Six Feats for Maximizing Scrolls and Potions
In “Magical Trinkets,” I explored how to use the Pathfinder magic item creation rules to create non-consumable rewards suitable for low-level characters, but what about consumable items? Magic potions and scrolls are staples of gaming and fantasy lore. And for all the tricks to reduce the value of a permanent magic item, a potion or scroll still comes in at a far lower cost.
The problem with potions and scrolls is not their gold cost, but the difficulties of using them in combat when it counts. The rules provide that retrieving a stored item is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Drinking a potion or reading a scroll is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. With these rules, the cost in both time and potential reprisals is very high—drinking a potion of cure light wounds is rarely going to be worth essentially an entire turn and further damage. Scrolls are slightly less dangerous to use in combat because they allow a concentration check to cast defensively just as a spell does. That said, there remains the issue of retrieving the scroll.
Open Design’s The Complete Advanced Feats ably tackles these issues with the Bottoms Up and Organized Inventory feats. These additional feats also address the problem of the high action and attack of opportunity cost of using potions and scrolls.
You are experienced at draining drinks quickly and in multiples—an ability likely gained from spending too much time at the tavern waiting for your party to show up.
Prerequisites: Con 13
Benefit: You can drink two potions with one standard action. This feat cannot be used when applying oils. When retrieving a stored item, you may retrieve two potions with the same action. You apply triple your Constitution modifier when calculating how many alcoholic beverages you can tolerate before being sickened (see Pathfinder Game Mastery Guide). You gain a +4 bonus to Fortitude saves against ingested poisons.
You have trained your familiar to fetch small objects for you.
Prerequisites: Ability to acquire a familiar
Benefit: If your familiar occupies your same square at the beginning of your turn, as a swift action that does not provoke opportunities, you may command your familiar to retrieve a stored item from anywhere on your person and place it in your free hand. This consumes a full-round action for your familiar this turn, which also does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Note: Utilizing this feat requires that the familiar be able to manipulate and carry the desired object.
You excel at concealing and retrieving hidden reservoirs of liquid—good for the long dungeon crawl or the long day at work.
Prerequisites: Sleight of Hand 1 rank
Benefit: You can retrieve a hidden item as a move action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. You can avoid attacks of opportunity from retrieving a stored item, drinking a potion, applying an oil, or reading a scroll by succeeding on a Sleight of Hand check with a DC equal to the opponent’s Combat Maneuver Defense. You get a +2 bonus on this check and on checks to hide small objects on your body.
On the Go
You can retrieve gear and drink potions while on the move.
Prerequisites: Dex 13
Benefit: You can retrieve one stored item, drink a potion, or apply an oil as a free action combined with a regular move. You gain a +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity caused when you retrieve a stored item, drink a potion, or apply an oil. A condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) also makes you lose dodge bonuses.
Your fingers are especially nimble when dealing with magical scrolls. You never get a paper cut.
Prerequisites: Scribe Scroll, Profession (Scribe) 3 ranks, or Craft (calligraphy) 3 ranks
Benefit: You can retrieve a stored scroll as a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. You gain a +2 bonus to Use Magic Device checks to decipher a written spell and to use a scroll, to caster level checks to cast a spell of a higher caster level from a scroll, and to concentration checks when casting a spell from a scroll.
You are practiced at using your shield to guard from enemy attacks while retrieving and using items from your gear.
Prerequisites: Shield Focus
Benefit: When using a shield, you do not provoke attacks of opportunity for retrieving a stored item, sheathing a weapon, drinking a potion, applying an oil, or reading a scroll. When using a heavy shield or a tower shield, you may carry items in your shield hand as though you were using a light shield.