In the Player's Basic Rules, it says

Interacting with objects around you: Here are a few examples of the sorts of thing you can do in tandem with your movement and action:


withdraw a potion from you backpack [and as a sepearate item] drink all the ale in a flagon

It's pretty clear that you can do a minor action such as the above examples and still use an action to attack, dash, or what-have-you, but it's a little unclear as to whether both of these things together would necessarily constitute an action in its own right.

I'm wondering specifically about the rogue in my game who wanted to run over to an unconscious character, withdraw a potion from their pack, feed it to them, and then wanted to attack. This sounded like too much to happen in a short 6 seconds. Complicating my time-counting was that the rogue has a bonus action in which she can use the Use Object action.

Can a player withdraw a potion from a pack AND drink it without using their action? Would having a bonus action to "Use Object" affect this scenario?


2 Answers 2



Drinking a potion is explicitly an action.

Healing Potion:.... Drinking or administering a potion takes an action (PHB 153)

You can draw the potion as a part of the action that you use to drink it, but you cannot drink it as a free action.

However, it takes an action and cannot be used with the Rogue's Fast Hands ability per the DMG(p141):

If an item requires an action to activate, that action isn't a function of the Use an Item action, so a feature such as rogue's Fast Hands can't be used to activate the item.

Thus you don't have 2 instances of interact with object going on, you have 1 interact with object (drawing the potion), and a second action that is specific to the magic item in question. This is quite different from two instances of interact with object.


Assuming the player has not used their free object interaction that turn they can fish a potion out, then drink it with the Use an Object action. If a thief does this they can do it as a bonus action.

The reason for this is because none of the gear in the equipment section refers to Use an Object. However, the Use an Object action in the combat section says, "When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action."

As an example.

A character that has not used their free object interaction to stow or draw a weapon that turn may use that interaction to retrieve a potion from their backpack. With the potion in hand they can use their action to Use an Object, drinking the potion.

A thief can Use an Object as a bonus action, allowing them to both drink a potion and attack on the same turn, provided they started the turn with a weapon in their non-potion hand.

edit Apparently the DMG is going to clarify that using magic items is specifically not part of Use an Object. So using a potion is not covered by the thief ability Fast Hands.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Relevant meta: Don't signal your edits in text. Instead, you should edit your answer to read as if it were always the best version of itself. (In this case, a significant portion of your answer is contradicted by your edit, and the rest is already covered by the other answer...) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 30, 2019 at 1:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .