Hey! For #wizardweek  I’m going to share a preview of my take on magic users: The Alchemist.

Hey! For #wizardweek  I’m going to share a preview of my take on magic users: The Alchemist.

Hey! For #wizardweek  I’m going to share a preview of my take on magic users: The Alchemist.

I’ve been working on this class on-and-off for a few months now and it’s just-about finished playtesting, almost ready for sale! The class is focused around brewing potions and then using them to do crazy things.

It works via a tag system that lets players describe what effects the potions have. For example, an Alchemist with a freezing potion could use Belch to breathe out an ice-bridge,  Transform to make the alchemist undetectable to a heat-seeking monster or able to freeze creatures on touch, or might hold a far away enemy frozen in place with Voodoo.

The (20+) advanced moves are mainly based around grabbing more tags (e.g. making potions from monster bits gives you one of the monster’s tags) and using potions in increasingly crazy ways. E.g. Voodoo, where you down a potion, choose an enemy, and the effects hit them. And you too, if you’re unlucky! Of course, no Alchemist is complete without the ability to transmute, fooling merchants with gold coins that revert back to copper or turning their enemies into lead statues .

10 thoughts on “Hey! For #wizardweek  I’m going to share a preview of my take on magic users: The Alchemist.”

  1. Okay, after looking at this some more i have a few more questions. 

    Class damage is what? d4/d6? 

    When burp out the potion, why do you roll with Int? Shouldn’t that be a CON or DEX thing? 

    On the same move, how does only 1 tag apply? You are drinking the whole burning-ice potion but suddenly only ice comes out of you? How does that work in the fiction? How can the same batch of potions have 2 different effects after doing basically the same thing? 

    How many potions can you have on you at a time? How much is a batch of potions? 3-5? So can you run arround with 5 batches of them for 25 potions? Is a batch of potions weight 1? 

    The same thing on the transformation move, why are there different effects each time you use them? 

    For me potions in fiction are always this really concrete thing that you have to do exactly right to get effect X (mostly thinking of DnD, Dresden Files and Harry Potter potions here)

    I was kinda hoping there would be some bad effects on the alchemist himself because they use their own body with their crazy deadly elemental potions. Is this in any way represented in the class? (that is why i suggested Con for the Belch and Imbibe move). Especially on Imbible 

    – you get hit by a tag effect too 

    would be a great 7-9. 

    Is there any way to use potions without drinking them first? 

    I would add “what here would make a powerful potion” to the Discern Realities list and make 

    “what effect would this ingredient have” a thing you can always ask about ingredients. Makes it easier for the GM to handle. Otherwise i would ask this in EVERY ROOM! 

    What weight do ingredients have? 

  2. Those are some great questions, thanks Tim! I’ve got an introduction page included in the full class that explains a lot, but probably not quite in as much detail. I’ll add it to the preview later. For now:

  3. I’m still writing answers to Tim’s questions, but that class looks pretty good Tony! It seems quite mechanically different to mine, I’m glad there’s definitely room for both. You’ve got quite prescriptive moves with hard bonuses, while my class is definitely based around giving fictional effects and working out any mechanical bonuses after, kinda like the Druid’s shapeshifting. I’d like to share some of my ideas with you later 🙂

  4. Tim: 

    The moves allow for different effects with the same potions primarily to make the class more fun! The Alchemist is quite deliberately limited by their preparation, which I reckon gives a really good base to be creative with the significantly more versatile starting moves like Imbibe and Belch.

    In the fiction, the Alchemist’s unique abilities aren’t just in brewing potions, they’re also in downing liquids and using them in far subtler ways. This can be mystical or skillful, depending on the character’s own background. That’s why it’s +Int; the character is consciously acting on the potion inside them and using their skills to select the active ingredients they want.

    I totally agree that when things go wrong the potion acts against them! Most skills on a 7-9 involve the GM picking a tag and describing that too; it definitely doesn’t need to be a positive effect (e.g. in playtesting a flaming, clotting potion turned an Alchemist into a fiery ball of murder, but they couldn’t move when they triggered the hold!)

    To put this in fictional terms, anyone can burp up a flaming potion and breathe fire, but only the Alchemist has the skills to drink oil and internally separate out the toxins/ recombine them, so when she breathes out it’s a cloud of corrosive acid instead. And maybe that cloud of acid is on fire too, if the Alchemist is particularly skilled! 

    There are later moves that allow more tags at once; e.g. on a 12+ with Belch the Alchemist can use all the tags and describe, which makes for a really nasty skill!

    Potions can definitely be used without drinking them. They can be thrown/ tied to arrows/ crushed underfoot and there are advanced moves that let the Alchemist do this in specific ways.

  5. Phew! That was a long post, hope it explains things. I’ll update the preview to include the introduction and guide to playing the Alchemist, as it’s a class that relies on fiction so much (like the Druid’s shapeshift, but a bit more concrete) it takes a bit of explanation. 

    I forgot: ingredients are normally 0-1 weight, while a batch of potions is enough to last an adventure and weighs 1. There’s not a specific number placed on the batches so that the Alchemist doesn’t play conservatively; I want characters bursting into flames, shooting lightning out of their mouths and regenerating great wounds, all at the slightest provocation! It’s definitely a magical class at heart 🙂

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