I have always had something of a fondness for alchemical items, from alchemist’s fire to sunrods. We love these kinds of pseudomagical concoctions so much that we have a number of published products full of brand new alchemical items. While products like A Necromancer’s Grimoire: The Secret of Herbs, A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Herbs of the Jungle, and others in this line focus on the things you can make with various exotic herbs, alchemical gear can come in many forms, and I’m excited to create some that don’t fit that mold. One of the problems with alchemical items is that they tend to lose most of their usefulness as the game progresses. It was with this in mind that I wrote this week’s article. Hopefully, these alchemical items will provide fun and excitement in your game for a long time to come.
ALCHEMIST’S ICE 200 gp
Slot none; Weight 1 lb.
This pale liquid resembles especially thick water and is contained in labeled leather flask.
Alchemist’s ice can be thrown or poured out of its vial. If it contacts a creature, that creature suffers 1 point of cold damage. If it contacts a solid surface, the DC of any Acrobatics check made to balance on that surface is increased by +2. If poured into water, the substance quickly spills out to fill a 5-foot cube of water, clearly visible in the water as a dark, ink-like bloom. One full round after having come into contact with the water, that section of water freezes, becoming thick, solid ice. The ice is as strong as natural ice and can support any weight that a 5-foot thick cube of ice could normally support. Several doses of alchemist’s ice can be combined together in order to increase the amount of area frozen. The area cannot be effectively shaped, but generally spreads evenly out from the targeted square, as condition allow. The GM determines which additional squares freeze in this instance.
Creatures that were in the area of water where the alchemist’s ice was poured become trapped within the ice that forms, unless they succeed on a DC 12 Reflex save. Success on this check allows the creature to get on top of the ice as it forms, or to move to any unoccupied square in the water. A creature trapped in the ice is unable to move, except to strain against the ice, though he is not helpless, and must hold his breath or suffocate. A creature trapped in the ice has total cover, though the ice itself can be attacked. Ice has 0 hardness and 3 hit points per inch of thickness. Thus, while it would require 180 points of damage to cleave the block in two, 20 points of damage is all that is required to free a character trapped within. A character trapped within the ice can attempt a DC 15 Strength check to break free. A Large or larger character might only be partially within the area of the ice when it solidifies; such a character is merely entangled, and must succeed on a DC 10 Strength check in order to move at half speed. Such characters are considered to be on firm footing when fighting underwater.
The same processes that are used to create alchemical ice can be used to create a compound that functions in the opposite fashion. This other compound is sometimes called alchemist’s melt or alchemist’s ice 2. It costs and weighs the same as true alchemist’s ice, and has the same crafting requirements. When prepared in this way, alchemist’s melt deals 1 point of fire damage on a successful hit and can melt up to a 5-foot cube of ice, turning it into liquid water. Unlike normal alchemist’s ice, this process is instantaneous. Characters standing on the ice might fall when it melts, unless they succeed on a DC 12 Reflex save.
Alchemist’s ice can only affect magical ice or water if its creator had more ranks in Craft (alchemy) than the caster level of the spell or effect.Construction Requirements
Craft (alchemy) DC 25
SMOKE MINE 250 gp
Slot none; Weight 1 lb.
These squat brown boxes contain various chemicals and reagents which, when exposed to fire, flare up and produce a thick haze of smoke. Multiple triggering mechanisms are available for these mines, making them useful for both active and passive defense.
The mine can be either laid or thrown (with a range increment of 10 feet) and has two potential methods of being triggered. The first is by contact with the mine: for instance, if thrown, a direct hit on a creature or object is sufficient to trigger the mine, and likewise, being stepped on by a creature also triggers the mine (the creature stepping on the mine must weigh at least 1 lb. to trigger it). The second method of triggering this device is by means of a long cord of nearly invisible wire, which is attached to the triggering mechanism contained within the mine and can be spotted with successful DC 25 Perception check. The cord can be held at one end by an individual, or can be secured to an appropriate surface in order to create a trip wire. If held, then the character holding the cord can pull it at any time as a standard action to trigger the mine. A single character can hold several different cords and pull them all at once with the same standard action, allowing her to trigger several mines. If the cord is secured as a trip wire, then it is immediately triggered when a character makes contact with it, regardless of whether or not he actually breaks the trip wire.
When triggered, the mine produces a thick cloud of alchemical smoke. This smoke fills a 20-foot-radius spread and functions identically to normal smoke (see the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook for more information), except that a character that ingests a vial of antitoxin is immune to its effects. The smoke can be dispersed by winds of 25 mph or greater. Smoke mines can also be constructed to include an inhaled poison that is released when the mine is triggered. Such a mine has its price increased by an amount equal to the inhaled poison’s price, and uses the DC of the smoke mine or the poison when crafting, whichever is higher.Construction Requirements
Craft (alchemy) DC 20
UNSTABLE IMMORTALITY 50 gp (lesser), 150 gp (standard) 250 gp (greater)
Slot none; Weight —
This interesting brew was created by an alchemist looking to create a stable version of his mutagen, meant to be shared with others. While the results were not what he hoped for, the compound he ended up creating was both useful and easily recreated, making this drug a potent choice for the adventurer looking for a little more staying power.
Contained in a syringe or prepared as a pill, this mud-colored liquid alters the body’s physical abilities, causing it to develop a thick layer of fleshy tumors or hard scales. The liquid also fills the user with additional vitality, making him feel more alive. When consumed, the user gains a number of temporary hit points (based on the strength of the dose), which last for 1 minute or until the fleshy layer of his skin suffers any form of trauma. When the body suffers damage, the unstable pseudo-mutagen rapidly breaks down causing the tumors or scaly growth to painfully detach from the body, dealing an amount of damage equal to the number of temporary hit points remaining after the attack. A successful Fortitude save (DC = the damage dealt + 4 for each dose of unstable immortality currently affecting the character) negates this effect.
Unstable immortality comes in 3 strengths: lesser, which grants 1d6 temporary hit points; standard, which grants 1d10 temporary hit points; and greater, which grants 2d10 temporary hit points. Multiple doses of unstable immortality can be used together and provide a number of temporary hit points equal to the sum total of the temporary hit points granted in this way. Likewise, when the user suffers damage, he potentially loses all remaining temporary hit points gained in this way, and stands to suffer damage equal to that amount.Construction Requirements
Craft (alchemy) DC 15 (lesser), DC 20 (standard), DC 25 (greater)