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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 lich form, if you're a mummy, or if you have sacrificed Drink as a Ru worshipper and are injured badly enough.

Potion Identification

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

Some classes begin with potions identified: fighters start with a potion of might, and wanderers may start with some identified potions in their 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, in case of a potion of ambrosia, potion of lignification, or potion of berserk rage. Potions of degeneration and potions of mutation are also harmful, but those effects do not wear off by simply passing turns.

Monsters will sometimes drink potions within your line of sight; this identifies the potion, if it was unidentified.

You may also guess at a potion's identity by the size of the stacks in your inventory. Potions of curing are the most common (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 experience are very rare (less than 1% of all generated potions), so you're unlikely to pick one if you only drink potions when you have two or more of the same type.

Some more notes on potion identification:

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 berserk rage.png berserk rage Makes you go berserk for several turns.
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 curing.png curing Removes poison, confusion, and sickness; also heals 5-13 HP. Any rot damage is healed first.
Potion of degeneration.png degeneration Temporarily reduces all attributes (Str, Int, and Dex) by 1-3 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. Any rot damage is healed first.
Potion of invisibility.png invisibility Makes you invisible for 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 Removes 2-4 mutations, then gives 1-3 random mutations, and then gives one good mutation.
Potion of resistance.png resistance Provides one level each of fire, cold, electricity, poison, and corrosion resistance for several turns.


AmbrosiaBerserk rageBrillianceCancellationCuringDegenerationExperienceFlightHasteHeal woundsInvisibilityLignificationMagicMightMutationResistanceStabbing