© 1994 by Scott Gray and Sharon Tripp. These pages may not be reproduced for profit. They may be copied, provided they are not altered and the authors' names remain attached.Previous section | Next section | Contents
The GM should select components which have total "rarity values" equal to or greater than the rarity rating of the formula. One of the components should have a rarity rating equal to at least half the rarity rating of the formula (rounded up).
Rarity: 0 Components which are considered free and easy to find, or just so inexpensive as to be negligible. 1 Components purchasable through logistics at low cost (under 10 farthings). 2 Components which are uncommon, and for which only a chance exists of finding them through logistics, and then at high cost (10 farthings or more). 3 Rare components which must be found ingame. 4 Very rare components which must be found ingame. 5 Components which are only rumored to exist, and which might only be found in fairy tales (depending upon what the GM decides to include in the campaign), are referred to as mythical components.
Sometimes there is a requirement of certain things (cauldrons, ovens, alchemical or medical tools, marble statues, etc.) which are not expended as part of a formula or ritual. Components which are reusable are referred to as tools. A tool only counts for half its actual rarity value (rounded up) when adding up the rarity of components needed for a ritual.
Example: A diamond might be ranked as rarity 4. It will always be rarity 4 throughout the campaign, which means that it is not obtainable through logistics, but must be gotten ingame through one means or another. If a ritual calls for "a diamond, to be pounded to a fine dust" then the diamond is being used as a component (it is used up in the ritual). Therefore, it would have a rarity value of 4. However, if the diamond was to be used to "focus the light of the full moon upon the item being enchanted" then it is being used as a tool. The original item remains intact, and so, unless the ritual expressly states otherwise, may be used to perform the ritual again in the future. Since the mage would not have to obtain a new diamond each time the ritual is cast, it only counts for the half its rarity value as a component. The diamond, used as a tool, would only count as a rarity of 2 for the purposes of the ritual (although would still be every bit as difficult to obtain as a rarity 4).
Remember that animal, mineral and vegetable "components" -- i.e., those things with component tags -- are not the only things with use as components. Normal items, such as an iron dagger, or slightly more exotic ones, such as a dagger used in the murder of a holy person, might be major or minor components or tools.
Rarity: The number represents availability in Uruk.
Uses: The mundane uses are listed for most components. The most widely attributed magical properties are listed for some, but it is hardly meant to be an exhaustive (or even thoroughly accurate) list.
Animal components vary greatly in terms of expiration; if an animal is kept alive and cared for, it might last years. Animal parts tend to spoil fairly quickly.
Name Rarity Uses Ants' eggs 3 Basilisk, new hatched 5 Bat's wing Black widow spider Brown Recluse Spider Butterfly (Monarch), in cocoon Carp Cat's eye Chicken Cock, with feathers black as midnight Crocodile Crow that flew freely Dolphin, pure white Elephant's ivory tusk Entrails from a bird of prey Female canine, pregnant, living and full health Frog's tongue Human, willing, under no threat or unnatural compulsion Blood of a pure and innocent human (GM's discretion) Fingernail clippings Strand of hair Jackal's tooth Leeches Maggots that fed off of a man dead of leprosy Man o' war (Jellyfish) Medusa (Jellyfish) Newt's eye Owl, snowy Pufferfish Salamander's tail Scorpion's poison gland Skunk musk Snake Fang Poison gland Skin, whole, shed naturally in wild Squid of unusual size Swan, black Excrement Termites (carnivorous), an active hive Tortoise, new hatched Viper --- Heart of a lycanthrope, removed intact while it lived (requires a chirurgeon)
Most mineral components have no expiration date.
Name Rarity Uses Amethyst 2? love charm, sleeping aid, guard against thieves and drunkenness Amiantus ? Chalk 1 plaster, drawing symbols Clay 0 bricks Copper ? Diamond 4 impressing lady friends Emerald 3 Gold, ore 2 Gold, worked 2 Granite ? Graphite ? Iron ore ? Jade 3 Lapis lazuli 2 pigment Lodestone ? Marble ? Mud 0 Opal ? Quicksilver 4 poisons Saltpeter 1 gunpowder, explosives Sandstone ? Sapphire ? Sea salt ? Silver, ore ? Silver, worked ? Sulphur (brimstone) 2 gunpowder, explosives Tin 1 Topaz ? Turquoise ?
Most vegetable components have an expiration of one week to one month from when harvested. However, the GM should remember that the characters are not necessarily getting them at the beginning of this period. Vegetable components can be preserved for up to two months with the dry herbs skill or alchemical preservative.
Name Rarity Uses Aconite (wolvesbane) 4 poison, pain reliever Aloe 1 treatment of burns Angelica 3 wards off evil spirits and sorcery, protection against poison, recovery from illness Arnica 3 oil for muscles (physical therapy) Autumn crocus 2 poison Basil 1 love potion Black hellebore 4 warding, invisibility Borage 0 relieve fever Chamomile 0 adrenalate Cinnamon 1 antidote, treat infection Comfrey 2 poultice used for healing wounds and mending broken bones Deadly nightshade 4 poison, hallucinogen, paralysis, feign death, demon summoning Ebony 2 Elderberry 2 warding, all-cure Fennel 1 suppress magic or drain mana Flax 1 adrenalate, paralysis, poison Foxglove 3 paralysis, poison Garlic 1 warding, stops infection, prevents disease, speeds healing Ginseng 3 aphrodisiac, fertility, adrenalate, heals all ills Hemlock 3 poison Hop 1 alcohol, depressive, preservative Horehound 1 dispel magic Hyssop 0 healing salve Lavender 0 adrenalate, smelling salts, aphrodisiac, anti-aphrodisiac Lovage 3 adrenalate Madder 1 eases childbirth, strengthens bones, helps wounds to heal Mandrake 5 practically anything magical Mugwort 1 prevents possession, wards off evil spirits Nettles 1 paralysis antidote Peat 1 Pennyroyal 1 poison, abortion Potentilla 0 break fevers Rose thorn, wild 3 wall of thorns, magical sleep Rue 1 warding vs. enchantment, induces abortion, poison antidote and preventative Sabra 1 masks other tastes, alcoholic beverage Serpentwood 3 treat mental disorders Tansy 3 prevent miscarriage, poison, fertility Valerian 1 pain reliever, break fevers, depressive Vervain (verbena) 3 healing, stops bleeding Willow 1 gunpowder, break fever, pain reliever Wormwood 3 strong intoxicant, paralysis, poison, hallucinogen Yarrow 2 protects from all sorts of magic, used in divination
(fits more than one category)
Name Rarity Uses Coral 3? Honey 1 Honeycomb 2? Intact paper wasp hive, 3? empty Sand dollar 1 Sea shells 0 Relic holy to the ? Guiders (GM's discretion) Relic holy to the ? Tepharites (GM's discretion) Intact spider web 4 Silk 2
Vitality from the caster of the spell (permanent fatigue loss) Power from the caster of the spell (permanent strength loss) Life force from the caster of the spell (permanent health loss) Life of the caster (the caster may still use magical means of prolonging his/her life -- reincarnation, life after death, etc.) Soul of the caster (the caster may not use magical means of prolonging his/her life, but it might not be claimed immediately, only upon death) Prized possession of the caster (evaluated by the GM) Power of a demon (perhaps gained temporarily through striking a deal with one, perhaps gained through the "seal away" rite of faith)
Note that components are listed for their rarity in Uruk; in other settings the rarity may differ.
Reputed uses are just that; this is the folklore concerning such things, and though it often reflects at least somewhat upon reality, the reputed uses need not have any basis. For instance, it may be that only certain vampyres can be warded off with garlic, or none at all; but it is the common belief that garlic has that property.
The standard expiration times for vegetable and animal matter should be relatively short, ranging between several days and several months. The expiration date for mineral components is usually unlimited.
COMPONENT NAME: Kempouian pot-bellied pig RARITY: 4 (3 in Kempou) APPEARANCE: Small black pig, angry and fanged. TIME IT CAN BE KEPT ALIVE IN CAPTIVITY: 730 days UPKEEP COSTS TO KEEP ALIVE IN CAPTIVITY: 1 brass farthing / 10 days COMPONENTS IT MAY BE CONVERTED TO BEFORE DEATH: Kempouian pot- bellied pig fangs, Kempouian pot-bellied pig hooves COMPONENTS IT MAY BE CONVERTED TO UPON DEATH: Kempouian pot- bellied pig adrenal glands (only extractable with animal lore) COMPONENTS IT MAY BE CONVERTED TO AFTER DEATH: Kempouian pot- bellied pig fangs, Kempouian pot-bellied pig hooves COMPONENT NAME: Kempouian pot-bellied pig fangs RARITY: 4 (3 in Kempou) APPEARANCE: Small tooth REPUTED USES: Kempou only; warding off young harmless maidens. EXPIRATION: Unlimited COMPONENT NAME: Kempouian pot-bellied pig hooves RARITY: 4 (3 in Kempou) APPEARANCE: small hoof EFFECTS, COOKED, FIRST TASTE: Disgusting! EFFECTS, COOKED, SECOND TASTE: Stomachache. Depressive L1. After one minute, lose one fatigue point for one hour. EFFECTS, UNCOOKED, FIRST TASTE: Disgusting! EFFECTS, UNCOOKED, SECOND TASTE: Stomachache. Depressive L1. After one minute, lose one fatigue point for one hour. REPUTED USES: Kempou only; ground up they make powerful aphrodisiacs. EXPIRATION: Unlimited COMPONENT NAME: Kempouian pot-bellied pig adrenal glands RARITY: 5 (4 in Kempou) APPEARANCE: Small organ EFFECTS, COOKED, FIRST TASTE: Yummy! EFFECTS, COOKED, SECOND TASTE: Adrenalate L1. One minute after consumed, will add one fatigue point for one hour. EFFECTS, UNCOOKED, FIRST TASTE: Disgusting! EFFECTS, UNCOOKED, SECOND TASTE: Quick poison L1. One minute after consumed, take one health point damage. Adrenalate L2. One minute after consumed gain one fatigue point, after a second minute gain a second point; these fatigue points disappear after one hour. REPUTED USES: Useful in making adrenalates and magical rituals to forget or become confused. EXPIRATION: Usable as "uncooked" up to 5 days, "cooked" up to 10. COMPONENT NAME: Clay RARITY: 0 APPEARANCE: It looks like mud. REPUTED USES: Arts and crafts. A good conduit for spirit, soul jars and golems. EXPIRATION: Unlimited COMPONENT NAME: Mithiril RARITY: 5 APPEARANCE: Even as raw ore, it appears as the finest refined silver. Any person with geology skill will be stunned by the quality of the metal. REPUTED USES: Making adamnantite (an alloy which helps in the creation of superior quality weapons and armor), construction of magical tools and fetishes, construction of golems. EXPIRATION: Unlimited COMPONENT NAME: Saltpeter RARITY: 1 APPEARANCE: White powder. REPUTED USES: Gunpowder and other explosives, matches, food preservative. EXPIRATION: Unlimited COMPONENT NAME: Sulphur (brimstone) RARITY: 2 APPEARANCE: Brittle, pale yellow substance. REPUTED USES: Gunpowder and other explosives, matches. EXPIRATION: Unlimited COMPONENT NAME: Mandrake root RARITY: 5 APPEARANCE: A tan, gnarled root with four shoots and a single knob, roughly resembling the human form. Tendrils grow from the knobby "head." EFFECTS, FIRST TASTE: L6 paralysis. Hallucinogen. Other -- see GM. After one minute, muscles will tense up, and the character will be under all of the effects of a character wounded to 0 health (regardless of how many health points or levels of ignore wounds the character has) for one hour. After ten minutes, or after being revived normally, the character will be conscious of his/her surrounding, but will still not be able to move or speak loudly until one hour has passed. During this hour, the character will imagine and dream all sorts of things. The player may choose what form these hallucinations take, to suit his or her character and the situation. In addition, mandrake root may have other effects on any person imbibing it. These effects may take place any time from when ingested until months or years later. Make sure that a GM is made aware of the fact that the character ate mandrake root, so (s)he may administer its effects. Some samples of additional effects include: Sleep for many days; fall madly in love with the next living (whatever gender or species, but not plants) being seen; grants force one or two warding against one type of magic for a period of time; understand language of animals (roleplaying effects, plus extra rumor sheets); become pregnant; become host to some sort of parasitic creature; gain magery (or an increase in magery) for a few days; develop an addiction to blood; a deformity develops -- the GM will set certain makeup requirements; the character becomes a hermaphrodite, losing or gaining all primary and secondary signs of gender; etc. REPUTED USES: Nearly everything magical. Especially enchanting. EXPIRATION: 60 days COMPONENT NAME: Sabra RARITY: 1 APPEARANCE: Spiny cactus fruit, which must be extracted from tough spiny skin. It looks and tastes much like yellow watermelon. REPUTED USES: Useful in masking tastes of certain bitter herbs and poisons. Ferments well for a tasty alcoholic beverage. EXPIRATION: 5 days COMPONENT NAME: comfrey RARITY: 2 APPEARANCE: broad, tear-shaped leaves, clusters of bell-shaped flowers. REPUTED USES: Useful in healing wounds and mending broken bones. Used as a poultice to apply to the injuries, not ingested. EXPIRATION: Two weeks COMPONENT NAME: deadly nightshade (also: atropa belladonna) RARITY: 4 APPEARANCE: heart-shaped dark green leaves with pale green undersides, bell-shaped dull purple flowers, round dark-colored berries EFFECTS, FIRST TASTE: person tasting may detect the presence of the poison unless not in full possession of his/her senses EFFECTS, SECOND TASTE: quick poison level ? REPUTED USES: Very strong paralysis and quick poisons may be made from this plant, as well as being useful (though risky) for feign death concoctions. It is also of use in spells of summoning. EXPIRATION: Two weeks COMPONENT NAME: garlic RARITY: 1 APPEARANCE: White bulb consisting of multiple cloves REPUTED USES: Useful for numerous purposes; as well as fighting infection and illness, it is also said to speed healing. It wards against many forms of magic, most notably transmuting, and wards off vampyres. EXPIRATION: 2 months COMPONENT NAME: hop RARITY: 1 APPEARANCE: Twining vine with cone-shaped flowers. REPUTED USES: The most common use is for making beer, with the side effect of being a depressive. Also acts as a preservative. EXPIRATION: Three months COMPONENT NAME: willow RARITY: 0 APPEARANCE: Piece of wood REPUTED USES: Gunpowder EXPIRATION: 6 months
The formula for each magical ritual will include a certain number of conditions. Sometimes, a ritual may be broken down into discrete parts, of which success or failure of each part of the ritual is determined separately.
Frequency refers to how often the condition is likely to be met. Whether it's something the mage can do at will, whether it requires preparation, luck or patience on his/her part, whether it depends on season, conjunction of planets, etc. Frequency is a much looser thing in many cases than rarity; the GM must judge how likely/often (s)he thinks it is that the condition can be met.
Frequency: 0 Examples of conditions with a frequency of 0 would be "at sunrise," "read the text aloud," "draw the symbol," "keep eyes closed for 15 seconds" or "the caster may not wear metal during the casting of the ritual." 1 Examples of conditions with a frequency of 1 would be "on the night of the new moon," "communicate with the target of the spell for five minutes," "touch the target for fifteen seconds" or "give the target the prepared item." 2 Examples of conditions with a frequency of 2 would include "on either equinox" or "the target must be intoxicated." 3 Examples of conditions with a frequency of 3 would include "on the day of the winter solstice," "on a battlefield where over 20 humans died within the past month or "the target must make a threat against the caster's life." 4 Examples of conditions with a frequency of 4 would be "once in a blue moon" or "only through tricking the demon into saying its true name backwards." 5 Examples of conditions with a frequency of 5 would be "when the Morningstar shines brighter than the sun" or "while juggling twelve lethal items, as named in the components sections of the ritual, for a period of at least five minutes."
What follows is a list of the types of conditions that might be involved in casting a ritual. In rare instances the ritual itself "enforces" the condition and the caster is magically compelled to follow it (if, for example, concentration were "compelled" the caster would be unable to divert his/her attention to anything -- even if his/her own life is in danger -- once (s)he has begun the ritual).
Actions. Including drawing mystic symbols, remaining perfectly still for five minutes, singing, mixing a poison, or other such actions. In some instances the GM must determine the accuracy and/or skill with which the action is accomplished.
Actions by target. Including things which the target of the spell must do before the ritual may take effect. "And even then, your target will be safe until he or she is foolish enough to threaten you..."
Concentration. The caster may pay no heed to or attention to anything outside the ritual. In order to gain the benefits of concentration, the caster must not perform any actions unrelated to the ritual, including even an acknowledgement of the existence or presence of others.
Continuity of steps. Continuity involves the period of time which may (or must) go by between one portion of a ritual and another. Some rituals may require that all steps be performed one after another, while other rituals might be begun one night and continued the next -- or a year later, or ten!
Level of magery. Most rituals require the caster possess a certain level of magery in order to have any chance of success. With some rituals, the chance of success is increased if the level of magery is higher than that required.
Other abilities or skills. This requires that the caster have one or more other abilities or skills, as named in the ritual, in order satisfy the condition. Perhaps chirurgery and/or zoology would work well for fortunetelling by entrails, or alchemy for the mixing of magical potions.
Place. The places in which this ritual can or must be done. "A battlefield", "anywhere in the rain", "in a defiled monastery", "under an oak tree", etc.
Proximity of target. How close the target must be (physically) for the spell to be cast, to either the caster or item/site prepared for the ritual.
Spell present in grimoire. The spell is in written form, and the caster has the ability to read and understand it.
Spell memorized. The caster has learned the skill for the spell.
State of caster. "The caster must be drunk", "the caster must have one of his/her limbs missing", "the caster must be wounded", "the caster must be at full health", etc.
State of target. "The target must be drunk", "the target must be wounded", "the target must have been on good terms with the caster (and been betrayed)".
Time. "High noon", "the new moon", "any solstice or equinox", "sunrise", "when pigs fly", etc.