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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Medieval Authentic Appendix P: Alchemy

I know I haven't been putting that much content on this blog lately, just play reports and published articles and the occasional rant, but that's because all my content-attention is directed toward the gruelingly slow process of writing my new/upcoming set of complete Appendix P OSR Rules for Medieval Authentic Fantasy Roleplaying.

(That's probably not quite what it'll be called, just a working kind of title)

Anyways, just as an update, currently I'm working on the rules for alchemy. It'll be one of the various forms of magic that a magister (magic-user) can learn. The Appendix P rules won't contain anything really resembling Vancian Magic.  No memorized spells. Instead, magisters learn techniques of magic which allow them to do different things (banishing, summoning, talismans, astrology, curses, cures, and alchemy). Plus a lot of lores/knowledge about things.  Everything will be, inasmuch as possible to maintain the playability, based on authentic practices and techniques surviving from writings of the medieval or very early renaissance period.

Right now, I've been working on Alchemy, which is very tricky (requiring expensive labs, and thus probably the patronage of some powerful lord, unless one is very wealthy), risky, time-consuming, but can end up producing very powerful objects.
The game distinguishes between "puffery" (which is alchemy involving solely the operative manipulation of chemicals) and True Alchemy.  Alchemical puffery is a lore, and can be used by a magister to produce a variety of chemical materials (acids, gunpowder, explosives, or unusual substances) that have no magic. It is also a prerequisite to getting True Alchemy.
True Alchemy works with those materials but interacts with them in a magical/spiritual fashion, so combining the matter of the world with magical invocations and formulae, it can create wonders that combine the world of matter with the world of spirit.

There are three levels to True Alchemy. Every time a magister gains a level, and has the option to pick a magical technique, he can take True Alchemy to gain a new level of knowledge.  The levels are Minor Alchemy, Major Alchemy, and the Great Work.

Here's a list of the various things you can do with each one:

Minor Alchemy:

Apollonius' Lantern
Banishing Water
Draught of Courage
Friendship Cake
Potion Curative
Rain Powder

Major Alchemy:

Byzantine Dragonfire
Oracle Heads
Universal Physic

Great Work:
The Philosopher's Stone
The Elixir of Life

Anyways, this project is, I'm sorry to say, moving at a snail's pace right now. I hope it'll pick up speed in a little, when I finish all the magic section.  Everything else should be easy by comparison.


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