Are crafted items counted in the magic item progression from XGtE?


The term healing potions in this context refers to the ensemble of {Potion of Healing; Potion of Greater Healing; Potion of Superior Healing; Potion of Supreme Healing}, not to the item Potion of Healing.

"Magic item progression" designates the suggestions about the number of magic items to award, detailed on p. 135 of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything; table at the bottom.

Rules Context

Potion of Healing appears on the table of purchasable goods (PHB p. 150). Furthermore, the descriptions of Potion of Healing and the Herbalism Kit (pp. 153/154) suggest that the latter can be used in the production of the former, which was discussed in this question: How does one craft Potions of Healing?

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (p. 128) provides rules for crafting magic items, involving the acquisition of a formula. Healing potions, however have simpler rules, without the need for a formula (p. 130).

XGtE further has a suggested magic item progression (p. 135, table on the bottom) detailing the number of magic items that should be gained on average on different levels.

Interpretation and assumptions

The fact that Potions of Healing can be purchased at 50 gp a piece, suggests that they are in fact exempt from the progression. Similarly, the fact that magic items can be crafted in downtime questions the magic item progression. For most magic items, I see no problem, since opportunities to acquire formulae can be restricted in the same manner as opportunities to obtain complete magic items. Healing Potions do not require any formulae, however, and are much easier to craft, which bears the question if they are, in fact, generally exempt from the magic item progression.

In know that I can ignore or modify the magic item progression, that magic items are completely optional, and that I could hand out e.g Potions of Greater Healing within the boundaries of the progression.

Specific application

This question does not concern a specific game of mine. The following are examples arising as consequence of healing potions being exempt from magic item progression.

I liberally hand out potions of healing, through loot and quest givers. I’m wondering, however, what would happen if extended this to other healing potions. For example, the loot in one of the more dangerous dungeons would contain four potions of greater healing instead of four potions of healing, or I replace half of all potions of healing in loot with potions of greater healing, or I increase the quality of the healing potions given out with tier of play. I usually do not use crafting and I do not plan on doing so.

To clarify, what is meant by liberally handing out potions: Using the table from XGtE p. 135 and a four character party, we get about 1 minor magic item per person and level. Let’s say, we use all these "slots" for items other than *healing potions" but give out the same number of healing potions during the course of the campaign.

My question therefore is: Given the crafting rules on XGtE p. 130 (and potentially other rules that I overlooked), are crafted items, and specifically healing potions exempt from magic item progression?