from drinking potions. Specific potions might state that constructs are unable to gain their benefits, but I haven't seen any such restrictions.

They are creatures, and can do anything that other creatures can do unless specified otherwise.

As always, DMs can houserule differently.


My answer applies to constructs in general. Particular creatures might have specific traits that might change the applicability of this answer to them.

Several monsters from the Monster Manual (animated objects, golems, helmed horrors, scarecrows, shield guardians) and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (cadaver collectors, clockworks, hellfire engines, maruts, steel predators, stone cursed) have the "Constructed Nature"/"Construct Nature" trait:

Constructed Nature. A [creature name] doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

However, as written, this trait simply states that such constructs don't require drink (e.g. water). It does not state that they are incapable of benefiting from magic items such as potions. As such, the trait does not prevent them drinking potions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "Nothing in the rules prevents constructs in general from drinking potions." — this is not exactly true. The rules say "A potion or an elixir must be swallowed", assuming you can't apply it if you can't swallow. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 18 '18 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor since there is nowhere in the rules any specification as to which creatures can or can not swallow stuff... you know the rest \$\endgroup\$ – J.E Jul 18 '18 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.E what about the common sense? apparently, you have to have a mouth \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 18 '18 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, nowhere in the rules says that Constructs can swallow. \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Jul 18 '18 at 14:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor Actually let me retract my previous statement. There are creatures in them rules, that explicitly can swallow – things like tarrasque, behir or giant toad. Not PCs though. Do we now believe that players cannot drik potions? Nope. Per your mouth point – many constructs do have mouths. But I will wholeheartedly agree that a table, a broom and a sword don't and that they can be prohibitied to enjoy a lovely potion. But not by RAW (unfortunately, might I add). \$\endgroup\$ – J.E Jul 18 '18 at 14:50
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If the construct is able to swallow things (or do something that could be understood as swallowing).
The DMG page 141 (emphasis mine):

A potion or an elixir must be swallowed, or an oil applied to the body.

I didn't find anything about the importance of the digestive system. So it looks like the only prerequisite is the ability to swallow, not to digest. So at the end of the day it depends on the DM if some construct is able to swallow or not.

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