Wondrous Wednesday – My Staple 4th Edition Potions!

I genuinely like the balance created in 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, and specifically, in terms of the use of encounter and daily powers. And while the Essentials line has introduced new classes that forgo the use of some of these powers, I still think there are numerous classes that either won’t or have yet not been converted into the Essentials line.

One of the problems with the perfect balancing, however, is that it makes for difficult balancing for long adventuring days. I’m not even discussing the five-minute adventuring day, either – even with the action points granted by milestones, once your party has used up their dailies, they’re much weaker than they were before, and the climactic battle at the end is often tougher than it needs to be.

Additionally, even with the addition of minions (which I think are a brilliant addition to the system), sometimes you just want a group of enemies to be larger. More numerous. The numbers are perfectly balanced in terms of defenses versus attack rolls, but five level ten characters are balanced against five level ten monsters with the assumption that these characters all have a number of encounter powers to use. Often, in a group with, say, two leaders and some healing potions, what’s stopping the players from taking on eight or nine equal level monsters isn’t the lack of hit points, but rather, there’s only so many ways to dish out that good encounter damage before falling back to the at-wills.

And a DM can only set up encounters on top of energy nodes so often before it begins to feel contrived.

Thus, in the vein of potions of healing, I offer you one of my first “house rules” (though it’s more of an in-campaign accommodation) to 4E.

Potion of Daily Strength – Level 6
This simple potion restores to you the vigor of body and clarity of mind you had when you awoke this morning.
Potion 100 gp
Power (Consumable ♦ Healing): Minor action. Drink this potion and spend a healing surge. You recover the use of one daily power. That power must be in internal, and not part of a magic item.
Potion of Morning Strength – Level 5
Upon the quaffing of this potion, the exhaustion you feel creeping up on you as you strike at your foes slowly fades away.
Potion 80 gp
Power (Consumable ♦ Healing): Minor action. Drink this potion. You recover the use of one encounter power. That power must be in internal, and not part of a magic item.
Potion of Divine Strength – Level 4
You drink this potion, infused with the power of your deity, and you feel renewed confidence in your divine sanction to smite your enemies.
Potion 50 gp
Power (Consumable ♦ Healing): Minor action. Drink this potion. You recover the use of one Channel Divinity power – you may now use one more divinity power this encounter. That power must be in internal, and not part of a magic item. You may only drink this potion after using a Channel Divinity power in an encounter.

There are two obvious caveats, here. First, I made the Potion of Divine Strength because 4th Edition has special encounter powers for classes with the Divine Power Source, but ostensibly, you could make potions that only renew your daily power if you’re a Primal Power Source or Psionic Power Source character.
The second caveat, which should be obvious, is that these potions should be somewhat rare. Giving out too many removes the distinction between at-will and encounter and daily powers. But occasionally, as a player, getting to drop your daily power twice in one encounter, is an incredible feeling.

Art courtesy of thinkgeek.com

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