Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A table with a little more bang for your buck, including some items which make good treasure pieces, some items which your average mage should need to create a laboratory, and one or two useful tools.
I've been thinking of late that the whole subject of laboratory research needs tackling, in the sense that the only real rule I've ever seen on the subject is cost vs. roll for success. I think it would be great if there was an expection on the part of the player to start with a combination of laboratory tools, and that the DM had listed what number of what tools were necessary to complete the research. For example, if three alembics, two pipettes, a prism, a glass jar in which liquid must be kept stirred constantly, a glass bowl with a crystal ball floating in some substance made somehow to not touch the sides, etc. The rejoiner would be that as the player tried out combinations over the course of perhaps a couple of runnings, the DM would be required to indicate whenever a combination was correct ... and provide other hints as well. What those hints might be is anyone's guess, but I'm sure if I have it some headspace for a couple of weeks, and then took a really hot shower, I could come up with something. Especially if I took the shower on a Thursday, apparently.
I seem to get my best ideas during a shower I take on Thursday nights.
The lead crystal objects are much more expensive, the price being determined by the cost of the lead and the difficulty of getting the formula just so. The best crystal manufacturers are in France and Ireland (Waterford), and the expertise is somewhat removed from Transylvania. The price would drop steadily as one travelled west, both due to the craftsmanship and the increased availability of lead.
Not that lead is unheard of in Transylvania. It just doesn't compare to the lead resources of, say, Spain.
I have included several 'standardized' vessels on the list, notably the bottle, the jar, the phial and the vial. Where these are referred to elsewhere in the equipment list, the dimensions and capacities for each are defined here.
Finally, with respect to the glass bladder for the holy water sprinkler. I have modified this weapon for my world so that it is a club-like rod with a knobbed frame at the top, where a glass ball can be tied into with twine. The glass ball is pre-made for this purpose, and contains the equivalent of a vial of holy water. It cannot spill out because the bladder is made without an opening. When the rod and glass ball are used to attack an enemy, upon striking the enemy the glass ball makes saving throw against crushing blow, and if it breaks the holy water is splashed onto the enemy's body (causing 2-8 damage against certain creatures). The ball cannot reasonably be replaced in battle, though a tie cantrip would probably suffice. Without the ball, the holy water sprinkler causes damage like a club. Otherwise, the damage is 2d4.