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MyGURPS - Tian Xia Alchemy

Tian Xia Alchemy

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Learning Alchemy

Cost: An aspect related to alchemical training, like Apprentice Alchemist or Town Sage. The Alchemy skill at +1 or better (or one of the below stunts that replace Alchemy skill).

Improving Alchemy

  • Raise Alchemy skill, per the usual rules.
  • Add any of the stunts below.

The Alchemy Skill

This skill cannot be used untrained, and requires access to equipment, ingredients, and sufficient time. A simple work could take an hour, and more complicated works take at least a day. (Taking more time - from an hour to half a day, from a day to a few days, etc. - grants a boost.) The true limiter is having adequate supplies. A character with a lab is assumed to have basic materials on hand, though retrieving or purchasing exotic material counts as having aspects to invoke.

Uses of this skill include:

  • Overcome. Many alchemical creations are meant to overcome problems through medicinal use, whether addressing consequences or removing a situational aspect like Sickened or Drunk. Alchemy also covers deciphering another’s alchemical formula through either its effect or from a sample - to replicate it or create an antidote for it.
  • Create an Advantage. The main use of Alchemy, to bestow aspects like Invigorated, Poisoned, or Sleepy. Delivery is often through consumption, but some alchemy works through inhalation, skin contact, or other vectors. The GM will set the difficulty for helpful brews. The difficulty for hostile effects is the target's Physique (or Physique + a modifier for particularly broad or rule-bending potions). A subject with Chi at +2 or greater is assumed to practice "internal alchemy"; this allows her to resist using Chi if higher than Physique, and to do so as an opposed roll.
  • Attack. Some brews inflict stress and possibly consequences. Treat this as an attack, using the same rules as for creating advantages.
  • Defend. Alchemy cannot be used to Defend.
  • Other. Alchemists are not known for walking into adventure empty-handed. These characters can invoke their alchemy-related aspect to declare that they have a potion or poultice on hand that addresses the situation. Treat the rating of the concoction as if the alchemist rolled +0 on the dice to create it, though the character can invoke aspects to increase it as if rolled. If Alchemy skill is at least Good (+3), the alchemist has one free invoke per session for this purpose. The GM might restrict this based on the story, such as if the character has been away from the lab for weeks.

Alchemy Stunts

Masters of alchemy can perform greater acts with their works, even ones that transgress what many believe are laws of nature.

Exotic Alchemist: The character works with sorcerous ritual components, like the blood of a dragon or a rare lotus that holds innate properties. The alchemist can use those ingredients to create a masterwork capable of violating laws of nature: turn lead into gold, cause diseases that slowly transform a human, and so on. These potions take a week or longer of focused time to create and require at least Great (+4) rolls to succeed. For details, see pp. 39 and 42 of Spirits, Beasts & Spells.

Masterful Crafts: (Requires Crafts at +1 or better.) The alchemist is as adept at alchemy as at other crafts. She can use Crafts in place of Alchemy, removing the need to take Alchemy skill separately.

Natural Alchemist: (Requires Chi at +1 or better.) The character’s alchemical talents come from within, not from years of study. He uses Chi in place of Alchemy, removing the need to take Alchemy skill separately. As well, he has +1 to Chi when Defending against alchemical effects. However, he cannot use this skill to study another’s alchemical works. He can attempt to counteract others’ effects but cannot deduce anything about the work or the alchemist.

Skilled Poisoner: The alchemist is particularly adept at making toxic substances. She has a +1 bonus to overcome poisons, and any poison-related advantages she creates with the Alchemy skill treat their invocation bonus as +3 instead of the normal +2. (Similar stunts exist for skilled medicine makers, solvent and glue crafters, and so on.)

Wild Brewmaster: The alchemist learned the skill in the wilds and does not need a lab. He can easily identify herbs and other reagents nearly anywhere and knows how to make them work with those possessions he regularly carries. This means that when in a lab, the alchemist is able to better work, receiving a +1 to Alchemy actions in optimal conditions.

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