Alchemy

Alchemy

While alchemy has been practiced for thousands of years by many cultures on Ivalice, it is only over the last few centuries that it has really come into its own. Much of the recent prestige enjoyed by famous alchemists is a result of improvements in smokepowder and various other advancements in the field over the last century (if only a specific use for this newfangled ‘gunpowder’ could be found!). This, coupled with the naturalist movement currently espoused in many circles around Ivalice has secured alchemy as the premiere practice of the modern era.

While most alchemical items are no match for their magical counterparts, they do hold the distinct advantages of being much less expensive, easy to use by anyone, and understandable in their basic properties and how they function. Also, due to the relative rarity of magic items in Edinor, alchemy shoppes tend to be rather popular. Due to this popularity however, a lot of so-called alchemists create useless or down-right dangerous items; and there are a large number of shysters that travel around peddling cure-all tonics, the secret to turning lead into gold, and other such scams. There are large fines all over Ivalice for the mis-practice of alchemy, and most alchemists receive a license from one of a number of alchemical guilds. This is not required however, and due to the nature of the practice, it can often be difficult to tell a well-meaning beginner from an underhanded charlatan.

Baron Algust von Shleppinstein

Wizards, sorcerers, druids and adepts are all common practitioners of alchemy, although one is not required to be a spellcaster in order to make alchemical items. Many experts set up shop as professional alchemists and excel at their craft. This is a change from the normal rules in the PHB: one need not be a spellcaster to create alchemical items. Naturalist physicians are also often alchemists, or at least use alchemical substances and herbs in their practices. While magical healing is readily available throughout Ivalice, the recent trend toward naturalism has meant that some people prefer to be treated by these “empirical clerics” instead.

Generally, to create large amounts of alchemical substances one needs access to an alchemical workshop or lab. Alchemical items with a DC of 15 or less can be made with ingredients found “in the wild”, while anything with a DC higher than 15 requires access to the proper refined chemicals, equipment, and tomes of alchemical knowledge. The Alchemist’s Lab from the PHB is not sufficient for crafting these items. Instead, one must use role playing to acquire the right connections in order to gain access to an alchemist’s lab in a guild or some such. There are several means of doing so in-and especially around-Farlon.

The items listed here are in addition to those listed in the PHB. I have culled them from multiple sources, including the Arms and Equipment Guide, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and the Eberron Campaign Setting. Herbs are discussed at the end of this section.

Alchemical Items

Grenade-Like Weapons Portion DC to Create Cost
Acidic Fire Flask 25 30gp
Darkblind Stone 25 50gp
Defoliator Flask 20 20gp
Frost, Alchemist’s Flask 25 25gp
Gravebane Flask 25 50gp
Motelight Flask 20 20gp
Sleep Gas Flask 25 30gp
Stonebreaker Acid Flask 20 20gp
Verminbane Flask 20 20gp
Items Portion DC to Create Cost
Candle, Focusing Candle 25 100gp
Candle, Restful Candle 25 100gp
Clearbreath Vial 25 50gp
Darkvision Powder Vial 20 10gp
Disappearing Ink Vial 15 5gp
Gunpowder Powder Horn 25 200gp
Hawk’s Ointment Vial 25 50gp
Instant Rope Flask 15 25gp
Longbreath Vial 25 50gp
Nature’s Draught Flask 25 50gp
Polar Skin Flask 25 25gp
Scentbreaker Bag 15 5gp
Signal Torch Torch 15 1gp
Smokepowder Powder Horn 20 30gp
Smokestick, noxious Stick 25 80gp
Oils Portion DC to Create Cost
Farflame Oil Flask 15 2gp
Bladefire Flask 20 20gp
Ghostoil Flask 25 50gp
Vicious Bleeder Flask 25 50gp
Weapons Portion DC to Create Cost
Arrow, Alchemist’s Arrow Special 75gp
Bullet, Alchemist’s Sling Bullet Special 10gp
Bullet, Priest’s Sling Bullet 25gp

Acidic Fire: This alchemical concoction combines alchemist’s fire with a strong acid. It is very effective against trolls. A direct hit with acidic fire deals 1d4 points of acid damage and 1d4 points of fire damage. Every creature within 5-feet of the point where the acidic fire hits takes 1 point of acid damage and 1 point of fire damage from the splash. On the round following a direct hit, the target takes an additional 1d4 points of fire damage; this damage can be avoided in the same way as for alchemist’s fire (PHB, 128).

Arrow, Alchemist’s: Each of these projectiles carries a deadly load of alchemist’s fire in its hollow shaft. When it strikes a target, the arrow’s shaft shatters, releasing the alchemist’s fire directly onto its target. One round after impact, the alchemist’s fire ignites, dealing 1d4 points of damage. The arrow can also be filled with alchemist’s frost or acidic fire. Crafting an alchemist’s arrow requires two separate craft checks; the first is to craft the specially-prepared arrow, which is treated as a masterworks arrow. The second is to craft the payload, which uses the DC for the relevant alchemical substance.

Bladefire: Similar to alchemist’s fire but less volatile, this thick, adhesive liquid ignites when exposed to air. The barbarians of the Southern Frostedge often pour bladefire along the length of their battleaxes, causing the weapon to burn for a short time. A weapon treated with bladefire burns for 1d4+1 rounds. While burning, the weapon sheds light as a torch. A weapon treated with bladefire deals 1 additional point of fire damage with each successful hit. Applying bladefire to a weapon is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Bladefire is thick enough that once applied, it does not flow down the weapon, preventing it from harming the user.

Bullet, Alchemist’s: These hollow glass sling bullets can be filled with alchemist’s fire, alchemist’s frost, or acid. When they strike a target, they immediately shatter, dealing 1d4 points of the relevant type of damage in addition to the normal damage from the sling bullet. To hold a sufficient payload, these bullets must be larger than normal. The increased size makes the bullets awkward and unwieldy to launch, imposing a -1 penalty on the attack role. Crafting an alchemist’s bullet requires two separate craft checks. The first is a DC 20 Craft (glassblowing) check. The second is to craft the payload, which uses the DC for the relevant alchemical substance.

Bullet, Priest’s: These hollow glass sling bullets function just as alchemist’s bullets, except that they hold holy water. Undead and evil outsiders take 1d4 points of holy damage from the holy water in addition to the normal damage from the sling bullet.

Candle, Focusing: These large, green candles have been used in meditation by the goblin monks of the Bloodspire Peaks for centuries. The candles burn quickly, lasting only an hour despite their size. While burning, the focusing candle fills the air with a fresh, crisp odor. The candle is a great boon to those engaged in strenuous mental activity, sharpening most cognitive processes. Characters within 20 feet of a burning candle of focus gain a +2 circumstance bonus on the following skill checks: Appraise, Craft, Concentration, Decipher Script, Disable Device, Forgery and Search. When making a skill check that takes more than one action to complete, characters only gain the benefit from the focusing candle if they spend the entire duration of the skill check within range of the burning candle.

Candle, Restful: This thick blue candle burns slowly, filling the air with a sweet, relaxing scent for 8 hours. These candles, although slow to function, have tremendous restorative abilities, and are often prescribed by naturalists. Characters that spend a night of rest sleeping within 20 feet of a lit candle heal at twice the rate they normally would. After a day of light activity, characters that rest under the influence of the candle heal double their level in hit points and 2 points of ability damage. After a day of complete rest, characters that sleep under the influence of the candle heal three times their level in hit points and 2 points of ability damage. The benefits of a restful candle stack with those provided by someone providing long-term care with the Heal skill.

Clearbreath: This vial of blue smoke temporarily dulls the sense of smell when someone inhales the contents through the nose. It contains many of the same ingredients as the alchemical version of a scentbreaker, although here they are much less potent. Clearbreath provides a +4 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saves made to resist unpleasant odors (such as from a troglodyte’s stench). The effects of clearbreath last for 1 hour.

Darkblind: Darkblind stones are small stones treated with alchemical substances, giving them a faint purple sheen. You can throw a darkblind stone as a grenade-like weapon. When it strikes a hard surface, it releases a burst of violet light. The light illuminates a 10-foot radius area for an instant and temporarily interferes with the darkvision of those caught in its effects. Creatures within 10 feet of the impact point must succeed on a DC 15 Reflex save or lose their darkvision ability for 10 minutes. Darkblind has no effect on normal and low-light vision, and is a favored tactic of elven monster-hunters.

Darkvision Powder: This plain grey powder is unassuming; it can’t be seen with normal vision from more than 10 feet away. When viewed with darkvision however, it glows brightly. The dwarves of Kahnor-Duum commonly use this powder to write messages that other creatures cannot read. Each vial contains enough powder for a reasonably lengthy sentence.

Defoliator: This vile liquid has a muddy brown hue and smells of rotten plant life. You can throw a flask of defoliator as a grenade-like weapon. On a direct hit, it deals 2d4 points of damage to plant creatures and kills normal plants of Medium-size or smaller. The splash damage from defoliator deals 1 point of damage to plant creatures and kills normal plants that are smaller than Medium-size. Doors, weapons and other object made of wood also take damage from defoliator, though their hardness applies.

Disappearing Ink: After being used to write a message, this blue or red ink vanishes from view at the end of an hour (though ink can be made, at greater expense, that will disappear after longer periods). Heat (such as a candle flame) applied to the writing surface makes the ink appear again. A DC 20 Spot or Search check reveals traces of the writing.

Farflame Oil: This thin, light green oil burns with a green flame and illuminates a wide area. When used in a lantern, farflame oil sheds light in a 40-foot radius. In a bullseye lantern, it illuminates a cone 80 feet long and 25 feet wide. A pint of farflame oil fuels a lantern for 3 hours. A pint of farflame oil covers a 5-foot square area if poured on the ground. If lit, farflame oil burns for 1 round and deals 1d4 points of damage to each creature in the area.

Frost, Alchemist’s: A thin liquid that grows extremely cold when exposed to air, alchemist’s frost functions like alchemist’s fire except that it deals 1d8 points of cold damage on a direct hit (and 1 point of cold damage to those it splashes), rather than fire damage. It deals no additional damage after the initial damage.

Ghostoil: This clear oil has a slight tint of grey, and strange, wispy forms seem to swirl through it. When applied to a weapon, ghostoil allows it to affect incorporeal creatures normally for the next 2 rounds. One flask of ghostoil contains enough liquid to coat one weapon of Large size or smaller. Applying ghostoil to a weapon is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

Gravebane: This thick white liquid evaporates almost instantly upon contact with air, creating a thin, nearly invisible smoke. The smoke is nearly odorless, and has no effect on most creatures. Undead however, are repulsed by the smoke and can only pass through it with an effort of will. When opened (usually by throwing it on the ground), a flask of gravebane fills a 5-foot square area with smoke. Undead cannot enter an area filled with gravebane smoke unless they succeed on a DC 10 Will save. Undead can attack into a gravebane-filled area normally as long as they do not enter the area to do so. Gravebane ordinarily lasts for 1 minute, although strong winds may decrease this duration.

Gunpowder: Gunpowder is basically the result of advancements in the explosive power of smokepowder. Unlike smokepowder, gunpowder burns relatively cleanly and can even explode under the right conditions. An ounce of gunpowder consumes itself in 1 round and illuminates the same area as a torch. If gunpowder becomes wet, it is rendered useless.

Hawk’s Ointment: This thick, acidic gel temporarily sharpens the user’s vision. Once its beneficial effect wear off however, the gel burns and stings the eyes for a few minutes. After spreading the gel over her eyes, a character gains a +6 alchemical bonus on Search and Spot checks for 2 minutes. After the duration expires, she takes a -2 penalty on Search and Spot checks for 10 minutes. Characters that spend a round washing out their eyes with clean water halve the duration of the penalty. Applying hawk’s ointment is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

Instant Rope: Invented by the gnomish alchemists of the Anterast province; when poured from a flask, this viscous black liquid forms into a long cord usable as a temporary rope. Upon being exposed to air, the liquid rapidly increases in both volume and viscosity, swelling to the size of a typical hemp rope, and then quickly drying. A flask of instant rope forms a 30-foot long cord; it takes 2 rounds for it to solidify and dry enough to be used. Once dry, it can support as much weight as a normal hemp rope. After an hour, instant rope becomes too brittle to support any weight and quickly crumbles into dust.

Longbreath: This thick, brown-tinted smoke is a great boon to anyone who needs to go without air for more than a few rounds. After inhaling longbreath, a character can hold his breath for 3 rounds per point of constitution, rather than 1 round per point. Longbreath can be used after the character begins holding his breath. The benefit applies from that point forward.

Motelight: This flask contains a clear liquid filled with faintly glowing sparks of light. You can throw a flask of motelight as a grenade-like weapon. When it strikes a hard surface, a flask of motelight creates a small area filled with rapidly moving sparks. The sparks are distracting, but cause no damage. Creatures within a 5-foot radius attempting to cast a spell must succeed on a DC 10+spell level Concentration check or loose the spell. If the caster must make a Concentration check for another reason, the motelight applies no additional penalty.

Nature’s Draught: This tiny vial contains a murky, pungent liquid. When consumed, nature’s draught causes subtle changes in the drinker’s scent. It is often drunk by the orcs of the Greatpass Plains. Animals respond well to a character who has consumed nature’s draught, finding her less threatening and easier to trust. Drinking a vial of nature’s draught provides a +2 circumstance bonus on all Handle Animal, Ride and Wild Empathy checks made during the next day.

Polar Skin: This dull white cream provides limited protection against cold-based damage. Polar skin becomes ineffective once it has absorbed 5 points of cold damage. Regardless of whether it absorbs any damage, polar skin loses its effectiveness 1 hour after application. Polar skin does not stack with magical protection from cold. Applying polar skin takes 1 minute.

Scentbreaker: This small bag contains either a collection of aromatic herbs, if provided by a druid or naturalist, or a strongly scented alchemical mixture, if provided by an alchemist. Either version can confound any creature’s sense of smell. You can toss the bag as a grenade-like weapon with a range increment of 10 feet, or you can scatter the contents someplace where a creature tracking by scent will come across it (it covers an area 5 feet square). Once scattered, the contents remain potent for 1 hour. A creature can sniff the bag’s contents from a direct hit, from a splash, or from sniffing the area where the contents were scattered. If struck by a direct hit, the creature must succeed at a DC 18 Fortitude save or lose its scent ability for 1 minute. After the minute is up, the creature must make a second DC 18 Fortitude save or lose its scent ability for 1 hour. Being splashed or sniffing the scattered contents has the same effect, but the save DC is 15. A direct hit or splash affects only one creature of Small or larger size. The contents affects all creatures Tiny or smaller in a 5-foot square.

Signal Torch: These simple items are normal torches treated with a variety of alchemical substances to colour the flames. Signal torches each burn with a differently coloured flame.

Sleep Gas: This liquid evaporates quickly when exposed to air, creating a temporary, mildly toxic cloud that puts living creatures to sleep. You can throw a flask of sleep gas as a grenade- like weapon. It has a range increment of 10 feet. On a direct hit (splashes have no effect because the gas dissipates instantly), a living target must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or fall asleep for 1 round. After 1 round, the target must make another DC 15 Fortitude save or sleep 1d4 additional minutes. The sleep gas affects creatures that are immune to magical sleep effects but not creatures that are immune to poison. Spells and effects that cancel or counter poisons (such as Neutralize Poison) are effective against the gas. Awakening a sleeping creature is a standard action.

Smokestick, Noxious: A variation of the common smokestick, this object mixes a noxious chemical with the smokepowder that coats the stick. When ignited, it pours forth extremely foul- smelling smoke. Besides the effects of a regular smokestick, all creatures within the smoke must make a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw or become nauseated for 1 round.

Smokepowder: Smokepowder creates a thick, opaque black smoke when ignited. 1 powder horn of smokepowder acts as a smokestick, but is bulkier to carry around.

Stonebreaker Acid: Stonebreaker acid was invented by the dwarves to help with their mining and tunneling under the mountains. It only affects stone, and a flask of it can be thrown as a grenade-like weapon. A direct hit on a stone surface ignores hardness and deals 3d10 points of damage. On the round after a direct hit, stonebreaker acid deals a further 2d10 points of damage.

Verminbane: This tightly sealed flask contains a pale green smoke. When released into the air, the smoke fills a 10-foot square area. Most creatures are unaffected by the smoke, although humanoids generally find the smell unpleasant. Vermin however, find the smoke almost intolerable. To pass thorough an area filled with verminbane, vermin must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save. Verminbane lasts for 1 minute, although strong winds may decrease this duration.

Vicious Bleeder: This thick orange gel is a powerful anticoagulant, and is often used by naturalists during surgery. A wound by a weapon coated with vicious bleeder continues to bleed for 2 rounds, dealing 1 additional point of damage each of those rounds. Appling vicious bleeder to a weapon (of any size) is a full-round action that provokes and attack of opportunity. Once applied to a weapon, vicious bleeder lasts for 1 minute before it becomes inert. One flask contains enough to coat one weapon of Large size or smaller. Vicious bleeder does not affect constructs, elementals, oozes, outsiders or undead.

Herbs

Most communities and cultures have been harvesting and using herbs for as long as they can remember for any number of effects. The effects of many herbs are only regionally known, and this is not unusual as many herbs only grow in certain areas of Ivalice. Often popular or particularly beneficial herbs will be exported from their indigenous region all across Ivalice.

Baron Algust von Shleppinstein

If one has the appropriate knowledge about how to find a certain herb, via a Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (geography) or Profession (herbalist) check, they may then search for suitable quantities of it using a DC 15 Survival or Profession (herbalist) check.

Herbs Portion DC to Create Cost
Entroot Jar Special 50gp
Ithir Dose Special 10gp
Maaroo Leaves Dose Special 25gp

Entroot: Contrary to popular belief, entroot is not what it sounds like. Rather, it is the prickly root of a small shrub with bluish-purple followers which grows in southern Elm. It is prized by kobolds for its medicinal properties. The exposed flesh of entroot rubbed directly onto an open wound will cure 2 hit point of damage. Entroot can also be refined into a tea that doubles the effects of natural healing by healing 1 additional point of temporary ability damage per day when consumed.

Ithir: Ithir is a small shrub similar to a mustard plant found in the Greatwood. Its seeds can be ground into a fine, tasteless powder that suppresses male fertility. Men who want to avoid fathering children use this herb. A male humanoid that eats about a teaspoon of ithir is rendered infertile for a period of 3d4 days, although it requires about an hour before the herb takes effect. Stories abound of disloyal courtiers dosing their lords in order to prevent the conception of a royal heir. Using either the Heal skill or Profession (herbalist), the effects can be detected with a DC 15 check and countered with a DC 20 check.

Maaroo Root: Maaroo root is the tough and stringy root of the Maaroo tree, found in areas of the Eastgrove province. Although it tastes terrible, chewing it will heal 1d4 hit points of damage in about an hour.

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Alchemy

The Dungeon & Dragon Shleppinstein