I think healing potions are lackluster as is. The DMG encourages folks to regularly dispense them in treasure parcels. As is out of the PHB, players spend a healing surge and gain 10 hp instead of their regular healing surge value. This is all fine and good until you hit about level 4, then the 10 HP boost is almost up to par with your normal healing surge value. As per DMG suggestions, you should keep shelling out healing potions up to level 9. By level 11 you should be switching to the higher tiered potions of vitality.
Maybe I am doing my math wrong, but I see severe diminishing returns from these potions well before players reach the next tier. Okay at level 1 or 2, healing potions are pretty spiffy. Past that however, their value really becomes minor (even negligible) compared to a player’s typical healing surge value.
So I dumped healing potions in my game. I’ve instead ripped off an alchemical item from the Eberron’s players guide. I modified my healing potions to add a specific value in addition to what a player would gain spending a healing surge. They’ve been working fairly well. I think I’ll still have a problem when my group is teetering between heroic and paragon levels, but so far they are working tons better than the out-of-the-book varieties.
To mix it up, I do throw out the higher level healing potions occasionally. I don’t associate a price value with them, but in a pinch I would drop the price by half if a player were to purchase one. Standard healing potions are a great value for a few levels, but quickly drop off in worth once a player gets well within the heroic/paragon tier. So I present below Digby’s Healing Potion:
Digby’s Healing Potion
Time: 1 Hour
Component Cost: See below
Market Price: 120 gp
Key Skill: Heal or Nature (no check)
This green colored concoction discovered by the legendary gnome alchemist, Digby. This centuries-old recipe is well known among alchemists for its recuperative powers.
I hope folks find this a useful item in their games. Anyone else finding the ‘official’ healing potions lackluster? If so, has anyone been using homebrew items?