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Lesser potions

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

With apologies to Telecanter.

Potion of slipperiness

Originally developed to lubricate the joints of golems and quickly adopted wholesale by second-hand golem dealers, the potion of slipperiness is also widely used off-label by escape artists, sword swallowers and cat burglars. It renders the drinker’s whole body preternaturally slippery and somewhat deformable, such that they are practically impossible to handcuff or tie up, and may be able to squeeze through narrow openings, such as between cell bars or through the air feed pipes of fish tanks. They will also have to make a conscious effort not to slip out of clothes and armour, or to hold onto anything. The potion takes half an hour to kick in after drinking: it remains in effect for 1d20 hours. Note that the effect is systemic: users are advised not to eat or drink anything while under the potion’s influence.

Potion of spider climbing

Causes the hands and feet of the drinker to develop clinging claws, allowing them to climb on pretty much any solid surface, and the lower abdomen to develop web-fluid sacs and spinnerettes, allowing them to create spider webs, in order to aid their climbing. The web strands are roughly the thickness of spaghetti. A single strand is strong enough to support a 200lb man (ie there’s no proportionality with actual spider web here: the potion’s webs are much weaker than actual spiderweb of the same thickness might be). Multiple strands may be woven together into ropes to support heavier weights. The potion lasts for 66 minutes or 666 steps, whichever comes first. There is a small but cumulative chance over multiple uses of some vestigial effects lasting after the potion’s useful phase is over. Tastes unmistakably of spiders.


Popular with alchemists, ironbelly allows its drinker to imbibe and/or ingest, without ill effects, the next 1d6 things they can fit in their mouth. A necessary prelude to sampling several of the more exotic potions.

Potion of firebreathing

Combined with a lit torch this allows the drinker to project a flame up to three times the span of their arms, up to three times, to deliver 1d3 cubed damage each time. Side effects include overconfidence, giggliness, loss of co-ordination and/or unreasonable belligerence, lasting 1d6 hours. For 24 hours after ingestion the user’s breath will nauseate anyone to whom they speak, causing -1d3 on reaction rolls. During this time the user may deliberately breathe on victims to cause confusion or wake them from magical or non-magical sleep. Rumours abound that this potion can also help the drinker survive in the elemental plane of fire, but these are so far unsubstantiated.

Potion of incoherence

Renders the drinker incapable of making their point clearly for 1d12 hours. Exact effects are up to the sadistic impulses of the DM or improv acting skills of the player.

Gravel of plausibility

Works something like charm person or a potion of persuasiveness on all who hear the ingester for 1d12 hours, except that the listeners’ basic agreement with the user does not extend to their taking any positive action. That is, listeners would agree to the commands “leave us alone!” or “don’t get up” but not to “come here” or “open the door” or “just hold this for a minute, please.”

Glass of cold awareness

When chewed this fragile glass makes the user acutely aware of what they’re doing, dispelling any illusions or glamours or other states of confusion and temporarily raising the chewer’s wisdom (or intelligence, depending on the DM’s philosophical outlook) by 1d3. Blessed with this new clarity, the chewer must save vs. paralysis to avoid immediately spitting the glass out, canceling the effect.

Soul swap stew

if shared among two or more imbibers this stew will exchange that ineffable, invisible, immortal part of each, that represent their innermost, unchangeable nature, with the others. Note, however, that it will not exchange their consciousness or personality, which are really socially constructed fronts of one kind or another. Deities of confessional or mystical religions will respond to the souls presented to them, not the shells in which they happen to be housed, so this spell acts as a form of transport for the powers of clerics and paladins. Other in-game effects are up to the individual DM and players: it is suggested that certain relationships might be affected (with animals or close family members, for instance) or some outward manifestation of the change of soul be made gradually clearer over time, such as a fondness for loud ties or compulsion to insult elders. Alignment, if used, may be affected.

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