© 1994 by Scott Gray and Sharon Tripp. These pages may not be reproduced for profit. They may be copied, provided they are not altered and the authors' names remain attached.Previous section | Next section | Contents
If two addictives of different types are combined, they are considered as one dose with the higher force and higher level. The same is true if both addictives are taken less than 2 hours apart.
To determine the base probability for addiction:
1. Add the total levels of addictives of the same type which had been ingested less than [force] weeks prior to the additional dose.
1A. If the character has ever been addicted to the same substance before, add [level of current addictive times 3] points.
2. If any other addictives have been ingested within [their force] weeks, add 1 point.
2A. If the character currently has any other addictions, add 5 points.
Once all other points are added, subtract the victim's fatigue points. Multiply the resulting number by five to determine the probability of an addiction being fostered, which will be rolled by the GM at some point following the ingestion.
Example: Laurie, who plays Helena, gives Alexandra (the GM) an addictive tag for hunger (a level 5, force 4 addictive) signed by Henry. Apparently, Jake (Henry's character) unwittingly imbibed a dose of hunger.
Alexandra checks Jake's record, and sees that two other doses of hunger had been taken within the past four weeks. Another dose had been taken eight weeks ago, but the poison is only force 4, and so that dose doesn't affect the probability of addiction. He has also taken one dose of Qat within the past week, still within the addictive force of Qat.
The base probability of addiction is equal to the total level of all prior doses of hunger taken in the past four weeks. Jake has had two prior doses of this level five addictive, so his base probability of addiction is ten.
Alex adds one point because Jake has another addictive in his system, bringing the total to eleven. Jake has no current addictions, and never has been addicted to hunger.
Alex subtracts Jake's five fatigue points from the current probability of eleven, giving a total of six points. This is multiplied by five. There is a 30% chance that this dose of hunger will foster an addiction.
Each alchemical formula is rated for how difficult it is to find components for it. Ratings range between 1 and 10. The GM can use this as a guide for choosing what the minimum components called for in the alchemical formula should be. (Note that the GM is certainly free to require more or rarer components.)
Components should be selected which are appropriate for the task. Ideally the GM selects components which have actually been historically used for such purposes. It might be appropriate to use deadly nightshade in quick poison, paralysis or feign death, but not in an explosive. Bear in mind that some things have a wide range of uses -- sulphur can be used for explosives, and to help carbonate water. For simplicity's sake, when a component is bought or found, it should generally be the proper amount as needed in any formulas.
Once the components have been selected, the GM should write the formula. This might simply instruct the alchemist to combine the ingredients, but will often have complex instructions.
For example, the alchemist might be expected to steep some components in others for a certain number of days, and then combine with other components over low heat in a glass beaker, precisely half-a-foot from the flame, followed by a period of cold-storage in an earthenware pot until the mixture separates so the useless "heavy matter" can be discarded and the precious oily substance left can be used.
If the GM finds (s)he is short on time to design such complex formulas, (s)he might wish to select components, and ask one of the players whose character has access to the formula to write out the instructions. The GM can look over what was written later, and modify it slightly if necessary.
Usually an alchemical formula will have a rarity rating, but no frequency rating (or rather, a frequency of 0). However, some formulas may have frequency ratings; in such cases, it almost always refers to the length of time which a mixture must steep, ferment or otherwise be put aside after it is begun.
Some alchemical formulas will make multiple doses of the elixir or alchemical mixture. However, most formulas are for a single dose, and require additional sets of components to make additional doses.
Below is an example of how a gunpowder formula might be written ingame (taken from Albertus Magnus, The Book of Secrets, Claredon Press translation):
"Make flying fire after this manner.
Take one pound of brimstone, two pound of coals of willow or withy, six pound of stony salt; these three things must be brayed very small, in a marble stone. Afterward thou mayest put some at thy pleasure in a coat of paper, flying or making thunder."
Rather than write out directions ingame, the GM may simply hand the players a list of the necessary components. The formula for gunpowder might simply be written:
Components: sulphur, willow, saltpeter
Makes 12 doses of gunpowder