Powers and Perils


Cost to Learn:80
Cost Next Level:7
Maximum EL:(I+Em) or 80

This skill is the art of making creature- or mineral-based potions, poisons and anti-dotes. It also includes the ability to find and recognize the necessary ingredients. Where the herbalist focuses on plant and animal based materials to prepare potions, the alchemist mainly uses minerals, metals and materials derived from creatures. The Alchemist may function as a Herbalist at 1/2 his EL.

Success with the skill will indicate proper recognition or proper preparation of the item. Partial Success indicates that the Alchemist is unsure of his analysis and will require further study. In the other case, it indicates that the preparation is up to 20% too weak or too strong. The Referee will modify its effect as described by the Herbalist skill. If the Alchemist fails, the analysis is incorrect or produces a potion with the opposite effect of that desired. In either case, he will be sure that he has succeeded.

The Alchemist gains an advantage in detecting poisons, for example in foods. He may use his skill level as an extra bonus in detecting poisons. His chances further depend on whether or not he is actively looking for a poison and how well it is hidden.

In making poisons, the BL*2 of the poison is added to the Success Roll. The Success Chance is further influenced by the type of poison the Alchemist is trying to make. The modifiers from the table below are added to the Success Roll, they are additive.

Poison Modifier
Slow Death 0
Other +5
Death +10
Paralytic +15
Debilitating +20
Immediate Death +25
For ingestion -5
For use on weapons +5
Gaseous +10

EXAMPLE - An Alchemist (EL 62) tries to make a BL 10 ingestive slow death poison. His chance of doing so is 62-(20-5), 47%. If he tried to make a BL20 gaseous immedeate death poison, his chance would be 62-(40+25+10), -13%. The best he can hope for is Partial Success.

Success in making a poison generally yields 2D10 doses. Partial Success yields a poison that is either too weak and will do up to 20% less damage, or uses a 20% lower BL, or falls within a category which has a lower modifier (i.e. a weapon poison could come out as an ingestive poison), or a combination of these effects. Failure yields an innocent mixture, or a mixture with an opposite effect. Success rolls should be taken by the Referee.

Debilitating poisons

The poison causes the person affected to lose energy, strength and stamina. Each value is reduced by BL * 2 if the poison succeeds. The duration of the reduction is BL days. Per success the reduction is implemented. If at any time the victim's energy level reaches zero or less, the victim is dead.

Other poisons

These can cause effects similar to some spells. Possible spells are: blindness, disease, disorder, forgetfullness, pain, sleep mist, sleep touch or insanity. Other spells at discretion of referee. The BMC of the spell must be less than or equal to EL/10, r.d.

Gaseous poisons

These posions have to be inhaled to take effect. They have to be kept in a container until used. If the container is opened, the gas spreads in a EL/10" (r.u.) radius. It will stay 1D6+1 phases. In open areas the poison will work in a EL/20" (r.d.) radius only, during 1D3* phases. A radius of 0" indicates the poison works in the hex the container is opened in only.


The rules for making anti-dotes are the same as for making poisons. Unless the Referee decides otherwise, all anti-dotes are ingestive. When an anti-dote is taken, roll on the Magic Table as for poisons to see whether the anti-dote works. If Success occurs and the BL of the anti-dote is greater than or equal to the BL of the poison, the poison is negated completely. If the BL is less, reduce the BL of the poison by the BL of the anti-dote to determine the effective BL of the poison for the remaining duration and damage of the poison. Failure of any kind has no effect.

Anti-dotes for death poisons may also be used against slow death poisons at their full power; anti-dotes for immedeate death poisons may be used against death and slow death poisons in the same manner. Anti-dotes for a death poison may be tried against an immedeate death poison at half their power. Divide the BL by 2, r.d. The same holds for slow death anti-dotes used against death poisons. Used against immedeate death poisons the BL is divided by 4, r.d.

EXAMPLE - The chance for the Alchemist above to make a BL10 anti-dote for a Death Poison is 62-(20+10-5), 37%. Used against a BL8 death poison, Success negates the poison. Against a BL20 death poison, Success reduces the poisons BL to 10. Use this BL to calculate any further damage. Used against an immedeate death poison, it functions as a BL5 anti-dote.

NOTE - This skill replaces the Poisoner skill. The Herbalist skill is modified so that the Herbalist may use 1/2 his skill level as an Alchemist. He may make poisons from plant based materials. The strength of these poisons depends on the ingredients used and the discretion of the Referee. See Book IV for more information on poisons and anti-dotes.

Wout Broere