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I'm playing in D&D 5e. I want to buy barrels of centipedes in Chult. How many swarms can I get per 40 gallon barrel?

Given a 40 gallon barrel, and a 5x5 (medium sized) swarm of centipedes, how many swarms fit in a single barrel?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you want a barrel of live centipedes? Or just dead bugs? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 7, 2022 at 14:45

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The rules don't say. Ask your DM.

But we can do some math, in case that helps.

Forty gallons appears to be 5.34 cubic feet. A swarm of centipedes is Medium size, which means it normally occupies 25 square feet but the rules don't say to what height.

If the swarm was only two inches tall, then it would occupy a volume of 25/6 = 4.16 cubic feet, and thus could fit in the barrel, assuming that the centipedes on the bottom could survive the weight.

(I'm not sure if the centipedes on the bottom could survive that weight.)

If the swarm was three inches tall, then it would occupy a volume of 25/4 = 6.35 cubic feet and so it could not fit in the barrel.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do note that the an average human fills 25 cubic feet to a depth of approximately 1.5 inches, \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 0:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @fectin let's not visualize that, though xD \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 1:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ :D Agreed! Point is that depth of fill in a five-foot square may not be the most intuitive or useful measure. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 5:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd like to add the caveat that a Medium creature does not necessarily occupy a 5x5 ft square, but rather controls it. The swarm might be substantially smaller than 5x5 feet when splayed out. \$\endgroup\$
    – John Doe
    Commented Dec 6, 2022 at 16:02

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