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Paul

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PostSubject: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Tue May 10, 2011 9:20 pm

Jonathan,

Having gone up a level, I was looking over my non-weapon proficiencies, remembered you mentioned something about alchemists and their abilities, and had a few questions. I imagine your house rules are unique, so I'd like to know what is or is not possible at a given proficiency level. Can I begin to make simple potions, say cure light wounds or the like, at a certain proficiency level? What types of poisons can I create/distill? Can Herbalism and Alchemy combine to make non-magical but useful potions (a limited cure (2-4 points), poison save bonus (+2), etc...)?

That seems like a good place to start the discussion.

Thanks again for last night's game. That was fun. I hope to have Carrow's Journal updated by the end of the week.

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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Wed May 11, 2011 2:59 pm

I have to agree that skills like alchemy need to be useful as well as informational for characters. I'm not saying a part time chemist should be allowed to make all potions, make them often or easily but there has to be some eventual purpose for taking the skill beyond identifying potions.

Jonathan's defense of a ban on NWP skills being used to make potions because "ther're magic" and if "they were easy everyone would do it". is weak at best.
(statement made in this thread)
http://checkerseekerdoors.forumotion.net/t274-questions-about-proficiencies

To be fair I had the same issue with SH even at the MU levels required to make magic items.

My belief is that alchmists are specialized chemists they do not personally harness magic like a mage does, they simply assemble extremely detailed recipes with extremely rare ingredients using extremely specialized equipment and procedures.

restrictions on making potions should be based on the time and cost of learning methodology and formulas, time and cost to outfit a lab , and the cost and rarity of ingredients, not mystical barrier that only confers these skills to professional alchemists.

Its simple , keep the costs roughly in line with purchased potions so its not going to be a mega cash cow after you factor in the expenses and the time used to create them

Keep the ingredients rare

Make it hard to acquire accurate formulas

Set a minimum level of NWP slots required to move from analgesics to potions. The combination of all these barriers will keep most players from bothering.

People are not all going to make potions because its easy, first of all its not easy, its not cheap it won't be fast. It's like saying I'll never hire a contractor again because its easy .

Some people will always hire contractors because the time and expense to learn a skill is not worth the return, Some people will do small repairs or build a deck/fence because the result does not require 100% perfection and a slight failure does not result in instant death, almost no one builds their own cabinetry, especially high end stuff because they cannot expect an adequate result for the effort put forth.

Likewise most people will buy their painkillers rather than make their own, a few will attempt to make their own painkillers, herbal remedies and succeed, most will fail.
Even less will attempt to make a potion that could blow up or poison them unless they have extensive safeguards.

As for Pauls suggestions about non magical potions I do have issues with that, perhaps its only a definition problem Potions mean magic =instant results . There is no such thing as a non magical potion, its called medicine

Medicine mitigates or masks symptoms
slows progression
cures
or speeds recovery. It does none of these things instantly

All this said Paul took an insane number of Alchemy levels and should certainly be able to make poisons and Medicine for personal use or sale (there needs to be guidelines/discussion about what such medicine could cure and appropriate cost.)

the real gist is whether he can learn at some cost in time and gold to make normal potions or perhaps lesser potions which he described as "non magical"
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Thu May 12, 2011 1:36 am

I agree that someone who is loaded up on a NWP should get some benefit beyond identifying things. From my perspective, I have dumped huge points into spellcraft. This should affect my ability to create new spells or develop new ways (recipes) for casting existing ones. Or maybe it should relate to a bonus to a MU spell saving throw as I theoretically should be able to identify what's coming more quickly.

On the other hand it might just add a level of complexity we don't want. I don't think this is a good argument - just a practical one.
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Paul

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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Thu May 12, 2011 7:37 am

Wilhelm wrote:
I agree that someone who is loaded up on a NWP should get some benefit beyond identifying things. From my perspective, I have dumped huge points into spellcraft. This should affect my ability to create new spells or develop new ways (recipes) for casting existing ones. Or maybe it should relate to a bonus to a MU spell saving throw as I theoretically should be able to identify what's coming more quickly.

On the other hand it might just add a level of complexity we don't want. I don't think this is a good argument - just a practical one.
Wilhelm,

Interesting points about Spellcraft. Something I will bear in mind should I ever get a chance to run a game again.

I don't mind the level of complexity. I'm sure most matters could be resolved on this board. Jonathan can just make us do all the work. Razz

Kubera: I agree: Call it non-magical medicine and the delivery form could be anything from a poultice to an infusion. I do think herbalism and alchemy should combine to produce something useful.

* edit.

As you wrote, normal or limited effect potions, non-magical medicine, and poison should be within my grasp-- it's just a matter of sorting out what can or can not be done.






Last edited by Paul on Fri May 13, 2011 12:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Misread something Kubera wrote, never mind. :))
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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Thu May 12, 2011 9:04 am

Doug, I would go further and make spell craft the requirement for designing new spells. its like the difference between the contractor and the architect, a mage can follow existing spells well enough to cast them but lacks some of the theoretical framework to design new ones. Bare minimum I'd say failure of the spell craft roll would force the mage to spend a multiple of x2,3 4, time and/or money to design a spell.. It would basically go from sound theoretical work to trial and error

I would also say that making permanent circles for protection or summoning in ones magical lab would be modified by spell craft as would the research and preparation to make any other magical item.

Your saving throw idea I don't buy,, if you were staring at someone intently you might have time to identify and react faster but in a melee where you are threatened by a number of potential attackers and perhaps even in combat you would not have the presence of mind focus on what a caster is doing. That's also assuming you can even identify which of the attackers can cast and you just happen to focus on that particular opponent.
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Fri May 13, 2011 12:40 am

I have to agree with you on the saving throw comment. I was performing a brain dump and in hindsight it probably doesn't add up (but looking at your argument perhaps reaction adjustment should be a bigger part of certain saving throws).

The comment on protection circles and making magic items makes perfect sense.

On the first point, I also agree but I think other factors like intelligence, spell level and character level would form part of the calculation. This percent chance would be rolled daily or weekly to determine success. The spellcraft skill should also somehow lengthen/shorten the time to complete the spell.
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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Mon May 16, 2011 2:11 pm

I'm thinking about this. I'll grant that the "it's magic" line is weak, but there is still some complexity involved in creating potions, as you mentioned. As I see it, NWP's are hobbies, not something about which someone knows an exhaustive amount of information.
Let me think about this a little more.
Please continue to discuss this amongst yourselves.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Mon May 16, 2011 3:45 pm

The problem with labeling NWP as hobbies is they haven't been qualified as hobbies before in other skills You've established precedents where I've made weapons and armour. I believe Sadech did some carpentry and you ruled that Rilds (limited) engineering skills would allow him to successfully construct minor structures. Unfortunately we are weak on other precedents as other players have not done much in the way of crafting

Another way to rationalize/adjudicate it; in the old rules at a particular level (9th or 11th I believe) a mage could make potions. I would say that this rule was just a generalization based on the premise that the average mage would spend time learning alchemy and it would take that many years/levels/effort to gain the ability to make potions.

With the advent of a more complex NWP rules this automatic ability should be stripped from the mage and replaced with the requirement (for anyone) to gain that ability should they spend the equivalent number of NWP slots as mages required levels.

This widens the skill so priests, witches, or even advanced herbalists could eventually achieve potions, but would still be largely limited by the high standards of skill/cost required.

I don't believe this an ability that unbalances the game, rather it engages more role play, character development and player fun but with enough restrictions in time/cost and rarity to keep people from becoming potion factories. Its certainly less disruptive than giving us wishes, boons from gods or a chest full of gems, not that I'm complaining.

To keep the trend consistent Spell craft 9 would be required instead of mage level 9 for writing scrolls, a higher level based on the old rules for making magic items , or perhaps in conjunction with an artificers skill. This actually makes better sense than just allowing default creation of things at certain levels.

Nothing as difficult as making magic shit should be guaranteed, of course even within the genre of magic creation there should be variables,, a 1 shot arrow should get a plus on creation vs a staff of magi which would get a serious penalty.

Everyone should pick a mundane skill and build a chart what can and can't be done automatically and what needs a + - modifier
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Wilhelm

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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Tue May 17, 2011 9:28 am

This may be a dumb question....

When some one says NWP level 5 how does that compare to rolling ones chance on a NWP (I can guess that higher levels will typically mean better chances)?

In other words if I have a 57% chance on a NWP how does that compare to ones NWP level? Is the NWP level simply the number of NWP points you've dropped into the skill?
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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Tue May 17, 2011 12:06 pm

There are 3 factors with NWP
the number of points required to buy a skill, this varies to penalize certain classes from learning certain things , its irrelveant to this conversation

the number of slots/level = the number of times you've trained in this skill regardless of how much each level cost in in points.

and the total % which is a calculation of your base chance (based on number of levels/slots) modified by your physical attributes (and theoretically modified by magical tools, or expert assistants)

While 5 slots/levels may make you a journeyman smith the percentages could vary from about -6 to +12 depending on the modifier of your required stat (str dex, int). While two equally trained journeymen could both make a simple utility knife with no roll the disparity in their skills would show up when you tired to make a finely tempered dagger, a complex gear or cog and one has a negative mod the other a substantial positive on their roll.

So the level only signifies the amount of training not total skill, at low levels you gain 4% per slot , eventually this % lowers as you receive diminishing returns on your training. Its harder to find a trainer, book or time able to teach you more or it takes much longer to practice the skill on your own time.

With some skills like smiting you can claim certain mundane uses should be automatic at certain levels. Making a rough nail at 1, a fire poker at 3, an utility knife at 5.

horsemanship
able to mount without help 1
able to control horse 3
comfortable in all "normal riding situations" 5

language,
recognizing a language and a few words, 1
retarded child 2
6 year old 3
dumb adult 4 - Conservative or someone from Keswick
median use of language 5
Steven king 3.4
Stephen R Donaldson 1.2
Shakespeare 8

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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: Alchemy Non-Weapon Proficiency   Tue May 17, 2011 12:07 pm

Quote :
This may be a dumb question....

There is no such thing as a dumb question , just dumb people asking questions.
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