I just had a session, and there was an argument about this. One player said potions of healing are always magic items – but another player said that according to D&D Beyond, it isn't always a magic item. Which person is correct?

What I've found in the rules:

  • On page 187-188 of the DMG, it shows potions of healing in the magic items section.
  • On page 153 of the PHB, it says they are magical.
  • On D&D Beyond, both magical and mundane versions are listed in the results when you go to add equipment to your character.

Are common potions of healing considered magic items?


1 Answer 1


Potions are magic items.

From the Dungeon Master’s Guide:

Potions are consumable magic items. Drinking a potion or administering a potion to another character requires an action. Applying an oil might take longer, as specified in its description. Once used, a potion takes effect immediately, and it is used up.

Potion of healing (all rarities) is found in the magic items chapter of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and potions are explicitly described as magic items.

We also find a common potion of healing described in the equipment section of the Player's Handbook:

A character who drinks the magical red fluid in this vial regains 2d4 + 2 hit points. Drinking or administering a potion takes an action.

A potion of healing is a magical red fluid.

Additionally, in Eberron: Rising from the Last War, there is a section called “Creating Common Magic Items”, which says:

But if you have a dragonshard, you can more easily create a common magic item.

To create such an item with a dragonshard, a character must have proficiency in the tools used to create a nonmagical version of the item or proficiency in the Arcana skill. For example, a potion of healing can be created by a character who has proficiency with the herbalism kit.

In this section, potion of healing appears in a table column labeled “common magic item”.

Does the phrase "a character must have proficiency in the tools used to create a nonmagical version of the item" imply that you can create mundane potions of healing with an herbalism kit?

No. Rules for creating potions of healing with an herbalism kit of found in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, here we see:

Potions of healing fall into a special category for item crafting, separate from other magic items. A character who has proficiency with the herbalism kit can create these potions. The times and costs for doing so are summarized on the Potion of Healing Creation table.

Even when created with an herbalism kit, they still count as magical items.

The DDB character sheet is not official rules material.

Every once in a while DDB’s implementation of the rules into the character sheet tool leads to confusion as some things are misrepresented. Here is an example. The rules are quite clear that potions of healing, even common ones, are magical, and anything in the character sheet implying otherwise is an artifact of the character sheet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That is what I thought but that doesn't mention the fact that dndbeyond shows a basic potion of healing as mundane too. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2020 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just have a screenshot of it. When you go to add an item to your character sheet and uncheck magical it still shows the potion of healing. You have to check "other gear" instead of "potion". \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2020 at 20:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ That is presumably because it is on the PHB Adventuring gear option, so it is acquirable similar to non-magic item (ie. non-reward) equipment \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Oct 25, 2020 at 21:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaveSherohman Interestingly, the quote from Xanathar's Guide suggests that, even though the person making the potion with an herbalism kit is not using magic, the resulting potion of healing is magic. This still makes sense though - magical reagents are used in spells, and contain innate magical properties that could still be utilized by non-magic users in potion making. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zibbobz
    Oct 26, 2020 at 12:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 I imagine DDB shows it as nonmagical simply because it's on the PHB standard equipment list, not to actually indicate the item is itself non-magical. In any case the item description overrides anything else. It specifically says the thing is magical, so that's the last word on the subject. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2020 at 14:40

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