Homebrew Contracts

Contracts of Alembic

Thought to have been first forged somewhere in the Middle-East, where the Courts change with the passage of hours, the Contracts of the Alembic allow changelings to work wonders of alchemy that rely more on narrative convention than atomic law. Particularly popular among the wizened, these powers rely on use of a lab space, and reward some fairly erratic behaviour - as such, alchemists tend to work alone, in inhospitable but well-stocked laboratory-Hollows. This position does little to improve their sanity, perceived or otherwise.

Though these Contracts often refer to “potions” and similar terms, they have no bias in favour of liquid - or even edible - products. Balms and oils, pellets and powders, even incense and smokables are all valid ways in which the alchemist’s art can manifest itself.

Universal Modifiers: All but the first of these clauses require the use of chemical equipment, whether modern distillation tanks or a home-made pestle and mortar, and apply equipment modifiers to the Contract's dice pool. Specialties in “Alchemy”, “Chemistry” or similar areas are always considered applicable to these activation rolls, regardless of the Skill they are associated with.

Extended actions produced by these contracts are limited to a number of rolls equal to the crafters raw dice pool before any bonuses. He can also add a +1 or +2 bonus by doubling or tripling the amount of time the process takes, taking especial care over his concoctions. Further extensions offer no benefit.

LITMUS TONGUE (•)
The changeling divines the entire chemical makeup of an object or substance with but a taste.
Cost: 1 Glamour
Dice Pool: Wyrd + Wits
Action: Instant
Catch: The Contract must be used to analyze something that is dangerous to the changeling when ingested. This offers no protection against the substance, and the applicability (or not) of this clause cannot be used to determine a substance’s safety ahead of time.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The changeling is completely mistaken about the recipe of whatever he’s tasting, drawing misleading or even dangerous conclusions.
Failure: The character learns nothing concrete.
Success: The character intuits the substance’s composition - every present element, mixture, compound and so on. He also learns the proportions in which they are present, and the nature of their inclusion - contamination as opposed to coating, for example.
Exceptional Success: Along with its composition, the changeling also learns the details of the substance’s creation - how long it was heated at what temperature, what tools were used to distil or smelt or glaze it, and so on.
Suggested Modifiers:
+1 The character swallows at least a full mouthful of the substance.
+1 The changeling is familiar with the substance’s fundamental ingredients.

GENIUS OF IMPROVISATION (••)
The changeling can replace ingredients in his brews with implausible substitutes, whether replacing Sudafed with gravel when cooking up drugs or using paper in place of apples for a hot pie. Only mundane ingredients can be replaced in this way.
Cost: 1 Glamour
Dice Pool: Wyrd + Science
Action: Instant
Catch: Every time the changeling has made something using the replaced ingredient in the past month, he's used this same substitute to replace it.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The substitution appears to work perfectly, only to totally spoil the mixture in some unforeseeable way - beverages become poisons, explosives become stink bombs.
Failure: The Contract fails to function, and the added item clearly retains its usual properties.
Success: The added ingredient perfectly replaces whatever the original recipe called for. It does not transform, but simply gains all the appropriate properties for that recipe. These properties only manifest as part of a greater mixture, and last for only (Wyrd) days after the concoction’s completion, before the ingredient returns to normal.
Exceptional Success: The altered recipe retains its intended properties indefinitely.
Suggested Modifiers:
-1 Other ingredients have been substituted with this Contract (-1 each).
+1 The changeling is experienced with this recipe, regardless of substitutions.

ELEMENTARY DISTILLATION (•••)
The changeling can reduce any object down to one of its constituent substances through an arcane alchemical process. This can involve anything from boiling to sun-drying and takes no fewer than (object’s Size) hours, but is fairly low-intensity and can be left mostly alone between intervals. Objects with a Size greater than the changeling’s Wyrd + Intelligence + Craft cannot be processed.
Cost: (object’s Size ÷ 4) Glamour, rounded up
Dice Pool: Wyrd + Craft + equipment
Action: Extended
Catch: The changeling intends to use the product of this Contract as an ingredient in a mixture.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The object is violently wasted, yielding nothing but a useless, half-recognizable mess of rust and hedge-mud which damages the changeling’s equipment beyond use.
Failure: The object breaks down into an unusable, half-dissolved mess.
Success: The intended material is extracted from its parent object in whatever (physically possible) form the changeling desires - powder, crystals, liquid solution, etc - reducing the latter to an unidentifiable stain in the process. Only substances that actually exist within the treated object can be extracted - this Contract does not create matter, just retrieve it. Common materials such as iron, glass or rubber require two successes to distil. Rarer or more precious materials such as gold, uranium or diamonds require five successes.
Exceptional Success: At the last moment the changeling spots a rare reaction, and can capture its product instead of the material he originally intended to extract. This substance is some ethereal quality of the original object, captured in a physical form - crystallized crimson, or liquid sharpness. Though useless for practical craft, such things can fetch a price at Goblin Markets or be used in hedgespinning.
Suggested Modifiers:
+2 The distilling equipment is large enough to fully encompass or submerge the object.
+1 The changeling has Clarity lower than five.
-2 The object is not even half-way submerged or encompassed by the distilling gear.
-1 The changeling has a Clarity higher than five.

THE GREAT WORK (••••)
The changeling can produce potions and tinctures with the same effect as the mystical bounty of the Hedge (Changeling: The Lost, pp. 222). He can duplicate any he has so far encountered, or create effects original to him with sufficient research. This process requires eight successes and takes no less than three hours of undisturbed work.
Cost: 2 Glamour + 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wyrd + Occult + equipment
Action: Extended
Catch: The character is working in the Hedge, alone except for any hobgoblin assistants.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The synthetic "fruit" has all the downsides - and none of the benefits - of its “natural” equivalent. If it has normally has no downsides, the Storyteller may invent a suitable one, or else choose one from another fruit.
Failure: Despite the changeling’s best efforts, his creation is at best harmless.
Success: The changeling has managed to concoct a compound with a magical effect equivalent to a goblin fruit, oddment or trifle. The logic of the imitated token must remain intact - a Stingseed might be an Arcadian-derived chemical for use in dart rounds, while a Gravenail would be a Hedge-perfume sprinkled on a pillow. He can also spend a point of Willpower to allow mortals to make use of it. These tokens do not spoil as fruits and oddments do, but still count against the usual limit that can be carried (1 for mortals).
Exceptional Success: The creation is particularly concentrated, allowing it to be used twice. This does not increase the number of “slots” it occupies.
Suggested Modifiers:
+5 The changeling uses an existing fruit, oddment or trifle with the same qualities as a component in his brew.
+2 The changeling has Clarity lower than five.
-2 The changeling’s Clarity is higher than five.
-1 Exclusively mundane ingredients are in use.

CAULDRON FOR A WOMB (•••••)
The changeling can derive artificial life from his experiments, incubating something that could pass for a soul within his beakers and vats. This requires one week of largely uninterrupted work, and ten successes. Creating life with this Contract is a Clarity 5 Sin.
Cost: 5 Glamour
Dice Pool: Wyrd + Occult + equipment
Action: Extended
Catch: At each roll the changeling makes, he must include a lethal health level's worth of flesh or blood from a different changeling.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The homunculus is born as described below, built by the Storyteller with successes equal to the changeling's Wyrd x 4. However, more than a hobgoblin, it ultimately resembles a Fetch. It naturally hates its creator for bringing it into existence, and can include any Echoes as though they were Contracts with a dot rating equal to their minimum Wyrd - treat the creator as "its" changeling.
Failure: The clause fails, producing nothing but unsightly sludge of half-formed inhuman organs.
Success: A synthetic hobgoblin stumbles from the changeling's workshop. It resembles a stunted human, with other qualities determined by the ingredients used - which always includes at least one Flaw. Its traits are determined by the player at its birth, though the alchemist should have a general idea while incubating it - it begins with 1 dot in every Attribute, Size 1 and no Skills. Successes are spent to increase these values, up to the usual maximum for a human, at a rate of two per Attribute and one per Skill, Size or Specialty. As its name suggests, a homunculus cannot be bigger than Size 4. It is Wyrd 1, though it can only regain Glamour through artificial versions of the Hedge's bounty, created through this Contract. It has the qualities of a single Seeming appropriate to its ingredients, and can be born with innate powers derived from the flesh of any fae creatures used to make it - these are represented by Contracts, at a cost of three successes per Contract dot. It is naturally loyal to its creator, but is ultimately an independent being - if sufficiently maltreated, it will consider betrayal. Most do not live long enough for this to become an issue, as the creature's natural lifespan is one year.
Exceptional Success: A truly brilliant creation is formed - the extra successes are their own reward.
Suggested Modifiers:
+3 A sapient creature was used as a primary ingredient, freshly killed for that purpose.
+2 The changeling has Clarity lower than five.
-3 The ingredients include no flesh or blood from a sapient creature.
-2 The changeling’s Clarity is higher than five.

Special Notes:

1) Elementary Distillation (•••): The size can be no bigger than character's Wyrd + higher of Crafts/Intelligence.

2) Cauldron For a Womb (•••••): This requires a permanent point of Willpower.

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