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I'm considering having my players find a big cache of alchemical items as part of an upcoming adventure. I feel like dozens of bottles of liquid should weigh something, but I don't see a weight listed anywhere.

Do any potions, alchemical items, or consumables have listed weights anywhere?

If not, have you given these things weight in your games? How much? Any problems?

Our game attempts to be fairly realistic, so information on how much a small glass vial actually weighs might be useful as well. I don't have any small glass vials sitting around.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ However much you think a small (1-3 fluid ounces) glass vial of liquid ought to weigh, really. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage May 12 '15 at 3:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/51573/… \$\endgroup\$ – Adeptus May 12 '15 at 3:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Adeptus Yeah, I saw that one, but the only answer says "yes, they don't weigh anything", which doesn't work for me. Even if the rules say there's no weight, I'm going to figure out a weight to use. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon May 12 '15 at 3:05
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RAW, they weigh nothing in 4e. But for a more realistic estimate, we can look at other information we have about potions. I'll be using 3.5 SRD, because it's easily accessible on the web. (Potions don't weigh anything in 3.5e either, but there's still some information in it we can use.)


The 3.5 SRD says this about potions:

A typical potion or oil consists of 1 ounce of liquid held in a ceramic or glass vial

1 fluid ounce of water weighs about 1 dry ounce, or 0.0625 lb. Assuming potions are about as dense as water means the same applies to them.

The 3.5 SRD also says vials weigh 1/10 lb. This doesn't specify whether the vial is full or empty - for simplicity, you could assume it's full. Or, you could assume this is the empty weight, meaning a full vial weighs 0.1 + 0.0625 = 0.1625 lb, or 2.6 oz, or 13/80 lb.

(or round any of those numbers up to the easiest approximation)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We're playing a 4E game, but I still find this useful as it is based on real units. 1/6th of a pound now sounds reasonable. I had 1/2 a lb based on my own random guess. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon May 12 '15 at 3:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Sometimes I wish I could upvote edits. \$\endgroup\$ – DCShannon May 12 '15 at 3:47

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