Adventurer’s need magic gear like armor, weapons, and cool stuff. However, what about the cool consumable stuff? Yeah, yeah. Everyone wants kewl potions and stuff. But I mean cool stuff like Alchemist Fire and Bottles of Acid. My very first Dungeons & Dragons character was a Ninja in Oriental Adventures. He had plenty of bottles and vials to use against monsters. He would toss Alchemist Fire to clear a hallway in a dungeon or hurl a flash of acid to weaken a creature before the fighters would move in to fight. And what good Ninja didn’t coat his skuriken that only did 1d2 with poison that added +1d4 damage?!  Too bad he opened that Hellfire bag thinking it was full of gold. But that’s another story.

Here is a collection of some of my favorite “consumable treasure” that have run the gamut from 1st edition to 4th. If you have something else to add please feel free to leave a comment. And if you want to read through some more cool stuff to add into your campaign, click on this LINK to read about Adventuring Gear.


Flasked AcidI have a house rule that a character can throw a flask of acid as an improvised ranged weapon. In my games, these flasks are made of glass and usually shatter on impact. Rolling a “1” means the stupid thing bounces off of the target and rolls around on the ground unbroken. On a “natural 20” the victim is blinded by acid, and will take double damage until treated for chemical burns. A direct hit shatters the flask and  deals 1d6 points of acid damage. Every creature within 5 feet of the point where the acid hits takes ½ of the qd6 acid damage from the splash unless they succeed at a Dexterity Saving Throw. Until the acid is treated (in some way that seems logical to the DM) the victims continue to take damage from the acid for 1d6 rounds.  

Corrosive acids deals 1d6 points of damage per round of exposure except in the case of total immersion (such as into a vat of acid), which deals 10d6 points of damage per round. An attack with acid, such as from a hurled vial or a monster’s spittle, counts as a round of exposure. The fumes from most acids are inhaled poisons. Those who come close enough to a large body of acid to dunk a creature in it must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Constitution damage. All such characters must make a second save 1 minute later or take another 1d4 points of Constitution damage.

Flask of Acid.

Alchemist’s Fire: You can throw a flask of alchemist’s fire . Treat this attack as a ranged attack with a range increment of 10 feet. I recommend using 1d8 as fire damage in 5th edition. These incendiary weapons are somewhat fragile clay pots about the size of a small apple. They are sealed with pine pitch, and can be thrown at the enemy. When the pot breaks, its contents (a combination of quicklime, calcium phosphide, and water) the chemicals ignite and explode, dousing the victims with liquid fire. It burns on water (sometimes called Sea Fire by pirates), and is isustained by water. In addition, as numerous writers testify, it could be extinguished only by a few substances, such as sand (which deprived it of oxygen), strong vinegar, or old urine, presumably by some sort of chemical reaction.

Alchemist Fire Grenade

A direct hit deals 1d8 points of fire damage. Every creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1 point of fire damage from the splash. On the rounds following a direct hit, the target takes an additional 1d8 points of damage for 1d6 rounds. If desired, the target can use a full-round action to attempt to extinguish the flames before taking this additional damage. Extinguishing the flames requires a DC 15 DEX Saving Throw. Rolling on the ground provides the target a +2 bonus on the save. Leaping into a lake or magically extinguishing the flames automatically smothers the fire. Using water simply causes the flame to burn for an additional 1d4 rounds.

Antitoxin: If you drink antitoxin, you get a +5 alchemical bonus on Constitution saving throws against poison for 1 hour.

Everburning Torch: This otherwise normal torch has a continual flame spell cast upon it. An everburning torch clearly illuminates a 20-foot radius and provides shadowy illumination out to a 40-foot radius.


Holy Water: Holy water is water that has been blessed by a member of the clergy or a religious figure. It damages undead creatures and evil outsiders almost as if it were acid. A flask of holy water can be thrown as an improvised ranged weapon. In my games, I use the old adage that it does 2d4 damage against undead, devils, demons, and other creatures of the like.


Smokestick: This alchemically treated wooden stick instantly creates thick, opaque smoke when ignited. The smoke fills a 10- foot cube. The stick is consumed after 1 round, and the smoke dissipates naturally.

Sunrod: This 1-foot-long, gold-tipped, iron rod glows brightly when struck. It clearly illuminates a 30-foot radius and provides shadowy illumination in a 60-foot radius. It glows for 6 hours, after which the gold tip is burned out and worthless.

Tanglefoot Bag: When you throw a tanglefoot bag at a creature, the bag comes apart and the goo bursts out, entangling the target and then becoming tough and resilient upon exposure to air. An entangled creature takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty to Dexterity and must make a DC 15 DEX save or be glued to the floor, unable to move. Even on a successful save, it can move only at half speed. Huge or larger creatures are unaffected by a tanglefoot bag. A flying creature is not stuck to the floor, but it must make a DC 15 DEX save or be unable to fly (assuming it uses its wings fly) and fall to the ground. A tanglefoot bag does not function underwater.

A creature that is glued to the floor (or unable to fly) can break free by making a DC 17 Strength check or by dealing 15 points of damage to the goo with a slashing weapon. A creature trying to scrape goo off itself, or another creature assisting, does not need to make an attack roll; hitting the goo is automatic, after which the creature that hit makes a damage roll to see how much of the goo was scraped off. Once free, the creature can move (including flying) at half speed. A character capable of spellcasting who is bound by the goo must make a DC 15 Concentration check to cast a spell. The goo becomes brittle and fragile after 2d4 rounds, cracking apart and losing its effectiveness. An application of universal solvent to a stuck creature dissolves the alchemical goo immediately.

Thunderstone: You can throw this stone as a ranged attack. When it strikes a hard surface, it creates a deafening bang that is treated as a sonic attack. Each creature within a 10-foot-radius spread must make a DC 15 Constitution Saving Throw or be deafened for 1 hour. Treat the target square as AC 5.

Tindertwig: The alchemical substance on the end of this small, wooden stick ignites when struck against a rough surface. Creating a flame with a tindertwig is much faster than creating a flame with flint and steel (or a magnifying glass) and tinder. Lighting a torch with a tindertwig is a standard action (rather than a full-round action), and lighting any other fire with one is at least a standard action.




  1. I kind of liked the introduction of some of these in 3e, since it did give PCs access to some useful adventuring gear that is not quite as powerful as a magic item. I just wouldn’t make any of them (apart from holy water, weaponized oil, and maybe the acid) available for purchase, at least not in town, unless magic is pretty mundane in the setting and the streets are lit by continual light spells. As one-shot magic items for 1st or 2nd level adventurers they’re awesome though.



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