Thursday, September 15, 2011

Healing Potions are Magic

In my current campaign I put some thought into how the divine related to the physical world, it's politics and how it might impact game play. While magic can be worked for contract and favor it's not simply another more potent product, magic (and in this discussion magical items) isn't a product that always delivers a specific effect to meet the needs of the user. Magic ties the user to the source of the magic and it's effects are impacted by the relationship.

The players in my campaign have been struggling with the game reality that healing potions are magical and that magic is tied to the gods. In the current campaign a healing potion isn't created with all it's potential healing built in and ready to indiscriminately restore hit points, a healing potion embodies a connection between the recipient and the healing force of divine. As such a healing potion may provide no benefit at all to those with no connection to the divine, it can even prove to be a poison to those who have acted against the divine.

Thus my players find themselves in a continuing quandary: They can't find healing potions that work for all of them. Several month back in the campaign all but one PC joined in on a murder plot that killed a number of priests of the Church of The Celestial Orthodoxy and afterward discovered healing potions were as poison to all involved in the murders. No one in the party has played a cleric so healing has been in short supply for some time.

Only two of the conspirators still survive but as they are the two strongest PCs in the party at this date they are severely disadvantaged. There are other faiths out there but they are rare, stigmatized and even persecuted by The Church so getting into contact with other sources of healing has been difficult. I do have bandaging wounds rule that allows one to regain 1d6 hp shortly after being wounded in a fight so I'm not a total hard ass but serious wounds can take a good long time to recover from if magics aren't at hand. Being raised or resurrected is off the table if one acts agaisnt or beyond The Church as the only clerics known to have such capability are high up in the hierarchy.

The Church itself is hard to avoid. It's the ultimate authority and dominates trade in the New Lands so the players find themselves in a difficult position where they must deal with a reality where political, financial and magical power are controlled and flow from the same source.

Those who hold magic, hold the power and magic is not a simple commodity.

1 comment:

  1. I really like what you've done with the potion-situation.
    --Very clever and posing many challenges to the PCs.