Feeding Potions / Elixiers To The Conscious.


Rules Discussion


Feeding potions/elixiers to an unconscious ally obviously doesn't require any actions from the ally.
What if the ally is conscious?
I would like to command a familiar feed me elixirs, and ideally that wouldn't cost a second action on my part.
Would it work?

I wish there were injected elixirs, just for the ate up fluff/flavor of it.


Personally, I've ruled at my table that you can spend an action to "feed" a potion or elixir to an adjacent ally. This hasn't come up too often since it's usually an entire turn of Striding, Interacting, and then using the potion.

At my table, I would have no problem with you doing that. 1 action to Command the familiar which then uses it's two actions to 1) Interact to draw it and then 2) Feed it to you.

However, I haven't seen anything official.


Try feeding water to a boxer...while he's boxing.
Oh, and you're the size of a cat.
I don't think it's reasonable unless he pauses in some way, which I'd read as Interacting to kick his head back and swallow. And that's generously allowing perfect synchronization and the ability to move atop the PC.

The trick w/ the familiar still keeps your hands free which is pretty worthwhile, and the familiar should have a spare action FWIW (probably to go hide since it's now a known intelligent adversary).

Injected elixirs or potions would actually be the answer, not just fluff.


Castilliano wrote:
Try feeding water to a boxer...while he's boxing.

Or a runner while he's running! ...Wait.

Honestly, I'm not exactly happy that I've houseruled it at my table, but it was in an effort to incentivize my alchemist to prep more than just alchemist's fire over and over (he has since changed this habit, thankfully).

EDIT: Really not a fair comparison from me, as the runner themselves takes and drinks the water.


Iron Cobras actually served this purpose in 1E, dealing some minor damage along with the delivered potion, although decent Cure potion would more than negate the damage.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

To me it is something meant to give assintance to a downed character.

Definitely not meant to be used on a character which is moving or fighting.


The Ronyon wrote:

Feeding potions/elixiers to an unconscious ally obviously doesn't require any actions from the ally.

What if the ally is conscious?
I would like to command a familiar feed me elixirs, and ideally that wouldn't cost a second action on my part.
Would it work?

I wish there were injected elixirs, just for the ate up fluff/flavor of it.

It's the basic way to heal with an Alchemist. You can feed a potion to a conscious willing creature in your reach, it doesn't cost any action to it.

So, yes, you can use your familiar to feed you with potions. It just needs to be on your square as it has no reach.


I thought the chirurgeon was meant to use injections instead of trying to reach the mouth of a fighting character with a potion.


There's no such items unfortunately. I agree that it would be more logical than to feed someone who's fighting.


I would generally allow a player to "feed" a potion to another character without the receiving character spending any sort of action. As stated above, otherwise an alchemist is really lacking in active healing. After all, if no action was required for a character to open the mouth of an unconscious person they want to make shotgun an Elixer, then why should that same character be required to make an action because they are awake?

I like to imagine that all potions and elixirs are held in sippy cups with bendy straws for easy application mid combat.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CRB p. 546 wrote:

Activating Elixirs

You usually Interact to activate an elixir as you drink it
or feed it to another creature. You can feed an elixir only
to a creature within reach that is either willing or unable
to prevent you from doing so. You usually need only one
hand to consume an elixir or feed it to another creature.
CRB p. 561 wrote:

Oils

Oils are magical gels, ointments, pastes, or salves that
are typically applied to an object and are used up in the
process. They have the oil trait. Applying an oil usually
takes two hands: one to hold the jar containing the oil,
and another to extract the oil and apply it. You can
only apply an oil to an item or creature within your
reach. Because the process is so thorough, it is usually
impossible to apply an oil to an unwilling target or an
item in the possession of an unwilling target unless that
target is paralyzed, petrified, or unconscious.
CRB p. 562 wrote:

Potions

A potion is a magical liquid activated when you drink it,
which uses it up. Potions have the potion trait. You can
activate a potion with an Interact action as you drink it
or feed it to another creature. You can feed a potion only
to a creature that is within reach and willing or otherwise
so helpless that it can’t resist. You usually need only one
hand to consume a potion or feed it to another creature.

Looks like the ally doesn't need to spend any actions to drink to option or elixir or to rub on the oil, if you spend the action to Interact. It's a little unrealistic but it does make the game run sooo much more smoothly that I can live with that. And it's fair enough: someone paid an action.


The rulebook is pretty clear (p562):

You can
activate a potion with an Interact action as you drink it
or feed it to another creature. You can feed a potion only
to a creature that is within reach and willing or otherwise
so helpless that it can’t resist.

In other words, if you feed yourself or another creature (either a willing or helpless one) a potion you pay the action cost.

Just getting fed a potion carries no action cost. This doesn't change just because you're conscious.


Well that's a whole load of guilt off my shoulders.

Sovereign Court

Ruzza wrote:
Well that's a whole load of guilt off my shoulders.

It came as a surprise to me to. The logistics of potions in PF1 were always so difficult ("feed a potion to a helpless creature as a full round action"). PF2 makes it actually very doable to slip someone who's not already adjacent at the start of your turn a healing potion.


Wow,great research and information, thanks everyone!


Castilliano wrote:

Try feeding water to a boxer...while he's boxing.

Oh, and you're the size of a cat.
I don't think it's reasonable unless he pauses in some way, which I'd read as Interacting to kick his head back and swallow. And that's generously allowing perfect synchronization and the ability to move atop the PC.

The trick w/ the familiar still keeps your hands free which is pretty worthwhile, and the familiar should have a spare action FWIW (probably to go hide since it's now a known intelligent adversary).

Injected elixirs or potions would actually be the answer, not just fluff.

Your attempt at realism fails due to the existence of dragons and people who can kill them.


thorin001 wrote:
Castilliano wrote:

Try feeding water to a boxer...while he's boxing.

Oh, and you're the size of a cat.
I don't think it's reasonable unless he pauses in some way, which I'd read as Interacting to kick his head back and swallow. And that's generously allowing perfect synchronization and the ability to move atop the PC.

The trick w/ the familiar still keeps your hands free which is pretty worthwhile, and the familiar should have a spare action FWIW (probably to go hide since it's now a known intelligent adversary).

Injected elixirs or potions would actually be the answer, not just fluff.

Your attempt at realism fails due to the existence of dragons and people who can kill them.

By that simplistic argument, anything's allowed if the rules forgot to address it. It reminds me of the PF1 joke that being dead doesn't prevent you from taking actions because the dead condition doesn't say so.

But hey, it's fantasy, right, so why not? /s

Note I wouldn't use the boxer argument to supersede the rules (which hadn't been posted by Ascalaphus yet), but rather to point out the difficulty of the proposition. Apparently it's within "heroic fantasy" genre boundaries according to Paizo. And I'm okay with that.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

If you want there to be a cost; have it require the receiver's reaction to drink/swallow the potion being fed to them.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

The trouble with this scenario isn't that there is no action cost for the person being fed a potion.

The trouble is that a familiar has no defined strength value, and hence no definied carrying capacity. So there is nothing in the rules to suggest it can lift a potion, much less feed it to its master.

Next you'll want your familiar to load your heavy crossbow for you. <g>


Wheldrake wrote:

The trouble is that a familiar has no defined strength value, and hence no definied carrying capacity.

I'm pretty sure where the rules say "You can choose a Tiny animal you want as your familiar, such as a bat, cat, raven, or snake." they are meaning that you use the traits of that animal except as the rules following that state them as being different.

Presuming a choice of familiar with the appendages necessary to manipulate a bottle, open it, and pour it into a character's mouth, I'm sure some stats can be agreed on between player and GM (to make up for that only a viper seems to be an already existing stat block that lines up to the animals stated in the familiar text).

Using that viper as a point of reference, we've got a -3 Strength modifier and Tiny size, we see that the familiar's Bulk thresholds for encumbrance and maximum carrying capacity appear to be 1 and 3.5 (not sure which way it rounds) and while they do treat items with "-" listed for bulk as Light items (10 = 1 bulk) they do not change how they handle light item encumbrance - which means hauling around some potions for a character is within their capabilities (again, assuming the correct appendages to actually facilitate).


Meh.
Lab Assistant is all the evidence I need that a Familiar is strong enough to feed me elixirs.
If it can mix them/make them, it can hold them/feed them to me.
And no, I don't think Lab Assistant should be required for a familiar to be allowed to lift a vial of elixir.

You seems illustrative of a restrictive culture that seems to pervade PF2.

"That which is not explicitly permitted is forbidden" seems to be the unofficial motto.

Much flexibility has been sacrificed, presumably for the sake of game balance.

The idea that I could have a monkey familiar, that was unable to pick up anything, because the rules didn't grant him a strength score, is ludicrous.
Must a master hand feed a familiar, since it can't lift so much as a banana slice?
Or does it not eat, as there are no rules that say it does?


That being fed a potion does not have an action cost is a feature, not a bug.

It makes it possible to feed potions to unconscious people and others unable to take actions. It also means no weird special rules are necessary when you feed yourself a potion.

When it comes to getting a potion into the belly of someone there is one active participant (the one administering the potion) and one passive participant (the one receiving it).

The active character pays the action cost of readying the potion (drawing it from a pocket, belt, backpack etc) and pouring it into the mouth of the passive character. The normative cost for this is 2 actions. Could be more, could even be less.

The passive character pays nothing.

If the active and passive characters are one and the same nothing changes.

What you do in your home game is of no concern to me, but the rules as written are exceptionally clear.


I don't like that the character receiving the potion in active combat doesn't need to be spend an action, but that does seem to be the rules. Whether it's better or worse...is questionable. It's certainly less realistic, but as someone pointed out so are the healing potions themselves and the dragons you're fighting so realism isn't everything.


HumbleGamer wrote:
I thought the chirurgeon was meant to use injections instead of trying to reach the mouth of a fighting character with a potion.

That would actually be a cool and useful ability to replace the current one that adds absolutely nothing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:
I don't like that the character receiving the potion in active combat doesn't need to be spend an action, but that does seem to be the rules. Whether it's better or worse...is questionable

Why not? A Fighter doesn't need to spend an action every time a Cleric heals them and nobody wrings their hands over it. Giving an Alchemist some similar mechanical courtesy seems reasonable.

Forcing other people to spend a bunch of actions just seems like it'd be punishing to a style of play that's already kind of niche.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd rather see it as something that alchemist specifically got to do, not specifically pouring it down their throat but having an ability that allowed them to use potions on an ally without that ally needing to spend an action. Like they get to use potions like thrown weapons and they still work, because alchemist.

I think the reason I don't like it is simply because it bumps up against some realism, but as I already noted so do many things. This one just happens to bother me for some reason.


Syringes would be a good way to reflavor that.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Syringes would be a good way to reflavor that.

Totally agree

Captain Kirk wrote:
Ouch! What was that Bones?!
Doctor McCoy wrote:
I gave you a shot of Triox compound to compensate for the thinner atmosphere on Vulcan...

As opposed to

Captain Kirk wrote:
Ouch! What was that Bones?! You chipped my tooth and got goo all over my shirt! Can't you see I'm in combat? What were you thinking?!
Doctor McCoy wrote:
Sorry Jim, I was trying to give you a Triox compound elixir to compensate for the thinner atmosphere on Vulcan...

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Feeding Potions / Elixiers To The Conscious. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.