Magic permeates the world—it's in the air you breathe, the food you eat, and the liquids you drink. Through carefully preparation, this magic can be harnessed to create powerful consumables that help—or hinder—your adventures.
This chapter introduces some changes to consumable potions and how to interact with them.
A potion is a magically-infused liquid that, when consumed, can bestow an effect on your character—restoring health, damage resistance, strength, etc.
Potions can vary greatly in appearance, texture, and taste depending on their recipe and maker—roll on the tables below to randomly generate your potion details.
Drinking a potion requires you to spend a bonus action. Alternatively, to feed a potion to someone else, you must spend an action. You must have at least one free hand to perform either of these actions.
If you want to make drinking potions more of a risk in your campaign, consider using this Toxicity variant.
You may drink one potion per long rest without issue. For every additional potion, you risk suffering toxicity—after you consume the potion, roll a d6 on the Potion Toxicity table below to see if you suffer any side-effect.
|1||Gain a level of exhaustion.|
|2-3||Lose a hit die, or gain a level of exhaustion if you have no remaining hit die.|
Not all magic potions look alike—even a simple healing potion can vary wildly in appearance depending on who made it and which recipe was used.
During a short rest, you can attempt to identify any unidentified potions by making an Arcana knowledge check with an alchemist's kit—one per potion. Base the DC against each potion's rarity.
Success: You learn the true name of the potion.
Fail: You know if the potion is at least safe to drink.
Critical Fail (10 or more): You (unknowingly) learn a false or misleading name of the potion.
While exploring the Nightglade, Chansi finds an unidentified potion—which the GM knows to be a rare Potion of Heroism. During the next short rest, she attempts to identify it with her alchemist's kit—rolling 13 against a secret DC of 20.
She isn't able to discover exactly what the potion is, but she at least learns that it's safe to drink.
You can learn the true name of any potion using the Identify spell (or similar magics).
An adventurer can always find room for a potion or two. If your campaign setting allows it, you may loot, buy, or craft some of these special potions for your adventures.
Potion of Healing
Healing potions are an adventurer's best friend, bringing many a hero back from certain death.
When you drink a healing potion, don't roll a d4—instead, roll the same die as your most common hit die. If you don't have a hit die value for any reason, roll a d4.
This red potion feels strangely warm to the touch. It tastes of cinnamon and orange.
When you drink this potion, you instantly recover some hit points without needing to spend any hit dice—the better the quality, the more hit points you are able to restore.
|Lesser||Common||2 [hit die] + 2||50 gp|
|Greater||Uncommon||4 [hit die] + 4||150 gp|
|Superior||Rare||6 [hit die] + 8||450 gp|
|Supreme||Very rare||8 [hit die] + 16||1,350 gp|
Krazak, a barbarian, drinks a lesser healing potion with his bonus action. Using his hit die value (d12), he rolls 2d12 + 4 to see how many hit points he recovers.
If you are multiclassed and have hit dice of varying sizes, use the hit die value of whichever class you have the most levels in. On a tie, choose the highest.
Viridian, a 3rd-level Bard / 1st-level Fighter, has 3d8 and 1d10 hit dice. When he drinks a lesser healing potion, he refers to his most common hit die size (d8) and rolls 2d8 + 2.
Potion of Stamina
Stamina potions grant a small burst of energy to those suffering from exhaustion—a potential life-saver on long, dangerous journeys far from a safe resting place.
When you drink a stamina potion, you can ignore a small amount of exhaustion for one hour. This energy boost is short-lived, however, and your exhaustion will return in full strength once the potion wears off—make sure you're not in a dangerous position when it does.
This cold, black potion tastes strongly of old coffee and sour milk. It fizzes when shaken.
You may ignore some exhaustion for one hour when you drink this potion—the better the quality, the more exhaustion you can ignore. When the potion wears off, your exhaustion returns.
|Type||Rarity||Effect (1 hour)||Cost|
|Lesser||Common||−1 exhaustion||50 gp|
|Greater||Uncommon||−2 exhaustion||150 gp|
|Superior||Rare||−4 exhaustion||450 gp|
|Supreme||Very rare||Ignore all exhaustion||1,350 gp|
Chansi is suffering from two levels of exhaustion, causing disadvantage on ability checks and halving her speed—not good when being chased by dire wolves.
As a bonus action, she drinks a lesser stamina potion. For the next hour, she can ignore one level of exhaustion—her total exhaustion drops from 2 to 1, removing the half-speed penalty. She can now—just barely—keep ahead of the howling wolves.
When the potion wears off after one hour, her total level of exhaustion goes back up to 2.
Your total level of exhaustion cannot go lower than 0, nor higher than 6, as per normal.
Potion of Recovery
Hit dice are highly prized by adventurers—the more you have, the faster you can recover from lasting harm.
When you drink a recovery potion, you regain a number of expended hit dice. If you have multiple sizes of hit die—such as from multiclassing—you may choose which expended dice you recover.
This watery, green potion smells of freshly cut grass. If left in natural sunlight, it spoils after one hour.
You instantly recover a number of expended hit dice when you drink this potion—the better the quality, the more hit dice you recover. You may choose which of your hit dice are restored.
|Lesser||Common||Recover 2 hit die||50 gp|
|Greater||Uncommon||Recover 4 hit dice||150 gp|
|Superior||Rare||Recover 6 hit dice||450 gp|
|Supreme||Very rare||Recover 8 hit dice||1,350 gp|
Potion of Luck
Sometimes, the only thing standing between life and death is one lucky roll of the dice. With a luck potion, you can twist fortune in your favor—a precious boon for adventurers and gamblers alike.
When you drink a luck potion, you instantly gain 3 points of inspiration. You can't exceed your maximum number of inspiration points in this way.
This golden potion tastes like metal and sticks to your teeth for an hour, giving them a slightly golden sheen.
When you drink this potion, you instantly gain 3 points of inspiration (up to your maximum).
Viridian sat down at the crowded card table and grinned cheerfully. "Deal me in, gentlemen. I'm feeling extra lucky today."
The thugs stared at him in dumbfounded silence, until one leaned forward with a grin of his own.
"Nice teeth, goldie," said Fander with a knowing sneer. "Been drinkin' some liquid luck, 'ave we?"
Viridian stopped grinning—damn it, he'd been careless. "Uh... would you believe that they're natural?"
"Nope," said Fander curtly. Chairs scraped loudly as the thugs stood up, fists clenched in anticipation...
Potion of Spellpower
Spellpower potions infuse your body with a sudden burst of magical power—but at the cost of some stamina.
When you drink a spellpower potion, you may spend one hit die to regain an expended spell slot of your choosing. If you don't have any hit dice, you may instead gain a level of exhaustion.
This glowing, blue potion glistens with tiny crystalline fragments. It tastes of lightning and glass.
When you drink this potion, you may expend one hit die and regain one expended spell slot of your choosing—the better the quality, the higher the maximum spell slot level.
|Type||Rarity||Max. Spell Slot||Cost|
|Supreme||Very rare||5th-level||1,350 gp|
Potion of Restoration
In a desperate pinch, when all seems lost, a potion of restoration can turn the tide. These legendary potions are said to contain fragments of compressed time, allowing your body to recover some instant power.
When you drink a restoration potion, you may spend one hit die—or, if you don't have any, gain a level of exhaustion—to recover one expended racial or class feature of your choosing. This feature must normally recharge during a short or long rest.
This potion glistens with a myriad of rainbow colors. When you hold it, the flow of time feels strange.
When you drink this potion, you may expend one hit die—or, if you don't have any, gain a level of exhaustion—to regain one expended racial or class of your choosing.
Reynis was exhausted. She'd burned through her primal power already, exhausting all of her wild shapes, and yet the undead horde was relentless. Her druidic strength was all gone. Or was it...?
Reynis quickly drank her restoration potion, and—as time compressed around her for one split second—instantly felt her wild shapes restored. She grinned, teeth lengthening as she began to shapeshift...