I wanted to talk a little about consumables today. I think with judicious use you can help to balance a party and encourage them to try new things.

Consumables are a great way to give out treasure without impacting the game in the long run. An abundance of heal potions too powerful? No problem, stop handing them out and the problem should slowly go away.

Consumables can also be a way for a DM to help shore up party weaknesses. If the party is light on healing, more cure pots are always appreciated. No wizard? Find ways of working in items with utility uses.

I especially like consumables because they can help give an “epic” feel to big fights. If the party has a limited resource pool they don’t often tap, a really tough fight will force them to spend what they have. This makes the fight feel really knock down and drag out, and can allow an epic fight to continue longer than the players without consumables could normally go. They’ll remember that victory against the dragon where they had to pull out all the stops and still barely squeaked by.