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The Rules Compedium explicitly limits the options while grappling to a certain list. Retrieving a potion is not on this list, retrieving a spell component (full round action) and drawing a light weapon is (successful grapple check). Does that mean drawing a potion is

a) not possible while grappling? b) equivalent to retrieving a spell component? c) equivalent to drawing a weapon?

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No

A potion is neither a weapon* nor a spell component** so drawing it during a grapple is not possible.

Well, sort of

*Pretty much anything can be used as an improvised weapon, but that's going to be a tough sell to your DM since a potion bottle is very small:

A typical potion or oil consists of 1 ounce of liquid held in a ceramic or glass vial fitted with a tight stopper. The stoppered container is usually no more than 1 inch wide and 2 inches high.

**Some spells, such as tenser's transformation, require a potion (in this case, of bull's strength) as a material component. The grapple rules do not require you to draw a spell component for the purposes of casting a spell:

You can produce a spell component from your pouch while grappling by using a full-round action.

So you could draw a potion of bull's strength if you had placed it in a pouch beforehand, because it is a material component, and then drink it instead of using it to cast the spell.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While I see the distinction between a potion being used as a spell compnent and a portion being used as a magic item from the perspective of rules I think once you have allowed one potion to be retrieved with a full round action you cannot disallow it for another type of potion on the basis that there is no spell that has it as a component. So, what I take from your answer is: retrieving potions should be handled like retrieving spell components. \$\endgroup\$ – Giorin Apr 16 '16 at 1:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Giorin That is a fine house rule, yes. I think that it would be fair to treat anything that fits into your fist like a spell component, and anything that's two or three times larger as a light weapon. But it's neither rules as written nor rules as intended - just something that makes sense. \$\endgroup\$ – SPavel Apr 16 '16 at 1:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Giorin that's a perfectly reasonable conclusion, about a very implausible aspect to the game; spell components. \$\endgroup\$ – Wyrmwood Apr 16 '16 at 14:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be useful to mention that, instead of, like, pretending to cast Tenser's transformation, the retrieved potion-that's-a-spell-component can be consumed (also without winning a grapple check) by taking the action activate a magic item. On the next turn, of course. (I think, however, the drinker's technically hosed if he wants to retrieve a potion besides the aforementioned potion of bull's strength or a potion cat's grace that's used in the spell nightstalker's transformation.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 16 '16 at 18:57
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Can you retrieve a potion while grappling?

No.

However, drawing a light weapon requires a successful grapple check and retrieving a spell component require a full round action. Even if you retrieve it using an interpolation of the spell component retrieval, you still can't use it, since drinking it is not in the "if you're grappling" actions. Escaping a grapple is the same check as drawing a light weapon. Thus, you could simply escape the grapple, then you are no longer limited to "if you're grappling". Escaping the grapple is a standard action, retrieving the potion is a move action. You'd have to wait until next round to drink it in any case.

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