log in or register to remove this ad


What Sort of Acid in an Acid Flask?


Okay we have the Acid Flask and we have

Aqua Fortis - Nitric Acid

Spirit of Salt - Hydrochloric Acid

Aqua Vitriolis - Sulphuric acid

Aqua Regia - Mix of Nitric & Hydrochloric Acid

All these where known to the medieval alchemist and thus are usable imho.


Aqua Fortis was the easiest to make (by distilling together saltpetre (potassium nitrate) and vitriol or alum) as it did not need corrosion resistant apparatus.

Aqua Fortis also gives off toxic fumes in moist air and many materials are susceptible to spontaneous combustion due to contact with Nitric Acid including oily rags, dust accumulations, and many organic materials (most of us will know about the volatility of nitroglycerin). Skin contact results in severe irritation and burns

Ergo can I use a flask of Aqua Fortis as a molotov cocktail or other explosive?

log in or register to remove this ad


First Post
Real world physics and chemistry do not really apply in D&D (just look at the falling speeds). All you have is a bottle of liquid capable of inflicting damage of the Acid Energy Type.


First Post
Ok, setting aside the fact that DND has little/no relationship with the real world.

Since the acid in an acid flask can damage both organics (critters) and inorganics (constructs), I would say that the acid contained within would be Sulfuric Acid.

Both Nitric and Hydrochloric have the downside that they won't effectively damage organic molecules. At least not on any kind of 6-second interval.

However, since this is all pretty pointless anyway, I will just go ahead and say that acid flasks contain just about any acid you would care to name, all mixed together. With the obvious exception of HF, after all, there is no save vs. Con damage.


Mod Squad
Staff member
The stuff in an acid flask is nondescript corrosive. It need not actually be what a real chemist would call an acid - the corrosive breath of a green dragon is listed as "acid" damage, when traditionally it's seen as chlorine gas, not a chemical acid.

I would vote against making it more descript - especially if that description gives notable benefits like making the stuff an effective explosive. You aren't supposed to get extra bennies for free :) You want explosive, use Alchemists Fire. You want both, you pay a really good alchemist lots of money for it.
Last edited:


Also, do not forget that:

1) In D&D, there are not 103 base elements (Hydrogren through whatever #103 is), there are 4 (Water, fire, earth, and air).

2) D&D alchemists have access to some things that we do not: substances that make poisons, acids, potions, etc. After all, you don't go around asking "What kind of poison would Greeblood Oil REALLY be?" - it's Greenblood Oil! Or Demon Ichor, or Carrion Crawler Brain juice, etc.

3) For all we know, the acid is actually an acid called Spirits of Dyazan, and could have a recipe like so:
Mix equal parts of carrion crawler brain juice and aqua regia, and boil over a low flame. When chromatic bubbles form on the surface, add 4 drops of Goblin blood and a crystalline sediment will form. Decant through a tube filled with ice-cold water, and let set for 45 minutes. Voila! 1 flask of Spirits of Dyazan. :)


First Post
Precisely! Keep RWS (real world science) out of DnD.

Now, on occasion, I have had my players ask me, "Do I know of any way we can easily produce powdered silver (to create holy water) from massive silver (some ingots) alchemically?"

I rolled some dice, and told them "Yes, you use a vial of acid to dissolve the silver, then you take the resulting solution and react it over a low flame with iron. A fine silver powder will result." This solution worked for me; it involved using up some resources and making a skill check.


Community Supporter
Henry said:
In D&D, there are not 103 base elements (Hydrogren through whatever #103 is), there are 4 (Water, fire, earth, and air).
If that's what the DM wants. Some prefer to have a more realistic world, whereas others like to have a flat world with stars set in a crystal sphere. Everyone does it their own way...

Personally, I have 4 elements, but not everyone works that way.


First Post
You think the acid thing is bad? Then you tell your players that the "antitoxin" that sells in the Players Handbook cannot possibly be effective against every possible poison.


First Post
Conc. nitric will not burn or explode. With a mixture of nitric and sulfuric acids its very easy to make lots of things that will explode quite happily, but thats outside the scope of D&D. And takes more than 6 seconds.

Nitric acid does react with organic substances - I know, I've spilt some.


First Post
Magic Acid for a Magic Acid Flask. :)

"Hey Bubba, what kinda magic flask is that?"
"A acid flask"
"What kind of acid?"
"Magic Acid"
"Umm... Cool"


First Post
Well ...... painting solvent.
Paint solvent/thinner is not an acid. Depending on the type and grade you get, it's usually either toluene or methylene chloride.

Both of those are organic solvents that don't affect inorganics to any significant degree.

However, the funny thing about DnD acid is that it dissolves magical ceramics (clay golems) but not mundane ceramics (the clay jug it's stored in).


First Post
I'd tend to think it would be sulfuric acid... but it is D&D, after all. The best thing to call it just "acid"... with D&D, you can't necessarily make a real-life connection to everything.


First Post
I use a little science in my game (Considering how a player is a professor of Physics, it's sorta implied).

Anyways, first a Duh thing. WHen there's enough dust, hay, or powder in the air, if a spark goes off, there's an explosion (think Grain Silo going Boom now and then).

But the rules varient thing that I have is this: You cast an electricity spell in water, it's area of effect doubles.

Used to, it was 'Cast lightning bolt in water, the impact point is affected by 20' radius'. Lightning bolts no longer have impact point, thus it makes more sense that if you shoot a 5' swath into the water, it becomes a 10' swath.


First Post
While I don't know about the effects of Aqua Regia on organics, I do know that Aqua Regia was known to medieval alchemists, and so names because it was the "king" of acids. Regia is very strong, and is so caustic that you need a special container to even hold it (wax, maybe?). Similar in strength, though maybe impossible to manufacture, is Hydrofluoric acid (HF).

I don't really know where Fluorine exists naturally, but I'd guess it could be found in salts, similar to table salt. If an alchemist added a Fluorine salt to water, and made the water hot enough, the H would bind to F, and the Metal (probably Na) would combine with O. I don't know how hot that needs to be, but magic can be wonderful stuff =P.


NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game