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 Abyssal Alchemy

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valismedsen

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PostSubject: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Jun 25, 2012 8:57 am

I think it is time we take another look at Abyssal Alchemy.

Instead of copying the text I've previously posted on the WW forum, I'll summarize the most important points and ask some questions.

I initially proposed to follow Sorcerer/Mummy guidelines for Alchemy. Upon some feedback, I arrived on some specific rituals instead - which now I think would be better, because it keeps the same formula of other Rituals of Darkness.

For now there are two rituals:
- Abyssal Poison
- Bottled Arms of the Abyss (perhaps other powers of Obtenbration as well?)

I would like to include the possibility of expanding perception and sensitivity as well.

I also had an idea about Abyssal Alchemy being a way of casting rituals, instead of specific rituals. They should take longer and demand specific knowledge and a laboratoty. But what could be the benefits of, say, casting a Shadow of Hands that Serve alchemically? I didn't come up with it yet...


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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeFri Jun 29, 2012 1:14 am

Firstly, the links:
Abyssal Alchemy (Version 1)
Abyssal Alchemy (Redux)
Some ideas concerning Abyssal Alchemy.
Abyssal Venom & Abyssal Infusion
More thoughts on the Abyss.
From Clan Novel Dark Ages Brujah, p.279, "The Bomb of the Abyss"

And now the Response:
Sorry to not get back to you until now about this, but I really had nothing of value to say, until now, so read on and I hope you enjoy. =)

valismedsen wrote:
I would like to include the possibility of expanding perception and sensitivity as well.
I'll admit, I don't understand what you mean by this, could you give an example of "expanding perception and sensitivity through the use of Abyssal Alchemy?"

Quote :
I also had an idea about Abyssal Alchemy being a way of casting rituals, instead of specific rituals. They should take longer and demand specific knowledge and a laboratory. But what could be the benefits of, say, casting a Shadow of Hands that Serve alchemically? I didn't come up with it yet...
I was also trying to think of ways to use it as an alternate System for casting known rituals, but I had nothing... until now. What if Abyssal Alchemy was, as just stated, an alternate way to cast rituals, more scientifically-minded, clinical and detached. Perhaps Abyssal Alchemists practice a sort of "watered-down," "safer" version--Rituals are longer and you have to add +1 to all difficulties, but the trade-off is the ritual-caster is no longer subject to the NORMAL Side-Effects of the rituals they cast. Instead, Abyssal Alchemists suffer a GENERAL Side-Effect for ALL Level One Rituals they cast (even those that normally have no Side-Effect), and likewise a general Side-Effect for all rituals of all other levels (1-8 ). These Side-Effects should start off kind of mild compared to what they would normally experience, and of course get progressively more noticeable/life-altering/etc.

Maybe something like this:

Abyssal Alchemists may cast any Abyssal Rituals that they can find/learn/discover the formula to (meaning learn as normal, just in a different format), but the time, Difficulty and other factors are altered as per the rules of Abyssal Alchemy. Abyssal Alchemists may ignore the normal Side-Effects (if any) of the rituals they cast, and they instead must find themselves subject to the following list of alternate Side-Effects for Abyssal Alchemists:

Level One Rituals - Alchemist's eyes turn black for 1 hour per Success rolled.
Level Two Rituals - Alchemist's blood turns a shade darker, until inky black.
Level Three Rituals - Alchemist's skin turns a shade darker, until inky black.
Level Four Rituals - Alchemist's emotional state is dampened for 1 hour per Success rolled.
Level Five Rituals - Alchemist risks attracting hostile Abyssal entities.
Level Six Rituals - Alchemist ... idk
Level Seven Rituals - ...
Level Eight Rituals - Alchemist risks being pulled into the Abyss

So I just shit this list out real quick, not much thought put into it, the point of it is to show you an example of what I mean. Feel free to redesign all the Side-Effects if you want.

So, maybe that isn't enough, maybe there should be one more advantage about being an Abyssal Alchemist?
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeFri Jun 29, 2012 6:22 pm

Just got another idea to expand on the above concept.

In addition to Abyssal Alchemy having the features described above, there could also be a Ritual specifically for Abyssal Alchemists, that only they can perform. This ritual would be the "classic" notion of creating potions and stuff like that that Alchemy makes people think of (we can refine that idea to be more in line with what Alchemy is supposed to be, of course).

This Alchemists-only ritual could be similar in structure to Caridad's Garden, with a standard time frame, and a list of results that can be accomplished, and the Successes required to achieve them.

In addition, we can use also Abyssal Venom and Abyssal Infusion as rituals that were created by Alchemists, but were adapted to be more standard Rituals that any Abyss mystic can perform. We would just have to make mention of that in their write-ups. We could even say that maybe the "Bomb of the Abyss" ritual by Darque Ainjel and Child of the Abyss could be in this category, too, but their ritual actually feels more mystical than alchemical to me.

Thoughts?
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valismedsen

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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 30, 2012 6:55 pm

Gattison wrote:

Sorry to not get back to you until now about this, but I really had nothing of value to say, until now, so read on and I hope you enjoy. =)

Thanks for the feedback! I actually liked your suggestions a lot.

Gattison wrote:

valismedsen wrote:
I would like to include the possibility of expanding perception and sensitivity as well.
I'll admit, I don't understand what you mean by this, could you give an example of "expanding perception and sensitivity through the use of Abyssal Alchemy?"

I meant the inclusion of these 'rituals':

Spoiler:
 

I'm now thinking perhaps just one ritual that lowers the difficulty of Awareness rolls...

Gattison wrote:

Quote :
I also had an idea about Abyssal Alchemy being a way of casting rituals, instead of specific rituals. They should take longer and demand specific knowledge and a laboratory. But what could be the benefits of, say, casting a Shadow of Hands that Serve alchemically? I didn't come up with it yet...

Abyssal Alchemists may cast any Abyssal Rituals that they can find/learn/discover the formula to (meaning learn as normal, just in a different format), but the time, Difficulty and other factors are altered as per the rules of Abyssal Alchemy. Abyssal Alchemists may ignore the normal Side-Effects (if any) of the rituals they cast, and they instead must find themselves subject to the following list of alternate Side-Effects for Abyssal Alchemists:
...
So I just shit this list out real quick, not much thought put into it, the point of it is to show you an example of what I mean. Feel free to redesign all the Side-Effects if you want.

How about we use the risk of Laboratory Explosions as a general side-effect of Abyssal Alchemy?

Spoiler:
 

It would substitute the usual side-effects, but it still represents a risk. I think it still looks safer (because it's just a nasty botch), and it also interacts with the prerequisites.

Speaking of prerequisites, how do you feel about these?
Spoiler:
 

Gattison wrote:

In addition to Abyssal Alchemy having the features described above, there could also be a Ritual specifically for Abyssal Alchemists, that only they can perform. This ritual would be the "classic" notion of creating potions and stuff like that that Alchemy makes people think of (we can refine that idea to be more in line with what Alchemy is supposed to be, of course). This Alchemists-only ritual could be similar in structure to Caridad's Garden, with a standard time frame, and a list of results that can be accomplished, and the Successes required to achieve them.

I like this idea. How about we take inspiration from this ritual I found?

Spoiler:
 

Obviously some applications don't fit Abyssal Mysticism. But even if the description doesn't talk about Alchemy, it is clearly supposed to be alchemical in nature.


Gattison wrote:

In addition, we can use also Abyssal Venom and Abyssal Infusion as rituals that were created by Alchemists, but were adapted to be more standard Rituals that any Abyss mystic can perform. We would just have to make mention of that in their write-ups. We could even say that maybe the "Bomb of the Abyss" ritual by Darque Ainjel and Child of the Abyss could be in this category, too, but their ritual actually feels more mystical than alchemical to me.

Thoughts?

I liked all your suggestions, aside from the general side-effect of Abyssal Alchemy, which I think should be the exploding bothces.
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeWed Jul 11, 2012 1:05 am

just want to point this out --> Vampire: The Dark Ages, The Book of Storyteller Secrets, page 89. A section on mundane alchemy in the CWoD.
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeWed Jul 11, 2012 9:13 am

Btw did u checked the wod sorcers (p.89) & wod sorcers revised (p.64) supplements ?
there is a better description of alchemy than in blood magic, it could gives us have a range of effects at each level. It would be useful in order to devise the level of the corresponding abyss ritual...

There is also a fae alchemy in the D.A. Fae p.186

And the blood of Winter Fae (following the the dominion of Night witch is close to obtenebration) have special effect that could be used as a model for an alchemy effect cf. D.A. Fae (p.181)
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeThu Jul 12, 2012 6:43 pm

^ I myself have not, yet, but I will, and then I can return to this topic. I also remember valis mentioning something about Alchemy sections in a couple Mummy books as well.

So far though, it looks like NONE of WW's interpretations of Abyssal Alchemy can achieve the versatility that we want for Abyssal Alchemy, so I still say (and it may sound arrogant, but I can't help it, it's true, imho) that the system for Caridad's Garden would be the best system to use if it stays as a single ritual.

On the other hand, the more I think about it, the more I think using Abyssal Alchemy as an alternate method of casting Abyssal rituals (with a few Abyssal-Alchemy-specific rituals thrown in) is the "coolest" idea we've come up with yet, but it also may not be that appropriate.

more when I return later tonight.
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeWed Oct 17, 2012 5:15 am

I just got an idea for this subject, while staring at the very first picture of Andasamarino's of Abyssal Alchemy.
Abyssal Alchemy 149432_10150901552826897_1207990748_n
If you look at his eyes (the character's in the picture), and the shadows hovering over his shoulder, as watching to make sure he does it right, it almost looks as if he's possessed and is following a will that is not his own. So this got me thinking...

What if Abyssal Alchemy's "big thing" wasn't the laboratory or ingredients, but actually where the knowledge of such came from. Technically, this way an Abyssal Alchemist wouldn't even need a lab--but the vampire may not realize such trappings are unnecessary.

We know that Abyss mystics can "listen" to the Abyss and gain knowledge. (e.g. Whispers in the Dark, Level Five Ritual – Player's Guide to High Clans, p. 179). Also, remember that we know there are bits of sentience in the Abyss, fragments of ideas and emotions that coalesce within the great void to temporarily become one complete intelligence before separating again. (This described in Either Summoning the Thing in Darkness or one of the rituals that allow you to enter the Abyss.)

The idea is basically this: what if to be an Abyssal Alchemist, you must enter a trance where the voices within the Abyss consume your consciousness and flood you out, then when you wake up, you've concocted your ritual. For Lovecraftian twist though, the character has no control of themselves while in this trance, and could literally wind up doing anything (that doesn't lead directly to Final Death) that the Storyteller can imagine. Imagine that when you wake up, you could discover that you kidnapped a bus full of old people and painted the outside of your house with their blood--now you have to move your haven, but hey, you got that poison potion out of it. Or that you nearly lost your arm leaving it direct sunlight so you could collect a pound of vampire ashes. Or that you killed all your retainers or even a peer just to use their body in the recipe/ritual.

This way a character can appeal to the Abyss to guide them in making their desired concoction, but they have to take the risk that they may have to do something extravagant and extremely noticeable in order to do so. The more powerful the desired concoction, potion, elixir, or even item or whatever, then the more troublesome their actions will be while under the trance actually making the stuff.

Btw, I would suggest a rating of Level Four for this, which would be true Abyssal Alchemy, meanwhile Caridad's Garden is based on these principals.

Any thoughts on the 237th iteration of Abyss Alchemy?

EDIT: And I'll also admit that the size and positioning of that picture is starting to grow on me... sorry for being so resistant in the beginning, Anda, lol. =)
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Anda

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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeSun Oct 21, 2012 12:39 am

Quote :

EDIT: And I'll also admit that the size and positioning of that picture
is starting to grow on me... sorry for being so resistant in the
beginning, Anda, lol. =)

Smile Glad you came around Razz

For your idea; yeah why not. I think it could work as an alternative, but I must say I like the idea of alchemy being about doing one's own experiments. I have a hard time to see any of my players doing it though, so for us "a little more lazy"-players, your alternative could come in very handy!
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeSat Apr 13, 2013 12:13 am

Okay, finally, here's Abyssal Alchemy revised.

I followed Gattinson's suggestion of it being a way of casting Rituals of Darkness.

I've revised the introductory text, and streamlined the rules casting Rituals of Darkness as Abyssal Alchemy. I guess we could keep the idea of venoms and poisons, though...

I confess I did not go through all the rituals to think if every each of them would fit as an Abyssal Alchemy ritual. Maybe I should add a note that this should be a ST's decision?

Things I'd drop: the waving of physical side-effects (that might be too powerful and un-thematic).

Things I'd add: in order for a subject to use an Abyssal Alchemy effect created by another, the Alchemist who cast the ritual needs to use a Blood Point from said subject and that effect must be cast specifically with that person in mind (that takes away some of the versatility, but it curbs some powergaming).

Abyssal Alchemy

[Intro]
Spoiler:
 

[textbox]
Spoiler:
 

[Rules]
Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeSun Apr 14, 2013 3:18 pm

Wow you did very well! Very informative but yet cool and exciting! I really enjoyed reading this and it inspires to put Abyssal Alchemy into play!
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeSun Apr 14, 2013 11:21 pm

Thanks! Hoping we can check this out of our list, then!
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Apr 15, 2013 9:37 am

Sure hope so! Gattison? bounce
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Apr 15, 2013 3:48 pm

I'm here, I'm here! And you know what... I love this! lol

It took FOREVER, but it was WELL WORTH the wait. This ritual is great, it even ties in the desire to snuff out the sun, the "Sphere of Nocturne," as well as the "Arms-of-Abyss-in-a-bottle" ritual from the novels... that's awesome. =D

I agree with you about the "exemption from Physical Abyssal Flaws" thing, but I think I have an idea for an easy fix. They are exempt from Abyssal Flaws that change their body, but they instead face a new danger, the "explosive" power of botching with Abyssal ingredients. This actually seems far less safe to me, but maybe it's just a stereotype about Abyssal Alchemy that some Mystics succumb to. Either way, loss of being affect by the standard Side-Effect is balanced by the gaining of possible limb-loss/mutilation.

ALSO, for "Limitations," how about adding something like: "At the Storyteller's discretion, certain, specific Obtenebrous powers or Rituals are unable to be "bottled" for later use via Abyssal Alchemy. The reasons why remain unclear to those who study the subject, but less-conservative Abyssal Alchemists maintain that with greater Abyssal understanding, even these may be harnessed as well."

Roll: here you should maybe just specify that only one ABYSSAL ALCHEMY roll is needed, but I assume they then still have to make any other rolls for the actual power or ritual. If that was not your intention, then maybe the Abyssalchemist should have to roll once per week to maintain his rituals? Rolling only once seems a little light, to me, but maybe I'm seeing it wrong.

That's all I got for now, but once again, thanks, Bruno, you da man!
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Apr 15, 2013 6:17 pm

Gattison wrote:
I'm here, I'm here! And you know what... I love this! lol

It took FOREVER, but it was WELL WORTH the wait. This ritual is great, it even ties in the desire to snuff out the sun, the "Sphere of Nocturne," as well as the "Arms-of-Abyss-in-a-bottle" ritual from the novels... that's awesome. =D

Great!

Gattison wrote:
I agree with you about the "exemption from Physical Abyssal Flaws" thing, but I think I have an idea for an easy fix. They are exempt from Abyssal Flaws that change their body, but they instead face a new danger, the "explosive" power of botching with Abyssal ingredients. This actually seems far less safe to me, but maybe it's just a stereotype about Abyssal Alchemy that some Mystics succumb to. Either way, loss of being affect by the standard Side-Effect is balanced by the gaining of possible limb-loss/mutilation.

Cool! I also felt that 'explosive botching' balances 'not acquiring physical side-effects'.

Gattison wrote:
ALSO, for "Limitations," how about adding something like: "At the Storyteller's discretion, certain, specific Obtenebrous powers or Rituals are unable to be "bottled" for later use via Abyssal Alchemy. The reasons why remain unclear to those who study the subject, but less-conservative Abyssal Alchemists maintain that with greater Abyssal understanding, even these may be harnessed as well."

I'm okay with that, and what you wrote can go into a textbox!

I'd also like to point that level6+ Rituals would require a Resources (or similar) background of 6+. Thus another limitation of Abyssal Alchemy is that it's madly expensive!

Gattison wrote:
Roll: here you should maybe just specify that only one ABYSSAL ALCHEMY roll is needed, but I assume they then still have to make any other rolls for the actual power or ritual. If that was not your intention, then maybe the Abyssalchemist should have to roll once per week to maintain his rituals? Rolling only once seems a little light, to me, but maybe I'm seeing it wrong.

My idea is that the Obtenebration power or Ritual of Darkness roll is substituted by one, and only one, Abyssal Achemy roll. Also, I should add that this roll is a simple, never extended roll.
This limits the amount of successes that can be generated, since having it stashed and ready already makes it too powerful. No one wants to see a bottled arms of the abyss with 15 successes.
Limiting the size of the stash by Discipline rating was also another way of dealing with this. Most Mystics won't be able to have more than 5 ready formulae in hand (which is already too much).
However, if you guys feel like a roll to keep the stash in perfect condition is needed to further balance things out, I'm not against it.

Maintenance: Abyssal Alchemy preparations are highly unstable, and need constant supervision. A Mystic needs to be extremely careful with the conditions of their storage, usually requiring supervised conditions of humidity and temperature, as well of spiritual and other metaphysical emanations and influences. A Wits + Occult roll needs to be made once per week, difficulty equal to the number of stored preparations + 3, taking at least 5 minutes per preparation worth of attention to the behavior of the Abyssal formulae in storage. A failure on this roll means the highest level preparation loses its properties. A botch results in an explosion that causes one aggravated health level per '1' rolled.

Question: so we don't need a blood donation for those who might use the alchemical preparations besides the Alchemist, after all?

Gattison wrote:
That's all I got for now, but once again, thanks, Bruno, you da man!

Thanks! Also, I think we should include at least one new Ritual of Darkness under the theme of Abyssalchemy (loved this spelling!).

The Abyssal Venom idea seems to really fit abyssalchemy, and even if we got poisons covered through Caridad's Garden, I guess its still worth including.

Abyssal Venom (Level 4 Ritual)

Abyssal Alchemy’s most traditional formula is a poison distilled from Obtenebration-conjured darkness that can be transmuted into an ebony-black potion mixed with other substances, such as mercury and scorpion’s poison. This ritual was developed by Abyssal Alchemists in an effort to prove the effectiveness of their Art to other Mystics critical of the inherent dangers of being immolated in alchemical black fires. An Abyss Mystic can cast this ritual without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy, the rote steps of the venomous distilling having been recorded by the Alchemists for any expert Mystic to follow. The Abyssal Venom thus created must come in touch with a victim’s bloodstream, either ingested or through a wound, and Mystics inclined to poisoning their enemies adopted many of the Assamite’s methods for delivering their venomous blood through coated blades. Although not a subtle weapon, Abyssal Venom is lethal one.

System: An Abyssal Venom causes one health level of lethal damage per success scored on its roll. This damage is applied at the same turn the poison comes into contact with the subject, and it can be resisted with a Stamina (+ Fortitude, if any) roll, difficulty 7. Each success soaks one health level of damage. This ritual is considered level 3 for those with the prerequisites to cast Abyssal Alchemy rituals, and need not to be learned twice.

Drawbacks: A Mystic without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy must handle these dangerous venoms with utmost care. If this roll is botched, the mystic has poisoned himself with a small dose of the Abyssal Venom that cannot be purged from his body. His veins permanently acquire a sickening dark green hue, marring his entire body with thin black lines.

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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Apr 15, 2013 7:08 pm

valismedsen wrote:
I'd also like to point that level6+ Rituals would require a Resources (or similar) background of 6+. Thus another limitation of Abyssal Alchemy is that it's madly expensive!
I understand the expense factor of it, gotta pay for space, equipment, ingredients, then the really expensive ingredients, or go to the mountain peak and pick the flower yourself, which costs a ton of money. But that to me makes Alchemy seem like the province of rich kindred only. idk, maybe it's just me and as an ST I'd be a bit more lenient with that one particular trait. Perhaps my problem is that great talent and/or dedication to Abyssal studies should surpass and monetary needs a mystic or chemist has.

Quote :
My idea is that the Obtenebration power or Ritual of Darkness roll is substituted by one, and only one, Abyssal Achemy roll. Also, I should add that this roll is a simple, never extended roll.
This limits the amount of successes that can be generated, since having it stashed and ready already makes it too powerful. No one wants to see a bottled arms of the abyss with 15 successes.
Limiting the size of the stash by Discipline rating was also another way of dealing with this. Most Mystics won't be able to have more than 5 ready formulae in hand (which is already too much).
I can see that now, okay. If you wanted to restrict it even further, you could say that the LEVELS of the stored formulae added together cannot exceed the Obtenebration level of the Abyssalchemist. This can minimize powergaming even further, and the Ritual--or whatever this is now--still remains useful and desirable.

Quote :
However, if you guys feel like a roll to keep the stash in perfect condition is needed to further balance things out, I'm not against it.

Maintenance: Abyssal Alchemy preparations are highly unstable, and need constant supervision. A Mystic needs to be extremely careful with the conditions of their storage, usually requiring supervised conditions of humidity and temperature, as well of spiritual and other metaphysical emanations and influences. A Wits + Occult roll needs to be made once per week, difficulty equal to the number of stored preparations + 3, taking at least 5 minutes per preparation worth of attention to the behavior of the Abyssal formulae in storage. A failure on this roll means the highest level preparation loses its properties. A botch results in an explosion that causes one aggravated health level per '1' rolled.
I like the "maintenance roll" idea, but I would suggest a few changes, such as: A) I was gonna comment on how often they need to be checked, but once a week actually sounds good now; B) Does this essentially mean Abyssalchemists cannot carry all of their stored formulae on them at all times? C) Maybe now that the formulae have been made, the risk of explosion should be replaced with something more Abyssal, such as accidentally activating a stored formula

Quote :
Question: so we don't need a blood donation for those who might use the alchemical preparations besides the Alchemist, after all?
I actually really liked the idea of requiring a BP from the chemist-creator in order for someone else to use it properly. I considered it one of the many dangers that replace the bullshit loss of risk of "physical flaws" (lol, which is a big whoop when you may blow your head off at any moment). The way it was written, it was kind of like, trade one bad thing for two bad things. Also, we know the Abyss is hungry, so the requirement of an extra point of vitae is understandable.

Quote :
Abyssal Venom (Level 4 Ritual)

Abyssal Alchemy’s most traditional formula is a poison distilled from Obtenebration-conjured darkness that can be transmuted into an ebony-black potion mixed with other substances, such as mercury and scorpion’s poison. This ritual was developed by Abyssal Alchemists in an effort to prove the effectiveness of their Art to other Mystics critical of the inherent dangers of being immolated in alchemical black fires. An Abyss Mystic can cast this ritual without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy, the rote steps of the venomous distilling having been recorded by the Alchemists for any expert Mystic to follow. The Abyssal Venom thus created must come in touch with a victim’s bloodstream, either ingested or through a wound, and Mystics inclined to poisoning their enemies adopted many of the Assamite’s methods for delivering their venomous blood through coated blades. Although not a subtle weapon, Abyssal Venom is lethal one.

System: An Abyssal Venom causes one health level of lethal damage per success scored on its roll. This damage is applied at the same turn the poison comes into contact with the subject, and it can be resisted with a Stamina (+ Fortitude, if any) roll, difficulty 7. Each success soaks one health level of damage. This ritual is considered level 3 for those with the prerequisites to cast Abyssal Alchemy rituals, and need not to be learned twice.

Drawbacks: A Mystic without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy must handle these dangerous venoms with utmost care. If this roll is botched, the mystic has poisoned himself with a small dose of the Abyssal Venom that cannot be purged from his body. His veins permanently acquire a sickening dark green hue, marring his entire body with thin black lines.
So, basically, this means that not only is Abyssal Alchemy an alternative way to cast rituals, but now it also has lead to at least one of its own "rituals" or formula. But why the Lower Ritual for nonalchemists? Shouldn't it be 3 for Alchemists and 4 for Mystics? Never mind, I read it wrong, my bad.


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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Apr 15, 2013 8:05 pm

For posterity's sake, here is the complete text on Abyssal Alchemy that was replaced:

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Apr 15, 2013 10:50 pm

Gattison wrote:
valismedsen wrote:
I'd also like to point that level6+ Rituals would require a Resources (or similar) background of 6+. Thus another limitation of Abyssal Alchemy is that it's madly expensive!
I understand the expense factor of it, gotta pay for space, equipment, ingredients, then the really expensive ingredients, or go to the mountain peak and pick the flower yourself, which costs a ton of money. But that to me makes Alchemy seem like the province of rich kindred only. idk, maybe it's just me and as an ST I'd be a bit more lenient with that one particular trait. Perhaps my problem is that great talent and/or dedication to Abyssal studies should surpass and monetary needs a mystic or chemist has.

I can see your point. Let's make this prerequisite a Storyteller's option, shall we? Also, or instead, we can say that:

However, great talent or dedication to Abyssal studies can indeed surpass any monetary needs a mystic or chemist has. As an alternative, Abyss Mystics short on resources can cast Abyssal Alchemy rituals in double the normal time, thus taking two weeks per ritual level. By adding laborious alchemical processes to the preparation of a formula, including the calculation of zodiacal signs and the study of metaphysical properties of the involved substances, an Alchemist can waive the necessity of the most expensive tools and materials that would be otherwise needed. Some derelict Sabbat Lasambra are said to cook shadows on the spoons that they once cooked their heroin, but that's probably just rumor intended to discredit young Cainites.

Gattison wrote:
Quote :
My idea is that the Obtenebration power or Ritual of Darkness roll is substituted by one, and only one, Abyssal Achemy roll. Also, I should add that this roll is a simple, never extended roll.
This limits the amount of successes that can be generated, since having it stashed and ready already makes it too powerful. No one wants to see a bottled arms of the abyss with 15 successes.
Limiting the size of the stash by Discipline rating was also another way of dealing with this. Most Mystics won't be able to have more than 5 ready formulae in hand (which is already too much).
I can see that now, okay. If you wanted to restrict it even further, you could say that the LEVELS of the stored formulae added together cannot exceed the Obtenebration level of the Abyssalchemist. This can minimize powergaming even further, and the Ritual--or whatever this is now--still remains useful and desirable.

Ok, that's a nice idea. I'll update my files.

Gattison wrote:
Quote :
However, if you guys feel like a roll to keep the stash in perfect condition is needed to further balance things out, I'm not against it.

Maintenance: Abyssal Alchemy preparations are highly unstable, and need constant supervision. A Mystic needs to be extremely careful with the conditions of their storage, usually requiring supervised conditions of humidity and temperature, as well of spiritual and other metaphysical emanations and influences. A Wits + Occult roll needs to be made once per week, difficulty equal to the number of stored preparations + 3, taking at least 5 minutes per preparation worth of attention to the behavior of the Abyssal formulae in storage. A failure on this roll means the highest level preparation loses its properties. A botch results in an explosion that causes one aggravated health level per '1' rolled.
I like the "maintenance roll" idea, but I would suggest a few changes, such as:
A) I was gonna comment on how often they need to be checked, but once a week actually sounds good now;
B) Does this essentially mean Abyssalchemists cannot carry all of their stored formulae on them at all times?
C) Maybe now that the formulae have been made, the risk of explosion should be replaced with something more Abyssal, such as accidentally activating a stored formula

A) Good.

B) I hadn't thought about that. I don't feel like adding a roll for handling it (it's starting to look like napalm... which might be an idea, if we decide to go there. But... is it not too many rolls to keep track of? IDK). Maybe they are dangerous in storage, but not to carry around? Does that make sense?
On the other hand, I can see a roll to break the vials, free the substance and take command of the effect. How about a Willpower roll, difficulty of the level of the effect + 3? One success releases the desired effect. A botch makes the effect incontrollable, which can make anyone, even the caster, its victim.

C) Ok, how about we keep the damage, but instead of explosion, random shit from the abyss attack you: tentacles of darkness, shadow monsters, etc. We can add a note encouraging storyteller to be creative here.

Gattison wrote:
Quote :
Question: so we don't need a blood donation for those who might use the alchemical preparations besides the Alchemist, after all?
I actually really liked the idea of requiring a BP from the chemist-creator in order for someone else to use it properly. I considered it one of the many dangers that replace the bullshit loss of risk of "physical flaws" (lol, which is a big whoop when you may blow your head off at any moment). The way it was written, it was kind of like, trade one bad thing for two bad things. Also, we know the Abyss is hungry, so the requirement of an extra point of vitae is understandable.

Using formulae effects: Only an Abyssal Alchemist who created a formula effect can use it. The successes scored at the time of the Abyssal Alchemy casting are used to determined the characteristics of the effect, as necessary. These decisions are made at the time of casting (e.g. "when freed from this vial these distilled arms of the abyss will grow to become 10 feet long and will be as strong as ten men, even if they will lack in agility"). When liberated, any entity or triggered effects will be under the alchemist's command with a successful Willpower roll to break the vials, free the substance and take command of the effect. The difficulty of this roll is the level of the ritual being liberated + 3. One success releases the desired effect and gives the Abyssal Alchemist command over it. A botch makes the effect incontrollable, which can make anyone, even the caster, its victim.

Using Lackeys: As versatile as Abyssal Alchemy is, there are some mystical principles that cannot be waived. For a formula's effect to be used by an individual other than the Alchemist who cast the ritual, the Mystic must have access to a Blood Point from the person who is supposed to control the formula's effect or benefit (or suffer) its consequence, which is mixed with the compound at the moment of the breaking of the vial. This individual, and only this person, can try to succeed on the Willpower roll to ascertain control over summoned entities or to undergo the physical or sensorial changes caused by the many Rituals of Darkness or Obtenebration powers.

Gattison wrote:
Quote :
Abyssal Venom (Level 4 Ritual)

Abyssal Alchemy’s most traditional formula is a poison distilled from Obtenebration-conjured darkness that can be transmuted into an ebony-black potion mixed with other substances, such as mercury and scorpion’s poison. This ritual was developed by Abyssal Alchemists in an effort to prove the effectiveness of their Art to other Mystics critical of the inherent dangers of being immolated in alchemical black fires. An Abyss Mystic can cast this ritual without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy, the rote steps of the venomous distilling having been recorded by the Alchemists for any expert Mystic to follow. The Abyssal Venom thus created must come in touch with a victim’s bloodstream, either ingested or through a wound, and Mystics inclined to poisoning their enemies adopted many of the Assamite’s methods for delivering their venomous blood through coated blades. Although not a subtle weapon, Abyssal Venom is lethal one.

System: An Abyssal Venom causes one health level of lethal damage per success scored on its roll. This damage is applied at the same turn the poison comes into contact with the subject, and it can be resisted with a Stamina (+ Fortitude, if any) roll, difficulty 7. Each success soaks one health level of damage. This ritual is considered level 3 for those with the prerequisites to cast Abyssal Alchemy rituals, and need not to be learned twice.

Drawbacks: A Mystic without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy must handle these dangerous venoms with utmost care. If this roll is botched, the mystic has poisoned himself with a small dose of the Abyssal Venom that cannot be purged from his body. His veins permanently acquire a sickening dark green hue, marring his entire body with thin black lines.
So, basically, this means that not only is Abyssal Alchemy an alternative way to cast rituals, but now it also has lead to at least one of its own "rituals" or formula. But why the Lower Ritual for nonalchemists? Shouldn't it be 3 for Alchemists and 4 for Mystics? Never mind, I read it wrong, my bad.


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PostSubject: Re: Abyssal Alchemy   Abyssal Alchemy Icon_minitimeMon Apr 15, 2013 11:06 pm

Revised with Gattison's feedback.

Spoiler:
 

Abyssal Alchemy Ritual Casting

Abyssal Alchemy is actually a method of casting Rituals of Darkness, sacrificing expediency and speed in favor of a more controlled environment which Abyssal Alchemists argue are safer than ritualistic summoning, because they usually exempt the caster from the worst physical side-effects of dealing with the Abyss.

Most Rituals of Darkness can be cast as an Abyss Alchemy ritual, known as formula (pl. formulae), which produces either an apparently inert shadowy liquid concoction, a black powder or a smoke-like essence, stored in crystal vials that can then be opened or broken to activate the intended power or initiate the expected effect, either by the Alchemist or a lackey. Thus, the potential for storing effects and having them on hand for an immediate release when needed is another perceived advantage of Abyssal Alchemy.

Obtenebration powers can also be cast as if they were Rituals of Darkness through Abyssal Alchemy, which makes the practice even more versatile. A mystic can work on a formula that distill an Obtenebration power and condense it within darkness given substance, storing it for later use. A mystic can create an infusion with any Obtenebration power known by him or her, which can be later activated at any time by anyone. When the vial is shattered, these substances expand at an alarming rate and take the shape of the Obtenebration power condensed within.

Requirements

Alchemy Knowledge: An Abyss Mystic must have the Occultism specialty Alchemy in addition to the Abyss Mysticism specialty. Also, each version of a Ritual of Darkness or Obtenebration power cast as an Abyssal Alchemy formula must be learned as a new ritual of the same level.

Obtenebration Knowledge: Shadows called forth with Obtenebration are used as raw materials for all Abyssal Alchemy formulas, and a connection between these shadows and the Abyssal Alchemist is an important metaphysical aspect of the process. An Abyss Alchemist must know Obtenebration at level 3 or higher to cast any of these rituals, being able to give physical substance to darkness. Summoning a special version of a Sphere of Darkness (see page XX) is a step of every Preparation Ritual, which involves the substance of the Sphere being distilled, decanted or condensed in conjunction with dangerous chemical substances.

Abyssal Laboratory: A Preparation Ritual can only be cast within a specially prepared Abyssal Laboratory. Abyssal Alchemy formulae require special ingredients that, although mundane, are costly. A fully equipped Abyssal Laboratory consumes resources to maintain, and an Abyssal Alchemist cannot easily cast a Preparation Ritual at a higher level than the character’s Resources Background (or the Allies or Mentor Backgrounds at similar levels representing those that would be willing to provide the resources). If this condition is not met, the casting difficulty increases by +1.

The Vile Metals: However, great talent or dedication to Abyssal studies can indeed surpass any monetary needs a mystic or chemist has. As an alternative, Abyss Mystics short on resources can cast Abyssal Alchemy rituals in double the normal time, thus taking two weeks per ritual level. By adding laborious alchemical processes to the preparation of a formula, including the calculation of zodiacal signs and the study of metaphysical properties of the involved substances, an Alchemist can waive the necessity of the most expensive tools and materials that would be otherwise needed. Some derelict Sabbat Lasambra are said to cook shadows on the spoons that they once cooked their heroin, but that's probably just rumor intended to discredit young Cainites.

Exemption from physical side-effects: If practiced under its strict conditions, Abyssal Alchemy is indeed safer than usual castings of Rituals of Darkness, and is thus preferred by many Mystics that would rather keep their knowledge of Abyss Mysticism a secret. A caster does not suffer from physical side effects unless a botch is rolled, in which case any Abyssal Alchemy casting can leave the Mystic horribly marred.

Limitations: Although in the hands of those with time and resources and the cunning to anticipate the unexpected Abyssal Alchemy can be a potent weapon, it has its limitations. Knowing how much and which effects to store is very important for an Abyssal Alchemist. A vampire can only have a limited number of prepared alchemical rituals. The levels of the stored formulae added together cannot exceed the Obtenebration level of the Abyssal Alchemist’s Obtenebration rating.

Risks: The inherent dangers of Abyssal Alchemy remain on the spectacularly destructive results of its botches. Botching an Abyssal Alchemy roll causes one health level of unsoakable aggravated damage per level of the ritual being cast, as a combination of alchemical fire and angry darkness engulf the Mystic. The Abyssal Laboratory also takes damage, requiring further resources investment to bring it back to functionality. Raise the Resources level necessary to cast a ritual by +1 for the next number of castings equal to the health levels caused on the explosion. Each time an Abyssal Alchemy casting is botched the caster also gains a physical Flaw related to the Abyss, as the caster’s flesh develops a shadow infestation.

Cost: Abyssal Alchemy formulas almost always include Cainite vitae as a primary ingredient. All formulae preparation require one Blood Point. Every other cost of a ritual or Obtenebration power must also be paid when casting in the Abyssal Alchemy method. Also, if the formula effect is intended for the use of another besides the caster, a Blood Point from that individual is necessary in casting.

Roll: the Abyss Mystic rolls Intelligence + Occultism as normal, the difficulty being the Ritual of Darkness or Obtenebration power level + 3. Only one roll is made for a given casting, which is always a simple, never extended roll substituting the Obtenebration power or Ritual of Darkness roll.

Casting Time: Abyssal Alchemy consumes long hours of arduous laboratory work. Rituals take one week to cast per level. Nights dedicated to laboratory work leave the Mystic enough free time only for a straightforward hunting and brief socializations. The focus of most of the mystic’s attention will be the burning fires under compounds full of liquid darkness back in the laboratory.

Successes: It is usually important to record the amount of successes scored on an Abyssal Alchemy ritual. An Abyss Mystic can determine the amount of Abyssal influence condensed in a given ritual’s results with an hour of laboratory work, and a successful roll of Intelligence + Occult (difficulty 6). Weak results can thus be discarded, although the time spent on their preparation is forever lost.

Maintenance: Abyssal Alchemy preparations are highly unstable, and need constant supervision. A Mystic needs to be extremely careful with the conditions of their storage, usually requiring supervised environments regarding humidity and temperature, as well of spiritual and other metaphysical emanations and influences. A Wits + Occult roll needs to be made once per week, difficulty equal to the number of stored preparations + 3, taking at least 5 minutes per preparation worth of attention to the behavior of the Abyssal formulae in storage. A failure on this roll means the highest level preparation loses its properties. A botch causes one non-soakable aggravated health level per '1' rolled, usually through random manifestation of dangers from the Abyss that attacks the Alchemist.

Using formulae effects: Only an Abyssal Alchemist who created a formula effect can use it. The successes scored at the time of the Abyssal Alchemy casting are used to determined the characteristics of the effect, as necessary. These decisions are made at the time of casting (e.g. "when freed from this vial these distilled arms of the abyss will grow to become 10 feet long and will be as strong as ten men, even if they will lack in agility"). When liberated, any entity or triggered effects will be under the alchemist's command with a successful Willpower roll to break the vials, free the substance and take command of the effect. The difficulty of this roll is the level of the ritual being liberated + 3. One success releases the desired effect and gives the Abyssal Alchemist command over it. A botch makes the effect incontrollable, which can make anyone, even the caster, its victim.

Using Lackeys: As versatile as Abyssal Alchemy is, there are some mystical principles that cannot be waived. For a formula's effect to be used by an individual other than the Alchemist who cast the ritual, the Mystic must have access to a Blood Point from the person who is supposed to control the formula's effect or benefit (or suffer) its consequence, which is mixed with the compound at the moment of the breaking of the vial. This individual, and only this person, can try to succeed on the Willpower roll to ascertain control over summoned entities or to undergo the physical or sensorial changes caused by the many Rituals of Darkness or Obtenebration powers.


Abyssal Venom (Level 4 Ritual)
Abyssal Alchemy’s most traditional formula is a poison distilled from Obtenebration-conjured darkness that can be transmuted into an ebony-black potion mixed with other substances, such as mercury and scorpion’s poison. This ritual was developed by Abyssal Alchemists in an effort to prove the effectiveness of their Art to other Mystics critical of the inherent dangers of being immolated in alchemical black fires. An Abyss Mystic can cast this ritual without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy, the rote steps of the venomous distilling having been recorded by the Alchemists for any expert Mystic to follow. The Abyssal Venom thus created must come in touch with a victim’s bloodstream, either ingested or through a wound, and Mystics inclined to poisoning their enemies adopted many of the Assamite’s methods for delivering their venomous blood through coated blades. Although not a subtle weapon, Abyssal Venom is lethal one.

System: An Abyssal Venom causes one health level of lethal damage per success scored on its roll. This damage is applied at the same turn the poison comes into contact with the subject, and it can be resisted with a Stamina (+ Fortitude, if any) roll, difficulty 7. Each success soaks one health level of damage. This ritual is considered level 3 for those with the prerequisites to cast Abyssal Alchemy rituals, and need not to be learned twice.
Drawbacks: A Mystic without knowledge of Abyssal Alchemy must handle these dangerous venoms with utmost care. If this roll is botched, the mystic has poisoned himself with a small dose of the Abyssal Venom that cannot be purged from his body. His veins permanently acquire a sickening dark green hue, marring his entire body with thin black lines.
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