Last Updated on January 22, 2023
Facing 3 thieves in an alley the Fighter, only at the start of his journey, looks doomed. He looks between his sword and his foes before dropping the weapon and pulling out a small vial of orange liquid.
Black smoke curls lazily from the vial as he uncorks it, swallowing the potion in a single gulp.
He takes a deep breath.
The alley suddenly fills with flames, the thieves fleeing before the suddenly fire-breathing Fighter.
Why Use the Potion of Fire Breath?
The potion of fire breath is perfect for characters with a free bonus action. It is a solid buff that lets you do additional fire damage to a creature within range.
This potion is best given to front-line characters as a buff; they will have the easiest time positioning themselves for maximum effect.
The potion of fire breath (found on page 187 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide) is a single-use potion. It takes an action to drink the potion, whereupon a character can use their bonus action to breathe fire.
A creature that breathes fire can select a target within 30 feet of them. That target takes 4d6 fire damage, or half that on a successful DC 13 Dexterity save.
A character who has drunk this potion can breathe fire up to 3 times. After an hour, the potion’s effects end, regardless of whether or not the character has used all three of their fire breaths.
Because the potion of fire breath can be drunk up to an hour in advance of when you need it, this is a great choice for a buff that can be used prior to combat. That way, the action required to drink it won’t slow your combat down.
You can also use this potion’s effects to target objects, rather than creatures. This is because the effect doesn’t specify that the target of your flames must be a creature.
If the object is being held, then it may still get a Dexterity save based on the person who is holding it, but otherwise will automatically fail the save and take the full damage.
This can be useful when you need a way to destroy a crucial object, such as jewelry, or a crossbow.
I also recommend making sure that whoever drinks this potion doesn’t have very many uses for their bonus action. You don’t want the Sorcerer to have to choose between breathing fire or casting a quickened spell.
To get the most use out of this spell it’s better to give this to a martial character as they tend to have few uses for their bonus actions.
It’s also useful to give this to an NPC who has few, if any, other ways of defending themselves. Escort missions can be a pain, and if the unlevelled NPC you need to protect can breathe fire on anyone that gets close it can make a fight a lot easier.
How much is a potion of fire breathing?
This potion is Uncommon, which means the DMG suggests a price between 101-500 gold. Our Potion Cost Guide suggests 150 gold. Whether the potion is available for sale is, of course, up to your DM.
Is fire breath an attack?
Fire breath is not an attack by DnD 5e’s definition of an attack. It does not involve an attack roll and is instead an AOE. Thus, creatures (like familiars) who are unable to make attacks can still use this potion.
How do you make a potion of fire breath?
Crafting a potion of fire breath requires a unique formula, the exact nature of which is up to the DM. It also costs 1 workweek and 50 gp according to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. More information on potion crafting can be found here.
Is fire breath a spell in 5e?
Fire Breath is not a spell, but Dragon’s Breath is a spell available to Sorcerer’s only which has a similar effect. This spell makes a cone of elemental energy of your choice on exhalation, does less damage than the potion of fire breath, and can be used more often.
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Rich is an avid D&D player and DM. He has been playing since the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd editions. He has run campaigns of various editions with family and friends for over 20 years. Playing DnD 5th Edition in person at local game stores and online with VTT’s over the past 10 years has provided a consistent connection to how the game has grown. He strongly believes in understanding the source material, but catering the games to your individual players. Feel free to ask anything in the comments or drop him an email: [email protected].