GLOG Class: Alchemist Junkie

Overusing potions can lead to dependency, and dependency will lead to withdrawal. You overuse potions anyway.

(Not every alchemist is an Alchemist Junkie, just like not every fighter is a Sharptalent)

Starting Equipment: Alchemical equipment, collapsible cauldron for rendering corpses, light weapon, 3 potions (roll randomly for each).
Starting Skills:
Alchemy. Also, roll 1d4 or choose one—1 Brewing, 2 Medicine, 3 Millinery, 4 Painting

Special: Pick one of the potions that you rolled. You have just taken that potion, after having taken another potion like it only a short while ago. Time till withdrawal is six hours. The clock is ticking.

Level abilities

  1. Chug, Extractions, 2 Preparation Methods
  2. Drug Resistance, Twitchy, +1 Preparation Method
  3. Reliable Brew, The Nose Knows, +1 Preparation Method
  4. Burnout, +1 Preparation Method

Chug

Once per round, you can consume a single potion as a free action (or begin to consume, in the case of potions which are consumed over time).

Extractions

You can turn corpses into extracts (stackable x3 in the Inventory). Each corpse takes 10 minutes to render, and is destroyed by the process. For each HD that the corpse had before you corpsified it, there is a 50% chance of getting 1 extract. If you use only half or a quarter of the body, then halve or quarter the number of HD, and if this would bring its HD below 1 then no extracts may be acquired.

Why corpses? It is possible, under certain circumstances, to produce an extract from something other than a corpse. What is most vital to the production of extracts is a soul, which can be found elsewhere (e.g. Hell is a major exporter of potions) but is most readily obtainable from fresh corpses (unless forcibly removed by an outside party, souls take several hours, and sometimes even days, to detach from their bodies). The soul remains in the potion and is consumed with it, then gradually detaches and departs as normal.

Where can souls be found? Practically speaking, “does this have a soul?” is a lot like asking “does this thing have a brain?” Answering in the affirmative doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s sufficient. Rats have souls, or at least proto-souls. Bacteria do too, probably. It doesn’t last, though, at least not under normal circumstances, and it’s generally not sufficient for making potions. As a rule of thumb, if it has a HD then it has a soul, or at least something which approximates a soul closely enough that it can be used to make a potion.

With few exceptions, the undead have “a soul, or at least something which approximates a soul.” This is what permits them to move about.

I’ll probably write about souls in more detail in the future, but Alchemist Junkies tend to care less about navel-gazing metaphysics than about getting their next fix.

With 1 hour of work, you may turn an extract into a potion, whose nature will likely be related to the source of the extract (keep track of what corpses turn into what potions!). Through experimentation, you may be able to create new potions by adding other kinds of ingredients besides the base extract (e.g. adding gold coins and saltpeter to “extract of dragon”).

When producing a potion from a new kind of corpse, there is a 50% chance that you will create poison instead of a potion. Make a lawful Intelligence roll. On a success, you know whether you have made a poison and, what’s more, you know where you went wrong. On a failure, you don’t know whether you made a poison and, if it’s a poison, you don’t know what you did wrong and will have to roll again the next time you process this extract.

You may also turn an extract into one of the following:

  • Alarm dust (crackles when stepped on)
  • Bomb (thrown weapon, 1d6 damage, hits adjacent squares as well)
  • Grease
  • Lantern oil
  • Liquid spikes (e.g. caltrops, deal 1d4 damage to anyone who steps through that square)
  • Mystical glue

Feel free to expand this list with your GM.

Preparation Method

There are many ways to prepare a potion.

  1. Alchemical mouse: Feed the reagents to a mouse, then mummify its corpse and, when the time is right, swallow the whole thing in a single bite. Prep time is a full day but you get triple the duration and advantage on withdrawal rolls.
  2. Block: A floppy stick of condensed potion, like a Soylent bar or those roach blocks from Snowpiercer. Lesser potency, but they’re very convenient to store: stack up to 6 blocks in a single inventory slot, and never worry about the bottles breaking and their contents being damaged or mixed if you take a fall.
  3. Bread: May be consumed as rations, in which case upgrade the die rolled to heal HP. If a healing potion, then do not roll two dice. Instead, take the highest of dice pool you could roll (from either the rations or the healing potion), upgrade it by one step, and roll that. This is what elf-bread is.
  4. Cigarette: Roll it up and smoke it. Maybe you use leaves, maybe you soak rolling paper in the potion. Lesser potency but, by putting out the fire, you can “store” any leftover duration for up to a day  (after which it loses its freshness). Additionally, so long as you consume the entire cigarette within four hours, time till withdrawal is reset when you finish smoking, not when you start.
  5. Gas: You have a closed apparatus for inhaling potions in a purified, gaseous form. Unfortunately, to get the full effect you can’t mix it with anything, including oxygen, so you can only use the potion for a number of rounds equal to half your Constitution (or to your full Constitution modifier, if you’re using bigger stats than I do), at which point the combination of oxygen deprivation and potion-induced physiological stress deal 1d4 non-lethal damage and you pass out. The upside is that, rather than just having greater potency, you should apply the greater potency modifier to your potions twice (e.g. if greater potency involves doubling a flat number, then increase it by the amount of the first increase rather than doubling a second time, e.g. from 2 to 4 to 6, rather than from 2 to 4 to 8).
  6. Golden needle: Greater potency, but take 1 damage each time. Healing potions cannot be used with a golden needle, because they heal the puncture wound and thus prevent further healing.
  7. Liquid: The traditional method. No changes.
  8. Lozenge: Stick it under the tongue and wait. Takes 1d4+1 rounds to start working. By removing it you can “store” any leftover duration for up to a day, but time till withdrawal is reset only after you’ve used more than 50% of the duration (make sure you get the timing right, or you might go through withdrawal while sucking on the lozenge!).
  9. Powder: Crystallized, crushed, and snorted up the nose. Greater potency, but cut time till withdrawal in half. Additionally, if this is your first potion in the space of six hours, Save vs Magic or be forced to deal with the possibility of withdrawal in six three hours even though you didn’t take two potions.
  10. Topical Ointment: Somewhat sticky paste, applied directly to the skin. Lesser potency and takes 1 round to start working, but they count as only half a potion for the purposes of dependency (e.g. you can have three topical ointments and still be safe).

Drug Resistant

Repeated exposure to potions of a dubious nature has strengthened you. Get advantage on all rolls to resist the effects of ingested or inhaled substances of a toxic nature (e.g. alcohol, poison).

This ability only functions when you are experiencing withdrawal or the withdrawal timer is ticking.

Twitchy

Long-term dependence on potions has left your nerves a complete mess. When surprised, you have a 3-in-6 chance to act on the surprise round anyway.

This ability only functions when you are experiencing withdrawal or the withdrawal timer is ticking.

Reliable Brew

Pick a number of Potions equal to your Alchemist Junkie Levels. You can spend 6 extracts to produce any one of those potions, even if you don’t have the necessary ingredients.

The Nose Knows

If there is a potion within 20 feet of you or within the same room as you when the room is no bigger than 25 ft by 25 ft then you know that it is present. With a lawful Wisdom roll you can even pinpoint the direction. If you have encountered this kind of potion before then you can identify it by smell.

This ability only functions when you are experiencing withdrawal or the withdrawal timer is ticking.

Burnout

The specter of withdrawal is still your enemy, but the reality of withdrawal is…well, okay, “friend” might be too strong a word. Frenemy? Yeah. Your frenemy.

The point is, when you’re going through withdrawal you’re a wreck, but you’ve been around the block enough that you can make it work for you. During withdrawal, all other effects operate normally, but also:

  • You get advantage to all Saves against mental influences and can make a Save against mental influences even when one would not be possible. It is very hard to get your mind on any setting other than “really awful.”
  • If someone tries to read your mind, that counts as a mental influence. Also, just trying to read your mind deals 1d4 non-lethal damage to them, from the psychic trauma.
  • You can ignore up to two points of Encumbrance, and can spend 1 HP to ignore all fatigue levels. “Tired” doesn’t have shit on what you’re feeling like.
  • You get advantage on Initiative rolls. You’re really twitchy now.
  • When using melee weapons, you get -2 to-hit but deal +1 damage. Your nerves are shaky but by Sun you know what pain is like and you’re gonna show it to these assholes.

Oh, and with three rounds of focus and prep time to really get your body agitated, you can set your time till withdrawal to “right now.” This doesn’t take an action, so you can keep doing whatever you’d like in the meantime.

Credit

The original inspiration for this class (+Twitchy) came from Chris S.’s Tweaker class.

The Extractions ability is from Arnold K.’s Manrider Alchemist. Reliable Brew is…I don’t know where it comes from, exactly, but I definitely picked up “your class involves a lot of randomness but here’s some reliability at last” from somewhere, possibly as a general idea from several classes. This Alchemist class was also helpful, but I don’t know who wrote it.

Preparation methods were inspired by Arnold K.’s Alchemy and Oozes PDF, and most of them come from there.

Design

Several of the Alchemist Junkie’s abilities only kick in so long as they’re overusing potions, which should encourage players to go full throttle on taking Way Too Many Potions.

This class probably has too many moving parts for a new player, and will require more bookkeeping on the part of both player and GM to invent / track potions recipes.

I’ll probably mess around a lot with the preparation methods, especially topical ointment. It isn’t really useful to Alchemist Junkies (who will probably be fully committed to staying on the withdrawal train and never stopping) but Alchemist Junkies have non-junkie friends (hopefully), and they need potions. Yes, 3 healing potions is more heal-y than 1 healing potion, but (1) the Alchemist Junkie spent one of their slots specifically for a preparation method that would only help their friends, and that should be worth something and (2) the action economy means that taking three rounds to use three healing topical ointments still carries a cost that isn’t found in using one healing potion of normal potency.

Playtest

This hasn’t been playtested yet.

2 thoughts on “GLOG Class: Alchemist Junkie

  1. Joshua McCrowell

    The link for the Tweaker class is correct, but it’s actually by Chris at Wayspell not Luther Gutekunst.

    Like

    Reply
    1. callmesalticidae Post author

      Whoops. I don’t know how I made that mistake. Must’ve gotten names mixed up on my notes sheet as I was moving things around.

      Thank you for pointing out it out!

      Like

      Reply

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