Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

20 Alchemical Concoctions (A Review)...

We all love potions, and how couldn't we?  Players and referees alike benefit greatly from these vials of mighty magic; convenience, power, and portability among their many benefits, and we're just getting started!  But there's more... 

For players, potions are life-saving, especially those of the healing variety.  But with so many to choose from, these players get access to powers (like flight) they might not otherwise possess, much less sample for themselves.  In other words, even the simplest fighter can experience the mightiest of magic!

Referees on the other hand, get to reward players without risking game balance.  Potions are disposable, so the players must act carefully and even then, these give only temporary power without any impact on the overall balance of power.

So yes, we just LOVE potions...

But something we love as much, if not more, are simple, accessible, and useful resources for use in our own games.  So you can just imagine our delight when we stumbled upon 20 Alchemical Concoctions for your Campaign, by Christopher Stogdill, the Frugal GM!

This short, smart product
really packs a punch in four pages! 

At just four pages long, this product delivers what it says, offering no less than 20 original creations.  But it goes one step further and offers the following:

MAJOR COMPONENTS: In most "traditional" OSR games, potions come ready-made, with no thought as to their ingredients.  Here we find out, for example, that Health Elixirs require Giant Ant Jelly to complete, which really opens the door to brewing potions or at least gathering such components for resale, etc.        

SHELF LIFE: So much for potions lasting forever!  Potion effects last mere minutes to indefinitely (in a powdered state), with distinctions made between oils, powders, etc.  Once again, there's some thought to preparation here...

SIDE EFFECTS: Even the good stuff has side effects, although oftentimes, these are merely inconvenient.  On the other hand, some are disfiguring or worse!  This brings danger to magic; something missing from modern systems, but present in folklore.

This product is open-ended and system neutral, even if it does employ polyhedral dice (I mean, we all use 'em).  Adherents of the OSR will find this a good fit with their own clone of choice, but even lovers of Pits & Perils will have little problem incorporating its very creative alchemical creations.

There's also a die-drop table for those who use them; another nice feature and lots of fun!

The tone and content really recalls material from the late 70s, being derived from semi-historical sources and emphasizing some risk to the players.  A thought-provoking read...  

Oh, and freely incorporating various resources from other systems into your own campaign is seriously old-school.  And everything from the Frugal GM fits the bill nicely!

Like all Frugal GM products, this is "pay what you want", and certainly worth some cash, even if you use is as a starting point for reworking the potions in your own games.  So check out this delightful resource.  Chances are, you may find yourself looking at, and treating, potions quite differently!  You can get it here...

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