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Karl is an example Alchemist.

Alchemists are practitioners of a highly specialized form of Hermetic magic known formally as Ars Khumeia, but colloquially known simply as Alchemy. Dedicated Alchemists do not work spontaneous magic, instead crafting potions, elixirs, salves, and other consumed or topically applied substances...ideally in the safety of their workshops and sanctums. When prepared Alchemists can be surprisingly adaptable and should not be underestimated.

In modern times some Alchemists practice another form of magic in addition to Alchemy, and thus those who solely pursue Alchemy with singular dedication are about as likely to be encountered as Wizards who dabble in making potions and such, Artificer-Alchemists, and other types of Mystics who combine some skill in a more active art with their Alchemical pursuits.


The basis of Alchemical practice is represented on a character by taking the Alchemist Vocation at a step appropriate to the character's level of mastery. An apprentice would take the Alchemist Vocation at a d4, a journeyman at a d6, a master at a d8, and a grandmaster at a d10.


Alchemy is a magical artificing discipline that concerns itself with various practical and esoteric disciplines. Most notably Alchemists make concoctions such as potions and a bewildering array of dusts, oils, traps, and bombs. Doing serious alchemy generally requires specialized equipment and materials but not always.

The Alchemist Vocation allows the following special Exploits:

  • Exploit: You can identify a chemical, biochemical, or alchemical substance with a whiff or a glance, at least well enough to know if it is safe to touch or consume.
  • Exploit: You may double a trait from an Alchemical Asset when adding it to one of your dice pools; if you do you may include one additional die in your total.
  • Exploit: You may spend a Transition Scene to create a single use Alchemical Asset with a step one higher than your Alchemical Vocation trait, or two single use Alchemical Assets with a step equal to your Alchemical Vocation trait. These Assets are typically a magical potion or bomb, with a wide variety of effects (GM's discretion applies), and they may be given to other characters to use.

Alchemical Assets Exploit

The Alchemist Vocation represents the general knowledge and skill of an Alchemist within their craft, and provides a possible die for inclusion in dice pools to which it conceivably applies. However, the Alchemist Vocation grants an Exploit that allows the creation of powerful limited use Alchemical Assets. With a little information and an opportunity to prepare, a savvy Alchemist can leverage this Exploit to set themselves and their allies up for future success, by creating specific Alchemical Assets to deal with whatever they think they may face.

Also, it is worth considering that beyond their basic use as a source of extra dice to add to dice pools when relevant, Alchemical Assets provide broad justification to grant the benefits of an Ability trait or equivalent thereof to the person who uses them, so long as it is within concept and makes narrative sense. For instance, an Alchemical Asset defined as a Potion of Flight would rather obviously and reasonably grant the equivalent of the Flight Ability trait to the person who drinks it.

Alchemical Assets are created with a limited number of uses which are consumed when used, though the benefits of one may last for some period of time. Players and GM's are encouraged to have conversation to come to agreement around the nature and duration of a given Alchemical Asset, with a focus on balancing what makes sense to the narrative and avoiding trivializing challenges or other characters.

Signature Exploits

Some Alchemists take one or more Signature Exploits for their Alchemist Vocation to represent a personal quirk or specialization. This option offers an economical (in terms of Advances) and fun way to differentiate and add nuance to an Alchemist. This is covered in more detail in the Alchemist Differentiation sections below.

Mystic Ability Set

Alchemists are first and foremost Mystics, and thus all Alchemists without exception have a Mystic Ability Set, in which various Ability traits and the Supernatural Aura Limit that is common to Mystics are contained. Though individuals vary in the exact composition of their Mystic Ability Set, the most common basic Mystic Ability Set is provided below.


Senses: d6
Stamina: d6
Warding: d6
Willpower: d6

Limit: Supernatural Aura: You have a supernatural aura that is detectable by those with special senses. Gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes a Complication for you.

Alchemical Dependence Limits

Alchemy is a wonderful and powerful thing but it can have a dark side, which can be represented by one or more limits in an Alchemist's Mystic Ability Set. For instance, some Alchemists require regular consumption of one or more Alchemical substances to maintain some or all of their Mystic Ability traits. Karl (the iconic Alchemist) has a Limitation of this kind in his Mystic Ability Set which puts a thematic restriction on maintaining his Stamina trait.

Limit: Elixir of Good Health: This Ability Set's Stamina trait requires imbiding an alchemical elixir every morning (Karl's custom coffee grind). If Karl is away from home and unable to imbide this elixir the Stamina trait steps down for the day. If two days pass without imbiding the elixir the Stamina trait shuts down. Imbiding the elixir restores the Stamina trait to its normal step.

Similarly, Jack has a Alchemical Dependency limit, which prevents him from using traits in his Mystic Ability Set at a step higher than a d6 unless he is currently benefiting from an alchemical effect via something like a potion or topical ointment.

Limit: Alchemical Dependency: When forming a dice pool if you include any of the traits from this Ability Set that have an initial step higher than d6 you must step them down to a d6, unless you are also including in that same dice pool at least one die from an Asset which respresents an alchemical substance that is consumed or applied to your body.

Jack is also addicted to alchemical substances, and suffers Trauma if he doesn't consume them; this is represented with the Withdrawal limit.

Limit: Withdrawal: For each full day that passes without consuming an alchemical substance, suffer d6 Ego Trauma or d6 Body Trauma (your choice)

Alchemist Differentiation

The primary way in which Alchemists are differentiated is via what they choose to apply their Alchemy to. There are four primary focus areas within Alchemy, described below.

  • Assets: focus on the creation and usage of Alchemical Assets.
  • Internal: focus on enhancing one's own intrinsic capabilities via alchemical purification and augmentation.
  • Mutagens: focus on the creation and usage of Alchemical Mutagens to gain temporary abilities.
  • Bombs: focus on the creation and usage of Alchemical Bombs with a variety of offensive effects.

While some individuals pursue more exotic strains of Alchemy, in general most Alchemists will favor one or two of these broad focus areas, with further opportunity for specialization within each area.

Alchemical Assets

All Alchemists are able to make Alchemical Assets as described previously for the Alchemy Vocation; thus this general ability is effectively the default common ground for all Alchemists. However, while all Alchemists have this basic capability, individuals who want to particularly lean into this area of focus can do so in several ways.

Vocational Mastery

Since the step of the Alchemy Assets an Alchemist makes is determined by their Alchemy Vocation die, an Alchemist focusing on this area will want to prioritize improving their Alchemy Vocation step. Achieving grandmastery in this Vocation not only distinguishes an Alchemist, it also makes the alchemical substances they produce more potent.


Next, an Alchemist focusing on creating Alchemical Assets should consider the "gain an Exploit invocation for one of your Vocations" Reward option when defining their character's Milestones. Fulfilling such Milestone goals allows an Alchemist to gain more invokes on their Alchemist Vocation during a session of play, which they can use to create more Alchemical Assets than they otherwise would be able to. Similarly, the "Gain a d6 Asset" or "Gain a d8 Asset" Reward options can be taken by an Alchemist and be interpreted as granting an Alchemical Asset which can be put into play and used immediately.

Signature Exploits

Finally, an Alchemist can take one or more Signature Exploits for their Alchemy Vocation that highlight their ability to use Alchemical Assets in clever or unusual ways, or to deal with Complications (the mirror image of Assets) using their Alchemy.

For instance, something equivalent to the Macgyver Effect (making "innovative" use of available materials) or to Batman's Utility Belt (having just the thing in a pouch or pocket), but with an alchemical theme could be represented by a Signature Exploit such as the following:

Signature Exploit: If you are confronted by a physical Complication and can provide an alchemical justification, you may eliminate the Complication if its step is equal to your Alchemy Vocation die, or step the Complication down if it is of a higher step. Alternately, if you can provide an alchemical justification, you may create a Complication with a step equal to your Alchemy Vocation die and put it into play or step up an existing Complication.

An Alchemist that is particularly good at making a specific kind of Alchemical Asset might represent that with something like the following Signature Exploit:

Signature Exploit: You may spend a Transition Scene to create two Healing Potions with a step one higher than your Alchemical Vocation trait, or three single use Healing Potions with a step equal to your Alchemical Vocation trait. These are Alchemical Assets, and they may be given to other characters to use.

An Alchemist that is able to adapt to situations by mixing stuff up on the fly might take a Signature Exploit such as the following:

Signature Exploit: You may expend two uses of any Alchemical Assets you can get your hands on to produce one use of a different Alchemical Asset with a step equal to your Vocation die. You may give this new Alchemical Asset to another character to use.

Internal Alchemy

As described previously, all Alchemists are Mystics and have a Mystic Ability Set with some basic traits and the Supernatural Aura limit. However, some Alchemists lean into their mystical nature by pursuing Internal Alchemy, developing superhuman qualities including but not limited to various forms of immortality, becoming highly resistant to harm, and other more subtle and esoteric powers. To represent this, an Alchemist simply takes more Ability traits and / or SFX in their Mystic Ability Set representing elevated physical and mental abilities such as Fortitude, Durability, Reflexes, Strength, Running, Leaping, etc.

For instance, Jack has an altered metabolism that is supercharged whenever he is actively benefiting from an alchemical substance. This is represented in general by the overall design of his Alchemically Altered Mystic Ability Set, but is also specifically called out via the Alchemically Supercharged SFX.

SFX: Alchemically Supercharged: When you include one or more of this Ability Set's traits in a dice pool you may step up one of them if you are also including in that same dice pool at least one die from an Asset which respresents an alchemical substance that is consumed or applied to your body. If you do so and the action fails, add a d6 to the doom pool.

A character focusing on Internal Alchemy might further demonstrate their enhanced physical or mental capabilities, by taking one or more Signature Exploits for their Alchemy Vocation such as the following:

Signature Exploit: Via the power of your Internal Alchemy, you may remove a Complication or cancel Stress or Trauma inflicted upon you by a mundane poison, toxin, or pathogen.

Alchemical Mutagens

Some Alchemists (such as Karl) develop personalized mutagens, designed for their particular physiology. It takes time, experimentation, and occasional painful failures to develop concoctions that work, and to develop a resistance to the dangerous and potentially even toxic substances necessary to activate and sustain various exotic abilities. The Mimic Ability trait can be taken in an Alchemical Mutagens Ability Set to represent this practice.

Alchemical Mutagen Ability Set

An example is provided of a common version of such an Ability Set, but individual Alchemists who pursue this sub-discipline of Alchemy differ in how many Mimic Ability traits (and at what step) they have, and may also have additional SFX and / or Limitations in their versions of this idea. Having two or more separate Mimic Ability traits allows an Alchemist to have multiple mutagens affecting them simultaneously, or one very complex mutagen as best fits the narrative.

Alchemical Mutagens

Mimic: d10

Limit: Corporeal Alchemy: This Ability Set's Mimic trait can only emulate Innate, Defensive, or Metamorphic traits, and you need access to your alchemical materials and either a Transition Scene or at least a couple panels of time spent to switch it to a different trait. However, once set, it will remain usable without need for maintenance for potentially days.

Limit: Supernatural Aura: You always have a supernatural aura, but when actively using this Ability Set's Mimic trait(s) your aura is particularly intense and extremely noticeable from further away. Additionally, even when you are not actively using the Mimic trait(s) those with appropriate senses may be able to sense what sort of capabilities you currently have available by detecting relevant changes in your aura. Gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes a Complication for you.

An Alchemist focusing on Alchemical Mutagens might also take one or more Signature Exploits for their Alchemy Vocation that emphasizes their ability to take on extreme but ephemeral changes, such as the following.

Signature Exploit: You may consume an organ from a freshly dead supernatural creature to gain a temporary Ability trait in your Mutagen Ability Set for the remainder of the Session (but you may dismiss it sooner if you wish). The Ability trait must be selected from among those possessed by the creature you got the organ from. While you have this temporary Ability trait, you take on one or more cosmetic aspects suggestive of the creature you harvested the organ from and appropriate to the Ability trait itself if relevant; the higher the step of the Ability trait the more pronounced the cosmetic changes are.

Alchemical Bombs

An Alchemical Asset can represent a bomb or similar offensive device. However, such Assets are by their nature limited in uses. Alchemists wanting to specialize in this aspect of Alchemy would likely be frustrated by running out of uses during a session with a lot of violent encounters. However, there is an easy answer.

Alchemical Bombs Ability Set

An Alchemist can take an Alchemical Bombs Ability Set with one or more Ability traits (typically Ranged), zero or more SFX, and the Restrainable and Gear limits. This represents their ability to carry or concoct bombs on the fly. The following example is considered to be the standard form of such an Ability Set, but a given Alchemist could tweak their version of it, such as to represent a more extensive repertoire of bombs.

Alchemical Bombs

Ranged: d10

SFX: Area Attack: When taking an attack action using one of this Ability Set's traits you may target multiple opponents; for each additional target add a d6 to your dice pool and keep an additional effect die.

Limit: Restrainable: You cannot use traits or SFX from this Ability Set if you are physically restrained and / or lack access to necessary materials. Gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes a Complication for you.

Limit: Gear: This Ability Set's traits are shut down if one or more items of gear are unavailable or rendered inoperable; gain one (1) Plot Point when this becomes a Complication for you. You may recover traits shut down in this way when it is appropriate to the narrative; this may require you to activate an opportunity or take an action against the doom pool at the GM's discretion.

An Alchemist focusing on Alchemical Bombs might also take one or more Signature Exploits for their Alchemy Vocation that allow them to illustrate their flair for splashy Alchemical mayhem, such as the following:

Signature Exploit: You may triple an Alchemical Asset and use it as a magical bomb targetting an adjacent zone, keeping up to three additional dice of effect. If you do, remove the Asset from play.