Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium there are a few healing potions. However, the text on their power is downright confusing, contradictory, and poorly written.

Here is Potion of Cure Light Wounds:

Effect: You drink the potion. If you have a healing surge, you must spend one. Instead of the hit points you would normally regain, you regain 1d8 + 1 hit points. If you are bloodied and don't have any healing surges, you still regain the hit points. If neither of these things is true, there is no effect.

And here is Potion of Heal:

Effect: You drink the potion. If you have a healing surge, you must spend one. Instead of the hit points you would normally regain, you regain 4d8 + 30 hit points. If you are bloodied and don't have any healing surges, you still regain the hit points. In addition, you can make a saving throw against each effect on you that a save can end. If neither of these things is true, there is no effect.

What is "neither of these things" refering to? And if it refers to "bloodied and 'don't have any healing surges'... then doesn't that contradict the first line of the text?

Here is how I am reading it (and let's ignore Heal, because obviously that's just poor placement of the line.)

  1. Drink the potion. Check.
  2. If you have a healing surge, spend it and gain xd8+y hitpoints.
  3. If you don't have a healing surge, but you are bloodied, you get the hit points.
  4. If you are bloodied, and have a healing surge… then you get the hitpoints.
  5. If you have no healing surges but aren't bloodied, nothing happens.
  6. If you do have a healing surge, and you are not bloodied… nothing happens? What? That can't be right!

What I would expect it to say is, "if only one of these things is true, there is no effect," but that statement is redundant because of the "AND" in the first statement.

What is going on here?

As for the Potion of Heal, does that mean that if you have no effects on you, then you can't use the potion?


A response to the answers below: The combination of the two answers below is what finally made me see how this is supposed to work. If someone could update their answer to include this, I will accept it.

The key factor here is that I was confusing the two conditions in the previous sentence with the two conditions created by the phrase "If you have".

Instead of reading the paragraph like thus:

Effect: You drink the potion. If you have a healing surge, you must spend one. Instead of the hit points you would normally regain, you regain 1d8 + 1 hit points. If you are bloodied AND don't have any healing surges, you still regain the hit points. If neither of these things is true, there is no effect.

It should be read like thus:

Effect: You drink the potion. If you have a healing surge, you must spend one. Instead of the hit points you would normally regain, you regain 1d8 + 1 hit points. If you are bloodied and don't have any healing surges, you still regain the hit points. If neither of these things is true, there is no effect.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

The neither of these things represents an if else block Here is the control flow:

  • If you have surges left

    • Spend surge Regain HP, make saves
  • Else If you are bloodied

    • Regain HP, make saves
  • Else

    • No Effect

So in the case of either having surges or being bloodied you regain HP, if you neither have surges or are bloodied then the potion has no effect.

The key thing here is that the If Neither is referring to the condition of either having surges left OR being bloodied If one of these two things is true then you get to regain HP (spending a surge if you have one, not sweating it if you are out and bloodied), if neither is true then nothing happens.

share|improve this answer

This may be the simplest way to explain it:

  1. Bloodied + have healing surge = spend surge + regain HP
  2. Bloodied + no healing surges left = regain HP
  3. Not bloodied + have healing surge = spend surge + regain HP
  4. Not bloodied + no healing surges left = do not regain HP

Case 4 is If neither of these things is true, there is no effect.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.