Use It and Lose It: An Overview of Consumable Wondrous Items

Get Out of Jail Free 1Sided

~ Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure. ~

Thorstein Veblen

Many items in Pathfinder RPG have a single or limited number of usages before being consumed and/or rendered inert. The most commonly employed of these items are wands, scrolls, and potions. This article will not address items in those categories, but instead focus on Wondrous Items that have limited usages. As the image above suggests, I will be focusing on items that save your bacon in the nick of time, as these tend to be more worthy investments than aggressive consumable options. 

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Soul Soap – 200 gp; Allows for another saving throw against any hostile mind-affecting effect.

It takes a minute to wash someone, and if your fighter is dominated you’ll need to hold him still while you get him sudsy, but this is a great way to contend with a huge variety of ongoing nastiness. Many long-duration stat drains or paralysis effects are mind-affecting; 200 gp is a low cost to help with those. Try to buff their relevant saves before scrubbing them down to help it work.

Skill Elixirs – 250 gp; 1 hour duration +10 competence bonuses to Stealth, Perception, Intimidate, Acrobatics, or Swim

Sometimes a mission just doesn’t care about your Armor Check penalty, your dumped stat, or how few skill ranks you get each level. You are told you need to sneak past these guards, swim across the river, cross the tiny beam, or scare the corrupt civil official. This makes anyone at least passably competent at these skills. Swim in particular can save lives.

Oil of Silence – 250 gp; 1 hour duration silencer for guns.

If you are a gunslinger, making it through enemy controlled territory with any subtlety is a problem for you. Every attack you make is normally going to bring every baddie in a 1 mile radius straight to you. This addresses those challenges quite handily, and for a reasonable price.

Silversheen – 250 gp; 1 hour duration alchemical silver weapon blanch

Unlike normal weapon blanches that wear off after a single hit, this stuff lasts a full hour. This is handy when you’re up against devils or werewolves, so pick some up if you know you’ll be seeing some. Keep in mind that non-bludgeoning weapons will get a -1 damage penalty while this is applied. Still, getting through that DR 10/silver is worth it.

Bird Feather Token – 300 gp; Creates a small bird that unerringly takes a written message to someone.

This is how you call for backup, deliver urgent news, or deliver secure communications of any kind. One probably won’t need more than 1-2 of these in the life of a character, but it is a nice card to have up your sleeve.

Escape Dust – 300 gp; Pocket sand that gives a -1 penalty to Hit and Perception, and disallows immediate actions or AoOs from the target for 1 round.

This stuff can be truly life-saving. There have been many times that I’ve been reduced to very little health by something I can’t run away from without provoking an AoO. With this I can deny them shenanigans for a round and GTFO while my teammates surround the baddie without caring about Combat Reflexes. You do need to succeed a touch attack, but that shouldn’t be too hard most of the time.

Origami Swarm – 300 gp; Makes a “rat swarm” for five rounds. It won’t attack you, but your teammates should avoid it.

Swarms are one of the most annoying enemy types there are, and occasionally your party won’t have any good way of contending with them. These can be used to ‘counter-swarm’, a five round distraction your party can use to get out of dodge.

Haunt Siphon – 400 gp; Deals 3d6 positive energy damage to a haunt. If it kills the haunt it becomes a negative energy ‘alchemist’s fire’.

Haunts are another tough enemy to handle. They typically have little HP, but are immune to nearly everything your party can throw at it. This little gizmo can end haunt encounters early, and potentially prevent their next manifestation. Plus, you get a nifty little alchemical weapon if you kill the spookiness.

Tree Feather Token – 400 gp; Makes a big ass tree.

A 60 foot tall tree is a wonderful thing to have on hand when you encounter many obstacles that you can’t climb well. It can also stop something from pursuing you down a narrow hallway (5 foot diameter), signal distant onlookers, trigger traps, or fill that conspicuous gap in your garden. Some argue that because the token does not explicitly state otherwise, a tree can be created in spaces too small to contain it (such as a dragon’s stomach) to breach the bounds of such spaces. That is a bit cheesy for my tastes, but ask your GM.

Toothpick of Pyrotechnics – 400 gp; Break it to make a 20 foot radius smoke cloud, potentially blinds things.

Disappearing in a cloud of smoke isn’t just a fashionable method of egress, it is also a safety measure. This cloud ‘obscures all sight’, meaning that nothing can take AoOs against you after breaking it. The smoke is also not illusory, so even true seeing doesn’t negate this utility. If someone within the radius fails a Fort save (only DC 13) they are blinded for 1d4+1 rounds even if they leave the cloud. Hypothetically you could break this with your teeth, so it doesn’t even require your hands.

Swan Boat Feather Token- 450 gp; Makes a big ass boat.

There are a few non-expendable wondrous items that grant transportable boats, but they are pricier and either slotted or heavy. This will serve well in non-aquatic campaigns that have the rare body of water crossing. It can ship 32 Medium characters, and Large sized creatures can get on as well by taking up 2 Medium character slots.

Dweomer’s Essence – 500 gp; Used as additional spell component to grant +5 to overcome SR.

Sometimes you really, REALLY need a spell to hit someone. Sometimes, they have very high SR. Maybe you don’t have a Piercing Rod (you really should, though), maybe you didn’t have the feat slots for Spell Penetration. Whatever. This thing will dramatically increase your odds of putting that Round 1 debuff on a BBEG.

Scouting Cartridge – 566 gp; Did you watch Thundercats? Remember how Lion-O could use the Sword of Omens to get ‘sight beyond sight’. Same concept, but a bullet.

Wherever this bullet lands, you can look around as if you were standing there. The cartridge is also a +1 paper alchemical cartridge, so you could potentially do damage with it. Mostly useful in combination with an Oil of Silence.

Dream Journal of the Pallid Seer – 600 gp; The next time you would die, you can re-roll any save from the last round or force an attack against you from the last round to be re-rolled.

So clutch.

Swarm Bullet – 700 gp; You shoot wasps from a shotgun. I shit you not.

This is essentially a CL 7 Vomit Swarm scroll that is usable by gunslingers. The duration is only three rounds, but it makes up for that in sheer hilarity.

Vial of Efficacious Medicine – 700 gp; Bonuses from alchemical remedies increase by +2, and it heals you for 1d8+5. Usable thrice daily.

Technically this isn’t consumable, but it is certainly relevant to consuming items. Society players can pick these up for 2 PP, and no one said you can’t have more than one. The really nice thing is, there is also nothing saying you can’t consume an Alchemist’s Kindness (1 gp) to just get the healing. Celebrate with some drinks, wake up with a hangover, and repeat the process! [NOTE: For PFS players, the price of this item has been adjusted to 7,000 gp.]

Snapleaf – 750 gp; Activate as an immediate for 5 rounds of feather fall and 5 minutes of invisibility

This is another clutch life-saver. If you suddenly find yourself falling 200 feet, the leaf can be snapped as an immediate to prevent the whole…dying…thing. You also become invisible for five minutes, so that’s pretty great. In fact, potions of these two spells would be 350 gp total, except this bad boy is CL 5 and activates both spells as an immediate. [NOTE: For PFS, it is a standard action to activate a snapleaf unless you are currently falling.]

Archon’s Torch – 750 gp; LG characters can hold this to emit archon’s aura for five minutes.

This costs as much as a scroll of the same spell, lasts the same duration, and really has no benefits above the spell. Thing is, a character that can’t cast the spell or use magic devices can still use this as long as they are lawful good.

Bottled Scream – 900 gp; Destroys silence effects, forces concentration checks, and ends bardic performances.

Some may ready attacks against casters, or interrupt summons with these. I suppose ending a performance could on occasion be useful. Personally though, I’ve on occasion needed to cast but been silenced. This is a wonderful way to eliminate that concern.

Elixir of Forceful Exhalation – 900 gp; +4 to jump or swim for an hour, or up to three 15 foot length gust of wind breath attacks.

As mentioned previously, swarms can be annoying. One of their Achilles’ heels happens to be the gust of wind spell. Tiny and small creatures (which comprise swarms) are knocked prone and blasted back 1d4x10 feet. For every 10 feet so moved, they take 1d4 damage. This can be great battlefield control when dealing with creepy crawlies.

Bead of Newt Protection – 1000 gp; Prevents the bearer from being polymorphed against their will.

This is one of the most important items on this list. Getting hit by a baleful polymorph is absolutely miserable. The bead is slotless, and only breaks if you fail the saves against the effect. Definitely fits in the ‘get out of jail free’ category.

Elixir of Spirit Sight – 1000 gp; 1 minute duration see invisibility and your weapons AND armor gain ghost touch.

This is another situational life-saver to have on hand. Incorporeal enemies are uncommon in most campaigns (including Society play) but they do come up, and are really tough to deal with. Many have invisibility abilities, and all take half damage from any non ghost-touch weapons (no damage if mundane). They also hit to your touch AC without ghost-touch armor, so this item is as defensively as offensively useful.

Iron Lord’s Transforming Slivers – 1000 gp; Adjust any weapon by one size category permanently.

Not terribly useful for Society play, but in a home game players often find nifty weapons lying around. Sometimes they are the wrong size category, which can be frustrating. The slivers ameliorate that concern for a fair price.

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