Alchemist True

Alchemists are the proto-scientists and chemists of the period of the game. They study the ways in which the physical and spiritual worlds interact through natural science, philosophy and even a smattering of the spiritual principles of Metaphysics. Speculation on the nature of the universe, on the hidden nature of both mineral and organic substances, often absorbs them.

The work of the Alchemists encompasses both of what are known today as inorganic and organic chemistry, as well as pharmacology, geology, theoretical physics and a smattering of natural philosophy. From a very esoteric, philosophical, and spiritual point of view (to avoid confrontations of faith) they seek to classify the elements with their dialectic, Aristotelian reason and logic. Empirical test and study are considered to be neither the scholar’s method nor the medieval way of thought, except in the pursuit of specific projects (not whole, transferrable concepts). They explore the secret spiritual natures of physical things through their special skills, to evoke or imbue spiritual properties, create elixirs (derived from the Arabic for the Greek for “dry tincture”), potions, philters, powders, unguents, salves, and a wide variety of other similar unique substances, to make life a little easier or simply for the sake of accumulating knowledge.

In the pursuit of their arts, Alchemists make a common study of the physical properties of substances; the effects of applying heat and cold, their expansion with heat and contraction when cold, the fact that water is the exception to the rule, expanding as it freezes. They know of the weathering process, the properties of erosion and the resulting deposition, currents and tides, and the like, the changes that decomposition brings, the heat it generates. The lore of the earth is of special interest, too; the soil, such as that special soil used by artists to make their green-earth color; gems and stones like lapis lazuli ground for use in making the finest blue hues, rocks, metals, crystals, ores such as sulphur, cinnabar (mercury ore) ground by artists to make an intense red hue; how they interact with fire, water, and air; the nature of carbonization, the uses of ashes and soot, like the lampblack (literally soot from a lamp) used by artists as a pigment.

The Alchemist’s “Speculum”

Even though Alchemists are almost indelibly associated with scholasticism, the Alchemist True Trade can be considered as either a set of skills acquired from among the broad and diverse curricula of the universities OR the product of a formal, traditional apprenticeship, instead (player’s discretion), bringing an entirely different flavor to the character’s background. In order to have a formal university education as the source of an Alchemist True character’s Trade knowledge, the player must equip him/her also with a formal Scholastic Trade. In this case, he/she is presumed to have graduated with a PhD in Natural Philosophy & Metaphysics.

Whether a player decides his character’s knowledge of Alchemy stems from formal scholastic pursuits at university or through a traditional apprenticeship, this Trade represents no less a scholarly disposition and frame of mind.

As a reflection of the trade’s scholastic nature, every Alchemist is required to put his Linguist, Literatus, and Scrivener skills to good use during the course of his education/apprenticeship in keeping records of his lessons and lab work. By the time he completes his doctorate or apprenticeship, he has also compiled a Speculum,

The Speculum is an encyclopædic overview of the Alchemist’s art, knowledge and skills, a notebook of all known materials and substances, their appearances accompanied by meticulously rendered illustrations, their characteristics, common origins and usages, and also a wide variety of recipes or formulæ for many common substances and compounds (as follows).

This is a source book of trade knowledge kept on hand for general reference, containing knowledge to guide further exploration of the arts, and to aid in managing and coordinating the lore he gathers regarding the specific Trade Skill specialties.

The main volume of the Alchemist’s Speculum contains (AWA x 10) + [(TR) x (40 – AWA)] pages. 

Over the course of time spent earning each TR, once brought into play, the Alchemist is assumed to accumulate an additional (40 – AWA) pages (on average) of scribbled notes, thoughts, insights, theories and discoveries to add to his Speculum. 

In additional to this volume, the Alchemist is required to keep another journal or notebook for the knowledge of the specific Trade Skill specialties (chandlery; scents and perfumes; pigments and dyes; combustibles; caustics; drugs, poisons and venoms; substances prepared to carry an enchantment; etc.), a separate volume for each, but nonetheless also considered to be part of his Speculum.

Each Trade Skill volume of the Speculum has (40 – AWA) + [(AWA) x (Trade Skill SL)] pages in it. 

Over the course of time spent earning each SL in each Trade Skill, once brought into play, the Alchemist is assumed to accumulate an additional (40 – AWA) pages (on average) of scribbled notes, thoughts, insights, theories and discoveries to add to his Speculum. 

IF the Alchemist has the Herbal and/or Apothecary Trade(s) and/or the Forage Life Skill, the player must add those TR’s and/or SL’s to his Alchemist TR for the initial volume in determining the number of pages and also to the SL’s of the individual Trade Skill specialties for each additional volume of his Speculum he must keep, for these broaden the depth of the Lore the Alchemist possesses regarding the secrets of the Trade and the individual Trade Skill fields of study.

Once brought into play, the Alchemist Simple character is expected to continue to keep his Speculum after the fashion of a journal, recording his on-going work and researches, every project he has completed, his successes and failures, over the course of his career, used as a reference to consult as he formulates new projects, and to refresh his memory when he wishes to repeat old ones.

The character is responsible for maintaining all his Speculum volumes as he rises in TR and SL’s, so it’s important he makes sure the materials are kept on hand for maintaining these records, and that they are replenished when the increases in his SL’s indicate those materials have been depleted.

To exercise his Trade, the Alchemist must also have a lab to work in. This consists of a hodge-podge of beakers, vials, terracotta vessels, flasks, scales, weights, measures, alcohol lamps, mortars and pestles of various sizes, various sorts of tubing or piping, an astrolabe, alembic, furnace, crucibles, etc., as described for the Alchemist’s Lab in Appendix D.1.

Despite the fact that this Trade is called Alchemist, “Simple”, it encompasses quite a portfolio of capabilities. The above equipment is required to perform the main functions of his alchemical arts: Calcination, Coagulation, Fixation, Dissolution, Digestion, Distillation, Sublimation, Separation, Ceration, Fermentation, Multiplication, and Projection. 

Calcination involves heating a substance in either an open or closed vessel, usually resulting in oxidation, often to produce a black, carbonized substance of some kind. The process and the substances it produces are ruled by Aries, a fire sign.

Congelation and fixation are the processes used to make a substance stable and solid, non-volatile, processes ruled by Taurus (earth) and Gemini (air). These are an essential step in the pursuit of the elusive Philosopher’s Stone, as the volatile liquid mercury was thought an essential element.

Dissolution and digestion are processes of washing and purifying, ruled by Cancer (water) and Leo (fire), respectively. In the pursuit of the White Philosopher’s Stone that produces silver, these processes were used on the substance in the alembic to wash, whiten and purify.

Distillation and sublimation are used to render and recondense the vapor or essence of a substance, in reflux distillation, ruled by Virgo (earth) and Libra (air), respectively. 

Separation can include such processes as filtration, decantation or distillation of a liquid from its residue, ruled by Scorpio, a water sign.

Ceration is a process whereby a material is made soft and wax-like, ruled by Sagittarius, a fire sign.

Fermentation is the special process whereby a slow, subtle “digestive” heat is created within a substance, so the special properties of the substance can manifest, ruled by Capricorn, an earth sign. This process is essential in the working of alchemical magick, and in preparing substances to contain a magickal charm, but it is also used to describe the process by which these substances work to transfer their influence when used in the material world. In the process of creating the Philosopher’s Stone this was one of the last few steps, when the nature of the Stone truly began to manifest.

Multiplication is the process used to augment the power of the substance so it can be used many times over, generally ruled by Aquarius, a water sign. This step consists of manipulating any number of other processes to infuse additional power into a substance.

Projection is simply the name for the process of reducing a substance into the form in which its power is finally applied to its task: powder, salve or unguent, potion, elixir, etc.

These terms are not really necessary to the successful use of the Trade under the rules of the game, however. The Alchemists’ traditions and arts are cloaked in fancy, esoteric terminology and allegories to conceal their lore, as they were historically. These processes are traditionally only ever discussed in terms of not only their ruling signs but their ruling planets, and the mythological figures for whom the planets are named. All of this subterfuge was deemed necessary to protect the secrets of their Trade from the curiosity of laymen. It is included here primarily for the benefit of roleplaying the Alchemist character.

Trade Skills

While they are intimately associated with things magickal and mysterious, however, the Alchemist’s knowledge of the above processes (among others) enable him to brew, concoct, distill, render, etc. (as applicable) many of the common, mundane substances or materials used or produced by a number of different more “ordinary” trades. The Alchemist, Simple in particular focuses much on the knowledge and practices of these trades, as well as a few of the more rare, dangerous, and/or exotic substances (depending on what other Trades the Alchemist’s full portfolio includes, as follows), all described by the Trade Skills:

The craft of Chandlers, the pursuit Chandlery, is one of the more common among Alchemists, Simple, producing soap of citrus, glycerin and rosewater, or caustic soda and animal fat (tallow) or high quality olive oil, and/or candles of all qualities, bayberry, tallow or rushlights, are an easy product of the Alchemist’s skills. While there are common artisans that specialize in one or the other, it is by no means unusual for a craftsman to make both, for they both traditionally use tallow.

Lacquers, Varnishes and adhesives may include a number of such substances, utilizing the bonding properties of wheat, or egg, but commonly involving rendering animal carcasses down for Glue or spirit gum, also providing cleaning substances such as lye and fuller’s earth, highly acidic verjuice, wood ash and caustic soda (used for doing laundry).

The strength of the bond a glue makes is measured by a STR score, just like a character, equal to the POT of the substance made (player’s choice) if it is for paper, cloth, wood, and other porous organics. The STR of the glue is equal to half the POT if it is to affect china, brick, stone, or metals. 

Glues can be made so as to be water-soluble after drying, or not, but the player must state which he is making at the time and make a note of that fact when he records it on his equipment inventory, otherwise you should assume it is water-soluble.

Oftentimes the STR of a glue bond is greater than the effective strength, or Structure Points, of the items glued together, making getting them apart again impossible without extensive damage, barring the use of magick.

Drying times are equal to the STR of the bond, counted in minutes. The stronger it is, the longer it takes to set up, also. This can be shortened by as much as (Alchemist’s AV)%, maximum 60%, at the Alchemist’s option by the use of alcohol or a petroleum distillate as a solvent, but this makes it highly flammable when wet, also.

As GM, you determine the drying or setting-up times for glues using the extent of the surface area covered and the STR of the glue as discussed previously. The thickness of glue applied and how still and tightly the items glued are being held, the humidity, all affect the time to set-up and cure, especially if you feels these factors are not being adequately addressed by the user(s) in-game. 

Judging how much glue is required for each use and when a character finally runs out of the amount prepared is entirely up to you, as GM. 

Rendering dyestuffs and pigments is another area, processing, concentrating, mixing to obtain signature hues, even foraging for the substances or even raising plant matter from which pigments are obtained. While an alchemist may specialize in pigments, paints, hues for dyes, etc., it is to supply the dyers who put them to use, perhaps in conjunction with a merchant manufactory.

Cosmetics and Beauty are another area of concentration, encompassing a range of substances drawn from many disciplines, especially including pigments, like lacquer for nails; henna and other tints for hair; heavier foundations to conceal minor imperfections in the skin, or even wax-based sculpting or modeling putties to correct structural imperfections (also used in the Masquer skill); cremes, foundations, in a wide variety of tints and tones to complement and even emulate each of the humanoid races in each of the complexions from as pale and fair as a Nordic Viking to Mediterranean olive, golden as an Asian, brown as a desert-dweller, or even as dark as a Nubian, and in each of the color ranges (sallow, robust, and medium).

This specialty also includes the colors for shadowing and detailing eyes and lashes, and/or the highly colored face paints in the seven colors of the rainbow for adding fanciful motifs for holidays and special occasions (hearts, flowers, twining vines and leaves, heraldic animals and devices, etc.), even spirit gum for applying jewels or other small ornaments to the face/body.

Extracting essential oils and compounding incenses, potpourri (“rotten pot”), herb-steeped scented oils, moisturizing lotions and cremes and other beauty treatments, and/or producing actual perfumes form another area of concentration. This area of expertise is often combined with that of the Chandler and/or Cosmetics and Beauty.

Because dabbling in the more rare, dangerous, and/or exotic areas of alchemy can be very expensive, most “common” Alchemists [Simple] make their living by focusing on making one of the families of products mentioned above, represented by most of the Trade Skills, to sell for their daily bread. This supports any private researches, but such pursuits are not that common, especially among those plying the more “common” Alchemist, Simple Trade.

Most Alchemists True, capable of producing true magickal effects by their arts, generally have no interest in the common, mundane products or substances mentioned above, as far as any possible public practice for earning their daily bread, however. Such Alchemists are not considered to be in competition for such mundane business, although they may well be in the habit of engaging in their manufacture to provide for their own personal household needs.

By their arts, Alchemists True can manipulate the spiritual properties of a wide spectrum of substances in order to create what are, for the sake of simplicity, called “potion bases”. These are unguents, salves, elixirs, potions, philters, powders, crystals, magick seeds/beans, and a wide variety of other similar substances or items specially prepared to be receptacles for magick. These have no magick of their own but can accept the power of magickal charms, regardless of whether cast by the Alchemist himself or by the hand of another. These hold the power of the charms safely and keep them stable until their power is needed.

In the same vein, so long as the Alchemist is a practitioner of magick, he may make the special candles, incenses, chalks, powders, brazier fuel, and other obscure preparations that make up the consumable supplies called “ritual supplies”, needed to cast Low Magick rituals for his trade, BUT only for those charms he himself knows, UNLESS he is provided with the recipes by the client for whom he makes them.

IF he is provided with the recipes and has sufficient materials to do so, he may concoct ritual supplies for ANY magick-wielding trades and charm.

Like the ritual supplies described in Appendix D.1, those made by the Alchemist are described in terms of POT. The higher the POT of a given packet of ritual supplies he makes, the greater the POT of the ritual that can be performed with it, as charms are rated in the same points of POT. The alchemist may only make supplies to cast one specific charm at a time, but the actual amount of POT made in any given exercise of this skill is up to the player. The greater the amount made at any given time, the higher the DV.

The materials to make ritual and rite supplies cost 1s. 2d. 1hp. per point of POT in magick that can be cast with it. 

IF the Alchemist is also equipped with the Herbal Trade and the Forage Life Skill, he can save 4d. 3fg. per point of POT in the cost of materials by venturing forth and gathering some of them himself.

IF the Alchemist is also equipped with the Apothecary Trade and the Forage Life Skill, he can save 9d. 3fg. per point of POT in the cost of materials by venturing forth and gathering some of them himself.

IF the Alchemist is also equipped with the Apothecary Trade, the Caustics & Combustibles Trade Skill is also available. This includes rendering and purifying treatments for creating torches and flambeaux to flash pots and/or smudge pots. These might be combined with knowledge of pigments, so flashes or clouds of colored fire or smoke are produced.

IF the Alchemist is also equipped with the Herbal Trade, the Drugs & Poisons Trade Skill is also available. This enables the Alchemist to bring the stability and shelf-life inherent in the Alchemist’s works to the Herbal’s healing salves, elixirs and simples, in addition to bringing the a depth of knowledge enabling him to make such things as paralysants, stimulants, sedatives, truth serums and soporifics.

This is a very dicey area of expertise to allow others to become aware of. Public knowledge leaves the character open to socially damaging accusations and law suits.

Each of the areas discussed above (Chandlery, Finishes & Adhesives, Cosmetics & Beauty, Pigments & Dyes, Scents) comprises a separate specialty defined by a Trade Skill that must be developed and tracked in SL, and maintained individually with SP’s.

The base DV for making any of the substances described is equal to the number of drams, cups, gills, or pints, or pots, that he makes in a single exercise (according to the measure in which the substance is discussed above), or gill of waterproof glue. To this, the GM should add the POT of the substance being made, such as glue. For making a glue invulnerable to water, the effective STR is equal to the POT, the base DV, and the DV should be raised by 1/2 (multiplied by 1.5). The DV should be doubled (multiplied by 2) to make it invulnerable to saltwater (sea-, brine). For every effective point by which the STR for the purposes of determining drying time of the glue has been lowered by solvents with high evaporation rates to speed drying, the DV should be increased by 1. 

For making ritual supplies, the base DV is equal to (2 per points-worth of POT) made. 

The quantity made is particularly important in determining time requirements, for it will increase the time needed when larger amounts are made. In the case of ritual supplies, the POT also IS the measure of quantity, as discussed in the rules on Low Magick (rituals) in the Grimoire. 

The time required to make any of the common substances described here, from start to finish including the processing of raw materials (as applicable), is equal to the DV for the task, read in mileways. For making ritual supplies, the DV is divided by 2 and the time read in hours.

The Alchemist’s skills also give him the ability to “can” and store those substances his Trade Skills allow him to make that have a limited shelf life and put them up. He may “can” or “put-up” as much as he can secure materials (heavy pottery or glass pots/jars) and facilities to handle. The character must have lids for each vessel, and requires 0.25 lb’s of wax to seal each one. The containers used in canning should be no larger than 1 quart in volume each.

Once put up, the canned perishables last (1 per 4 TR) years before their shelf life comes into play and they begin to age and then go bad. Once the seal is broken on a canned perishable its shelf life again commences to pass normally.

The costs for canning is 1 ha’penny per gill per pot/jar and 2 pence per jar for sealing waxes, plus the costs for whatever it is the character is canning (as applicable). The costs of the pots/jars is a one-time investment, after purchased they only need to be replaced as broken, and the character then only has to pay for the wax, and perhaps the items to be canned.

Most of the substances made by the Alchemist, even such simple compounds as cosmetics, have a shelf life of only [(AWA + CRD) ÷ 8] + (SL) weeks before they begin to separate, go rancid, or lose their potency. This doesn’t, of course, apply to such simple, stable things as tallow or fine-milled soaps, cleaning solutions, or the like.

Magickal Formulas: “Potions”, etc.

Following the mysteries of the elusive Philosopher’s Stone, True Alchemists can also concoct substances that, of their own essence and the skills of their Trade, yield intrinsically magickal effects. By combining the rare and special ingredients these formulae call for, an Alchemist can unlock the magickal power inherent in their essences to make various substances of magickal effect by means of their own procedures and incantations.

Thus, the skill of making substances that are vessels for carrying the magick of others is considered a single and totally different skill from the individualized skills of making substances whose effects are wholly magickal, in and of themselves, upon completion.

This is one of the main points on which Alchemists, Simple and Alchemists, True differ.

These are called “magickal formulas” that produce unguents, salves, elixirs, potions, philtres, powders, crystals, magick beans, and other similar substances – in the same sorts of forms described for “Potion” Bases previously – that yield inherently magickal effects when properly employed. Both are made in quantities of grams/drams.

Once they are completed, there is NO difference whatever in the appearance or effect of a substance that is the product of a magickal formula and a “Potion” Base that has been successfully enchanted.

The epitome of the Alchemist’s art is the path (Trade Skill) of Magickal Formulas, wherein lies the knowledge of transforming base metals into the noble metals, silver and gold, or discovering the means of longevity through concocting the various forms of the elusive Lapis Philosophicus, the magickal “Philosopher’s Stone”, the Red Stone and the White Stone, or their equally magickal and elusive elixirs. These are the ultimate goal of all serious True Alchemists, the apex of the his study in his pursuit of this particular Trade Skill.

The Magickal Formulas (Trade Skill) is actually made up of up to (MGA ÷ 4) charms (individual skills) that must be developed, tracked, and maintained individually in SL with SP’s, in the same manner as Languages and Musician instrument skills.

Each charm/skill chosen represents a base recipe and a series of closely related recipe variations (much like a recipe in “The Joy of Cooking”) allowing for any of the effects described in that charm’s text, and also encompassing all expressions in regards to the Ars Quintates that its description allows, enabling the Alchemist to create a substance to express any aspect of a charm presented in its description, as he wishes.

These formulas may be freely chosen from ANY of the rosters of Wizard, Witch and/or Druid charms, equally.

IF the Alchemist True is designated as having learned this Trade in university, he is limited to ONLY those charms that appear on the Wizard Trade rosters.

IF all of a Alchemist’s formulas come solely from the charms found on the Witch OR Druid rosters, that character may be designated a member of that Trade (player’s discretion, not a requirement). In this case, the character is bound by the philosophical/religious strictures of that trade. This limits the character to a traditional apprenticeship in training for this Trade, as well. 

The materials created by means of the charms that make up the Alchemist’s Magickal Formulas have only been discussed in a general sort of way, so far.

An Alchemist’s formula might result in a thin (alcohol-based) liquid to be sprayed through an atomizer – perfect to create the “Cloud of Fog” or “Circle of Light/Darkness” magicks, or possibly even one of the various types of “Darts” or other similar weapons, especially fine perfumes to carry “Beguiling” effects. The Alchemist might make powders repleat with glittering and sparkling Disney-esque effects, to be used by the pinch on or inside a fist or glove for the hand/touch oriented aspects of the “Manifest Will” charm, or perhaps on or inside the feet or shoes/boots for a “Fleetfoot” “Surefoot” or similar effect, or even sprinkled over a recipient’s head. A formula can result in an unguent to be rubbed all over a subject or on selective area(s) of the user’s body for a “Slow Blood,” “SwiftHeal” or similar effect, or a liquid to be imbibed after the fashion of a traditional magick potion, or even a bright, shining crystal to be thrown in a target’s face, or upon the ground or crushed to release a “Blinding Flash” or similar charm, or to be hurled at a target to transform in the air into a “dart” of some kind.

The Alchemist may stumble across a formula that produces a handful of special “Size Enchantment” soil providing a “Jack and the Beanstalk” or “James and the Giant Peach” type of effect, or seeds which burrow into the ground and sprout forth with a “Wall of Vines”, “Wall of Thorns”, “Vinesteed”, “Servant of Earth”, or “Plantmaze” magick, or produce little seeds or even seedlings that swiftly grow when planted to bear fruit that yields a particular magick when eaten.

It should be the fumes of the cauldron holding the substance of any “Summoning,” “Call Familiar,” “Charm of Calling” or “Woodland Call” magicks that attract the targets’ attentions and draws them to the Alchemist. The material left over after such a Calling should be useless, or perhaps – if deemed edible – lunch! In cases of formulas for such charms as “Power Cache”, the object in which the Cache is to be imbued should have to be steeped in the cauldron/concoction as it is made, for the entire Time Requirement, in order to take effect. The same process should be followed for any object to be enchanted by the Alchemist, unless you decide as GM that a stoppered recess in the object for holding the Alchemist’s brew is sufficient, or that the sprinkling of a powder over the object or rubbing an unguent or tincture into the object under some sort of involved ritual process is acceptable.

The actual form of the substances Alchemist True characters create are up to your players to negotiate with you, as GM. Some forms make sense for certain effects, where others don’t. The choice of form should be mostly up to the player, BUT only with your approval as GM.

It is your world and this expression of magick must mesh with your vision of it.

The process of concocting any and all substances of Alchemical lore, mundane or magickal, carry with it a Time Requirement to complete, in the same manner as the work of any Craftsman. However, ALL works of a True Alchemist’s magickal formulas that produce substances of inherently magickal effect are considered works of Low Magick, too. 

The CTM required to cast the charm represented by any magickal recipe as a work of Low (ritual) Magick, is ADDED to the mundane Time Requirement (above) to create it, in the same manner as the work of a Druid-Smith (Gowan, Govannon, etc.).

There is no such thing as High Magick (cantrips) or even Common Magick (spells) in the creation of a True Alchemist’s magick. All of his substances are created under ritual Low Magick circumstances using ritualistic procedures. The lab in which he must work takes the place of the traditional practitioner’s ritual kit.

The att. mod’s to prepare any of the formulas for inherently magickal substances are based on the Alchemist’s MGA and CRD scores.

The DV’s for making any of the Alchemist’s magickal formulas are determined not only by the concentration of the POT of the substance but the number of grams or drams (beans, crystals, etc.) being concocted or prepared at one time, as well as the Art by which the Power manifests.

The DV for brewing, concocting or otherwise making any of the Alchemist’s magickal formulas start with the normal base DV according to the POT, the Art to which the resulting magick belongs, always assuming “Low Magick” as the Form, and the Sphere of Power of the formula being used, normally, according to the table in “Magick in Play”. In this case, however, the POT referred to is the concentration of POT per gram/dram being made, NOT the yield.

The base DV is increased according to the volume in grams, drams, magick beans or crystals, etc., of magickal effect the Alchemist wishes to make in a batch. The more he tries to make at once, the more difficult the procedures, rising Progressively. 

In addition, the Magickal Formulas of Alchemy can be as risky as the mainstream, traditional the works of Trade of Wizardry, not only in the potential squandering of a great deal of money in materials, but in the possibility of Bumbles (where those rules are in play).

The works of an Alchemist Wizard can Bumble just as badly as any weaving of a mainstream Wizard’s charms (where those rules are in play). Under these circumstances, Bumbles are combined with physical alchemical accidents.

The various substances and materials to make any given Magickal Formula cost 4d. per gram/dram in the batch, PLUS 1s. 2d. 1hp. per point of POT, per gram/dram.

IF the Alchemist is also equipped with the Herbal Trade AND the Forage Life Skill, he can save 4d. 3fg. per point of POT in the cost of materials by venturing forth and gathering some of them himself.

IF the Alchemist is also equipped with the Apothecary Trade AND the Forage Life Skill, he can save 9d. 3fg. per point of POT in the cost of materials by venturing forth and gathering some of them himself.

Because of the wild and uncertain nature of the forces with which they work in their craft, the fact that an Alchemist pays to gather a certain amount of materials to create a given number of grams/drams of a “potion” for a particular charm is NO guarantee he ends up with the amount that he started out to make. As a matter of fact, that only ever happens under certain rare circumstances.

An Alchemist only ever reaps a percentage of the formula he set out to make.

The percentage he reaps is equal to the amount by which the d100 check to determine the success of the exercise is made, PLUS his SL with the specific charm/formula OR his TR (whichever is greater).

Alchemy was always looked on as a pursuit for the idle rich, for eccentric nobles, historically. This is one of the reasons why.

The Alchemist’s percentage chance of success is determined in the same manner used for any other skill in the game, as provided in the passage headed “Task Resolution”.

For example, an Alchemist attempts to concoct 10 grams/drams of a formula with which he has SL 13 (greater than his TR) and his player rolls 30 below the number needed to succeed in his attempt. As a result, he reaps 43% of the 10 grams/drams he paid for and started out to make, or 4 (30 + 13 = 43%; 10 x 0.43 = 4.3, or 4). 

IF you are using the Heroic Effects rules, the Alchemist player should be offered the option of applying those results to the yield – while never raising it beyond that which the Alchemist originally set out to make. 

In the above example a double effect Heroic Success would allow the Alchemist to reap 8 applications rather than 4 of the 10 he set out to make, while a triple effect success would allow him to reap all 10. These are the only circumstances under which he can ever realize ALL of the batch he is making.

In the repertoire of Alchemists True are a couple remnants of ancient times when their arts were not so sophisticated as they now are. These are known as Bottle Charms and Candle Charms.

These are considered alchemical “folkways” of their craft, because they also depend on common alchemical skills, but they are also considered specialty skills that must be honed as a separate Trade Skill. This is considered a separate form from the character’s Magickal Formulas, and may be substituted as the resulting form for any of those Formulas, the results of which (potion, philtre, unguent, salve, etc.) the player must have negotiated for each Formula with the GM prior to play to determine, otherwise.

Bottles Charms are based on the “Witch Bottle” lore of the 15-1600’s. They must be they are to benefit, when they are beneficial in nature. When they are protective or otherwise beneficial in nature, they must be given to the subject and displayed along with any other knick-knacks in the room in which the subject spends the most time OR buried in the earth on the subject’s property (as applicable, not all subjects will be the owners of the property where they reside). When hostile in nature, they must be buried in the earth on the Alchemist’s own property or on the property of the target.

The effective SL an Alchemist can apply to making a Bottle Charm is equal to his SL with them (he must have the Trade Skill) and the SL he has with the Formula he is specifically brewing in the Bottle.

Candle Charms are one of the oldest folkways of magick, stretching back to the ancient Egyptians and beyond. The Candle Charms of the Alchemist True are NOT to be confused with the ceremonial candle burning that takes place as a part of many of the rituals performed by those who practice more traditional forms of Druidecht, Wizardry or Witchcraft.

What sets Candle Charms apart from most common castings of magick is that each candle (or layer of a candle) provides magick that lasts for a fixed amount of time, in total, burned from top to bottom. While the effect of the charm is set by the maker according to the Charm he is creating and the POT he is investing, which dictates the ultimate amount of time that charm may endure, the one burning the candle has the option of burning the DUR away in any manner he likes, off and on, by lighting and dousing the candle over and over according to his need until it is burned away.

The effective SL an Alchemist can apply to making a Candle Charm is equal to the average of his SL with Candle Charms (he must have the Trade Skill) and his SL with the specific Formula(s) he is imbuing in it, with a bonus based on his SL as a Chandler.

While these forms may place certain constraints on appearance and the likelihood of being recognized for what they are by nature, they have a higher yield than the fancy concoctions that the potions, philtres, salves, unguents, etc. in which Magick Formulas can be rendered. When an Alchemist sets out to make Candle Charms or Bottle Charms, he ends up with exactly what he planned to make. There is no % of loss with them as there is with the former.

Bottle and Candle Charms are optional skills in the same manner as “Caustics & Combustibles” and “Drugs & Poisons.” No Alchemist is required to have either of these skills. 

It is likely that the simpler folk who muster the courage to seek the Alchemist’s skills for magical aid are going to be looking for such items, however. These items describe the limits of the magical skills of Cunning Men and Wise Women Alchemists, who are more easily located than those that practice any sort of conventional magick, or even folkways such as Cabalism or Knot-magick (Great Weavers), so tales of Bottle and Candle Charms are freely and regularly circulated among the common free and landbound folk. Many Alchemists studying at university pick up the Magisters’ condescending attitude towards such “primitive” practices, eschewing their pursuit, but this does not diminish their effectiveness one bit.


* This serves as a reminder that the additional areas of knowledge and skill that are the result of university training are to be represented by also equipping the character with one of the scholastic Trades described as being the result of a Masters or PhD program.

** indicates the Alchemist must also be equipped with the Apothecary Trade as a prerequisite for this Trade Skill.

*** indicates the Alchemist must also be equipped with the Herbal Trade as a prerequisite for this Trade Skill.


* indicates the Alchemist must also be equipped with the Apothecary Trade as a prerequisite for this Trade Skill.

** indicates the Alchemist must also be equipped with the Herbal Trade as a prerequisite for this Trade Skill.

† indicates the Magickal Formulas (Trade Skill) is actually made up of up to (MGA ÷ 4) charms (individual skills) that must be developed, tracked, and maintained individually by SL and SP’s, in the same manner as Languages and Musician instrument skills.

†† indicates that up to (AWA ÷ 4) skills in number of this type or category are allowed, each of which must be developed, tracked, and maintained individually by SL and SP’s, in the same manner as Musician instrument skills.

Of this number, the character’s Native Vulgar or “Milk Tongue” tongue, the Scholar’s Tongue (analogue of Latin), and the Philosopher’s Tongue (analogue of Greek) must be included first. What slots are left after these are accounted for may be filled with other languages of the player’s choice, as desired.

The players have no obligation to equip their characters with the full (AWA ÷ 4) compliment of these skills – with the understanding that they are NOT allowed to fill them in retroactively, after they have already brought their characters into active play, just because they WERE allowed them during the Character Creation process.


† indicates that up to (AWA ÷ 4) skills in number of this type or category are allowed.

In regards to Linguist skills, the High Druids’ Cant, the Scholar’s Tongue (the game world analogue to Latin) and Philosopher’s Tongue (the game world analogue to Greek) must be included.

The players have no obligation to equip their characters with the full (AWA ÷ 4) compliment of these skills – with the understanding that they are NOT allowed to fill them in retroactively, after the character has already been brought into active play, just because they WERE allowed them during the Character Creation process (long since finished).


Assess & Identify

The Alchemist’s skills naturally includes the ability to Identify or Assess substances or materials and the constituents that make up compounds.

The Alchemist is best served exercising this ability in his complete, home lab, which allows him the advantage of his full TR, but also requires he have the complete collection of his Speculum volumes to consult. 

 Using his abbreviated travel/field lab, an Alchemist is only allowed the benefit of 3/4th’s his full TR, 

 The Alchemist may attempt a raw Field Assessment at only 1/2 his full TR. 

He must also have at least his main, general reference Speculum with him in order to make Field Assessments.

For identifying or assessing various substances, elements, and basic compounds out in the field without equipment, the att mod. is based on the Alchemist’s AWA score, and the TR used to find the AV, unless one of the Trade Skills is a better more accurate choice and has a SL higher than the TR.

IF working in a fully fitted lab, the att mod. for identifying various substances is based on the character’s AWA score.

The character must have at least [30 – (AWA + 1 per 4 TR’s)] drams of any given substance to test for its identity.

For concocting, mixing, distilling, or compounding any substance of the alchemical arts the att. mod’s are based on the character’s AWA and CRD scores.

The base DV for identifying substances and compounds depends on the origin of the materials. If the material or compound to be identified is common, found around the average household like tallow, lye, soap, offal, cotton, wool, flax, blood, ashes, verjuice, iron or steel, lead, copper, tin, brass, or any oxide of these common metals, various household cleaning compounds, and so on, the base DV is 1. 

Those sorts of things found around the yard or out-buildings, like hemp, different kinds of hide, common household garden vegetables and herbs, plants producing common country dyes, different kinds of woods, and so on, have a base DV of 5 to identify. The character require only a relatively small sample of these substances to identify them, just enough to get a good smell, feel, and/or taste sample of it to be sure of it (GM’s discretion), and they may be identified in the field without special tests. 

For compounds more common to towns, like commercial dyes, inks, artists’ pigments, sealing wax, pitch-based and other building sealing compounds, and the like, the base DV for identification is 10. The character requires a larger sample of these things to identify them, a handful or more on which to run tests. 

For those substances containing materials that are not native to the surrounding terrain or region the DV may start at 15. The character needs a lab to properly identify the compound, though field identification may be attempted at half AV. 

You should feel free to raise the DV if you feel the sample the character has isn’t large enough, perhaps by as much as 5, or 10 for things found outside the house, 20 for compounds. 

The time required to identify common substances and making identifications in the field is equal to the DV for the task, read in minutes; for compounds tested in the lab the time requirement is divided by 10 and again read in minutes.

When an Alchemist brews one of his Magickal Formulas, he receives SP’s towards his skill in making that formuls in the same manner described for any Craftsman’s works, PLUS the SP’s that normally accrue from casting Low (ritual) Magick.

Unlike other sorts of more mainstream practitioners of magick (Wizards, Witches, Druids, Hedge-Wizards, Hearth-Witches), an Alchemist is not confined only to the recipes in his Speculum for creating magickal substances. Any formula that he comes across in his journeys is fair game, whether he has skill in them or not. He may attempt these with an effective SL equal to his half his TR, providing that the formula attempted also lies within the Sphere(s) of Power of those skills he already has.

Every time he uses the formula without taking the time to actually learn it and add it to his repertoire, he earns one (1) SP towards actually understanding it, until he has earned enough SP’s indicating he knows it well enough to gain a full SL, establishing an effective SL of 1 with it. In this way he can eventually learn formulas on his own.

Unlike those of the practitioners of other more traditional magick-wielding trades, the Magickal Formulas of the Alchemist True are not automatically memorized and maintained in a special trade memory. They cannot be concocted without the Speculum in which the Alchemist keeps his magickal formulas, the attendant sheafs and scrolls of notes compiled in it.

Upon reaching the Warden LoA with any given Magickal Formula, an Alchemist’s skill and knowledge are considered advanced enough to allow him to execute that formula without need of referencing his Speculum. Doing so reduces his effective SL with it, however, by (SL required to reach Warden LoA).

Sensing Mana & Magick 

Due to their long exposure to the spiritual energies, the mana that powers all magick in RoM, and manipulation of it in the course of creating their various magickal formulas, all Alchemists True are able to Sense the Ambience and Sense Magick, in the same manner as a full trade Wizard, Druid or Witch (as applicable).

The Ambience permeates and overlays every crevice and corner of the Mortal World. While it is always in motion, both the drawing and release of power used in dweomercraft creates a disturbance of its own that passes through the Ambience, regardless of whether it is a Mystic expressing a Feat or channeling miraculous interventions from On High or the magickal work of a Druid (any trade), Witch or Wizard. It causes a ripple-like wave to radiate outward through the Ambience. These disturbances or waves in the Æther are created in part by tapping the Veil between Spirit and the mortal world.

The Arts of the Druid trades and of the Wizard and Witch trades, or even Mystic, affect many other aspects of the character’s life than just those providing him with the ability to manifest magickal or miraculous powers and perform extraordinary feats with it, including the ability to sense these disturbances or ripples over the course of their trade training and magick-wielding careers. This sensation encompasses a see-feel-smell-hear-taste experience that defies any meaningful description to those outside the trade.

All practitioners in the vicinity can automatically feel the gathering of mana and the process of crafting it into a dweomer if it takes place within [(MSS) + (TR)] feet of them, unless there is a barrier sufficient to dampen the disturbance (see “Shielding & Safe Havens”).

Beyond this distance a successful MSS check on d100 allows the practitioner to “feel” it.

The AV to Sense Magick is equal to [(MSS att. mod.) + (AWA att. mod.) + (TR)].

The DV for these checks is equal to the number of feet by which the casting is taking place beyond the practitioner’s prescribed range, 

MINUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is greater than the practitioner’s MGA


PLUS the number of points by which the POT of the casting is less than the practitioner’s MGA.

The ripples of Noble Sphere magick travel 5 x as far; Sovereign Sphere magick travels 5 x the Noble Sphere distance or 25 x the Common Sphere distance.

When a magical formula is finally completed (whether successfully or not), the power summoned for it crashes back into the Ambience like a stone suddenly dropped into a still pool, causing a wave radiating outward in a sphere from the caster. This is a MUCH stronger wave than the little ripple caused by the process of crafting the magick.

In the case of the True Alchemist, the same initial ripple caused by the process of casting traditional mainstream charms accompanies the process of crafting any of the substances of magickal nature resulting from his magickal formulas. The great disturbance caused by loosing a completed charm also accompanies the successful completion of any of those formulas. This wave can be immediately and automatically “felt” if it occurs within [(MSS) + (TR)] yards, regardless of POT.

For this check, the AV is [(MSS att. mod.) + (TR)], again.

The DV for the MSS check is 1 if the practitioner Sensing Magick is located within (POT) furlongs.

  • IF the POT of the wave when it reaches the practitioner is greater than his CHM or HRT (whichever is greater), the roll should be foregone and the character simply informed. It is deemed strong enough to get the character’s attention immediately and automatically.
  • IF the POT is less than a practitioner’s CHM or HRT (whichever is less) when the wave reaches him, the DV for the MSS check rises by the difference, per point, again in a Progressive manner.

The POT of the disturbance in the case of the Alchemist is equal to the total POT for all grams/drams in the batch he has just successfully completed. IF the d100 check for completing a batch is failed, there is no ripple of power through the Ambience.

After the first (POT) furlongs the wave travels from the practitioner who loosed the magick that made it, the effective POT drops by 1 point in strength every furlong of distance, until it dies out at zero (0).

This raises the DV to sense the wave when it finally reaches the practitioner, by one per furlong per furlong traveled, again in a Progressive manner, MINUS the effective POT of the wave.

Beyond this distance, EVERY magick cast causes a ripple in the Ambience that travels outward in a sphere from the site of the casting (POT x 2) furlongs, allowing the practitioner to “feel” the wave washing over him upon making a successful MSS check on d100.

Not only is a PC able to sense the ripples caused by others’ magicks, his player must understand the fact that every magick his PC casts creates the same disturbance to alert others of the trade who may be in the vicinity.

The lesser, day-to-day activity in the Ambience, those disturbances of (CHM or HRT, whichever is less) in POT or less, are normally screened from every practitioner’s consciousness in accordance with his trade training to protect his sanity, so he can maintain some sense of continuous mortal existence separate from Spirit and his magick, allowing him to interact normally with the mortal world.

Those disturbances he “feels” or senses, whether automatically or as a result of a Sense Magick check, as above, are sufficient for him to note the general direction whence it came. This can provide a link by which any direction-finding charm may be cast to zero in on the point of origin of the disturbance.

The wave of disturbance from the casting of a magick can be used by the clever practitioner to cover the loosing of subsequent magicks, provided he stays within (MGA) yards of the original casting site and is careful to keep their POT smaller than the original magick whose shadow he is trying to use.

This raises the DV for sensing the disturbance by one per point by which the following magick’s POT is less than the one it follows, per point, in a Progressive manner.

This “shadow” of disturbance following in the wake of the wave, equal to the POT of the first magick cast, fades at a rate of 1 effective point of POT per minute.

In practice, the player should be aware of the order in which he casts his magicks if he is concerned over the possibility of disturbing other folk of power, casting rituals before spells before cantrips, and greatest POT to lowest, to use the shadow of the ripple caused by the greater magick to cover those of the lesser magicks cast in its wake.

One never knows whose elbow one may unintentionally jog.

Taking advantage of this phenomenon can be a very useful tactic when one is matched on the battlefield against another practitioner, a means of catching them off guard, of denying them any notice of more magicks to come following the first.

The players and GM alike must be aware that any other practitioner of magick in the same town or its immediate hinterlands (surrounding supporting farmlands) may well note the use of any magicks cast with POT greater than c. 10-15, especially if any of them live in a location that gives them an overview of the town. Any in the closer surrounding villages might take note, as well. Caution is prudent. Careless flinging of magick, especially at high POT, can attract unwanted attention. Rival practitioners may be curious or even irritated if they are in the least bit protective of their territorial rights to monopolize the trade in magick where a character has ventured to practice his craft. Ignorance of the presence of a local rival or guild monopoly is no excuse, in the same manner as ignorance of the law.

This is simply an occupational hazard.

Rivalries keep the already small numbers of those who practice the magickal arts even smaller, and tend to insure that those of lesser power keep a low profile until they are well and truly prepared and sure of their defenses, should such a conflict of interests arise.

There may be certain places in the GM’s world where those of power gather to practice their art by tacit approval, an unspoken bond that may be as strong as any guild charter. These places gain a general on-going disturbance due to regular magickal activity that swiftly becomes evident to those who wield the Arts approaching within range to sense it. The level of activity is rated in POT in the same manner as the prevailing Ambience and added to the DV for sensing any specific magickal disturbance (as described above) that is of lesser POT than that of the æthereal “background noise”. This “white noise” of magickal activity makes sensing other magickal activity so difficult that the MSS checks described previously are required even within the normal ranges at which the Sense Magick ability is commonly automatic and immediate. The DV’s for these checks are increased by the amount by which the POT of the magick in question is less than the POT of the ætherial “background noise” using the same procedure applied when the POT of a magick to be Sensed is less than the practitioner’s CHM/HRT (as above).

Sometimes there is no better place for a character of lesser power to hide his craft than out in the open, under the cover of the disturbances created by his greater colleagues routinely exercising their own craft.

In addition, the level of the Ambience itself may actually work to betray disturbances, high-lighting them. To keep things on an even footing, the POT of the Ambience, of the mana readily available flowing through a given location, is always rated in POT relative to the Common Sphere. The greater the POT of the Ambience, the more magickal energy that is present for the wave of a disturbance to displace. In short, it amplifies the effect of the disturbance, making it more noticeable.

The POT of the Ambience is subtracted from the DV for any Sense Magick check to feel a disturbance.

Magick that is already in existence lies quietly, as a part of the natural world, doing as it was bidden when created. It is much more difficult to sense. The Wizard has the option of casting a bit of Divination to “Reveal” the presence of magicks, should the player have equipped him with that lore, OR ply his skill with a set of dowsing rods or crystal or other pendulum for the same purpose, using it as a guide if he has this Spirit Skill, OR the Wizard may slowly walk about with his hand held out before him to try to “feel” it’s presence by “Seeking” it by Divination.

On the other hand, once a Wizard touches an object which carries an enchantment, or creature or being laboring under an ensorcelment, or steps into an area which bears a dweomer, he feels and knows it and the GM must tell the player (preferably slip him a private note), without the need for a d100 check of any kind. Of course, where Banes and Wardings are concerned, his coming into contact could be rather hazardous to his health and perhaps that of any compatriots accompanying him.

Other than the ability to Sense Magick and having a thorough understanding of “Shielding & Safe Havens”, True Alchemists don’t have any other of the special trade abilities possessed by other Trade practitioners of magick.

True Alchemists have no Spirit Skills. They develop no special, meditational keyed, tiered eidetic memory for Trade Skills and Trade lore, nor do they get any bonus to their M-RES.

Because the magick they create is completely contained within the substances they make, Alchemists can never carry the DUR of one of their charms “at the caster’s pleasure”. Once a substance is used, the DUR of the dweomer is restricted, effectively “tied-off” by definition.

Thus, it is impossible for an Alchemist to get weighed down by Wind held in reserve to support the dweomers they carry, as other practitioners may.

The opening of the “The Life of Magick” is an essential a read for all players of True Alchemists, as well as the passages headed “What is Magick?”, “The Foundations of Magick” and “The Laws of Magick”.

Like the mainstream practitioner of traditional magick (Wizard, Witch, Druid), the pursuit of this Trade Skill continues up through the Spheres of Power, however, High and Low Mana areas have no effect on the compounding of magical formulas.

The Ars Quintates Magica influence the POT for determining DV’s for the rendering of magickal formula the same manner as the works of mainstream tradition castings of magick. Otherwise, the divisions of the Ars Quintates Magica don’t apply to the True Alchemists’ magickal formulas, EXCEPT insofar as the Alchemist character needs to use them to define the specific effects of the magical substances he makes. All aspects described for a charm are available to the Alchemist.

The completed form a formula takes may be varied any way the Alchemist wishes, regardless of the charm it carries and the aspect of that charm it creates, so the Alchemist had best label them carefully.

In addition, Low (ritual ) Magick is the only “form” or “method” that applies to the rendering of magickal formulas, and POT also governs the effects of magickal substances produced by the True Alchemist equally.

“Potions” in Play

When carrying the substances created by means of this Trade on the road, once completed, Alchemist practitioners must take precautions to preserve their work. Seeds should be kept dry and at least moderately cool or they may sprout spontaneously releasing their magick, crystals are going to be somewhat fragile, and powders and such things as elixirs, potions, unguents, and salves should all be kept in sealed containers of some sort, preferably water-tight ones of dark, preferably brown glass or solid crockery to prevent their deterioration by exposure to sunlight. It is up to you as GM whether water, alcohol or some other liquid may thin an elixir, potion, or salve, or dissolve a powder after it has aged awhile. Perhaps by an extra step of preparation a powder might be created that can be reconstituted in order to be used, whether to be consumed or applied topically.

IF properly stored, the substances created by an Alchemist’s Magickal Formulas have a shelf life of (skill AV) months, during which time they maintain their full potency.

IF “put-up” and sealed by the Alchemist’s canning skills, this rises to (skill AV) years, or until the seal is broken, whichever occurs first. In these cases, the (skill AV) months of the substance’s shelf life are not counted until after the seal is broken.

After the shelf life expires, the substance loses one (1) point of the POT of its power, and another every (formula SL) days thereafter until it reaches zero, useless.

Note that those substances that slowly lose their potency dry out and lose fluids vital to their effect until they are reconstituted through the Alchemist’s art. Those substances that simply lose their potency lose 1 point of POT of their effect per (SL under which made) days they age beyond their shelf life. 

In play, the minimum dose of those substances that are to be applied to living creatures and/or beings is equal to (modified STA ÷ 4) in points of POT administered. This dose allows the dweomer to manifest at a POT of only 1.

Once the (STA ÷ 4) minimum to saturate the recipient with a POT of 1 is reached, the POT of additional grams (if dry) or drams (if liquid) administered/taken by the recipient are added to the effective POT of the dweomer’s effect.

IF the recipient has a STA of 20 as a human (no Build modifier) is given 5 POT-worth of a magickal preparation of 1 POT per dram in concentration, its effect manifests with a POT of 1 (STA 20 ÷ 4 = 5).

IF the recipient then takes another 5 drams at the same concentration of POT 1, the effective POT of the dweomer rises to a POT of 6 (1 POT already established + 5 more = POT 6).

For those substances to be applied to objects, the minimum dose is equal to (sum of it’s Size as measured in all three dimensions, length, width & height) in total points of POT. 

An object’s Size Rating is roughly equal to its measurement rounded to the nearest foot (subject to the GM’s ruling), however, in this case all three dimensions are measured, not just one, as is the case with weapons.

Using this minimum dose results in the charm taking effect at a POT of one (1). 

The POT of additional grams/drams administered raise the effective POT of the magick’s effect accordingly.

For example, one dram of a tincture prepared at a concentration of 5 POT per gram/dram applied to a longbow with a Size of 6 (length alone, as width and depth of the object are negligible, being less than 6in’s) isn’t quite enough to affected it (POT 5 – Size 6 = -1).

The first point of POT of the second dram provides a POT of 1 as it finished encompassing the object, and the 4 remaining points of POT of the second dram bring the POT of the charm on the bow up to 5.

Reapplying any given magickal formula once it has been already been applied adds its POT in this manner, but ONLY up to a maximum of [(HRT) + (TR)].

Any POT applied in excess of this limit are simply wasted.

Related Knowledge

Due to the importance of having an extensive knowledge of plants, the products of the earth and animal kingdom, and their properties to creating the various substances with which the Alchemist Trade is concerned, all Alchemists are schooled in the Lore of Herbs and the Lore of the Apothecary.

Indeed, the Herbal and Apothecary Trades are closely, almost intrinsically, Allied with the Alchemist Trade.

IF a player also chooses to equip his Alchemist with the Herbal and Apothecary Trades does he also know how best to handle them the materials and substances, to prepare them, to extract their virtues, and also to render them into the forms best able to preserve their virtues for later use.

The movements of the energies and influences of the heavenly bodies have a direct influence on the work of Alchemists, especially as they are expressed by the Correspondences studied by Astrologists, which Trade is closely Allied. Researched properly, the astrological Correspondences provide a tool to lower the DV’s for making any of the common substances mentioned previously just as much as the magical formulas and the “potion bases” Trade Skills.

IF a player also chooses to equip his Alchemist with the Forage Life Skill, his Lore includes the knowledge of where to find the minerals and herbs he needs, what rock types and formations to look for, what parts of the beasts, and the habitats in which they may be found, when to pick or hunt them.

The Forage skill extends the knowledge of any Trade to which its lore may be applied to include these facets, too.

Without the Forage skill, an Alchemist cannot take advantage of the benefits foraging for his own materials provide. The Forage Life Skill may represent a convenience and greater degree of independence, but it is a convenience and independence that frees the Alchemist from the need to procure his materials from local foragers, huntsmen, woodsmen, apothecaries, and the like.

This form of practice in magick MIGHT be considered by some to be more appropriate to a NPC rather than a PC, unless the PC has one or more other trades to fall back on.

All an Alchemist’s work in his Trade must take place in a lab, so a PC Alchemist-practitioner may end up sitting out of play for large chunks of game-time working on accumulating his store of magickal substances. Their goods take time to create, and they are likely to have precious little time except short breaks in-between projects/plot lines, unless you allow them to divide their days up in the manner described in the passages concerning practicing skills and earning SP’s. The rest of the party must go on about their business perhaps having further adventures and earning more SP’s while the PC Alchemist is closeted in his lab, albeit earning SP’s of his own towards his craft.

Thus, the trade provides some logistical challenges when it comes to adventuring with the rest of the party. Maintaining a stock of substances on hand takes time but, if the party cooperates with the Alchemist, they have a ready store of magick that is guaranteed to work when used, without a hitch or surprise, sparing the difficulties sometimes associated with casting magicks traditionally, on the fly.

For a PC, it is a different style of play.

It’s fine for a NPC to sit around making potions and selling them and accumulating a store of ready-made magickal substances, on the other hand. Such a character makes for a great foil or adversary for the PC’s and dictates the form of a significant portion of the Booty, with a great deal of inherent diversity in appearance.

As a beginning PC, a True Alchemist character may well have enough money to begin play with some of his substances already in hand and have some very strong associated trade knowledge to fall back on. This is actually a very prudent means for carrying around what might otherwise be an overwhelming amount of coin.

The player should NOT be made to roll for success of these, but he must pay for them, and straight d100 rolled for each to determine the % yield realized for each one. You may determine that under the circumstances no result of less than [(d5 x 10) + 30]% is fair. Otherwise the loss in money and materials could be crushing, not at all fair to the player.

Magick Charm

Art: Naming

Ruling Planet: Pluto

Sphere: Common

The “Magick Charm” brings forth the spiritual nature of any object, substance or material, opening up its spiritual aspect so it can be defined and become manifest.

In the passages under the heading “The Substances of Magick” the magickal properties associated with any number of herbs, gems and jewels, trees, bushes, bits and pieces of animals, and a number of other assorted items are provided, as passed down through folklore over the centuries. These are real and true in the context of the game and the game world, unless the GM rules otherwise, but are considered latent in nature, requiring the application of magick to awaken and make manifest.

The “Magick Charm” is the magickal means used to awaken these latent magickal properties so they may be manifested for use.

IF an object, substance or material has more than one latent power inherent in it according to its description, the practitioner must choose which one he is awakening by means of this charm. Only one may be awakened for any given object of a given material.

The practitioner may awaken as many latent magickal properties as are listed for a given object, substance or material, BUT each one must be called forth by a separate casting.

When the Magick Charm is performed by means of Low Magick (ritual), it results in (an) object(s) that is permanently “on”, so to speak, always in force, as described in the passage on “Enchanted Items & Immortal Enchantments”, unless the property awakened is more of the nature of some sort of attack magick that must be hurled or otherwise initiated at a target of some sort (GM’s discretion). In this case, the awakened magick might be tapped (POT) times at the POT of the Magick Charm that awakened it, to wither and crumble away to dust upon its final use as the last of its power is drained away.

If the Magick Charm is performed by Common or High Magick, however, the awakened power becomes subject to the strictures of DUR normally, according to the POT manifest and the practitioner’s desires, again withering and crumbling away to dust upon as the last of its power is drains away when the DUR expires.

Such objects, substances or materials have no need of being “Attuned” once their power is awakened. Their benefits can be realized by whomsoever carries it, whether trained in the Arts of magick or not.

The use of the “magick Charm must also be applied to awakening the “mortal mana” lying dormant within various sorts of natural substances, as described under “The Tools of Power”, under the heading “Natural Sources of Mortal Mana” so that their native power may be tapped in the manner of a Touchstone, but in this case it only requires the minimum POT to encompass the physical object. The POT of mana within them are dictated by their size or concentration/purity, according to their descriptions. These are the only objects/substances that can be used as Touchstones with the use of a Magick Charm of minimal POT, without the need of a Power Cache charm as well, and retain that Touchstone status permanently.

Whatever latent magickal power is awakened in the object substance or material, it manifests at a POT equal to the POT of the Magick Charm that wakened it, and that aspect of its power may be described by means of the magick that most closely expresses that power, OR in whatever manner most closely matches the described power, at the GM’s discretion.

When an existing description of a magick is adapted for use in defining the latent power of an object, material or substance so awakened, or the GM comes up with his own description of the manner in which the latent power manifests in use, it is very important that the GM make a note of this so he may be consistent with its application throughout the course of his game.

Plant matter awakened in this manner stays fresh and green (as applicable), flowers and/or fruit fresh and aromatic (as applicable), for so long as their power endures.

This charm cannot be resisted.

Reign of Gloom/Shadow/Darkness, Veil of –; Reign of Light/Glare, Veil of –

Art: Naming, Glamourie

Ruling Planet: Pluto, Neptune (Glamourie)

Sphere: Common

This charm suffuses the AoE with a shadowless polarized light creating optimal conditions for making sighting checks within the AoE, or raising the ambient light to a degree where a Glare penalty of up to (POT) is imposed within the AoE,

Conversely, it can be used to manifest a pervasive Gloom imposing a penalty of up to (POT) throughout the AoE designated,

If the Gloom or Glare penalty imposed by the charm is equal to or greater than the AWA score of any located in the AoE, the Gloom or Glare is considered impenetrable to them and they are rendered blind so long as they remain there. All skills that normally rely on sight reduced to 1/4th normal AV for those so affected, those based on the assumption of sight eliminated, GM’s discretion.

If the AoE is already subject to Glare or Gloom penalties due to pre-existing conditions (GM’s discretion) and the caster wishes to change the light level to the opposite end of the spectrum, the POT can be devoted to neutralizing the existing Glare or Gloom penalty, point by point, and the balance of any remaining POT used to push the light level into the opposite end of the spectrum (from Gloom up into Glare or Glare down into Gloom), raising the resulting Gloom or Glare to the point of penalty, again point by point.

At the caster’s discretion, this charm may be rendered as a Veil.

The “Veil of Glare/Gloom” aspect draws a Veil of gossamer shadow or light sufficient to cloak that which is located on one side of it from the sight of those on the other side. The Veil may total as much as (MGA + POT) yards in height and length and roughly (POT) inches in thickness, but may run in any configuration the caster desires.

Such is the density of the Veil that those on one side of it may only see dim, flat silhouetted shapes of the objects, creatures and/or beings on the other side of it, differentiated only by darkness of tone, as all color is essentially washed out. Only those creatures, beings or objects that are no more than [(victim’s AWA) – (Gloom/Glare POT)] yards, minimum one (1), from the Veil may be seen even this well. Beyond this distance, observers are able to see nothing but a gray or brilliant haze.

Any attempt to see through the Veil so as to recognize shapes, and especially specific persons already known, requires a Searcher/AWA check on d100 vs. [(POT) + (caster’s MGA att. mod.)], + the number of feet by which any given object, creature or being is located beyond the other side of it. This DV is lowered by the (modified) STA of creatures or beings or the Size of any objects.

The Veil works the same from both sides. Only the Glamourie form of this charm may ne made to work only from one side, after the fashion of a two-way mirror.

Only the Glamourie form of this charm can be resisted, and only within the unique parameters described for Glamourie.


Art: Sorcery, Naming

Ruling Planet: Mercury

Sphere: Common

The “Mesmerize” aspect is a very subtle form of Binding that goes a little deeper than the more superficial Banishing above. It lulls the victim into a dreamless somnambulistic state, almost asleep but not, in which the subconscious mind is engaged. While in this state of mind, the victim’s soul may be bared, the dweomer’s [(POT) + (caster’s HRT att. mod.)] providing the DV for a HRT check which must be successfully made before he may remain silent in response to any question to which he knows the answer.

This dweomer may only be applied to normal mortal folk, natives of the Mortal Sphere, and only those that are members of sentient humanoid races.

To lull the victim into the Mesmerized state of mind, an object of fascination must be supplied, some sort of shiny or glittery bauble, something of beauty that might be admired, a candle flame, the play of sunlight on a body of water, even the caster’s own eyes (especially if enhanced by a “Magnetic Gaze” charm). For use as a cantrip, all the caster must do is get the victim to look at the point of fascination to be used to focus the magick for it to work (providing they don’t resist. For spellcraft or ritual workings, should someone or something break into the victim’s magickally inspired reverie before the CTM is complete, the magick is spoiled, wasted.

These restrictions do not apply if the target is asleep when subjected to the dweomer.

IF the caster has the Mesmerize Spirit Skill, that SL is added to the effective POT of the dweomer when it is cast, except when the victim is asleep.

This charm induces a state of mind that is exceptionally malleable, makes the spirit cooperative and docile. The dweomer coerces the victim to reveal the answer to up to (POT) questions if the dweomer is tied off, or as many as desired if the dweomer is maintained at the caster’s pleasure. The victim may make a HRT check on d100 vs. the [(POT) + (CHM att. mod. + HRT att. mod. + BTY att. mod.)] to attempt an evasion or to remain silent.

IF successful, the victim may even attempt to lie, although the POT of the dweomer is subtracted from his AV to do so.

For better or for worse, the “Mesmerize” dweomer opens the subject’s mind to receive suggestions or commands/compulsions. Any suggestions or commands implanted cannot violate the basic spirit and character of the one in whom they are implanted, their morés and the basic values which make up the core of their personality, their identity.

IF this restriction is followed, the dweomer [(POT) + (Mesmerist’s CHM att. mod. + HRT att. mod.)] will provide a DV for the victim to resist the command or suggestion by means of a HRT check on d100, The victim’s M-RES for resisting the influence of any “Truthsay”, “Pillow Talk”, or similar compulsion when questioned, or Geis, Grand Command or Behest, or alteration of mind or memory magicks such as “Banish Memory” or “Seal Memory” directed at a target already Mesmerized are reduced by the POT of the Mesmerize charm.

In addition, those victims subjected to violence of any sort by the bearer of the charm immediately released, as surely as if the charm had been dispelled. This leaves them with their minds clouded to the point that they cannot initiate any original action in return for (POT) Actions, and a descending DV penalty to any reflexive or defensive actions allowed equal to the number of Actions of confusion and fugue still remaining, their gaze continually returning to the point of fascination used by the caster to snare their minds, very distracted.

The Druid & Witch incarnation of this magick is known amongst its practitioners as the “Druid Sleep”.

This charm may be resisted normally, when the victim is originally subjected to it. Any additional magicks used to manipulate the victim can only be resisted at the penalty described above, and the results of those resistance checks may well affect the difficulty of resisting the effects of those manipulations when they come into play again (as applicable).

Draw Harm; Deflect Harm

Art: Enchantment, Sorcery, Naming

Ruling Planet: Neptune (protection, magick), Mars (physical weapons),

Uranus (lightning)

Sphere: Common

This is a charm that affects the manner in which a threat of some sort moves when in its vicinity, the path it must take, either as a Magnet to Draw Harm OR to Deflect Harm.

The Magnet aspect diverts from its course some specified threat for the DUR, pulling it to the bearer of the charm. The threat can be any magick (or strictly specified by name or type) carrying up to (magickal damage) or broadened to encompass any energy (regardless of whether magickal or naturally occurring), any attack by a mundane melee weapon OR missile weapon, OR any at all dealing blows of (magickal damage) POT or less in combat, pulls any foe swinging a weapon within (POT) feet over to engage the bearer of the charm, instead, or bringing any missile loosed from any ranged weapon whose path crosses within (POT) yards as measured from the bearer of the charm, or any similar threat, draws them like magnet does iron so that the bearer of the charm becomes the target, instead.

Whether for lightning, or weapon strikes in battle, or attack magicks, whatsoever the caster tunes the charm to (as practical, that might conceivably be subject to this charm as described), in the same manner described under “Fine-Tuning a Magick”. This could apply not for all attack magicks indiscriminately, but certainly to any straight-up ranged attack magicks like Far Strike, or the various Dart magicks, etc.

When the bearer of the charm is targeted by any weapon or magick inflicting a blow of (magickal damage) POT or less that also requires a roll “to hit”, the Magnet charm eliminates the need for the roll, automatically guaranteeing it strikes true.

The aspects frequently referred to as Strike Magnet or Weapon Magnet and Dweomer Magnet are among the most common applications. When tuned to respond this way to lightning and similar electrical charges, it is called a Lightning Rod.

The Deflect aspect diverts from its course some specified threat for the DUR, also, BUT deflecting it away from him in a random direction to strike instead any object, creature or being that lies in that direction within up to (POT) yards (GM’s discretion). If nothing lies in that direction, it must hit the ground/floor.

The threat can be any of those described previously for the Magnet aspect, above, but the bearer of the charm must actually be the one that is expected to be hit, or destined to be hit if it is accidental, and equal to or less than (magickal damage) in the POT of any blow it may inflict before the charm can deflect it.

The aspects frequently referred to as Strike Deflection or Strike Warding and Dweomer Deflection are among the most common applications.

The charm endures until it has intervened up to (POT) times or the DUR expires, whichever occurs first. IF the charm intercepts a threat/blow greater than (magickal damage), the energy it can draw or deflect away is affected normally, but the balance continues on its path or hits the bearer, normally. This breaks the charm as surely as if it had been dispelled.

IF the optional DUR rules are in play, the charm may endure as long as the dweomer is maintained at the caster’s pleasure, intervening without limitation.

The “Deflect” aspect of this charm provides the practitioner with a bridge to the Noble SphereReflect Harm” charm, giving him the means and background to research it and develop a treatise on it such that he may learn it by virtue of his own studies and practice if it is not already in his repertoire.

If directed at or applied to creatures and/or beings, this charm can be resisted normally.

Spirit Senses

The Arts of the Wizard, Witch, Druid (any), Wise Woman, Cunning Man, Hedge/Hearth-Wizard, Hearth/Hedge-Witch or Mystic affect many other aspects of the character’s life than just those providing him with the ability to manifest magickal or miraculous powers and perform extraordinary feats with it.

The spiritual faculties of the soul express differently in almost everyone, but there are a number of common traits among their effects. For the purposes of the game, they are the basic skills through which those that pursue the art and power of magick approach their Arts. It is also a means for expressing untapped magickal potential in certain other characters who may have taken training in other (non-magickal) trades, however, a means by which some of the magick of the game and the gameworld can touch their lives, as well.

Magickal talent generally expresses itself in one or more abilities commonly referred to as “Spirit Senses” or, at least as commonly, “Othersenses”. These can take a number of forms encompassed by two basic skills: “Clairaudience” and “Clairvoyance”.

Clairaudience is the ability to hear things occurring at a distance, but includes the ability to Speak with Spirit, including the dead who cannot move on or who have returned to deliver some message.

Clairvoyance is the ability to see things, people and events at a distance, sometimes even through the mists of time. It consists of a number of sub-skills known as Second Sight, Divination or Finding, Prescience, Psychometry, Spirit Sight, and Scrying. All of these are included with the character’s Clairvoyance skill. Among those who follow the Faerie Faith in Celtic countries (in game terms, those who follow the Olde Ways), this bundle of Clairvoyance skills is referred to as “The Sight”.

Clairaudience is the ability to hear significant sounds occurring at a distance marking important events that are relatively easy to identify, but more importantly includes the ability to hear those who dwell in Spirit. In game terms, it is most commonly referred to as Listening to the Spirits or, due to the fact that they can hear the answers and hold conversation with the spirits, most commonly as Speaking with Spirits, or the Spirit Speak skill.

This skill must be facilitated by the use of a focus, such as a spirit board (on which the spirit moves a focus object such as an upside-down glass as a pointer to a layout of the letters of the alphabet in order to spell out messages), or meditation with a pen in hand to bring about Automatic Writing (where the spirit controls the hand to render written messages), or by means of a Spirit Box or Message Box (where a stick of chalk or crayon is enclosed in a box lined with a panel for writing inside the top and the bottom and the spirit uses the stick to write its messages on them while the box is closed).

The Spirit Speak skill enables the character to hear the earth-bound dead who cannot or will not move on, or those who remain due to unfinished business, or those who may even have returned to deliver some message, but may also include Færies, ethereal and astral spirits such a genii and dæmons, divine spirits of both Light and Darkness, their allies and servant spirits, who may be hovering about nearby, even while they are still completely Spirit in manifestation, without their having to actually exert any presence in the Mortal Sphere. These may simply happen to be nearby and holding a conversation amongst themselves, providing a running commentary the practitioner may find terribly distracting (sufficient to provide a DV penalty to any tasks attempted), or they may be gathered around the character(s) for some purpose. They may be of the nature of guardian spirits or Muses (genii or dæmons) standing by in accordance with their natures so they may influence events as they may. They may make comments directly to the character whether aware that he can hear them or not. If they know that he can hear them their comments are likely to be that much more direct and germane to the situation.

IF the spirits are having a conversation about the character, he should be allowed one or more SPT checks (GM’s discretion) as if they had uttered one or more key words and the character was under the influence of a “Far Hear” dweomer. Success would indicate that he had heard them and would then be able to eavesdrop on their conversation, or interrupt them with a comment of his own directed at them.

IF the spirit has some special connection with the gifted character, that should be taken into consideration and raise the AV commensurately (GM’s discretion). For more common situations, where the spirits are actually trying to say something TO the gifted character, the magnitude or POT of the spirit will be used as the AV.

The CHM att. mod. of the gifted character (minus Spirit Speak SL) stands as the DV for them to get his attention. If he is otherwise occupied, especially in an activity that could be potentially injurious or even life-threatening (scaling a cliff, disarming a trap, locked in armed combat with a foe) that should be taken into consideration, raising the DV. The more immediate and dangerous the circumstances, the greater the increase in the DV for the spirit to be heard.

 How such situations fall out depends entirely on the characters of the spirits involved and the PC and any roleplaying that ensues between them. However, should the character strike up a conversation with “the incontinent air” while others are around, unless he is already known to be a holy man (Mystic) or practitioner of magick, it is quite possible he may end up in an asylum as one of “goddes prisoners”.

Clairvoyance is the ability to see things of a spiritual nature, commonly referred to as visions, and may be comprised of visions of the future, called Prescience, or Future Sight, or visions of people, places, creatures and/or beings elsewhere but in the present time, called Second Sight, or visions of the past, or the ability to see spirit creatures who are near but normally invisible due to their very nature as denizens of Spirit, called Spirit Sight.

Prescience or Future Sight is Precognition, the knowing or seeing of events that have not come to pass, but commonly occur within no more than a year’s time. These events can be significant to someone the gifted character encounters casually, especially when touched, or may involve great events or tragedies that affect a great number of people locally or at some distance (usually still within the same realm, if not the same region or shire), or those in the gifted one’s own personal life. It stems from the skills of Augury and Prophecy, courting visions of the future, and when approached through ties with the element of the character’s birth is referred to as Aeromancy (air), Geomancy (earth), Pyromancy (fire), or Hydromancy (water).

Aeromancy involves observing substances in the air or wind; such as cloud shapes, weather conditions, and atmospheric phenomena (comets, etc.). This usually includes reading the direction of the wind (the very breath of Spirit) in regards to throwing sand or dirt in the wind after asking a question, and receiving the answer in the form of the dust cloud, or the same by throwing some combustible powder or substance on a fire to watch for the resulting smoke; or throwing a handful of seeds into the air and receiving the answer to a question from the pattern created by the fallen seeds. Any of these might be used as a means of triggering the visions.

The common vehicle by which Geomancy is practiced as a means of foretelling is the scattering of pebbles, dust, sand grains, or seeds on the ground and interpreting their shapes and positions

Pyromancy makes use of fire or flames. In ancient cultures, when the flames were vigorous and quickly consumed the sacrifice and when the smoke was transparent, neither red nor dark in color, when it didn’t crackle, but burnt silently in a pyramidal form, it was a good omen. If the fire was difficult to kindle, disturbed by wind or slow to consume the victim or offering, a bad omen. The flames of torches are also observed after powdered pitch is thrown into them.

Pyroscopy is an associated aspect in which the burn stains are read that are left after burning a sheet of paper (or other similarly combustible material) on a light surface.

Hydromancy is fortune telling by reading the motions or appearance of water (or other liquids) including the color, tides, ebb and flow, or ripples. Interpreting the color and patterns of flowing water, having a small boy (under the age of 7) tell what he has seen in the water, studying the ripples resulting from dropping stones into quiet water, or the like.

Future Sight is the skill whereby knowledge of the future can be requested from Spirit, BUT it also makes the gifted character a conduit through which Spirit may spontaneously send warnings, omens and portents of danger to come, or herald good fortune in the world. The spontaneously sent information concerning the future does not go only to the Mystics who serve Spirit, but to all who have the spiritual ears with which to hear/eyes with which to see. Omens and portents and the spirit energy inherent in them can be felt through this skill, hinting at the future can be sensed, such as the auspices of birds – whether they are flying in groups/alone, what noises they make as they fly, the direction of flight according to the quadrants of the sky as defined by the observer’s position at the time the auspice is observed, and what kind of birds they are. only certain birds would yield valid auspices, including wrens, ravens, woodpeckers, owls, oxifragæ, eagles. Hares were similarly loosed and their flight observed for portents and signs.

The rune mal is another medium through which augury and prophesy are called for, rune-carven sticks, animal knuckle bones, glass beads, small stones from significant places or people, inscribed earthenware chits, or any collection of small items, which are thrown to form patterns triggering visions.

The use of cards with various symbols or significators on them, such as tarot cards but not limited to them, is prophecy by Cartomancy. A character may be given or required to render his own set of symbolic cards by the one who teaches him their use. Associated in origin with gypsies who used such cards to prognosticate the future, provide guidance or read the personality of their clients. This method of divination was introduced to Europe c. 1300, perfect for the purposes of the RoM.

The player must choose one of these means or methods or come up with something similar as the focus for his character’s Spirit Skill (GM’s discretion).

Divination is another term that can be applied to the casting of auguries for the future (as above), BUT can just as readily be applied to the use of dowsing rods or a thread or string and pendulum, or the like for Finding things, people, or beasts who have been misplaced or lost, or for finding one’s way when lost, in the same manner described for the “Compass Charm” in the Compendium.

The Second Sight enables the caster to view objects, creatures, and/or beings remotely, to see events that are happening at a distance. It is usually spontaneously triggered when loved-ones are threatened or great tragedies involving many deaths occur, wheresoever they may be located, but the gifted one can sometimes achieve success by concentrating and actively seeking the vision.

Spirit Sight enables the character to see such beings as Færies and the dead, ethereal and astral spirit, spirits of Light and Darkness who may be hovering about near by, even while they are still completely Spirit in manifestation, whether they allow themselves to be seen or are willfully cloaking themselves from the sight of mortal folk. The magnitude of the spirit will be used as the AV for the check and the character’s SPT will be used as the DV to determine whether the spirit has evaded being sensed.

IF the GM determines that the spirit is not aware that it may be sensed, that there is one trained in the spirit skills and especially magick, it will make no attempt to conceal its presence beyond simply remaining completely non-material and the character with the Spirit Sight will have no trouble seeing them at all. In these circumstances, it is always a more prudent tactic for the gifted character to wait until he is alone with the spirit before acknowledging its presence to attempt to gain its trust and coax it into manifesting so they can talk, unless the character also has the Clairaudience skill (“Spirit Speak”) and may converse with it while still in its spirit state.

The AV for the gifted character to see a hidden spirit is based on his SPT att. mod. and AWA att. mod., plus his Spirit Sight SL.

The base DV for spotting a spirit that wishes to conceal its presence should be equal to the spirit’s POT, plus its HRT att. mod.

The character’s AV may be impaired according to his personal state and circumstances, as discussed under the heading “Task Resolution”.

Psychometry is the gift by which the vibrations an object carries can be read, so that its use can be known, details of the owner and his life, high-points or dramatic events in the history of the item, the emotional state of the current owner, what he is going through in his life, the origins of the object, who made it where and why, and so on, in the same manner as the “Read Object” dweomer (cf.) whose POT is equal to the Psychometry SL. The better the character gets with the skill, the more information he can glean with it.

All of the Clairvoyance skills except those specifically noted as having another means or physical anchor or focus like the rune mal or knuckle bones, require the use of a physical object as an external focus in which the visions received manifest – a mirror, crystal ball, large-ish bright clear cut gem or natural crystal, basin of water, cup of wine, cast upon them so the vision it grants appears in the object used, but they all have one thing in common, and that is a perfectly smooth surface that can reflect images perfectly in them, or a perfectly clear matrix in which an image can coalesce and clearly be seen (GM’s discretion). This is referred to as Scrying. If an observer has a SPT score of greater than average (14+) he may be able to see the visions that manifest in the focus of the Scrying. This allows the visions to be shared with others.

The Spirit Skills are all duplicated among the dweomers the player may choose for his practitioner character, but as the number of dweomers he is allowed at the start of play is limited, it is just as well that any of these or the whole bundle may be taken as trade skills. In the event that the player give his character a Spirit Skill AND knowledge of the corresponding dweomer, the effective SL of the dweomer after it has been successfully cast will be compounded, the Spirit Skill adding to the effectiveness of the dweomer.

Those who originate from the Celtic tradition, specifically those trained in one of the Druid trades, have their own traditional methods of looking into the future. To achieve the rank of Ollamh the Fili is required to master the specific Spirit Skills of the imbas forosna (enlightenment, the ability to foresee and describe future events in verse), teinm láeda (“breaking of marrow”), and díchetal di cennaib (“chanting of heads”). The 10th-century Sanas Cormaic (Cormac’s Glossary) cites teinm laída as one of the three ways of actually acquiring prophetic or hidden knowledge, along with díchetal do chennaib and imbas forosnai. These are the specific forms taken by the Spirit Skills of Clairvoyance, Second Sight, and Prescience for the members of the Druid trades.

The imbas forosnai is a special gift for receiving prophetic knowledge or clairvoyance exercised by poets, especially the ollam, the highest rank of Fili. In performing the imbas forosnai, the poet chews a piece of the flesh of a pig, dog or cat, and then puts it on a flagstone near the door to his chamber and chants an invocation over it to the applicable Green Lords. He chants over his two palms and commands that his sleep not be disturbed, and then puts his two palms on his cheeks and sleeps. Men guard him that he may not be disturbed or turned over, when the Fili is among his own people or has followers of the faith or others willing to stand in attendance on him. At the end of three days and nights the poet may then judge whether imbas forosnai has enlightened him.

The díchetal do chennaib is a kind of incantation composed extemporaneously by poets (Fili) and Druids, often using the finger-tips. Díchetal do chennaib is a kind of psychometry conveying visions to the character which he then translates and frames in quatrain or verse. An ollam is required to be proficient in both the díchetal do chennaib and the imbas forosnai. Fionn mac Cumhaill is described as having been especially proficient at díchetal do chennaib. This is the specific form taken by the Spirit skill of Psychometry for the members of the various Druid trades.

The teinm laída is a form of divination used by the Fili and Bards. In the Fenian Cycle it is always associated with the visions Fionn mac Cumhaill gains by chewing on his thumb (wherein his Otherworldly wisdom lies) and chanting.

The Spirit Skills are all duplicated among the charms a player may choose for his magick-wielding character, but as the number of charms a character is allowed at the start of play is limited, it is just as well that any of these or the whole bundle may be taken as Trade Skills. In the event that the player give his character a Spirit Skill AND the corresponding charm, the Spirit Sense SL is added to the effective POT of the dweomer after it has been successfully cast, enhancing the strength and effectiveness of the dweomer without making the charm any harder to cast.

Wound Hex, Bewitch Wound

Art: Sorcery, Naming

Ruling Planet: Mars

Sphere: Common

This hex bars normal healing in the victim, so that up to (POT) wounds cannot heal for the DUR. For the purposes of this Hex, each Serious Wound counts as two (2) wounds, each Grievous Wound counts as three (3), and each Mortal Wound counts as four (4).

The Hex also prevents the wounds affected by the dweomer from being cleaned, closed and dressed, raising the chances of infection and illness setting in afterwards significantly. Indeed, once wounds so Hexed are cleaned and dressed, the charm tears the wound open and the dressing off again the first moment no one is looking.

In addition, should the POT of the Hex not be sufficient to block the healing of all wounds suffered, the POT of the Hex is added to the number of wounds suffered (total wounds, including those that cannot be healed) for the purposes of determining the rate of healing for those wounds that CAN be healed, thus slowing healing down, lengthening the intervals at which wounds are recovered.

This Hex is commonly bundled with weapon charms or those charms that inflict damage such as Far Strike, to make the wounds far more troublesome than they would otherwise be.

This Hex may be resisted normally.

Wound Channeling

Art: Sorcery, Naming

Ruling Planet: Sun

Sphere: Common

Enables the caster to absorb up to (POT) wounds into his own body and then to bestow them on any other living creature or being. The damage transferred can be the result of normal weapons and attacks, accidents, or the result of magickal attacks, and so on — it matters not. Unless the caster is able to immediately bestow the wounds absorbed, in turn, upon some other(s) within (caster’s HRT + trade SL) CS’s, the caster absorbing these wounds becomes subject to a P-RES check vs. a Progressive DV based on the number of wounds absorbed, as they hit his system all at once. He is then subject to all the consequences of having taken on all those wounds at once, to whatever Level of Wounding they would normally reduce him. If he is able he might then channel them away, DUR permitting, this can then be reversed.

If the one to whom the caster channels the wounds resists, the amount he can channel to him is diminished or blocked, according to the results of resistance.

This charm must be applied before (recipient’s CND) minutes have passed following the end of the battle or incident in which the wound(s) being channeled were suffered. Once this window of time has closed, there is no further recourse to this charm.

A character struck down by a deathblow can even be brought back by channeling the worst of the wounds away, or even just enough to bring him back from the edge of death, but ONLY if the charm is applied within (dead character’s HRT) minutes of having been killed. Once this window of time has closed, the character is dead beyond the power of the Common Sphere magicks to redress.

The caster may only channel away what the first casting of the charm allows for the injured. Once he has used this charm for the benefit of a recipient’s health, he cannot do so again unless they have been wounded anew, and then he may only affect those new wounds, none other.

This magick can be resisted normally.

Witch Web

Art: Naming

Ruling Planet: Mars

Sphere: Common

The “Witch Web”conjures glistening tendrils of deceptively silken gossamer webs that shoot forth from his outstretched hand upon the loosing of the dweomer. The Web may be woven as a net to cover the AoE designated by the caster, whether anchored to walls or trees or pillars or the like, and strung between in order to catch things, or spun across any equal vertical space as a sheet, acting as a wall, or to bind a group of objects together into a bundle, even to wrap up and immobilize any creatures or beings designated by the caster.

A single Web charm may be spun by the caster into up to (POT) ropes totaling no more than [(MGA) x (POT)] feet in length, or into a single rope-ladder of the same maximum length. Ropes and rope ladders can support no more than the [(magickal damage) x 10] pounds of weight at a time.

IF more than one is to be wrapped and immobilized with a single casting, especially if the caster is binding together a bunch of objects into a single parcel, every target must be immediately adjacent to (no more than 5 feet away from) at least one other target also to be affected. The caster may choose whether the foes so immobilized are to anchored to the ground, walls, or other features of their environment that might serve to keep them from wriggling away or being stolen away by their allies.

In binding up a parcel of objects or binding up and immobilizing a foe, the caster may dictate exactly the manner in which the binding is executed, whether in sheets to obscure the nature of the objects within or by rope-like strands, whether all limbs are bound in pairs (legs/ankles, wrists/hands), the limbs bound together (hog-tie wrists to ankles), bind arms at sides, or bind them from head to toe, so that they are unable to move at all, howsoever the caster desires – even gagging them if desired so they may not even speak.

For purposes of breaking through them at any point, Witch Webs used to bind things together can withstand blows of up to (magickal damage) in POT from common mortal weapons without suffering any harm. Any blow more potent than (magickal damage x 2) brings that threshold down by one (1) point, in the same manner that the DR or armor wears down. The threshold at which damage is suffered and the POT of the blow needed to inflict harm wear down in tandem, point for point. When both thresholds are reduced to zero, the Web charm is broken, as surely as if it had been dispelled.

At the caster’s option, where there are sufficient means to anchor it on all edges, the Web may be spun into a Web Wall of up to (MGA + POT) yards in length and up to (MGA + POT) feet in height. This aspect may also be turned sideways and spun vertically to create a Bridge of Webs that can support the same amount of weight as the Rope, previously.

The Web Wall and Bridge of Webs have the same strength described previously, requiring the same amount of damage be inflicted on them before they are compromised, but the damage done in this case is sufficient only to cut across it. Should the two ends be rejoined, pressed back together again, they fuse together and reseal up to (POT) times. If the optional DUR rules are in play the Web can do this indefinitely, so long as the charm is maintained.

Exceeding the weight limit of a rope or rope-ladder spun of a Web charm inflicts a blow of [(excess weight in lb’s) ÷ 10] in POT every CS that it is supported on the Web, accumulating until the damage is sufficient to inflict harm enough to damage the Web in the same manner as weapon blows, above, if the damage from the excess weight is not sufficient to inflict a wound on the Web in a single CS.

Alternately, the Web charm can be used to conjure very fine, thready, insubstantial gossamer sheets of cobwebs that completely festoon the designated AoE from above and below and from point to point in every direction possible and whose sole purpose is simply to reduce visibility in the same manner as either a Cloud or Veil of Obfuscation.

The “Veil of Cobwebs” puts up a barrier which may run in any configuration the caster desires, but is restricted to no more than [(POT) x (MGA)] feet in height or length and is roughly [(MGA) + (POT)] inches in thickness. The “Cloud of Cobwebs” effect fills the AoE described by the caster, but can stretch upwards (or downwards) to a height or depth of no more (AoE radius). Only those areas that are closed off from the AoE by walls, shutters, doors and the like closed off prior to the loosing of the magick remain unaffected, even though they physically lie within the AoE, i.e., in the event that a structure or part of a structure is encompassed.

Such is the density of the countless sheets and strands and streamers of gossamer cobwebs suspended and flowing throughout the AoE or making up the Veil that those caught within it can see only dim, flat silhouetted shapes of the objects, creatures and/or beings, differentiated only by shade or tone, as all color is essentially washed out by the overwhelming ghostly presence of the Webs. In the case of the Veil, even when standing with one’s nose up to it, objects, creatures and/or beings on the other side of it can be seen no better.

Objects, creatures and/or beings within the Cloud of Cobwebs or on the other side of a Veil of Webs can only be seen to the degree described up to each observer’s own [(AWA) – (Cloud’s POT)] in yards, minimum one (1). Beyond this distance victims can see nothing but an impenetrable mass, according to that which comprises the Cloud of Veil.

Any attempt to see through a Cloud or Veil so as to recognize shapes, especially specific persons or even beasts already known, requires a successful Perception/AWA check on d100 vs. [(POT) + (caster’s MGA att. mod.)], PLUS the number of feet by which a given object, creature or being is removed from the viewer within the distance that allows such sightings. This DV is lowered by the (modified) STA of creatures or beings or the Size of any objects.

Failing this check, an observer may not be completely blinded by the Cloud, but is simply unable to identify just what the something he is looking at actually is with any certainty. In the case of Cloud magicks, this also effectively reduces all AV’s for skills relying upon sight by (POT), to a maximum penalty of 1/4th normal, so long as each remains in the AoE. A successful check only reduces the victim’s AV’s to 1/2 normal, again for as long as he remains in the AoE.

The conditions and procedures described all assume normal ambient daylight, however. If light levels are less than optimal, Gloom conditions are likely to be imposed on top of the effects of the Webs (GM’s discretion).

Web charms are commonly bundled with or treated after they manifest to a Stick Charm or Charm of Adherance, even painted with a Tar charm to make the Web sticky, either on the inside, to prevent victims from struggling, and/or outside as well to anchor the web and perhaps snare the unwary rescuer, only the edges, only one side, etc.

When the DUR expires, the Web frays and falls to tatters, completely melting away into the Æther whence it came.

This charm can only be resisted when applied directly to creatures and/or beings.

Witch Steed

Art: Naming

Ruling Planet: Moon

Sphere: Common

This charm follows an ancient tradition associated with a child’s hobby-horse, that even the image or rough likeness of the head of the beast affixed to the end of a rod of magickal wood could in fact become a steed for those witches too poor to be able to afford a real horse to ride to high quarter day or cross-quarter day festivals. To avoid having tell-tale objects around the hut in times of trouble, the charm was cast on a broom turned upside down, the bristles suggesting the horse’s mane. Thus, the charm allows the caster to ride along the ground in a similar manner to a child on his hobby-horse stick, but actually being carried along by it and able to pull his feet up and rest them in phantom “stirrups”, behaving in very particular in the same manner as a horse until the rider puts it down again. Once put down, the Steed dissipates as surely as if it had been dispelled, unless the option DUR rules are in play and the DUR is being maintained at the caster’s pleasure, in which case the Steed may be put down and picked back up again up to (POT) times.

The Steed may be cast upon any broom, mop, branch or other staff or rod of roughly (caster’s shoulder-height) in length to imbue it with and anchor to it the animus by which it works, to function for whomsoever the caster designates (see “Fine-tuning the Magick”). It can move at speeds of up to (HRT + POT) mph (multiply mph x 7.33 to determine the Pulse move in 25mm Skirmishing Scale), with the advantage of not having to worry about uneven ground or surfaces, potholes or the like tripping the Steed as would be the case for any common mortal mount.

The Steed’s ability to jump and leap uses the rider’s own as a base, but is enhanced by the charm by up to (POT) feet, PLUS the normal effect of the increase or decrease in movement speed for the lead run (according to the allowance described in Character Creation) in the case of the Running Leap. The Steed must have half the distance leaped in overhead clearance when Leaping or making a Running Leap. They may NOT be knocked over or back, lifted or blown about by winds or any other disembodied force (such as the results of a “Manifest Will” dweomer) any more than a normal mortal steed of [(rider’s modified STA) + POT)] in STA. Witch Steeds also have no need of sustenance, neither food nor drink, nor do they require rest.

IF the CND Action Allowance rules are in play, the Steed can travel indefinitely without regard for such restrictions for its DUR.

A Witch Steed can carry no more than (HRT x POT) pounds upon its “back”. The degree to which ia Steed is encumbered diminishes the speed at which it can move according to the optional ENC rules, normally (as applicable), i.e., for every 1/4 of this ENC value used, its maximum speed drops by 1/4; so that a Steed carrying an amount equal to or greater than its 1/4 ENC but less than its 1/2 ENC value can only travel at up to 3/4th’s its stated maximum movement rate.

The rider must contrive to carry any belongings/cargo on the Steed in as well-balanced manner as he may, himself, for there is no actual “horse” to carry any burden beyond the rider himself, and riding at speed may require AGL/Horseman checks to stay seated when jumping or otherwise maneuvering around obstacles. If the Steed’s ENC allowance is exceeded at any time, the Steed must collapse and disipate, its dweomer broken as surely as if it had been dispelled.

The Steed itself is weightless as the animus that inhabits it, and so long as it lies within its ENC, supports the weight of the rider completely, so may travel on the surface of water or snow, on thin ice, or the most delicate or unstable of structures, including those produced of magick, and especially those conjured of manifestations of Spirit (Light, Dark, Shadow).

Though this Steed requires no Horseman skill to ride, those who possess that skill may earn SP’s toward it as if practicing when riding them if the POT is greater than the Horseman’s SL, to a limit of the difference between the POT and the rider’s Horsemanship SL in SP’s that may be earned from it.

The Steed is animated by a conjured low spirit; it is NOT a natural horse, and does NOT possess the instincts, senses, and especially not the sensibilities of a natural horse. It cannot even contemplate balking at such things as being ridden off a precipice, though the damage of the fall be sufficient to destroy it, nor can it be spooked by sudden actions, especially combat situations, nor even by the terror normally generated by such things as un-dead creatures or the magicks of one’s foes. It has no real intelligence or even awareness of its own (in the general or character sense), and makes NO actions on its own initiative of its own volition. When lying quiescent, it remains so until picked up again for use by one authorized to do so. If it is picked up by one that is not authorized to use it, it simply remains inert.

In combat situations this Steed certainly possesses NO combat capability such as a mortal steed might exhibit, it is nothing more than a simple conveyance.

The POT of any wound inflicted upon a Steed reduces the POT of the charm, until it reaches zero, indicating the magick is broken as surely as if it had been dispelled.

This charm cannot be resisted in any way.