Arcane Background: Alchemy

  • Arcane Skill: Alchemy (Smarts)
  • Starting Power Points: 10
  • Starting Powers: 3
  • Spell List: armor, blast, boost/lower trait, burrow, detect/conceal arcana, environmental
    protection, fly, greater healing, healing, invisibility, light, obscure, quickness, shape
    change, smite, speak language, speed, stun, teleport.

Alchemy is the creation of magic through potions, salves, unguents, or other concoctions. Alchemists are often looked upon as second-rate wizards, unable to harness the raw power of the universe without resorting to powders and potions. Alchemists see things differently. Their concoctions come with a guarantee they will work every time, they can ensure their spells are available at their maximum potency, and their magic does not require them to be present for it to
be wielded.

Most commoners view alchemists as slightly dangerous — more than one tavern has been destroyed by catastrophic backlash. Even those who specialize in healing arts are encouraged to work their magic away from buildings or livestock.

To create a potion, the alchemist needs access to at least a small lab (such as might be carried in a trunk) and one hour per spell Rank (a Novice spells takes one hour to imbue into a potion).

At the end of the required time, the alchemist rolls his Alchemy die and pays the relevant Power Points. These Power Points are not recovered until the potion is consumed or destroyed (poured on the ground, dispelled, etc.). At that point they return to the caster at the usual rate (typically one per hour).

If the casting roll is successful, the potion is complete. It can be used as a single action by any living being. A potion of Strength, for example, might contain the boost trait spell, whereas a potion of fireballs might contain blast and need to be thrown. The effects of the potion are the same as the spell. This includes any additional effects from raises on the original Alchemy roll.

Range: Alchemists don’t go around throwing balls of fire — they throw exploding potions. Any spell with a Range of Touch, Sight, or Self requires the potion to be drunk or smeared onto the body, as deemed appropriate for the effect.
Spells with range brackets or based on an attribute usually require the potion to be thrown, depending on the effect. This requires a Throwing roll and ranges are reduced to 3/6/12.

Duration: Alchemical powers last as per regular power, though the alchemist may put extra Power Points into the potion to make it last longer. This must be determined during creation — not when drunk.

Labs: Most alchemists have a portable lab, allowing them to create potions as and when needed. Access to a laboratory grants a +2 bonus to Alchemy rolls, whereas access to an alchemic guildhouse or similar workshop grants a +4 bonus.

Alchemic Backlash: Alchemists work their magic in laboratories rather than in the heat of combat. Because of this, being Shaken is not much of a consequence for a backlash. If an alchemist rolls a 1 on his arcane skill die, regardless of Wild Die, he must roll on the Alchemic Backlash table.

Arcane Background: Alchemy

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