Alchemy Skill Rules
Alchemy is a Secondary Skill which characters can only choose during Character Development. And, barring exceptional circumstances, is normally only available to Clerics & Magic-Users (and sub-classes thereof).
As a Secondary Skill which has a profound impact on the game, it can only be improved by spending Experience Points. Each level of Alchemy must be "purchased" with the character's experience points. Spending these xp's does not automatically increase the character's Alchemy Skill, either -- after spending the points, the character is then required to spend some down time studying and experimenting before the new abilities can be gained.
The cost of new Alchemy levels is as follows --
1st Level -- background skill, automatic
2nd Level -- 4,000 xp's
3rd Level -- 15,000 xp's
4th Level -- 40,000 xp's
5th Level -- 105,000 xp's
6th Level -- 450,000 xp's
Increasing Alchemy levels requires the prescence of a Master Alchemist AT LEAST two levels higher than the character. At higher levels of Alchemy, the character can study & experiement on their own ... but at a higher cost of money and time. Lower levels of Alchemy can NOT be learned solo, unless the player can make a really good argument. Such cases will be the exception, not the norm.
BASIC ALCHEMICAL ABILITIES
- Read/Write Alchemist's Script - 100%
- Read Languages - 30%, +5% for each point of INT over 15 (18 INT would give +20%), +5% per Alchemy Level above 1.
- Knowledge of common herbs and the ability to identify them on sight.
- Identify mixtures by test. Takes 2-5 minutes to complete & requires Test Kit (only good for elixirs, toxic powders, potions, or alchemical dusts). Chance of Success is 60% + INT bonus, +5% per Alchemy level above 1 (max of 95%).
- You have a 5% chance per level of Alchemy for identifying magical potions & alchemical mixtures/compounds based simply on appearance, smell, & taste (not quaffing the potion, more like licking your finger).
- You can brew medicines (you do not necessarily have an ability to identify diseases, but if someone else does then you will almost certainly know SOME cure for it ... some cures are more effective than others). 90% chance of success.
- Locate Plants, takes at least one hour of game time for searching a given area. 90% chance of success to find common herbs or plants (assuming they exist in that terrain - you won't find swampweed up in the mountains). Rare herbs & plants can be found at 25% + INT bonus, +5% per Alchemy level above 1.
- Identify Plant/Animal Type - The alchemist can learn certain information about any unknown plant or animal (including monsters) by simply observing them for a period of at least one full minute.
0-10% - General Information: size, color, species type (trailing herb, flowering plant, bi-pedal mammal, wingless bird, etc.)
11-89% - Detailed Information: poisonous, what known plant or animal the unknown plant/animal most resembles, approximate damage of bite, claws, etc.
90-100% - Exact Information: everything except the plant/animal's name, possible uses of plant, exact type of poison, whether or not a creature is likely to possess magical or special attacks/defenses, etc.
The Alchemist may add +5% to his/her roll for each Alchemy level.
All Alchemical mixtures/compounds require various ingredients. To make things a little simpler, I'm breaking down ingredients into three classes - Common, Rare, & Exotic. Common ingredients would be stuff like nightshade, belladonna, holly, copper, dust, or salt. Rare ingredients would be stuff like wolfsbane, mercury, sulphur, or mandrake. Exotic ingredients are the really weird stuff - eye of newt, tongue of bat, wyvern's venom, ichor from a kraken's eye, heart of a werewolf ... you name it. Common ingredients will cost about 10 gp's per mixture the Alchemist is making. Rare ingredients will cost about 100 gp's per mixture. Exotic ingredients ... well, it depends on just how exotic it is. Common & Rare ingredients can also be searched for by the Alchemist for free. Exotic ingredients could appear through the course of the adventure, or possibly the goal of an adventure.
A note regarding exotic ingredients --
The Alchemist can attempt to Identify a monster after it's been killed to see if there's anything about it which could be usefull. The Alchemist may not know how to brew a Potion of Fire Resistance yet, but he/she MAY know you need the blood from a Hellhound. After the party encounters Hellhounds, the Alchemist may "remember" (assuming they roll high enough on their Identify roll) that Hellhounds' Blood is a valuable Exotic Ingredient that may come in handy later ... or perhaps be sold to another Alchemist for a tidy little fortune (most Alchemists don't do a lot of adventuring).
I will include a list of ingredients needed for each mixture or compound in your Alchemy Book (for example, Potion of Heroism - 2 doses of Common Ingredients, 1 does of Rare Ingredients, and powder ground from the horn of a mad goat).
FIRST LEVEL ALCHEMY
Can brew elixirs & toxic powders
-- Chance of Success: 70% + 5% per Alchemy level
An elixir is just like a potion, only its effect lasts d6 rounds. Mixing an elixir takes about 15 minutes, unless you've previously prepared the ingredients (about five minutes, then). Mixing an elixir requires the presence of your Alchemy Book -- to mix an elixir without it, you must first roll your "Chance to Know" -20% and THEN roll your Chance of Success. Screwing up the first roll could be dangerous ...
Toxic powders are noxious and sometimes deadly substances which may be added to food or drink, thrown in vials, dispersed by hand, or propelled into the air by use of a blowtube. The process for mixing toxic powders is the same as elixirs.
SECOND LEVEL ALCHEMY
Can mix compounds & construct devices
-- Chance of Success: 75% +5% per Alchemy level
Examples of compounds are Alchemist's Glue, Oil of Slipperiness, Blade Venom, and others. Examples of devices would be stuff like magnifying glasses, skeleton keys, puzzle locks, etc.
At Higher Levels --
I'll finish working up this section once players actually
start reaching these levels ...
3rd level Alchemy
Can make Talismans and Potions
4th level Alchemy
Can make Dusts and Acids
5th level Alchemy
Can make Gasses and Essences (hard to explain, but VERY cool)
6th level Alchemy
Constructs (golems) and Artificial Life (homonculi!)
I may be changing 5th & 6th levels a little ... For Talismans, I think I prefer things like charms or Protection vs. Whatever.
A failed attempt to work some alchemy will usually be obvious once the project is complete. Failed attempts don't work, simple as that. Any materials used are lost. A fumbled attempt (99% or higher) must roll on the ALCHEMY FUMBLE TABLE (wheeeee!!). A critical roll (10% of what you needed) will produce a maximum-effect product (full-strength, max-duration potion, for example).
ALCHEMY FUMBLE TABLE FOR POTIONS
01 - 50
Finished product looks fine and will hold up to basic tests, but will fail when actually used.
51 - 75
Concoction BLOWS UP while making!! Woo woo!! Damage is 2d6, only the brewing Alchemist is affected. Chance of lab being destroyed is equal to percentage of the damage x10 (7 pts. of damage has 70% chance of destroying the lab equipment).
76 - 85
Concoction EXPLODES violently while making!! Holy Shit! Damage is the same as Exploding Runes. All within 10 ft. affected! Lab is fucked!
Concoction looks normal (as above), but is actually poisonous ... Save or become violently sick for d6 hours.
91 - 95
Concoction is poisonous (as above), but Save or DIE!! If Save, become violently sick for d6 hours.
96 - 99
Concoction is DEADLY poisonous (as above, Save or DIE!!) ... if Save, character is sick for d6 hours & goes PERMANENTLY blind and loses d4 CON!
Examples of Special Fumbles will be stuff like Become Undead (various types), Lycanthropy, Insanity, I.H.S. (Incredible Hulk Syndrome), Potion has permanent effect, or other weird stuff I'll think up later. Some of these sound pretty far-fetched, but Alchemy isn't just the science of mixing weird stuff ... there's incantations and magic involved, too.
DM's Note -- The Six Demon Bag requires 5th level Alchemy!
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