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Version 0.16: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This page is about the Item. For the card, see Potion card

An unlabeled flask containing a single dose of unknown liquid.

"Then gave I her, - so tutor'd by my art, -
A sleeping potion, which so took effect
As I intended, for it wrought on her
The form of death: meantime I writ to Romeo
That he should hither come as this dire night,
To help to take her from her borrow'd grave,
Being the time the potion's force should cease."

-William Shakespeare, _Romeo and Juliet_

Potions are useful consumable items represented by the '!' character. Every potion has a specific effect (beneficial or harmful!) when quaffed. You can't drink potions while berserk, in bat form, wisp form, tree form, fungus form, or lich form, or if you're a mummy.

Potion Identification

Apart from using a scroll of identify, there are several ways to determine the identity of potions you've picked up.

Some race/class combinations begin with potions identified. Vampires recognize potions of blood, assassins recognize potions of poison, and wanderers may start with some identified potions in their inventory. Wanderers also have a chance to recognize potions of curing regardless of inventory.

Quaffing a random potion is the most obvious way to figure out its contents, but may be dangerous. You'll want to be somewhere safe with no monsters in sight, and if possible, with some already identified potions of curing on hand to cure the worst offenders (potions of poison, potions of strong poison, and potions of decay). Potions of degeneration and potions of mutation are also harmful, and those are less likely to be easily remedied.

Monsters sometimes drink potions within your line of sight. This will identify the potion in most cases, but there is sometimes ambiguity with healing, in which case the potion type will be inscribed with {tried by monster}. When this happens, the potion is either a potion of curing or heal wounds, or rarely blood/coagulated blood (if a vampire drank it).

You may also guess at a potion's identity by the size of the stacks in your inventory. Potions of curing are the most frequent (about 25% of all potions generated), followed by potions of heal wounds (about 13% of all potions generated). This is very unreliable if your highest potion stack is only 2 or 3 since potions are sometimes generated in batches. On the other hand, potions of porridge, gain strength, gain dexterity, gain intelligence, cure mutation, experience and decay are very rare (less than 1% of all generated potions), so you're unlikely to pick one of those if you only drink potions when you have two of the same type.

Some more notes on potion identification:

  • A potion found in a small pile (2 or 3 potions) will never be a potion of experience or restore abilities. However, some special vaults such as baileys can contain multiple potions of gain stats or cure mutation in separate piles.
  • Potions of strong poison are never randomly generated before level 11.
  • Potions of blood are always red potions (25% viscous red, 25% sedimented red, 50% red) and are dropped by vampires.
    • Potions of coagulated blood are always gluggy, lumpy, sedimented, or viscous, and are either red or brown.
    • Carrying an unidentified potion of blood for at least 2000 turns will turn it into a potion of coagulated blood, identifying both potions in the process.
  • Potions of porridge are either gluggy white or gluggy brown.
  • If you find an altar of Cheibriados surrounded by 2 potions and 2 fruits, these potions are either potions of lignification or potions of haste.
  • A certain entry vault for the Orcish Mines has multiple potions scattered about in addition to several placed behind a door. All of these are bad potions (such as confusion or paralysis).

List of potions

Tile Potion of ... Description
Potion of agility.png agility Grants the Agile condition for several turns. (+5 Dex, +EV, +Stlth)
Potion of ambrosia.png ambrosia Confuses you, but increases your health and magic regeneration for several turns.
Potion of beneficial mutation.png beneficial mutation Gives a mutation from the list of good mutations.
Potion of berserk rage.png berserk rage Makes you go berserk for several turns.
Potion of blood.png blood Provides satiation for Vampires and cures a point of rot for Ghouls. Can cause sickness for non-carnivores.
Potion of brilliance.png brilliance Grants the Brilliant condition for several turns (+5 Int, +Wizardry, +spell power).
Potion of cancellation.png cancellation Ends many status effects, both good and bad.
Potion of cure mutation.png cure mutation Attempts to remove 1-7 of your mutations.
Potion of curing.png curing Removes poison, confusion, nausea, sickness, or rotting; also heals 5-13 HP or 1-2 rotted HP when used at full health.
Potion of decay.png decay Immediately rots 3-5 HP. May also cause sickness.
Potion of degeneration.png degeneration Temporarily reduces a random attribute (Str, Int, or Dex) by 1-4 points.
Potion of experience.png experience You immediately gain a level and a large amount of XP to apply to your skills.
Potion of flight.png flight Lets you fly for several turns.
Potion of haste.png haste Grants Haste for several turns.
Potion of heal wounds.png heal wounds Heals 10-37 HP or 2-6 rotted HP when used at full health.
Potion of invisibility.png invisibility Makes you invisible for a several turns.
Potion of lignification.png lignification Grants you Tree form for several turns.
Potion of magic.png magic Recovers 10-37 MP.
Potion of might.png might Grants the Might condition for several turns (+5 Str, +Dam)
Potion of mutation.png mutation Attempts to give 3 random mutations. Undead characters rot instead.
Potion of poison.png poison You are mildly poisoned.
Potion of resistance.png resistance Provides one level each of fire, cold, electricity, poison, and corrosion resistance for several turns.
Potion of restore abilities.png restore abilities Restores all lost attributes (Str, Int, Dex).


0.16 removed potion of coagulated blood, potion of confusion, and potion of porrige. It added potion of ambrosia.

0.15 removed potion of strong poison and potion of paralysis. Potion of cancellation was added. Prior to this version, thirsty vampires received only half the effect from most potions.

As of 0.14, the basic 40 satiation for all potions was removed, and the potion of slowing was replaced with the potion of lignification. Potions of speed are known as Potions of haste.

Prior to 0.13, instead of potions of beneficial mutation, there were the potions of gain stat, which gave (as a mutation) increases to individual stats.

Prior to 0.12, you could throw potions to generate cloud attacks against enemies with the Evaporate spell. You could also identify several unpleasant potions by creating samples of them through Fulsome Distillation.