Healing Potion-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HPIT)
Welcome to the first entry in a series I'm calling "Real Medical Problems I Have Encountered, Interpreted as Fantasy Ailments" or RMPIHEIAFA (rumpy-HAY-fah). Each entry will cover a real-life medical condition I have encountered in the American health system, adapted to suit the world of your fantasy RPG campaign.
In this episode, we'll be dealing with Healing Potion-Induced Thrombocytopenia, or HPIT.
Your standard Potion of Healing works by way of over-stimulating the body's natural ability to recover from minor wounds and illnesses. Tissue growth in particular improves exponentially: minor-to-moderate surface wounds are visibly observed to heal and close mere seconds after ingesting the elixir.
However, this overstimulation comes at a price. For all the popular talk of "natural magic," the forces of sorcery are still not widely understood, and their methods of interaction with living tissue are, at best, harmless only in small doses. With regards to HPIT, cases have shown that consuming multiple healing potions in a short period of time (most incidents seem to involve adventurers, whose natural rests are often interrupted by violent dungeon inhabitants) can cause the body to actively reject the curative as if it were a magic attack.
This rejection progresses through several stages. At first, the patient may feel uncharacteristically vigorous, as though the potion was working well beyond its intents. This is a deception of the foulest degree — investigation of the wounds will show they are, in fact, bleeding more profusely than before!
The second stage is more mercifully apparent. The patient will begin to feel lightheaded, and possibly nauseous. A fever may be present as the body attempts to fight off what it believes is an attempt at magical possession. The patients reflexes slow, halving their usual movement speed and imposing a +/-2 disadvantage on AC.
It has been recorded that particularly wizened patients — scholars, clerics, and the like — appear to be less susceptible to this stage of illness. The link is tenuous, however, as heavy potion use, and by extension HPIT, is most often found in individuals of lesser intelligence.
During this second phase, IT IS IMPERATIVE that the patient does not mistakenly consume another potion. Doing so will cause them to become violently ill, to the degree of 2d4+2 damage.
Barring further intervention, HPIT will usually resolve itself over the course of a long rest. If dizziness and bleeding persist, a chirurgeon or cleric may be consulted. If you feel that you or a loved one may be at risk for HPIT, send a scrying message to RMPIHEIAFA headquarters, Saviors Rest, Lithica. Our sages are standing by.