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Alchemy

Alchemists can craft a variety of substances and serums but to do so they require the appropriate equipment, components, and formulations. An Alchemist without these things is little more than a specialized lorekeeper. With them however, an Alchemist is a font for all manner of curious, useful, or downright deadly creations.

Basics

The Alchemist must have the following in order to craft most substances:

  • Equipment: An alchemist must have a kit or lab in order to make their checks. Exceptional equipment can add a bonus to the Alchemists craft check. Common variations of equipment include: a basic kit (25g) which is a portable set of alchemists tools for simple crafting while traveling and reduces the penalty for alchemy in transit to -2 from -4; a portable alchemist’s lab (75g) which is a more robust set of equipment than a kit, but not as much as a full lab and reduces the penalty for alchemy in transit to -1; a full Alchemist’s lab (200g), which is a full stationary laboratory with all the needed equipment for alchemy and grants a +1 to alchemy checks; and a Masters Lab (800g), which is a stationary laboratory with high quality equipment that adds +3 to alchemy checks.
  • Components: Components are derived from bundles. Each bundle represents an array of base and specialized reagents and substances, typically procured from local herbalists, craftsmen, hunters, exotic traders, and explorers through no small effort. A single bundle costs 100 gelt and contains 12 units of components. The rarity of components and difficulty inherent in their acquisition makes bundle costs exceptionally difficult to bargain.

Crafting
Creating things requires an Intellect + Craft + Focus Skill check.

Alchemical focus skills include:

  • Poisons
  • Serums
  • Intoxicants
  • Perfumes
  • Curatives
  • Rudiments

The end result of a check is the creation of a substance or serum.

Substances

Alchemists of any level who have the necessary equipment, components, and time can attempt to create a wide array of substances and each one is classified as Easy, Medium, or Hard. The substance class defines the difficulty inherent in creating it, the amount of active time spent crafting, and the number of usable volumes of the substance that are created as a result.

Class Target Difficulty Active Crafting Time Units Made
Easy 12 1 Hour 3
Medium 16 6 Hours 2
Hard 18 1 Day 1

Note that there are two exceptions to the difficulties noted above:
Critical Failure: A roll of 2 is always a failure and all components used are ruined. Roll again and if second roll is also a critical failure any catalysts or equipment used is also ruined
Critical Success: A roll of 20 is always a success and yields double the normal amount of product

List of Substances

Recipe Type Class Effect Base Components Special Components
Alcohol Pleasure Easy Variable (Discuss with storyteller) 2 N/A
Antiemetic Curative Easy A medicinal syrup used to battle queasiness. 2 N/A
Drugs Pleasure Easy Variable (Discuss with storyteller) 2 N/A
Flash Powder Rudiments Easy A mixture of oxidizer and metallic fuel which burns quickly and can be used in pyrotechnics. Can distract or blind a target or group of targets. 2 N/A
Glue Rudiments Easy A resilient glue that can adhere most substances to one another. 2 N/A
Grease Rudiments Easy An extremely slick goo that can be used to coat flat surfaces or people, making traction or grappling incredibly difficult. 2 N/A
Gympie Weapon Easy Prepared clippings from a neurotoxic shrub found in the badlands that inflicts severe pain akin to simultaneous electrocution and acid immersion 2 Gympie
Kindness Curative Easy A mixture of herbs and alchemical materials that act as a remedy to hangovers. 2 N/A
Plaster Rudiments Easy A useful powder mix that can be used to create a mold of a recessed feature such as a foot print or carving, a cast for a broken bone, or to fill in gaps in surfaces. 2 N/A
Poison, Basic Weapon Easy A substance likely but not guaranteed to kill average person. 2 N/A
Sealing Wax Rudiments Easy A rod of sealing wax specially prepared for a pair of individuals to be both highly identifiable and resistant to resealing. 2 N/A
Smelling Salts Curative Easy Also known as sal ammoniac, Smelling Salts are an aromatic spirit of ammonia mixed with scented oils and used to restore consciousness and mental alertness. 2 N/A
Smoke, Heavy Rudiments Easy A pair of substances that produce thick smoke when mixed. 2 N/A
Sneezing Powder Weapon Easy A mixture of potent spices that triggers a series of severe sneezes in a target who inhales the powder. Can be resisted with Will 2 N/A
Solvent Rudiments Easy A powerful solvent that destroys most adhesives, including tar, sap, glue, alchemical glue, and sludge. 2 N/A
Vermin Repellent Rudiments Easy A distillation of predator musks and other chemicals that can repel minor vermin such as insects and rats. 2 N/A
Anti-Toxin Curative Medium Variable – Anti-toxins are produced by type to counteract particular toxins. 4 Toxin
Anti-Venom Curative Medium Variable – Anti-venoms are produced by type to counteract particular venoms. 4 Venom
Defoliant Rudiments Medium A mixture of alchemical reagents that can kill most minor vegetation such as plants, shrubs, and bushes. Application to the skin causes injury to Tamaa and ingestion can cause death. 4 N/A
Etora Weapon Medium A potent tranquilizer derived from specially cultivated Luxi plants. A single phial can knock out most human sized animals. Attaining the same effect with larger creatures requires skilled calibration of the dosage. 8 Etora
Festerot Weapon Medium A truly cruel mixture of reagents that can hamper the natural healing of most lifeforms. Can be applied to a prepared weapon or thrown on an enemy. The effect of this substance can last for weeks depending on the potency/dosage 6 Grot render
Grot Oil Weapon Medium A mixture of putrid smelling reagents that can cause those who inhale to gag and vomit. 4 Grot render
Matches Rudiments Medium Also known as a fire stick or tindertwig, this is a stick of treated wood that can be struck against a hard surface to produce an open flame for a short time. 2 N/A
Pepper Pellet Weapon Medium A mixture of irritating spices and peppers. When cast out the diffusion of aeresol pepper can trigger coughing, tears, and general illness. N/A  
Perfume Pleasure Medium Variable 1 N/A
Poison, Standard Weapon Medium A substance likely to kill anyone but a Tollam. 8 N/A
Sludge Weapon Medium A strong glue-like substance that can be thrown on an area or enemy, causing them to be slowed by the sticky substance unless they can break free. 3 Glue
Smoke, Basic Rudiments Medium A pair of substances that produce smoke when mixed. 4 N/A
Dazer Weapon Hard A set of materials that react violently when mixed causing an intensely loud bang and produces a bright flash, causing unexpecting viewers to be blinded and deafened for a short time. 3 Picric Alum
Freeze Rudiments Hard An alchemical liquid that reduces the temperature of any surface it is applied to dramatically, making it easier to break. Can also be used to freeze liquids. 6 Chilldust
Hotstone Rudiments Hard A piece of obsidian treated with alchemical reagents to produce a pleasing and long lasting heat. Often used in northern bed-heating pans. 6 Obsidian
Liquid Fire Weapon Hard A liquid that ignites on contact with air, clings to a target and burns intensely 8 Resin or Bitumen
Liquid Static Weapon Hard A liquid that holds a powerful shocking charge that can stun targets. 8 Eel Glands
Phosphor Gel Rudiments Hard A mixture of alchemical reagents that react when agitated to produce bright light and intense heat. 6 Bioluminescent Fungi
Poison, Debilitating Weapon Hard A substance that inflicts blindness, paralysis, or other conditions on target. 6 Animal Toxin
Poison, Master Weapon Hard A substance virtually guaranteed to kill a normal human and likely to kill a Tollam. 12 Animal Venom
Remedy Curative Hard A solution of alchemical reagents that briefly enhance resistance to diseases. This does not cure existing diseases. 6 Cationic Gland

Formulations

True Alchemists (those with the calling) find it possible to attempt most substances via memory and intuition, but the safer and more consistent method is to utilize specific formulation. A formulation is a set of measures, processes and directions that makes Alchemy more predictable and effective.

Working from a formulation has one of the following effects:
Duration: If the substance or serum has a time limited effect it is doubled.
High Render: Craft checks for this substance output twice as much usable volume.
Efficient: Craft checks for this substance require half the active time.
Reliable: Craft checks for this substance have a -1 to their target difficulty

Multiple formulations can be combined. A High Render, Efficient, Reliable, and Long Duration Formulation for a substance or Serum represents the pinnacle of the Alchemists craft and is worth a kings ransom to other alchemists.

Formulations can be obtained through research, experimentation, or purchase from other Alchemists. Only alchemists can craft or understand formulations and each Alchemist tends to keep a journal of their discoveries. These rare codices can become objects of desire, prompting feuds, quests, or simply fetching high ransoms for their contents.

Research

To research existing formulations in libraries and luminar the Alchemist can make an Intellect + Lore check with any relevant focus skills added. This roll can only be made once per week and represents days worth of research time. The results are as follows:

Roll Effect
2 A roll of 2 generates what looks to be a useful formulation but in fact is counterproductive. The next substance the Alchemist makes is faulty.
3-12 No usable formulation is found.
13-16 The Alchemist derives a formulation for a substance in the Easy class
17-19 The Alchemist derives a formulation for a substance in the Medium class
20 A roll of 20 derives a formulation for a substance in the Hard class.

In most cases once an Alchemist has derived a formulation, good or ill, from a resource such as a library or luminar, they cannot make another roll using the same resource. They must find a new one. The exceptions to this tend to be truly grand libraries such as those found in capital cities, or luminar nexi found in dangerous ruins.

Experimentation

Some Alchemists prefer to uncover new formulations through more exciting methods than flipping the pages of dusty books and tinkering with cracked luminar. The process of experimentation requires the Alchemist to declare which substance and which type of formulation they wish to create (Duration, High Render, Efficient, or Reliable). Then, assuming they have the required equipment, components, and skill they make a check of Intellect + Craft + Focus Skill. This check can only be made once per week and does not produce any usable material or substance; all components are lost in the process of experimentation. The targets are as follows:

Class Target Difficulty
Easy 18+
Medium 22+
Hard 25+
Serum Critical Success

Purchase

Most Alchemists horde their formulations, allowing them to corner the market on certain substances and ensuring they have enough ongoing funds to both survive and continue their research. There are some who are willing to sell their formulations but the price is typically quite steep. Prices are typically set in the hundreds or thousands of gelt.

Trait Cost
Easy Substance 200g
Medium Substance 300g
Hard Substance 800g
Serum 2000g
Duration x2
High Render x4
Efficient x2
Reliable x4

Result: If an Alchemist wanted to purchase an High Render Formulation for pepper pellets the starting cost would be 1200g. This could be negotiated further via mercantile.

Serums

With enough time and dedication to their calling Alchemist gain sufficient confidence in their abilities to attempt to create ‘Serums’. These consumable concoctions have a variety of beneficial effects, from drastically increasing the rate of healing to soothing stress, to enhancing aspects. Creation of a Serum requires something beyond more mundane substances; a Catalyst. A catalyst is a special material typically crafted into a retort, alembic, or phials which only needs to be acquired once as they are not consumed during the creation of a serum. One of the great works of any Alchemist is documenting the catalytic properties of various materials and the list below provides examples only; Rumours of alternate or advanced catalysts which can enhance the potency of Serums abound and many Alchemists make it their life’s work to seek them out. All serums are classified as Hard and have the requisite difficulty, crafting time, and output, with the exception of Kirna Serum which outputs 2 usable units per creation.

Recipe Effect Base Components Catalyst Crafting Time Frequency of Usage Standard Units Made
Atrox +5 to Stress Soak for 1 day 6 Atrox Bone 1 Day 1/day 1
Bellator +1 to Grace for 1 hour 6 Aetherium, Bellator Bone 1 Day 1/day 1
Heliar +1 to Intellect for 1 hour 8 Vitrum, Heliar Dust 1 Day 1/day 1
Kaeki +1 to Will for 1 hour 12 Helion, Kaeki Bone 1 Day 1/day 1
Mending Heals 3 Health 5 Corfire, Tamaa Bone 1 Day 1/week 1
Oneiri +1 to Intuition for 1 hour 8 Corewood, Oneiri Bone 1 Day 1/day 1
Titan +1 to Power for 1 hour 6 Orick, Tollam Bone 1 Day 1/day 1
Kirna Heals 5 Stress 2 Silver, Human Bone 1 Day 1/day 2

Questions

Why bundles? Why not just base prices?
Bundles permit Alchemists to purchase components without knowing exactly what they’re going to make; particularly useful for travelling alchemists.

What about gathering your own bundles?
It is possible to forage for basic components but it is both difficult and dangerous as useful materials are not typically found behind the safety of a city wall. While in an appropriate locale as defined by the Storyteller the Alchemist can dedicate a full day to foraging. During this time they cannot travel or undertake other extended checks such as crafting potions. Instead the Alchemist spends their day searching for and preparing appropriate components. This is represented by rolling 2d10 + Intellect + Survival + Focus Skill: Foraging. The results of their efforts are defined on the chart below.

Roll Effect
2 The Alchemist encounters dangerous flora or fauna. Storyteller discretion
3-15 The Alchemist finds nothing.
16-18 The Alchemist finds 1 component.
19-23 The Alchemist finds 2 components.
24+ The Alchemist finds 3 components.