Monday, December 10, 2012

Secret Santicore: Potent Potables

Tonight's Santicore gift is a serious cup of cheer!

THE REQUEST:  A selection of 10-30 potent potables found at the local tavern, along with their effect on the imbiber.
James from Pilgrim's Guide to Zeitgeist comes to the rescue with some delectable beverages.

POTENT POTABLES, or "Give me the good stuff, Barkeep!"

Sometimes you need that special bottle in your game, whether it’s that expensive bottle on the top shelf of the local adventurers' watering-hole or the dusty bottle found in a long abandoned cellar, so I have compiled a list of 24 “special bottles”.

In some instances the duration of the beneficial and harmful effects are listed in the description, for the others I suggest a potency rolled on 1D4:

1 Weak brew; primary effects last just a few rounds
2 Moderate brew; effects last 3D20 minutes until cleared from the system
3 Strong brew; primary effects last 1D6+1 hours
4 Finest vintage; 2D6 Hours of the brew coursing through your system

(please note the after effects in some cases will be delayed and/or lengthy)

White Wines


Riesling of the North Wind

This cool Riesling comes in a fragile thin blue bottle that seems cold to the touch at all times. While under the effects of this wine a person can “breathe” (cone effect) a gust of the north wind every third round; this is a strong cold wind that has the ability to knock people prone (save) and can do 1d12 points of cold damage. While under its effects the imbiber gives off a cold vapor-like effect and their hair will turn blue. There is a also a (10-25%) chance that any metal they are using will become brittle and break if damaged.

Bumbler's Bane Chardonnay

This full-flavored chardonnay has both an invigorating and numbing effect. It is bottled in a nondescript gallon jug; upon finishing the bottle it allows the drinker to spot hidden, detect secret doors, and find traps on a 5 in 6 roll. While intoxicated by this chardonnay the imbiber will have their dexterity/agility halved and always act last in combat due to their distraction. This wine is often given to henchmen and then they are set loose to flush out the dungeon of its dangers while the rest of the party follows at a safe distance tracking the drinker by the loud noises of their stumbling around.

Katzenjammer Gew├╝rztraminer

This spicy summer wine favored by rakasta assassins is bottled in sleek opaque tubes and lets off the loud wail of an angry cat when opened; it allows the drinker improved initiative, night vision, and excellent grace and balance while climbing, sprinting, or leaping, but is only effective at night. For 1D8 days the imbiber will have the strong urge to nap in bright sunshine (save) at inopportune times and will crave salmon and warm cream.

Solitudes Pinot Grigio

This light crisp pinot grigio demands to be consumed alone and savored. After drinking, the imbiber will “blink” away from any close contact (5 feet) of a person or attack, appearing up to 60 feet away in a random safe location. The bottle itself requires a dexterity/agility check to grasp and will always appear in a different location each round unless held firmly, especially if placed inside of something like a backpack. It will never be in the same place twice. There is a chance (10-45%) that the drinker will awake after the effects have worn off 10-30 miles away in an awkward position or place with the empty bottle in hand with the strong smell of wildflowers about them.

Bone Seekers Blanc

Often consumed by mortuary clerics looking for a graveyard to delile or sanctify, this sauvignon blanc in a stoppered bone bottle allows the drinker to see an aura around any bones, graves, or undead, seeing them with a bright white light even buried in the ground or behind stone walls. Unfortunately, the undead will also see the drinker like a beacon in the night and will target the person over any other target, often traveling for days and miles even after the effects have worn off. Sometimes a sanctuary spell or cleansing ritual will negate this later effect.

Voice of Silence Chenin Blanc

This simple chenin blanc bottled in a waxed paper tube inscribed with musical notes and gibberish scribblings allows the drinker to communicate telepathically over great distances of time and space, comprehend most tongues, and detect motive and falsehoods. After any communication of this nature for 1D6 days the Imbiber will suffer from a mind-robbing madness if not in an area of complete silence, as well as -3 intelligence, wisdom, charisma (save lessens effects).

Red Wines


Rat Catchers’ Lament Merlot

This muddy merlot in a grey fur wineskin will repel vermin and swarms away from the drinker for D4 days after drinking but will attract sludges, slimes, and fungal creatures wishing to parlay with and aid the imbiber until the effects wear off--then they become hostile. Drinker may spit up the odd rat tail or beetle if engaged in any important diplomacy (save vs charisma).

Spirit of Noir ‘42

This bottle of spicy pinot noir requires a fear save to even open the bottle and drink due to the shifting faces visible in the haziness of the clear bottle; it is normally found in a red velvet bag.

Upon drinking the imbiber will enter into a trance-like state and be able to see and communicate with the spirit world around them. This trance will last 3D20 minutes; upon exiting the trance for 1D8 days they will be visited by mischievous but benign spirits whispering rumors in their ear (false and true) and will suffer terror on any failed saves they might need to make.

Starry Night Shiraz

This round blue bottle has no stopper and will require breaking to open and drink; it is filled with a bubbling shiraz and the chopped-off end of a strange tentacle (+1 wisdom or intelligence permanently if tentacle eaten) and allows the drinker to read the thoughts of others for 2D12 hours, but they will be subject to hourly random quirks during the effects (save negates):

1.maniacal laughter 2.uncontrollable sobs and tears 3.unstoppable rage and bloodlust 4.darkness spell centered on drinker for 250 feet 5. continual light centered on drinker 6. otherworldly possession

Harlot’s Delight Tempranillo

This fruity tempranillo in a stoppered square bottle is favored by Female Orc Courtesans and grants its imbiber +5 charisma/seduction and offers a paralyzing unarmed attack (save), but after its effects wear off the imbiber’s constitution and strength are halved for 1D4 days (cure poison negates).

Chianti Vitae

This straw-covered bottle of chianti can be used to view the life essence of those around the imbiber, showing a green glow aura for healthy life forms and a red glow aura for the dead and undead. Any damage dealt to lifeforms being viewed in this way within 50 feet gives temporary hit points to the imbiber via a visable-to-all hazy purple tendril of smoke that moves slowly to the drinker from the wounded party members (receives next round). While under the effects the imbiber takes double damage from any attacks but cannot be surprised by animate objects or humanoids. This potent wine will only last 3D6 minutes in a drinker’s system before it wears off and any temporary hit points are lost. Intelligence save to not “follow” a lifeform aura.



Sanctum Weizen

This wiess with a burnt orange and coriander aftertaste is often found in a chipped stone crock stoppered with a plug of waxed leather. Any successful ranged attacks at the drinker will force a re-roll (second hit will hit). Any missed ranged attacks at imbiber have a 50 to 70% of striking someone else--a friend or foe that is nearby. Any ranged attacks made by drinker will be treated as a fumble.

Imperial Mushroom Stout

This heady full-flavored mushroom stout in a mushroom shaped stone bottle negates the need to eat or drink for 1D8 days and gives the imbiber full protection from cold or poison for a full day.

During the 1D8 days the drinker will give-off a strong aroma that will penalize sneaking and charisma and attract randomly: 1. a tribe of 1-6 friendly flying monkeys that will pickpocket the party when they leave after a few hours. 2. a group of 1D4 dryads wishing to kill the drinker and submerge their roots in his corpse to gain the drinker’s powers. 3. a group of 1-6 fat halflings looking for the secret of the “recipe” to the stout. 4. a medusa looking for a lover 5. zombies 1D20 6. a party of mushroom men 1D8 wanting to know why the imbiber drank their relative’s sarcophagus.

Dreamers Gruit

This heavily herbed gruit ale is enclosed in a map decorated skull-shaped bottle enclosed inside of a puzzle box (pick locks to open, 35% chance of breaking). Upon drinking, when next thethe imbiber sleeps they will dream of maps and have an uncanny knowledge of a single level of any nearby dungeon or labyrinth until they sleep again (let them see an unkeyed map). Any maps drawn of these dreams will only be 75% accurate. Unknown to the drinker at this time, a large tribe of minotaurs will seek revenge and begin to hunt the drinker’s blood relatives relentlessly (unending groups) for 1D4 years. They may be appeased by the drinker building them a maze.

Lucky Lambic

The drinker of this dust-covered bottle of framboise lambic will receive 1D6 (random each time) to all attacks, saves, and luck rolls for 3D4 days; the rest of the party takes -1 to all rolls for the same amount of time (individuals may “shake off” the bad luck with a save, but it will transfer to another party member and stack.) Any henchmen will try to take and drink this, as they just know it’s tasty and in their best interests. The bottle is permanently unbreakable if reused.

Hive Keeps Draught Honey Black Ale

This curious small golden bottle in the shape of an insect contains a sweet dark ale that allows the imbiber to communicate and locate insects of all types; during its effects all ranged attacks give a bonus of 1D4 poisoned attacks (save) for several 1D12 days after drinking. Insects will buzz and crawl around the drinker giving minuses to charisma if applicable and making sneaking hard due to noise from the insects. The empty bottle is considered fine art to collector.

HatTricks Kvass

This kvass prepared from a magically molded black rye infuses the imbiber with the knowledge to cast 1D8 first-level illusionist spells once for each spell; they may attempt to scribe the spells on a scroll or in a book, but whatever they do write on a scroll will be another random first-level illusionist spell. These spells can be held in their head until they are cast or scribed, but once they have cast or scribed all the spells in their head they will polymorph into a mundane non-talking or casting: 1. white rabbit 2. blue pig frog 4.purple dove 5. green sheep 6 pink pony 7. yellow dog 8. black flamingo for 1D6 x 1D12 days (remove curse negates).

Cordials, Fortified Wines and Distilled Spirits


Tears of the Moon

Rustically-bottled in a silver-lidded canning jar, this high-proof spirit allows the drinker to see a faint aura around any lycanthropes that grows brighter until the next full moon. After drinking there is a 1 in 6 chance of becoming an exotic lycanthrope yourself (something like penguin, monkey, zebra, elephant, lobster, porcupine, hyena, parrot) to be discovered on the fullmoon.If used as a flaming molotov, it burns with a green blue flame for 3D8 points of damage for 10 seconds before going out and will cause anything damaged by it to become undead 1D6 rounds after death. They will only come back to life for 1D4 hours (bottle highly volatile to carry around).

The Jeweled Drop Metheglin

Glittering gems (5D10 of 1D10 value) swirl around in this clear bottle of sticky-sweet metheglin. Upon drinking, the imbiber will be able to see the bright aura of gems and magical items through up to 15 feet of solid rock, walls, and dirt. After the effects wear off, the imbiber will be blind for 1D4 hours and they will have the knowledge that any gems from the bottle will cure 1D3 damage each if swallowed for up 6 days after the bottle is drained.

The Two Lovers Krupnika

Hot green and red peppers float around in this spicy, sweet krupnika in a sticky, clear cylinder with a twist-off wooden top decorated with a carving of embraced two lovers. Opening will summon either a green friendly/charismatic or red angry/spiteful (50% either) ghost/ectoplasmic entity ({male or female); upon drinking it will summon the other spirit. If both spirits manifest at the same time they will loudly argue with each other until compelled otherwise by the party. If convinced they will reveal the location of a secret place and or the location of some special treasure. After 1D4 hours drinker will be able to belch up 1 6d6 fireball over the course of the next day. Before they have released the fireball, any damage to them will cause it to go off from the wound causing no damage to them but to all around within 30 feet

Vintners Laughter Fortified Madeira

This is a large wooden cask of madeira (100 pounds or more) with a serving for 2D20 people. The drinkers will mass polymorph (save negates) as per the spell into random revelling beasts or creatures (all random); once opened the cask contents will revert to a normal madeira spoiled with age within an hour. The polymorph will only last 1d6 hours and drinkers will take 1HD of damage per level when the effects wear off (save halves). Cask is marked with the face of Bacchus in green ink and the words “NUNC EST BIBENDUM” in large letters.

Melomel of the Wild Hunt

Bottled in gourds and usually found in groups of 1D6 gourds, this red glowing mead-like drink allows the imber to see light trails behind animals and humanoids and track them at night as easy as a ranger. Effects will last until daybreak.This has no effect during the day. While intoxicated by the melomel, the drinker’s eyes will give-off a red, flickering glow that will frighten children and domestic livestock. There is a chance that the real wild hunt will join in any tracking the party has planned while drinking this melomel 20-35%. Weak willed characters might be swept up in the wild hunt if they do appear and be lost for weeks, but will return with random ranger skills.

DarkVine Port

A port wine in a amber glass bottle that seems to give off a small candle flame of light from inside. The imbiber immediately assumes a shadow form for 3D20 minutes, but any light source over a candle will burn them for 1D8 a round and temporarily blind them. The shadow form is insubstantial and can not grasp objects, make sounds, cast spells, or do physical damage. The shadow form gives off the strong smell of garlic or onions, but is completely silent while moving.


  1. Now that this is out in the open, I so plan on springing these on some of my players.

    Thanks for posting it, I had fun writing it

  2. Excellent!
    Thanks, Apis...I got WAY more than I asked for.