Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Potions and Scrolls

I want to allow the characters to manufacture magical items but not spend all their time in the shop building dungeon busters or wagon loads of healing potions instead of adventuring.  I think that the first guy to cast continual light on a bag of stones and then cover them in clay was a real clever player who deserved a reward, however I think that allowing other players to do this and destroy the livelihood of  torch makers everywhere is stupid.  I think it's good to put a heavy price on crafting scrolls and potions, and also make a HP expenditure large enough to ensure that characters have to be a decent level to make them. 
Divine Magic can be made into potions.  The potion must be created in a well stocked alchemist laboratory and it takes a day per spell level to prepare the ingredients. It requires an HP expenditure of 10x the spell cost to infuse the potion with the magic.  Potions are applied topically or ingested as appropriate.  Suggested ingredients for potions are rare and expensive monster parts, precious stones or herbs.  Costs should average 1000gp/spell level.
Arcane magic can be made into scrolls.  Scrolls are written copies of spells that can be cast through use of a Read Magic spell.  Generally the type of spell (and other errata) is indicated on the scroll allowing it to be determined prior to casting- but this does not always have to be the case. Reading a scroll from a different school of magic adds a DC modifier of +5 to properly cast the spell.  
Costs for making scrolls should be comparable with the costs of potions (HP 10 x spell cost and 1000gp and 1day per spell level).  Like spells found in spell books, spells on scrolls can be transcribed into spell books given materials and 1 day per spell level.  The transcriber must have a high enough level to cast the spell in order to copy it to their book.
Given these rules a 4th level Restoration potion or Dimension Door scroll would cost the caster 4000gp in materials, take 4 days to work up and require the caster had 91 HP to create.  So they aren't going to be just lying around on the ground.


  1. Maybe it's just me, but 10x the HP cost seems a little severe. Triple cost? Maybe. 5x cost? Sure. But 10x cost seems excessive.

    For the Restoration potion, an average character would have to be like 20th level just to be able to pay the HP cost (or would it be divided over the 4 days?)

  2. You could very well be right on this. The formula was I think I based on some ritual magic ideas from the microlite forms. If I recall, rituals could be shared between casters so that would mitigate the costs a lot. Perhaps I'll have to think about it again.