Item: The Potion of Duck


potion-of-duck-resized-1This originated from a bit of improvisation during one of Stew’s games. His players were in Baldur’s Gate and wanted to do some magic shopping. He led them to “Crazy Carl’s Magic Emporium” where the eponymous Carl promised them artifacts both rare and unusual. When the PCs asked to see what he had however, Stew kind of blanked on ideas and just started spewing out a bunch of animal-themed items. While the Necklace of Walrus was a close contender, the party’s favorite was definitely the Potion of Duck. One duck-ified dragon and a Reddit thread later, Stew decided to make it a bona fide Gorgon Breath product. Carolyn Smith provided the fantastic art.

A pay-what-you-want, OGL-compatible PDF of the Potion of Duck can be found at DriveThruRPG. The item text itself can be found below:

Though it’s rare to find it in this day and age, connoisseurs of mystical goods will occasionally encounter a potion bearing this label:

Burdened by a foe who turns your face to a scowl?
Take revenge with this concoction most fowl.

To the laymen, this will likely mean nothing. To the learned collector however, this “fowl” brew is one of the most prized potions in all the land. For this, dear friends, is the Potion of Duck.

Imbued with potent powers of Polymorph, the Potion of Duck will transform any person or creature who drinks it into a helpless, feathered water bird. Their arms will turn to wings. Their mouth to a bill and, of course, their voice to a honking quack.

The transformation is temporary. Even so, a single gulp is enough to transform even the mightiest of men into a duck for a space of six hours. And the more one drinks, the more powerful the effects. While the rarity of the potion has prevented proper testing, it’s been posited by some wizards that drinking an entire bottle could leave one in a permanent state of quack.

There are exceptions to this rule: The more powerful the beast, the less predictable of results. Bards like to sing of dragons subdued by the potion, yet there’s no lack for tales of dosed dragons being unaffected. Adventurers should take care with who and what they try to transform.

Item Cost: 5,000 GP
Uses: 6
Effects: Creatures ranging from Tiny to Large are instantaneously turned into a duck. This lasts for 6 hours for each use spent.

If the player wants to use the potion on creatures Huge to Gargantuan, the GM may require the player to perform additional dice checks depending on the situation. If the potion is thrown into the mouth of a giant or dragon, for instance, the GM should treat it like a thrown ranged attack with the player given Disadvantage. The players should have to perform some sort of DC before the potion winds up in the monster’s mouth.

If the player succeeds in force-feeding a Huge-Gargantuan creature, the GM should then roll a D20. If they roll lower than a 14, the creature’s natural resistances will be too powerful and the potion will do nothing. If the GM rolls a 15 or higher, however, the potion will affect the targeted creature. The GM should then roll a D6:

  • If the GM rolls a 1, the potion will do nothing.
  • If the GM rolls a 2 though a 4, the potion will transform the Huge-Gargantuan creature into a duck for 30 minutes.
  • If the GM rolls a 5, the Huge-Gargantuan creature will transform into a duck-sized version of its normal form for 30 minutes. Its hit points will be halved and it will suffer a -2 penalty to all of its stats. It will retain all of its other skills.
  • If the GM rolls a 6, the Huge-Gargantuan creature will transform into a giant duck for 30 minutes. It will be roughly its normal size and retain all of its normal stats, hit points and abilities.

The Potion of Duck must be ingested to work. It cannot be applied to a weapon as a coating toxin. It has no effect on Colossal-sized creatures.


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