This page covers various rules for ritual alchemy, see Magic in the World for an explanation of how it meshes with society. In particular, it lists the skills required and recommended for ritual alchemists, and the process of using a transmutation circle or array.
-Alchemic Ability (5pts for level 0, +10 pts per additional level)
Actually an advantage, replaces Magery. Alchemic Ability is the innate natural talent an alchemist possesses which allows him to perform transmutations. Add your level of Alchemic Ability to any rolls made to use or construct a transmutation circle. A character must have at least Alchemic Ability 0 to be able to use transmutation circles.
-Symbol Drawing(specialised) (IQ/Hard) (defaults to Alchemical Theory(same) – 4)
Symbol Drawing represents how adept one is at laying out the runes in a transmutation circle/array. It is necessary if an alchemist is drawing his own transmutation circles and may have other applications. You must specialise in one of the specialisations listed in the magic section of the rules on this wiki.
-Alchemical Theory(transmutation) (IQ/Very Hard)
Replaces alchemy and thaumatology. The theory of alchemy and its application, this skill is essential to alchemists. It is the measure of how well versed they are in alchemical knowledge and limits the transmutations that an alchemist can perform. The transmutation specialisation is imperative, as it deals with the actual manipulation of matter and energy.
-Alchemical Theory(other) (IQ/Very Hard) (defaults to Alchemical Theory(transmutation) – 6)
As above, however, ‘other’ specialisations cover different areas of study as listed in Branches of Alchemical Study. A good alchemist is versed in a wide variety of different branches of study, and is particularly adept in maybe one or two.
-Technique(specific spell) (defaults to skill roll/Hard or Average)
It is possible to be particularly adept in one effect in particular within a certain transmutation, such as sharpening weapons for “shape metal”. to represent this, certain specific effects may be bought as techniques, subject to the GM’s discretion.
Drawing a Transmutation Diagram
Anyone can learn how to draw a transmutation circle, but there is a method. Randomly jotting down symbols in a circle will have no effect, outside of maybe pissing off the person who’s floor you just vandalised.
To draw a transmutation circle, specify which transmutation effect you are inscribing in the circle (see Branches of Alchemical Study) and then roll against the lowest relevant symbol drawing skill + your levels of Magery, with a penalty of -1 for each symbol set over the second that is being used. Equipment modifiers also apply. On a failure by less than 5, your circle will work but has a quirk. Crit success gives +1 to all transmutations with the circle, crit failure is at the GM’s discretion (normally something fun, and not beneficial).
Drawing a transmutation circle takes an amount of uninterrupted minutes equal to 1+2^n, where n is the number of branches of study required to draw the circle. This assumes you are taking a care to not scuff your lines, and are putting the appropriate symbols in the more or less correct location. To make sure each symbol is exactly correct and in the right spot etc. you may take extra time as detailed in campaigns p346. However, such work is tedious over long periods of time. If you take extra time make a WP roll, with a penalty of -1 for each full 30 minutes you would spend drawing. On a failure you only get half the bonus rounded down. Crit success halves the required time, and crit fails mean you somehow mess up the circle and have to start again.
Using a Transmutation Circle
All men are not equal. As such, not everyone can use a transmutation circle. Someone who wishes to use alchemy must have Magery (any level) or else they simply can’t find the connection to activate and interact with a circle.
Using a transmutation circle normally requires two concentration maneuvers: one to sense the elements of transmutation (occasionally more for large spells), and another to execute the transmutation. A successful roll against the lowest skill specialisation used is also required.
For example, transmuting a patch of solid earth into sticky mud requires both water and earth alchemy; if a character had transmutation at 14, earth alchemy at 12 and water alchemy at 14, he/she would roll against skill 12 after concentrating for 2 rounds. On a success, the spell casts normally, on a failure nothing happens. Crit fails and successes vary from transmutation to transmutation, but tend to be spectacular.
Modifiers apply to the skill roll and are determined by the difficulty of the transmutation, the scope of the transmutation, and the quality of the circle (if relevant). If a transmutation is very large or complex, there will also be an energy cost incurred as the alchemist is drained of enough energy to complete the transmutation.