Alchemical Item Descriptions

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Standard Alchemical Items

Aniseed: Aniseed is a simple plant-derived natural flavoring. A small quantity of aniseed extract can be used by a character to ruin any effort to have dogs track his scent, if bloodhounds (or similar) are used by pursuers. Dropping a vial of aniseed down at a suitable place (e.g., by the bank of a stream the thief crosses, by the base of a wall he traverses, even at a crossroads) will ensure that the dogs’ sense of smell is utterly ruined for 1d4+1 hours if they reach the spot where the aniseed has been dropped. A saving throw vs. poison will enable a trained dog to evade the aniseed to some extent, but the sense of smell is still lost for 1d4+1 turns. A spell such as neutralize poison or slow poison cast on an affected dog will eliminate the effect but the dog will still have to pick up the trail further along, somehow, to continue tracking. The effect of aniseed on any other kind of trained tracking animal is up to the DM, but aniseed should have a detrimental effect on almost anything’s sense of smell.

Bamsmack: Long favored by bards of all stripes, our bamsmacks add a flair to any performance. The bamsmacks are made from Malatran bamboo sections packed with salt, and they create a jarring smack when set aflame and may change the color of the fire. The user should take care not to stand too close, as those adjacent to the flame may find themselves pelted with shrapnel. Even at close range, damage is minimal, but they make an excellent diversion.

Catstink: Even the best-trained watchdog or tracking dog finds it impossible to avoid being distracted when there are cats about. This is exploited by the few alchemists who have the recipe for the manufacture of catstink. These few are well-paid by thieves’ guilds for their work, blending various liquids obtained from diverse parts of cats with a few secret ingredients to produce a thick, foul-smelling, brown-yellow liquid—Catstink.
Catstink is specifically blended to drive any dog to distraction, allowing the thief to get past watchdogs as they frantically try to locate the cat which they can smell so pungently. Dogs who can smell catstink will not do anything other than try to get at the source of the smell, no matter how highly trained. Spells (like neutralize poison) are only useful if the dog is wholly removed from the smell. Even then the effect of the spell will not be evident until one turn has elapsed and the dog returns to normal.
Catstink can also be used to delay dogs tracking a thief as he attempts to make an escape, in much the same way as aniseed is used, albeit much more effectively (and much more expensively). The smell of catstink can be picked up by dogs up to 200 yards away, or even as far as half a mile if they are downwind of it.

Dog Pepper: This may be dropped on the floor, like aniseed, to put dogs off the scent when pursuing a thief. It is less effective than aniseed, however, the pursuing dog being allowed a saving throw vs. poison to avoid the effect of the dog pepper absolutely. If the save is failed, though, the dog is unable to continue pursuit for 1d4+1 turns.
Dog pepper may more usefully be scattered into the air, a small packet holding enough to fill a 10-foot cube. The pepper will hang in the air for 1d4 rounds after being flung into it. A dog entering the area during this time gets no saving throw to avoid the effect of the pepper. If dog pepper is thrown right into a dog’s face, the unfortunate animal gets no saving throw and becomes hysterical for an hour, during which time it is totally uncontrollable. When used directly in this manner it can have similar effects on most other creatures (as determined by the DM).

Dust, Honey: Young lords ever dream of bard-song lasses whose skin and tresses sparkle like gold to their eye alone. Attend the next noble revel bedecked in glistening honey dust, and prepare to capture his heart.
This honey dust is prepared from High Dale bees, supping on only the finest flower nectars. The powder has a delicate aroma that is sure to enchant and is applied to the body with its own goose down brush. Before you fret, we have it on good authority that the sweet flavor remains unmarred.

Grenades (Nage Teppo): These fragile canisters can be thrown as a Weapon, or used to attack an area by throwing them at he ground or another hard surface. As per the weapon description, all grenades deal 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage on a direct hit to a creature, in addition to the effects of their alchemical payloads.
All grenades are fragile. If a character carrying these items falls 10 feet or more and suffers damage, the player must roll 16 or better on a saving throw vs. crushing blow for each grenade carried. If the roll fails, the grenade bursts and is useless, but unless it was being carried near the character’s face, or are exposed to fire, will do no harm.

  • Grenade, Dust: This grenade is thrown into the face of an opponent (Eggshell grenades ignore the AC value of armor but must hit the upper chest or face area of an opponent.) On a successful attack roll, the grenade bursts in a cloud of dust. The opponent gets a saving throw vs. poison. If he makes the roll, he is unaffected (though covered by a light layer of dust). If he fails the roll, he is blinded for ld6 rounds. These can also be useful in revealing the presence of invisible creatures and objects.
  • Grenade, Flash Powder: When this grenade is thrown into a fire, it explodes in a brilliant flash of light, blinding everyone who is looking in that direction. The blindness lasts ld3 rounds. If the DM does not know where a character is looking, that character must make a saving throw vs. petrification. If the character is more than 10 feet away from the fire, he gets a +2 bonus to the roll; more than 20 feet away, a +4 bonus. Maximum range for the effect of the flash powder grenade is 30 feet.
  • Grenade, Pepper: This grenade is thrown into the face of an opponent just like a dust grenade. If the attack roll is successful, the pepper gets into the character’s eyes and up his nose. The affected character must make a saving throw vs. poison. If the save feils, he is incapacitated for ld6 rounds due to choking and sneezing.
  • Grenade, Smoke: This grenade can be thrown against the ground or into a fire. When thrown against the ground, it creates a smoky area equivalent to light fog in a 5-foot radius. If the character has his back to an escape route and has enemies to his front, he may throw a smoke grenade in front of him to give him a moment of distraction, allowing him a round to flee and make a hide in shadows roll. When thrown into a fire, a smoke grenade creates a smoky area equivalent to dense fog in a 10-foot radius.
  • Grenade, Smoke Powder: Grenades may be packed with up to 20 charges of smoke powder (see below). In order to be effective, the grenade must either be lit with a fuse, or thrown directly into a fire. If successfully ignited, the smoke powder does 1d2 points of damage per charge used in a 5-ft. radius. Creatures within the area are allowed a save vs. breath weapon for half damage, so long as there is space for them to move out of the blast. A creature that is hit directly by the grenade is not allowed a save.

Ink, Disappearing: For thieves who make their way among wealthy folk, disappearing ink is as indispensable as a mini-blade to a cutpurse. What better way to entrap an unwary businessman than to sign him to a contract from which your signature will disappear? We carry all varieties of ink—disappearing within the hour, day, week, or month, and ink that is invisible until heated over a candle. Please specify type at ordering.

Ink, Writing: We offer a very large choice of ink colors for that special project, whether you’re working on a simple text, or a multi-volume, illustrated masterpiece. When ordering, check with us on our colors; we try to keep every known type in stock!

Insect Repellant: Applying this rare, minty cream over a character’s face, arms, and other areas of exposed flesh repels bees, ants, and all other types of insects less than 1 Hit Die in size. One application wears off after 8 hours.

Metaleating Acid: If faced with a lock which your best efforts cannot pick open, metal-eating acid is one alternative. Such acids will eat through locks if the locks fail a saving throw vs. acid. If the save is made, the lock cannot be opened, but it will be ruined (and unopenable!) if a second save is failed.

Use of metal-eating acids is difficult because only acids of great strength will do the job effectively. Acids of the strength of black dragon acid and thessalhydra acid are among the few known effective metal-eaters. The acid is also very hazardous to carry. While it may be contained in glass containers (and possibly ceramic), such vessels are fragile. Imagine falling down a pit and hearing the sound of breaking glass as double-strength acid begins to seep through clothing and over one’s back…

When used as a weapon, acid damage is particularly grim. Aside from the possibility of scarring, acid damage cannot be healed by regeneration. It must be healed normally. Thus, it is very useful against regenerating creatures such as trolls.

Acid inflicts 2d4 points of damage per flask, and continues to injure the victim the next round; a flask inflicts 1d3 point of damage in the second round. In addition, the flask is large enough to splash creatures near the target; see Grenadelike Missiles in the DMG.

Oil, Bath: The natural secretions of exotic flora and fauna are used in these scented bath oils from Marsember. They keep your skin supple and youthful. Available in lovely scents to tantalize your nose: rose, berry, musk, and cinnamon.

Oil, Glada: This sweetly aromatic lamp oil is an extract of Cairn Hills glada trees. Popular enough in crystal lamps and dank surroundings, the oil has been distilled so as to burn nearly half again as long as regular lamp oil. Sweet meat glazes and pastries also benefit from a few drops when both are cooked thoroughly.

Oil, Greek Fire: Greek fire is a general name given to all highly flammable oils used in combat. Historically, Greek fire was a special combination of oil and chemicals that was sticky and difficult to extinguish. These oils are highly flammable and a little dangerous to carry. Oil causes damage only when it is lit. This normally requires a two-step process—first soaking the target in flammable oil and then setting it afire. Thus, using flaming oil often requires two successful attacks.

A direct hit from flaming oil burns for two rounds, causing 2d6 points of damage in the first round and 1d6 points in the second round.

Oil, Jalzanda: Jalzanda flowers bear a pungent oil when pressed at the peak of their late-spring bloom. The essence is useful for calming rambunctious children or, when taken as a warm decoction, helps soothe troubled slumbers. No more than a few drops are usually needed. If taken in large quantity, the resultant state so resembles death that the unthinkable might occur before waking. Consuming a whole vial is identical to a feign death spell. It’s worthy to mention that spells like raise dead and resurrection have no effect, since the recipient isn’t dead, though a simple neutralize poison rouses the subject.

Oil, Lamp: Pressed from olives (in the south) or animal blubber (in the north) lamp oil is used for lamps and lanterns. Lamp oil is non-explosive, does not take a light well, burns slowly, and generally must be wicked with other ignitable materials (typically cloth or rope). A flask of lamp oil cannot be used as a weapon, but it can be used to feed an existing blaze.

Paste, Luminous: While its appearance may remind some of underdark fungi, the prime component comes from the phostwood tree. Fresh paste glows well in moonlight, making for an excellent trail marker or for telling friend from night-stalking foe. A signal speculum can be quickly created by applying some to a handy surface.

Perfume: These lovely scented waters, powders, and rouges are produced by the famed scent-makers of Westgate. These perfumes are the world’s finest, ranging from simple scents that cover odors to fine scents that fire imagination and stir passion.

Ravager Potion: This is slow-acting potion, taking effect half an hour after being drunk and ending ld3 hours later. While under the potion’s influence, a character receives the following benefits:

  • He is immune to sleep and charm spells.
  • He gains two additional hit points per hit die.
  • He receives a -2 bonus to his individual initiative.
  • He receives a +2 bonus to Armor Class.

At the end of the potion’s effect, all benefits wear off, and the character must make a Health check. If he fails the check, he collapses in a coma for 3d6 hours. If the character has sustained enough damage that the sudden loss of the extra hit points brings him down to zero hit points or fewer, he dies (no saving throw).

Rosewater: A cheaper option for improving your scent than honey-dust or perfumes, this is a simple tincture of rose-petals in water. While not as long-lasting as oil-based perfumes, it is surprisingly effective at masking odors.

Scent Lure: A scent lure is a pungent liquid used to attract animals in the wild. Each scent lure attracts a specific type of animal, usually woodland game such as deer, wolf, or fox; individual animals of the species find the odor irresistible.
One application near a tree, rock, or snare has a 15% chance of attracting an animal of the given species within 24 hours, presuming the animal passes within 100 yards of the application. Extra applications do not increase the chance of attraction. The scent evaporates in 24 hours.

Sleep Gas: A sleeping guard is undeniably nicer than a garroted one. This liquid sublimates on contact with air and comes in sturdy stoppered flasks that break easily on impact. In liquid form when stoppered, these vials contain enough punch to instantly lay low one medium or two small creatures for 1d4+1 turns (save vs. poison negates). Two flasks can incapacitate a large-sized creature. Those of greater than Large size are unaffected by this concoction.

Sunburn Ointment: Characters risk damage from sunburn in any terrain during seasons of bright sunlight, not only in deserts, but also in the arctic, where the sun reflects off the ice and snow. If characters don’t protect exposed flesh with scarves, mask, or other covering, they risk suffering 1 point of damage from sunburn per day. An application of sunburn ointment, gives protection against sunburn for a full day.
Sunburn ointment gives no protection from magical or non-magical fire; it is ineffective against any source of damage other than the sun.
Sunburn ointment is rare, found only in the best-stocked shops in large cities.

Tar Makeup: A cloaked body may still be given away by an uncovered face. Our tar makeup allows full vision and flexibility without the risk of revealing one’s place, granting a +1 bonus on Hiding proficiency attempts. This makeup will not harm the skin, as normal tar or rubbed charcoal may and lasts until washed off.

Theriaca: An antidote for many poisons, adventurers often carry theriaca along by the jarful. A dose of theriaca has a 50% chance of immediately neutralizing type A, B, G, H, and K poisons.

Thieving Powder: For thieves who have trouble slipping their hands into and out of purses and pockets might use thieving powder to facilitate movement. An application of this powder grants a +1 bonus on a single Pick Pockets proficiency attempt.

Thirst Pill: Thiist pills are nonmagical medicine. The ingredients include only normal herbs and other plant products, but making up the pills requires great skill. The pills must then age for several years before they reach their full effectiveness. When taken once per day, in a dose of five pills, the pills prevent the user from feeling the ill effects of thirst. This can be useful when the character is making long forced marches or is trapped in a situation where she cannot or must not drink.
However, the character still suffers from dehydration-she just cannot feel the effects. The effect of the pills wears off at the end of five days. If the character is not able to drink at least a quart of fluid at that time, she begins to die of thirst. Until she gets at least a quart of liquid, she must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation every hour or die of dehydration.

Weaponblack: When a character applies this oily paste to their weapons or armor, it makes the metallic surfaces non-reflective and nearly invisible, granting a +1 bonus to the user’s Hiding proficiency score. A coat of weaponblack lasts until the character engages in melee combat, at which time enough of the substance flakes away to negate any camouflaging advantage. The substance is flammable; if lighted, a sword coated with the paste will become the equivalent of a flametongue for 2-5 rounds, and will also inflict 1d4 points of heat damage upon the wielder unless he is magically protected. This substance is uncommon and only available through shady under-the-counter dealing.

Wound Packing: Wounds may be sealed in ways other than bandages. Wound packing is made from a mixture of gum, resin, tar, and wax. While it may save a collegue from bleeding to death, its long-term efficacy is unknown, as it may promote as much infection as it prevents.

Herbal Items

Incense, Air: Facilitates casting of all spells from the Elemental Air school or sphere.
elemental spells. Burning a stick during casting increases the duration of any such spell by 1d4 increments (rounds, turns, hours, etc) where applicable.

Incense, Chance: When burned beside a gaming table, improves odds of believers. While burning it grants a +2 bonus on Gaming proficiency checks to all within a 10-foot radius.

Incense, Charisma: Improves a believer’s perceived appearance and sociability. A stick burned and inhaled grants a single creature a +1 bonus to his Charisma score for 1d4 turns.

Incense, Constitution: Improves a believer’s endurance. A stick burned and inhaled grants a single creature a +1 bonus to his Constitution score for 1d4 turns.

Incense, Dexterity: Improves a believer’s manual facility. A stick burned and inhaled grants a single creature a +1 bonus to his Dexterity score for 1d4 turns.

Incense, Divination: Improves chances of magically gaining knowledge. A stick burnged while casting increases the chance of success with certain divination spells (such as augury or divination) by 5%.

Incense, Dream: When burned beside the bed of a sleeping character, provides dream-answers to questions. A stick burned while a character sleeps functions as a divination spell with a base chance of success of 40%.

Incense, Earth: Facilitates casting of all spells from the Elemental Earth school or sphere.
elemental spells. Burning a stick during casting increases the duration of any such spell by 1d4 increments (rounds, turns, hours, etc) where applicable.

Incense, Fire: Facilitates casting of all spells from the Elemental Fire school or sphere.
elemental spells. Burning a stick during casting increases the duration of any such spell by 1d4 increments (rounds, turns, hours, etc) where applicable.

Incense, Healing: Aids in healing the wounded. Burned over 8 hours, this adds 1 point of healing to any who rest within a 10 foot radius.

Incense, Honors: Burned to honor guests and friends. When burned, it adds a +1 bonus on NPC reactions against intelligent creatures within a 10 foot radius.

Incense, Intelligence: Aids in the quickness of wit and in problem solving. A stick burned and inhaled grants a single creature a +1 bonus to his Intelligence score for 1d4 turns.

Incense, Love: Aids amorous believers in the art of wooing. This functions as a charm person spell on all creatures within a 10-foot radius while it burns, but only in regard to amorous statements/acts.

Incense, Lycanthropy: Helps to suppress the full-moon transformation of lycanthropes. If the subject remains within a 10-foot radius while the incense burns, he has 50% chance to suppress the lycanthropic transformation. If the character leaves the area, the transformation happens immediately.

Incense, Protection: Wards off evil creatures while it burns. While burning it functions as a protection from evil spell within a 10-foot radius.

Incense, Psionic: Facilitates the use of mind powers. If burned and inhaled while manifesting a psionic power, it reduces the PSP cost to manifest and maintain the power as follows:

Initial Cost Reduction
1 no effect
2 to 10 -1
11+ -2

Incense, Purification: Cleanses the minds and hearts of companions. While burned it provides the benefits of a bless spell to all creatures in a 10-ft. radius.

Incense, Rain: Brings rain to parched lands. When burned this incense function as a weather summoning spell but produces only rain.

Incense, Santal Wood: Just as the oil of the santal tree is used in the mixing of perfumery, setting the rolled heartwood to smolder soothes breathing ailments. The effects of stale or noxious airs, such as smoke or crypt fumes, are neutralized for the duration of burning. The incense is also known to have similar effects against magical vapors if the heartwood is first left to soak in a potion of sweet water.

Incense, Strength: Improves the power of muscles and health of bones. A stick burned and inhaled grants a single creature a +1 bonus to his Strength score for 1d4 turns.

Incense, Study: Aids in the non-magical research work of priests and wizards. While burning, it provides a +2 bonus to a single check for any one non-weapon proficiency from the Academic, Sorcerous, or Spiritual groups.

Incense, Temple: Common to altars and temple braziers throughout Toril. Far more than merely the perfume of the gods, incense has countless roles to play in the priestly lifestyle—not the least of which is to bear the prayers of the faithful to their god.

Incense, Vision: Enhances the facility of the eyes. A stick burned and inhaled grants a single creature double normal vision range and the Infravision ability (to a range of 30-ft.), if not already possessed, for 1d4 turns.

Incense, Water: Facilitates casting of all spells from the Elemental Water school or sphere.
elemental spells. Burning a stick during casting increases the duration of any such spell by 1d4 increments (rounds, turns, hours, etc) where applicable.

Incense, Wisdom: Empowers native intuition, common sense, and experience. A stick burned and inhaled grants a single creature a +1 bonus to his Wisdom score for 1d4 turns.

Divine Alchemical Items

Holy Water: Holy Water affects most forms of undead and creatures from the Lower Planes. It has no effect against a creature in gaseous form or undead without material form.
Unholy water (essentially holy water used by evil priests) affects paladins, creatures whose purpose is to defend good (lammasu, shedu, etc.), and creatures and beings from the Upper Planes.

Holy (or unholy) water affects creatures as does acid, causing damage that cannot be regenerated but must be healed normally.

This magical liquid is created in the following way: In a temple of the god, three priests of second level or higher stand over an empty water-basin and perform a ritual of prayer. They pray for the god’s blessing and protection for an entire hour. At the end of that time, they each cast a spell, and do so simultaneously: One casts create water, the second casts protection from evil, and the third casts purify food & drink. Half a gallon (4 flasks worth) of holy water is created.

The tremendous expenditure of magic and the time involved are the reasons why a single dose of holy water costs 25 gp to the adventurer. Obviously, any three priests can create holy water “for free” so long as they are second level or higher and are priests of the same god.

Sacred Ghi: A holy clarification of butter, reduced to liquid, ghi is used by many faiths of the Realms. Cow, buffalo, or sheep milk is churned, boiled, and blessed to make sacred ghi. When drunk, this magical ghi acts as a minor curative, healing 1d3 points of damage. If consumed by an undead creature, it acts as holy water (damaging them as if they had been hit).

Smoke Powder: This magical substance is similar, though not identical, to gunpowder. It is extremely scarce and, due to its volatile nature, dangerous to fabricate. Smoke powder is commonly found divided into two separate components—one, a steely-blue granular substance, the other, a fine white powder. Alone, each component is inert and harmless. However, when equal portions of the two are mixed together, the smoke powder is complete and dangerous.

When touched by a flame, the mixed powder explodes with great force, noise, and smoke. The size and force of the explosion varies according to the amount of smoke powder used. A small, measured amount (a spoonful of each component) causes 1d2 points of damage. Such an amount is sufficient for a large firecracker or a single charge of an arquebus. Increasing the amount increases the damage proportionally—doubling causes 2d2 points of damage, tripling causes 3d2, and so on.

An explosion capable of causing 30 points of damage (15 charges) has a 5-foot radius. Blasts capable of causing 50 or more points of damage (25 or more charges) have a radius of 15 feet, and affect items and fortifications as would a giant’s blow.

Smoke Powder is a closely-held secret of the Priests of Gond, and only available for purchase at Gond’s churches.

Soma Juice: This special drink—a decoction of honey, poppy seeds, and the Soma (ephedra) plant—is sacred to the faiths of Chauntea and Selune (and a few others). When a priest brews and blesses the Soma leaves, he creates a powerful magical juice. A character drinking a vial of Soma juice gains a +1 bonus to his Constitution (both Health and Fitness) score and immunity to non-magical diseases for one week.

While Soma juice protects against disease, it cannot cure such maladies. The effects of any disease already infecting a character who drinks Soma juice are suspended for the duration—the character does not need to roll any additional saves and does not take any additional damage during this time, any damage or penalties already inflicted by the disease remain (but do not escalate).

Alchemical Item Descriptions

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