Monday, March 16, 2020

Alchemy in Chivalry and Sorcery

    My views on Alchemists and Alchemy in role-playing games are bound to the depiction of the alchemists in Chivalry and Sorcery 1e, Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures, tinctured by Ursula K LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea.

     In society, the alchemist provides many things - a scholar conversant with with useful plants and minerals (always needing a party to collect something rare); a provider of potions and elixirs; a technician who can assay old coins and determine their precious metal content - and for their magical brethren, an indispensable source of materials for creating devices of power.  In areas of low magic or for those neglected by the local church - the alchemist may function as a physician and chiurgeon, providing non-magical treatment for plagues, ailments and injuries.

     Alchemists tend be rather disreputable looking, having singed hair, missing eyebrows wearing acid eaten robes and having hands mottled and stained from handling chemicals bare-handed .  Their minds either tend to wander, either because what the party wants isn't NEARLY as important as the project they are working on or because their minds have been effected by chemical fumes so long that they only have a passing relationship to reality.

Chivalry and Sorcery provides many materials output from the alchemists labs.
Philosophical Sulphurs and Salts, and a Magical Oil used in potion making.  Various 'Waters' are created as byproducts of creating alchemical gems; these waters can be used to enhance various spells - such as Water of the Ruby enhancing Fire spells.  The gems themselves are used in magical devices - such an Alchemical Sapphire being uniquely useful in teleportation devices.   Their research also produces the True form or Star of various metals, each of which produces as a byproduct a 'mercury' or essence of the metal.  Star of Iron of course is needed for magic weapons, Star of Silver for magic mirrors and True Lead can be used to to create an anti-magic paint.  When all of the mercuries are combined, they produce a Universal Solvent capable of dissolving any material.


  1. Also, would the Igor's hump move, or is the lisp from Tradition?

  2. I'd be really glad if you would reference the pages / books in chivalry & sorcery that speak of alchemy !
    I have no clue about this system (apart that it's one of the first "clones"), but i'm sure there are possible compatibilities with anything i use. And i love it when a system uses "star iron" (or "Star silver", for that matter)

    1. OK, Alchmists are detailed in pages 75-78 in the C&S first edition book. For more about the game system, I did a post several years ago that addresses it - https://alesmiter.blogspot.com/2013/02/pimp-game-chivalry-sorcery.html

      AFAIK, you can only buy 2nd hand copies of the first edition. Amazon usually has some starting at about $70.

      They just released 5th edition, but I have no knowledge of how they handle Alchemy in that edition.