Potion tasting

The treasure section says that potions can sometimes be identified by tasting them. The Dwarven Brewing proficiency grants an 11+ to identify potions by taste.

Is the text on tasting potions in the treasure section just an oblique reference to characters with the Dwarven Brewing proficiency, or do all adventurers have a chance to identify potions by taste. If the later, any good rules of thumb that does not invalidate the Dwarven Brewing prof. ?

Most similar effects are +4 per proficiency slot, so a throw of 15+ with the Adventuring proficiency is reasonable.

In the text, I was alluding to a "player knowledge" situation. When I run ACKS, I generally describe each potion by taste, smell, and color. Players who have previously encountered a similar potion, and identified the potion, might be able to identify the potion based on what I describe. It's strictly a player knowledge aspect.

For example, healing potions created by the priests of Ammonar tend to be the color of maple syrup and have a sweet, vanilla scent. A character with Alchemy proficiency will remember this if he makes his roll. A player might learn it in the course of play.


Thanks for the prompt response. That makes good sense, and adds a lot of color to the game. I remember the random potion taste and appearance charts in the old 1e DMG, time to break those back out and make some rolls, establish some presidences.