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Little Potion Bottles

Little Potion Bottles

Potions are one of the most common magic items in D&D, and thus become ubiquitous and forgettable. But throw them into a unique container, and they get a bit more interesting. I still remember the hollow giant ant-head potion bottles that by dwarf Thuffir IronHelm carries around.

Table 1: Potion Container Material (d10)

  1. Glass
  2. Iron
  3. Tin
  4. Gourd (don’t roll for shape)
  5. Ceramic
  6. Clay
  7. Animal or monster body part
  8. Crystal
  9. Leather (don’t roll for shape)
  10. Glass

Table 2: Potion Container Shape

  1. Test tube
  2. Small classic bottle
  3. Square bottle
  4. Spherical
  5. Ovoid
  6. Flask
  7. Conical
  8. Decanter with handle
  9. Multi-faceted
  10. Special Shape (roll on special shape subtable)

Table 2.1: Special Shapes (d6)

  1. Humanoid
  2. Skull
  3. Cluster of grapes or other fruit
  4. Grinning goblin face
  5. Plump woman
  6. Fist

Table 3: Closure (d10)

  1. Cork
  2. Cork and sealing wax
  3. Wax
  4. Screw-on lid
  5. Screw-on lid with sealing wax
  6. Leather tied on
  7. Carved wooden plug
  8. Tree sap
  9. Glass cap, must be broken to be opened
  10. Loose metal cap

About 50% of potion bottles are also decorated in some way

Table 4: Decorations (d8)

  1. Holy symbol etchings
  2. Ribbon tied around the neck
  3. Feathers and beads on a string around the neck
  4. Painted in primary colours
  5. Painted with a single rune or glyph
  6. Wrapped in fine cord
  7. Marked with someone’s initials
  8. Small holy symbol or rune dangles from a thin cord

I generally also grant a 25 to 50 percent chance that the potion bottles are labelled. 50% when in the lair of an intelligent humanoid, 25% otherwise.

Table 5: Potion Label (d6)

  1. Crudely painted label
  2. Paper label glued on
  3. Paper label tied on
  4. Container wrapped in labeled paper
  5. Label glued to cap
  6. Scrap of leather tied to container

Table 5.1: Label Markings

  1. Actual type of potion
  2. Deliberately wrong
  3. General type of potion
  4. Simple symbol (plus, minus, sunburst, skull)
  5. Cryptic symbol (the moon, holy symbol of a lost cult)
  6. Name of potion in a very rare language