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If I brew a potion of lightning bolt, what happens when someone drinks it?

  • Lightning bolt strikes them?
  • They can cast a lightning bolt?
  • They emit lightning that strikes where they point?
  • Nothing happens?

Same thing with vampiric touch: Would the consumer covert their hit points to temporary hit points? Would that mean that drinking a healing potion after the potion of vampiric touch gives the character full hp + temporary hp without touching anyone?

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

A potion of lightning bolt would not be a legal potion. The Feat Brew Potion states which spells can be turned into potions:

You can create a potion of any 3rd-level or lower spell that you know and that targets one or more creatures.

Lightning bolt doesn't have a Target, only a Range and Area.

If you allow potions of lightning bolt anyway, the most likely way that they would work would be to hit the imbiber with a lightning bolt. Whether or not it hits any other targets would be pure DM fiat.

Vampiric touch is a valid spell to put into a potion, since it targets a creature.

The rules on potions state:

The drinker of a potion is both the effective target and the caster of the effect

It works just as you say; you drink the potion, take damage, gain temporary HP, and then can heal yourself back up to full with the extra temporary HP.

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