Alchemical and Extraordinary Natural Items

Alchemical Items

Prices for the items described here are shown on the Alchemical Items table. In all cases, a successful Alchemy check against the DC given in an item's description allows the creation of a single dose or application of the item.

Alchemist's Mineral Acid

Alchemist's mineral acid is a sticky, adhesive substance that dissolves rock and other minerals. A flask of mineral acid can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat such an attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet.
A direct hit against a creature with the earth subtype deals 1d6 points of damage. Every creature with the earth subtype that is within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits also takes 1 point of damage from the splash. On the round following a direct hit, the target takes an additional 1d6 points of damage.

If poured directly on inert rock or stone, mineral acid ignores hardness and deals 3d6 points of damage (1d6 points per round for 3 rounds).

Alchemist's mineral acid can be created with a DC 22 Craft (alchemy) check.

Alchemical Silence

When applied to boots and armor, this noise-dampening oil provides a +2 alchemical bonus on Move Silently checks. You can throw a flask of alchemical silence as a splash weapon (see Throw Splash Weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet.

A creature struck by a thrown flask of alchemical silence cannot speak louder than a whisper, and indeed some of his words become completely muffled. If thrown on a spellcaster, the target suffers a 20% chance of spell failure when casting any spell with a verbal component for 2 rounds. The creature, however, does gain the benefits of the alchemical silence as detailed above. (Dragon #347)

Alchemical Sleep Gas

This liquid evaporates quickly when exposed to air, creating a temporary, mildly toxic cloud that puts living creatures to sleep. You can throw a flask of sleep gas as a grenade-like weapon. It has a range increment of 10 feet.

On a direct hit (splashes have no effect because the gas dissipates instantly), a living target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15) or fall asleep for 1 round. After 1 round, the target must make another Fortitude save (DC 15) or sleep 1d4 additional minutes. The sleep gas affects creatures that are immune to magical sleep effects but not creatures that are immune to poison. Spells and effects that cancel or counter poisons (such as neutralize poison) are effective against the gas.

The gas affects only one creature of Small or larger size. The gas affects all creatures of Tiny or smaller size in the 5-foot square where it strikes.

Note: A sleeping creature is helpless. Slapping or wounding awakens the creature, but normal noise does not. Awakening the creature is a standard action.

The Alchemy DC to make alchemical sleep gas is 25.


A single flask of blackwater rapidly taints a 10-foot-by-10-foot cube of water. Any aquatic creature that breathes affected water must make a successful Constitution check or begin to drown. (See the Drowning rule.) The DC for the check is 10 on the first round, but it increases by +1 each succeeding round. Air-breathing creatures are unaffected by blackwater, unless they are breathing water via a spell or some other artifice. The taint of blackwater lasts for up to 24 hours in still water but is swept away in 1d6 rounds in a moving stream or surging tide.

Blackwater can be created with a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.


Darkoil is a rare mineral oil specially prepared with various alchemical reagents. It protects drowcraft weapons and armor from the effects of sunlight. A vial of darkoil is sufficient to protect a weapon for 3 days or a suit of armor for 1 day. Applying darkoil to any item requires 1 minute.

Darkoil can be created with a DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check.

Darkvision-Invisible Paint

This special alchemical substance is designed to match the shading and color contrasts of the surface to which it is applied. This property renders the paint invisible to creatures that depend on darkvision, but it can easily be seen with normal or low-light vision. Races requiring light to navigate use this paint to warn other such folk of dangers and threats. A single jar contains enough paint to produce twenty large warning symbols, or two smaller messages of up to 100 words each.

Disappearing Ink

After being used to write a message, this blue or red ink vanishes from view at the end of an hour (though ink can be made, at greater expense, that will disappear after longer periods, such as a day, a tenday, or a month). Heat (such as a candle flame) applied to the writing surface makes the ink appear again. A Spot or Search check (DC 29) reveals traces of the writing.

The Alchemy DC to make disappearing ink is 15.


You can throw this small alchemical bead as a grenadelike weapon. When it strikes a hard surface or is struck sharply, it ignites with a bright flash. Creatures within a 10-foot radius must succeed at Reflex saves (DC 15) or be dazzled. A dazzled creature suffers a -1 penalty on, attack rolls. The creature recovers in 1 minute. Sightless creatures are not affected by the flash.

The Alchemy DC to make a single flashpellet is 25.


This luminescent dust clings to surfaces and creatures, making them glow. The grains of powder glow about as brightly as sparks from a campfire. They don't provide illumination, but they are noticeable. When sprinkled on an object or surface, the powder helps reveal edges and details, granting a +2 circumstance bonus on Search checks made on the treated area. A creature sprinkled with the powder is likewise easier to detect: Spot checks to see the creature gain a +2 circumstance bonus. An invisible creature sprinkled with the dust has only one-half concealment (20% miss chance instead of 50%). Once applied, the dust clings and glows for 1 minute. A creature sprinkled with the powder can wash it off by taking a full-round action.

The powder usually comes in a tube that allows the contents to be blown or shaken out. Blowing out the powder is a standard action that draws an attack of opportunity and creates a 10-foot cone. If carefully sprinkled, the powder can cover 125 square feet (five 5-foot squares). It takes a full-round action to shake out enough powder to cover a 5-foot square.

The Alchemy DC to make one tube of glowpowder is 20.

Healing Salve

Rubbing this stinky green paste into wounds promotes rapid healing. Applying the salve is a full-round action. One dose cures 1d8 points of damage to a living creature. Only one dose may be applied per round, and there is no limit on how many salves can be applied over time.

The Alchemy DC to make one application of healing salve is 25. If you have 5 or more ranks in Profession (herbalist), you get a +2 synergy bonus on checks to craft it.

Herb, Cassil

Cassil is a small shrub similar to a mustard plant. Its seeds are ground into a fine, tasteless powder that suppresses male fertility. Men who want to avoid fathering children use this herb. A male humanoid who eats about a teaspoon of cassil is rendered infertile for a period of 3d4 days, although it requires about an hour before the herb takes effect.

Stories abound of disloyal courtiers dosing their kings or lords in order to prevent the conception of a royal heir. Using either the Heal skill or Profession (herbalist), the effects can be detected with a DC 15 check and countered with a DC 20 check.

Herb, Nararoot

Nararoot is a black, woody tuber with a licorice-like flavor. Shavings steeped in hot water make a strong tea that renders a woman infertile for 1d4+2 days. Chewed raw, the root tastes unpleasant, but the effects are more potent, lasting 2d4+4 days. Women who do not wish to become pregnant use nararoot. Using either the Heal skill or Profession (herbalist), the effects can be detected with a DC 15 check and countered with a DC 20 check.

Phantom Ink

This substance is similar to disappearing ink (described in the FRCS). Messages written with this ink vanish from view at the end of an hour and thereafter can be read only under the right kind of light. The usual types specify one of the following: firelight (which includes candles, torches, and other flames), magical light (which includes the dancing lights, light, and continual flame spells), moonlight, and starlight (this last usually isn't discernible unless the reader has darkvision).

The Alchemy DC to make one vial of phantom ink is 20.


This waterproof horn holds 2 pounds (32 ounces) of smoke powder.


This is a normal wooden keg that holds 15 pounds (240 ounces) of smoke powder.


This small bag contains either a collection of aromatic herbs or a strongly scented alchemical mixture. Either version can confound any creature's sense of smell. You can toss the bag as a grenade-like weapon with a range increment of 10 feet, or you can scatter the contents someplace where a creature tracking by scent will come across it. (It covers an area 5 feet square.) Once scattered, the contents remain potent for 1 hour.

A creature can sniff the bag's contents from a direct hit, from a splash, or from sniffing the area where the contents were scattered. If struck by a direct hit, the creature must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 18) or lose its scent ability for 1 minute. After the minute is up, the creature must make a second Fortitude save (DC 18) or lose its scent ability for another hour. Being splashed or sniffing the scattered contents has the same effect, but the save DC is 15. A direct hit or splash affects only one creature of Small or larger size. The contents affect all creatures of Tiny or smaller size in the 5-foot square where a bag of scentbreaker strikes.

Note: The Alchemy DC to make scentbreaker is 15. If you have 5 or more ranks in Profession (herbalist), you get a +2 synergy bonus on checks to craft it.

Shriek Paste

This oily substance is derived from the fungus with a similar name. When exposed to light of torch-intensity or brighter, the paste emits a horrific screech that lasts for 1 round. The noise is a useful signal - loud and easy to hear (Listen DC -10, modified for distance, harriers, and other relevant conditions), so Underdark denizens often smear it on areas they wish to protect from surface intruders who require light to see. Once it has shrieked, the paste becomes inert.

Shriek paste can be created with a DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check.


This magic alchemical substance is similar to gunpowder. The substance burns rapidly, but is not explosive (though it can be used to construct grenades and bombs). Burning smokepowder illuminates a 30-foot radius. The fire lasts 1 round for every ounce of powder.
It takes an ounce of smoke powder to shoot a firearm once. If smoke powder gets wet, it never again burns and cannot ever be used to fire a bullet.
Caster Level: 9th; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, 9+ ranks of Alchemy.


Snakebite has the taste of bitter apples and an aroma of nutmeg and ginger. When consumed, snakebite acts as a modified version of delay poison and has a duration of 1 hour. In addition, any yuan-ti (or other snake or snake-like creature) who bites a person with active snakebite in her veins is affected by a poison (Ingested; Fortitude DC 20; initial 1d6 Con, secondary 2d6 Con).
Dragon #355


This gluey substance improves your grip, granting a +2 circumstance bonus on any check that deals with holding onto something, including Climb checks and grappling. When applied to a rope, it confers a +2 circumstance bonus on Use Rope checks that involve tying knots or binding creatures or objects. Applied to the soles of one's footwear or feet, it confers a +2 circumstance bonus on Balance checks made to avoid slipping. Once applied, suregrip lasts 10 minutes.

The Alchemy DC to make one application of suregrip is 20.

Witchweed Stick

This paste, which smells like tobacco, is refined from the stalks and leaves of the witchweed plant. It is packed into thick paper tubes about the size of a smokestick. When ignited it creates a 10-foot cube of light smoke that provides no concealment. Anyone attempting to cast arcane spells within the smoke must succeed at a Concentration check as if casting defensively (DC 15 + spell level). If the check fails, the spell is lost. The smoke loses its alchemical abilities after 5 rounds, and dissipates normally.

The alchemy DC to make one stick of witchweed is 20.

Alchemist's Mineral Acid20 gp1 lb.
Alchemical Silence350 gp1/2 lb.
Alchemical sleep gas30 gp1 1/4 lb.
Blackwater100 gp1 lb.
Darkoil (vial)25 gp-
Darkvision-invisible paint (jar)20 gp1/2 lb.
Disappearing ink5 gp-
Flashpellet50 gp-
Glowpowder40 gp-
Healing salve50 gp-
       Cassil (1 dose)1 gp-
       Nararoot (1 dose)2 sp-
Phantom ink--
       Firelight10 gp-
       Magical light10 gp-
       Moonlight10 gp-
       Starlight10 gp-
Powderhorn (full)55 gp3 lb.
Powderkeg (full)400 gp20 lb.
Scentbreaker5 gp-
Shriek paste (flask)50 gp1 lb.
Smoke Powder25 gp1 lb.
Snakebite600 gp1 vial.
Suregrip*20 gp-
Witchweed stick40 gp-

Extraordinary Natural items of Faerûn

The magic of the Weave suffuses the natural world as well, creating objects with extraordinary characteristics that border on the magical. Sages theorize that these substances act as collectors of the magical energies of the land, while others hold less fanciful opinions. These items occur naturally, without any alchemical or magical process needed to harness their abilities. A Knowledge (nature) check (DC 20) can identify any of these items and its effect. A Survival check (DC 20, 30, or higher) can allow a character to find such a substance or item in the appropriate location, assuming the conditions are appropriate.

Unless otherwise noted, the special abilities inherent in these substances and items are extraordinary abilities, and they remain in effect even in areas where magic does not function.

Darkberry5 gp -
Fairy dust (1 ounce)100 gp -
Felsul flower oil (1 ounce)100 gp -
Fog rock 5 gp -
Mule pollen50 gp -
Red helmthorn berry 1 sp -
Shadowtop torch 1 sp 1 lb.
Silverbark sap (1 ounce)20 gp -
Sleepweed pod50 gp -
Weirwood50 gp/ item


These small, purple berries grow deep in hidden clumps in the many forests surrounding the Sea of Fallen Stars. Only a few berries manage to ripen from a bush each fall, and they become more rare every year. Darkberries actually contain shadowstuff within their skins. When a ripe darkberry is broken or crushed, it creates a 5-foot-diameter circle of blackness for 2 rounds.

Fairy Dust

Fey creatures, such as sprites, make fairy dust from their own shed hair and skin and give it to those who please them. It cannot be created by any known alchemical process. Fairy dust has a soft, golden glow, visible only in darkness. It sparkles in normal light. If an ounce of fairy dust is added to the material component for any illusion spell, if adds +1 to the saving throw DC.

Felsul Flower Oil

The felsul tree seems to favor cold and poor soil, and in many rocky places felsuls provide the only tree cover to be seen. Felsuls grow on crags, cliff edges, and clefts where few other trees can find purchase. They are gnarled, twisted trees whose wood crumbles to the touch and is of a dusty cinnamon brown to deep brown hue. When the trees flower in early spring (and not all trees flower every year), the crushed petals can be made into a fragrant perfume that adds a +1 competence bonus on any Charisma-based checks made to persuade another (such as Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate) for 10 minutes. A single ounce of the oil provides 10 uses, and a typical tree provides 1d4-1 (minimum 0) ounces of perfume per year.

Fog Rock

These rocks wash up periodically on the shores of the Nelanther Isles and westernmost shores of the Moonshae Isles. When dropped into fresh water, they produce mist that fills a 10-foot cube (providing one-half concealment to anyone within), which dissipates normally. Salt water has no special effect on them, but they lose their ability if not kept damp with brine.

Mule Pollen

A bright yellow flower, of the daisy variety, blooms in early spring upon the High Moor and in the grassy foothills of some mountain ranges. When inhaled, the pollen grants a +2 bonus to the character's Strength but inflicts a -2 penalty to his Intelligence and Wisdom. The effects last for 1d4x10 minutes.

Mule pollen is mildly addictive. Each time a character inhales mule pollen, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 12). If he fails, he is effectively fatigued whenever he is not under the influence of mule pollen. This addiction can be removed with neutralize poison.

Red Helmthorn Berry

Most berries of the helmthorn tree are tart in flavor and indigo in color. Rarely, however, a sprig of scarlet-hued berries sprout from a branch. The effect of a goodberry spell cast upon red helmthorn berries lasts for one day longer than normal.

Shadowtop Torch

The wood of the shadowtop tree burns more slowly (and cleanly) than normal wood. A torch of shadowtop wood burns for 2 hours and gives off very little smoke.

Silverbark Sap

The sap of the silverbark tree is clear and slightly sticky. It acts as a (minor) natural antitoxin, granting anyone who consumes at least one ounce a +2 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saving throws against poison for 1 hour. A typical silverbark tree can be harvested of 2d4 ounces of sap per year.

Sleepweed Pod

The pods of the sleepweed plant, which appear similar to those of milkweed plants, contain a sleep-inducing mold within them. When a dried sleepweed pod bursts or is broken open, it releases these spores. Striking a target with a thrown sleepweed pod requires a ranged touch attack (range increment 5 feet). A target struck by a sleepweed pod must make a Will save (DC 12) or fall into a slumber for 1 minute.


These rare trees are actively protected by dryads, treants, druids, and rangers. If undisturbed, they grow into huge, many-branched forest giants that resemble oaks with dual-colored leaves (brown with a silver sheen on top, velvety black underneath). Weirwood is favored for lutes, harps, birdpipes, and longhorns because of the unmistakable warm, clear sound it gives to such instruments (many masterwork instruments of these kinds are made from weirwood). Any weirwood (or item created of weirwood) within an area illuminated by a magical light source (such as dancing lights, light, or continual flame) emits a gentle magical glow equivalent to a candle for 1d4+1 rounds after leaving the area of illumination.

Living weirwood has fire resistance 20, though no one has ever discovered a method of preserving this quality after the wood is harvested.

Alchemical Items of the Dark Ones

Dark ones have a peerless understanding of the alchemical uses of fungi and vegetation native to the Underdark. Using the hundreds of strange and deadly plants that surround them, dark ones have created a wide variety of distinctive alchemical items. The majority of these items are splash weapons.

Brown Mold Oil

Brown mold oil is ground brown mold neutralized by a compound of lime and algae. When exposed to air, the compound turns gummy and inert, allowing the brown mold to revive for 1 round to cause cold damage to any creature it touches. A flask or podskin of brown mold oil has a range increment of 10 feet and is used as a thrown splash weapon. A direct hit deals 2d6 points of nonlethal cold damage, while all creatures within 5 feet take 1d6 points of nonlethal cold damage from the splash. Brown mold oil may be created with a successful DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.
Cost: 75 gp; Weight: 1 lb.

Oil of Nausea

Odorous resins and shines are used to create oil of nausea. Flasks and podskins of the oil have a range increment of 10 feet and are used as thrown splash weapon. Those directly struck by oil of nausea must make a successful DC 15 Fortitude saving throw or be nauseated for 1d4 rounds, while those within the 5-foot-splash radius must make a DC in Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. Oil of nausea may be created with a successful DC 15 Craft (alchemy) check.
Cost: 60 gp: Weight: t lb.

Poison-Friend Pod

These fungal spore pods are chemically altered so that their otherwise harmless clouds cause creatures to be more susceptible to poison. A poison-friend pod is a thrown weapon with a range increment of 10 feet. Upon striking a creature or square, these fungi erupt in a 10-foot cloud of spores that disperses in 1 round. Anyone caught in the cloud must make a successful DC 15 Fortitude save or take a -4 penalty on all saving throws against poison made in the next 10 minutes. Poison-friend pods may be created with a successful DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.
Cost: 50 gp; Weight: -.

Shadow Haze Dust

Shadow haze dust is a potent eye irritant that obscures its victims' vision with dark hazes. One bag or podskin has a range increment of in feet and fills a 10-foot-radius cloud with the dust. Those within the cloud must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or suffer a -6 penalty on all Spot checks for 1 hour or until a gallon of water is used to flush the characters eyes. Shadow haze dust may be created with a successful DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check.
Cost: 30 gp; Weight: 1 lb.

Shadow Veil

Shadow veil is a black dust created from finely powdered crystals that grow only in the deepest reaches of the Underdark, When stored in bags or podskins, this dust can be thrown as a splash weapon with a range increment of 10 feet. Upon striking a creature or square, the dust erupts in a to-foot-radius cloud. Although this cloud has no affect on living creatures, it reacts with all nonmagical fires no larger than a campfire within the area, snuffing them out. Torches, lanterns, candles, cooking fires and the like go out instantly, but magical fire (such as a wall of fire spell) is unaffected. Although its effect is swift, a shadow veil dissipates quickly, and extinguished fires can be relit on the round following its use. Shadow veil may be created with a successful DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.
Cost: 40 gp: Weight: 1 lb.

Evil Alchemical & Quasi-Magical Items

Some items have the taint of evil magic about them, though they aren't magic items in the strict sense of the word. And in sinister laboratories, evil necromancers work on other surprises for those who would defend good and light.

Alchemical And Quasi-magical Items
ItemPriceAlchemy DC
Feather powder70 gp25
Festering bomb50 gp22
Karras stone knife250 gp-
Violated horn3,000 gp-
Weeping stone100 gp25

Feather Powder

Originally designed as a weapon against devas and lammasus, this dark red alchemical powder comes in a small glass vial thrown as a grenadelike weapon. Anyone struck or splashed by the powder must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) or take a -1 circumstance penalty on attack and damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for 1 minute due to irritation and itching. Creatures with feathers are particularly susceptible, taking a -2 circumstance penalty on the Fortitude save against feather powder and suffering double the effect (-2 penalty) if they fail the save.

Festering Bomb

This small ceramic sphere is packed with alchemical explosives, rotting meat, and offal infected with filth fever. When thrown as a grenadelike weapon, it spreads disease in its wake. The explosion on impact is not enough to cause physical harm, but it does spray the rotten contents and infection in a 20-foot burst. All within the burst must make saving throws as if exposed to filth fever (Fort DC 12; see Disease). Unlike normal exposure to filth fever, the victim need not be injured.

Karras Stone Knife

A quasi-magical item, this simple knife must be carved from a very rare stone procured from the gallbladder of an intelligent creature slain during a special harvesting ritual. Karras stone is made only into knives because it has only one special use - otherwise, it is normal stone. When a karras stone knife is used to sacrifice a living creature, the character using the knife gains a +1 profane bonus on the Knowledge (religion) check for the sacrifice.

Violated Horn

Also a quasi-magical item, the violated horn is a unicorn's horn that has been removed from a still-living unicorn, leaving the creature crippled and in constant, terrible pain. For a violated horn to have special power, it must physically violate a victim during a perverse religious ritual conducted atop an altar dedicated to an evil god. The character performing the ritual must succeed at a Knowledge (arcana) check (DC 20) to perform the ritual properly, and no second tries are possible with that particular horn if the first check fails. Once a violated horn is powered, its possessor can break the horn at any time thereafter and be immediately transported to the site of the ritual as if a word of recall spell had been cast.

Weeping Stone

Created through alchemical processes that inflict terrible - and sometimes lethal - pain on a living being, a weeping stone causes anyone touching it to his or her face to begin to weep and feel great sorrow. Such a character is considered shaken for 1d6 rounds.

Alchemical Items of the Drow

The drow have created several innovative alchemical substances to help them negotiate the tunnels and caverns of the Underdark. (From Drow of the Underdark

Drow Alchemical Items
Bile droppings (flask)50 gp1 lb.
Darkvision powder (vial)10 gp-
Dwarfblind stone50 gp1 lb.
Shedden (jar)75 gp¹1/2 lb.
Spelunker's oil (flask)15 gp1 lb.
Stoneburn acid (flask)10 gp1 lb.
Vilegrip (vial)50 gp-
¹ See item description for additional costs.

Bile Droppings

Distilled from the venomous excreta of certain breeds of monstrous spiders, this substance is a thick, viscous fluid. You can throw a flask of bile droppings as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. Upon hitting a target, this sticky fluid deals 1d6 points of acid damage in the first round and 1d6 points of acid damage in the second round. If the target takes a full-round action to scrape it off, he takes no damage in the second round.

In addition to causing acid damage, a flask of bile droppings releases a powerful stench when broken open, forcing anyone within 5 feet to make a successful DC 13 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 round. Anyone actually struck by the vile stuff takes a -4 penalty on the save.

Bile droppings can be created with a DC 15 Craft (alchemy) check and the proper raw materials (the spiders that create the droppings are bred by the dark elves, so these materials are readily available in a typical drow city).

Darkvision Powder

This plain gray powder clings to surfaces and cannot be seen with normal vision from more than 10 feet away. It glows brightly when viewed with darkvision, and thus is useful for creatures that have darkvision and wish to write messages that other creatures cannot read. Each vial contains enough powder for a message of up to 25 words. By adding a mixture of spider silk oil, an ink can be created with the same properties as the powder.

Darkvision powder can be created with a DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check.

Dwarfblind Stone

These small stones are treated with a substance that gives them a faint purple sheen. When you throw a dwarfblind stone as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 20 feet, it releases a burst of violet light upon striking a hard surface. This burst illuminates a 10-foot radius for an instant and interferes with darkvision. Creatures within the area of the burst must make a DC 15 Reflex save or lose their darkvision ability for 10 minutes. A dwarfblind stone has no effect on normal or low-light vision.

Since it doesn't need to hit a specific target to be effective, you can simply aim a dwarfblind stone at a particular 5-foot square. Treat the target as AC 5; if you miss, see Throw Splash Weapon, PH 158, to determine where the stone lands.

A dwarfblind stone can be created with a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.


This gray paste is brewed from the exoskeletons of monstrous spiders ground with silk-based oils and mixed with various chemicals and reagents. When spread on exposed flesh, it temporarily hardens the skin, granting a +1 bonus to natural armor for 2 minutes. This bonus stacks with any other natural armor you already have. It takes 1 minute to apply shedden to your entire body and obtain its benefits.

Shedden can be created with a DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check. Certain master alchemists can create shedden that provides natural armor bonuses of +2 to +5, but doing so raises the Craft DC by 4 for each additional point of natural armor and increases the price as follows: 200 gp for +2, 500 gp for +3, 1,000 gp for +4, and 2,000 gp for +5.

Spelunker's Oil

This clear, slick substance is derived from several types of shines and certain mineral oils. As a full-round action, you can apply a flask of it to your body and gain a +2 alchemical bonus on Escape Artist checks. This oil is especially useful to cave explorers who have to squeeze through tight quarters. However, when the oil is effective it bestows a -5 penalty on Climb checks.

Spelunker's oil can be created with a DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check.

Stoneburn Acid

This substance is a weaker form of alchemist's mineral acid. It harms only stone and other minerals. It is not effective as a splash weapon, because it requires both contact and pressure to fully dissolve the exposed material. Otherwise, it just makes small pocks in a surface. When you apply it with pressure against rock or other minerals, it ignores hardness and deals 2d6 points of damage. This dissolution happens almost instantly, after which the acid becomes inert. Therefore, it is only useful for digging small divots into a stone surface or small openings in very thin walls. It works best when used with stoneburners.

Stoneburn acid can be created with a DC 22 Craft (alchemy) check.


This misty substance enhances the adhesive qualities of a web. A single vial contains enough mist to fill a 10-foot cube in a single round. All webs in this area become stickier and stronger, increasing the DC to avoid or break free by 2 for 1 hour. Vilegrip can also be used on the webs created by a web spell.

Vilegrip can be created with a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.

Alchemical Items from the Frostfell

Frostfell Alchemical Items
Alchemical ItemsCraft DCCostWeight
Armor insulation (flask)2550 gp2 lb.
Freeze powder (vial)25100 gp1 lb.
Frostbite salve (jar)2050 gp1 lb.
Icechalk1520 gp -
Melt powder (vial)2025 gp1 lb.
Polar skin (flask)2525 gp1 lb.
Razor ice powder (vial)2550 gp1 lb.
Whale grease (flask)2575 gp2 lb.

Armor Insulation

This thick red syrupy mixture is applied with a brush to the inner surface of a suit of armor. When the mixture comes in contact with body heat and sweat, it puffs up to trap body heat, insulating the wearer against the effects of cold. For 24 hours after application, the wearer of a suit of armor treated with armor insulation gains a +5 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saving throws against exposure to cold weather.

Freeze Powder

Freeze powder looks like salt but is much finer to touch. One vial of freeze powder sprinkled into any liquid is enough to instantly freeze solid 1 cubic foot of liquid. If introduced into a larger body of water or liquid, the powder freezes into a 1-foot diameter ball of ice. Sprinkled on a wet floor, a vial of freeze powder can coat a 10-foot-square area with ice. Freeze powder is dangerous to eat; anyone foolish enough to swallow a vial of freeze powder takes 2d6 points of cold damage as the powder freeze-burns his mouth and throat. A successful DC 15 Fortitude saving throw halves the damage.

Frostbite Salve

This pale yellow cream provides instant relief from frostbite damage. It does not cure frostburn damage, but temporarily suppresses up to 2 points of ability score damage caused by frostbite. The salve's effectiveness lasts for just one hour, after which point the ability score damage suppressed by the salve returns.

Ice Chalk

Ice chalk comes in a variety of colors. These waxy sticks can be used to make temporary marks on any icy surface, similar to how chalk can be used to mark slate or stone.

Melt Powder

Utilizing some of the same principles as freeze powder, melt powder causes ice it is sprinkled upon to instantly melt. One vial of melt powder is enough to melt 1 cubic foot of ice. Sprinkled on an icy surface of up to 10 square feet, a vial of melt powder makes a 1-inch-deep pool of water that quickly refreezes. Melt powder is bitter tasting, but only harmful to creatures with the cold subtype if it is eaten. Such creatures take 2d6 points of acid damage as the powder desiccates and dissolves their tissues; a successful DC 15 Fortitude save halves the damage.

Polar Skin

This dull white cream provides limited protection against cold-based damage. Polar skin becomes ineffective once it has absorbed 5 points of cold damage. Regardless of whether it absorbs any damage, polar skin loses its effectiveness 1 hour after application. Polar skin does not stack with magical protection from cold. Magical effects such as resist energy supersede the protection provided by polar skin. Applying polar skin takes 1 minute.

Razor Ice Powder

This granular white powder can be sprinkled over any icy surface; one vial is enough to coat one 5-foot square. The area coated immediately grows hundreds of tiny razor-sharp crystals of ice; these crystals function as if the area had been covered with razor ice (see page 16). Razor ice is difficult to see; a successful DC 20 Survival check reveals the danger, otherwise, a victim won't realize the true nature of the painful ice until she treads upon it. A creature with the cold subtype can use a standard action to sprinkle a vial of razor ice powder on any single natural weapon it possesses; it grants a +1 enhancement bonus on slashing damage for that natural attack for one hour.

Whale Grease

Whale grease is a thick clear grease fashioned from a combination of melted whale blubber and various powdered minerals and waxy plants. This foul-smelling stuff must be applied directly to the skin (taking 1 minute to do so) to be effective; once applied, the grease insulates the user from hypothermia, providing complete protection from hypothermia effects for as long as it lasts. Whale grease loses its effectiveness 1 hour after application. It is not water soluble, but can be quickly removed with alcohol. While worn, the pungent odor the grease gives off allows creatures with the scent ability to detect you at double normal range.

Alchemical Items for/against the Undead


This unguent must be spread over a set of bones before animation as skeleton. The ointment reduces the skeleton's natural armor by 2 points (to a minimum of 0), but when the skeleton is destroyed, its bones splinter and fly apart, sending shard in all directions. Any creature within the skeleton's reach takes 1 point of piercing damage per HD of the skeleton (Reflex DC 15 half , minimum 1 point).

Spreading brittebone over a creature's bones requires a full-round action. A single flask of the substance is sufficient for a single creature of Medium size or smaller. A Large creature requires two flasks, a Huge creature four flasks, a Gargantuan creature eight flasks and a Colossal creature sixteen flasks.

Bullet, Priest's

These hollow glass sling bullets are filled with holy water. When they strike immediately shatter, dousing the target with holy water. Undead and evil outsiders take 1d4 points of damage from the holy water in addition to the normal damage from the sling bullet. To hold sufficient holy water, these bullets must be larger than normal, imposing a -2 penalty on the attack roll.

These bullets are useless against incorporeal creatures (since they won't shatter on impact) unless they also have the ghost touch special property or some other ability to affect incorporeal creatures.

Unholy versions of these bullets are also available.

Embalming Fire

This bitter-smelling liquid must be poured over a corpse and allowed to soak for at least 1 minute before the corpse is animated as a zombie. Once animated, if the zombie takes even a single point of damage it bursts into blue flame for 1 minute. This fire does no damage to the zombie, but its attacks during its that time deals an additional 1d6 points of fire damage.

Spreading embalming fire over a creature's body requires a full-round action. A single flask of the substance is sufficient for a single creature of Medium size or smaller. A Large creature requires two flasks, a Huge creature four flasks, a Gargantuan creature eight flasks, and a Colossal creature sixteen flasks.


This clear oil has a slight tint of gray, and strange, wispy forms seem to swirl through it. When applied to a weapon, ghostoil allows it to affect incorporeal creatures normally for the next 2 rounds.

Applying ghostoil to a weapon of any size is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. One flask of ghostoil contains enough liquid to coat one weapon of Medium size or smaller. A Large weapon requires two flasks, a Huge creature four flasks, a Gargantuan weapon eight flasks, and a Colossal weapon sixteen flasks.

Holy Water Sprinkler

The oversized, hollow head of this heavy mace is actually a reservoir that holds one pint of liquid (typically holy or unholy water). Any hit by the holy water sprinkler also affects the target as if it had been within the splash radius of a thrown flask of holy water (1 point of damage to undead creatures and evil outsiders for holy water, or to good outsiders for unholy water). A full reservoir has eight uses.

Alternatively, the wielder can choose to release the entire reservoir with a successful hit. Treat this as if the target had been hit directly by a flask of holy (or unholy) water, but subtract 1 point of damage for each use already dispensed from the reservoir (for instance, a reservoir only 5/8 full would deal 2d4-3 points of damage). There is no splash effect from such a hit.

Filling the reservoir is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Liquid Night

This dark, sticky fluid provides a daylight-sensitive undead creature with temporary protection from the sun's deadly rays. It allows the creature to ignore any vulnerability to sunlight for a full hour. If subjected to a spell or magical effect that would cause extra damage to an undead creature that is vulnerable to sunlight, the creature is treated as not having that vulnerability (however, this also burns away the liquid night, ending the protection against either mundane or magical sunlight). Liquid night has a distinct musky odor of moonflower (one of its ingredients).

Spreading liquid night over a creature's body requires a full-round action. A single flask of the substance is sufficient for a single creature of Medium size or smaller. A Large creature requires two flasks, a Huge creature four flasks, a Gargantuan creature eight flasks, and a Colossal creature sixteen flasks.

Alchemical Items
Alchemical ItemsCostWeightCraft DC
Brittlebone30 gp8 oz.DC 20 (alchemy)
Bullet, priest's (glassblowing)20 gp10 oz.DC 15
Embalming fire20 gp8 oz.DC 20 (alchemy)
Ghostoil50 gp1 lb.DC 25 (alchemy)
Holy water sprinkler62 gp8 weapon +5 (weaponsmithing)
Liquid night150 gp8 oz.DC 25 (alchemy)


Positoxins are special alchemical substances distilled from holy water and laced with positive energy. To a corporeal undead creature, a positoxin functions much like a poison, usually dealing initial and secondary ability damage or drain when the target fails a Fortitude save. The ability damage or drain dealt by most positoxins can't reduce an undead creature's ability score below 1

Despite their normal immunity to damage or drain to physical ability scores (Str and Dex), undead are vulnerable to the ability damage or drain caused by positoxins. These substances actually break down the physical form of the undead, while simultaneously interfering with the unholy energies that keep the undead creature animated. In fact, any damage dealt to an undead creature's Str or Dex by a positoxin is actually permanent ability drain, making such substances feared indeed by such creatures.

A corporeal undead character has a 5% chance of exposing itself to a positoxin whenever it applies the positoxin to a weapon or otherwise readies it for use. Additionally, a corporeal undead character who rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll with a positoxined weapon must make a DC 15 Reflex save or accidentally poison itself with the substance. A character who can handle poisons safely, such as an assassin, can ignore these risks.

Positoxins are harmless to all other creatures, including incorporeal undead. As supernatural substances, positoxins don't function in antimagic fields or similar areas. Treat positoxins as poisons for the purpose of spells and effects such as detect poison, delay poison, and neutralize poison.

The characteristics of positoxins are summarized below.

Type: The positoxin's method of delivery, and the Fortitude save DC to avoid the positoxin's damage. Most positoxins are delivered by contact or injury, since undead typically don't ingest or inhale substances.

Initial Damage: The damage the undead creature takes immediately upon failing its saving throw against the positoxin. Ability score reductions are temporary (ability damage) unless an entry is marked with an asterisk (*), in which case the loss is permanent (ability drain).

Secondary Damage: The amount of damage the undead creature takes 1 minute after exposure to the positoxin, if it fails a second saving throw. Ability score reductions are temporary (ability damage) unless an entry is marked with an asterisk (*), in which case the loss is permanent (ability drain).

Price: The cost of one dose (one vial) of the positoxin. It is not possible to use or apply positoxin in any quantity smaller than one dose. Unlike poisons, positoxins are not illegal, though their cost and the difficulty in creating such substances can limit their availability. (In societies controlled by undead, positoxins are as illegal as poisons are in a typical society.)

Craft: The Craft (alchemy) DC required to create the positoxin. Positoxins are very difficult to distill; in addition to the high Craft DC required, the crafting character must be able to channel positive energy to turn undead (or be assisted by a character who has that ability).

PositoxinTypeInitial DamageSecondary DamagePriceCraft DC
GravedustContact DC 101 Dex*1d4 Dex*100 gpDC 20
Boneshard pasteContact DC 131 Str*1d4 Str*750 gpDC 26
Sunlight oilContact DC 161d3 Str*1d3 Dex* + 1d3 Str*1,300 gpDC 32
BloodwineInjury DC 11**1d4 Cha2d4 Cha250 gpDC 22
Celestial essenceInjury DC 141d6 Wis2d6 Wis400 gpDC 28
LichbaneInjury DC 171 Int* + 1 Wis* + 1 Cha*1d4 Int + 1d4 Wis + 1d4 Cha650 gpDC 34
Liquid mortalityInjury DC 201d4 Str*2d4 Str*1,250 gpDC 40
*Ability drain, not ability damage.
**Or ingestion DC 9; see text.


This thick, crimson positoxin includes garlic in its creation, making it particularly harmful to vampires and other undead with a vulnerability to garlic. Such creatures take a -2 penalty on their Fortitude saves to resist damage. Though normally delivered by injury, it can also be consumed by a living creature to deliver it to a vampire or similar blood-draining creature via ingestion. A single dose, if consumed by a living creature, remains in the bloodstream for 12 hours. Any undead creature draining blood from a creature that has ingested bloodwine must make a Fortitude save as if it had been injured by a weapon bearing the positoxin, though the save DC drops to 9.

Boneshard Paste

This positoxin includes bone fragments in its recipe, giving it a pale color.

Celestial Essence

This viscous golden substance seems almost to shine with an inner radiance.


This gray-brown powder derives its name from its resemblance to the grime common to tombs and other long-enclosed areas.


This bone-white unguent is equally dangerous to all spellcasting undead, as well as to those that depend on mental ability scores for their special attacks. The initial damage is permanent drain.

Liquid Mortality

This potent oil is thought by most undead creatures to be mere myth. Unlike other positoxins, it can reduce the target's ability score to 0. Any undead creature whose Strength is reduced to 0 by this positoxin is utterly destroyed.

Sunlight Oil

A thin, slippery liquid, sunlight oil lasts only 24 hours in conditions other than bright light.

Alchemical Items from the Wastes

Wasteland Alchemical Items
Alchemical ItemsCraft DCCostWeight
Armorbright (flask)50 gp25 1 lb.
Asherati sand sculpturevaries-varies
Blackeye (vial)1 gp151/2 lb.
Deep draught10 gp151/2 lb.
Ironthorn extract (flask)25 gp201 lb.
Keepcool salve (pot)50 gp201/2 lb.
Liquid salt (flask)200 gp-1 lb.
Oleum (flask)30 gp-1 lb.
Shapesand (jug)100 gp2512 lb.
Slumber sand (flask)50 gp121 lb.
Sunshade lotion (flask)20 gp201 lb.

The waste holds as many unusual materials as it does reasons to innovate. Many of the substances here can be made by a spellcaster with the Craft (alchemy) skill, as indicated above.


This metallic paint is applied with a brush to the outside of a suit of armor (requiring 1 minute to apply), producing a shiny surface that reflects the light of the sun to reduce the effects of hot weather on the wearer. For 24 hours after applying armorbright to a suit of armor, you gain a +2 bonus on Fortitude saving throws to avoid heat dangers. Armorbright also raises your level of protection against heat by one step. Armorbright is not effective in hot environments with no sun, such as the Elemental Plane of Fire.

Asherati Sand Sculpture

Asheratis know the special sands, adherents, and natural dyes that are required to create stunning works of sculpture. The typical asherati sculpture is 2 to 3 feet high and weighs 10 to 20 pounds. Like any piece of art, value is in the eye of the beholder; however, anyone with the Appraise skill can determine the approximate price a particular sculpture would fetch in wider markets. Use Table 3-7: Art Objects, page 55 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, to determine the price of an asherati sand sculpture found in a treasure hoard or in the marketplace.


This oily paint is smeared around your eyes and on your cheeks to reduce the effects of bright sun, protecting you from sun glare for 4 hours.

Deep Draught

This powder is a mixture of salt, dried herbs, and extracts of desert plants. Adding it to water increases your body's retention of fluid and helps counteract the effects of dehydration. One packet of deep draught is enough for 1 gallon of solution, which grants a +5 bonus on the Heal check to treat dehydration.

Ironthorn Extract

The ironthorn plant has extremely tough tissues to prevent water loss. This extract of the plant is used to harden delicate items, make containers waterproof, and stiffen clothing to provide some protection. One flask of ironthorn extract is enough to treat a typical outfit, increasing the clothing's armor bonus to -4. Ironthorn extract does not improve materials that already provide an armor bonus. When applied to cloth, leather, or similar material, ironthorn extract improves its hardness by 1, to a maximum of 5. Both benefits last for one week or until the item is thoroughly washed.

Keepcool Salve

This small clay pot contains several ounces of a pearly ointment, enough to cover one Medium creature. Applying the ointment to your skin increases your level of protection against heat by one step (see page 14). The salve also grants a +1 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves to resist damage from hot environments.

Liquid Salt

This deadly supernatural substance an be used as a splash weapon. A direct hit deals 2d6 points of dessication damage (2d8 points to plants or elementals with the water subtype). Every creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1d4 points of dessication damage from the splash (1d6 points to plants or elementals with the water subtype). liquid salt is always carried in a glass container.


A black liquid, oleum has a foul, bitter odor. It occurs naturally around the world, but is particularly common in the waste. Though it forms underground, oleum is generally found in surface pools in areas of barren waste terrain.
You can use a flask of oleum as a splash weapon. Use the rules for alchemist's fire, except that it takes a full-round action to prepare a flask with a fuse. Once it is thrown, there is a 50% chance of the flask igniting successfully. Burning oleum is hard to put out, granting a -4 penalty on the Reflex save to extinguish the fire. The oleum burns away within 4 rounds (eliminating the penalty on putting out the fire).
Raw oleum burns readily, but it is smoky when it does so. The smoke created by burning oleum is heavy smoke, so a wide area of open air is required for the substance to burn safely. Every round when raw oleum burns, it produces enough smoke to fill a 5-foot cube. For this reason, oleum is typically used only in lamps made to burn outdoors. The smoke drives away flying insects.
Oleum is also used to lubricate moving parts; a flask of it can cover a 5-foot square, provided that the surface is smooth. A creature can walk within or through an area of oleum at half normal speed by making a DC 10 Balance check. Failure means it can't move that round, while failure by 5 or more means it falls prone (see the Balance skill description, for details). If an area of oleum is ignited, it burns for 4 rounds and deals 1d3 points of fire damage to each creature an the area.
A quart of oleum (two flasks) can coat a Medium creature, providing a +4 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist checks and opposed grapple checks made to resist being grappled or to escape a pin. Oleum applied in this manner also acts as insect repellent, protecting you from normal vermin (such as those summoned by insect plague) and granting a +4 bonus to Armor Class against vermin. A creature with oleum on its hands takes a -4 penalty on grapple checks or any task requiring a solid grip, including attack rolls with weapons. A roll of 1 on the attack means the oleum-coated creature drops the slippery weapon.
When worn, oleum is uncomfortable and unpleasant. You take a -2 penalty on Fortitude saves against natural heat effects. Further, oleum makes you quite flammable granting a -4 penalty on saves against supernaturally hot effects and any attack involving fire, including Reflex saves to put yourself out after catching fire. When subjected to a fire-based attack that does not normally cause subjects to catch on fire, you must make a DC 14 Reflex save or catch on fire. As indicated above, oleum burns away after 4 rounds.
An ounce of oleum can substitute for the material component usually used for a grease spell.


Shapesand is a special kind of wasteland soil that is psychoreactive; it can be sculpted into any form according to your will. The new object is made of sand, but serves as a normal item of the same sort. A shapesand hammer functions just like an ordinary hammer, and a shapesand waterskin is just as watertight as an ordinary skin.
Controlling shapesand is an exercise in willpower. A DC 16 Wisdom check establishes control of a volume of sand based on the shaper's Wisdom score:

Wisdom ScoreControllable Volume
4-71-ft. cube
8-112-1/2-ft. cube
12-155-ft. cube
16-197-1/2-ft. cube
20-2310-ft. cube
24++2-1/2 ft per 4 points of Wisdom

If your Wisdom check succeeds, you can reshape the volume of sand as you desire. Once control is established, the shape lasts as long as you remain within 100 feet of it. Thus, those with sufficient patience and strong enough will can construct small fortresses out of shapesand, even if they must do so a few cubic feet at a time.
Another character can wrest control of a shapesand item away from you by succeeding on an opposed Wisdom check, though the winner's Wisdom score must be high enough to shape an item the size of the one contested. For example, if two characters are attempting to control a 5-foot cube of shapesand, the challenger must not only beat his opponent's roll, but must also have a Wisdom score of at least 12.
If you are a sand shaper or a cleric with the Sand domain using shapesand in conjunction with your sand shaping abilities, you do not count shapesand items against the total number of items you can maintain at one time. In addition, if you are a sand shaper, you can give control of shapesand objects to other individuals, and those items persist even if the new owner takes them outside the normal 100-foot control area. The new owner need not make a Wisdom check to establish control of the item, so long as his Wisdom score meets the minimum requirement for the object's volume.

Slumber Sand

Slumber sand is a supernatural hazard, but alchemists make a substance that mimics the hazard's effects. A target struck by a flask of slumber sand must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or fall asleep for 1 minute. Slumber sand affects only a creature struck by it, and creatures with 5 or more Hit Dice have immunity to the effect. Slumber sand is more effective when a flask of it is used as an optional material component for sleep, deep slumber, or symbol of sleep. When so used, the total Hit Dice of creatures affected increases by 2 (the symbol of sleep affects creatures of up to 12 HD), and the DC for the Will saving throw increases by +1.

Sunshade Lotion

This translucent green lotion contains extracts of succulent plants, mixed with oils from the skin of chameleons. It darkens slightly on exposure to sunlight. One flask is sufficient to protect a Medium creature from nonlethal damage due to sunburn for 4 hours.

Alchemical Items of the Planes

The special substances described here are prized by adventurers both planar and mundane. Most of them can be made with the Craft (alchemy) skill, but require ingredients not available on the Material Plane. Others can't be made at all, but must be recovered from their native environment or purchased.

Anarchic Water

Anarchic water damages lawful outsiders almost as if it were acid. A flask of anarchic water can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A flask breaks if thrown against the body of a corporeal creature, but to use it against an incorporeal creature, the bearer must open the flask and pour the anarchic water out onto the target. Thus, a character can douse an incorporeal creature with anarchic water only if he is adjacent to it. Doing so is a ranged touch attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
A direct hit by a flask of anarchic water deals 2d4 points of damage to a lawful outsider. Each such creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1 point of damage from the splash.

Antitrait Grease

Antitrait grease is made in four varieties - evil, law, chaos, and good - using essences collected from planes on the "opposite" side of the Great Wheel to help moderate the effects of the opposing alignment. When visiting a plane that is aligned, those who smear on antitrait grease ignore penalties on their Charisma checks that mildly aligned planes impose on visitors of opposed alignments. One vial of grease protects a visitor for 1 hour. The Wisdom and Intelligence check penalties associated with strongly aligned planes are not affected.

Atramen Oil

This substance is cold pressed from arramen fruit that grows on shoals of Elemental Earth that have drifted too close to the Negative Energy Plane. A flask of atramen oil can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A direct hit causes the target to take a -4 penalty on Fortitude saves for 1 minute. Every creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes a -1 penalty on Fortitude saves for 1 minute.

Axiomatic Water

Axiomatic water damages chaotic outsiders almost as if it were acid. A flask of axiomatic water can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A flask breaks if thrown against the body of a corporeal creature, but to use it against an incorporeal creature, the bearer must open the flask and pour the axiomatic water out onto the target. Thus, a character can douse an incorporeal creature with axiomatic water only if he is adjacent to it. Doing so is a ranged touch attack that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
A direct hit by a flask of axiomatic water deals 2d4 points of damage to a chaotic outsider. Each such creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes i point of damage from the splash.

Bahamut's Breath

Bahamut's breath damages evil outsiders almost as if it were acid, while at the same time, it heals good outsiders as if it were a potion of cure light wounds. One ingredient for this alchemical substance is a breath of air gathered from any of the four lowest levels of Celestia.
A flask of Bahamut's breath can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A direct hit by a flask deals 2d4 points of damage to an evil outsider. Each such creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1 point of damage from the splash. A direct hit by the flask heals 2d4 points of damage to a good outsider. Each such creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits is cured of 1 point of damage from the splash.

Celestial Cloak

Planar hunters frequently visit the Wilderness of the Beastlands to slay and skin celestial animals, for, when the beasts are slain on their home plane and their hides properly treated, some of their properties reside in their pelts. A celestial cloak looks much like an ordinary cloak made of fur from the appropriate animal, but it has a golden sheen that is especially evident when viewed under the noonday sun or in the light of the full moon.
When worn, a celestial cloak confers upon its wearer resistance to acid 1, cold 1, and electricity 1. This resistance does not stack with similar benefits gained from other sources.

Chaos Flask

A chaos flask contains a small amount of the raw stuff of the plane of limbo. This material can be shaped by someone with a strong enough will (DC 13 Wisdom check) into nearly any single nonmagical object, provided the total volume is no greater than that of the flask's contents - with denser objects requiring more of the material. A flask contains enough raw chaos to create a Diminutive metal or stone object, a Tiny wooden objects, or a Small cloth or leather object. The user can even shape the matter into a living creature of Diminutive size or smaller, but doing this raises the Wisdom check DC to 18.
Shaping the limbo matter is a free action, and the user can attempt the Wisdom check once per round. The item so shaped persists for a number of rounds equal to the user's Wisdom score, and then dissipates into nothingness. The user can cause the object to dissipate sooner with another Wisdom check (same DC).

Elemental loadstone

Although it appears to be an ordinary stone about the size of a sling stone, an elemental loadstone is, in fact, extremely dense, weighing around 51 pounds. A loadstone can be thrown (with a range increment of 5 feet) or fired from a sling (with a range increment of 10 feet) and deals 2d6 points of bludgeoning damage on a successful hit. In addition, some particularly muscular rogues have developed an interesting tactic: slipping elemental loadstones into the pockets of physically weaker opponents by means of Sleight of Hand checks. With enough of these on his person, the average wizard or sorcerer can quickly be rendered immobile.

Liquid Embers

Liquid embers is a sticky adhesive goo not unlike alchemist's fire, except that liquid embers contains ash or soot of an object burned with fire from the Elemental Plane of Fire. A flask of liquid embers can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A direct hit deals 3d6 points of fire damage. Every creature within 5 feet of the point where the flask hits takes 1d6 points of fire damage from the splash. On the round following a direct hit, the target takes an additional 3d6 points of damage. If desired, the target can use a full-round action to attempt to extinguish the flames before taking this additional damage. Extinguishing the flames requires a DC 17 Reflex save. Rolling on the ground provides the target a +2 bonus on the save, leaping into a lake or magically extinguishing the flames automatically smothers the fire.

Mechanus Eye

This 2-inch-diameter metallic orb resembles an eye, though streamlined and idealized. These eyes are purportedly salvaged from secret graveyard cogs on Mechanus, where a demolished race who once claimed the plane now lies forgotten. Anyone looking through a Mechanus eye gains a +1 competence bonus on Search checks.

Ocanthus Knife

Ocanchus knives are actually alchemically stabilized shards of magically charged black ice gathered from the fourth layer of Acheron. An ocanthus knife has all the melee weapon characteristics of a dagger, except for the following: On a successful strike, a Medium ocanthus knife deals 2d6 points of damage (a Small knife deals 1d8, and a large knife deals 3d6). After striking a foe, the knife loses its stability and immediately shatters and melts, gone but for telltale oily residue.

Pure Element

Each flask of pure element contains a small amount of the essence of an Elemental Plane: air, earth, fire, or water, painstakingly recreated from ancient alchemical formulas. The bearer can pour this substance upon other beings or objects by making a melee touch attack (which provokes attacks of opportunity), or hurl it as a thrown weapon that targets a creature. The pure element air, earth, fire, or water contained within then bonds with whatever it touches, temporarily altering the target in a fashion dependent on the element's nature. The effects of the pure element last for 10 minutes, unless otherwise noted.

Air: This clear liquid does not seem to flow from the flask as much drift from it. Objects or creatures exposed to pure element air weigh only one-half their normal weight; creatures so affected gain a +2 bonus on Climb and Jump checks but sake a -2 penalty on damage rolls.
Elementals with the air subtype that are exposed to this pure element gain a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution. Elementals with the earth subtype, as well as objects made of earth or stone, take 2d6 points of damage (this effect overcomes the damage reduction or hardness of such creatures or objects).

Earth: This grayish-brown ooze looks like ordinary mud. Objects or creatures exposed to pure elemental earth weigh twice their normal weight; creatures so affected sake a -2 penalty on Balance, Climb, Jump, Ride, Swim, and Tumble checks. The creature also gains damage reduction 1/adamantine.
Elementals with the earth subtype that are exposed to this pure element gain a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution. Elementals with the air subtype take 2d6 points of damage (this effect overcomes the damage reduction of such creatures).

Fire: This bright orange-yellow liquid bursts from the flask like an explosion. A creature or object exposed to pure elemental fire takes 1d6 points of damage and catches fire unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Reflex save. A creature or object that catches fire takes 1d6 points of fire damage per round for 5 rounds. The flames may be extinguished only by exposure to pure elemental water.
Elementals with the fire subtype that are exposed to this pure element gain a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution. Elementals with the water subtype take double the initial fire damage dealt by this substance, but do not catch on fire unless they are wearing flammable items.

Water: This liquid appears to be a deep blue, almost indigo water. living creatures exposed to pure elemental water must make a DC 10 Constitution check or begin drowning. Each round thereafter until 1 minute has elapsed, the DC increases by 1.
Elementals with the water subtype that are exposed to this pure element gain a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution. Elementals with the fire subtype take 2d6 points of damage.

Red Tidewater

Harvested from areas of red tide on the Elemental Plane of Water, this water is full of an algae that can cause temporary blindness if it gets into a living creature's eyes. A flask of red tidewater can be thrown as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet.
A direct hit forces the target to make a DC 15 Reflex save or be blinded for 2d4 rounds. All those within 5 feet of the point of impact must make a DC 10 Reflex save or be blinded for 1 round. Anyone who fails the save has been exposed to blinding sickness (see Disease).

Touchstone Blade

A touchstone blade is a nonmagical masterwork sword or other weapon forged from metal found at the site of a planar touchstone - thus qualifying it as the portable object required by the Planar Touchstone feat. The cost of a touchstone blade is equal to the cost of the weapon plus 500 gp (300 gp for the masterwork weapon, plus another 200 gp for the connection to the planar touchstone). Such items are understandably rare and sold even more rarely, given the magical benefit they can provide.

Special Substances And Items
ItemCostCraft DCWeight
Anarchic water50 gpn/a1 lb.
Antitrait grease (vial)¹50 gp20 (alchemy)-
Atramen oil (flask)¹50 gp20 (alchemy)1 lb.
Axiomatic water50 gpn/a1 lb.
Bahamut's breath (flask)¹120 gp25 (alchemy)1 lb.
Celestial cloak1,000 gp25 (leatherworking)1 lb.
Chaos flask100 gpn/a1/2 lb.
Elemental loadstone200 gpn/a50 lb.
Liquid embers (flask)¹600 gp25 (alchemy)1 lb.
Mechanuseye100 gpn/a-
Ocanthus knife¹450 gp25 (alchemy)1 lb.
Pure element¹1,000 gp25 (alchemy)1 lb.
Red tidewater25 gpn/a1/2 lb.
Touchstone blade+500 gpn/a-
¹ You must be a spellcaster to craft any of these items.

Alchemy Begins in the Forest

by Kieran Turley with Jess Decker, Dragon #301

Alchemists practice the arcane art of combining seemingly innocuous ingredients to produce substances with incredible properties. But where do these ingredients come from? A significant portion of what goes into an alchemist's labors can be found in the wilderness. Some of what is considered alchemy is sophisticated herb lore with an unusual twist. What the herbalist overlooks however, the alchemist treasures; for sometimes, when coupled with other reagents, even the most innocent weed can reveal astounding properties.

This article adds a new level of detail to the Alchemy skill and increases the variety of substances that alchemists can create. What follows are a list of herbs, fungi, roots, and plants that alchemists can use to produce new elixirs, powders, and poultices. The hunt for these wonders of nature can be a springboard to new adventures as characters travel to danger-filled lands searching for much-needed reagents.

Health And Healing

Midwives, wise men, and rural herbalists know many treatments for common ailments. Most of these treatments simply ease the symptoms of minor illnesses, allowing the body to rest and recover on its own, but a few show true efficacy in treating disease, injury, or even enchantment. These valuable remedies have been perfected and refined, and many have become alchemical reagents of note.


A very fine herb with gossamer-like green fronds, wittlewort has a rapid growth cycle. Partly because of this rapid growth, it can be found only during spring months in temperate, subtropical, and tropical areas. Careful groundskeepers use it liberally in castle gardens, where it is grown to keep away slugs and other pests. However, only alchemical treatment can distill the full potency of this little plant. Once it has been dried, treated, and powdered, the alchemist dissolves the wittlewort in hot water to complete the alchemical process.

Wittlewort Brew

Wittlewort brew immediately grants creatures under the effects of Enchantment spells or effects another saving throw to resist those effects. If the Enchantment effect did not allow an initial saving throw, wittlewort brew has no effect.


This fleshy-leafed plant, characterized by clusters of small yellow flowers, grows to a height of 1 foot. A hardy plant, it can be found throughout temperate and subtropical forests. Many hedge wizards and midwives use cotsbalm as a folk remedy when treating sick children. After crushing the flowers until they emit a sweet smell, the herbalist sprinkles them around the child's bed to draw out the illness. Priests and other skilled healers claim that this has no effect, but the practice persists in many communities.

Purebalm: Cotsbalm sap is extracted and used as a base for a clear, syrupy substance called purebalm. When applied to the skin of someone who has been poisoned by an injury or contact poison, purebalm turns black as it absorbs the poison out of the victim's system. Purebalm only functions when administered between the initial and secondary onset of an injury or contact poison. If applied before the secondary onset of an appropriate poison, purebalm provides a +8 alchemical bonus to the Fortitude saving throw to resist the poison's secondary effects.

Musk Muddle

A brown, dead-looking plant with wide leaves and an unpleasant aroma, musk muddle can be found in nearly any swamp or marsh. Musk muddle resembles the dock plant, a foul-smelling weed. Unlike many of the plants described here, musk muddle has no common use, making it shunned or exterminated by those familiar only with folk remedies.

Burn Salve: The boiled leaves from this plant form an integral part of burn salve, an excellent remedy for even severe burns. As its name implies, burn salve mitigates some of the effects of fire damage, but only if it is applied within 2 rounds of the injury. If applied in time, the smooth white salve heals 1d6 points of damage, but it cannot heal damage that was not inflicted by fire.

Tyrant's Sword

A coarse, broad-leafed grass with sharp edges, tyrant's sword grows to a height of about 2 feet, distinguished only by the silvery edges of its leaves. Although difficult to find, it grows sporadically in both temperate plains and tundra regions. Tyrant's sword (named for its appearance) grows slowly and has a difficult time competing with other plants for survival. Because of this, it is usually found away from other plants.

Frost Lotion: The silvery edges of tyrant's sword can be boiled and used to make a warm, porridge-like substance called frost lotion. The pleasant-smelling topical heals injuries caused by extreme cold. Frost lotion can mitigate some of the effects of cold damage, but only if it is applied within 2 rounds of the injury. If applied in time, the thick lotion heals 1d6 points of damage, but it cannot heal damage that was not inflicted by cold.

Prickly Tea

A small thorn bush with gray-green leaves, prickly tea rarely grows over 3 feet in height. Although it is almost never found in large groups, the thorny bush can be found throughout temperate and subtropical plains and forests. Prickly tea is a staple in church and abbey gardens because its leaves can be gathered, dried, and boiled to make a bitter tea that helps awaken the drinker and sharpen her senses. Early risers, as well as high-priced sentries, often drink the tea to stay alert.

Senses: An alchemist who knows the proper distillation techniques can create a powerful effect by refining normal prickly tea into a stronger, fouler-tasting substance known as senses. Senses sharpens the imbiber's eyes and ears, providing a +1 alchemical bonus to Spot and Listen checks for 1 hour.

Sand Vine

A rope-like seaweed found in temperate or warmer coastal areas, sand vine resembles a long, inch-thick rope. The vine grows both above and below water level, and it commonly grows with its roots wrapped around a small rock. Sand vine is relatively rare and is found only in areas where the tides and waves are mild. Since sand vine retains its strength after being harvested and dried, small coastal communities often cultivate it and braid it into long, sturdy rope.

Vine Oil: Living sand vine can be cut and its juices squeezed out. When combined with more common ingredients, this juice forms a weak local anesthetic called vine oil. When spread on bare skin, vine oil numbs the area, allowing the user to withstand great amounts of pain. While the effects of vine oil last, the user can function normally until reduced below -5 hit points, but when reduced below 0 hit points, he still loses 1 hit point per round. If reduced below -5 hit points, the user falls unconscious. When the user's hit point total falls below -10, the user dies. Creatures who have used vine oil within the last 24 hours cannot stabilize on their own, and many warriors have died while using this oil, succumbing to their injuries before an ally could reach them to staunch their wounds. The effects of vine oil last for hour. Vine oil smells faintly of fish, and those who use it regularly can often be identified by its smell.

Old Man's Friend

Old man's friend is a sticky-leafed herb that rarely grows above 2 inches in height. The herb can be found in huge beds (often 10 feet or more on a side) in temperate areas that get a lot of sunlight. Old man's friend is a strange herb that has an effect not unlike catnip except that it affects canines. Dog lovers have been known to cultivate small beds of this herb to keep their animals happy.

Gash Glue: Old man's friend can be crushed and mixed with a number of other substances to produce a thick, gray glue called gash glue. Soldiers often carry gash glue to seal a fallen companion's wounds quickly. One application of gash glue stabilizes a dying creature.

Elven Willow

The elven willow is a small tree (maximum height 5 feet) that grows by the banks of rivers in temperate forests. The willow has a golden sheen to its bark and produces golden colored buds in the spring. There is much superstition concerning the elven willow. It is said that each elven willow bears the spirit of a love-loin elf who drowned in a river near the tree.

Elf Hazel: The sap of the elven willow is the main component in a fluid called elf hazel. If elf hazel fluid is applied to any scar (from a now-healed wound) the scar slowly vanishes. It takes a week of daily applications for the scar to vanish completely.

Health and Healing Substances
ItemCostCraft DC
Wittlewort Brew30 gp15 (alchemy)
Purebalm75 gp35 (alchemy)
Burn Salve15 gp10 (alchemy)
Frost Lotion15 gp10 (alchemy)
Senses50 gp25 (alchemy)
Vine Oil50 gp15 (alchemy)
Gash Glue40 gp20 (alchemy)
Elf Hazel5 gp10 (alchemy)

Poisons And Malefics

The following substances, while not dangerous on their own, mix well with poisons, making the poisons harder to resist or adding dangerous side effects. When adding one of these substances to a poison, a character without the poison use ability has a 5% chance of exposing himself to the poison, much like the exposure chance one risks when applying the poison to a weapon. When applying an enhanced poison to a weapon or otherwise readying it for use, the character risks exposure normally. If either exposure chance is failed, the poison is treated as if enhanced by the alchemical substance when it affects the user. Only one alchemical substance may be added to a dose of poison. The prices listed reflect the cost of enhancing one dose of poison.

Dwarven Oak

Dwarven oak is a stunted, gnarled affair with thick, iron-hard roots and heavily wrinkled bark that grows on the lower slopes of temperate mountains. From a distance, the tree looks somewhat like a sitting dwarf, and goblin arrows occasionally jut from lone trees. Aside from providing goblins with target practice, the tree has no common use.

Oakdeath: The bark of the dwarven oak can be used to create a viscous brown liquid that can be added to any poison to increase its toxicity. Dealing in oakdeath is illegal in most places and often carries the same penalty as actually poisoning someone. If added to a poison less than 1 hour before the poison's application, oakdeath increases the poison's DC by 2.


The orticusp root bears a striking resemblance to a clenched fist. The root is pale white and is extremely difficult to find as the portion of it that is above ground only lives for about a week in the summer. Extremely rare, orticusp is found only in ancient temperate forests with trees more than 150 years old. The orticusp root gives off a pleasant, earthy aroma that only fey can smell. Fey within 20 yards of an orticusp root can seek it out easily. Legends say that before the dark elves left the surface realms, orticusp was a beautiful, night-blooming flower, beloved of that race. Supposedly, the flower took on its current form only after the sundering of the elven race.

Night Venom: The root of the orticusp is pulped and mixed with a poison to make a potent additional effect. If the victim of a night-venom-enhanced poison fails the initial Fortitude save to resist the poison, she must immediately make an additional Fortitude save against the poison's normal DC. If the victim fails this save, she falls into a fitful slumber until the poison's secondary effect sets in. Creatures sleeping due to the effects of a night-venom-enhanced poison can be awakened by normal means.

Wild Fireclover

Wild fireclover is a summer plant with a brilliant red and orange flower that blooms in temperate plains and farmland. The unmistakable red blooms of fireclover are usually found in small clusters of three to ten. The petals of wild fireclover are often crushed and used by peasants to provide pleasant scents. Crushed petals provide a beautiful aroma for up to a week.

Mindfire: What is not commonly known is that the stem of the wild fireclover is capable of producing a powerful mind-clouding addition to a normal poison. When combined with an ingested poison, mindfire leaves the imbiber confused and disoriented. Imbibers who fail either save required by a mindfire-enhanced poison suffer a -2 alchemical penalty to Will saves. In addition, spellcasters affected by a mindfire-enhanced poison must make a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) to cast spells. The effects of mindfire last for one hour. Mindfire can only be combined with ingested poisons.

Meadow Giant

Meadow giant is a massive, green-stemmed weed. The plant is found in grassy meadows where solitary plants seem to spring up overnight. A versatile and tenacious plant, meadow giant can be found in temperate grassland, farmland, and plains. Meadow giant can easily threaten cultivated crops, so it is usually cut down in farming areas.

White Sanguine: Powdered meadow giant stem is the principle ingredient in white sanguine, a milky, viscous substance smeared on assassin's blades to prevent blood clotting. Wounds inflicted by a weapon covered in white-sanguine-enhanced poison often fail to clot. If the victim fails the initial Fortitude save to resist the enhanced poison's effects, the wound continues to bleed for one minute, inflicting 1 point of damage per round in blood loss. The bleeding can be stopped with a DC 15 Heal check or the application of any cure wounds spell. White sanguine can only be combined with injury poisons.

Poisons And Malefics
ItemCostCraft DC
Oakdeath100 gp25 (alchemy)
Night Venom500 gp30 (alchemy)
Mindfire200 gp30 (alchemy)
White Sanguine100 gp20 (alchemy)

Mundane Alchemy

These items, while less potent and flashy than other alchemical substances, comprise a good portion of an alchemist's trade. In most cases, these items provide relatively minor effects or speed mundane tasks for little cost. Many alchemists keep minor items such as these in stock, making more powerful or expensive items only on order.


Wolfweed looks much like wolfsbane and is found in the same temperate regions. More prolific than wolfsbane, wolfweed shares none of its properties. Although it has no use as an herb on its own, unscrupulous merchants occasionally sell it to naive adventurers in need of wolfsbane.

Journeyman Serum: Wolfweed has one function that is not commonly known. With careful preparation, it forms an integral part of an alchemical substance called journeyman serum. Journeyman serum provides a +2 alchemical bonus to Constitution checks made to resist taking subdual damage from making a forced march.

Alchemy DC to Create: 5.


Darkroot is a large, black, twisted root found near waterfalls and in other damp environments such as bogs. The root grows to over 10 feet in length and can be up to 2 feet thick. Herbalists and village wise women advocate chewing darkroot as a way of purging the stomach after drinking or eating poisons. The root tastes vile and causes vomiting immediately upon swallowing.

Titan Gum: Darkroot is used in great quantities by alchemists in the production of titan gum, a particularly strong and fast-setting form of glue. Titan gum bonds completely in one round. Substances bonded by titan gum require a DC 20 Strength check to separate. Titan gum can support 500 lbs. of weight before breaking.

Alchemy DC to Create: 15.

Goblin Rouge

Goblin rouge is a moderately sized bush that produces hundreds of large yellow and orange berries every autumn. It can be found in nearly any temperate region. Goblin rouge bears its name because children frequently smear their faces with the yellow-orange juice of the berries to pretend they are goblins.

Goblin Ink: The juice of the goblin rouge berry can be used in the creation of a high-quality waterproof ink, sometimes called goblin ink after its origin. The waterproof goblin ink cannot be smeared or distorted by water after it dries. It is popular for public notices and is sometimes used in spellbooks or other works that will be exposed to the elements.

Alchemy DC to Create: 10.

Halfling Thistle

Halfling thistle is aptly named. This little plant is a breed of miniature thistle with a violet flower. The thistle grows to a height of only 3 inches. Halfling thistle grows in all temperate environments, especially highland areas. Bunches of dried halfling thistle make a popular decoration in halfling homes, and many halflings are quite proud of this hardy plant.

Shinewater: The heads of halfling thistles are used to create shinewater, a rust remover and polisher. Metal objects left in a bath of shinewater overnight shed all rust and corrosion, and they look highly polished after being dried and rubbed lightly with a soft cloth. One dose of shinewater is sufficient to de-rust one Medium-size metal weapon or a similarly sized object, and each bath is good for only one use.

Alchemy DC to Create: 5.

Cave Star

Cave Star is a luminous yellow lichen that can be found in caves of all sizes and depths. The lichen glows with a warm yellow light and can be found clustered together on the roofs of caves. In its normal environment, a patch the size of a door sheds less light than a candle. Cave star can be found in any chill underground environment, as it cannot bear normal temperature ranges. Cave star is a welcome sight to travelers in the underground realms but is also a danger because many predators are attracted to the lichen's light and cluster around the plant.

Lantern Stars: Cave star does not shed sufficient light for good vision on its own. However, when placed in fist-sized glass globes and soaked with other reagents, the lichen sheds light equal to a torch for a time, after which it burns out. These lanterns, called lantern stars, last for 4 hours before burning out. They do not give off heat or smoke, and the light is constant and unwavering. The lanterns are often used in areas where the fire from torches might light pockets of gas or where flickering light is insufficient.

Alchemy DC to Create: 10.

Herbs Of War

Often used by adventurers, these herbs produce substances that have uses as weapons or provide some protection against specific dangers. Wealthy adventuring groups usually keep some of these substances around to help deal with unusual situations.

Ice Lotus

The ice lotus is an unusual breed of flower that blooms only in the extreme climates found at the top of arctic mountains. The flower is a translucent blue-white in color, and it is never found in the company of others of its kind. Rumors persist that the ice lotus grows only where the blood of a white dragon has fallen. The adventurer Osolor of Helderfeld claimed to have seen an ice lotus blossom from the blood of the slain white dragon Dreadfrost. The veracity of this rumor is uncertain, as Osolor was a notorious con artist and cheat.

Icewalker Oil: The ice lotus is the key ingredient in a powerful alchemical substance called icewalker oil. If properly treated with alchemical reagents, ice lotus petals yield a thin blue liquid that grants uncanny ability to walk and climb on ice. The effects of icewalker oil are identical to the spider climb spell, but the substance functions only on icy or snow-covered surfaces. The effects of icewalker last for 10 minutes.

Alchemy DC to Create: 35.

Pixie Table

Pixie table is a rare mushroom with a distinctive appearance. This giant mushroom is over a foot tall and fans out to a flat top about a foot wide. The mushroom's cap is a dark shade of lavender. Although it can potentially grow in nearly any woodland, pixie table is found most often in temperate forests inhabited by fey. Pixie table mushroom caps can be boiled with cloth to dye it lavender. Undamaged pixie tables can sometimes be found for sale in rural markets as ingredients for the high-quality dye.

Memorybind: Pixie table is a crucial ingredient in a red liquid called memorybind. The thin liquid is famous among wizards, clerics, and other spellcasters who must prepare their spells. Memorybind increases a spellcaster's mental prowess, allowing him to prepare an additional 1st-level spell on the morning he drinks the liquid. Memorybind disrupts the natural flow of magic, however, reducing the DC of all spells the user casts during that day by 2.

Alchemy DC to Create: 30.

Spotty Dragonfire

Spotty dragonfire is a vivid flower with bright yellow, red, and orange petals. The plant stands about a foot high, and the flower stretches to about 6 inches in diameter. The wildflower rarely attracts much attention, however, because it only blooms at night. It can be found in any tropical, subtropical, or temperate region. Spotty dragonfire is a solitary plant with one exception; it seems to thrive in large numbers around the lairs of red dragons. Many an alchemist has met his death collecting the plants that the red dragons regard as good fortune. The retrieval of a number of these flowers is often a final test for dwarven apprentice alchemists.

Dragon Brew: Spotty dragonfire is used in the making of dragon brew, a thick liquid that increases stamina and numbs pain. A dose of dragon brew grants the imbiber a +1 alchemical bonus to all Fortitude saves for hour.

Alchemy DC to Create: 25.

Stygian Pumpkin

The stygian pumpkin is a foul-looking black and gray squash. The plant most closely resembles the remains of a dead and decayed pumpkin. The stygian pumpkin emits a strong smell of sulfur, and its distinctive smell is enough to keep it well away from cultivated lands. The stinky plant is very difficult to find, although it can potentially grow in any temperate region. Stygian pumpkins are foul plants cultivated by goblins and their ilk as a source of food. The plants grow rapidly and take over large areas of ground, rendering the soil poisonous to other plants.

Devil's Soap: The insides of a stygian pumpkin are used to make a foul-smelling, black paste called devil's soap. Devil's soap is a favorite of blacksmiths and those who work with fire. One application of devil's soap provides fire resistance 2. The effects of devil's soap last for 1 hour.

Alchemy DC to Create: 20.

Mundane Alchemical Items
Alchemy ItemIngredientDCCostEffect
Burn salveMuck muddle1015 gp1d6 fire damage becomes subdual
Devil's soapStygian pumpkin2025 gpProvides fire resistance 2
Dragon brewSpotty dragonfire2515 gp+1 to Fortitude saves
Elf hazelElven willow105 gpRemoves scars
Frost lotionTyrant's sword1015 gp1d6 cold damage becomes subdual
Gash glueOld man's friend1540 gpStabilizes dying creature
Goblin inkGoblin rogue1020 gpWaterproof ink
Icewalker oilIce lotus3575 gpSpider climb on ice only
Journeyman's FriendWolfweed55 gp+2 on Constitution checks from forced march
Lantern starsCave star1010 gpSteady, heatless light
MemorybindPixie table30300 gpBonus 1st-level spell, -2 to spell DCs
MindfireWild fireclover30200 gp-2 Will save, Concentration to cast
Night venomOrticusp35500 gpAdd sleep effect to poison
OakdeathDwarven oak25100 gpPoison DC increases by 2
PurebalmCotsbalm25175 gp+8 vs. secondary poison
SensesPrickly tea2550 gp+1 to Spot and Listen checks
ShinewaterHalfling thistle510 gpPolishes metal easily
Titan gumDarkroot1525 gpPowerful glue
Vine oilSand vine1550 gpFunction below o hp
White sanguineMeadow giant20100 gpWounds continue to bleed
Wittlewort brewWittlewort1530 gpChance to break Enchantment effect

Animal Alchemy (Dragon #357)

Many huntsmen and falconers have discovered the value of combining alchemy with their traditional practices. The alchemical items here expand the options available to such trainers, but many also require that animals learn a particular trick in order to use such items properly.

Bird Bomb

Small, fragile orbs, these containers are crafted to be carried and dropped by flying birds. Two types of bird bombs are most commonly found:

Dust: Extracted from the pollen of certain flowers, this luminous maroon powder scatters easily and covers everything it contacts in a thin layer of cloying, glowing dust. Used as a grenadelike weapon by a bird flying overhead, when dropped the bomb shatters in a 5-foot-radius cloud of dust. Any creature in this area must make a DC 15 Reflex save or faintly glow for 1d4 minutes, during which time the creature does not benefit from the concealment normally provided by darkness, blur, displacement, or similar effects. A dust bird bomb requires a DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check to create.

Reek: A potent distillation of troglodyte musk and skunk oil, this viscous, amber liquid emits a nearly unbearable smell once exposed to the air, making it very useful for driving enemies away from cover. This glass container can be used as a grenadelike weapon by a bird flying overhead. When dropped, any creature vulnerable to nausea effects within a 10-foot radius of the point of impact must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or become nauseated for as long as it remains within this area, although it suffers no ill effects once it leaves. The smell persists for 1 minute, but is diffused if the area is exposed to strong winds. A reek bird bomb requires a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check to create.

Dog Smoke

When its tab is pulled, a canister of dog smoke releases a sulfurous cloud of choking smoke. You can throw the canister as a grenadelike weapon (with a range increment of 20 feet). Rather than dealing damage to what it hits, the container releases a 10-foot-radius cloud of choking yellow gas, which lasts for 1 minute. Any creature vulnerable to nausea effects (except dogs, wolves, or other canines) must make a DC 15 Fortitude save every round it remains in the cloud or become nauseated. The nausea lasts for as long as the creature remains within the cloud plus 1d4 rounds thereafter. A moderate wind (11+ mph), such as a gust of wind spell, disperses the smoke in 4 rounds. A strong wind (21+ mph) disperses the smoke in 1 round. Dog smoke requires a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check to create.

Hound Snuff

A single pinch of this fine gray powder, if inhaled by a canine, causes it to sneeze uncontrollably for 1 round during which it is helpless unless it makes a DC s~ Fortitude save. Once the canine finishes sneezing, however, its sense of smell grows more acute for 1 hour, granting it a +4 bonus on any checks involving the use of its scent ability during this time. Hound snuff requires a DC 15 Craft (alchemy) check to create.

Mad Foam

If chewed and swallowed by a canine, these specially treated biscuits interfere with its salivary glands, causing it to produce great quantities of white foam for the next 2d6 minutes. This seeming ferocity grants the canine and any obvious master a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks for the duration of the biscuit's effects. Mad foam requires a DC 15 Craft (alchemy) check to create.

Nose Numb

This cloying yellow paste, if daubed directly on the nose of a creature with scent removes its ability to smell for 1d4 hours (DC 15 Fortitude save negates). While this makes it unable to employ its scent ability - or any abilities or bonuses that stem from it, such as tracking - it also renders the creature immune to all scent-based attacks, like a troglodyte's stench. A creature must be willing to have nose numb applied to it, otherwise, a user can attempt to smear it on an unwilling creature by making a melee touch attack that provokes attacks of opportunity. Nose numb requires a DC 15 Craft (alchemy) check to create.

Silent Bells

Bathed in exotic solutions, these tiny round bells chime on a frequency beyond that which most humanoids can hear, but which canines can hear perfectly well. If strung to a door, footpath, or similar location, they automatically alert any canine within 120 feet when someone trips them without alerting the trespasser. Silent bells require a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check to create.

Bird bomb (dust)25 gp1/2 lb.
Bird bomb (reek)40 gp1/2 lb.
Dog smoke75 gp2 lb.
Hound snuff (10 pinches)90 gp1 lb.
Mad foam25 gp1/4 lb.
Silent bells (set of six)50 gp1 lb.

Psionic Alchemy (Dragon #358)

Psionics are rare on Faerûn and largely unknown except in areas where psionic monsters live. Such areas include the South, where the yuan-ti have influence (particularly the city of Hlondeth on the Vilhon Reach) and the Underdark (thanks to the influence of the mind flayers). Waterdeep undoubtedly holds a few characters with psionic abilities, as do large urban areas such as Amn and Calimshan. These alchemical items will most likely be found in those areas.

Aura Gel

To activate this clear, viscous gel, you must first tear away the vial's thin lead covering and expose it to a psionic aura. When within 60 feet of active psionic powers or psi-like abilities, the gel emits a colorful glow, with the color based on the strongest aura within range (lesser auras are ignored). The glow increases or fades as it moves closer to nor farther from a psionic aura, regardless of the strength of the strongest aura. After 1 minute of exposure to psionic energy, the gel turns to dust. Aura gel reacts only to psionic energy; it does not react in the presence of magic.


Cerebral Serum

Few concoctions boast as vile and acrid a taste as cerebral serum. The serum, black as tar and lumpy as oatmeal, helps inoculate the imbiber against psionic mental attacks and effects. If you drink the serum, you gain a +2 alchemical bonus on Will saves against mind-affecting psionic powers and psi-like abilities for 1 hour.

Ectoplasmic Skin

A sealed flask of ectoplasmic skin contains a syrupy, silvery liquid. Once you remove the seal, the liquid begins to crystallize and evaporates within 1 minute. At any time before then, you may apply the liquid to your skin as a full-round action. The ectoplasm forms a translucent second skin over your body, providing you with damage reduction 2/magic for up to 1 minute. You cannot wear a psychic skin in conjunction with ectoplasmic skin.

Intuition Vapor

When you uncork this vial, a cloud of pale yellow vapors billows forth and fills the air with the scent of cinnamon. It contains enough vapors to fill four 1-foot squares. Only creatures with psionic powers or psi-like powers occupying the affected squares gain the vapor's benefits. Each affected creature receives a +4 alchemical bonus on Concentration, Listen, and Search checks for the next 10 minutes. As a side effect, the vapor slows the reactions of affected creatures for its duration. During that time, each affected creature takes a -2 penalty on Spot and initiative checks. A psionic creature may make a DC 12 Fortitude save to resist the effects (both positive and negative) of the vapors.

Liquid Stone

A flask of this substance holds a thick gray liquid with the consistency of watery mud. Even when exposed to air, liquid stone retains its wet consistency for up to 8 hours before turning to powder. When you expend your psionic focus while holding a flask of liquid stone, it slowly hardens into stone over 1 minute, during which time you may sculpt the mud however you choose. Once it dries, liquid stone retains the same properties as normal rock with a hardness of 8 and 15 hit points. It (or anything sealed by it) has a burst DC of 30. A flask of liquid stone covers an area 1-foot-square with 1 inch of stone.

Mimic Clay

This substance possesses a dull gray color and the consistency of natural clay. To activate mimic clay, you must touch it and expend your psionic focus. The clay takes on a translucent color and its consistency softens. When you visualize a hand-sized tool or object, the clay changes shape, texture, and color to duplicate the visualized item within 1 round. The clay retains the same mass and weight regardless of its transformation, so you must use an amount of clay equal to the weight of the object you wish to duplicate. The clay has the potential to mimic any mundane object of Tiny or smaller size, although it cannot duplicate items with multiple parts or complex, moving pieces. If you wish to duplicate a precise item such as a key, you must make a DC 15 Craft check of the appropriate type (such as locksmithing). A successful DC 20 Appraise check reveals an item created using mimic clay as a facsimile. The clay crumbles to dust 1 hour after activation.

Psi Block

A small clay pot holds one application of psi block. The substance resembles a glossy, thin paste sticky to the touch. To use psi block, you must apply a thin, even coat of the paste over an object or creature. One pot contains enough psi block to coat a Medium creature or object. Psi block acts like a thin sheet of lead. It prevents psionic powers and psi-like abilities such as detect hostile intent or detect psionics from noticing the creature or object. Psi block only blocks psionic detection powers and psi-like abilities. The paste hardens and flakes off the subject 1 hour after application. Before that time you may remove the paste with alcohol or a similar solvent. This requires 1 minute.

Psionic Ichor

In its natural state, psionic ichor resembles green slime. In the presence of a psionic aura, the slime boils and bubbles, although it remains at room temperature. You can throw a flask of psionic ichor as a grenade-like weapon, although it only affects creatures with a direct hit. Treat this as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A direct hit with the ichor only affects creatures with psionic powers. A psionic creature doused by the substance must expend 1 additional power point for each psionic power he manifests. The effect of psionic ichor lasts for 1 hour. A target may use a full-round action to wipe the ichor from his body. Multiple applications on the same target have no additional effect.

Rejuvenation Essence

When consumed, this fine, bluish-white powder grants you exceptional rest. You rejuvenate power points after as little as 4 hours of rest instead of the usual 8 hours. In addition, you may ignore a single interruption during your rest cycle, thus avoiding adding another hour to your total sleep requirement.

Xeph's Blood

This blood-colored liquid contains the essence of a xeph's speed burst. When you drink xeph's blood while holding psychic focus, you gain a momentary burst of speed. The mixture grants you an alchemical bonus of 10 feet to your base speed. The effect lasts for 3 rounds. If you consume more than one dose of xeph's blood per day, you become fatigued with the second dose. If you consume a third dose in a day, you immediately become exhausted and gain no benefits from the xeph's blood.

Psionic Alchemical Substances
GoodsCostWeightCraft DC
Aura gel (flask)25 gp-20
Cerebral serum (vial)150 gp-30
Ectoplasmic skin (flask)75 gp 1 lb.25
Intuition vapor (vial)75 gp-30
Liquid stone (flask)25 gp 1 lb.15
Mimic clay30 gp 1 lb.25
Psi block25 gp 1 lb.20
Psionic ichor (flask)60 gp 1 lb.30
Rejuvenation essence (vial)30 gp-20
Xeph's blood (vial)40 gp-30

For the Dungeoneer (Dungeonscape

Experienced dungeoneers know the value of alchemy. Nonmagical solutions to common dungeon problems remain effective in anti-magic areas, and they cannot be detected or dispelled by enemy spell-casters. While few adventurers would eschew magic entirely, a good selection of alchemically derived tools can work wonders.

Acid Neutralizer

Acid neutralizer reduces the strength of nonmagical acid, such as the type found in a variety of common dungeon traps.

Description: Acid neutralizer is a slippery white substance similar in appearance to soap. It is made and sold in fist-sized lumps wrapped in brown waxed paper. When dropped in acid, the neutralizer foams and fizzes, turbulently churning the acid for 5 seconds. Neutralized acid takes on the appearance of weakly colored water, retaining only a slight tint and no odor whatsoever.

Activation: To use a lump of acid neutralizer, just drop it into a vessel containing acid (a free action). Unwrapping the lump is not necessary, because any acid strong enough to warrant neutralization will eat through the paper wrapping easily. Neutralization requires a full round, and the acid will remain at full strength until the start of your next turn.

If you are immersed in acid while carrying lumps of acid neutralizer, they immediately activate unless stored in a stronger container, such as a metal tin. Being splashed with acid might activate the neutralizer if you keep it exposed, rather than stored in a jar.

Effect: If you drop one lump of acid neutralizer into a container holding up to 10 cubic feet of nonmagical acid, the acid is permanently weakened such that contact with the acid deals no damage. Complete immersion in neutralized acid deals only 5d6 points of damage per round (instead of the usual 10d6 points). Acid that has been neutralized in this manner no longer gives off toxic fumes. Larger volumes of acid require additional doses; two lumps are needed to neutralize a 20-cubic-foot vat of acid.

Neutralizer is far less effective against magic acids, which regain their full acidity after 3d6 rounds.

If you wear a lump of acid neutralizer in a necklace or carry it otherwise exposed on your body, the lump prevents continuing damage from acid attacks for 1 minute after initial exposure. It has no effect against the initial damage dealt by an acid attack.

Construction: DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check, 17 gp.

Weight: 1 lb. Price: 50 gp.

Firmament Stone

This violet crystal gem has been treated with an alchemical substance that reacts to the position of either the sun or the moon. Even while indoors or below ground, you know the time of day (or night).

Description: Firmament stones are violet iolite gems that have a clear crystalline appearance. While the heavenly body to which the stone is attuned is in the sky, a small yellow light glows within the stone, crossing from one side (when the body first appears in the sky) to the other (when the body sets). By examining the position of the glow, you can approximate the time of day or night.

Activation: Once created, firmament stones always active. They need only be observed by someone who understands their significance.

Effect: Each stone is attuned to either the sun or the moon, glowing when the associated heavenly body is in the sky, and remaining dark otherwise. The stones are most useful to divine spellcasters who must prepare spells at a specific time of day. Firmament stones attuned to the moon also show the phase of the moon by altering the shape of the glow that travels through the stone each night.

Construction: DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check, 20 gp, one 50-gp iolite gemstone.

Weight: 1/2 lb. Price: 110 gp.

Ghostwall Shellac

It can be difficult to ward off creatures that have the ability to float through dungeon walls. A quick coat of ghostwall shellac will keep pesky spirits from drifting in and out of your campsite all night.

Description: Concentrated ghostwall shellac is a thick green sludge that is always warm to the touch. It is usually stored in metal vials and mixed with water when needed. Prepared shellac is lime green and runny, and it smells like dead flesh.

Activation: Ghostwall shellac must be mixed with 1 gallon of water to become active. The mixture is then spread over any nonliving surface, most commonly the walls of a room. Coating a 10-foot square with prepared shellac takes 1 minute, and 1 gallon of the green liquid covers 10 such squares. Whether it is applied to a surface or left in a container, the shellac dries and hardens 1 hour after being mixed with water.

Effect: When ghostwall shellac dries, it changes the composition of the surface upon which it has been spread. Incorporeal creatures can no longer pass through a coated wall any more than normal creatures can. The shellac also causes the wall to simultaneously exist on the Ethereal Plane for a limited time, so creatures on that plane cannot see through or pass through the space it occupies. When applying ghostwall shellac to the walls of a room, remember to coat the floor and ceiling as well, lest unwanted spirits merely enter through those surfaces instead.

Ghostwall shellac lasts for 4d6 hours once applied.

Construction: DC 30 Craft (alchemy) check, 50 gp.

Weight: 1 lb. Price: 150 gp.

Lava Stones

Lava stones cool small areas of molten rock, allowing you to create a series of temporary steps across a body of magma.

Description: A lava stone is a tiny pebble that is cool to the touch. When dropped in lava, the pebble sinks quickly, cooling the lava as it descends. The result is a 2-foot-diameter column of hardened black stone that crests just above the surface of the lava.

Activation: Lava stones activate only when completely immersed in lava. As a move action, you can drop one lava stone into a square adjacent to you. The hardened platform, commonly referred to as a lava step, forms immediately, and you can step onto it with a second move action during the same turn.

You can also create a lava step at a distance by throwing the stone as an attack action. Use the rules for throwing splash weapons.

Once formed, a lava step lasts for 3d8 minutes before the surrounding heat turns it back into molten rock. One round before the step melts, it glows orange and deals 1d6 points of fire damage to anyone standing on it. In the following round, the step melts, dumping anyone still standing on it into fiery lava.

Effect: You can safely move into an adjacent square containing a lava step as a move action. You can also move at half your normal speed across a path of lava steps that have already been sown within 5 feet of one another. To do so, you must make a successful DC 10 Balance check as you move onto each step. If you fail a check by 4 or less, you nearly lose your balance and cannot continue moving forward this turn. If you fail a check by 5 or more, you fall into the lava.

Only Medium or smaller creatures can stand on a lava step.

Construction: DC 20 Craft (alchemy) check, 16 gp.

Variants: A greater lava stone is the size of a potato and forms a step that has a diameter of 6 feet. Large creatures can walk across a trail of greater lava steps with a series of successful DC 10 Balance checks. For Medium or smaller creatures, the DC of each check drops to 5.

Weight: - (standard) or 1 lb. (greater).

Price: 24 gp (standard) or 114 gp (greater).


Many locks rely on friction to keep their mechanical parts in place. A few squirts of lockslick will loosen those parts, making them easier to open with thieves' tools.

Description: Lockslick is a slippery brown substance that resembles ordinary grease in appearance and texture. It is stored in a small tin can with a long, tapered spout. Unlike grease, however, it does not easily rub off a surface to which it is applied, making it ideal for oiling locks without getting your hands or equipment messy. Further, lock-slick is not flammable, which accounts for its popularity among adventuring thieves who might face flame-spewing monsters or traps.

Activation: To apply lockslick to a lock, insert the spout of the can into the keyhole or other crevice, and squirt (a standard action). Lockslick can also help you disarm mechanical traps or devices. If the mechanism has metal parts and you can touch them with the spout of the container, you can apply lockslick to the parts. A can of lockslick holds 10 doses. Effect: When lockslick is applied to a lock, the substance provides a +2 alchemical bonus on an associated Open Lock check. When applied to a trap or mechanism, lockslick provides a +2 alchemical bonus on a Disable Device check to disarm it. The effect lasts on the lock or trap until it is thoroughly scrubbed clean (a full-round action).

Construction: DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check, 60 gp.

Weight: 1/2 lb.

Price: 180 gp.


Discovered by gnome alchemists as a safe alternative to flaming weapons, trollbane interferes with the natural ability of certain creatures to regenerate their flesh. Dubbed trollbane because it is frequently used against those particular monsters, this poison is effective against any creature that rapidly heals its wounds.

Description: Trollbane is a sticky blue substance that resembles tar. It is usually stored in metal jars.

Activation: Trollbane functions as injury poison (DMG 296) and can be applied directly to weapons prior to combat. A successful hit with a slashing or piercing weapon that has been coated in trollbane will expose the target to the poison. Trollbane has no effect unless used in conjunction with a forceful blow from a weapon, so adventurers can carry it with little risk of exposure.

Effect: Any creature struck by a weapon that has been coated in trollbane loses the benefit of its regeneration ability (if any) against that attack. A dose of trollbane applies only to the next successful attack with the coated weapon. Additional attacks do not interfere with the target's regeneration ability (unless more trollbane is applied to the weapon).

Construction: DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check, 30 gp.

Weight: -.

Price: 90 gp.

Alchemical Substances for the Dungeoneer
Acid neutralizer50 gp1 lb.
Bottled air50 gp-
Firmament stoneno gp1/2 lb.
Ghostwall shellac, bottle150 gp1 lb.
Lava stone24 gp-
      Greater144 gp1 lb.
Lockslick, can180 gp1/2 lb.
Trollbane, vial90 gp-

Alchemical Charms

Magic in the Realms