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Dungeons & Dragons: How To Brew Your Own Potions

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  • What You Need To Get Started
  • Brewing Your Potions
  • Brewing Other Types Of Potions

Dungeons & Dragons is a game filled to the brim with mechanical complexity and rules that can easily be missed by new players. When assembling an adventuring party, it's common for players to bear in mind their character's party rolls. One of the most common roles that a party aims to fill is that of a healer. While healers most often replenish their allies hit points through the use of healing spells and features such as the Paladin's Lay on Hands, adventurers are also capable of healing themselves through the use of potions. Potions are among the most common magic items that players can encounter in a campaign, and can offer a wide range of benefits, though many of the most common potions are capable of only healing the drinker.

Though adventurers may find potions in stores or within the loot of slain monsters, characters are actually capable of brewing their own potions. For those in smaller parties or those in a group in which nobody particularly wants to play a class with easy access to healing magic, potion brewing is an excellent alternative. So today, we're going to explain everything you need to know about brewing potions in Dungeons & Dragons' fifth edition.

What You Need To Get Started

Before you start brewing your own tasty health potions, it's important to know that not every character is capable of brewing potions from the get-go. While characters of any class are capable of brewing potions, it's worth mentioning that to create one's own potions, a character must have proficiency with herbalism kits.

Proficiency with herbalism kits can easily be gained during character creation by taking the Hermit background or another background that provides access to a tool proficiency of a player's choice.

Brewing Your Potions

Once a character has proficiency with herbalism kits, they can start brewing! It's important to note that, while there is a wide range of potion types featured in D&D, when using the potion-brewing rules presented in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, a character only is capable of reliably making healing potions.

Once a character is ready, there are two things they'll need: time and money. Depending on the strength of the potion a character is looking to brew, they'll need to spend additional time and money in order to craft potions with more kick.

Below, you can see how much time and money for materials a character is required to expend in order to brew healing potions. For your convenience, we've also included references for how many hit points these potions replenish.

  • Potion of Healing: 2d4+2 HP
    • One day of work to brew, requiring 25 gold worth of materials.
  • Potion of Greater Healing: 4d4+4 HP
    • One workweek to brew, requiring 100 gold worth of materials.
    • Potion of Superior Healing: 8d4+8 HP
      • Three workweeks to brew, requiring 1,000 gold worth of materials.
      • Potion of Supreme Healing: 10d4+20 HP
        • Four workweeks to brew, requiring 10,000 gold worth of materials.
        • While the more potent potions adventurers can brew may seem rather costly, it should be noted that brewing one's own potions is still incredibly economical, costing a mere fraction of the standard prices of these items.

          Brewing Other Types Of Potions

          While Xanathar's Guide to Everything only includes specific rules for brewing healing potions, it notably includes rules that may be used for those looking to create their own magic items. As potions are indeed magic items, these rules can be applied to the creation of other potion types such as a Potion of Giant Strength, though proficiency in herbalism kits is still required. For those willing to put in the time and effort, this can be a great source of additional utility for a party.

          Firstly it should be noted that, unlike healing potions, magic items will require key ingredients, which are specified by a DM. Also, unlike Healing Potions, these items can only be created if a character knows the correct recipe, dictating which ingredients are required to brew the potion at hand, as well as the steps needed to prepare the item. These ingredients are most often either obtained from or are parts of various monsters. Based on the strength of the item (or in this case, potion) that a character is trying to create, the more deadly the monster is. This means that creating potions outside of Healing Potions is often a much more involved experience, as key resources must be obtained and brewed in a specific manner.

          Once a character has obtained the ingredients dictated by the recipe, they must spend an amount of time and money dictated by the potions rarity in order to brew it. For example, a Potion of Growth will require less time and resources to brew than a Potion of Strom Giant Strength.

          Below, you can see how much time and money for materials a character is required to expend in order to brew potions of various rarities.

          • Common: Half of one workweek, requiring 25 gold.
          • Uncommon: One workweek, requiring 100 gold.
          • Rare: Five workweeks, requiring 1,000 gold.
          • Very Rare: 12 and a half workweeks, requiring 10,000 gold.
          • Legendary: 25 workweeks, requiring 50,000 gold.

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