The description of the dust of disappearance magic item states:

There is enough of it for one use. When you use an action to throw the dust into the air, you and each creature and object within 10 feet of you become invisible for 2d4 minutes.

One of my players decided to do a line of dust of disappearance to avoid having it affect everyone within a 10-foot radius.

I thought it would be funnier to just have their nose go invisible, but as they have more powder, I want to know what a more official use would be.

Can you selectively dust just an individual or yourself? Could you ingest it or slip it into a drink for the invisibility effect?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I suppose they should be glad it wasn't dust of sneezing and choking... \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jan 13 '20 at 2:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is precisely the beautiful marriage of idiocy and brilliance that I have come to expect of players. \$\endgroup\$ – gobernador Jan 14 '20 at 20:14

They get lungs full of dust

The dust does what it says: if “you use an action to throw the dust into the air, you and each creature and object within 10 feet of you become Invisible for 2d4 minutes.”

If you don’t do that, you just have a pile of dust.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Comment discussion removed; the question's scope is well-defined around an actual real-world problem someone experienced. Adding scope creep is not expected or desirable. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jan 13 '20 at 12:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer would improve if a sentence explaining that all magic items must be used in the specific way the rules state or they have no effect and that's the reason it doesn't work for this particular case. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Jan 13 '20 at 15:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ agreed, for the same reason pouring the dust into a bag doesn't turn the bag invisible. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Elliott Jan 15 '20 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RobElliott pouring acid into a bottle also doesn't dissolve the bottle. The fact that a container, you know, contains something doesn't imply the substance is inert. The wording of how the dust is used doesn't imply to me that this is the only way to make the dust active. It can equally imply that exposing the dust to air makes anything coated by it invisible. Equally, I don't see anything that says the dust stays in dust form - given it's D&D, it might just dissolve into an invisibility potion on contact or activate a magical effect and evaporate in the process. \$\endgroup\$ – VLAZ Jan 16 '20 at 18:12

You could have fun with this.

The player's action seems clearly inspired by recreational drug use. You could rule that the powder behaves in a metaphorical way to this type of consumption, and just as other powders, when ingested, affect brain chemistry, so to does the Dust of Disappearance. So, for example, you could have the character's senses be affected (as in, they no longer see or hear certain things in their environment, as the dust makes the sensory input disappear). Similarly, you could have memories or words disappear (e.g., the player can't remember where some of his/her items are stowed, or for the next 'n' minutes, he/she must write down all communications and pass them to the GM, who can then scratch out as many words as he/she likes before passing the note on to the target of the message).

Bottom line: magical items are powerful tools, and using them in unexpected ways should commonly result in undesirable results -- just like the real world, where using a loaded gun as a hammer is generally a BAD idea...


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