I wanted to have a system for alchemy that was not purely tables and dice, and was inspired by some fun solo board games. This is the result and I like it quite a bit!
Characters gather alchemy ingredients by trade, exploration, or harvesting during camp.
As long as they have proper equipment they can then spend a camp or downtime phase making a potion using the current season’s alchemy board.
There are four boards based on the season but the special tiles have different effects depending on the current month. For example, the month of Ampere is associated with lightning and light, and so has more chances to produce that effect.
The total number of ingredients an alchemist can add is determined by their alchemy skill.
- Choose a starting point from the 4 center tiles. If you have a chaos reagent you can instead roll 1d4 and start on the marked tile.
- Add ingredients one at a time, moving in pattern associated with that ingredient. Ingredients are lost once used.
- The potion can be finished once at least one ingredient has been added. Add all the effects from all tiles crossed to determine the effect.
- If you cross a special tile, reveal its effect from the list and mark that on the board. It remains that effect for you until the month changes.
Before or after any turn, certain alchemy abilities or gear can be used. Sample abilities or gear might include:
- An empowering calcinator that doubles all power gained but also doubles all movement.
- A south wind soul ability that prevents all movement south while retaining other movement from ingredients.
- An alembic that can remove a single (or more for higher quality) status effect, allowing the alchemist to filter out undesired effects.
- Rare ingredients that add an automatic effect or change how certain tiles behalf, such as a dragon heart that turns all poison to power.
Note that this system is ideal for players who want to do something while others are in the spotlight, or for games where everyone is interacting with the alchemy system such as a magical school or alchemical competition.