by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO
This document addresses and builds upon the creation and use of potions in the Rolemaster Standard System/Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying.
This document discusses the creation of potions in the Rolemaster System. It discussed how herbs and other substances can be useful in magical potions, introduces the potion brewing skill, goes into spell mastery techniques for potion brewing, and gives recommendations about potions.
Certain Herbs have properties which product effects on living creatures. It is possible if correct prepared that they can produce effects normal produced by magic or extending periods of time (such as healing).
By incorporating herbs that have properties associated with the spell effect desired by a magical potion, it is much easier to craft magical potions.
Certain minerals, non-herbal plants, and animal parts (particularly magical animals) can have similar effects.
How the organism was raised/cultivated can make a difference on its potency and effects.
Likewise how the substance is prepared and mixed with other substances can also make a difference.
Potion Brewing is a new skill in the Crafts Category focused on brewing potions, magical and non-magical. It entails understanding how to select substances as components for the potion based on their properties and the desired effect of the potion, how to mix the components to best gain the desired effect, how to incorporate alchemist magics into the process to incorporate certain spells into the potion, and how to make multiple doses simultaneously.
For non-magical potions, this builds upon successful herb preparation (and possibly alchemy) to properly create a potion from the substances. A successful potion brewing roll indicates a good mix of ingredients to achieve the desired effect. Better rolls indicate a greater potency in the potion, generally resulting in more doses. Non-magical potion brewing takes between twenty minutes and a number of hours depending on the effects desired.
For magical potions, this expands the alchemist potion creation process to allow for the effects of the ingredients, potentially resulting in multiple doses and decreased time to create the potion. In addition, when considering potency for ingredients, an ingredients that makes it easier to imbed and enchant is a valid potency consideration.
Tomes of Formulae for Magical Potions can be very useful in the process to provide specific directions and component lists, and may list alternative components that can be used if the desired component is not available and the effects of such substitutions.
In using the skill, it is necessary to consider the quantity & potency of each ingredient and how multiple components interact (GM decision) and the resultant potency of all ingredients. I have provided a Substance Applicability Potency Modifer Table to apply to substance to allow for different applicability of certain components to the overall effect and resultant potency which is applied to the Benefits of Potency of Ingredients Table to determine the benefits to the potion making process. For most ingredients and potions, 2-3 ounces of raw material (per ingredient) can be considered a standard quantity of 1. Multiply quantity by potency to get ingredient potency and add all ingredient potencies adjusting for ingredient interaction as provided by the GM to get total substance potency.
The standard Talent, Herbalist, gives a special +20 bonus to the Potion Brewing skill.
Applicable Secondary Skills/Spells to the Potion Brewing Process
Potency Modifier Table
Neutral Substances can be used to
improve the flavor,
change the color,
change the texture, etc.
but tend not to influence the results.
Magical enhancement of an ingredient
can improve the potency modifier
Benefits of Potency of Ingredients Table
Potion Brewing Static Manuever Table
Spell Mastery on a spell can be used to reduce the apparent level (down to half of the original level) of the spell, making it easier for other spells to interact with it. In the context of potion making, this means needing a lesser Imbed and Potion spells may be required to imbed certain spells.
Spell Mastery on an alchemist enchanting spell can increase its potency letting one day equal multiple days. The same potency modifier should be applied to all alchemist spells cast.
Note: These uses of spell mastery can be applied to non-potion item creations by alchemists as well. Reduce Effect Spell Level can be useful when working with other spells that affect spells as well.
|Additional Spell Mastery Modifiers|
|Reduce Effective Spell Level|
This is modifying the spell to make it respond like an lesser level spell. Maximum reduction is 50% of the original level.
# Levels & Spell Mastery Modifier
|Increase Alchemical Potency
This is modifying alchemist spells to increase the potency of them to speed up the construction of magic items. The spells still have a 24 hour duration, but the total time is reduced based on the potency selected.
Increased Potency & Spell Mastery Modifier
Given knowledge of the spell list, casters should be able to cast intermediate spells between lists to better balance magic item creation cost and time.
Expanded Alchemist Potion Spells Table|
Potions are normally liquids but can be prepared in other forms as well.
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This builds upon the creation and use of magical potions as defined in the Rolemaster Standard System [RMSS] and Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing [RMFRP]. Copyright 1995-2000 © Iron Crown Enterprises, Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia USA. Rolemaster is a trademark properties of Iron Crown Enterprises, Inc. (ICE). All rights reserved.
© 2003-2004 Thomas A. Stobie, SFO - Permission to use and copy for personal use is granted.
The majority of the contents were published in the June 2004 issue of the online magazine, the Guild Companion.
Last revised 11 June 2004.