On the spell Banishment, a component it uses is an "item distasteful to the target." With the wording, it is rather vague on what this actually means. What defines an item distasteful to the target? What does it mean exactly?

This is assuming that it is read as written and a focus is not being used to replace it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My sorcerer carries around a little vial of feces for Banishment. It's humorous but also effective since it's a pretty universally distasteful material. That way, he doesn't have to keep track of which substances a particular monster finds distasteful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Jan 28, 2019 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara What happens if he needs to banish a dire dung beetle? \$\endgroup\$
    – JAB
    Jan 28, 2019 at 21:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ While it's not exactly an answer, it's worth noting that regardless of what that means you can still use your component pouch or other focus to cast the spell. By extension that implies there is something everyone finds distasteful in a component pouch. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 28, 2019 at 22:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kapten-N You're right, it's not like a bag of holding, but it does say that you can use it for any of your "free" components. So in some sense, it is like a bad of holding if you take the rules really literally (it would have to be able to contain infinite things). Like a bag of holding combined with the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter I suppose. You couldn't just reach in and grab anything unless you were casting a spell. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 29, 2019 at 15:47

2 Answers 2


It's not stated

"Distasteful" isn't any status or descriptor in the D&D 5th edition rules, except in the banishment spell. It's up to the DM.

However, the version of banishment in the earlier D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook (p.203) gives a more elaborate example of what items may be "distasteful", and you might use this as inspiration. It includes things which the target hates, fears, or otherwise opposes; particularly things which it is vulnerable to (examples include weapons made from a metal the creature is vulnerable to, or elements it is vulnerable to); and especially certain individual rare items that this individual especially dislikes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Like banishing your mother with the porn mags under your bed! ...sorry. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kapten-N
    Jan 29, 2019 at 11:14

For elementals, it can be something that opposes their natural element (a flask containing water for a fire elemental for exemple), for a demon, it could be a holy symbol and on the contrary, something fiendish in nature for a celestial. Depending of the DM, you can even be pretty lenient with the definition of "item". My DM once authorized the wizard I play with to bannish a hag by blowing a kiss toward her, which was enough to make her bail out back to the feywild through pure disgust.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this based on anything from the source material or speculative? If you have sources for this information, please cite them. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 3, 2020 at 16:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, it's my personal interpretation. As I said, it heavily depends on the DM here. \$\endgroup\$
    – GreenHat
    Jun 3, 2020 at 16:02

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