Minor Alchemy (5e Variant Rule)

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Minor Alchemy[edit]

Minor Alchemy "Now we all know that some can brew potions to carry spells and other magical enchantments, but what about good, old fashioned, potion making from the ingredients of nature in different biomes. Although not as affective as their magical counterparts, poultices, tonics and remedies still deserve their place among the more modern potion brewing!" Basics of the Wadering Apothecary by Stromas Makerath


The following tables and rules will add a new downtime ability "Brew Poultice/Tonic/Remedy" allowing your character to brew minor potions (known as salves) split into the following 3 categories.

1. Poultices: A poultice has to do the maintaining of everyday health and healing, and can grant effects such as stabilization from death, minor hit point recovery and even the granting of temporary hit points.

2. Tonics: A tonic is a performance enhancing potion which increases your efficiency in certain domains, and can grant effects such as minor skill increases and advantage under certain conditions

3. Remedies: Remedies are potions which help recover or remove harmful effects currently tainting the body and mind and are usually used the suppression and treatment of poisons, diseases and even curses in some cases.

It takes 4 hours to gather the necessary ingredients and craft one of the aforementioned salves. You will also require something to cook them in (pot, metal bowl, cauldron) something to hold them in (vial, canteen, flask) and access to some form of water. Minor Alchemy is made using a Medicine check and a Nature check. The Nature check is used to find and identify ingredients in the natural world from fungus and flora. You gain advantage on this check to find and gather if you have an Herbalism Kit. The Medicine check is used to brew the salve. The first check has a Dc equal to 8+the terrains scarcity score, if the character passes, they find the type of ingredients they were looking for and you may roll twice on the Ingredient table for the biome they are searching and for whichever type of salve they are making. If the fail the save by 6 points or less roll twice across the entire list of there biomes ingredients and if they fail the save by any more than that, roll once across the entire list of there biomes ingredients. You must have 2 ingredients from the same salve type to brew a salve, but they do not need to be from the same biome.

Biomes and Scarcity

Each terrain, or biome, has different flora, fauna and/or fungus that van be used in a variety of ways, but not all larders are equally stocked. For example, regardless of how good you are at scrounging up materials for a shelter, it is harder to find wood in the desert than it is in the forest, and Minor Alchemy is no different. Therefore each terrain is assigned a Scarcity Score to represent the additional difficulty of finding good ingredients when you need them and they are as follows:

Arctic SS:12

Coast SS: 6

Desert SS: 14

Forest SS:6

Grassland SS:8

Hill SS: 6

Mountain SS: 10

Swamp SS: 6

Underdark SS: 10

Underwater SS: 8

Urban SS: 12


Now we get into the heart of the process, the ingredients. Below are tables for each biome detailing possible ingredients you may find to brew salves. The higher a locations SS, the less ingredients there are to find, and thus the less variance of ingredients exist in that biome. For example when searching for Poultice ingredients in the arctic, there is a 1 in 4 chance it will be made with frostbloom as compared to in the forest where there is only a 1 in 30 chance that it will be made with rockmoss. You can only search an instance of a terrain once per week for a specific ingredient. So once you have searched and found a patch of frostbloom in the arctic, you must either wait a week to be able to find more, move on to another ingredient, or travel 5 miles within the terrain to find more. Thus it will always be easier in all regards to brew minor alchemy while in biomes with a lower SS.

Now within each of the 3 salve types are 3 ingredient types which help determine what that salve will do and they are as follows for each salve:

Stabilizing: Creates a poultice which stabilizes a dying creature restoring 1 hit point to a creature who has 0 hit points. A stabilizing poultice has no effect on a creature with 1 or more hit points.

Bolstering: Creates a poultice which adds temporary hit points equal to the brewers proficiency bonus to a creature who ingests it.

Restoring: Creates a poultice which restores health equal to the brewers proficiency bonus to a creature who ingests it.

Arctic Ingredients
# Ingredient Name Description Type of Salve Flavor/texture Preparation Effect Type
1 Frostbloom Small blue flowers with white stems Poultice Crisp and Sweet Ground Stabilisation
2 Silverhead Shrimp Roe Pearl-like eggs Poultice Briny and Gummy Boiled and Swallowed Whole Bolstering
3 Pearl-like eggs Poultice Briny and Gummy Boiled and Swallowed Whole -
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