An adventurer is being swallowed whole by a Tyrannosaurus; Things look bleak. Suddenly, the player has a brilliant idea! They crack open a Feather Token: Tree inside the dinosaur's mouth. The description for the item tells us the size of the tree, and that it springs into being "instantaneously". Sadly, such questions as "can the tree grow inside an enemy's stomach?" and "how much damage does that do" are left to the imagination.

Are there rules anywhere that cover this situation? Official sources are preferred, but a 3rd party source, or even a well written blog post is sure better that what I have now, which is nothing.


3 Answers 3


Unless you can throw a tree, you cannot throw a feather token and make it turn into a tree on your target. Because activating a feather token is a Standard Action. Just getting this out of the way as people try this more often than not.

Now, if you are inside a creature, and manage to activate a magic item, it will work normally. If you are Swallowed you are also grappled, which states that you can take any action that doesn't require both hands. As long as you don't need both hands to activate a magic item, you will be fine, you are not restricted from your other actions.

If you look at this topic, Sean K. Reynolds said:

If you are swallowed, you are restricted in your actions (as per the grapple condition). You also have the option of cutting yourself free (which you don't have for a normal, non-swallow, grapple situation).

The bit about "just try to escape from the grapple" is a reiteration of the normal option for being grappled; it's not limiting your options to just cut-or-escape.

So, he can activate any magic item, shuffle through his bags and pockets, draw or shealthe weapons, drink potions, cast spells with a concentration check, try to escape the swallowed condition by succeeding a grapple check and go back to the creature's mouth, etc.

However, if you look at the magic item stat block, you will see that the feather token uses a conjuraiton (creation) spell, Major Creation, which say in the CRB:

A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

That said, in the case of the Tree Feather Token, it cannot be activated inside another creature.

In my table, i would allow the item to be used, because of the Rule of Fun of describing the scene to my players.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that whether a tree feather token counts as a conjuration spell is debatable. I suspect it probably counts as one for the purpose of that rule, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jun 16, 2016 at 0:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It was stated by the devs that magic items do not reproduce the spells used to make them, but in some cases, those spells and their school can shed a light on how the magic item is supposed to work in situations were no rule was written to cover it. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jun 16, 2016 at 11:33

For the specific instance that you are asking about is impossible, as the rules for conjuration magic (which all feather tokens use) is very clear that you cannot make conjured creatures or objects appear inside other creatures or objects.

Quote from D20PFSRD

A creature or object brought into being or transported to your location by a conjuration spell cannot appear inside another creature or object, nor can it appear floating in an empty space. It must arrive in an open location on a surface capable of supporting it.

Related to the question about the Tree Feather Token, as far as I can tell, there haven't been any 'Official' responses to how it works in other edge cases, but in the posts below there are valid arguments for what I'm going to write.

Paizo Forums 1 - Note, the Paizo Forums tend towards off topic discussion or argument tangential to the asked question, its just something you have to deal with there, which is why I love rpg SE

Paizo Forums 2

Reddit Thread

The general consensus is that it either works like using enlarge person (it grows to the maximum size allowed by the confinement and then stops) or it would have to make a strength check to break through something like a dungeon ceiling. This comes up because having a tree appear wherever you want can be a huge tactical advantage, especially in a dungeon where space is limited.

I have used tokens to save my party before, as we were running away from a Rock Troll with fighter levels, I dropped the feather token and a tree popped up to block the path, it just stopped at the ceiling.


There are a number of rules as posted by Gnomejon and Kras from which you can extrapolate your own answer, nothing really address your situation explicitly and directly although a combination of several will give you a good basis on which to make your decision. This situation can't really be abused in my opinion and if they want to try let them. They have to be swallowed by something to do it, let them worry about the risk vs reward on that front.

My golden rule is never punish a player for being creative and using what he has in a desperate attempt at saving his skin. Creative play should be rewarded to at least some degree, however in your situation where the T-Rex had already swallowed them I feel that the expansion of the tree (probably a roll to be able to activate the item in that situation) would cause significant damage to both the character and the T-Rex in this case unless the character had a way to mitigate the crushing effect of the tree's expansion. Note: this is not a punishment character makes a declaration you give the reaction of the world. Most players have enough rope to hang themselves you just get to watch sometimes. You might warn of that impending circumstance though. Given the choice of slow digestion and quick crush most go with the latter with the possibility, however slim, of survival.

I would rule that you could not throw the activated token though, simply based on two things, as stated by others previously... unless they can throw a tree and if you throw a feather its speed would be markedly less impressive based on momentum and wind resistance and would simply fall to his feet instead. Using it to displace a creature would be valid though.

I ran a bladesinger years ago that used his folding boat as a means to displace several slaadi into an ongoing Blade Barrier spell. The reason I say this is that obviously there were no rules in place to deal with my declaration nor when I threw the bag of flour into the Blade Barrier to reveal them in their Invisibility, but... IT WAS FUN and I will remember that story for many more years.

Bottom line is that this game is about fun and if a player comes up with an off-the-wall idea that "could" work just mock up a few probability die rolls and go with it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Slagmoth and @Gnomejon, I've removed these comments since they weren't going anywhere. Since you each have submitted an answer, which should have plenty of room to present your cases, repeating the difference of views in comments is unnecessary and impairs the signal-to-noise ratio of the answers. Thanks for understanding! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 15, 2016 at 20:48

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