Creating an Elixir
To brew an elixir, the alchemist needs three things: a formula, ingredients, and a laboratory.
Most alchemists keep their formulas secret, especially the more valuable ones. For that reason, you need either good connections to an experienced alchemist, or a full purse to hand over to get those formulas. Alchemical formulas are trade secrets that must be purchased as special abilities.
Alchemists have a reputation for gathering weird things from all corners of Aventuria, and with good reason. Besides different herbs and extracts of plants and animals, alchemists often seek rare metals and earths, jewels, and many curious items like the stones from dragon stomachs, brine from Unau, or the hair of a blind man. Because they must travel long distances to get their ingredients, many alchemists also trade in spices, fragrances, and delicacies from foreign countries. It helps make the trips more worthwhile.
The Alchemical Laboratory
There are three levels of laboratories that contain the equipment you need for creating alchemical tinctures and elixirs. The basic level is the archaic laboratory, which consists mostly of rustic tools you can find in most better equipped kitchens. Shamans and witch doctors from many primitive peoples use such laboratories to mix poisons.
An archaic laboratory costs 200 silverthalers. You can carry it in a trunk, if necessary.
The witch kitchen, used only by witches, is better equipped. It includes all the important tools you need for alchemy, but is limited if a formula calls for high temperatures, vacuum, or other unusual conditions. A fully equipped witch kitchen costs 1,000 silverthalers. You can transport it on a cart.
A true alchemist’s laboratory offers everything an alchemist needs to carry out more complex processes. It costs 5,000 silverthalers and cannot be easily transported, as ovens, vacuum chambers, and other items are usually built out of brick with substantial fittings.
Alchemical Brewing in Detail
- Preparing the Ingredients
Often, to create an elixir of reasonable quality, the most challenging task in alchemical brewing is finding the right ingredients. In some cases, this requires its own adventure. We provide examples of ingredients for every elixir to help stimulate ideas.
Higher quality elixirs require more expensive ingredients. Even masters of alchemy cannot create an excellent elixir from second-rate ingredients. The ingredients’ qualities and the associated costs are given in six levels. With ingredients of level 1, you can create elixirs of level 1.
This low level of ingredients is popular with alchemical apprentices, who can economically experiment with brewing. With ingredients of level 2, you can create elixirs of up to level 2, and so on. The highest level of ingredients is level 6, with which you can create elixirs of the highest quality. Descriptions for each elixir include the cost of its ingredient levels.
- Brew the Potion
To follow a formula, mix the ingredients, and brew an elixir correctly, make an Alchemy check with a penalty equal to the elixir’s brewing difficulty. Brewing difficulty, as the term implies, represents the challenge of creating an elixir. It is either a bonus or a penalty to the Alchemy check, as noted in each potion’s description.
Alchemists with magical talent can gain a bonus to their Alchemy check by letting part of their AE flow into the potion while it is brewing. This requires mixing crushed mandrake root into the elixir. Spending 4 AE gains a bonus of 1, and spending 8 AE gains the maximum bonus of 2.
Brewing takes time and attention, so alchemists cannotbrew more than one elixir per day. To brew a potion, you obviously need to know the formula. Many alchemical formulas are trade secrets.
Brewing Check Modifiers
Laboratory rated one level lower than needed –3
Laboratory rated two levels lower than needed impossible
Laboratory rated one level higher than needed +1
Laboratory rated two levels higher than needed +2
Infusion with AE +1 per 4 AE used, no more than +2
Brewing Difficulty various
- Determine the Potion’s Quality
Alchemists do not automatically know the quality of a potion they have created. Unlike QL for most other skills, potion quality depends both on the Alchemy check’s SP and the ingredients to determine the brew’s maximum QL. The GM makes a hidden Alchemy check for the player. If the check is successful, the GM determines the elixir’s QL in secret and notes the result. If the check fails, the ingredients are destroyed and something bad may occur—roll on the table Consequences of Failed Brewing Checks (see below). In case of a botch, add 5 to the roll. The Quality Level table is reproduced here for convenience.
Skill Points Level
Analysis of Alchemical Elixirs
Heroes often find elixirs and potions of unknown origin and quality. It’s an alchemist’s job to analyze such elixirs and determine their effect and quality. This analysis requires an Alchemy check with a penalty equal to half the potion’s brewing difficulty, as well as any other modifiers that apply. If the check is successful, the alchemist identifies the potion. A QL of 2 or higher reveals its quality, too. Elixirs are not used up by analysis.
Modifiers for Analysis
Half of the brewing difficulty as given for the formula
Only archaic laboratory available –2
Only witch kitchen available +/–0
Alchemical laboratory available +1
Formula of the elixir is known +1
Core Rules 270