All potions come in a quantity sufficient to perform whatever their end is, although a small sample can be taken without effecting the whole. For those with limited effect the time will be six turns plus the number of pips rolled on a six-sided die.Right from the start we see that sipping a potion to test it doesn't use it up. This allows for players to have some idea of what potions they have so they can make decisions about when to use them. Also note the time, an hour with a d6 in variability with a two hour maximum.
Potions will affect anyone who takes them. Some method of detecting the effects of the potion must be found. If the characters lack a detect magic spell, they may dare a tiny sip to see what the result may be. This would leave enough potion to accomplish its complete effect. Most potions come in small vials or flasks containing a single dose. The effects of most potions last somewhat longer than 6 turns. The Dungeon Master rolls a secret die to determine the number of additional turns and only informs the player when the effect of the potion has worn off.Not sure about the first sentence here. Does this mean you don't get a save? But you do if it's a potion of poison. Does it mean once you've drunk it you can't decide to not use the flight powers you been granted? Not that I want more specificity, just not sure why that sentence is needed.
Detect magic to identify a potion? Or just to show that the vial of liquid is magic? Notice a potion gets defined now as a small vial and the roll for duration becomes explicitly secret, the DM's purview.
Potions are usually found in small glass vials, similar to Holy Water. Each potion has a different smell and taste - even two potions with the same effect. Unless stated otherwise, the effect of a potion lasts 7-12 (1d6+6) turns. Only the DM should know the exact duration. The entire potion must be drunk to have this effect. A potion may be sipped to discover its type and then used later. Drinking a potion takes one round. If a character drinks a potion while another potion is still in effect, that character will become sick and will be unable to do anything (no saving throw) for 3 turns (1/2 hour) and neither potion will have any further effect. A potion of healing has no duration for purposes of the sickness described above.Now potions have different smells and tastes. Is this to help a young DM add detail to a world? Everything else seems familiar except, now we get the first miscibility rule. "Don't try to use Invulnerability and Heroism at the same time you little cheaters." Notice when you add this level of specificity in your restrictions it requires even more specificity for the exception; "healing potions are cool, though"
Potions are usually found in small glass vials, similar to Holy Water. Each potion has a different smell and taste - even two potions with the same effect! Unless stated otherwise, the effect of a potion lasts 7-12 turns. Only you, the DM, should know the exact duration, and you should keep track of it when the potion is used. The entire potion must be drunk to have this effect. A potion may be sipped to discover its type and then used later. Drinking a potion takes one round. Sipping a potion does not decrease its effect or duration. If a character drinks a potion while another potion is still in effect, that character will become sick and will be unable to do anything (no saving throw) for 3 turns (1/2 hour) and neither potion will have any further effect. A potion of healing has no duration (for this calculation).It's interesting to see how Mentzer has taken Moldvay and tweaked it. Check out the exclamation point in sentence 2 and the DM being addressed directly as "you." Cool departure from the neutral corporate-rule speak. I need to get a physical copy of this and look closer. But, look, we have one new addition here: someone wondered how long it takes to drink a potion and now it's become set in stone.
Potions are typically found in ceramic, crystal, glass, or metal flasks in enough quantity to provide one person with one complete dose so as to beNow we get the longest description yet of identifying potions through taste-testing. So, no identifying marks, you have to sip. Why? Well, poison won't work otherwise, right? It does allow for interesting and funny tastes related to the potion effects. But I think you could have just as much fun with cool, punny names on bottles.
able to achieve the effects which are given hereafter for each type of potion. Potion containers can be other than as described at your option. As a general rule they should bear no identifying marks, so that the players must sample from each container in order to determine the nature of the liquid. However, even a small taste should suffice to identify a potion in some way- even if just a slight urge. As Dungeon Master you should add a few different sorts of potions, both helpful and harmful, of such nature as to cause difficulties in identification. In addition, the same type of potion, when derived from different sources, might smell, taste, and look differently.
Unless otherwise stated, the effects of a potion will last for 4 complete turns plus 1-4 additional turns (d4). If half of a potion is quaffed, the effects
will last one-half as long in some cases. Potions take effect 2-5 segments after they are imbibed.
While potions can be compounded by magic-user/alchemist teams at a relatively low cost, they must have an actual potion to obtain the formula
for each type. Furthermore, the ingredients are always rare and/or hard to come by. This aspect of potions, as well as the formulation of new ones by
players, is detailed in the appropriate subsection of the MAGICAL RESEARCH rules.
The magical mixtures and compounds which comprise potions are not always compatible. You must test the miscibility of potions whenever:
1) two potions are actually intermingled, or
2) a potion is consumed by a creature while another such liquid already consumed is still in effect While it is possible to prepare a matrix which lists each potion type and cross references each to show a certain result when one is intermingled with the other, such a graph has two drawbacks. First, it does not allow for differences in formulae from alchemist and/or magic-user. Second, it will require continual addition as new potion types are added to the campaign. Therefore, it is suggested that the following table be used - with, perhaps, the decision that a delusion potion will mix with anything, that oil of slipperiness taken with oil of etherealness will always increase the chance for the imbiber to be lost in the Ethereal Plane for 5-30 days to 50%, and treasure finding mixed with any other type of potion will always yield a lethal poison. Whatever certain results you settle upon for your campaign, the random results from the table apply to all other cases.
For the first time duration has changed, cut to 50-80 minutes. The fact that mages can compund potions at relatively low cost seems an odd and risky addition.
Now we also get a complication on miscibility. Instead of the simple universal effect we have a random chart now. If you look at the chart (not reproduced here) you see that 54% of the time both potions work as normal, there is a 3% chance of death and a 1% chance you'll get a permanent power out of it. I like the randomness and the fact that you could end up getting a power, but it does add complexity. I wonder what potion mixtures were so problematic to the game that they required these rules. Players loading up on treasure finding, invisibility and speed? Seems like, if they had the potions to do it, more power to them. Is this a result of too many potions in a campaign. My Telecanter sense is tingling, probably.
Notice again, detail requires more detail, with the suggestion that Treasure Finding never mix and the specifics about the oils.
Potions are typically found in ceramic, crystal, glass, or metal flasks or vials (though you can change this, if you want). Flasks or other containers generally contain enough fluid to provide one person with one complete dose to achieve the effects described for each potion below. Opening and drinking a potion has an initiative modifier of 1, but the potion doesn't take effect until an additional initiative modifier delay of 1d4+1 has passed. Only then do the full magical properties of the potion become evident. Magical oils are poured over the body and smeared appropriately; this imposes a speed factor delay of 1d4 + 1. Potions can be compounded by mages at relatively low cost. However, they must have a sample of the desired potion to obtain the right formula. Furthermore, ingredients tend to be rare or hard to come by. This aspect of potions, as well as the formulation of new ones by players, is detailed in the Spell Research rules.The only difference from 1e here is that the time to drink/take effect is tweaked to the 2e initiative system. Oh, and the 2eism hidden in the explanation of how to use the miscibility chart. Pre-setting a result as a plot device does not sound good to me. So the big bad is going to drink two potions and you scripted something dramatic. Nah, roll when he drinks it, drama is in not knowing what will happen.
As a general rule, potion containers should bear no identifying marks, so player characters must sample from each container to determine the nature of the liquid inside. However, even a small taste should suffice to identify a potion in some way. Introduce different sorts of potions, both helpful and harmful, to cause difficulties in identification. In addition, the same type of potion, when created in different labs, might smell, taste, and look differently.
The magical mixtures and compounds that make up potions are not always compatible. The compatibility of potions is tested whenever two potions are actually intermingled, or a potion is consumed by a creature while another such liquid, already consumed, is in effect. Permanent potions have an effective duration of one turn for mixing purposes. If you drink another potion within one turn of drinking one with Permanent duration, check on Table 111. The exact effects of combining potions can't be calculated, because of differences in formulae, fabrication methods, and component quality employed by various mages. Therefore, it is suggested that Table 111 be used, with the following exceptions:
1. A delusion potion will mix with anything.
2. A treasure finding potion will always yield a lethal poison.
Secretly roll 1d100 for potion compatibility, giving no clues until necessary. The effects of combining specific potions can be pre-set as a plot device, at your option.
Unless otherwise stated, the effects of a potion last for four complete turns plus 1d4 additional turns (4+1d4).
A potion is a magic liquid that produces its effect when imbibed. Magic oils are similar to potions, except that oils are applied externally rather than imbibed. A potion or oil can be used only once. It can duplicate the effect of a spell of up to 3rd level that has a casting time of less than 1 minute. Potions are like spells cast upon the imbiber. The character taking the potion doesn’t get to make any decisions about the effect—the caster who brewed the potion has already done so. For example, a potion of protection from energy is always designed to protect against a specific energy type chosen by the creator, not the drinker. The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect (though the potion indicates the caster level, the drinker still controls the effect, such as with levitate). The person applying an oil is the effective caster, but the object is the target. When a character applies oil of speak with dead, the character is the one asking the questions.When I started doing this I just wanted more insight into how potions might work by the way they've been handled over the years. I didn't realize they would be a perfect example of the encrustation of rules as the system tries to standardize things and make rulings unnecessary. We've gone from 2 sentences to multiple paragraphs.
A typical potion or oil consists of 1ounce of liquid held in a ceramic or glass vial fitted with a tight stopper. The stoppered container is usually no more than 1 inch wide and 2 inches high. The vial has AC 13, 1 hit point, hardness 1, and a break DC of 12. Vials hold 1 ounce of liquid. Identifying Potions: In addition to the standard methods of identification, PCs can sample from each container they find to attempt to determine the nature of the liquid inside. An experienced character learns to identify potions by memory—for example, the last time she tasted a liquid that reminded her of almonds, it turned out to be a potion of cure moderate wounds. (You can reward players who keep records of potion sampling by always having the same type of potion taste the same—or you can cross them up by occasionally having the almond-flavored potion be something other than a potion of cure moderate wounds.)
Activation: Drinking a potion or applying an oil requires no special skill. The user merely removes the stopper and swallows the potion or smears on the oil. The following rules govern potion and
oil use. Drinking a potion or using an oil on an item of gear is a standard action. The potion or oil takes effect immediately. Using a potion or oil provokes attacks of opportunity. A successful attack (including grappling attacks) against the character forces a Concentration check (as for casting a spell). If the character fails this check, she cannot drink the potion. An enemy may direct an attack of opportunity against the potion or oil container rather than against the character. A successful attack of this sort can destroy the container (see page 165 of the Player’s Handbook). A creature must be able to swallow a potion or smear on an oil. Because of this, incorporeal creatures cannot use potions or oils. Any corporeal creature can imbibe a potion. The potion must be swallowed. Any corporeal creature can use an oil. A character can carefully administer a potion to an unconscious creature as a full-round action, trickling the liquid down the creature’s throat. Likewise, it takes a full-round action to apply an oil to an unconscious creature.
I never played 3.x D&D and reading this excerpt I'm a little ashamed that any of you did. You have a rule system that tells you the way to use a potion is to drink it! Really!? Why was this necessary? Did someone try pouring it on their head? Try rubbing a potion and drinking an oil?
The potion has a volume now, the container suggested dimensions. Apparently there really is no such thing as potions in 3.5, they are just liquid spells, which requires the whole section on who the caster is and who the target is. Now it is very clear that you can't use potions while incorporeal but you can feed a potion to an unconscious person. What worries me is what if a gaming situation arises where there is an incorporeal unconscious person!? Can you feed them a potion? What if, GASP, I become incorporeal midway through drinking a potion? Is it possible to feed an incorporeal potion to a corporeal unconscious person? Why couldn't this system be more complete? How slipshod it is to not cover the infinite possibilities that might arise in play!
Okay, enough of that. What did I learn?
- There was always an assumption that, though there might be other ways, the primary way players would identify potions was by tasting them.
- The standard duration was 1 hour + 1d6 additional turns until 1e when it was cut to 40 minutes + 1d4 additional turns.
- Somewhere along the way the idea came about that mixing potions should be more risky and uncertain. (I don't know if this was because players were "abusing" them somehow, or just in an attempt to add some mystery back to the magic.)
- Duration is at least an hour. After that, the player rolls a d6 each turn. A 1 on the first roll means the effect ends. A 2 or lower on the second roll the same, and so on. The max duration will be 2 hours.
- Potions have a side effect that takes effect after the duration ends. You can stack potions as much as you want, but in about an hour you'll be hurting.
- Potions mixed together (outside the body) get a roll on a miscibility table. Bad things usually happen (i.e. no 54% chance of the two working together normally).