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I saw this come up in another question in regards to drinking a healing potion not being a Use an Object action as the text in the equipment chapter under healing potion specifically says that using a healing potion is an action.

But if I look at the other objects in the equipment chapter, I find similar text:

Applying the poison takes an action.

Drinking or administering the potion takes an action.

As an action, you can spread a bag of caltrops...

None of these refer specifically to Use an Object.

However, the Use an Object text in the Combat chapter says this.

When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action.

So the text in the Combat chapter, by my reading, seems to say that the 'action' in the text of specific objects in the equipment section is Use an Object.

Is this correct? Is using any of the objects in the equipment chapter the Use an Object action as the Use an Object text seems to say? If not, then what can you do with Use an Object?

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What it covers

Your reading is correct. Two of these examples fall under the Use an Object action. The wording is very clear:

Use an Object (PHB p. 193)

When an object requires your action for its use, you take the Use an Object action.

As Eric pointed out in a comment, the Thief Archetype for the Rogue gets to Use an Object as a bonus action. They would be able to use poison or spread caltrops as a bonus action.

What it does not cover

Activating a magic item does not use the Use an Object action, so drinking or administering a magic potion cannot be done via the Use an Object action.

Activating an Item (DMG p. 141)

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 the rogue's Fast Hands can't be used to activate the item.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting example of RAW conflict with RAI, Jeremy Crawford sez potion drinking isn't UaO: twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/525305310538248192 (and also) twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/525716508887244800 \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2014 at 14:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Apparently the DMG will clarify that "use magic item" is a separate action type. Poisons and caltrops would remain the purview of Use an Object, however. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2014 at 14:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ A healing potion counts as a magic item, so it can't be used as a bonus action with Fast Hands. The Healer's Kit is not a magic item, so you can stabilise someone using the bonus action. \$\endgroup\$
    – zigagiz
    Apr 24, 2019 at 20:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ The DMG did indeed clarify that magic item use is its own action (as the answer now says). From DMG p. 141, under "Activating an Item": "If an item requires an action to activate, that action isn't a function of the Use an Object action, so a feature such as the rogue's Fast Hands can't be used to activate the item." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 19, 2019 at 22:23

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