This skill is only available as a part of the Alchemist Secondary-Trade. This sub-skill will add the skills of brewing and concocting, with the aid or use of his own or another’s magick, various potions, powders, philters, salves, unguents, incenses, or other more exotic preparations, including those described in the text of the Herbal Secondary, which will carry a magickal effect to the Alchemist’s portfolio of knowledge and skill.
Elixirs will generally appear as clear or translucent liquids, sometimes effervescent and sparkling, while potions can be slightly thicker in texture, more viscous, and may also be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Philters can appear as either of these, all of which must be drunk to deliver their effect. Unguents and ointments are viscous semi-liquids somewhat thicker than the texture of a potion, appearing transparent, translucent, or opaque and must be used to anoint specific parts of the recipient’s body, according to the nature of the magick (GM’s discretion). Salves are thick, translucent or opaque gels that must be applied to the user’s whole body. Perfumes are highly concentrated thin liquids that must be used with some sort of atomizer, while the powder can be either coarsely ground or finely ground into a dust and will include snuffs, which must be inhaled through the nose. These can be applied either all over the user’s body or to a specific area, as appropriate to the nature of the magick it carries. The player must work out the specifics with the GM. All such substances will have particular scents or odors, those rendered as perfumes being especially concentrated and pleasant in fragrance.
The Alchemist may produce almost any sort of substance for the purpose of carrying magickal power, but the manner of its use must be specified and appropriate to it’s power. If the Alchemist also has the Combustibles skill, he can combine it with this skill to make smudgepots or bombs or flashpots or bombs to carry AoE-type magickal effects.
Though their knowledge is based around the products of the earth, for the purposes of this skill, this subskill also includes some herbcraft, though only in so far as the substances rendered from the various parts of various plants can contribute to creating the substances discussed in this skill description. If the character also has the Forage skill, derived from some other source, he is able to use it to gather materials, herbs, minerals, but the proper techniques for milking poisonous animals will depend on having the Barber Secondary, while the proper methods for dissecting those freshly dead to obtain their venom or poison sacs, musk glands, or other organs significant to the Alchemist will depend on the Surgeon specialty of Barber.
Like many of the other Alchemist substances, the strength of these substances will all be measured in Levels of Potence, or just Potence (POT).
The POT of any of the substances created by the use of this skill is equal to the average of the Alchemist’s AV and the POT used by the caster when the magick is invested in it. The POT of the magick invested by the practitioner is divided by the number of doses the Alchemist has prepared before being averaged with the Alchemist’s AV to determine what the POT per dose is so the amount needed for a minimum POT of 1 can be determined, according to the rules provided under the Alchemist form of the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch in Chapter 3. of Part I. of The Grimoire in the GHB II.
IF the Alchemist is using the Combustibles skill to make smudgepots or bombs or flashpots or bombs with accompanying magickal effect(s), the Combustibles SL OR Potions SL (whichever is less) is used to determine the Alchemist’s AV before averaging with the POT used for the casting by the magickal practitioner.
The actual magickal effects to be carried by these substances will depend upon the magickal skills which can be secured for this purpose, BUT the Alchemist MUST know what magick or bundled magick(s) the substance is to carry before he makes the substance because if the potion (et al.) base does not match the magick it is intended to carry, the attempt to bind the magick to it after it is completed will fail, automatically, with no chance to recoup and no recourse.
No one substance is able to carry more than one magick effect or bundled magicks whose manifestations are interwoven to create a specific single magickal effect.
The magick to be invested in these substances must be commenced within (Alchemist’s AV) or (magicker’s MGA + trade SL) hours (whichever is shorter) of the Alchemist’s completion of it, and MUST be cast as Low Magick (in ritual Form). If not, the vital quality of the substance or quintessence that is compatible with the mana, allowing the substance to harbor the magick invested in a mortal form, will decay and grow corrupt, useless for its intended purpose (or for any other purpose, for that matter).
IF the magick to be imbued in the substance is Bumbled by the magicker, the Bumble itself is imbued in the substance, and the magicker will not be guaranteed to detect his mistake due to the absorptive quality of the substances towards magick. Only a successful “Read” (magick) by the practitioner will reveal the truth of the magick contained in the substance.
The rules for the application of these substances and the resulting POT of the magick according to the amount administered and the concentration of POT will all conform to the rules explained under the Alchemist form of the Hedge-Wizard or Hearth-Witch.
Only the Alchemist who has the skill to make these vehicle substances (“potion bases”) will have sufficient knowledge of the ingredients and properties of these substances to be able to make quick touch, smell, and taste tests (SL + AWA att. mod.) d100 checks to attempt to identify the nature of the magick contained in the substance. Such a check will NOT reveal the POT or the specific Art used to create the dweomer the substance carries.
Only a practitioner of one of the trades of magick is able to make quick touch, smell, and taste tests to judge the POT of those magickal substances he encounters in order to be able to measure out proper dosages. Such a check will NOT reveal the nature of the magick contained in the substance.
Only a character who is skilled as both Alchemist with training in the “Potion Bases” skill AND is also a practitioner of magick of some kind is able to judge both aspects of the power of any such substances encountered.
Unless the substance comes with directions, as it would if lawfully purchased, all other characters using these substances without benefit of magickal training must do so in a hit-or-miss fashion as to dosage, completely at their own risks.
The materials for the making any of the substances described in this skill will cost 1s. + (1d. per POT) per dose, however much that may be in STA or BP’s per volume for the applicable substance.
The Alchemist’s att. mod. for making substances as bases to carry magickal power is based on his AWA and CRD.
The Alchemist’s AV for making a given substance is substituted for the MGA of the Wizard casting the dweomer upon it in determining the magickal effects of those substances, insofar as the magick’s description involves the caster’s MGA.