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So we were playing a completely random dungeon crawl tonight just as an experiment to see where the dice would take us. Well One of my players ended up getting a deck of many things (rolled on random loot table) then he drew the sun card (50,000 XP and a wondrous item). All perfectly fine because it was just a crazy weird night... the book fell open to a page of loot and the first wondrous item i saw was the bag of devouring.

My question is would his CHARACTER know it is a bag of devouring? I think it would be kinda fun if he had to deal with it trying to eat him or something, but if he knows what it is, or can easily find out, it might kill any chance for odd hijynx when we finish the experiment next weekend.

I am perfectly fine with it not attacking him, or being bad for him, just think it would be a silly thing for a silly game... so don't focus on that. I just want to know if i should treat this like a cursed item, where the character doesn't know it might eat his hand.... or if he just meditates on it like a normal magic item and can learn that it will try to devour him?

Personally i am leaning towards ruling it as a normal magic item that he can learn its properties during a short rest.

(Eitherway i know something will be getting eaten, either his ridiculously lucky character who just got 50,000 XP, or maybe the Orc War Chief that ran away from the first fight in the dungeon.)

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A Bag of Devouring isn't a cursed item so it's identifiable the same way as any other magic item:

The identify spell is the fastest way to reveal an item's properties. Alternatively, a character can focus on one magic item during a short rest, while being in contact with the item. At the end of the rest, the character learns the item's properties, as well as how to use them. (DMG, pg.136)

If the PC takes the time to "learn its properties" then yes, they know what it is. Otherwise, they know it's a bag but don't know it's a Bag of Devouring.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yea the players i have are all a buncha munchkins... they always identify or meditate on magic items. I figured that he would be able to figure out what it did, I was just hoping for some comic relief before he becomes ultra overpowered. \$\endgroup\$ – MC_Hambone Dec 7 '15 at 5:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MC_Hambone If the character is using the focusing approach, you can ask the player in question about the method of his investigation. If he's being careful and just calmly meditating with the bag in his hands for an hour, then you can't do anything about it. But if he expects a simple Bag of Holding and says something like "I study it carefully, feeling it inside and out...", well then there's a 50% chance that his investigation will end early and in the bowels of an extradimensional beast. \$\endgroup\$ – DaFluid Dec 7 '15 at 8:26
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Reach into it? That seems like the easiest way to identify a BoD. Probably not the best way, but certainly the easiest.

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I always poked a stick in it and waited two turns. If half the stick is gone it is not a Bag of Holding.

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IIRC, attempts to identify a Bag of Devouring ID it as a Bag of Holding. it's just when you start permanently losing items that you learn what it is.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. The Stack doesn't work like a regular discussion forum, it's a Q&A site, where you're expected to back up your answers. "IIRC" is not part of a good answer. You may like to have a look at the tour and help center pages. \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus Aug 24 '16 at 5:16

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