Alongside scrolls, magic potions are one of those ubiquitous magic items that many of us don’t give a second thought. Potions can heal, boost character attributes, and generally serve as a quick fix and a tool to overcome in-game complications and obstacles. Some game systems apply limits to the power of potions, while others disregard “game balance” and approach potions as more of a video game-style instant enhancement. How you personally prefer to treat potions in your campaign is far more important than what the game’s rules may say.
Over the years, I’ve tried to make potions more than just a simple “drink this and gain Y benefit” item. I don’t feel as if I’ve quite succeeded in the past, though, in adding mystery and wonder to the magic potions that I’ve detailed in my work.
That’s where The Book of Unusual Potions comes into frame. This is a dedicated tome in which I try to give potions more twists, turns, and strangeness than in my earlier projects, an attempt at making these potions as entertaining in terms of flavor as they are in-game bonuses.
You will find the staples of the magic potion world within these pages – Potion of Strength, Potion of Healing, love potions, etc. – but each will bring with it something other than the usual “you heal X points of damage instantly” sort of language often assigned to these classic potions.
And in addition to those routine, boring potions that we all know (and rely on in the dungeon), I’ve also stepped outside of the 10’x10’ room in search of more unusual potions. It is these works that I think you’ll find more inspiring and rewarding when deciding “exactly which potion should the party find once they unlock that chest?”
Please note that nothing within these pages will change your world – in more ways than one – and none of the ideas are intended as a permanent addition to your campaign. As with many of the near-thousand treasure items that I have written over the years, these potions are best for one-shot events where they are introduced, impact the adventure, and then are discarded and forgotten. I recommend not allowing player character wizards to learn how to create the potions that are new to this book.
Thank you for your support of The Book of Unusual Potions and my efforts to distract myself from the complexities of the office. These personal projects give me a chance to stretch my brain and unwind, and I couldn’t continue to create these works without you.
Have you not picked up the first two issues of Delayed Blast Gamemaster? Fortunately, now's your chance to get your hands on this fantasy RPG zine that presents several ideas for the busy gamemaster. Both issues were funded thanks to the support of backers here on Kickstarter, and I am happy to report that you can get both today as a part of this campaign!
Select the $30 reward to receive both issues in print, as well as PDF, plus print and PDF of The Book of Unusual Potions. To learn more about Delayed Blast Gamemaster, please see the two Kickstarter campaign pages:
Each issue is B&W, 5.5" x 8.5", and thanks to the support of project backers, each is 48 pages in length. New monsters. Adventure ideas. Treasures. Scrolls. More! Don't miss out on this chance to add Delayed Blast Gamemaster to your collection of inspirational gaming materials.
Will there be a third issue of the zine? Possibly!
To learn more about the Dungeon Challenge Cards, please see the Kickstarter campaign that led to the creation of this deck of cards.
The text, layout, and design of The Book of Unusual Potions is copyright © 2019 Philip Reed, all rights reserved. Art by Microstocker.Pro, Macrovector, Tonis Pan, Vectorpocket, VectorPot, and VectorShow, used under license from Shutterstock.com. Any mention of games, trademarks, or other properties are for reference only and not a claim to ownership of those games, trademarks, or other properties.
Risks and challenges
After years of experience with Kickstarter, running and backing projects, combined with decades of experience in publishing, I think many of the largest challenges and risks have been avoided. However, things can go wrong. As an individual, I do not have access to a company to assist with packing and shipping rewards (a friend helps!), and I have no control over life. Everything should ship on schedule, but things can (and sometimes do) go wrong. If something goes off the rails, I will post an update to explain the situation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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