RPG Rant: #@$! Potions.


I hate potions. Ok, perhaps I don’t feel that strongly but I certainly don’t use them a lot., and thankfully Terry doesn’t use them either in his Shadow World setting. So what is it that bugs me about potions….

Potions are a common trope in early fairy tales and mythology, a standard in RPG’s and are a critical mechanic in many computer video games for health or hit point rejuvenation. Maybe that’s why it feels like potions have “jumped the shark”. Rolemaster already has a comprehensive spell and herb healing system–why duplicate that with healing potions?

I remember in my early days of D&D gaming we allowed players to “sip” a potion to test its properties. For instance a player would go a little transparent if it was a potion of Invisibility or feel “lighter” if it was a potion of levitation or flying.

Rolemaster has a fairly flexible system to imbed virtually any spell into a potion. I’ve seen GM’s allow Fireballs and Lightning Bolt potions–that makes little sense to me. Allowing Mentalism spells to be made into potions also makes little sense to me. Channeling isn’t much better–can a “Good” priest create a potion that can be used by a evil player? hmm….

So while I do have rules for “consumables” (candles, potions, charms, powders– items that get used up to activate the spell effect) I generally shy away from their common use. Potions are silly.

Just had to get that off my chest. Back to Spell Casting Mechanics: Channeling.

2 Replies to “RPG Rant: #@$! Potions.”

  1. As a rule I tend away from potions and towards the herbs. I have had players use their Alchemy skill to prepare essences of certain herbs and to preserve brewed herbs for a few days.

    As I have never had a player play an alchemist character player created potions have never been an issue.

    You are right though potions really are not a big part of the Rolemaster universe.

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