Potions & Scrolls & Crafting. Meh.

About to put on my old grognard hat. In later editions of the World’s Most Popular Fantasy Roleplaying Game, characters could make their own potions, scrolls, and other adventuring bits. I always disliked that.
If you want to make stuff then open a shop. If you want to adventure then adventure. Sure, it’ll save some money but when it ends up being more about saving a few gold pieces and not about anything really adventurous then it’s just boring. Maybe that’s why I’ve had so many of what I consider boring times playing Traveler. So often it ended up being a game of interplanetary import/export business. And don’t even get me started on MMO’s. Sit down and play a video game to go off to an assembly line. Sigh. OK, that was today’s rant.
Have Fun. Kill Monsters. Take Their Stuff.

5 thoughts on “Potions & Scrolls & Crafting. Meh.”

  1. The reason item manufacture is dull is because the stakes are so low. Ingredients come from the supermarket (well, marketplace). There is minimal chance of failure, and no potential consequences beyond losing some easily-replaceable cash. And the items produced are commodities: finding an alternate supplier is none too difficult. Want the process to be more interesting? Remove the commodity market, make ingredients harder to get, and add some consequences. Curative potions require the heart blood of creatures with strong curative properties; the ethics of making a Cure Moderate Wounds potion become more complicated if you have to kill a unicorn to make one. Of course, by the time all this has changed you have a very different game and maybe a very different society…


  2. What, are potions and items for sale in your campaign? My players can only ever buy a few things like potions of healing, no scrolls or items. When making it yourself is the only option, it means you give the PCs a reason to hunt down trolls and harpies and so on. Also it gives the wizards and clerics something to do while the fighters are building castles.
    I don’t know that it’s only “later” eds that have this, I mean the 1e DMG has a great recipe list for potions.


  3. To Mike. Not always. it depends on the campaign. I was thinking mainly around 3.x/Pathfinder with the crafting feats and MMO’s. Some folks like. Personally, I don’t.


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