dnd 5th – What can I do to encourage my players to use their consumables?

This is a behavior that I have myself, which often consists of not wanting to use consumables until the features of my class have been burned – everyday, short rest or whatever. I hate to use something unrecoverable before something recoverable, and even then, I consider that it is a waste of the item if the battle ends just after I leave it. ; uses. (That is, even if my hex roll contributed to the battle, if it was not a dramatic change in the battle, I feel like I should have use a cantrip instead.)

In addition, it is often felt that the cost of action is too high for some items. A healing potion that recovers less than the damage I have suffered during a series of enemy attacks does not give the impression that I am making the right choice. I am likely to try to get through even with 2 remaining VPs because I feel that taking an action to reach myself up to 9 PV is silly if the enemy inflicts 8 to 12 damage by stroke. Unless it rolls really badly, I'm just as unconscious, if I take a shot, and taking a swing instead could just end things here and now. And after the fight, am I really want to heal with a potion? we could find a way to sleep for the night instead …

In addition, this tends to get worse over time, as objects obtained at level 4, for example, become less and less useful as you progress, as the cost of action increases. use of this object increases (by using your other abilities), while the effects become even more overwhelming. At level 7 or 8, you are even more likely to say, "Why should I lose an action on this?! "

So, how can you handle this? I can think of some potential options.

Give less consumables, but choose stronger ones.

If the problem is that consumables are not worth spending, unless they have a big impact, play it. Instead of giving players four healing potions, give them a potion of greater healing this can really take someone from almost dead to full of HP (adjust the potions I'm talking about to match your party's level, of course). Instead of distributing a selection of level spell scrolls, let them find a scroll of a few levels higher than that of the players, which they need a test of ability to be cast. It's a risk, but if it works, you're reversing the trend in a serious way.

Put a time limit on items.

I really like the idea, for example, of healing potions that are only good a few days before they deteriorate. As you said, it would not make much sense to be a treasure in a dungeon, but a local apothecary would like to thank the party's actions, which would suit him perfectly.

It would not be a permanent thing, but you could place an adventure in an area with an omnipresent aura of decay or a magically drained area where non-permanent objects begin to degrade the longer you stay, so you have to use them. or lost. This could help the group to use at least its stored items.

Remind the players.

Sometimes it's not that you really think, "Oh yes, my feather token could help here – nah, not better. "Sometimes it's just that you forget the list of items on your character sheet when you're in the middle of a fight." You're immersed in the "What would a cleric here?" Mode. "Do not really consider the second sheet that is outside your spell list, and if you answer it later, you might find an excuse like" Well, it was not the right time "instead of saying To admit that you've just forgotten that you had the trick in play. So sometimes it might be useful for DM to just say, "Hey, remember that you have an article that would be perfect here." . "

Provide NPC companions who can use the objects.

If the problem is less "save for a rainy day" and more "economy of action and depressing effect", a companion of NPCs who do not have a "rainy day" will not have a problem. other options at hand could be a good way to burn those items. A spelling apprentice who only has level 1 spells, but can use a scroll, shake a token, or give potions to unconscious members of the group can be a good way to use them without forcing them. player characters to actively use them.

Let them sell the items.

In some cases, you can not do anything. Like your stack of 48 hi-potions in Final Fantasy, you sometimes have items that you will never be able to use, and that's how it is. That's not my preference, but at some point you may just need to give players a way to convert their consumable loads into something less consumable that could really excite them.

Allowing them to convert a whole bag full of things they do not like into one web stick or something may not be a bad idea; Billed items often solve many of the issues I've discussed because they tend to feel like "using or losing" and are now more renewable than, or at least as renewable as, daily character resources.