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Inspired by the question "What is the cheapest way to damage myself and trigger the effects of the Fade Away feat?" I am now wondering whether you can drink a flagon of poisoned ale as an object interaction.

The list of things you can do with your object interaction includes:

  • drink all the ale in a flagon

There are also poisons which activate when ingested such as the Assassin's Blood (Ingested) Poison which states:

A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 6 (1d12) poison damage and is poisoned for 24 hours. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and isn't poisoned.

The section on ingested poisons states:

A creature must swallow an entire dose of ingested poison to suffer its effects. The dose can be delivered in food or a liquid. You may decide that a partial dose has a reduced effect, such as allowing advantage on the saving throw or dealing only half damage on a failed save.

I am wondering if there are rules that I've missed somewhere detailing poisoning things like this. I know that drinking potions require an action, but are there rules that clarify further the action-economy of poisons? Can you drink one as an object interaction? If you cannot, then what about poisoned ale?


Two reasons you may want to do this:
To damage yourself in order to activate the Fade Away feat.
To damage yourself in order to prevent Barbarian Rage from ending.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Given that drinking a flagon of ale is already on the list of example object interactions, is there a reason you think you can't? What's the alternative hypothesis here? \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Oct 23 at 16:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Am I missing why you aren't swallowing the poison directly? Or is that meant to require an action? Which actually makes me wonder why you can freely down ale but not a healing potion (I know, balance, but still). \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Oct 23 at 16:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells Things like what SeriousBri mentions are what give me pause. Potions of Healing require an action, do poisons? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 23 at 16:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Worth pointing out that even if this does work, you have to have the flagon of ale (or poison vial) ready before drinking, otherwise you spend your free interaction to draw it, then have to burn an action drinking it. \$\endgroup\$ – cpcodes Oct 23 at 16:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie When I said draw, I was referring more to the poison vial I mentioned, or whatever other item was chosen to take the place of the flagon, or to the general act of readying an item for use. In the case of a flagon, it might be picking it up off of a table (or, if one is near a tap and has the flagon ready, to draw it that way). Ultimately, my point was that one needs have whatever item one chooses ready to use, which may consume the free interaction, requiring the character to waste their action for the round using the item anyway, making the practicality questionable. \$\endgroup\$ – cpcodes Oct 24 at 0:27
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Only if you're already holding the container.

I've gotten into a battle of wits with a man in black, and decided that my only option is to drink the wine in front of me. I need to do two things: pick up the cup, and drink it. Either one of those would be considered an object interaction, so if I want to do it all in one round, I have to use my action to do the other one.

This depends on a particular reading of the example object interaction "Drink all the ale in a flagon", which is that it doesn't entail picking up the flagon.

However, this reading has a major advantage: drinking potions no longer needs special treatment in the action economy. The usual act of drinking a potion involves taking it from wherever you've got it stashed and pouring it into your mouth, and requires an action. This is (under my reading) also how drinking anything else works, so we eliminate screwy behavior where you're mysteriously unable to drink something because it's secretly magical.

Mechanically, drinking a potion is still a Use Magic Device action rather than Use Object, but in almost every case what matters is that it's an action. There are still a few corner cases, such as a Thief Rogue wanting to do it as a bonus action. But there are always corner cases.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 No, but taking the potion out from storage does. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Oct 23 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah so you're saying drinking a potion of healing uses your action and object interaction, I see \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 23 at 16:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 If it's stored somewhere, yes. In the weird edge case where it's already in your hand with the cap off, I'd probably allow you to drink it as an object interaction. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Oct 23 at 16:34

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