A question for my fellow DMs:
The way you do magic potions, does each type of potion have a specific appearance/flavor/etc? Are all healing potions a deep amber and burn when you drink them? Could a translucent purple potion and a milky blue potion both be potions of levitation?
On one hand, consistent potions let the players become experts on something in your world. It also saves them some time and trouble. You can also still introduce confusion... perhaps potions of healing and heroism are both red.
"Hmm....amber colored and burns going down...so it's either a healing potion...or else it's hard liquor." (Both, I suppose, relieve pain)
With my current Cyclopedia game, I might rule that potions are consistent when made by the same magic-user. (Alternately, magic-users trained by the same mentor might brew similar potions.) Who says that every potion of healing has the same ingredients? If different mages have their own way of notating spells (thus necessitating the need for read magic in the rules as written), might they not make potions in such an individual fashion?