Thursday, October 31, 2013

House Rules - Black Market Items and Poisons

Black Market Items and Poisons

ItemCostWeight
Brittlebone30 shillings1 lb.
Chakar Root750 shillings¼ lb.
Dessicator Poison2,750 shillings¼ lb.
Ebon Fungus500 shillings¼ lb.
Embalming Fire50 shillings1 lb.
Liquid Night150 shillings1 lb.
Mindfire200 shillings¼ lb.
Night Venom500 shillings¼ lb.
Oakdeath100 shillings¼ lb.
White Sanguine100 shillings¼ lb.
Some items are banned in almost all civilized realms, as being the implements of thieves, assassins, spies, and necromancers. In many cases, the mere possession of such items is considered to be evidence that the owner is engaged in some sort of nefarious activity. The most obvious of these substances are poisons, but there are a number of poison enhancers that are banned as often as the poisons themselves. Also almost universally banned are alchemical substances that have necromantic uses for enhancing undead, or that may be used by undead creatures to overcome their weaknesses. To acquire these items, a potential purchaser would almost certainly have to resort to using black market contacts, and being in possession of many of these items is often considered to be tantamount to the crimes of assassination or grave robbing, and those caught with them are usually subjected to the same punishments that would be meted out to those actually caught undertaking such acts.

Item Descriptions

Brittlebone: This unguent must be spread over a set of bones before it is animated as a skeleton. The ointment reduces the skeleton’s natural armor bonus by 2 (to a minimum of 0), but when an affected skeleton is destroyed, its bones splinter and fly apart, sending shards in all directions. Any creature within the skeleton’s normal reach when this occurs takes 1 point of piercing damage per Hit Die of the skeleton, rounded up (DC 15 Reflex save for half damage). Cost: 30 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1 lb.

Chakar Root: Chakar is a strange and beautiful plant that produces fragrant blooms and emits a glow visible only to those using darkvision. While the plant is admired for its unsettling beauty, the roots of the plant have proven the most prized part by assassins. Chakar root has a light, pleasant taste, and it is commonly mixed into a victim’s food. When ingested, chakar causes a warm and pleasant sensation that runs throughout the entire body. However, if the victim fails her Fortitude save (DC 16), she becomes paralyzed. This paralysis lasts for 1d3 hours. The root continues to attack the body, and a minute after the initial ingestion, the victim must make a second save or suffer 2d6 points of dexterity damage. Cost: 750 shillings; Craft: Poisonmaking DC: 17; Weight: ¼ lb.

Dessicator Poison: The result of a successful use of the dessicator – a gruesome torture device – is a viscous substance that contains the vital essence of a sentient being. By combining this essence with a mixture of monstrous spider venom, alchemists have learned how to make extremely deadly poisons that target specific races. It requires an Alchemy check (DC 20) as well as the normal Craft: Poisonmaking skill check to create a single vial of dessicator poison. Failure indicates that the ingredients have been wasted, necessitating another use of the dessicator. Dessicator poison is tailored for a specific race. It is a contact poison (DC 19) that causes 3d6 initial Constitution damage and 3d6 secondary Constitution damage if used against a member of the same race that was used to make the dessicator poison. If the poison comes into contact with a different race, it is not nearly as effective (1d2 initial Constitution damage, no secondary damage). Cost: 2,750 shillings; Craft: Poisonmaking DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Ebon Fungus: Ebon fungus is commonly found near pools of water that are completely devoid of life. Animals that stumble into a patch of ebon fungus begin to become withdrawn, lethargic, and disinterested in the world around them. If left unattended, the animal soon dies from ennui, refusing to even seek food or water. Ebon fungus attacks in two different ways. First, creatures that inhale the spores feel a loss of self-confidence and worth, eventually causing a spiraling depression. Second, the fungus spreads throughout the victim’s body, covering his skin with a fuzzy black substance. When used as a poison, it is ground into a fine black powder and distributed as an inhalant. Those who breathe it must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) or suffer 1 point of Charisma damage. One minute later, the victim must succeed at a second Fortitude saving throw or suffer an additional 2d6 Charisma damage. Cost: 500 shillings; Craft: Poisonmaking DC: 15; Weight: ¼ lb.

Embalming Fire: This bitter-smelling liquid must be poured over a corpse and allowed to soak for at least 1 minute before the corpse is animated as a zombie. If an affected zombie takes even a single point of damage, it bursts into blue flame that lasts 1 minute. The fire does no damage to the zombie, but each successful unarmed melee attack the creature makes while burning deals an additional 1d6 points of fire damage. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1 lb.

Liquid Night: When spread upon a daylight-sensitive undead creature, this dark, sticky fluid provides temporary protection from the sun’s deadly rays. An affected undead creature can ignore its usual vulnerability to sunlight for a full hour. If subjected to a spell or magical effect that would cause extra damage to an undead creature vulnerable to sunlight (such as searing light or sunbeam), a creature under the influence of liquid night is treated as though it did not have that vulnerability. However, exposure to such a spell or magical effect burns away the liquid night, immediately ending all protection against sunlight or magical effects that simulate it. Liquid night has the distinct odor of moonflower (one of its ingredients). Cost: 150 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Mindfire: What is not commonly known is that the stem of the wild fireclover is capable of producing a powerful mind-clouding addition to a normal poison. When combined with an ingested poison, mindfire leaves the imbiber confused and disoriented. Imbibers who fail either save required by a mindfire-enhanced poison suffer a -2 alchemical penalty to Will saves. In addition, spell-casters affected by a mindfire-enhanced poison must make a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) to cast spells. The effects of mindfire last for 1 hour. Mindfire can only be combined with ingested poisons. Cost: 200 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 30; Weight: ¼ lb.

Night Venom: The root of the orticusp is pulped and mixed with a poison to make a potent additional effect. If the victim of a night-venom enhanced poison fails the initial Fortitude save to resist the poison, she must immediately make an additional Fortitude save against the poison’s normal DC. If the victim fails this save, she falls into a fitful slumber until the poison’s secondary effect sets in. Creatures sleeping due to the effects of a night-venom enhanced poison can be awakened by normal means. Cost: 500 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 35; Weight: ¼ lb.

Oakdeath: The bark of the dwarven oak can be used to create a viscous brown liquid that can be added to any poison to increase its toxicity. Dealing in oakdeath is illegal in most places and often carries the same penalty as actually poisoning someone. If added to a poison less than 1 hour before the poison’s application, oakdeath increases the poison’s save DC by 2. Cost: 100 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

White Sanguine: Powdered meadow giant stem is the principle ingredient in white sanguine, a milky, viscous substance smeared on assassin’s blades to prevent blood clotting. Wounds inflicted by a weapon coated in white sanguine enhanced poison often fail to clot. If the victim fails the initial Fortitude save to resist the enhanced poison’s effects, the wound continues to bleed for 1 minute, inflicting 1 point of damage per round in blood loss. The bleeding can be stopped with a DC 15 Heal check or the application of any cure wounds spell. White sanguine can only be combined with injury poisons. Cost: 100 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: ¼ lb.

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House Rules - Rare and Restricted Alchemical Items

Rare and Restricted Alchemical Items

ItemCostWeight
Armor Soft50 shillings1 lb.
Blasting Pellets50 shillings2 lbs.
Clearstone10 shillings per poundVaries
Courier's Ink20 shillings¼ lb.
Deepsmoke Stick40 shillings1 lb.
Fire Beetle Paste50 shillings1 lb.
Firestone50 shillings1 lb.
Flash-Bang95 shillings1 lb.
Flash Powder20 shillings1 lb.
Flashball40 shillings1 lb.
Flashstone30 shillings1/10 lb.
Free Foot25 shillings1 lb.
Holdfast50 shillings¼ lb.
Lantern Stars5 shillings1 lb.
Liquid Ice30 shillings½ lb.
Memorybind300 shillings½ lb.
Red Rager50 shillings1 lb.
Rockburn Oil50 shillings1 lb.
Slippery Oil50 shillings1 lb.
Sneezing Powder60 shillings¼ lb.
Softshoe Powder25 shillings¼ lb.
Stinktar50 shillings1 lb.
Stonecloth100 shillings per square footVaries
Tangle Wire25 shillings2 lbs.
Truth Wine75 shillings1 lb.
Vapors of Sleep50 shillings½ lb.
Vine Oil50 shillings1 lb.
In addition to the standard array of alchemical items that are commonly found in apothecaries and alchemical shops throughout the land, there are a number of other substances and concoctions that are harder for common people to get their hands on. Some alchemical items have obvious military applications, such as blasting pellets, flash powder, and liquid ice, and are restricted for sale in some areas as a result. Some alchemical items require components that are rare or hard to find, such as fire beetle paste and lantern stars, and consequently unless the purchaser can provide the necessary rare components themselves, they may be unavailable. A third group of items, such as free foot and softshoe power, are often restricted because of their somewhat obvious usefulness for criminals, although they are not always banned outright because they are also useful for diplomats, spies, scouts, and soldiers. The common thread that ties all of these items together is that while they all may be acquired by a purchaser under the right circumstances, it will probably take some work and some connections to find a source willing to sell them.

Item Descriptions

Armor Soft: This slippery red oil has a mild corrosive effect on most metals. Although long-term use of armor soft is detrimental to any suit of armor, it provides the short-term benefit of easier movement and less noise. Any suit of metal armor treated with armor soft has its armor check penalty reduced by one. The effects of armor soft last for one hour. Each application of armor soft causes a cumulative 5% chance of the armor failing. The check is made after the duration of the armor soft has expired. Any armor that fails as a result of the corrosive effect is rendered useless. Armor soft does not reduce the armor check penalty of non-metal armor, but the corrosive effects still apply. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Blasting Pellets: Blasting pellets look like ball bearings or stones and come in bags. Used like caltrops, one bag of these alchemical items is enough to cover an area 5 feet square. Each round that a creature moves more than half speed through an area covered in blasting pellets (or spends a round fighting while standing in such an area), it must make a Reflex save (DC 15) to avoid breaking one. Breaking one pellet sets off a chain reaction among the others and they all loudly explode dealing 1d6 points of sonic damage to the creature in the square. Spreading a bag of pellets over a wider area or throwing the bag at a target has no substantial effect. Gnomes use blasting pellets mainly as alarm systems, hiding the pellets under leaves, or among other stones and gravel. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 2 lb.

Clearstone: This alchemical substance has all the properties of glass (such as hardness, hit points, and so on), but it reacts to other substances exactly like stone. This means that a chest made of clearstone can hold green slime, allowing the manufacture of the green slime chest. It also means that clearstone flasks cannot store acid. Cost: 10 shillings per pound; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: Items made from clearstone weigh as much as the same item would if it were made from stone.

Courier’s Ink: Courier’s ink is a special, invisible ink that becomes visible only when dipped into a revealing solution. The efficient formula for the ink produces the revealing solution as a byproduct of the creation process. Courier’s ink is common enough in some regions that blank pages found among captured documents are routinely dipped in revealing solution to look for information. Revealed courier’s ink is always red, so most people with sensitive information to hide write or draw on a page first in different colored ink. Once the revealing solution is applied, messages written in courier’s ink are permanently visible. Courier’s ink cannot be used to record a spell. Until it is dipped in the revealing solution, courier’s ink is invisible, making drawing the precise symbols used in magic spells impossible. Cost: 20 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: ¼ lb.

Deepsmoke Stick: This alchemically treated wooden stick is similar to a smokestick, except that it has also been soaked in a foul-smelling resin that produces an oily some in a 10-foot cube when ignited. The smoke is made up of tarry flecks and reflective crystals, and the resulting miasma is so thick that it blocks scent and even blindsight. The cloud has no effect on creatures with tremorsense. The stick is consumes after 1 round, and the smoke dissipates naturally. Cost: 40 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1 lb.

Fire Beetle Paste: This substance is a mixture of chemicals and a concentrated distillation of fire beetle glands, yielding a thick, reddish paste. If spread on a surface it burns fiercely for 1d4 rounds if touched by open flame, doing 3d6 points of damage per round and halving the hardness of the object before damage is applied. It can burn through wood, stone and metal. One container of the stuff is enough to draw a half-inch think line one yard long. A container can be ignited and throw, but the paste does not stick or splatter when used in such a manner and has the same effect as a thrown torch. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Firestone: This small orange stone can be hurled as a grenade like weapon. When it hits a hard surface, it bursts into a puff of flame that does 1d6 points of fire damage and ignites any flammable materials within the five foot square where it strikes. Fires lit by a firestone burn normally. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Flash-Bang: These alchemical devices were first created by gnome illusionists for use in adventuring, but have spread throughout the world as a result of their utility. Each is a 1-inch diameter cylinder of thin wood or tightly wrapped paper about 10 inches in length. At one end is a fuse that can be lit like a torch. Typically, a flash-bang is created with a fuse that burns down in 2 rounds allowing someone o pull it out and light it in one round (provided) there is a nearby source of fire, then throw it on the next round so that it explodes on the round following that. When the fuse has finished burning, the flash-bang emits a loud thunderclap, a bright flash, and a series of smaller, multi-colored flares. It continues to whine loudly and emit gouts of colored, sulfurous smoke for one full round after the initial thunderclap. The thick opaque smoke fills a 10-foot square and dissipates normally. Flash-bangs are thrown as grenade-like weapon with a range increment of 10 feet. Creatures within 10 feet of the flash-bang when it emits its thunderous noise and bright flash must make a Fortitude save (DC 10) to avoid being dazed for 1 round and a reflex save (DC 10) to avoid being dazzled for 1 minute. A dazed creature can take no actions, but defends itself normally. A dazzled creature suffers a -1 penalty to attacks. Deaf creatures are immune to the thunderous noise effect, while blind creatures are immune to the bright flash effect. Creating flash-bangs with longer fuses is possible. This does not appreciably change the cost unless the length of time reaches a minute; each minute of fuse length costs 1 shilling. Cost: 95 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Flash Powder: This silky gray powder is a mild explosive. Flash powder burns too quickly to cause more than minor burns even in large qualities. What the powder lacks in explosive force it makes up for in visual effect. Used occasionally in warfare as a diversionary tool, flash powder is a mainstay for burglars. The blinding light it produces often gives enough of a distraction for a skilled rogue to get out of danger. Even a small quality of the powder burns brightly enough to cause those looking directly at it to suffer a -5 penalty to all Spot checks for the next five rounds. The flash also provides enough of a distraction for someone under observation to make a Hide check. Cost: 20 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1 lb.

Flashball: You can throw this fist-sized sphere as a grenade-like weapon (see page 138 in the Player's Handbook). When a flashball strikes a hard surface, it explodes in a flash of brilliant white light. Creatures within a 15-foot radius who suffer penalties in bright light suffer them for 1 round after being exposed to the burst of light. In an area affected by the darkness spell, a flashball does not work. Cost: 40 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Flashstone: The flashstone is a hard, shiny pellet that glistens in light and glows slightly under both normal vision and darkvision. It is the same size and shape as a sling bullet, and it is used in a sling as often as it is thrown. When a flashstone strikes a hard surface, it vaporizes instantly, releasing a blast of light (15-foot diameter circle). Creatures caught in the blast must make Fortitude saves (DC 16) or be blinded for 1 round. Once the 1-round blindness has passed, the creatures suffers a -2 penalty to Spot and Search checks for one hour while its eyes recover. Cost: 30 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1/10 lb.

Free Foot: This quick drying oil makes on five foot by five foot area exceptionally slippery. Creatures moving through the affected area must make a Dexterity check (DC 15) to keep on their feet. Trying to stand up requires a similar check, as does moving out of the square once footing has been regained. Large or multi-legged creatures only suffer the effects of free foot if all of their legs are in the covered area. Free foot and tangle wire can make a fearsome improvised trap. If either check to move out of the square is failed, the victim cannot move out and is subjected to the effects of both substances again the following round. Cost: 25 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Holdfast: Holdfast is a small bundle of adhesive attached to the end of a rope. When the rope is thrown with enough force and accuracy, the bundle breaks, creating a temporary means of securing the rope to the surface it was thrown against. Quieter than a grappling hook and easy to transport holdfast is often used by those who have to infiltrate a walled structure or cross a dangerous chasm. To attach the rope to a desired target one must make a ranged attack. A holdfast contained has a range increment of ten feet. Armor Class modifiers for size apply. Any missed attack has a 50% chance of causing the holdfast bundle to break against another surface (use the rules for deviation of grenade like weapons to determine where the holdfast bag strikes on a failed throw). One bag of holdfast can support 200 pounds until the adhesive losses its effectiveness. Holdfast lasts 1d4+3 rounds before becoming too weak to hold the rope in place. Creatures struck by holdfast can pull off the sticky bag with a successful Strength check (DC 27) or cut the attached rope. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Lantern Stars: Cave star does not shed sufficient light for good vision on its own. However, when placed in fist-sized glass globes and soaked with other reagents, the lichen sheds light equal to a torch for a time, after which it burns out. These lanterns, called lantern stars, last for 4 hours before burning out. They do not give off heat or smoke, and the light is constant and unwavering. The lanterns are often used in areas where the fire from torches might light pockets of gas or where flickering light is insufficient. Cost: 5 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 10; Weight: 1 lb.

Liquid Ice: This viscous liquid becomes extremely cold on exposure to air. A vial of liquid ice can freeze the surface of up to a ten-foot by ten-foot area of water or smother a like area of flame. Used as a grenade like weapon a vial of liquid ice inflicts 1d6 points of cold damage on a direct hit or one point of splash damage. Cost: 30 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ½ lb.

Memorybind: Pixie dust is a crucial ingredient in a red liquid called memorybind. The thin liquid is famous among wizards, clerics, and other spell casters who must prepare their spells. Memorybind increases a spell caster’s mental prowess, allowing him to prepare and additional 1st-level spell on the morning he drinks the liquid. Memorybind disrupts the natural flow of magic, however, reducing the DC of all spells the user casts during that day by 2. Cost: 300 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 30; Weight: ½ lb.

Red Rager: This thick red salve must be spread over the entire body to be effective, but once applied its effects are potent. Red rager grants the user a +2 bonus to his effective Strength for the ensuing ten minutes, but a -4 penalty to his Dexterity for the following hour. Anyone using red rager regularly suffers deleterious side effects. Using red rager more than twice in a week forces the user to make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or suffer one point of permanent Charisma loss. Each failed save has the physical effect of raising the character’s temper and coloring their skin a slight reddish tone. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Rockburn Oil: This viscid green oil is derived from the corrosive slime secreted by delvers. Rockburn oil can be used as a grenade-like weapon (see page 138 in the Player's Handbook) dealing 1d4 points of damage to organic creatures or objects. Against metallic creatures or objects, rockburn oil deals 2d4 points of damage, and against stony creatures (including earth elementals) or objects it deals 4d4 points of damage. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 30; Weight: 1 lb.

Slippery Oil: This oil provides a +5 bonus on all Escape Artist checks for up to one hour, or until removed with an alcohol based liquid. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Sneezing Powder: This fine powder can be used as a grenade like weapon. On a direct hit, the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or suffer a -2 circumstance penalty to all rolls for 1d4 round because of sneezing and watery eyes. Creatures immune to gases and poisons are immune to sneezing powder. Cost: 60 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Softshoe Powder: Rubbing this powder on feet or footgear makes moving silently easier. An application of softshoe powder provides a +2 competence bonus to Move Silently checks. Unless all of a creature’s feet or footgear are treated, the powder provides no benefit. The effects of the powder last for ten minutes after application. Cost: 25 shillings; Craft: >Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Stinktar: Stinktar is a foul substance that is said to be the most successful alchemical accident of all time. The gnome who invented stinktar was trying to perfect a non-magical love potion; instead all he invented was a viscous black, sticky ooze that reeks worse than a diseased ogre's cistern on a hot summer day. Stinktar is typically carried in tiny glass vials sealed with wax; these vials can be hurled as grenade-like missiles. Stinktar has a 10-foot range increment, and deals no damage. Stinktar has no splash effect. A creature struck by stinktar must make a Reflex saving throw (DC 15) or the tar sticks. As long as the reeking tar is stuck to the victim, he exudes a powerful stench, and his eyes constantly tear up from the fumes and make it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. If the victim has a sense of smell, stinktar imposes a -4 penalty to Concentration, Diplomacy, Search, and Spot checks. Regardless of the victim's own ability to smell, stinktar imposes a -4 penalty to Hide checks made against targets with a sense of smell. Creatures struck by stinktar cannot use the scent ability, and can be detected at four times the normal distance by other creatures with the scent ability. The effects of stinktar last for one hour. It takes one minute to scrape stinktar off of an affected creature or object. Cost: 50 shillings, Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Stonecloth: A specialty of Hartzstadt craftsmen, this heavy cloth is woven from special mineral fibers. Making it requires both a Craft: Weaving and an Alchemy check. This cloth is fire retardant and will not catch fire unless it is exposed to flame for more than a minute. Someone wearing stonecloth still suffers the initial damage from a fire attack, but does not suffer burning damage and is not forced to take an action to extinguish the fire in later rounds. Cost: 100 shillings per square foot; Craft: Weaving DC: 20; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: Items made from stonecloth weigh twice as much as those made from normal cloth.

Tangle Wire: Tangle wire is a thin barbed wire coated with a less adhesive version of the substance found in tanglefoot bags that comes in ten foot strands. The adhesive makes the wire difficult to transport and handle, but easy to string across a narrow opening, and effective against those who stumble into it. Tangle wire is usually wrapped into a tight bundle, and once unwound it is impossible to rewind and store for later use. To avoid tangle wire an individual must make a Spot check (DC 15). Those who fail the Spot check are caught in the tangle wire and take 1d2 points of damage per round unless they remain completely immobile and they cannot move out of the five foot square containing the wire until they are free of its grip. Those caught in the tangle wire may make a Dexterity or Escape Artist check (DC 20) or a Strength check (DC 15) to free themselves. A victim with a slashing weapon may free themselves as a full round action. The victim may take any action while caught, but will suffer the damaging effects of the wire every round that they do so. Cost: 25 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 2 lbs.

Truth Wine: This sweet white wine of alvari origin loosens the tongue more effectively than normal spirits. Those who drink truth wine must a Will save (DC 15) in order to tell a lie. The wine’s effects are short in duration, lasting only ten rounds minus one round per point of the drinker’s Constitution bonus. A creature must drink at least one eight ounce glass of truth wine to be affected. Alvari are unaffected by truth wine. Cost: 75 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 30; Weight: 1 lb.

Vapors of Sleep: If applied to a cloth and held over the nose and mouth (or other breathing orifices) of the target, this concoction forces the victim to make a Fortitude save (DC 13) or fall asleep as a sleep spell for 1d4 hours. To use the vapors in this manner, an attacker must first successfully grapple his target. A vial of the liquid can also be used as a grenade like weapon, but it does not cause the target to fall asleep when used this way. Instead, the victim must make a Fortitude save (DC 13) if a direct hit is scored, with failure resulting in a -2 circumstance penalty being applied to all actions for 1d4 rounds due to the drowsiness and disorientation caused by the vapors. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ½ lb.

Vine Oil: Living sand vines can be cut and their juices squeezed out When combined with more common ingredients, this juice forms a weak local anesthetic called vine oil. When spread on bare skin, vine oil numbs the area, allowing the user to withstand great amounts of pain. While the effects of vine oil last, the user can function normally until reduced below -5 hit points, but when reduced below 0 hit points, he still loses 1 hit point per round. If reduced below -5 hit points, the user falls unconscious. When the user’s hit point total falls below -10, the user dies. Creatures who have used vine oil within the last 34 hours cannot stabilize on their own, and many warriors have died while using this oil, succumbing to their injuries before an ally could staunch their wounds. The effects of vine oil last for 1 hour. Vine oil smells faintly of fish, and those who use it regularly can often be identified by its smell. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: 1 lb.

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House Rules - Common Alchemical Items

Commonly Available Alchemical Substances

ItemCostWeight
Alchemist's Mercy1 shilling-
Biteabate20 shillings1 lb.
Blackwater100 shillings1 lb.
Brightvigil30 shillings¼ lb.
Burn Salve15 shillings¼ lb.
Candle, Focusing100 shillings1 lb.
Candle, Restful100 shillings1 lb.
Cooling Gel100 shillings¼ lb.
Dehydrated Food2 shillings¼ lb.
Devil's Soap25 shillings1 lb.
Dragon Brew50 shillings1 lb.
Dwarfblind50 shillings1 lb.
Euir's Hazel5 shillings1 lb.
Firebane50 shillings1 lb.
Fleetfoot50 shillings1 lb.
Focus30 shillings1 lb.
Frost Lotion15 shillings1 lb.
Gash Glue40 shillings¼ lb.
Ghostoil40 shillings1 lb.
Glitterbright5 shillings-
Gravebane50 shillings1 lb.
Hawk's Ointment50 shillings¼ lb.
Healing Ointment10 shillings1 lb.
Healing Salve50 shillings1 lb.
Ice Crystal5 shillings-
Icewalker Oil75 shillings1 lb.
Insect Repellent5 shillings¼ lb.
Journeyman Serum5 shillings1 lb.
Khülen Mask100 shillings1 lb.
Longbreath50 shillings¼ lb.
Nature's Draught50 shillings¼ lb.
Night Eyes25 shillings¼ lb.
Oil of Hardness50 shillings1 lb.
Peikko Ink20 shillings¼ lb.
Polar Skin20 shillings1 lb.
Powdered Water½ shilling-
Purebalm75 shillings¼ lb.
Red Wriggler1 shillings1 lb.
Sailor's Wax10 shillings1 lb.
Scentbreaker5 shillings½ lb.
Senses50 shillings1 lb.
Shinewater10 shillings1 lb.
Shriek Paste50 shillings½ lb.
Signal Paste1 shilling1 lb.
Slimebane15 shillings1 lb.
Snortawake25 shillings¼ lb.
Softshield10 shillings1 lb.
Soupstone300 shillings1 lb.
Spiderlilly Essence75 shillings1 lb.
Suregrip20 shillings½ lb.
Titan Gum25 shillings¼ lb.
Traveler's Solace50 shillings1 lb.
Verminbane20 shillings1 lb.
Wittlewort Brew30 shillings1 lb.
While most potions and other actual magical items can be hard to come by given that divine and arcane spell casters are hard to find, and when found, difficult to persuade to give vagabond adventurers products requiring them to spend their time and experience crafting, a wide array of alchemical products can be found on the market. While many villages and towns have no spell caster capable of crafting magical items, almost all have an alchemist or herbalist engaged in local trade: usually providing simple remedies and useful products to aid in farming and crafting. However, these tradesmen are generally capable of producing a variety of items that are of interest to adventurers. Virtually all village alchemists can produce everything with a Craft DC of 20 or less, and most can produce anything with a Craft DC of 25 or less. In general, one must travel to one of the larger towns or cities to find alchemists who can craft items with a higher DC. The list given here details the substances that a typical alchemist or apothecary is generally familiar with, and either has on hand, or has the ingredients to make if requested. Also listed are the typical prices for these substances. Note, however, that these prices may vary based upon the seasons, the local demand for the product, and other market conditions.

Note that the list of alchemical substances is not exhaustive. Many possible alchemical substances are not detailed because they are difficult to find, or obtaining them is generally restricted. For example, while most defensive substances designed to protect against fire or cold are commonly used (due to their obvious usefulness in combating winter cold, or when engaged in trades such as blacksmithing involving close proximity to heat sources), most "offensive" alchemical substances, such as blasting pellets or fire beetle paste, are rarely available to those who do not have contacts in various military or quasi-military organizations or the black market. Alchemical substances with primarily criminal uses, such as armor-soft or brittlebone are generally prohibited by law, and only available through black market or organizational contacts. Poisons and similar deleterious substances typically fall into this category. Other substances not listed, such as stonecloth, are simply rare and difficult to find due to the fact that they include rare and hard to find ingredients, or the process for crafting them is kept as a secret by some guild or organization. Finally, some substances not listed, like free-foot or courier's ink are simply not generally in demand, and hence most alchemists don't keep the ingredients needed for them on hand, although one could probably obtain some given enough time.

Item Descriptions

Alchemist's Mercy: A fine powder that, when mixed with water or fruit juice and consumed, eliminates the effects of a hangover. Cost: 1 shilling; Craft: Alchemy DC: 10; Weight: -.

Biteabate: This soft white gel soothes temporary hurts, clears the head, and relieves the pain of minor bruises and wounds. Each application of biteabate heals 1d8 points of subdual damage. Cost: 20 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1 lb.

Blackwater: When dumped into water, blackwater immediately eliminates the oxygen, suffocating most aquatic beings that are caught in its area. Unfortunately, the poison also eliminates most fish, crustaceans, and other wildlife in the area. A single vial of blackwater rapidly affects a 10-foot by 10-foot cube of water. Any aquatic creature that breathes blackwater must make a Constitution check (DC 10) each round or begin to drown (see Chapter 3: Running the Game, the Drowning Rule in the Dungeon Master's Guide). The DC for this check increases by 1 on each subsequent round. The creature can also try to “hold its breath” (as a creature going underwater would normally do) using the rules from the Dungeon Master's Guide. Blackwater affects creatures that can breathe underwater due to a spell or effect, such as water breathing, but has no effect on creatures that can only breathe air. Cost: 100 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Brightvigil: This clear, light liquid induces wakefulness, making the user less likely to succumb to magical sleep effects. Brightvigil provides a +5 alchemical bonus on saving throws to resist sleep effects. The effects of brightvigil last one hour. Cost: 30 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: ¼ lb.

Burn Salve: The boiled leaves of the musk muddle plant form an integral part of burn salve, an excellent remedy for even severe burns. As its name implies, burn salve mitigates some of the effects of fire damage, but only if it is applied within 2 rounds of the injury. If applied in time, the smooth white salve heals 1d6 points of damage, but it cannot heal damage that was not inflicted by fire. Cost: 15 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 10; Weight: ¼ lb.

Candle, Focusing: This large, green taper candle burns quickly, lasting only an hour despite its size. While burning, the focusing candle fills the air with a fresh, crisp odor. The candle is a great boon to those engaged in strenuous mental activity, sharpening most cognitive processes. Characters within 20 feet of a burning focusing candle gain a +1 circumstance bonus on the following skill checks: Craft: Alchemy, Appraise, Decipher Script, Forgery, Search, and Spellcraft. When making a skill check that takes more than one action to complete (such as attempting to identify a potion with Spellcraft), characters only gain the bonus of the focusing candle if they spend the entire duration of the skill check within range of the burning candle. Cost: 100 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Candle, Restful: This thick blue candle burns slowly, filling the air with a sweet, relaxing scent for 8 hours. These candles, although slow to function, have tremendous restorative abilities. Characters that spend a night of rest sleeping within 20 fee of a lit candle heal at twice the rate they normally would. After a day of light activity, characters who rest under the influence of the candle heal double their level in hit points and 2 points of ability damage. After a day of complete rest, characters who sleep under the influence of the candle heal three times their level in hit points and 2 points in ability damage. The benefits of a restful candle stack with those provided by someone providing long-term care with the Heal skill. Cost: 100 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Cooling Gel: The cold blue gel can be applied to the skin. It provides a +1 resistance bonus to fire or heat based attacks, or heals 1d6 points of burn damage that the character has suffered, provided it is applied within an hour of the damage. Cost: 100 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: ¼ lb.

Dehydrated Food: Explorers and adventurers of all sorts benefit from alchemically dried food. Although expensive, dehydrated food weighs only half as much as an equivalent supply of trail rations, making it ideal for long journeys where water is plentiful and food is scarce. Characters eating dehydrated food must consume twice as much water per day as they normally require or suffer the effects of going without water (see Starvation and Thirst Dangers in Chapter 3 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). The cost and weight given are for one day’s worth of food. Cost: 2 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: ¼ lb.

Devil’s Soap: The insides of a stygian pumpkin are used to make a foul-smelling black paste called devil’s soap. Devil’s soap is a favorite of blacksmiths and those who work with fire. One application of devil’s soap provides fire resistance 2. The effects of devil’s soap last for 1 hour. Cost: 25 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1 lb.

Dragon Brew: Spotty dragonfire is used in the making of dragon brew, a thick liquid that increases stamina and numbs pain. A dose of dragon brew grants the imbiber a +1 alchemical bonus to all Fortitude saves for 1 hour. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Dwarfblind: Dwarfblind stones are small stones treated with alchemical substances, giving them a faint purple sheen. You can throw a dwarfblind stone as a grenade-like weapon. When it strikes a hard surface, it releases a burst of violet light. The light illuminates a 20-foot-wide area for an instant and temporarily interferes with the darkvision of those caught in its effects. Creatures within a 10-foot radius of the stone’s impact point must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 15) or lose their darkvision ability for 10 minutes. Dwarfblind has no effect on normal and low-light vision. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Eiur's Hazel: The sap of Eiur's willow is the main component in a fluid called Eiur's Hazel. If Eiur's Hazel is applied to any scar (from a now-healed wound) the scar slowly vanishes. It takes a week of daily applications for the scar to vanish completely. One "dose" is sufficient for a week's worth of daily applications for one scar. Cost: 5 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 10; Weight: 1 lb..

Firebane: This thick grease provides protection against one fire based attack. To be effective, firebane must be smeared over the entire body. Anyone protected by the grease has fire resistance 10 while covered. The grease is only effective for half an hour. If left on the body for more than one hour, firebane begins to cause serious damage to the skin and deals one point of subdual damage per minute. Firebane can be washed off with water. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Fleetfoot: This thin, light blue liquid temporarily loosens the drinker’s muscles and joints, allowing her to run faster and jump farther. When running, a character under the effect of fleetfoot moves at five times her speed. The effect lasts for 10 rounds + 1 round per point of Constitution modifier. The effects of fleetfoot stack with the Run feat, allowing a character to run at six times her speed and jump half again as far as normal with a running jump. Fleetfoot does not grant a character the ability to exceed her maximum jump distance. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Focus: Made from steeped duskwood bark and a selection of herbs found in the Freeholds, focus is one of the part-time alchemist’s most successful and valuable mixtures. Focus provides a +2 alchemical bonus to Concentration checks. This benefit lasts 10 minutes. Cost: 30 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Frost Lotion: The silvery edges of tyrant’s sword can be boiled and used to make a warm, porridge-like substance called frost lotion. This pleasant-smelling topical heals injuries caused by extreme cold. Frost lotion can mitigate some of the effects of cold damage, but only if it is applied within 2 rounds of the injury. If applied in time, the thick lotion heals 1d6 points of damage, but it cannot heal damage that was not inflicted by cold. Cost: 15 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 10; Weight: 1 lb.

Gash Glue: Old man’s friend can be crushed and mixed with a number of other substances to produce a thick gray glue called gash glue. Soldiers often carry gash glue to seal a fallen companion’s wounds quickly. One application of gash glue stabilizes a dying creature. Cost: 40 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: ¼ lb.

Ghostoil: This clear oil has a slight tint of gray, and strange, wispy forms seem to swirl through it. When applied to a weapon, ghostoil allows it to affect incorporeal creatures normally for the next 2 rounds. One flask of ghostoil contains enough liquid to coat one weapon of Large size or smaller. Applying ghostoil to a weapon of any size is a full-round action. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Glitterbright: This sparkling liquid enhances flaws and facets in gemstones. Any Appraise or Craft: Gemcutting checks on a gem treated with a dose of glitterbright receive a +4 alchemical bonus. This effect lasts for 1 minute. Cost: 5 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: -.

Gravebane: This thick white liquid evaporates almost instantly upon contact with the air, creating a thin, nearly invisible smoke. The smoke is early odorless, and it has no effect on most creatures. Undead, however, are repulsed by the smoke and can only pass through it with an effort of will. When opened (usually by throwing it on the ground), a flask of gravebane fills a 5-foot-square area with smoke. Undead cannot enter an area filled with gravebane smoke unless they succeed on a Will save (DC 10). Undead can attack into a gravebane-filled area normally as long as they don’t enter the area to do so. Gravebane ordinarily lasts for 1 minute, although strong winds may decrease this duration. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Hawk’s Ointment: This thick, acidic gel temporarily sharpens the user’s vision. Once its beneficial effects wear off, however, the gel burns and stings the eyes for a few minutes. After spreading the gel over her eyes, a character gains a +1 bonus on Search and Spot checks for 2 minutes. After the duration expires, she takes a -2 penalty on Search and Spot checks for 1 minute. Characters who spend a round washing out their eyes with clean water halve the duration of the penalty. Applying hawk’s ointment is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Healing Ointment: When applied directly to a wound, these herbal balms speed healing and produce a sedative effect. They are not especially useful in the heat of combat, as it can take several hours for the sedative effect to wear off and for the subject to return to normal. A healing ointment converts 1d4 points of damage into the same amount of subdual damage. The subdual damage heals at the normal rate of 1 hit point per character level per hour of rest. For one hour after the use of a healing ointment, the user is drowsy and suffers a -1 to all skill and ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws. A healing ointment can only be effective used once per hour – penalties and healing do not stack with multiple uses during that time – though subsequent applications after an hour's wait do convert more damage. If you have 5 or more ranks in Profession: Herbalist, you gain a +2 synergy modifier on checks to craft this substance. Cost: 10 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight 1 lb.

Healing Salve: Rubbing this stinky green paste into wounds promotes rapid healing. Applying the salve is a full-round action. One dose cures 1d8 points of damage to a living creature. If you have 5 or more ranks in Profession: Herbalist, you gain a +2 synergy modifier on checks to craft this substance. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Ice Crystal: When immersed in liquid, this small piece of rock crystal becomes as cold as a piece of ice and remains that way until it is removed from the liquid, whereupon it reverts to its normal temperature. Ice crystals are used to cool liquids in alchemical laboratories and to keep drinks cold. Cost: 5 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight -.

Icewalker Oil: The ice lotus is the key ingredient in a powerful alchemical substance called icewalker oil. If properly treated with alchemical reagents, ice lotus petals yield a thin blue liquid that grants uncanny ability to walk and climb on ice. The effects of icewalker oil are identical to the spider climb spell, but the substance functions only on icy or snow-covered surfaces. The effects of icewalker oil last for 10 minutes. Cost: 75 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 35; Weight: 1 lb.

Insect Repellent: This strong smelling liquid can be applied to the skin to repel insects. Tiny or smaller insects are kept at bay for four hours per application. Larger insects and those under the control of a spell must make a Will save (DC 12) to approach a protected character. This benefit is lost if the character attacks the insect. Cost: 5 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: ¼ lb.

Journeyman Serum: Wolfweed has one function that is not commonly known. With careful preparation, it forms an integral part of an alchemical substance called journeyman Serum. Journeyman Serum provides a +2 alchemical bonus to Constitution checks made to resist taking subdual damage from making a forced march (see Chapter 9: Adventuring of the Player's Handbook for more information on forced marches). Cost: 5 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 5; Weight: 1 lb.

Khülen Mask: This alchemical formula helps mask the natural scent of anyone who wears it for up to three hours. Creatures with the Scent ability cannot detect the wearer by scent unless they are within five feet. Khülen Mask also eliminates the tracking bonus such a creature would normally gain to track the character. A small bottle contains five applications (each is enough for one Medium creature). Cost: 100 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 30; Weight: 1 lb.

Longbreath: This thick, brown-tinted smoke is a great boon to anyone with needs to go without air for more than a few rounds. After inhaling longbreath, a character can hold his breath for 3 rounds per point of Constitution, rather than 2 rounds per point. Longbreath can be used after the character begins holding his breath, but it provides less of a benefit. If a character inhales longbreath after beginning to hold his breath, simply multiply the number of rounds that a character could continue holding his breath by 1½. Once a character begins making Constitution checks to continue holding his breath, longbreath provides no benefit. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Nature’s Draught: This tiny vial contains a murky, pungent liquid. When consumed, nature’s draught causes subtle changes in the user’s scent. Animals respond well to a character who has consumed nature’s draught, finding her less threatening and easier to trust. Drinking a vial of nature’s draught provides a +1 circumstance bonus on Handle Animal and Wild Empathy checks made during the next day. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Night Eyes: This thick grease, when applied to the naked eyes, grants temporary low-light vision. The grease takes one full round action to apply and lasts for ten minutes. Torches and other faint light sources provide light normally for a character, but any source of bright light (like bright sunlight or a daylight spell) causes the user the suffer a -1 penalty to attack rolls. Cost: 25 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: ¼ lb.

Oil of Hardness: This alchemical oil, when applied to an inanimate object, made of wood, stone, or metal, adds 5 to its hardness. This increase lasts for 1 hour. The oil of hardness has no effect on animated objects or constructs of any kind. One application can cover a Medium creature or object or one 10 foot by 10 foot flat surface such as a wall. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Peikko Ink: The juice of the peikko rouge berry can be used in the creation of a high-quality waterproof ink, sometimes called goblin ink after its origin. The waterproof peikko ink cannot be smeared or distorted by water after it dries. It is popular for public notices and is sometimes used in spell books or other works that will be exposed to the elements. Cost: 20 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 10; Weight: ¼ lb.

Polar Skin: This dull white cream provides limited protection against cold-based damage. Polar skin becomes ineffective once it has absorbed 5 points of cold damage. Regardless of whether it absorbs any damage, polar skin loses its effectiveness one-hour after application. Polar skin does not stack with magical protection from cold. Magical effects such as the protection from energy spell superseded the protection provided by polar skin. Applying polar skin takes 1 minute. Cost: 25 shillings, Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Powdered Water: This fine white powder sparkles faintly. An ounce, mixed with a single drop of water, becomes a gallon of drinkable water. The powder is usually put in a vessel that can contain the full gallon of water before the drop of activating liquid is added. The vessel is then shaken to agitate the mixture. It takes a full round for the water to form. The powder must be kept in a watertight container to remain effective, but it is an easy way to transport large amounts of water over great distances. Cost: 1 half-shilling; Craft: Alchemy DC: 10; Weight: -.

Purebalm: Cotsbalm sap is extracted and used as a base for a clear, syrupy substance called purebalm. When applied to the skin of someone who has been poisoned by an injury or contact poison, purebalm turns black as it absorbs the poison out of the victim’s system. Purebalm only functions when administered between the initial and secondary onset of an injury or contact poison. If applied before the secondary onset of an appropriate poison, purebalm provides a +8 alchemical bonus to the Fortitude saving throw to resist the poison’s secondary effect. Cost: 75 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 35; Weight: ¼ lb.

Red Wriggler: An active red wriggler is an ingenious invention that resembles a large writhing worm of centipede. In truth, a red wriggler is nothing more than a specially treated strip of fabric and twine about a foot long and no more than half an inch wide. When a red wriggler becomes wet, it becomes puffy and slimy and begins to twitch and undulate in place like a dying worm. The wriggler remains active for 3d6 rounds before the special resins finally cause the thing to melt away into an acrid yellow cloud that quickly fades. Red wrigglers are popular items for practical jokes; young halflings have been known to hide one in someone's bathing suit or slip one into someone's drink when they aren't looking. Red wrigglers have little practical use, but their value as components for practical jokes is without bounds. Cost: 1 shilling; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: 1 lb.

Sailor’s Wax: Sailor’s wax is an alchemical substance used to protect metal. A single jar of the ooze covers one suit of Medium armor, or two suits of Small armor, or 10 Medium weapons, or 20 Small weapons, or 40 Tiny weapons. It takes about an hour to apply it to armor, and about five minutes to apply it to weapons. Once applied, it protects the item from normal (but not magical) rust for two days. Cost: 10 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 13; Weight: 1 lb.

Scentbreaker: This small bag contains either a collection of aromatic herbs or a strongly scented alchemical mixture. Either version can confound any creature's sense of smell. You can toss the bag as a grenade-like weapon with a range increment of 10 feet, or you can scatter the contents someplace where a creature tracking by scent comes across it. (It covers an area 5 feet square). Once scattered, the contents remain potent for one hour. A creature can sniff the bag's contents from a direct hit, from a splash, or from sniffing the area where the contents were scattered. If struck by a direct hit, the creature must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 18) or lose its scent ability for 1 minute. After the minute is up, the creature must make a second Fortitude save (DC 18) or lose its scent ability for another hour. Being splashed or sniffing the scattered contents has the same effects, but the save DC is 15. A direct hit or splash affects only one creature of Small or larger size. The contents affect all creatures of Tiny or smaller size in the 5-foot area where a bag of scentbreaker strikes. If you have 5 or more ranks in Profession: Herbalist, you gain a +2 synergy modifier on checks to craft this substance. Cost: 5 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: ½ lb.

Senses: An alchemist who knows the proper distillation techniques can create a powerful effect by refining normal prickly tea into a stronger, fouler-tasting substance known as senses. Senses sharpens the imbiber’s eyes and ears, providing a +1 alchemical bonus to Spot and Listen checks for 1 hour. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Shinewater: The heads of dwarven thistles are used to create shinewater, a rust remover and polisher. Metal objects left in a bath of shinewater overnight shed all rust and corrosion, and they look highly polished after being dried and rubbed lightly with a soft cloth. One dose of shinewater is sufficient to de-rust one Medium metal weapon or a similarly sized object, and each bath is only good for one use. Cost: 10 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 5; Weight: 1 lb.

Shriek Paste: Shriek paste is an oily, smelly substance with a slightly purplish color. When smeared on a surface, it retains its same consistency almost indefinitely. When the paste is exposed to a light source equivalent to torchlight or greater, it rapidly crystallizes. During this process, the paste makes a high-pitched screeching noise, making it a useful signaling device. The shriek is loud and easy to hear (Listen DC -10, modified as usual for distance, solid barriers, and other environmental factors). This sound lasts for 1 round before the paste dries up entirely and is rendered inert. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: ½ lb.

Signal Torch: These simple items are normal torches treated with a variety of alchemical substances to color the flames. Signal torches each burn with a differently colored flame. They are available in a variety of colors, the most common being green, blue, and yellow. Cost: 1 shilling; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: 1 lb.

Slimebane: This concoction breaks down oozes of all sorts. When used as a grenade like ranged weapon it does 1d6 points of damage on a successful hit and one point of splash damage. On the round following a direct hit, the ooze targeted must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or take an additional 1d6 damage. Slimebane has no effect on creatures that are not of the ooze type. Cost: 15 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Snortawake: Snortawake is a pungent-smelling clear liquid that is kept in tiny glass vials. A single does of snortawake poured into the mouth or nose of a living creature removes 1d8 points of subdual damage. This useful liquid got its name from the highly amusing snorting noises people tend to make after they are revived from being knocked unconscious. Cost: 25 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: ¼ lb.

Softshield: This thick, pungent paste reduces the chance of infection. If applied within 10 minutes of the time of infection, softshield provides a +1 alchemical bonus on saving throws made to resist the initial infection of the disease. It provides no benefit on subsequent saving throws to resist the disease. Cost: 10 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: 1 lb.

Soupstone: When dropped into a container of water, this small smooth stone transforms the water into a hot nourishing broth of a flavor chosen when the stone is manufactures. A single soupstone can transform up to ten gallons of water before it becomes inert. This object has no effect on water-based creatures such as water elementals. Cost: 300 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: 1 lb.

Spiderlilly Essence: A single dose of spiderlilly essence is enough to coat a single Small creature. Each size increase requires twice the dosage of the previous size, and each size decrease requires only half the larger size's dosage. Spiderlilly essence is particularly noxious to most vermin (with the notable exception of spiders, who ironically cannot detect the stuff). Fine vermin avoid creatures that wear the essence, and monstrous non-spider vermin must make a Will saving throw (DC 15) to attack the target. Once a vermin makes a Will save against the essence of spiderlilly, it is immune to the essence for an hour. Spiderlilly essence lasts for one hour before it wears off. Cost: 75 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Suregrip: This gluey substance improves your grip, granting a +2 circumstance modifier on any check that deals with holding on to something, including Climb checks and grappling attacks. When applied to a rope, it confers a +2 circumstance modifier on Use Rope checks that involve tying knots or binding creatures or objects. Applied to the soles of one's footwear or feet, it confers a +2 circumstance modifier on Balance checks made to avoid slipping. Once applied, suregrip lasts 10 minutes. Cost: 20 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: ½ lb.

Titan Gum: Darkroot is used in great quantities by alchemists in the production of titan gum, a particularly strong and fast-setting form of glue. Titan gum bonds completely in one round. Substances bonded by titan gum require a DC 20 Strength check to separate. Titan gum can support 500 pounds of weight before breaking. Cost: 25 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: ¼ lb.

Traveler’s Solace: This fiery unpleasant liquid allows the user to temporarily circumvent the effects of fatigue and exhaustion for a short time. Fatigued or exhausted characters that drink a vial of traveler’s solace can run and charge normally. Fatigued characters under the effects of traveler’s solace suffer no penalties to their Strength or Dexterity, but exhausted characters suffer a -4 penalty to both scores. The beneficial effects of traveler’s solace last 1d4 hours. Exhausted character’s who use traveler’s solace to lessen the effects of exhaustion require a full eight hours of rest before they become fatigued, and fatigued characters who have used traveler’s solace require eight hours of rest before they become fully rested. A vial of traveler’s solace is ineffective if a previous vial has been taken in the preceding eight hours. Cost: 50 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 25; Weight: 1 lb.

Verminbane: This tightly sealed flask contains a pale green smoke. When released into the air, the smoke fills a 5-foot-square area. Most creatures are unaffected by the smoke, although humanoids generally find the smell unpleasant. Vermin, however, find the smoke almost intolerable. To pass through an area filled with verminbane, vermin must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 15). Verminbane lasts for 1 minute, although strong winds may decrease this duration. Cost: 20 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 20; Weight: 1 lb.

Wittlewort Brew: Wittlewort brew immediately grants creatures under the effects of Enchantment spells or effects another saving throw to resist those effects. If the Enchantment effect did not allow and initial saving throw, wittlewort brew has no effect. Cost: 30 shillings; Craft: Alchemy DC: 15; Weight: 1 lb.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Campaign Design - Money in the Freeholds

Money in the Freeholds

The most common form of currency used in the Freeholds is Imperial coinage minted during the reign of the High Kings of the Sea Empire. The standard means of exchange in the region is the Imperial Shilling, a silver coin about the same size as a U.S. Quarter. In game terms the coin is roughly equivalent to a gold piece, and eighty of them weigh a pound. The shilling is frequently cut in half and traded as half-shillings as well.

For smaller transactions, people use the Imperial Penny, copper coins roughly the same size and shape as the shilling. Ten copper pennies are worth one shilling. These are also cut in half and traded as half pennies. Pennies are also frequently cut into eight pieces called "bits" which are used for very minor purchases.

On the other end of the scale is the Imperial Guilder, a heavy gold coin about the same size and shape as a U.S. Half-Dollar worth eighty shillings. Roughly forty guilders weigh a pound. As with shillings and pennies, the guilder is sometimes cut in half and traded as a half-guilder, and sometimes cut into eight pieces which are called "cobs".

Currency from the northern kingdoms is commonly used in the Freeholds as well. Elizon, Langjord, Midtenjord, and Kysthjem use the Scaetter, a small silver coin about the size of a U.S. Cent that is worth just slightly less than half an Imperial shilling. About a hundred and eighty of them weigh a pound. These are sometimes cut in half and traded as half-scaetters, but they are not generally cut smaller than that.

Also used in the northern kingdoms is the Mark, a gold coin about the same size as the scaetter, and worth about thirty-six shillings. This is frequently cut in half and traded as a half-mark, which is traditionally reckoned as the price of a longsword in those regions. The mark is not usually cut into smaller pieces.

As practices such as shaving, clipping, dusting, or simply counterfeiting coins are an unfortunately all too common practices in the Freeholds and surrounding areas, most merchants will keep a set of scales on hand and weigh coins brought in by someone they don't know, or brought in by someone who wants to make a trade involving a large number of coins, or merely because they suspect that the coins might have been tampered with.

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Organizations - Urdd Crefft

Urdd Crefft

After the fall of House Llud and the ensuing chaos that swept through the Freeholds, the wars of succession, the foreign invasions, and the rise of banditry in the countryside and piracy in the Heulwen and Galation Seas, many merchants in the towns and cities of the Freeholds where trading is common formed a loose knit organization. The goals of the organization are to combat problems with pirates and raiders as well as to facilitate trade by forcing local rulers to lower or eliminate tolls, duties and tariffs. This organization is named the Urdd Crefft. The Crefft, as they are commonly called, do many things: From placing bounties on particularly troublesome pirates, to handling currency exchanges, to negotiating with local rulers for tariff breaks and tax relief for members. The Crefft can also locate buyers or sellers for particular goods on behalf of a member and honor money notes for large sums of cash that members can transport across long distances without worrying about carrying large, heavy valuables.

Most importantly, the Urdd Crefft are a counterbalance to the power and authority of the nobility, giving voice and weight to the concerns of the mercantile classes. Because the members of the Crefft control so much trade, any ruler who ignores them does so at his own peril. Even more critically, because the Crefft includes so many bankers, and engages in some banking as an organization, a nobleman who turned a deaf ear to the organization's concerns is likely to find it exceedingly difficult to secure funds in the event that he needed them. And because every noble is always starved for cash, this is a substantial concern.

Members of the Urdd Crefft usually wear identifying gold brooches in the shape of a miniature ship. Becoming a member appears to require sponsorship by another member, plus an initiation fee and an audit The Crefft's endeavors are funded by its members who give ten percent of their profits to the organization, paying their shares at designated clearinghouses located in most trading centers. Urdd Crefft members in good standing generally get a variety of tax, toll, and excise breaks as a result of the agreements and concessions negotiated by the organization. Members also obtain access to a wide array of contacts through the organization as well as the benefit of a variety of commercial services and the ability to suggest (and promote) commissions and projects using Crefft funds.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Campaign Design - Nations: Cadfor

Cadfor

Largest City: Celliwig

This land has been settled less long than any other in the Freeholds, with it’s lord having first asserted his power over the land less than twenty years ago, assuming control over the then independent city of Celliwig and expanding his dominions to much of the territory between the Tinnsaker River and the Crespor Mountains. Dominated by the virtually barren Hills of Brann-Galedd to the north and west and the hostile Crespor Mountains to the north and east, this land had long been eschewed by the rulers of the more established kingdoms. In more recent years, Blansky has expanded upon his hard fought gains, pushing his reach deep into the Don River valley all the way to the Glasddu Pass, and extending his dominion deep into the Hills of Brann-Galedd.

The most important contributor to Cadfor's economy is the northern trade route that runs through Celliwig and then down the Tinnsaker River, bringing goods across the Hills of Brann-Galedd from east to west and then sending commodities back again. Although this northern route is longer and more dangerous than the southern trading route, in recent years it has gained greater favor among those merchants who desire to avoid dealing with the increasingly authoritarian Queen Maeva of Ersav. Otherwise, Cadfor relies upon shepherding, pig farming, and a moderate amount of farming for much of its income, supplemented by a single rich silver mine that has only recently been discovered near Celliwig in the Hills of Brann-Galedd.

This kingdom sits astride the linguistic split between Sorglish and Jeblic, with many of the inhabitants being fluent in both languages. This split has caused some friction, but since King Blansky has taken power this has been minimized. Due to the polyglot nature of this land, coupled with the fact that it has only been recently organized, troops from this area use a wide variety of weapons and no particular method of warfare is associated with the military of Cadfor. Battles are frequent in this land, as humanoids, giants, and other dangers are all to common in the Crespor Mountains.

Cadfor is also home to the sage Dallen, who resides in Caer Dallen deep in the Don River valley, and who has provided Blansky and other members of the Council with invaluable advice over the years. The Order of the Shield, the Order of the Gauntlet, and the Warders of the Council all maintain a strong presence in Cadfor, which Blansky seems to regard as a mixed blessing: He is grateful for their assistance, but the presence of so many powerful organizations that do not answer to him is chafing.

Ruler: Gurne Blansky

Gurne is an outsider, said to be originally from a land far to the west of the Galation Sea who journeyed to the Freeholds in his youth. He enlisted on the side of the High Council early in his life, and eventually carved a kingdom out of the inhospitable terrain. Bringing with him several companions, Gurne focused his considerable will on taming the area, and in less than ten years had ascended to the High Council.

Gurne is now a middle aged man in his early fifties who remains a formidable warrior. He is a popular and charismatic leader and regarded as an excellent warrior. As one would expect, Blansky is a vocal proponent of taking the fight into the Crespor Mountains and the wild regions of Elizon, and has vigorously campaigned in Council meetings for an aggressive policy towards the northerners, putting him somewhat at odds with King Seluc of Nuthralia.

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Campaign Design - Nations: Pen-Loring

Pen-Loring

Largest City: Caer Her

This small nation on the southern flank of Loring has only recently become part of the Freeholds. During the reign of the High Kings, Pen-Loring was, as the name implies, a dependency of Loring, a region that owed allegiance to House Llud. After the sinking of Dáiríne and the fall of the High Kings, Loring went into a slow but catastrophic decline that ended with the realm in anarchy. As its northern neighbor descended into chaos, so did Pen-Loring, and within living memory it was a desolate land inhabited only by pirates, brigands, humanoids, and other more nefarious denizens.

The fact that Pen-Loring is currently inhabited at all is a testament to the will and fortitude of the warrior Beowalt. For the first thirty-seven years of his life Beowalt won fame and respect as the foremost warrior in the service of the nations of the Freeholds. About sixty years ago Beowalt brought his followers to this cold, rocky land and set about conquering and establishing himself as the kingdom's ruler. He built a fortress named Caer Her and began waging a twenty year war against the bandits, orcs, goblins, and giants that inhabited much of the countryside. His warriors, tested by many previous battles smashed the disorganized tribes of evil creatures and pushed them back into Loring and deep into the Oefel Forest. When the High Council was formed, Beowalt was given a seat despite Pen-Loring not technically being part of the Freeholds, as the kings of the region desired his counsel in their deliberations.

It was after ten years of peace that the White Hand unified the disorganized bands of humanoids in the Loring and struck back, pushing Beowalt's forces out of Loring itself and back behind the protective shelter of the Steinig Mountains. After enduring many years of war against the Polthians and facing hostile bands of brigands, giants, and humanoids on their own borders, the kings of the High Council were unwilling to offer more than token assistance to the new inhabitants of Pen-Loring. Despite his requests, the High Council turned its back upon its most renowned hero, seeking to enjoy the fruits of peace after long years of war. Denied assistance from the other Council nations, Beowalt’s followers struggled simply to survive against the now organized threat to their lives. Soon, the beleaguered inhabitants were pushed to the coast lands, barely able to hold back the tide of evil that washed across the nation. It was only the heroics of Beowulf and his loyal warriors that quelled the uprising and blunted the threat of the White Hand.

Now the land is at relative peace. Although much of the land remains hostile, the coastal areas and farmlands are protected by the fierce warriors who follow Beowalt’s banner of the Golden Dragon. The citizens of Pen-Loring have turned to the sea for their sustenance, and fishing and whaling are among the most common professions among the inhabitants of this inhospitable nation.

Ruler: Beorwalt Hewardsonne of House Gelban

At one point in time Beowalt was regarded as the mightiest warrior in all the Freeholds. His strength and skill made him unmatchable on the battlefield, and his exploits are said to have been instrumental in the victories scored by the High Council during its early years. Among his other accomplishments, Beowalt was instrumental in founding the Warknights of the Council.

King Beowalt is now almost one hundred years old, having spent virtually all of his life fighting to expand the lands ruled by the High Council. Although his legendary strength has waned, he is still a capable warrior, and age has given him wisdom and insight and he has become the voice of experience within the Council chambers. He has outlived three wives, and has nine living children.

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Campaign Design - Nations: Medwyr

Medwyr

Largest City: Peniarth

Located in the valleys to the south of the Steinig Mountains, Medwyr is a prosperous and relatively peaceful land. Except for the occasional incursion from nefarious inhabitants of the eastern arm of the Nimlau Mountains there is really no threat that directly borders upon this land. Since Loring has come under the sway of the White Hand, Medwyr has become an important trade route for products from Steinigreich, although the route from Tiefburg to Peniarth is long, difficult, and treacherous.

This land is best known for the volume and quality of its finished products and the sharpness of its merchants. With large numbers of shepherds in its highlands, Medwyr produces copious amounts of wool. Textiles, woodwork, and other manufactured products are the most prized items from this land. Because it has a long, rocky coast and no navigable rivers, Medwyr has no substantial trading ports, but does have a moderately large fishing fleet.

Warriors from this kingdom favor the battle axe and throwing axe as weapons of choice, possibly due to the influence of the many Steinig dwarves who pass through the nation on trading caravans, and the longsword is a commonly used weapon as well. Math’s academy of wizardry is also located in Medwyr, near its northeastern border in the town of Calleva.

Ruler: Adalbeort Leifsonne of House Rodblad

Adalbeort is in his early thirties, but unlike many of his fellow Council members he is somewhat bookish and has little interest in war and power. He is more of an administrator than a warrior and has made his kingdom more prosperous over the last few years through his wise management of the modest amount of trade that passes through his lands. Although he is not much of a soldier or battle leader, Adalbeort is generally respected due to his decent administration of his kingdom, although it is unlikely that he would ever be regarded by other members of the Council as any kind of leader.

Adelbeort, however, is said to have something of an inflated opinion of his own abilities, and it is rumored that he has aspirations of political leadership. It has been noted that Adelbeort has expressed a distaste for the attitudes of the other lords of the Freeholds whom he terms “warmongers” and clearly believes that he would be better suited to leading the Council than any of them.

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