A commonly accepted interpretation rule for spells is that spells only do what they say they do, nothing more. Shocking grasp does not electrify water, fireball does not evaporate it.

So a spell that targets a creature should say it affects the gear or equipment carried or worn, or it would not. This is supported by many spells that are explicit about affecting the target creature's equipment, for example invisibility and polymorph. But banishment has no language about carried or worn equipment, so it would not include gear. (Neither, by the way have teleport, plane shift or imprisonment, which would mean they transport their targets without clothing or equipment, Terminator-style.)

Everyone I know plays these spells as transporting the creature with all its gear (for example, this question assumes it). Banishing otherwise would be powerful against opponents that rely on equipment to fight: you could banish them and have them come back without it and relatively helpless; teleporting otherwise would suck.

Does banishment remove the creature and leave it's equipment behind?

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    \$\begingroup\$ To give some feedback on the downvotes here, it’s likely a combination of the self-answer and the question having a somewhat obvious practical solution, even if the rules-leaning solution is not immediately obvious. I generally find that self-answer questions do best when the solution provided is very non-obvious. For example, this question of mine about Mythic Actions. No guidance whatsoever is given in VGtR, and the published guidance is only found in another niche campaign setting book. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2022 at 10:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ Terminator style teleportation may become a feature of my campaigns going forwards! Do players choose between speed, or gear?! I imagine a lot more civilians being left to die. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 20:02

2 Answers 2


If your understanding of a feature is that it will usually involve someone getting naked, you are probably mistaken.

I’ve written about this idea before, on a similar question about an invisibility feature that doesn’t mention worn and carried things,

The monk’s 18th level feature Empty Body says:

Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 4 ki points to become invisible for 1 minute. During that time, you also have resistance to all damage but force damage.

You’re right, it doesn’t mention things you are wearing or carrying. But if the feature doesn’t turn those things invisible, it’s really not that good unless you get naked. The resistance to all but force damage is nice, but the invisibility does nothing for you, unless you get naked. And in general, if your reading of a rule requires your character to get naked there’s a good chance you’ve misstepped somewhere.

D&D 5e is generally not going to involve frequent nudity. It’s just not that kind of game, though there are games like that out there. So we have a good litmus test we can use to determine if we are understanding a feature correctly; just ask yourself this question:

Is my understanding of this feature going to frequently involve naked people?

If your answer is yes, try again. We’re looking for a ruling that generally does not involve people either having to be naked for it to work, or does not involve making people naked that didn’t want to be naked. Because again, 5e isn’t that kind of game, unless, of course, everyone agrees to make it that kind of game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin Like I said, if you see this as a shortcoming of 5e, there are games out there for you. Just don’t tell mom. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2022 at 11:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin If it isn’t immediately obvious to you that frequent nudity should not be assumed to be a integral part of the function of the rules, you should really do some self reflection before you are featured on r/rpghorrorstories. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2022 at 8:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin This isn’t an objective answer. This is about how subjective social expectations can help us interpret the rules. If our interpretation of a particular rule yields something we would expect to violate the usual social expectation about the game’s content, we should seriously reconsider our approach to that rule, because we have a reasonable understanding about the sort of content we can expect the game to produce. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 9, 2022 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fun fact: In 3.5e, Baleful Polymorph usually would have the practical effect of "making people naked that didn't want to be naked" because it removed gear. This side effect was removed in 5e when it was merged into the plain Polymorph spell, suggesting that WotC disliked the nakedness, but the more plausible interpretation is that polymorph effects have always been severely unbalanced and WotC did this as a general nerf (i.e. "no more stealing the NPCs' high-level gear with a single save-or-suck spell"). \$\endgroup\$
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 2 at 22:20

Teleportation includes the creature's equipment

Banishment and Imprisonment send creatures to another plane or place, and therefore are teleportation effects. There is a Sage Advice Compendium ruling for misty step (see below) that states all teleportation effects include worn and carried equipment. So these spells as teleportation effects will include the creature's equipment.

Misty step doesn’t say the caster can bring worn or carried equipment with them. Are they intended to leave everything, including their clothes, behind?

No, the caster’s worn and carried equipment are intended to go with them.

Some teleportation effects do specify that you teleport with your gear; such specification is an example of a rule being needlessly fastidious, since no teleportation effect in the game assumes that you teleport without your clothes, just as the general movement rules don’t assume that you drop everything when you walk.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's a perfect example of "unhelpful helper text" where the addition of helper text to teleport implies the existence of a general rule that really doesn't exist. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 6, 2022 at 15:18

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