This page covers various rules for combat alchemy, see Magic in the World for an explanation of how it meshes with society. In particular, it lists the skills and items required for combat alchemists, and the process of making and using the items.
-Innate Attack (Beam or Projectile) (DX/Easy)
This skill is the equivalent of a weapon skill when you are using attacks such as explosive fireball, which transmutes oxygen in an area to a volatile density and forms a pathway along which a spark can travel to ignite the area.
Brawling is used for touch attacks. Anything from transmuting your glove to rock and punching a foe or grabbing and igniting someone’s clothing benefits from this skill. Boxing and/or wrestling etc. may also suffice
-Melee/Ranged Weapons (DX/Varies)
Follows the same logic as brawl. If you exploit alchemy by enhancing weapons, make sure you’re skilled with said weapons.
-Armoury(gear type) (IQ/Average)
Armoury is the art of maintaining equipment. In conjunction with symbol building, this makes sure that your combat alchemy gear is never out of commission for long, if at all.
Using Combat Alchemy
A big part of combat alchemy is having access to predrawn circles. The most iconic method of taking advantage of these is through the use of combat gear; armour, and sometimes weapons, inscribed with specific transmutation circles which can be activated at a moments notice to manipulate matter around the alchemist to his advantage. As a rule, gear is always custom made to fit a particular alchemist’s needs. The individuality of each piece, coupled with the limited range of transmutations that a circle can perform, leads most combat alchemists to have “signature moves” based on how they take advantage of their abilities.
Transmuting at instant speed in fast paced combat is taxing, mentally and physically. In addition to the normal energy cost of transmutations, each transmutation attempted after the first within (5 – Magery) seconds (to a minimum of 1 second) costs a number of FP equal to the number of branches of study required to use the transmutation, cumulatively.
-Alchemical Combat Gear
Enscribed gear is widely varied and always custom built. As such, it must be taken as signature gear. To determine the cost, use the rules from Low-tech p14 and p38. A general guide line:
- Rugged to make the gear combat capable. p14
- Good quality or better; signature gear must be finely made. p14/campaigns-p345
- Extensive embroidery, relief, or etchings for the transmutation circle. p38
- Look at armour and/or weapons to find the base cost for your goods, and chat with the GM about it.
Making combat gear requires a certain level of competence, and the creator must have a minimum level of Symbol Drawing and Alchemical Theory relative to the quality of the gear they are making. The specifics for activating gear in combat varies, but generally involves a concentration maneuver and a successful skill role against the relevant transmutation. Remember that good and fine quality equipment give bonuses to this roll!
Although not as popular as combat gear, some alchemists have transmutation circles literally tattooed on to their bodies. Typically, this is on the palms of their hands. Tattoos are not as precise as other circles, and apply a negative to skill (which can be cancelled with relevant quality of workmanship). The tattooed body part must also be bare for the circles to be used, which means no armour on that location. On the upside, nothing can deny you access to your transmutation tattoos short of having the corresponding body part cut off.
Readying a scroll typically takes 2 ready maneuvers, one to draw it, and another to unroll it. This assumes the scroll is in an easily accessible pocket or holster, and drawing a scroll from a backpack for example may take additional ready maneuvers. Holding a scroll open takes two hands, and once readied the transmutation is cast using the regular rules for using a transmutation circle.