Content of the article: "Always Identify Your Loot: A Tale of 2 DMs"
In my group's last campaign I was a player and took pretty detailed notes.
We were attempting to bring about the end of a 500 year long war. I played an alcoholic homeless human monk named Peppercorn Pete who somehow got roped into serving alongside a 17 year old army general named Dualarc, another player character.
At one point, we fought and killed a dragon which, as usual, meant a big ol' pile of dragon loot which contained several potions. Dualarc found a weird potion with a long, annoying description to type into notes: amber in color, floating in the fluid are various items including a scorpion tail, dead spider, and a tiny heart that is somehow still beating. Then another player character (a Tortle named Tidewatcher) found the same potion. They were unable to identify them at the time and we went back to fighting in a war. Weeks passed. We ended the war. Dualarc, the boy general became a celebrity.
The DM told us that was the end of the story he'd planned and we discussed what to do next, he wanted to play a character so I offered to take over as DM. I asked if everyone wanted to make new characters or continue the story of these war heroes who still had plenty of leveling to do and they all agreed on keeping their characters. The legend of Dualarc continued.
…to a fight in the woods with a ghost. Ghosts have an ability where you have to make a saving throw against being frightened and if you fail by 5 or more you age by (1d4 x 10) years. General Dualarc rolled a one and instantly became a 47 year old man. We discussed the films Big, Jack and The 40 Year Old Virgin.
I had an NPC mention something about knowing a witch who might be able to help him reverse some of that aging magic and he was ready to abandon the quest they were currently on, so before the next session I prepared a side quest to go see the witch. I was pretty sure a potion existed already that makes you younger if you drink it, so I looked it up and indeed there is. "The Potion of Longevity". Wanna know what it looks like? It's amber in color, floating in the fluid are various items including a scorpion tail, dead spider, and a tiny heart that is somehow still beating. They have two of them. They've had them for months. They never identified them.
An entire session was spent collecting ingredients to brew this potion only to discover that not only was all that time spent making something they already had multiples of, but the DM was most definitely going to make sure that every treasure chest and potion shop for the rest of the campaign contained at least one of these easy to recognize bottles. More than anyone could ever possibly need. An inconvenient number of potions.
Always identify your loot.
- Bring the hammer down
- MOD REQUEST Permanent Effect Potions
- Letting player re-roll/change ability scores mid-campaign?
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