Game Master's Workshop: Lifeblood

Developed by Yuan-Ti clerics of Merrshaulk, lifeblood is an elixir used by the Yuan-Ti to heal wounds in battle. It is created using the fresh blood of a humanoid, strong alcohol and dark magic.

A creature that drinks 250 ml of lifeblood must make a fortitude save of DC 20, upon success that creature gains 1D8 + 5 hitpoints and heals 1 point of ability damage; however, should they fail, they suffer 2 points of Constitution damage. Creatures that are accustomed to the taste and texture of fresh blood (e.g. carnivores) gain a +10 bonus to this save. Additionally, undead such as vampires which feed on blood or flesh are healed by lifeblood rather than damaged by it and automatically succeed their fortitude save. Lifeblood has the intoxicating effect of a strong drink.

Moderate Necromancy [evil]; CL 3rd; Brew Potion, Cure Light Wounds, 25gp


I kind of like the idea of providing a healing fountain in a dungeon; however, it would be completely silly to give a party 100 litres of healing potion and it seems kind of hackish to say that the fountain is magical rather than the water. Lifeblood represents a solution by introducing healing potion with drawbacks.


The use of lifeblood carries a risk of suffering ability damage. This is particularly dangerous as the loss of Constitution may result in the death of the creature being healed.
A cure light wounds potion occupies 30 ml whereas a dose of lifeblood occupies 250ml, cure light wounds potion is approximately 8 times as effective per millilitre. Consequently, lifeblood is far less portable due to the sheer volume that must be transported.
Possessing flasks of humanoid blood that emits an aura of evil may be considered objectionable in some societies.
Due to alcoholic content, lifeblood caries the risk that the imbiber may get drunk if sufficient quantities are consumed.


Creating lifeblood is a relatively cheap way to heal creatures, provided the creator or their deity has no ethical difficulties with killing humanoids to produce it.
A single dose of lifeblood is strictly more powerful than a potion of cure light wounds (provided the user succeeds in their saving throw).
Scenic Effect
Blood flowing through the fountains of a dungeon has a very powerful scenic effect.

Technical Notes

Alcohol acts as an anticoagulant and an antiseptic in lifeblood. This provides the benefit that the blood should not congeal and thus can be made to flow through fountains and should minimize the amount of bacterial, viral or parasite growth.