[RPG] Can you drink part of a potion


If a character drinks part of a potion, what happens? I assume it depends on the potion…or does it? Is alchemy divisible?


  • Can two characters share a healing potion, for half healing each?
  • Can you split a potion of invulnerability for half duration each?
  • If I drink half a potion of giant strength, do I get half the strength, half duration, or both? Or neither?

Best Answer

You can't drink part of a potion—That is, you can't drink enough to enjoy any of its effects without automatically chugging the whole thing.

Page 139 of the Dungeon Master's Guide states:

"Once used, a potion takes effect immediately, and it is used up."

One can read this in either of two ways:

  1. Quaffing the potion takes no time (from a rules perspective). As soon as you've pressed the bottle to your lips, the potion is inside you all of a sudden, with no chance to drink only part of it.

  2. You can drink whatever amount you want of the potion at any time, but it hasn't been used until you drink all of it—or drink enough that no one else can use it. Up until the potion qualifies as "used," anyone can drink it, but nobody gains its benefits.

By either interpretation, potion usage is an all-or-nothing proposition. Dungeon Masters can houserule the effects of partial potions, but there's really no support for it in the Fifth Edition text.

However, there's a sense in which you can "drink part of a potion" as much as you want: DMG 136, discussing the identification of potions, says "a little taste is enough to tell the taster what the potion does." So there's a benefit to taking a little sip, but it's not really what you're looking for.