Four Alchemist Recipes for Your OSR Game
I've been surfing Wikipedia this morning and came up with a few useful things that I twisted for gaming.
For pricing, I've followed the Swords & Wizardry guideline that the price of creation is 50 gp per day of formulation. I've then added in a 450 gp mark-up for the market price. Obviously, you may want to adjust this for your own campaigns.
The following is considered Open Game Content:
Potion: Fourteen Thieves Vinegar
Cost of Creation: 750 gp
Market Price: 1,200+ gp
Take 3 pints strong white wine vinegar, add a handful of each of wormwood, meadowsweet, wild marjoram, and sage; 50 bruised cloves; 2 small measures of campanula roots; 2 small measures each of angelic, rosemary, and horehound; 2 measures of dried lavender flowers; 2 cloves of garlic; a handful of fresh rue, and 3 large measures of camphor. Bury the mixture in a stoppered pot beneath a gallows tree for 15 days, then strain, express, and bottle.
Rubbed on the hands, ears, temples, and philtrum, it is a protectant from Mummy Rot and other topical diseases spread by the undead. PCs using Fourteen Thieves Vinegar automatically make any Save vs. Disease check stemming from contact with undead. However, they suffer a –4 to CHA, because they stink like hell.
Potion: Wart Toad's Tincture
Cost of Creation: 450 gp
Market Price: 900 gp
Take 4 measures each of aloe, rhubarb root, angelica seeds; 3 measures of Aromatic Extract, 2 measures each of horse-heal root, saffron, fennel seeds, and prepared chalk; and 1 measure each of gentian root, ginger, black pepper, myrrh, camphor, and agarikon. Steep the above ingredients in 500 measures of aqua vitae; place the container in a cool, fresh running stream 12 hours. Then express the liquid and add 12 measures of powdered cinchona bark; the mixture to be replaced in the cool running stream until the bark is dissolved, about 6 hours. The liquor, when cool, is to be filtered, and is then fit for use.
When imbibed before exposure, there is a 95% chance that Wart Toad's Tincture provides complete protection against various dungeon funks.
There is a 5% chance of a violent allergic reaction that results in 1d6 days of violent fever (–3 to CON) and the PC's skin temporarily turning purple (no Save or cure); the potion will still be effective. Dwarves have a 20% chance of violent allergic reaction.
Potion: Extract of Custard-Apple
Cost of Creation: 100 gp
Market Price: 550 gp
Bruise the seeds of 100 custard-apples and soak them in 250 measures of aqua vitae for 12 hours. Take 10 handfuls of custard-apple tree bark and press them to extract 1 measure of tree oil (it will be foul-smelling and bitter to the tongue). Express the liquid and add the tree oil; heat to boiling and allow to cool completely. Add 1/2 measure aqua fortis and stir carefully; the liquid should turn a deep crimson and then quickly change to deep-black purple.
The resulting bitter potion should be administered in doses of no less than 10 and no more than 50 drops. Each dose is a powerful purgative, resulting in 1d4 hours of vomiting, the purging of all poisonous substances in the body, and results in a complete delousing of the PC. It provides a +1 to DEX for 1d4 days. If used for more than 3 consecutive days, it results in a permanent –5 to CON and a permanent loss of up to 10 hp.
Potion: Boef Manouvrer Elixir
Cost of Creation: 150 gp
Market Price: 600 gp
In spring, gather fresh cow dung from a field filled with wild flowers. Add equal parts cows dung, snails bruised in their shells, white wine, and fresh spring water in a large ceramic pot; mix and allow to sit overnight, uncovered. Distill in a common still.
The resulting clear, brown liquid is an excellent purgative and clears up all cases of gout, rheumatism, and respiratory ailments. It grants a +20 to all movement rates and a +2 to all non-combat STR checks. However, the PC must visit a latrine every 1d4 hours for 2 days or suffer a perforated bowel and peritonitis and must make a Save vs. Death or die within 1d4 hours (no cure) while in terrible agony.
NOTE: The above "recipes" are totally made up and should not be attempted in real life. I accept no responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided in this post. This is fiction, people!