5e: What can you do with alchemist supplies? — Do a skill check (2023)

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In Dungeons and Dragons 5e, a player can usually choose a set of crafting tools to master during character creation. It's not always clear to the Dungeon Master (DM) or the player what the tools can allow them to do. One such tool is the alchemist's supplies; What can a player character (PC) do with alchemist supplies and how is a potion made?

The Alchemist's Supplies proficiency allows a PC to use the necessary tools and implements to brew potions. Players proficient with Alchemist's Supplies can also add their proficiency bonus to checks used to brew alchemical potions, which they don't.noinclude healing potions.

All potions are magical, so using these supplies falls under the category of creating magic items, which is always a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive process.

For a tutorial on how to use Alchemist Supplies, read on!

5e: What can you do with alchemist supplies? — Do a skill check (1)

table of contents

Requirements for brewing potions

  • alchemist supplies: Consisting of beakers, decanters, tubes and burners, a stable workplace is needed to carry out the work for a period of time.
  • Revenue: Instructions explaining how to make the potion and what supplies are needed.
  • Components: Specific magic ingredients that have the properties you want to infuse into the potion. For example, a water-breathing potion might require the essence of astrange water. These special ingredients are usually acquired during adventures.
  • gold– Additional supplies that have a specific gold cost based on the rarity of the item being crafted.
  • Tempo: The allocated number of work weeks needed to complete the job, also based on the rarity of the item being crafted.
  • rolls:Intelligencechecks must pass to successfully manufacture the item. Proficiency with Alchemist Supplies will allow a player to add their proficiency to these checks.

Determining cost and processing time

Identify the magic rarity of the potion you are trying to brew, then consult this modified table ofXanathar's Guide to Everything:

item rarityCreation cost (gp)weeks of work
Very strange10.00012.5

Mandatorywork weeks can be reducedif multiple people are working on the task. All who work must be proficient with the alchemist's tools.

To determine the new number of workweeks, divide the original number by the number of competent workers.

The crafting cost is the cost of the raw materials needed to craft the potion. The cost of creationhe doesno include cost of main magic ingredients.

Determining the Magic Ingredients Needed

HeDM will determinewhat magic ingredients are needed or the rarity of a homemade magic potion.

FurthermoreIf a player finds what they believe to be a magic ingredient, it's up to the DM to determine what they can create with it.

When determining what challenge rating a creature must have to produce a magic ingredient, the GM should consider the rarity of the potion used to create the magic item.Xanathar's Guide to Everythinghas a table that can be used as a guide:

item rarityGama CR
Very strange13-18

non-magical ingredients

Fullthree argumentshere:

  1. The necessary components areshould be availablefor the player, it is enough to subtract a certain amount of gold each time he decides to use them.
  2. Hespecific articles, like a 500 gp diamond,must have been bought before, but it is assumed that smaller components are available, subtract them in gold.
  3. All components must be meticulously tracked.and bought or collected beforehand, or else you can't make the potion every time.

Personally, I'm more in favor of the first two options, as this allows you to play, you know, onegame— not “accounting and inventory management simulator”. The third tends to break the immersion, although this is usually the stated goal of its fans.

In short: We're playing games and would like some level of simplification. What you do is up to you and your DM, but it should be established long before you find yourself trapped in a dungeon, unable to search for anything.

find a recipe

The GM can determine how difficult it is to obtain a recipe for a magic potion.

A player could go to the alchemist in a Home City and buy the recipe, or maybe just study a potion he found, assuming it passes an associate's DC.Intelligenceto check.

5e: What can you do with alchemist supplies? — Do a skill check (2)

Fullthere are no official rules on the difficulty of obtaining potion recipesor how to get one.

If a PC wants to make potions, the DM will need to determine the parameters.

weeks of work

A workweek is a week of idle time in which a PC spends itsmost of the time every dayto work on a specific task.

As stated above, the number of weeks of work required to brew a magic potioncan be reducedby having more characters, who are also proficient with alchemist supplies, they help with the task.

there may be alimit of how many peoplecan help with the task if the workspace itself is not big enough.

For example, only two people can help create a common potion while using a set of alchemist's supplies in a rented room above a gloomy tavern.

Or maybe five alchemists can work together if they each have their own alchemist supplies and are working in a dedicated lab.

Take skill tests

To determine the success or failure of the preparation attempt, the GM will require aIntelligenceverification, more competition.

direct currentfor homework can berelated to raritythe potion being made, the player's familiarity with the process, or any number of factors.

The GM should determine if the player needs to do a series ofIntelligencechecks each work week spent on the task or just once after work weeks.

Alternative Skills Check Options

I recommend doing a check every week., particularly for longer projects, because making a party waste months only to fail completely won't be good for players' investment. Instead, let them waste an odd week, but overall, move towards success.

maybe onemake it criticaladds additional work weeks to the task, andcritical successEliminate work weeks. The GM can also reduce or increase the potion's potency based on how many successes or failures the player had in brewing the potion.

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Well, our friends fromdungeonhas a variety ofpuzzles, puzzles and blocksto enhance your gaming experience. They even have amurder mysteryit is apolitical intrigue system!

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Potion brewing example

A group recently killed a troll that was eating travelers along a country road. The party's artificer is also an alchemist and knows that a troll's heart has regenerative properties that can be used to brew potions.

The alchemist now has a magic ingredient from a CR 5 creature and can make a rare potion. The group heads back to a nearby town, and the alchemist goes to the local town hall and buys a recipe for thealchemical libraryleek 22h

The DM now needs to brew a homemade potion for the alchemist to brew. Looking at other uncommon potions, they decide this potion can grant 1calleo 2Dakota do Nortelevel spell effects for a longer period of time than the original spell and without the need for concentration.

The DM states that the recipe is for a regeneration potion that allows the player to recover 1d4 HP at the start of their turn for 1 hour.

The Alchemist has a week off in the city, so he gets to work. The alchemist buys 100 gp worth of materials, finds a worksite, and prepares his alchemist's supplies.

At the end of the week, the alchemist makes a DC 15 Intelligence check and passes with a 16, having successfully brewed a regeneration potion worth 200 gp.

If the check failed, they may have demanded one of the following (still assuming DC 15):

  • 1: (critical failure) all materials lost
  • 2-10: The troll's heart remains, but all other materials must be repurchased
  • 10-14: All ingredients are good, but time was lost
  • 20 (critical hit): Extra power or maybe 2 potions for effort. If the potion took longer than a week, maybe they only count two weeks.

Maybe you're looking for some brain teasers, like this onepotions puzzle.


Brewing magic potions can seem intimidating and expensive, but requiring players to source magic ingredients and dedicate time and resources to complete the task can be very rewarding. Who knows, maybe the campaign's Big Bad Evil Guy can only be defeated after brewing a legendary potion.

5e: What can you do with alchemist supplies? — Do a skill check (3)

  • alchemist supplies,revenues, magical and mundaneComponents, Tempo, and skill checks are required to make potions.
  • The higher the effect and rarity of the potion, the longer it will take and the more expensive it will be.
  • Fullno agreed rulesto find potion recipes
  • Much of the dynamics of the potion must bedetermined by DM
  • Xanathar's Guide to Everythingsheds some light on alchemy, but not much.
  • skill checkscan be done at the end of each work week (recommended) or at the end of every work week
  • Failure penalties may depend on the severity of the failure
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