Alchemists: Mixologists of Evil [Promethean: The Created]

News, Open Development, Promethean: The Created


Screencap from Blackadder II, “Money”

Look, you want updates while I’m mid-coffee, you take your chances with the post titles.

Now, glib titles aside, alchemists are not necessarily evil. Mark Stone proposed, while we were brainstorming Promethean 2nd Edition (then known simply as The Firestorm Chronicle) that we should include mortal alchemists as antagonists. I had to noodle that – I knew that including a new antagonist would mean cutting somebody, probably the Zeka, since I couldn’t cut Centimani or Pandorans as they’re both too central to the game. But the more I thought about it (and read Mark’s pitch), the more I warmed to the idea. And then Mark’s draft sold me. (Imagine if it hadn’t? “Mark, cut these 5000 words and write something about the Zeka instead.” You’d hear the anguished cries across the vacuum of space.) From Mark’s draft:

Alchemists are people who combine that characteristic human obsession with improving themselves and their circumstances by unraveling the mysteries of the world around them with a tragic failure to appreciate the beautiful parts of the human condition. These are humans who are so terrified of death, infirmity, and ignorance that they have lost sight of love, fellowship and the value of mundane accomplishment. Bit by bit, they sacrifice their humanity for power and knowledge, until they have turned themselves into something monstrous.

Where the Created seek to transcend their monstrous condition, leaving behind their power, longevity, and superlative durability in favor of the simple pleasures of humanity, alchemists want to leave their humanity behind in the hopes of becoming something more than human. More frequently, they end up becoming something much less than human.

Although alchemists meddle with Pyros and Flux, the stuff of creation, change, and destruction, they are still only human. Their ability to generate the Pyros they need for their alchemical workings is sharply limited. The best way to get around this limitation is for them to steal Pyros from those beings who generate it naturally — Prometheans.

Prometheans are also a wealth of alchemical wisdom. Although a Promethean’s conscious insights to alchemical change are mostly useless to alchemists — most Prometheans engage with alchemy on an instinctive level, while alchemists decipher it cerebrally — alchemists can learn a lot by examining and experimenting on his internal organs and bodily fluids.

Between the Pyros Prometheans store and the wisdom that can be gleaned from their body parts, it should come as no surprise that alchemists often hunt Prometheans. Their goals and methods vary wildly, however. Some alchemists hunt alone, others work in groups. Some alchemists use force; others use guile. An alchemist with many sources of Pyros might use a great deal of alchemy in his hunt, while another with more money than magic might rely on hired help and expensive, specialized weaponry. A more patient and economical alchemist might try to immobilize or disable her prey so she can keep them as a permanent source of Pyros, while a more impulsive alchemist simply kills Prometheans and takes what he can get.

Even worse, the only way for an alchemist to work a permanent change upon their own body — including some of the more infamous alchemical feats, like immortality, increasing their regenerative abilities, or permanently curing chronic diseases — is for the alchemist to ingest a potion based on Vitriol. No Promethean would willingly part with their precious Vitriol, so the only way for an alchemist to get her hands on it is to steal it, usually violently.

Not all alchemists hunt or would harm Prometheans, of course. Some of them are careful, decent folk who just happen to know how to combine alchemical compounds in new and exciting ways. But the problem that Prometheans have when meeting an alchemist, is that whether “dark” or “light,” the alchemist is human, and therefore susceptible to Disquiet. It isn’t long, therefore, but the alchemist feels entitled to the humours and reagants that the Promethean is carrying around within her weird, quasi-living body. So why shouldn’t the alchemist take a bit of Vitirol? It’s not like the Promethean is a person, after all.

All right, as always, questions in the comments, and I’ll be back on Sunday with another hard choice for y’all. Oh, also, I’m running a Promethean: The Created chronicle at present. We recently converted characters over to 2nd edition (so it’s a playtest, now), and I’ve got an AP going here.

ETA: Also, Michelle Lyons-McFarland (my wife, OPP author and editor, corgi wrangler) did an interview with the Darker Days Radio folks here. I don’t think she talked much about Promethean, but I know she talked about Demon and I’m not doing a whole new post anyway. Go listen.

  82 comments for “Alchemists: Mixologists of Evil [Promethean: The Created]

  1. Eric Crabtree
    October 14, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Could an Alchemist be a Demiurge as well would they be two separate forces incapable of working as one?

    This mean we won’t see the Zeka in Promethean 2nd?

    • Jesuncolo
      October 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

      Not in the core book, I guess.

  2. October 14, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I don’t see any reason why an alchemist couldn’t be a demiurge.

    You might get Zeka in a sourcebook, but not in the core.

    • Wolfgar
      October 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Oh good. Complete loss of the Zeka would be awful.

    • Wolfgar
      October 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      I like how it’s similar to that one group in Mummy.

    • Dataweaver
      October 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      I suspect that a disproportionate number of demiurges would be alchemists, actually. The implication of the Extempore (if they’re anything like their 1e counterparts) is that creating a Promethean is a “simple” matter of immersing a suitable vessel in an appropriate element and infusing it with Pyros; if anyone among the mortal populace is likely to know this, it would be an alchemist. Indeed, I could see alchemists doing the following: hunt down a Galeteid, extract some Blood from it (Blood being the Pyros-infused Humour of that Lineage), and then use it in the generative act to create another Galeteid. There would be no need for desperation to make this work; but given that alchemists already tend to exhibit similar behavior, that doesn’t say much.

      • B
        October 15, 2014 at 11:41 pm

        Which works with a theme of making Dr. Frankenstein the antagonist in the monster’s story.

    • Andrew Thomas
      October 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I had hoped that the Zeka would get the same treatment the Seers are in Mage 2.0, as the wayward and untrustworthy cousin of the other Lineages, but wordspace. *shrug* Just so long as they’re playable without utterly destroying the rest of the Throng’s chances of interacting with mortals, I’d be satisfied. Same goes for Artificials, but I can see some of the other Lineage ideas from the splats getting relegated to permanent NPC status, if not canned entirely.

  3. Nathan Henderson
    October 14, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Do some alchemists work for a certain multinational pharmaceutical conglomerate?

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

      It would not surprise me if a few alchemists were on the Cheiron payroll. It’d explain the Vitriol Pump.

      • FallenEco
        October 15, 2014 at 2:41 am

        YGMV but I’m completely behind that idea. My brain’s Cheiron has been competing for alchemists on it’s payroll with LDI, since Mummy came out.

        Biosearch (from the 1st ed Quickstart) is retroactively owned by LDI, where as Black Dog Games (same quickstart) is owned by Cheiron. (BDG got the info that was meant for the FPD)

      • SunlessNick
        October 15, 2014 at 9:34 am

        Considering that the Personal Defence Swarm looks like nothing more than a weaponised Pandoran, they must have people on staff who are very conversant with the Promethean mythos.

        • Rose Bailey
          October 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm

          I was proud of that one. 🙂

  4. Felipe
    October 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Nice, liked very much the Alchemists! Any overlap with the Ascended Ones conspiracy from Hunter?
    About the Zeka, are they going to have at least a mention in the Corebook?
    What about Clones?
    For the next vote, I suggest Pandorans being included! : )

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:45 am

      My take on the Ascended Ones is that they are, in general, a little more mature than the alchemists we’re talking about, and therefore not as prone to splitting Prometheans open for the Vitriol. That said, Disquiet happens.

      Zeka will probably at least get a mention, and there’s a story about one in the anthology.

      Clones haven’t been mentioned. Honestly I always found them weird, and if I’m going to dig into them I want more word count than I could allocate in the 2nd ed book.

      • Felipe
        October 14, 2014 at 11:00 am

        About the Ascended Ones it makes sense. They goal is not immortality, the Elixirs are something they use to fight monsters. They even seen to mix them with poison and have a training to overcome it and trigger the proper effect, so they won´t abuse the Elixirs and get addicted to them.
        It would be nice to have a Night Horrors Book with the Zeka, Clones and other various weirdness born of Flux,Humours, Pyros and Vitriol. I hope you get the chance to make a book like that.

      • Dataweaver
        October 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        I definitely applaud cutting clones from the core. Really, the most interesting thing about them from my perspective is their lack of self-determination — and I’d rather that be spun off into a “failure state” for Prometheans (e.g., what happens to a promethean whose Integrity substitute drops to zero) or as a “lesser Promethean” (similar to how Revenants are “lesser Kindred” in [b]Requiem 2e[/b]) rather than being coupled with “lookalikes of real people”.

  5. Bones
    October 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Will these alchemists be playable? They sound more fun than prometheans.

    • October 14, 2014 at 9:46 am

      You are mistaken. They are not more fun than Prometheans.

      More seriously, they aren’t presented as playable characters. They’re antagonists. If you want to play them, I won’t stop you, and it shouldn’t be that hard to make it work. It’s not a priority, though.

      • Bones
        October 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

        On the contrary – I find this writeup far more enticing than anything else about promethean 2.0. I still don’t understand the obsession with pinocchio syndrome.

        • Rosicrucian
          October 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm

          A Promethean starts life as a crude mockery of humanity, with little understanding of its creators and an alchemical furnace burning in their gut that ensures they’ll never be able to know true companionship or stay in one place for long.

          Why wouldn’t they want to transcend that?

        • Arcane
          October 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm

          That’s fine. I see Prometheans as being a wonderful metaphor for the entire human condition and the journey to make peace with life, while thinking alchemists are guys with a huge inferioirty complex about their own nature.

          Different strokes for different folks.

        • Yossarian
          October 14, 2014 at 1:56 pm

          It’s not *quite* my favourite game line, but to me, Promethean has the most interesting concept in NWoD. Hands down. That’s my opinion, though, and it’s one that not all people can get behind. I completely understand why, too, because as interesting as that concept is, it’s a difficult one to buy into.

          That said, it doesn’t add to this discussion to if you talk about how you fundamentally don’t like the game, or the edition, or whatever. That’s fine; no one’s gonna try to convert you. But negativity like that can really sour these discussions.

          • The Cowardly Scion
            October 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm

            Different strokes for different folks, that’s why D&D has multiple races, classes and campaign settings and a new “race” gets added to the World of Darkness every couple years and (hopefully) generally get source books to further expand each house in the WoD neighborhood. No matter how you spin it, sometimes a concept just falls flat for some people. I played Vampire because my friends did and that has made it enjoyable but I’d be lying if I said I’ve ever actually found much to love about it in any of its incarnations. (The wild praise from all corners of WoD fandom, including non-Vampire fans, has peaked my curiosity for B&S)

        • Discobutcher
          October 15, 2014 at 2:53 am

          Promethean was always a great idea on paper for me – but I could not get my head around how to really play it.
          It’s a beautiful design with a really strong motive, but as far as I see it it’s quite complex to game master and is very time consuming to prepare as the PC don’t bring a lot of connections and plot hooks themselves.
          This is by the way my exact same feeling with Mummy: the curse.

          I really would like to play those two games but as long as there is no detailed chronicle to help me define the plot and setting I am beyond my wits.

        • Quinn Y
          October 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

          I totally agree. Alchemists seem far more interesting than the Prometheans. Theoretically, Alchemists wouldn’t be limited to only making humanoid Prometheans. They could create a whole variety of supernatural beings and other… things.

      • Falco1029
        October 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

        What are the chances of them being covered as more blatantly playable characters in a future sourcebook?

  6. bones
    October 14, 2014 at 9:44 am

    these alchemists seem more fun than the prometheans? Will they be playable?

  7. Bibliomancer
    October 14, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Well, dammit. You’re making me excited for yet another game.

    What Promethean needs, IMHO is something like “Alchemy for Dummies” I don’t want to actually become an alchemist, mind you (chemists are the real alchemists anyway), but I wish I had a resource that could explain alchemy enough to me that I could add good flavor to the game.

    I searched online for something like this years ago when I was into the original edition of Promethean. What I found, unfortunately, was a bunch of pseudoscience bullcrap that made me annoyed.

    • Arcane
      October 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

      …What do you think alchemy is?

    • October 14, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Alchemy *is* pseudoscience, though. I mean, in the WoD it works, maybe, but in WoD there are ghosts and vampires and so on, too.

      • Bibliomancer
        October 14, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        I don’t think I expressed myself well enough in my original comment. Alchemy is pseudoscience, obviously.

        Let me reformulate (ahem) my question. Can you recommend any good resources on alchemy for me to read, for the specific purpose of learning enough about it to drop some interesting flavor into a game of Promethean? My problem before was that the references I encountered online all seemed to want to teach me to be an alchemist, which is not what I’m looking for.

        • Bibliomancer
          October 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm

          I guess what I’m looking for is a “Bluffer’s Guide” to alchemy, if you’re familiar with that book series.

          • Chazz
            October 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

            I’d recommend the history of alchemy podcast:

            The creator of the show also put together an introductory book on the basics of alchemy:

            And for full disclosure, I edited the booklet and I work with the show hosts.

        • October 15, 2014 at 4:38 am

          To add some details and sources to Chazz’s reply below:

          I’m one of the co-hosts of the History of Alchemy Podcast.
          If you click around the website, the basics are explained.

          I’m also on reddit’s AskHistorians and talk about alchemy a LOT. Here are some replies to questions and an few AMA (ask me anythings) I’ve done:

          I think of the show as a ‘history of science’ show first, and looks why people thought transmutation/elixir of life/artificial life (humunculus) was possible. Including real contributions that have come out of alchemy.

          I definitely paint a picture of what a lab would look like and the types of people that took and interest in alchemy.

          Of course it’s fun to look at the kooks and charlatans too, and we do that also.
          If you do have any specific questions feel free to reach out; either on askhistorians, or email, or whatever.

          I’m obviously really looking forward to this edition! 😀

          • Bibliomancer
            October 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

            Thanks for this guys! Your site is just what I’m looking for: information about alchemy that isn’t tied into modern New Age practices.

    • Andrew Thomas
      October 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      Perhaps a Predators style splat, with tiered powers for the main antagonists for the Created? I’d buy that book for sure.

  8. Michael Pruitt
    October 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Okay, I really like this! Honestly the Zeka are really neat, I dig them. But I also always saw them as too difficult to use well. They’re horribly tragic creatures, more importantly, they’re the most horribly tragic version of Prometheans, who are already horribly tragic creatures! Combine that with radiation poisoning all the things and well, not much versatility in how to use them for me. But these mortal alchemists? Wicked and already giving me ideas!

  9. DaemonChrno
    October 14, 2014 at 11:26 am

    The same as others, I would really prefer to portray an alchimist that a created in a chronicle. Prometheans are just too weird for my taste I guess.

    • October 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

      Different strokes, different folks. Like I said, you can do it with a little work, and I sure won’t stop ya, but it’s not what the game as written is about.

  10. Full Time GM
    October 14, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I like this alot. An enemy motivated by basic instincts like fear of death as the potential to be much more sympathetic. My first major Promethean villain will probably be an alchemist who is trying to prevent someone else from dying, such as their sick mother or father.

  11. Arcane
    October 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I will say that this feels like a neat jab at all the trouble the transhumanist arguments caused for Promethean back when it first launched.

    • October 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Nah. I have nothing against transhumanism, it’s just not a theme we draw on in Promethean.

      • Arcane
        October 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

        Clarity: I didn’t and don’t think that this was in response to transhumanism.

        I don’t even really think it’s really a deliberate thing, just rather coincidental, that I’m looking at.

        But with that said, one of the problems that happened to Promethean, that I both saw and later heard about from other gamers, was how there were so much arguing from transhumanists at the time of the game’s release about this game that a lot of people decided to leave it alone. I even had one guy tell me in the store I used to shop at that he had once nearly bought it off the shelf, but then some guy started going on a tirade and he put it off for a while just to get out of it.

        So when I say it feels like alchemists causing trouble for Prometheans feels like a jab at the troubles from the game’s release, that’s what I’m getting at.

        • SunlessNick
          October 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

          I had a similar thought about whether the Heroes in Beast were a reaction to all the calls for Reckoning Imbued to be put into Hunter (yes, here they are, and they’re enemies for you to gobble up).

          • October 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

            It wasn’t my first though, but I won’t deny it occurred to me later.

      • shkspr1048
        October 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        P:tC is pretty much THE humanist game of the NWoD. That said, it strikes me that a section in a future supplement (Night Horrors, or maybe an ‘Heirs to Hell’-style stand-alone piece) devoted to alchemists and their relation to Prommies and the rest of the NWoD would go over really well. But that’s for later; PtC2e is now.

  12. Rosicrucian
    October 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I like this in that it continues one of the core themes of the World of Darkness: true immortality is hard to get and always comes with a price. I also like the thematic elements that Prometheans and alchemists are basically passing each other going opposite directions.

  13. Illuminated
    October 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Alchemists look pretty interesting.

    Q: From the sound of it, not all Alchemists are total monsters. Can Prometheans convince them that transhumanism is a bad idea or does Disquiet + Alchemy Madness make that an impossibility?

    Q: On a related note, you mentioned Disquiet’s effect on Alchemists. Does Disquiet “stack?” IE – Alchemist interacts with Prommie 1, experiences some disquiet, Prommie 1 leaves. Alchemist interacts with Prommie 2, but because of experiences with Prommie 1, Alchemist already views Prommie 2 as less than human.

    • October 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      1) “Impossibility” is a strong word. Sure, it’s possible. They’re being presented as antagonists, so that’s the focus, but you could use them other ways, too.

      2) Not usually, unless the Disquiet from Prommie 1 was intense and didn’t have time to fade entirely before Prommie 2 shows up (poor Prommie 2, totally not his fault).

  14. Yossarian
    October 14, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I too was a bit sad to see the Zeka get axed, but in the end they really are better Night Horrors than protagonists. Or basic antagonists, for that matter. The whole radioactivity thing makes them difficult to put in the mix without a lot of fallout (pun intended).

    But alchemists? Lots of facets and possible stories. Very exciting and compelling. And they’re an element of the setting that was missing, what with all the alchemy being thrown about.

    Every Promethean blog makes me want to play Promethean. This edition is going to be really cool.

  15. iceblade44
    October 14, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    so what type of abilities can an alchemist have, can they use transmutations?

  16. Charlaquin
    October 14, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Man, I LOVE the idea of alchemists. I too think it would be fun to play one, though not more fun than playing a Promethean, and I think the way they’re presented in this draft makes them better suited as antagonists anyway.

    On a side note, I do think it’s funny that there’s been a certain effort to clean up some of the linguistic ambiguity from first edition (like the 3 or 4 different things that have been called “demons” all getting new, distinct names), but new ambiguities are sure to arise in second edition. Now there are at least two meanings of “alchemist” – the Promethian antagonist and one of the nicknames for Moros.

    • Dataweaver
      October 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Indeed, the Moros bear a striking resemblance to these alchemists, differing primarily in that the Moros don’t have the same incentives to hunt Prometheans.

      • Eolirin
        October 14, 2014 at 8:02 pm

        The stereotypical Moros would be horrified by the stereotypical Alchemist, by the sounds of it… They’re almost complete opposites; the Moros embrace Death and acceptance of transition, these guys fight it tooth and nail.

  17. Atavist
    October 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    The big disappointment in Promethean, to me, was that it didn’t actually have much regarding alchemy outside of the “life cycle” of the Promethean. And demiurges were covered but only really in a fluff sense.

    The addition of alchemists as an antagonist is fantastic and definitely bringing my interest around to new Promethean.

  18. Possessed
    October 14, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    While I fully intend to get this game I have to admit that the Alchemists do strike a cord with me. The only thing about Promethean that I inherently dislike being the part that they want to become humans, seriously we are weak miserable creatures filled to the brim with all sorts of flaws, so naturally Alchemists wanting to become something more than a human will strike a cord. Still it’s a minor thing for me that will not in any way prevent me from enjoying the game and who says my monster, if I ever get to play instead of STing, couldn’t learn to see things my way.

    Still very exited about this.

    As a side note before some veteran Promethean players bash me up good I have not really delved much into Promethean before this as I really really disliked nWoDs system it’s the Chronicle editions that have finally turned my head on the matter.

    • MorkaisChosen
      October 15, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Prometheans are /also/ miserable creatures filled to the brim with all sorts of flaws. Actually, I guess pretty much everyone is in the World of Darkness. 😉

  19. Dataweaver
    October 14, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Especially considering that this was originally going to be the Firestorm Chronicle, I’d suggest noting that Firestorms are another potential source that alchemists can use to harvest Pyros. Alchemists who go this route would have something of a “stormchaser” flavor to them, which doesn’t fit the stereotypical alchemist; but then, neither do the ones that rely on carving up animated corpses or disassembling robots. Alchemists who attempt to summon [i]qashmallim[/i] to supply them with Pyros to empower their works would be another flavor.

    • Felipe
      October 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      It seens that they need Vitriol and not Pyros to make their work permanent. Prometheans are the only beings capable of producing Vitriol.

      • Dataweaver
        October 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        True. Another reason for even the “live and let live” variety of alchemists (also mentioned in the article) to be tempted to violate that policy; and a mark of admirable restraint among those alchemists who resist that temptation.

      • Rosicrucian
        October 14, 2014 at 8:46 pm

        I think the key here is that Prometheans are the low-hanging fruit for alchemists. They’re a lot easier to prey upon than other methods.

    • October 15, 2014 at 10:25 am

      That’s actually not a bad idea, though. An alchemist going out into a Firestorm to try and harness the energy is a fun visual.

      • Dataweaver
        October 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm

        And then there’s Universal Picture’s Frankenstein, where our intrepid mad scientist tried to harness a lightning storm to give life to his creation. Sure, that [i]could[/i] be read as “immersing the corpse in the appropriate element”, one of the steps of the generative act; but another reading of it is that that wasn’t an ordinary lightning storm; it was a Firestorm, and Frankenstein was using it to channel Pyros into his creation. Extend that notion from a way for demiurges to empower the generative act (since they don’t have any Pyros of their own) to being a way for alchemists to empower their formulae, and…

  20. Quinn Y
    October 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Let me get this straight, I can create and play an Alchemist character in Promethean The Created 2nd Edition?? Is this true? Because that would turn me into a Promethean fan overnight

    • Dataweaver
      October 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      No, they’re antagonists. Though it appears that making them playable characters is going to be a popular house rule.

      • Quinn Y
        October 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm


      • The Cowardly Scion
        October 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm

        Depending on what their actual abilities are, they could use a mortal template and then add alchemical stuff as either merits (like endowments in Hunter) or transmutations. Most antagonists really only need an XP cost for their special abilities to be playable for a given definition of playable.

  21. October 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Just a note of congratulation on the best introductory photo ever.

  22. Verge
    October 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Can you give us a taste of something “rulesy”, like a trick or two alchemists might have up their sleeves that distinguishes them from other hunter-types? Or the limits that a talented and ruthless alchemist might reach?

    • October 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Not right now, but I will (their systems are in playtest and are likely to change).

  23. Anaximander
    October 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    How wide-ranging are these alchemists? What I mean by this is are they strictly Hermetic, or more diverse? Could an alchemist use more Eastern approaches, or be more of a chemist in a SCIENCE! sense?

    • Rosicrucian
      October 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      I’d hazard a guess and say that alchemists probably come from all sorts of different backgrounds.

      Think of the parallel to Prometheans. Sure, Prometheans seem to operate in accordance to a sort of western, Great Work style of alchemy. However, they can be CREATED by people who have no training in said occult practices, and just sort of brush up against these arcane laws by accident (or are nudged towards them by a Qashmal).

      Alchemists needn’t be inducted into any specific occult tradition in my mind, or even have any formal training. Sure, when you’re obsessed like that you might seek such studies out, but it’s entirely possible that Chinese alchemy could set you on the path, or you might just find Something That Works and extrapolate out via trial and (messy) error.

    • October 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

      It’ll all work, really. The approach is less important than the desire to steal Vitriol.

      • Phaolan
        October 15, 2014 at 6:02 pm

        On the other hand, it MIGHT be rad to have a general, world encompassing, ‘Alchemy Translation’ guide sort of thing in the book. I’m not saying that it needs to be a full chapter, but a little box that gives us ideas about alchemies practised in China or India, ‘classical’ forms sprouting from Islam or Greco-Roman Egypt, even ‘shamanistic’ beliefs from ’round the world might be nice?

        Of course, I’d offer the above as assistance for verisimilitude in portraying the ideas behind Osirian Refinements or Ulgan Orpheans or Tammuz traditionalists who want to embody their Mesopotamian roots. It COULD help with mortal Alchemists from around the world, too… Maybe?

  24. RBK
    October 15, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Alchemists… Well, if we talk about Calogero from Core Rulebook, is he one of typical alchemists? How many of alchemists are Redeemed? Are [i]anyone[/i] of them are Redeemed?

    Oh! About Redeemed. Would PtC contain more information about them? And about Twice (Thrice, etc.) Created?

  25. MugaSofer
    October 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    >These are humans who are so terrified of death, infirmity, and ignorance that they have lost sight of love, fellowship and the value of mundane accomplishment. Bit by bit, they sacrifice their humanity for power and knowledge, until they have turned themselves into something monstrous.

    >Where the Created seek to transcend their monstrous condition, leaving behind their power, longevity, and superlative durability in favor of the simple pleasures of humanity, alchemists want to leave their humanity behind in the hopes of becoming something more than human. More frequently, they end up becoming something much less than human.

    This seems … a tad anti-transhumanist. In the “transhumanism is inherently wrong” sense.

    I *really* hope it gets toned down and made more sympathetic in the final draft, because Promethean has enough trouble as it is convincing players that the Pilgrimage is a good idea.

    • Will
      October 16, 2014 at 5:57 am

      Well, yeah, it’s fairly anti-transhumanist, Promethean being all about humanity and the desire to become more human. If players can’t buy into that core premise (more or less the ENTIRE core premise) then it’s probably not the game for them.

      It’s a humanist game, of course it’s not going to gel with transhumanism

    • SunlessNick
      October 17, 2014 at 8:58 am

      If your transhumanism leads you to harvest others for parts and power, which is the case with these alchemists, I’m all for being anti-it.

  26. shkspr1048
    October 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Will there be any examination of ‘life-giving’ rituals from cultures outside of those directly associated with the Lineages, or what effect variations on the rituals may have on the Created, either physically or mentally?

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