Planting one of the 3d4 beans from within the magic item Bag of Beans gives this result about 10% of the time:

A nest of 1d4 + 3 eggs springs up. Any creature that eats an egg must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, a creature permanently increases its lowest ability score by 1, randomly choosing among equally low scores. On a failed save, the creature takes 10d6 force damage from an internal magical explosion.

The point? One could gain up to 20 in any / all scores pending enough successful Con-saves. That said, simple & easy constitution saving throws are hard to come by. Given vast time, energy, money &/or magical resources (dragons, vampires, elf lords, etc.), how would they prepare? The 35 damage (approx.) is not the issue - a failed save appears to give no ability bonus.

Basic Question: How can one improve &/or guarantee successful constitution saving throws given infinite time, money, support &/or magic to prepare?

All tricks are welcome / hook or crook: be that by advantage, use of luck, rare feat, class or race skill, potent-portent class features, advance preparation, or stacking spells. Even the stress wish counts. Anything.

Note / FYI: This is of great interest to ültrapowerful creatures that have one 'flaw' ability. Take most ancient dragons (lacking dexterity), Beholders (low strength and dexterity), giants (often low dex) - or even some demon lords (Yeenoghu is a bit stupid, relatively speaking).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Since this isnt relevant to the question, ability scores are capped at 20 unless a feature explicitly increases that cap: "You can’t increase an ability score above 20." -PHB Chapter 1 \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2021 at 20:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related on that: Can the Bag of Beans increase an ability score above 20? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jan 14, 2021 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ So you aren't interested in mitigating the damage, but specifically on increasing the odds of a successful save. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2021 at 20:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think a better question would be "What is the lowest level at which a character could automatically succeed on a DC 20 Consitution saving throw?" \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2021 at 21:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ An average of 7.5 beans each with a 10% chance of the nest gives you roughly 50% odds that you'll even see any eggs from such a bag... So given that it seems pretty trivial to be able to guarantee a DC20 Con save given unlimited time/money, I feel the more interesting question would be how (if it's possible) to maximise the number of explosive eggs you get in the first place... \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15, 2021 at 4:31

5 Answers 5


Hire a Divination wizard

You've written:

given infinite time, money, support &/or magic to prepare

so a good solution is to hire a second-level divination wizard and keep them on retainer. Every day they will roll two d20s for portents; there is some chance that they'll roll high enough for you to make the save. When that happens, you eat an egg, and they use their portent to make sure you succeed.

(In-character, this will probably be represented by the wizard saying: "I have had a vision that today you will have good fortune if you eat one of those eggs!" or something like that.)

The best feature of this method is that it requires very little of the creature that is eating the eggs. It will work for any creature (including, as OP wrote, "dragons, beholders, giants, or even some demon lords"), and not just for characters that have very high CON scores and very specific sets of class levels.

(Note also, as Cireo wrote below, that many dragons-et-cetera have legendary resistances and can just choose to succeed at the save.)

If you're worried about the eggs going bad while you wait, one solution is the chest of preserving, a common magic item that prevents food from spoiling.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is my favourite answer. I was interested in ways to automatically succeed in a Con-save, and this one is close. Also, i suspect 5e does not count a roll of 1 as a 'crit fail'. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2021 at 22:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimofTime natural 1s are indeed only "crit fails" if the d20 roll was an attack (and even then, it's merely an automatic failure, not some "you accidentally shoot your buddy", although you can use that as a houserule, of course). That being said, you don't roll in the first place if a divination wizard is using his Portent ability, thus you'd never roll a one; see PHB p. 116, "You must choose to do so before the roll". \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15, 2021 at 0:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ I really like the in-character explanation of this. Without it this just feels incredibly meta gamey. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 15, 2021 at 20:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CaptainMan agreed! 1. The NPC Diviner is RAW, 2. You don't need to be a specific class-race to use this, and; 3. This provides depth of story, multiple characters, interesting relations and all that. It is RAW, RAF & RAI in one. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2021 at 17:49

Be a high level barbarian with a cloak of protection standing next to a paladin

There are probably complicated methods, but a high level barbarian can have 24 CON, for a +7, and a +6 proficiency. That is already +13.

A paladin aura can add +5.

The cloak of protection adds +1.

That is +19, and you can't roll below a 1 on the save.

I can actually think of quite a few other suggestions, but this doesn't even have limited uses and you can save your stress wish for trying to get your ability score cap increased.

Yeenoghu, as referenced in the question already actually has a +15 CON save, all he needs is a loyal sidekick (a paladin of his own faith can't be hard for him to find) and he can eat these all day long.

Ancient black dragons have a +14, so again just need a paladin.

Beholders and giants are a different case, they need a few more tricks, the beholder specifically will need to start with someone to feed it, since the poor thing has no arms.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The gold cost for a cloak of protection is pretty trivial at level 20, but as long as you've got the Paladin standing there, you may as well have her cast Bless instead \$\endgroup\$ Jan 14, 2021 at 21:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Punintended I went for an option that would work all day long and consume no real resources, but that is one of many options \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jan 14, 2021 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ "the beholder specifically will need to start with someone to feed it, since the poor thing has no arms" Beholders can use their telekinesis eyestalk to feed themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Jan 16, 2021 at 3:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 This is why almost all Beholders have Telekinesis - otherwise they are a just a floating zero-plegic ('no limbs to paralyze'). Even tiny orange hands are better than no hands. Sad! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2021 at 17:56

I want to add cheap option that adds considerable kick to your Con saving throw: a single level of Sorcerer with the Favored Soul origin. That gives you access to Resistance or Bless (you can only concentrate on one) and Favored of the Gods, for a whopping +3d4 (or +7.5 on average) to any saving throw once per hour (available while spell slots last).

With it, you could have a 1st level party with a Lucky Human Favored Soul with good Con, a Bard and a Cleric who can use Resistance or Bless (whichever you don't have) and and already get up to 1d20 (with reroll from the Lucky Feat) + 3 (16 con) + 2 (Favored Souls are proficient in Con saves) + 1d4 (bless) + 1d4 (resistance) + 2d4 (favored of the gods) + 1d6 (bardic inspiration) and get B(2d20)+5+4d4+1d6 for an average of about 31.

Anydice analysis of this distribution says that your chances of succeeding on a DC 20 saving throw are 98.69%.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it still an automatic fail if the base d20 is a 1? Because then you're capped at a 95% effectiveness, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – GWLlosa
    Jan 15, 2021 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Automatic failures apply to attacks, but not saving throws (although nat1 = fail is a common house rule) \$\endgroup\$
    – Will
    Jan 16, 2021 at 1:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GWLlosa Even if 1 where autofail, you have a reroll on the d20, so probability to get 1 is 0.25%. \$\endgroup\$
    – Taemyr
    Jan 16, 2021 at 10:09

Get a save mod of +19 or more

In order to always succeed on a DC 20 save, we need to boost our minimum to 20. The lowest we can roll on the d20 is 1 (note that nat 1's have no special effect on normal saving throws) so we need to boost our mod to +19 (or higher) for a number of rolls.

There are a lot of different ways to achieve this, especially since you don't need it to be static (if you run out of the resources to do guarantee the roll you can just not eat any more eggs until you have them back). 6 levels of Paladin, 7 of Artificer, proficiency in the saving throw and a Charisma, Intelligence, and Constitution score of 20 gives a modifier of +19 for a roll even with a proficiency of +4. If getting those scores out of the gate is too tricky, you can even have allies have those levels and scores, and it'll still work. Any additional or alternate methods which boost generic constitution saving throws by a static modifier (rerolls and replacements may not apply) or by adding a die such as Bardic Inspiration, bless, resitance, warding bond, rings or cloaks of protections, rotor of return, staff of power, luckstone, luck blade, ion stone of vitality, and/or robe of stars.

If you can't get your character to guarantee saving, consider casting invulnerability on yourself to guarantee the damage doesn't hurt you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ invulnerability is not a good solution. Since you only have a limited number of eggs so each failed con save is a lost stat point. Also unnessary, getting to 60 hp so that you always survive 10d6 is not that hard, nor is it hard to get 60 hp of healing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Taemyr
    Jan 15, 2021 at 12:49

Be a creature with legendary resistances

You mention legendary creatures might want to take advantage of this. A common feature of these creatures (Dragons, Demons, not Beholders or Kraken) are legendary resistances, which would let you automatically succeed on 3 eggs each day.

Note also that a bag of beans will on average only net you just over 4 eggs, so if you want to increase several attributes to 20 you will need a supplier.


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