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Old 09-27-2017, 02:42 PM   #2
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Portsmouth, VA, USA
Default Re: Several questions on alchemy (and/or herb lore)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
1. A quick technique for an elixir is different from a conventional technique and must be learned separately (per GURPS Magic page 211); the roll is made at the elixir's full default penalty, "in addition to any penalty remaining for an unmastered elixir," plus the -1 for improvised tools. Does this mean an alchemist who has mastered the conventional technique but not the quick technique suffer the -6 penalty for quickly making an "unmastered" elixir? Or is it still mastered for that purpose?
Thatís a good question. Iíd think youíre still suffering the penalty because of this little bit of text:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GURPS Magic, p. 211
An alchemist can improve his ability with quick techniques in the usual way, but the quick techniques are different from the conventional techniques and must be learned separately. The improvised equipment penalty can never be removed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
2. Is mastery of the conventional technique for an elixir prerequisite for buying up the quick technique? An alchemist has to "know" an elixir to brew it quickly, but one could argue that if an alchemist has sufficiently high Alchemy skill to successfully brew a potion despite not having mastered it, he can plausibly claim to "know" it.
No, it doesnít seem to be - but youíre probably wise to get it anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
One the other hand, the rule making quick techniques separate from normal techniques seems odd to me, if in fact Quick Gadgeteer alchemists don't need the conventional techniques and would never spend points on them.
Youíre not wrong. It seems like double-paying for stuff. I know when I use conventional alchemy I just ignore that rule completely if you have Gadgeteer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
3. GURPS Magic says (page 211 again) that an alchemist with the Gizmo advantage can whip out a dose of "any elixir that he knows" at a moment's notice. Is there a limit on this? When I first read this, I thought it meant the elixir was effectively free, but given how Gizmos normally work that seems unlikely.
You still have to have the materials or be able to find them to do so - so it still costs money or resources. In my own campaigns I just have ďX dollars of Alchemical materialsĒ that cost 1 lb. per Average Starting Wealth/100 in money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
I'm guessing the most reasonable way to interpret this is that the alchemist still expends the recipe cost and rolls as if quick-brewing, but does so retroactively (i.e. "wow, glad I whipped an extra Battle potion up this morning!")?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
4. Can multiple techniques bought separately "stack" on a single roll? Bear with me here, this question gets a little complicated.
Techniques usually stack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
Suppose an alchemist has mastered the Speed elixir. He's spent 10 points on the Speed/Extra Dose technique (per Pyramid 3-28), effectively buying off the -10 penalty for applying the Extra Dose enhancement to his Speed elixir (although it still takes twice as long and costs twice as much, since Extra Dose is a +50% enhancement etc.). He's also spent 4 points on the Batching (Speed/Potion) technique, effectively buying off up to a -3 penalty for making (up to) three additional Speed elixirs in one go.
Could he then proceed to make a batch of four Speed potions with the Extra Dose enhancement at no penalty, or would Batching as applied to the enhanced version of the Speed elixir be something he has to buy separately ("Batching (Speed/Extra Dose/Potion)")?
Batching for a specific potion works for it as long as you donít change what it does fundamentally. So you could add Extra Dose or extended the time it lasts, but not muck with what the potion gives. Thatís a brand new elixir in that case! So you can totally batch a Speed Potion with Extra Dose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
If the alchemist is also a Quick Gadgeteer, would techniques like Extra Dose need to be bought separately for quick-brewed Speed elixirs, since the quick-brewed version is officially a separate recipe? Or could the alchemist, once he'd mastered the quick-brewed Speed recipe as well, go ahead and apply his other Speed-elixir techniques to both versions of the Speed elixir?
As the author of this article, that is what I intended - you buy the technique once and it works with normal or quick techniques.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
(Batching seems less important if you're brewing each elixir in a matter of minutes anyway, but still.)
It can be quite important in the right circumstance!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
5. Pyramid 3-28 also has rules for reducing the cost of an elixir recipe if the alchemist has access to certain magic spells, but "neither the cost nor time may ever be reduced below 80%." Does that mean you can't ever pay less than 80% of the full normal cost (which is how it sounds to me in plain language), or does it mean you can't ever get more than a -80% discount (meaning you'd never pay less than 20% of the normal cost)? The latter seems more consistent with the usual rules on limitations being capped at -80%.
You canít ever get higher than an 80% reduction in time or price. So if a potion cost $1000 and an 1 hour to make it could never go below $200 and 12 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefepato View Post
6. Are there guidelines anywhere for the costs, default penalties, etc. of new elixir recipes, or is it pretty much down to a GM call? Of course, there are rules for applying enhancements to the existing recipes, but if a player really wants to invent a Greater Strength elixir that adds 2d to ST, is there any rule of thumb one might use (based on, e.g. the point value of the temporary advantage granted by the elixir)?
Totally fiat. Sorry. I personally use the rules for Ultra-Tech Drugs (p. B425) as a guideline. They work quite well.
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