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Whilst Second Edition RuneQuest included rules for making magic potions, in the Third Edition these were subsumed into the general ritual magic system. The following rules reinstate Alchemy as a seperate profession.


Potions are defined as being either magic or mundane. Magic potions either contain a spell or restore vital essence (MP), mundane potions are non-magical: poisons and antidotes, acids, FP restorers etc. Potions have a 'Level' which for a magic potion is equal to the MP of the spell.
A 'potion' is not neccessarily a liquid in a bottle, it could be a pill, powder or ointment, whatever seems appropriate to the referee.
Potions are indivisible in strength. Putting a 'Heal-4' potion into two smaller bottles gives two bottles of coloured water, not two 'Heal-2's.

Alchemy as a skill

Alchemy is a Craft Skill that can be aquired by research or training as per normal rules. An Alchemy trainer will be a 'Master Alchemist' who will be 90% or better at his Craft.
A character can become an apprentice to a Master Alchemist. If done during previous experience this gives the normal benefits plus 6 weeks of tuition per year (see below). To be accepted as an apprentice a character must have positive modifiers in Knowledge and Magic.

Costs and times

Taking a level 1 potion as base, costs of ingredients and time increase for higher levels according to the following table:
Level       1  2  3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10
Multiplier x1 x3 x6 x10 x15 x21 x28 x36 x45 x55

Mundane potions are 20% of magic potions in cost and time.
Sale prices are typically x10 ingredient price.

Learning a Potion

BASE: A level 1 potion takes 75 pence in ingredients and three weeks to learn.

At the end of the learning time the student attempts his Alchemy roll or if the potion is magical his chance of casting the spell, whichever is lower. Ceremony ritual can be used to increase the chance of success for a magic potion, but not for mundane learning.
A student could seek tuition from another, in which case the tutor rolls instead. Master Alchemists cut learning time by 50% and charge typically 50 pence per week (doubling the cost).

Making a Potion

BASE: A level 1 potion costs 5 pence in ingredients and takes 1 day to make.

Chance of success is as for learning. A Master Alchemist can check that potions are 'good' by inspection, alchemists of lesser ability have to try them out. Potions can however be made in batches with one roll for the whole batch.


A fumble roll produces a potion with the opposite effect to that intended A fumble while learning means the student can reproduce the result, a fumble while making cannot however be repeated deliberately.

EXAMPLE: Erasmus the Duck has Alchemy 37%, POW 11 and Ceremony 40%. Knowing the spirit spell Farsee 1, he decides to try to learn how to make Farsee potions. After three weeks slaving over a hot cauldron he spends the final day chanting incantations adding 5D6 to his chance of success: 37+4+4+3+3+2=54%.
Swigging the foul tasting liquid Erasmus rushes to the window to find he can no longer read the inn sign opposite! His player has rolled 99% and Erasmus can now make Potions of Shortsightedness 1, a commodity of doubtful resale value.


(1) A user can add MPs to a potion induced spell to enhance it's effect.
(2) FP boosters (pep pills) have a side effect - after hours equal to their level they wear off and the FP are lost again.
(3) A character taking another magic potion within an hour of taking the first runs a risk of confusing his body chemistry. If he cannot make a CONx3 save the potion has the reverse effect.
(4) Mundane Heal 1 potions exist in the form of ointments. They cannot heal internal damage or magical damage (eg from a Disrupt) however.

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