View Full Version : Homebrew Potions, need help with balancing

2014-02-22, 09:59 PM
Sorry if this gets a bit wordy!

So in my gaming group we tend to use a lot of homebrew potions and they usually have some rather interesting side-effects. Often they come with benefits and downsides and I'd like your help to make these both balanced, tempting, useful and dangerous. I'd like your opinions on whether or not these seem balanced or what I could do to balance them; also what their in-game cost should be based on the benefits and the drawbacks. Also if you have any cool ideas or suggestions for additional items I'd love to hear them!

I don't tell my players what the effects are until at least one of them as tried it, and once they purchase them I tell them the whole of it, good/bad. It isn't uncommon for health potions found in questionable places to by "dirty potions" where a dirty potion of cure light wounds might heal 1d8+1 hit points but deal 1d8+1 nonlethal damage. Can't expect pots you find in goblin caves to be all that sanitary after all.

Tastes like napalm and cinnamon, burns like napalm and cinnamon. Firebrand Brandy, or Firebrandy as itís referred to, isnít for mere mortals; rather it, like the rest of the fine beverages on this list, cater to adventurers and those with enough levels under their belt to not die after a single use. Consuming a single serving of this virulent drink deals 1d8 points of fire damage to the imbiber and bestows a 1d8, 15ft cone flame breath weapon, usable as a free action once per round for a number of rounds equal to the damage taken.

White Lightning Vodka
Milk-drinkers keep your distance! From an uncomfortable tingle to a shocking death, White Lightning is not for lightweights. Move like lightning as this potent potion courses through your veins! Deals 1d20 damage upon consumption, half of this number, rounded up, is added to initiative rolls as long as the effects are active, and half of that number rounded up is added as a reflex bonus to AC.

50/50 Double Shot
Half Death Wish Coffee, half Everclear; you literally split into two entities, both of which are half of everything you are. You roll initiative twice and take both spots on the initiative roster, giving you two full turns per round; the drawback is that both halves of you only have half of your current HP, your BAB is halved rounding up and your armor class is halved rounding up, representing that half your skill and armor are somewhere else. If one of your aspects dies while the effects are active your new max HP is now half your usual max HP until the end of the effect.

White Gold Tower
The White Gold Tower, shamelessly stolen from Skyrim. Heavy cream with a layer of blended mead, lavender, and Dragon's Tongue on top; this very sweet, concoction is unique on this list in that it has only beneficial effects. Consumption grants the consumer +10 to their max HP; This one canít be brought along on adventures though as it canít be containerized or stored and must be consumed right away.

The Old Onesí Nightcap
This small shot is black as ink and has the consistency of runny syrup. It also smells faintly evil, though the smeller isnít sure how or why evil might have a scent, nor why they think that this is the scent in question; that is however the only word they can associate with the smell. It isnít a bad smell, or a good smell, it just smellsÖ evil. Once the character has consumed the Nightcap they must choose how many d4s they would like to roll. The total is the number of spells of that level, or combinations of lower level spells which they can cast that day as bonus spells. They also make a will save; failing this will save results in taking the number they rolled as wisdom damage. Succeeding this will save results in half damage rounded down. The will save is 10+ their level. A player must role-play their character has having the appropriate wisdom score.

Well those are the ones I've come up with so far, let me know what you think and let me hear some of your ideas as well, thanks!

2014-02-22, 11:15 PM
What system?

2014-02-22, 11:19 PM
I assume here that this is for 3.5 because of the mechanics you give - might want to put it in the right forum next time. If I'm wrong, disregard the system-specific bits.

Firebrandy: Two things. One, maybe make the damage-to-drinker 1d8, and make it the same 1d8 as the amount of rounds it lasts. Or make it 1 damage per round for 1d8 rounds, which is also how long it lasts. For flavor, but also to reduce the chance of a large net loss. Two, the dash in the name just looks weird.

50/50: I think there's already a spell that does that.

White Gold Tower: That's already a thing. It's called "temporary HP". It gives 10 temporary HP, indefinite duration. There's also already mechanics for "other bonuses to max HP" - they're called Constitution bonuses and temporary HP.

Old One's Nightcap: This one is kind of crazy. Firstly, casters tend to have high Will saves anyway. Secondly, that's not what Wisdom represents. Thirdly, that's not what 0 Wisdom means. Fourth, if you don't want it recovering naturally, make it something else that doesn't recover naturally - I think that's what Ability Drain is for? Fifth, spell slots usually scale by doubling - a fourth-level spell is worth two third-levels, or four second-levels, or eight first-levels. Finally, you're doing a good bit of putting irrelevancy in - you don't need to say how recovering from ability damage works, or that Restoration is a thing, or that "the party" (which may or may not exist in a given game) has to get a Restoration for them.

2014-02-22, 11:58 PM
Okay edited it up a bit. What should I use then instead of wisdom? Also what sort of price tag on these items do you think would be appropriate?