A downloadable alchemy ruleset

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ABC of Alchemy (a.k.a. Alchemy, But Cool) is a simple, intuitive, and system-agnostic alchemy ruleset, designed to be compatible with any game and setting.

My love for alchemy is immense but in TTRPG games it often suffers from one of the two issues: it's either completely handwaved, without any guidelines and relies purely on dice rolls or it's too complex, asking the players to learn by heart all of the in-universe elements, recipes and pre-defined decoctions.

The aim of this PDF spread is to find a healthy alternative, which is intuitive enough for the players to not require any rulebook or even a recipe list, but on the other hand still allows them to roleplay a fully fledged alchemist and feel the thrill of searching for that one last missing ingredient in the troll's den in ordrer to brew a miraculous cure for the king's offspring. Or a deadly toxin, if they listen to one of those shady nobles.

ABC is an idea that I would like to revisit in the future, adding things like potential side effects for substance effects that are too vaguely described. If you use it and enjoy it or have any ideas on how to improve it, be sure to leave a comment!

 If you feel extra generous toss me some argentum here or brew me a C₈H₁₀N₄O₂ at the lab. 

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(7 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
Tagsalchemy, mechanics, OSR, Tabletop role-playing game


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

ABC of Alchemy (A5) Vertical PDF 1 MB
ABC of Alchemy (A5 BW) Vertical PDF 1 MB

Development log


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A charming and elegant approach. I have a player using a custom “Witch” playbook in my Dungeon World sessions. We never had a good approach to how they go about brewing potions, making their poultices, required ingredients, etc. ABC of Alchemy to the rescue. Many thanks!

Thanks for the comment <3 I hope you have a fun time with it!

The first concoction: Ætheling. Transform into the region’s king. (I added that they must state the effect in 5 words or less. :) Of course, the “Æ” isotope ingredient was a “raræ avis.” It had to be slathered on as Grease. Huzzah!

I love this. At times, it will surely feel non-thematic (the emphasis on the spelling of the effect is strange), but the eclectic nature that results is amazing and plows right over any theming issues.

Now, how am I going to make gold? Back to the lab.