Adding some extra descriptions to your game can help make things interesting for your players. For example, when PCs discover a potion, initially it isn’t a Potion of Healing or Potion of Invisibility. It is a potion that is a certain color, has a given consistency, has a particular smell and taste (if a PC tries it) and comes in one of many types of flasks.
If you keep some consistency, interested players can guess at a potion’s purpose just as their characters would. (Assuming a character doesn’t have a lot of arcane knowledge.) Of course, potions with the same purpose can be made in different ways and the resulting properties can vary. Or sometimes potions with different purposes can have overlapping properties. For example, alchemists who study at one school may make Potions of Strength that are blue gray, fizzy, and taste like almonds. But alchemists at another school may make Potions of Water Breathing that are blue gray, fizzy, and taste like almonds.
Whether you keep a one-to-one relationship between each type of potion and its properties or not, this idea can add a little bit of depth and fun to your game sessions.
Below are a number of ways to vary potions and different options for each property.
|67||Robin’s Egg Blue|
|87-90||Translucent. Roll again for translucency color.|
|91-93||Two colors interspersed throughout but separate. Roll two more times.|
|94-96||One primary color with interspersed drops of another color. Roll again for each.|
|97-99||Two colors where one floats above the other. Roll again for each.|
|00||Two colors that change every minute or so. Roll again for each.|
|9-10||Roll twice; re-roll this result if it occurs again.|
Roll 1d4+1 times, or choose a few that have some strange connection to the potion’s perceived ingredients. Some alchemists may add flavor to mask the taste. Each flavor may occur at the same time as others or may be the initial flavor, main flavor or aftertaste. In addition, you may want to add a general taste description such as spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, floral, etc.
You may use the same flavors from the taste chart for the potion’s smell. The smell may match one or more of the flavors or be completely different.
This chart determines the material and shape of the potion’s flask.
|1||Glass, Tubular, 10″ long, 1″ in diameter|
|2||Glass, Tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, Spherical bottom 6″ in diameter|
|3||Glass, Tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, triangular bottom 6″ on a side|
|4||Glass, Tubular top, 2″ long, 1″ in diameter, rectanglur bottom 6″ x 8″ x 2″|
|5||Steel, Tubular, 10″ long, 2″ in diameter|
|6||Steel, Tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, Spherical bottom 6″ in diameter|
|7||Steel, Tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, triangular bottom 6″ on a side|
|8||Steel, Tubular top, 2″ long, 1″ in diameter, rectanglur bottom 6″ x 8″ x 2″|
|9||Clay, Tubular, 10″ long, 1″ in diameter|
|10||Clay, Tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, Spherical bottom 6″ in diameter|
|11||Clay, Tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, triangular bottom 6″ on a side|
|12||Clay, Tubular top, 2″ long, 1″ in diameter, rectanglur bottom 6″ x 8″ x 2″|
- Thick chestnut colored potion that tastes and smells like fish and tomato in a clay, tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, Spherical bottom 6″ in diameter flask.
- Thin and bubbly, translucent red violet colored potion that smells like ginger and mustard and tastes like snake with a ginger and mustard aftertaste in a steel, tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, triangular bottom 6″ on a side flask.
- Clumpy white potion with teal blue drops that smells like chives but tastes like pickled venison and mushrooms in a steel, tubular top, 3″ long, 1″ in diameter, triangular bottom 6″ on a side flask.
If you’ve got ideas for more options, please post a comment and I’ll periodically make updates!