Herbs, Alchemy & Healing

Discussion in 'Crafting & Gathering' started by Bowen Bloodgood, Apr 2, 2013.

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  1. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Ok wall of text alert. I did put a post under the wish list but as I thought more on the subject I'd really like to get a good discussion going with more specifics. So I'll TRY to be as concise as possible.

    First off herbs. In this case I'm drawing inspiration from content I found from the RoleMaster system. Here, herbs had a multitude of uses as buffs, poisons and healing properties. They also had addictions and side effects.

    Buffs that could be appropriate for SotA..
    Improved vision (useful in archery for sniping)
    Night vision
    Performance enchancements

    Poisons: basically the opposites of the buffs. I'd like to hear some other ideas from folks apart from the typical health or mana drain.

    Healing is pretty straight forward involving specific cures for poisons, improved healing rate and the like.

    Herbs had 3 or 4 different methods of preparation which could utilize different skills and different applications.

    Some herbs had to be ground (cooking?), others needed to be brewed (alchemy obviously).. perhaps a 3rd option would be to create a salve.

    Application options.. ingestion of course.. either eaten or imbibed, inhaled or direct application (requiring bandages to hold in place).

    Addiction & side effects. First the term 'addiction' need not be used but it would be simulated through side effects. Each herb would have a % chance that side effects would occur for a period of time until the withdrawl symptoms wore off which could be different for each herb.

    Side effects could include such things as blurred vision or impared hearing.. perhaps something like getting drunk in Fable II. :) Perhaps a darkening of vision.. mana drain or stagnation, fatigue, etc.

    3 ways to cure "withdrawl" if it occurs.

    1: Retake the herb.
    2: Apply a cure, either an herb, potion or spell that cures the addiction entirely.
    3: Wait for the withdrawl to run its course.

    I'm a big fan of Elder Scrolls and like the concept behind their alchemy system where herbs and animal parts can be combined to produce potions of varying effects. To that end I'll also comment that some animal parts could possibly be harvest and utilized in the same manner as described for herbs. ie jackalope antlers could be ground to a powder or brewed etc with certain properties.

    Obviously I'm not looking to simply copy the ES alchemy skill but being able to research and experiment with many ingredients to produce potions with varying and multiple effects is an idea that really appeals to me.

    I'd like to see something a little richer in recipie design. Where potency is a matter of ingredients as much as it is skill. I think could also help alchemist specialize if they want.. particularly if they discover a useful recipie that they want to keep to themselves.

    Others might want to write books on alchemy, herbs and properties they discover etc.

    A non-magical healing skill could make heavy use of herbs. I know a healing system that is exclusively magical feels pretty cheap and shallow to me and that's not what I want and I'm sure that's not what RG wants. I want something that feels rich and details and has value.

    I also feel that magically based healers can be more effective if they suppliment their healing spells with standard healing, potions from alchemy and use of herbs. (Even healers run out of mana).
     
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  2. Mugly Wumple

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    Along the addiction side, frequent use of the same herb would result in increased dosage requirement.

    I'm sure that most players would come to hate it, but I'd like to see diseases, that are cured by various concoctions.
     
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  3. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Oh that's right there were players mentioning disease and the like. I wouldn't mind seeing that either provided there weren't too frequent.

    I'm not really sure about larger doses to maintain effectiveness. It's realistic but I think it'd need to be capped or it would essentially force you to seek a cure or suffer extended withdrawl before you could use the herb again.. though that in itself might not be a bad idea depending on how potent the herb is. It would act kinda like a forced cool-down. You abused the herb now you need to wait awhile to take advantage of it again.
     
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  4. Darkblade

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    Dyes could also be assigned to this category.
    Natural dyes obtained through nature, ie berries and such, would be assigned to Herbalism.
    Chemical dyes would be assigned to Alchemy.
     
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  5. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Indeed dyes! (I'm still kicking myself for not thinking about it).. what else that we're missing here is paints!

    RG had mentioned painting and the further thought occurs to me that maybe you could paint a house.. or just the walls, frames etc.. crafting paints can easily fall into alchemy and I'd be awesome to see alchemy be more than just a way to create potions.

    Really you should be able to paint wooden craftables as well to a limited degree. Though that might scare the modellers a bit since they would have to make sure those craftable items had all the proper texture assignments to allow items to take multiple colors. It's not hard or complex it's just a little extra time per object.
     
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  6. Bowen Bloodgood

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    And wood stains! Same thing as paints mechanically speaking except more transparent.
     
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  7. Ristra

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    One system I am a fan of even though I can't think of any game that uses it is intermixology, in modern games.

    Intermixology: consumption of multiple herbal/alchemical ingredients that end with unintended beneficial or adverse effects.

    Take a potion of haste and then take a potion of resistance, does it cause some internal conflicts?
     
  8. Bowen Bloodgood

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    That's a whole new level of complexity I never considered. Not sure how the devs feel about the 'bang for buck' but it could be pretty cool.

    There's a couple ways I think to impliment something like that. If there's and addiction/side effect on ingredients then I think alchemy would eliminate negative side effects but it would still track them in the potion. Then when you mix potions the negatives could overwhelm the positives and suddenly it because a kind of poison where you get hit with all the side effects instead of the positives.

    I would probably also have an internal table to cross reference what you get by mixing positive ingredients. If I can reference DnD a bit as an example.. if you mix heal with cure then maybe that'll give you a restoration potion which is more powerful than both.. or it could simply blow up in your face and make you smell bad for a few hours. You could also stumble on something completely new.

    There's a lot of room for experimentation and discovery where you can come up with your own recipies that are semi-unique to you.
     
  9. Hawk

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    And Kegs. Kegs to store a certain Amount of Potions, without spamming the inventory/housing lockboxes with 100 flasks of lesser healing potions? Or watering down stronger Potions with, well, water, to get a greater amount of weaker potions... Or mixing it with other potions directly, to create a keg of something new, with the chance if done wrong, it becomes poisonous...Identifying what you mixed with your alchemy/herbalism skill.
     
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  10. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Ooooo I hadn't considered kegs.. awesome. Like the thought process you have going there. Kegs should be able to hold large amounts of any consumable liquid. A natural extention of this would be refillable small containers like those potion bottles and oohhh.. water skins and tankards..

    I wouldn't expect mixing directly from kegs as a level of depth in game 1 but it's a very interesting idea. You should be able to hold concentrated liquids for mixing at a work station perhaps? I could see that. Unless.. when filling from a keg you get a meter telling you how full your receiving contain is so you can manually stop the flow from the keg? Hmmmm..
     
  11. Goose

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    @M-P I don't mean to be rude after all that work but.... seriously what the hell?

    Heroism, conquest, building, community, PvP...

    or nautical parasites.

    I have a feeling your bringing your work home. Props for being an SME but I don't think it translates to important KF stage one game code.

    Not that it has to! Good read.
     
  12. rild

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    Very interesting MP - I think with a good editor these kinds of ideas could integrate rather well into the world. Better duck, Goose - big ball of minutia headed your way! :)

    Another non-potion use for alchemy & herbalism would be its use in metalwork. Of course they might want to handle this through magic or other means, but here's some thoughts. Three of the most important developments were the manufacture of vitriol (sulfuric acid), aqua fortis (nitric acid) and aqua regia (nitro-hydrochloric acid)

    While there are many uses for these compounds, I was specifically thinking of their use in engravings. Aqua fortis dissolves most metals and is used in the purification of silver, as it will dissolve it. Aqua regia will dissolve the noble metals (gold and platinum) and can therefore be used for etching or separation.

    Sulfuric acid can be created in several ways, but the early simple method is to burn pyrite (fool's gold) in the open air, creating iron II sulfate. After three heatings the ingredients have decomposed/reformed to create rust and sulfur trioxide. Add water to the latter and get sulfuric acid! So basic recipe: pyrite + fire + time + water = Vitriol. It is also found naturally occurring in underground streams (acid streams in the underworld? yes!). Sulfuric acid is also used in making paper!

    By adding saltpeter to sulfuric acid and distilling, one can make Aqua Fortis. This is used to make marble patterns on leather and tortoise-shell on wood, or for dyeing ivory and bone and wood. It is used to separate diamonds from metal & for etching on silver, copper & brass.

    Adding salt of ammonia to this creates Aqua Regia.

    By simplifying some of these details, these reagents and alchemical products could be used to add more color to the crafting system. These acids could be used further by metalworkers, woodworkers, bookmakers & leatherworkers, and also for things like destroying a metal lock or chains. May be too much, but thought I'd share.

    I'm also really into the use of reagents for the creation of dyes. Tyrian purple, or Royal Purple, was made from whelks. In the ancient world this color was very difficult to produce, hence its use in distinguishing the nobility. A lil Book of Kells style ink making would be cool too!
     
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  13. rild

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    Also, I agree with Montesquieu Paine about timing and multiple preparations. Having more involved processes for creation of certain compounds would increase their rarity and thereby their value. And the potential for exploding your face off if you don't follow directions could be fun (in the not fun sense) as well.
     
  14. rild

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    Al-Razi provides us with a list of alchemical implements in Secretum Secretorum

    Tools for melting substances (li-tadhw?b): hearth (k?r), bellows (minf?kh aw ziqq), crucible (bawtaqa), the b?t bar b?t (in Arabic) or botus barbatus (in Latin), ladle (mighrafa aw mil?aqa), tongs (m?sik aw kalbat?n), scissors (miq?a?), hammer (mukassir), file (mibrad)

    Tools for the preparation of drugs (li-tadb?r al-?aq?q?r): cucurbit and still with evacuation tube (qar? aw anb?q dh?-khatm), receiving matras (q?bila), blind still (without evacuation tube) (al-anb?q al-a?m?), aludel (al-uth?l), goblets (qada?), flasks (q?r?ra, plural quw?r?r), rosewater flasks (m?? wariyya), cauldron (marjal aw tanj?r), earthenware pots varnished on the inside with their lids (qud?r wa makabb?t), water bath or sand bath (qadr), oven (al-tann?r in Arabic, athanor in Latin), small cylindirical oven for heating aludel (mustawqid), funnels, sieves, filters, etc. Marble or agate mortal and pestal.

    Some illustrations from Geber (Jabir): https://d2sx9mrt4zumaq.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/geber-illustrations.png

    Zosimos apparatus (early still): https://d2sx9mrt4zumaq.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Zosimosapparat.jpg
     
  15. Hawk

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    It could take some time for some potions to take effect properly on the body, or to cease. HoT potions as an example. They start ticking with +1 getting stronger with each tick to an absolute max, of let's say +10 for a certain period of time ceasing back down to +1 before the effect ends. The goal of getting better with this skill could be to shorten the amount of time taken until the potion reaches its max potence, or ticking on it for a longer amount of time.
    Or it could depend on finding the necessary extra reagents to increase the effect of a potion...
    This also could apply to negative secondary effect of a potion, keeping up the positive effect but lessening the negative effect...
     
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