CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Giving Magic Flavor

What Do Potions Taste Like

I’ve touched on the topic of dynamic magic before; noting that one can make their world seem more real by using descriptions of how one casts spells. This kind of depth can be added to much more than just immediate spell casting. Although I’ve talked about it before with some of my groups, it dawned on me the other day while drinking some tea to help defrost, “I wonder what different potions taste like?”

Potions definitely have a flavor. When attempting to identify a potion – in Pathfinder at least – you have to take a little taste of it. Different potions will have differing flavors and that healing potion won’t taste the same as a portion of barkskin. I would imagine that something like a portion of healing might taste a little like kids cough syrup, and describing this to your players will help immerse them more deeply into your world.

Although the ability to determine what a potion is by tasting a bit suggests that all of the same types of potions taste alike, I’m not sure I’d like it if that were true. It might be interesting if the more scientific minded alchemists’ healing potions tasted like chalky medicine while the motherly witch has healing salves that taste like chicken soup. Making the flavors dependent on the one who brews the potions could add an interesting twist to identifying them.

Tasting something isn’t always about flavor either. Texture plays a big part in how we consume food. The aforementioned barkskin potion my feel like moss on your tongue while having a woody taste. A potion of haste might slide across your tongue and down your throat. And a potion of slow might feel like molasses and stick to the sides of your mouth.

Adding little things like the flavor and texture of potions can honestly be the difference between a memorable game and just a good one. What do you think potions taste like? Do the common ones like cure potions all taste the same? What is the flavor of a love potion?

Today we brewed up another bit of flavor for your games here at the CRB. If you’d like to throw some ingredients in the cauldron, please consider becoming a contributor. Monthly donations of as little as one dollar can be made to my Patreon. A one-time donation can easily be made to my Paypal. Every bit helps me keep the lights on so I can concentrate on bringing you the content you deserve.

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