LotFP skills: Alchemy

A Specialist can purchase this skill as any other using skill points, but might require the study of a treatise (it’s a referee’s choice to make it easy or hard for their players).

A Magic-User acquires his first alchemy point when he reads a treatise on alchemy.

Treatises on alchemy

Treatises on alchemy are ancient, moldy volumes filled with lost knowledge. Each treatise covers a field of study (a type of formula) and takes one week to read.

  • At levels 1 to 3, an alchemist can produce one formula per week
  • At levels 4 to 6, two fórmulas
  • At levels 7 to 9, three formulas
  • At level 10 and higher, 4 formulas

Skill points on alchemy determine the chances of success in six; this roll isn’t modified by abilities.

Fields of study (formulas)


An alchemist can prepare tinctures. By drinking a tincture, an adventurer recovers hp equal to the result of a roll of one die the size of his HD; thus, a Magic-User recovers 1d4 hp, a Fighter recovers 1d8 hp, and so on.

Two tinctures can be combined to create a restorative potion. An adventurer who drinks a potion, recovers hp equal to the result of a roll of three dice the size of her HD; a Magic-User recovers 3d4 hp, a Fighter recovers 3d8 hp, and so on.

Two restorative potions can be combined to create a panacea; an adventurer who eats this paste recovers hp equal to the result of a dice roll of half his HD. A level 8 Magic-User recovers 4d4 hp, while a level 9 Specialist recovers 4d6 + 1d3 hp (four and a half dice).


An alchemist can prepare a dose of liquid poison to be ingested or a poisonous paste to be used in a weapon. The victim must make a saving throw vs. the poison or suffer 1d6 damage.

Two or three doses of poison can be combined to increase its potency, causing 2d6 or 3d6 damage.

Four doses cause a poison so potent that the victim must make a saving throw vs. death to survive; if he survives, he will still suffer 4d6 damage, which can also kill him.


An alchemist can produce an explosive that can damage multiple targets in a circular area with a diameter of 3 meters. Each victim suffers 1d6 damage.

Two explosives can be combined to create a bomb, in a diameter of 5 meters that causes 1d6 damage to each victim.

Two bombs can be combined to create a flask of Greek fire, which produces an explosion with a diameter of 6 meters, causing 1d8 damage to each victim. All victims must make a saving throw vs. breath weapons or catch fire, suffering an additional 1d4 damage each round. These flames can be extinguished by throwing oneself to the ground and spinning like an idiot, but no other actions can be taken during that round.

Other fields

A referee might want to include further fields of study, and if that’s the case, please share!


Oh, please! An alchemist always has the ingredients for their concoctions.


For games closer to B/X and percentile Thief skills, each skill point equals approximately 16%.

A Troika! Background | Phlebotomist


The Interdimensional Lodge of the Liquid Fire teaches the secrets of the blood, the great Masters are capable of dramatically altering the course of history with only a few drops of the vital liquid, and you could have done so if your irresponsibility had not caused your unappealable expulsion from the College. Now, with just a handful of tricks, you wander through the multiverse, making a living as a doctor and a cheater.

[Get it as a PDF]


  • A scalpel (damage like a Knife)
  • An autoimmune Syringe
  • A bottle of Devil Blood (damage like Fire Bolt) or Gnome Blood (produces an image like Illusion)
  • Two changes of Clothes (doctor and layperson)

Advanced Skills

2 Drain Blood
2 Scalpel Fight
1 Blood Alchemistry
1 Healing
1 Throw

Blood Alchemistry

Once a day, you can use a sample of Stolen Blood to create a potion with a random effect similar to a spell. Your referee will tell you how it works (example: you must ingest it or throw it at your target to receive the effect; but its use may vary at the convenience of the adventure).

Drain Blood

You can attack a subject with the syringe, if you succeed, you steal a blood sample but without causing harm. Stolen blood is necessary to use Blood Alchemistry.


Phlebotomist taking blood, artwork. Credit: Mary Rouncefield. CC BY-NC. Wellcome Collection.

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) terms and conditions.

A new background for Troika!, by Vagabundork, the Chaos Magick-User.

100 labels on flasks and vials in a Magick-User’s pantry

Computers are Magick. Neural Networks are Chaos. I summoned the Artificial Brain and the Metallum Patron to aid me in the creation of these unique and strange potions. Only a few of these were actually named by me.

When your Players find a potion, roll 1d100 to determine what’s written on the label. The description of the flask, and its content’s appearance, it’s entirely up to you, but this should be a clue, no matter how subtle, about the substance properties.

  1. Old Black Roses
  2. Green Slime Essence
  3. The Darker Years
  4. Old Smoke
  5. 0-3½.5Gridges
  6. Slippery Violet Sands
  7. Laptime Tree Spider
  8. Angry Egg
  9. Hating Frost Moon Glands
  10. Bleeding Apples with Sea Salt
  11. Strawberry Lime Dissolution B
  12. Ice Chlorophyll Glaze
  13. A unique combination of leaf of fire and custard Sodium ascending Fujiyama
  14. Blue Foam Duet
  15. Shiny Living Veins
  16. Size Yes 37 (21,28,38) x 54 (9 or 15)mm
  17. 4 Cup Emulsion
  18. 26 Grief Hills
  19. Violet Violet
  20. Queen’s Tears
  21. Violet Heart
  22. Black & Purple
  23. Chill Back Liquor & Three Experienced
  24. Night Breeze
  25. Tea of the Day
  26. Winter’s Wish
  27. Ceremonial Blood
  28. Blue Moon
  29. Daughter of a Witch
  30. Death to the World
  31. Daughterless Rose
  32. Black Sunlight
  33. Dawn of a New Moon
  34. Black Ice
  35. Happiness of the Mind
  36. Chained to the Cross
  37. Dark Moon
  38. Blood Orange
  39. Lights
  40. Pilsner Sunrise
  41. Rock World of Arms
  42. Pearl Ash
  43. Sunk Into The Sea
  44. Overture In Black
  45. The Night Of The Great Storm
  46. Cursed Rose
  47. The First Dream
  48. Pantheons Lost (Noise Of A Dream)
  49. Chaos In The Heavens
  50. The Devil’s Garden
  51. Distant Sky
  52. Inquisitor Orphic (The Day Of The Dead)
  53. The Light And Dark Of Death
  54. Liquid Mushroom
  55. Defused Moonshine
  56. Lime Rift
  57. Siege, A Nightmare
  58. Alchemy of Mine
  59. Activation Of Parvati’s Title
  60. Forest Winds
  61. Glimmer of Madness
  62. Blood of the Unholy
  63. Aetheric Fire
  64. Chrysanthemums of Eternity
  65. White Night Eternal
  66. Death Deathgaunt
  67. The Moonstone Song of the Goddesses
  68. Omaha Spaceport
  69. Vortex
  70. The Riddle
  71. I Am Only the Shadow
  72. Water Of Despair
  73. The Wind Beneath My Clothes
  74. Wolf In the Shadow of Death
  75. Withering Wretch
  76. Winter’s Heart
  77. You Are the Dead
  78. You Will Not Die
  79. You Will Be Forgotten
  80. You Shall Be Mine
  81. Worlds Collide
  82. Mantra of Emotion
  83. The Inside Drama
  84. Serpent Wisdom
  85. Black Moonfall
  86. Dimensional Rift
  87. Shadow-Lord’s Blessing
  88. Timeless Grief
  89. Keeper of the Empyrean
  90. Calculating the Algebra of Need
  91. The Secret to Exhaling Emptiness
  92. Deadly Void
  93. Inner Shadow
  94. Of Grandiose Fevers and Passion Arcane
  95. Seeds of Corruption
  96. Torment Remains
  97. Astral Booze
  98. Old Thunder
  99. Blighted Sun
  100. Shimmering Sludge

Now all you need to do is come up with an effect for them; try to be reasonable. For instance, “Green Slime Essence” is surely acidic, but it’s an essence; maybe it works as a digestive or as anti-toxin. How about “Omaha Spaceport”? Maybe it’s some alien port (dark red wine from outer space) that causes alien drunkenness and alien hangovers.

On other occasions, say “0-3½.5Gridges”, you will need to not be reasonable, but imaginative. Here are 1d12 possible effects for those weirdly labelled potions:

  1. No save. All your teeth fall, they are replaced with pointy bones. Bite attacks deal 1d6 damage.
  2. Save versus Poison or you are immediately drunk. Attacks, and all rolls related to coordination and dexterity, are made with a -2 penalty. While in this state, you become conscious of one very bad thing about yourself (it includes things that are considered bad from your own and personal moral compass). You need to role-play your emotional state for a the rest of the day. The next day, the effect is gone. But not the guilt.
  3. No save. After three turns, you will fall incapacitated and won’t wake up unless someone shakes you.
  4. Save versus Magic or your body will become a void-portal into the stars. An alien creature-thing will come through in 1d3 rounds. There’s a 50% chance it will attack the first living thing it sees (not you; you are a portal now). Once the creature traverses the portal, it will close. You suffer 1d6 traumatic damage.
  5. Your maximum HP raises 1d6. Your eyes become totally black (pupil, iris and sclera). Permanent -2 penalty to Hiring Retainers and Loyalty checks.
  6. Save versus Poison or your heart will become stone, killing you in the process. If you die, your heart acquires alchemical properties and is a valuable element for a Magic-User, as it increases the rank of his laboratory by 1,500 sp. If you don’t die, you get stones in the kidneys; every day, you suffer 1d3 damage due to the pain they cause you.
  7. You need to eat 6 rations a day (approximately every 4 hours) or suffer a penalty of -1 to all your rolls, cumulative for each meal that you skip.
  8. You become your shadow and your shadow becomes you. Attacking your body won’t harm you; attacking the shadow (where your mind, soul, psychic apparatus, identity, essence or whatever is now) will, but you only lose HP if the damage die gives a result in the upper half of its range (example: if the damage die is d6, it will only cause damage if the die rolls 4, 5 or 6). Magic weapons that emit light cause double damage, including the lower half. The effect lasts 2 +your level rounds. You can end the effect at will.
  9. Save versus Poison or die only to be returned to unlife. You retain all your abilities and memories, but you are dead, so you don’t need to eat or sleep, but you can’t heal either. If you were a Cleric, you no longer are (i.e. you lost the ability to cast spells).
  10. Your skin glows for 6 turns (your party can’t surprise anyone soon). When this effect ends, your skin becomes thick and leathery like that of a rhinoceros; now you have natural Leather armour. A week later, you get natural armour equivalent to Chainmail, and your skin has become so hard and thick that you can only wear custom-made clothing.
  11. You have an idea. You forget it immediately. Receive 3 XP.
  12. You reflect sunlight. Everyone who looks at you must save versus Paralysis or be dazzled for 1d6 rounds, suffering a -2 penalty on all their rolls. The effect of the potion is permanent, but it can dissipate with Darkness or Dispel Magic.

Alchemy is fun! (Well it is!)