Monday, May 30, 2011

The Magic Item Reset (XV): Consumables

(Updated 18/7/11: Fixed item levels for Potion of Cleansing)
And finally we get to the last batch of items: consumables.

I recommend applying the following variant rule when using consumable items:
A character can only use one consumable item per encounter.
This prevents characters from hoarding potions and using them all at once to annihilate a specific encounter. More importantly, it encourages players to use consumables with regularity, since, much like action points, they otherwise run the risk of being unable to spend them all. The items have been balanced under this assumption, although they should also work with the default rules - rarity keeping all potions but the healing ones from coming up too often.
A future article will discuss how the DM should hand out consumables and other items.

Potion of Healing - Level 1+ Common Consumable
Level 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30
Power (Consumable, Healing): Minor Action. Spend a healing surge. Instead of the hit points you would normally regain, you regain  6 hit points.
    Level 5: 12 hit points
    Level 10: 18 hit points
    Level 15: 24 hit points
    Level 20: 30 hit points
    Level 25: 36 hit points
    Level 30: 50 hit points

Potion of Defense - Level 1+ Uncommon Consumable
Level 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26
Power (Consumable): Minor Action. You gain a +3 enhancement bonus to all defenses until the end of your next turn.
    Level 6: +4 enhancement bonus
    Level 11: +5 enhancement bonus
    Level 16: +6 enhancement bonus
    Level 21: +7 enhancement bonus
    Level 26: +8 enhancement bonus

Potion of Accuracy - Level 2+ Uncommon Consumable
Level 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, 27
Power (Consumable): Minor Action. You gain a +3 enhancement bonus to attack rolls until the start of your next turn.
    Level 7: +4 enhancement bonus
    Level 12: +5 enhancement bonus
    Level 17: +6 enhancement bonus
    Level 22: +7 enhancement bonus
    Level 27: +8 enhancement bonus

Potion of Resistance - Level 3+ Uncommon Consumable
Level 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, 28
Special: Choose one of the following damage types when the weapon is created: Acid, Cold, Fire, Force, Lightning, Necrotic, Poison, Psychic, Radiant, or Thunder.
Power (Consumable): Minor Action. Until the end of the encounter, you gain resist 2 against the chosen damage type.
    Level 8: resist 4
    Level 13: resist 6
    Level 18: resist 8
    Level 23: resist 10
    Level 28: resist 12

Potion of Cleansing - Level 4+ Uncommon Consumable
Level 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, 29
Power (Consumable): Minor Action. You make a saving throw. If you attempt to save against an effect of level 7 or higher, you take a -5 penalty to the roll.
    Level 9: -5 penalty against effects of level 12 or higher, and +5 bonus if level 6 or lower.
    Level 14: -5 penalty against effects of level 17 or higher, +5 bonus if level 11 or lower.
    Level 19: -5 penalty against effects of level 22 or higher, +5 bonus if level 16 or lower.
    Level 24: -5 penalty against effects of level 17 or higher, +5 bonus if level 21 or lower.
    Level 29: no penalty, and +5 bonus if level 25 or lower.

Energy Potion - Level 5+ Uncommon Consumable
Level 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30
Special: Choose one of the following damage types when the weapon is created: Acid, Cold, Fire, Force, Lightning, Necrotic, Poison, Psychic, Radiant, or Thunder.
Power (Consumable): Minor Action. Until the end of your next turn, all damage dealt by you is of the chosen type, and you gain a +3 enhancement bonus to damage rolls.
    Level 10: +4 enhancement bonus
    Level 15: +6 enhancement bonus
    Level 20: +7 enhancement bonus
    Level 25: +9 enhancement bonus
    Level 30: +10 enhancement bonus

As usual, any feedback will be greatly appreciated.


  1. Great work! Any chance to see it pdfed?

  2. Those seem to cover the bases pretty nicely! The Potion of Defense and Potion of Accuracy don't need to scale, though--unlike damage/resistance, +1 to attack or defense remains about equally valuable at level 30 as at level 1 (unless we're talking unpatched math decay).

    I suppose if your design goal was "these potions should be substantial bonuses early on, then make me autohit/unhittable later," they work, but I don't think that's a great goal for a consumable item.

  3. Ohh, wait, now I notice they're enhancement bonuses. That's *interesting.* They don't stack with your magic equipment. Clever!

  4. Copy-paste error: the energy type lists reference "weapon" instead of potion/item/whatever was intended.

  5. Energy Potions are clearly designed to be able to optimize not Weapon Non Implement attacks. Racial attack features, as well as such powers as those created by spells like Wyrm Form come to mind.

  6. Wonderful work! Please, if you would, put it into pdf format so I can more easily use it in my games. I'd be happy to donate a couple bucks for all the hard work. :)

  7. Congratulations, mission accomplished! You should seriously compile the whole project into a .pdf. At a couple bucks a pop you could probably do fairly well on RPGNow and the like (not sure of the terms of the GSL though, you may have to rename some items to use it).

  8. I'm not quite done yet. I still have to finish the rules and tables for random (and semi-random) treasure generation, which are a bit cumbersome to write, but I think will be a nice addition to the lot. Once that is out of the way, I'll look into revising and compiling everything :)

  9. I really like your magic item lists. Do you think you can write a post giving rules on how to create a magic item? One thing I really liked about 4E are the rules they give for creating encounters and quests etc, which make it fairly easy and not too time consuming to create custom scenarios. I'd love to be able to do this with the rewards of those scenarios as well.

  10. It's a cool idea, I'll put it on queue for a future article. As a short answer, it really depends on what you want the standard for magic items in your game. In my case, I came up with my own reference level and started designing from that point. Of course, the fact that it's virtually impossible to find anything resembling an official consensus on what a magic item should be like doesn't help...