Alchemy

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Description

Alchemy is the science, technology, and craft of manipulating and amplifying the supernatural attributes and correspondence forces within substances by applied chemistry, metallurgy, and other, physical sciences. Alchemists are reclusive and typically employ one or more apprentices and large numbers of unskilled assistants (who, despite little or no Alchemy skill, may have good scores in skills like Chemistry, Cooking, Metallurgy, Profession (Glassblower), Carpentry, Armoury, Engineering, etc.), as well as servants who broker their deals and tend their storefront, if any. There are no guilds, so each Alchemist is in fierce competition with his peers. Formulae are always locked in well-guarded vaults, or written in code (see Cryptography skill), or both.

Most settlements of any significant size have an Alchemist. In small villages and encampments, the local chirurgeon is often the same person. Large cities will have several, although often the two wealthiest will have organized the others into unofficial guilds for their personal gain though blackmail, coercion, debt, and promises of formula-sharing. Alchemy is a very “mobbed-up” profession…

Requirements

  • Apprenticeship or Stolen Knowledge
    • This typically implies a Patron, Ally, or Enemy, but not neccessarily.
  • Alchemy (IQ-VH) Skill
  • Laboratory
    • At a minimum, this includes a cast-iron stove, $100 worth of ceramics, $200 worth of glassware, and $100 worth of miscellaneous tools (and a place to keep it all, of course).
  • Raw Materials
    • For game purposes, most recipes specify only a dollar value. An alchemist can devote time that the GM feels appropriate to purchase, scrounge, or gather basic raw materials (“reagents”), using appropriate skills (Merchant, Scrounging, Naturalist, or even just Alchemy at a small penalty) and keep a store worth a given dollar amount, deducting the cost of recipes from it as he goes.
      • See also the Money entry for converting to in-game coinage.

Mechanics

  • Alchemy Skill
    • Your skill with any recipe may not exceed your Alchemy skill.
    • Recipes may be attempted at default if (and only if) you possess a written formulary. Most recipes default to Alchemy-5 (Alchemy-6 for VH recipes), unless otherwise specified in their descriptions. Cost is the same, but time required is double normal (triple for VH recipes).
  • Recipes
    • Recipe Entries:
      • Time: Workdays required to finish one (1) batch.
      • Batch: The quantity in one (1) batch, and how much can be done with that quanity.
      • Containment: Safe containers for storage or application are listed. Cost is included in the cost of reagents, below.
      • Ingredients: A cost in generic reagents (in $ GURPS), and any special ingredients listed by name.
      • Market Price: Standard asking price for 1 unit (not neccessarily 1 batch)
      • Roll(s): Usually “Skill or Alchemy-5”. May involve additional rolls (usually for fabrication of devices), or different Alchemy default values.
      • Mishap: Consequences of critical failure on the skill or Alchemy roll only.
    • Ordinary failure consumes the listed materials cost & time, and produces half the amount of Calyx as the recipe would have yielded product. Critical failures results are listed for each recipe.
    • The time requirements listed are assumed to be standard, 8-hour workdays and include meal & bathroom breaks (and therefore do not require a PC alchemist to lock himself away for entire sessions in order to get some work done; he can have visitors, but he will not like it).
      • More significant breaks from an ongoing formula require an Alchemy roll to preserve the interrupted work; failure is resolved exactly as for the final roll, but the final roll still needs to be made at the end. An alchemist can work more than 8 hours per day, but standard Fatigue rules apply, and an additional Alchemy roll is required to apply the additional hours to his work (failure simply wastes the extra time with no other ill effect).
    • Multiple batches can be made at once by multiplying the Ingredients cost appropriately, and adding a cumulative -1 penalty to skill or Alchemy rolls per additional batch. Time is unaffected, although the GM may rule that more equipment or a bigger laboratory is neccessary.
    • Recipe Types:
      • Balms are healing unguents, to be applied to an affected area.
      • Elixirs are taken internally.
      • Salves must be applied in a specific manner or to a specific object or body part for full effectiveness.
      • Products with names that begin with Aqua are liquids (though how they are used may vary greatly); those that begin with Pulvis are powders.
  • Alchemy & Low or No Mana Zones
    • Most alchemical products carry stored mana within them from the process of refinement or distillation. Some may not work while within a No Mana Zone, but others may. Most will not be harmed by exposure to Low or No Mana Zones lasting less than several years; longer than that may result in neutralization.
  • Additional Rules
    • An Alchemy skill greater than IQ indicates enough long experience and incremental exposure to unusual or poisonous substances that Discriminatory Smell [15], Discriminatory Taste [10], and Damage Resistance (Toxic Only, -40%) [3 / Level] may be purchased in play and without any need for an Unusual Background.

Recipes

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Alphabetical List of All Recipes

Alchemy

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