2
\$\begingroup\$

I'd like to give my players' low-level characters (currently level 2) the odd potion as treasure. The only common potions listed in the DMG are the standard Potion of Healing, and the Potion of Climbing. I'd like to create some alternatives, for more variety.

How can I tell what are appropriate-level effects for Common potions? Are there any published guidelines? What about for less common potions?

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ You are asking from the point of view of creating your own, right? If you are, you should clarify that and not leave it between the lines (where things may be missed). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Mar 16, 2020 at 0:09

2 Answers 2

2
\$\begingroup\$

Common potions should have approximately the same effect as a 1st level spell or cantrip

There are guidelines for creating your own magic items in the Dungeon Master's Guide starting at page 284. Included in this is the max spell level an item should confer once per day (or once for consumables) in terms of benefit, which for common items is a 1st level spell or lower (ie. cantrips).

Do note that the published items do not strictly follow this. The potion version of a spell will not require concentration, so spells that are normally kept in check by concentration — haste, invisibility — have disproportionally rare potions (both very rare for 3rd and 2nd level spells respectively).

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ That looks like the information I was missing! \$\endgroup\$
    – Chowlett
    Mar 17, 2020 at 12:14
4
\$\begingroup\$

Potions are magic items so they follow the same general rules as other magic items.

From page 135 of the DMG:

Rarity provides a rough measure of an item's power relative to other magic items. Each rarity corresponds to character level, as shown in the Magic Item Rarity table. A character doesn't typically find a rare magic item, for example, until around 5th level. That said, rarity shouldn't get in the way of your campaign's story. If you want a ring of invisibility to fall into the hands of a 1st-level character, so be it. No doubt a great story will arise from that event.

And the Magic Item Rarity Table is on the same page, just below the section I quoted above.

If you're looking to create your own potions with magical effects then you need to look to page 284-285 of the DMG; Creating a New Item. This provides a table of Magic Item Rarity to Max Spell level/Max Bonus inferred and you'll just have to feel it out from there.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It may or may not also be worth mentioning that there are 2 more common potions in the Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage adventure (p. 62): the potion of comprehension (gain the effect of the comprehend languages spell for 1 hour), and the potion of watchful rest (for 8 hours, "magic can’t put you to sleep, and you can remain awake during a long rest and still gain its benefits"). These might further serve as a baseline. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 16, 2020 at 4:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had missed that paragraph; but it feels a bit circular. Common items are those items which are weak enough to not be rarer. However, with the extra Waterdeep options, we can see that a 1 hour first level spell is about appropriate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chowlett
    Mar 16, 2020 at 9:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .