Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Chemist

I've had a whole bunch of cool ideas locked up in my Mad Scientist Witch for a long time. I've also been looking for another class for The Turtle Moved, my meatpunk setting, to replace clerics. The solution? The miracle of chemistry!

by Daeyoon Huh
"Two parts boil, one part bubble, one part toil, one part trouble... nonsense. Bring me the saltpeter and sulfur."

Level 1: Alchemy, Reagent Hunter, 2 Formulae
Level 2: 1 Trick, +1 Formula
Level 3: +1 Trick, +1 Formula
Level 4: Magnum Opus, +1 Formula, +1 Trick

Hit Die: d6
Starting Equipment: Cauldron, alchemical tools (tongs, vials, solvents, etc), book of formulae, 3 reagents
Skills: Alchemy and d6: 1. Cooking, 2. Cultistry, 3. Herbology, 4. Philosophy, 5. Poisoning, 6. Witchcraft

Alchemy: With a cauldron and your alchemical tools, you have the training to make alchemical Crafts out of the Formulae you know. To do alchemy, you invest a part of yourself into your work. When you make a Craft with a Formula, you expend one or more magical or valuable Reagents (some examples: d100 Catalysts), and roll up to (level) d6s. Subtract the (sum) from the listed ability score, until the Craft is used up. Use the chosen number of (dice) and the rolled (sum) where listed in the Craft. The Craft's effects will vary based on the properties of the Reagent you used.

Reagent Hunter: You have an eye for magical trinkets with alchemical properties. You can lick an item to determine if it's magical (or at least not-mundane-enough to be worth turning into a Craft). When you're in an interesting location, you can harvest a reagent from the area on a (level)-in-6.

Tricks: Little things you've figured out to make your job easier.
1. Alchemic Grafts: You may fuse your Crafts into the bodies of living things. When fused, they apply the stat penalty to their host, but last for their maximum duration.
2. Magic Maker: There's magic in anything if you use enough layers of metaphor. You can construct a new reagent from a mundane item, given a laboratory and a daily rest. Crafts made with these reagents are capped at 1 die and 1 sum.
3. Mass Production: When you mix a Formula, you may make up to (sum) Crafts with (sum) divided across them. (dice) for each of these Crafts is 1.
4. Mutatis Mutandis: You can add an extra (die) to mutate your Craft on the spell mutation table. Don't add this die to (dice) or (sum), but do subtract the result from the listed score.
5. Quick Mix: You can mix a Formula in one turn, instead of ten minutes. If you do, subtract (dice)*6 from the listed score, instead of (sum). Takes the whole turn, you still need the cauldron.
6. Scrimper: You can reuse reagents once. When reused, (sum) = (dice).

Magnum Opus: Invent a new formula! Sacrifice points from a random score each time you mix it.

1. Bomb (STR): Invest your strength into a purely destructive tool. When used, it explodes, dealing (sum) damage of a type relevant to the reagent (save for half) in a (dice)*10' radius and applying an effect based on the reagent's properties. Can set to detonate on a timer or on impact (or both!). Spent points return after detonation.

2. Drug (STR): Create a drug that when taken gives +(dice) to one score and -(dice) to another, and a relevant positive and negative mutation or a relative mixed mutation. Lasts for (sum) hours. After the duration ends, anyone who takes the drug must CON save vs. addiction. Failure makes the penalties stay around until you've spent a week sober for each hit you've taken. Spent points return after the drug is taken.

3. Creation (DEX): The reagent becomes a (sum)*(sum)' cube of related material! Can be set to transmute on a timer or impact. Lasts for (sum) minutes/hours/days/months (1/2/3/4 dice). Spent points return after duration expires. You may make it expire early with special solvents from your kit.

4. Ray (DEX): Slowly release the built-up magical energies of the reagent to fire rays that deal (dice)d6 damage of a type relevant to the reagent and apply a relevant effect (range 100'), equivalent to a minor wound. May make the effect stronger (equivalent to a major wound) by forgoing damage. Has (sum) charges. Spent points return after it runs out of charges.

5. Salve (CON): Restore or remove (sum) HP when applied (your choice) and give the applied creature either a temporary relevant mutation or resistance or vulnerability to a relevant damage type or effect. The effect lasts for (sum) minutes/hours/days (1/2/3+ dice) or until the salve is removed (it's probably not waterproof). Spent points return when effect expires.

6. Scroll (CON): Convert the reagent into a spell-capturing device that imprisons a relevant spell on a prepared piece of vellum soaked in pungent alchemical lures. It becomes a scroll with (dice) and (sum) equal to what you invested in the formula. Spent points return when the scroll is used.

7. Philosophy (INT): Write literature and theories inspired by your studies of a reagent. Disseminate it in town to get (sum) followers with skills and social status relevant to the reagent. They treat you as a near-spiritual leader, and form a cult of personality around you - though they won't actively go into combat for you, they'll do favors for shreds of your wisdom. You may also pick (dice) of the following.
- One follower has a class level in a relevant class
- d6 of your followers are of a higher social class, with connections in relevant places
- (dice) of your followers are willing to die for your cause
- Your followers have 10^(dice)gp they're willing to spend on the cause, no strings attached
Spent points return when you leave the development of the philosophy to others, causing your cult to leave you, or when you break the trust of your followers and they decide the philosophy is better off without you.

8. Spirit (INT): Summon and bind a powerful, intelligent spirit that's drawn to the reagent. It will perform (dice) favors for you. The spirit's power and capabilities are determined by (sum) (1 is a dog, 6 is a person, 12 is a wizard, 18 is an angel). When you dismiss it, or when the favors run out, you get the  points back.

9. Transmutation (WIS): You convert the reagent into a new similar magically potent thing. Any crafts made with it can't have (sum) higher than the first (sum) rolled for this. Needs an additional (die) to convert something already converted. Get points back when the reagent is destroyed or made into a Craft.

10. Paint (WIS): Apply a relevant property of the reagent to the surface or item you paint. Makes (sum)*dice square feet of paint. Restore points when paint is removed (you can do this with a paint scraper or with solvents in your alchemy kit).

11. Food (CHA): Cook a dish with up to (sum) servings. Each serving counts as a ration, provides a relevant temporary mutation ((sum) minutes), and has a property of the reagent (like keeping well, or tasting excellent, or poisoning the eater - see Butcher Cuts for inspiration). Points return when dish eaten and mutations wear off.

12. Homunculus (CHA): Create a being that follows your orders. It has base 8 in each ability score, with +(sum) to (dice) of those scores of your choice. It takes a form influenced by the reagent's nature, and has (dice) properties derived from the reagent. It's more independent the more (dice) you invest (dog/child/adult/outsider (1/2/3/4 dice)). It lasts for (sum) hours/days/weeks/months (1/2/3/4 dice). Points return whem homunculus is destroyed (you may destroy it yourself, though life preserves itself at any cost...)

Anyone else who wants to make a Craft out of a formula can try, with appropriate instructions (an elementary alchemy textbook would be a good start), but the value of each die is capped at the number of the following they have: advanced books on alchemy, an additional copy of the reagent, an expert on hand to help out, a year of alchemy training (this stacks up to three times).


  1. Is Food the optimal choice? You can make it, lose the points, eat the meal and regain the points while still having the benefit. Also, what happens if you drop to 0 in the process? A very interesting take

    1. Hmm - I should add a specific duration to the mutation, and maybe get points back after the mutation expires.

      If you drop to 0 in the process, you're incapacitated. Maybe dying, I'm not sure - currently in process of reworking wounds *again*.


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