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According to the documentation, a potion of cure light wounds points to the spell "cure light wounds". Now, the spell has some info about healing:

cures 1d8 points of damage +1 point per caster level (maximum +5)

But the caster level is just for the cleric who casts the spell. So what would be the correct amount of healing with the potion alone? just 1d8? or 1d8+5?

I could not find any clearer documentation for the potion yet.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Did pathfinder "fix" healing potion costs? Or is Wand of Cure Light Wounds and Wand of Lesser Vigor still significantly more efficient? minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=2710.0 \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2014 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can not find any wand that cures light wounds. so in a way it might have been fixed :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mawimawi
    Aug 8, 2014 at 18:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Found it: in Pathfinder Wand of Cure Light Wounds costs 375gp and have 50 charges, while Potion of Cure Light Wounds cost 50gp and has 1 charge. So no it's not fixed. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 8, 2014 at 19:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MooingDuck: I think the same people that sell potions and wands are in charge of mobile data pricing. They love their bulk discounts. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2014 at 7:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SteveJessop It's a usability premium. You need magic or UMD to use a wand, while anyone can use a potion. It's not usually worth the extra price, but it's not just a random thing they forgot to change. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Aug 9, 2014 at 9:44

2 Answers 2

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The caster level (CL) is set by the creator of the potion, as per Brew Potion:

When you create a potion, you set the caster level, which must be sufficient to cast the spell in question and no higher than your own level.

If you don't know it, the general rule of thumb is to use the minimum caster level required to cast the spell (as that's the minimum level it could be created at). For Cure Light Wounds, that is CL 1. Thus a normal potion of Cure Light Wounds heals 1d8+1.

It is possible for someone to create a CL 5 potion of Cure Light Wounds, though. That potion would have a higher value, which is explained on the Potions list.

The price of a potion is equal to the level of the spell × the creator's caster level × 50 gp. If the potion has a material component cost, it is added to the base price and cost to create.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The same is true for all other kinds of magic items that "duplicate" spells, such as scrolls and wands. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Aug 8, 2014 at 12:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ In general it's not cost effective to increase the level on spells, especially lower level ones. A level 1 potion CL1 costs 50gp. For 100 gp you can buy two of those for 2d8+2 healing or one at CL2 for 1d8+2... \$\endgroup\$
    – Tim B
    Aug 8, 2014 at 12:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... @Lord_Gareth has said to me that all potions in Pathfinder are CL 3. I wonder if he has any citation of that claim. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Aug 8, 2014 at 14:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan - Probably a misunderstanding of the "potions can't have higher than a third level spell" rule. "Level" is highly overused. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobson
    Aug 8, 2014 at 15:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought I read somewhere a different formula which wasn't so stupid and actually allowed to increase the caster level in a cost-effective manner. I'm not sure where or when, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – o0'.
    Aug 8, 2014 at 16:31
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The spell is 1d8 +1 for every caster level.

The potion on the other hand is just a 1d8+1

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    \$\begingroup\$ Factually wrong. See Tridus's answer. (The standard potion is 1d8+1, for the reason he explains) \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Aug 8, 2014 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sort of wrong. The "standard market" potion is 1d8+1, but that's because it assumes a caster level of 1. You could theoretically have a non-standard caster level. @JayJay is right that this is the base item, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – jvriesem
    Jul 21, 2016 at 21:29

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