The Potion: Probably the most commonly known item to RPG gamers. It's a portable source of health for use when you don't have access to a facility that can relieve you of your wounds. We all know what it is and what important function it provides in the gaming world.
But what about in reality? What would be considered as a potion here, in our world?
Cough Syrup? Energy Drinks? Coffee? Tea? Plain Water?
All delicious and have their normal functions, but none of them can heal you from getting bludgeoned half to death by your local antagonist. So would that mean that Neosporin is a potion? It definitely helps heal wounds. But you can't drink that. Rubbing alcohol? It neutralizes bacteria in wounds to allow your body to regenerate easier, but again, you can't drink rubbing alcohol! You'd get sick!
My frien... er... some very skilled scientific minds and I conducted many experiments in respect to this issue.
We took some basic facts about the potion created this comprehensive list:
- Potion is from the Latin word potionis "beverage" or "poison"
- In mythology, potions are always made by a magic user of some sort
- Potions are used to Heal, Poison, or Bewitch
- The creation of potions was a common practice of alchemy
- In the 19th century, curative potions were also known as "Quack Medicines"
So with all of this very useful not easy to find info, we deduced that we needed a Latin wizard who dabbled in alchemy. Lucky for us, my frien... er... associate lived right next door to one
Meet Calvin. We call him Cal. He's pretty rad actually, he has a pet chinchilla named Oscar who urinates in the hands of people who have masturbated within the past 6 hours (found that out first hand. Haha, get it?). The only video games he actually owns are Solomon's Club and Game & Watch Gallery 2 for the original Game Boy. He also meets biweekly with a Chinese monk and trades some very odd mushrooms that he grows in his basement for a mysterious bag of something horticulture related.
Intro aside, we needed his help.
We told him our dilemma, and with an awkwardly pleasant smile, he agreed to aide us in our important research. He asked us to follow him to his alchemy lab (which looked a lot like a hand crafted unfinished minibar made out of 4 layers of balsa wood). He fumbled around amongst his shelves and started pouring liquids from unmarked bottles into a 4 tumbler glasses half-filled with ice.
The finished product was not very potion-y:
We, oddly enough, chugged our "potions' without much hesitation at all. I inquired Cal about the contents of the potion (you know, for science), but he wouldn't say. Said it'd be breaking the "magicians code" or some bullshit. It tasted like it consisted mainly of Jack Daniels mixed with Fufu berry flavored Jones Soda and apple juice (a little heavy on the JD). But to be completely honest, after about 4 of them, I felt pretty damn invincible.
So despite not knowing for sure what Cal just damaged our kidney's with, the "potion" in question really did follow all of the requirements that we found:
- It is indeed a beverage, that made us feel like we were healed, but inevitably poisoned us to the point of vomit induced breakfast time.
- It was made by a magic user who used an alleged alchemy set.
- And I'd say it was a pretty Quack Medicine, because I think I may have woken up with more injuries than i had before I started drinking the shit.
So lets be honest, we know it was the alcohol (no matter how terrible your alcoholic alchemy is), it really is the real world potion solution and a vast majority of the world's population uses it daily. So this arises my final question: if A = B, does that mean that B = A?
Are our beloved RPG characters just getting drunk in the middle of battle to keep up with the monsters and boss baddies?
My sources say a resounding "YES".
Thanks for reading folks, if you want more "Gaming Reality" articles, let me hear it in the comments and I will provide.