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Homebrew WIP: Chimerical Alchemy. Comments/Criticism/ideas appreciated.

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  • Homebrew WIP: Chimerical Alchemy. Comments/Criticism/ideas appreciated.

    One thing I found that the core rules don't quite properly cover is how to craft "temporary" items with non-discrete states of being. That is, the rules are good for crafting "a shirt", "a sword", "an airship", "a mechanical steed," etc, but the rules for crafting "universal solvent", "chimerical ink", "rocket fuel", etc. are missing.

    Naturally, I decided to start homebrewing a system. Being a very "game-y" sort of player/ST, I decided to shamelessly co-opt the alchemy system from Elder Scrolls. Currently, this is the "core" of what I have:

    =Chimerical Alchemy Fundamental Rules=

    When you harvest Dross from a dead Chimera, keep track the Dross by what kind of Chimera that it was harvested from

    A Draught is a catch-all term for "potion-like" substances which contains several Redes on it which activate on the target of the Draught. A Draught is made through an Intelligence+Chimerical Alchemy roll. Chimerical Alchemy is considered a Secondary Knowledge, with optional specializations in poisons, curatives, utility potions, etc. In order to make a Draught, you need two to four units of Dross, each from a distinct type of Chimera. For example, you can create a Draught with one Dross from a Cu Sith and one Dross from a Fairy Cat. You could not create a Draught from two Dross of a Fairy Cat.
    For each Rede that appears on at least two of the Chimera whose dross is used, that Rede appears in the Draught.
    -Example: Using one Dross gathered from a Cu Sith and one Dross gathered from an Outsider would produce a Draught of Fear, since both Chimera have the Fear Rede.
    -Example: Using one Dross gathered from a Cu Sith, one Dross gathered from an Outsider, and one Dross gathered from a Fairy Cat would produce a Draught of Fear and Hide, since the Outsider has the Fear & Hide Redes, the Cu Sith has the Fear Rede, and the Fairy Cat has the Hide Rede.
    The roll to produce a Draught is an extended Intelligence+Chimerical Alchemy roll, Difficulty 6, requiring two successes for each ingredient used in the Draught.

    A Draught can be taken internally, or applied to a non-bashing damage weapon; in the second case, the Draught lasts for a single strike, and applies when the weapon scores a hit on a target.

    =Where I want to expand this=
    The first thing I want to do is to expand the Alchemy system, so that there are different vectors besides liquid Draughts. For example, the ability to create powders, salts, sprays, oils, gels, etc.

    The next thing I would want to do is to tweak the difficulty modifiers, as well as to have other meta-options. For example, "binary compounds" which do not actually activate until some sort of trigger occurs: Glamour, balefire, fubars, etc.

    Optionally, Draughts/compounds can be spent on the crafting of certain Treasures/Chimerical items for a value=the amount of Dross used to create them, based on the appropriate Rede->effect mapping. For example, Armor Spray used to build a fortified Chimerical Shield.

    Ideally, I would like to write rules for assorted pieces of alchemical gear. For example, some mortar&pestle, calcinator, retorts, pressers, etc. will be better at handling some types of recipes, add secondary effects, etc. Some other rules for items like siphons, grenade flasks, storage vats, etc. of course.

    The next thing I would want to do is comb through older Treasures (e.x. from Kithbook Nockers) and map what sort of Rede Combos are needed for, say, Chimerical camera film, engine poison, universal solvent, etc.

    After that, go through the assorted Redes to see if any unusual interactions/options would need to be mechanically expanded on. Kithbook Nocker explained that excessive FUBAR discharge can bleed over into the material world as arc lightning or other strange phenomena, so the idea of certain compounds being able to Wyrd their targets is of potential interest.

    And finally (for now...), I would want to do is add some "prices"/rarities for finding assorted pieces of Dross on the Goblin Market.

  • #2
    Originally posted by MagicJuggler View Post

    Ideally, I would like to write rules for assorted pieces of alchemical gear. For example, some mortar&pestle, calcinator, retorts, pressers, etc. will be better at handling some types of recipes, add secondary effects, etc. Some other rules for items like siphons, grenade flasks, storage vats, etc. of course.
    I feel like that might be a step too far? Unless you are playing an all crafter game you generally just have one person engaging in it while others do not. Instead might I suggest Workshops as your level of customization? A formula might have a minimum workshop level with minor penalties or bonuses based on specialization of the workshop rather than having to write a whole book of mortars?

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    • #3
      Fair. I may just restrict it to a crafting modifier, with the odd blurb on using Arts/Treasures to create unusual effects. The big one of course would be the "killswitch poison/cyanide capsule," which uses Contracts 3 in order to tie the combination/release of a tailored toxin with breaking of an Oath.

      The other stuff would mostly be "means" of delivery then. So siphons/flamers, gel balloons launched by catapult, etc.

      Naturally, "Chimerical Alchemy among the Kithain" would talk about its role in society. Everything from Boggan dye-making to Fiona designer drugs, to even Dreambane from Kingdom of Willows (as well as how to craft it!)

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      • #4
        I'm all for this, I feel like these things are portrayed to exist but we just don't get rules for them. Blood Dimmed Tides has a Satyr with Alchemy for instance, but that might be mortal magic.

        I'm more inclined to mess with the crafting side of things rather than the potion brewing. I feel making chimerical items and inventions is interesting and can be fantastical relatively easy compared to other gamelines and crafting magical stuff. The balance of course is Chimerical reality only really half existing, and being Vulnerable to Banality. But for instance you can create treasure tied to Freeholds comparatively easier then just making freeform Treasures. So I feel you can just build fantastical things with Dross, especially if you keep it on the dreaming side of reality or hidden away in a Freehold or glen. And if you really invest in it with occult knowledge and truly potent dross it can be truly wonderous.


        It is a time for great deeds!

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        • #5
          I feel like a derp and realized one of the things I missed out on was to include "Plot hooks" for the assorted sections. Everything from investigating Dreamers being abducted in order to render their dreams into alchemical components, to a business meeting going to chaos due to chimerical toxins meant to target the one Kith among mortals. There's the old "quest to find me 10 bear pelts" trope, as well as the option for historical games. The discussion of how Changeling alchemy reacts to certain discoveries would be notable too (I imagine some Nockers claim to have introduced the idea of nuclear transmutation).

          Potions are not the only other thing to be brewed of course, and chances are that Goblin Moonshine must have been all the rage during the Roaring 20s. Likewise, assorted blends, edibles, confections...

          Perhaps some ST notes, such as the fact that potions are more "Eye of Newt," less "1 Dross unit of Newt," and some worldbuilding about Kithain drug culture (and whether Hunter S. Thompson was a Dreamer).

          Also, as tempting as it would be to make "Wyrdstone" a form of solidified glamour that exists in the autumn world, I feel that this would be an obvious Mordheim reference. So a more copyright-friendly name would be appreciated there.
          Last edited by MagicJuggler; 10-06-2019, 06:27 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MagicJuggler View Post
            Potions are not the only other thing to be brewed of course, and chances are that Goblin Moonshine must have been all the rage during the Roaring 20s. Likewise, assorted blends, edibles, confections...

            Perhap)
            Taking from the Moonshine in kingdom of the willows I've updated things with other drugs having similar effects. Functioning as Enchanting the user for the duration.

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