Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Drug is Actually . . .

At work, so I'll make this into a nicer chart later.  So, tired of the drugs in your campaign being plant parts that are smoked or chewed?  Here are 30 other possibilities.  Actually the ideas from alternate potions might work too, but here I worried less about the strict time limit implied in many of those options and tended more towards rare and slightly taboo stuff.  Keep in mind they aren't spells, I would make them all still addictive to varying degrees.
  1. the bite of a live ant, tiny farms must be carried around
  2. a mantra from a forgotten language chanted several times
  3. tiny human-like creatures that are gazed at in wonder
  4. a lamprey the size of a mouse, attached to the body under clothes
  5. feathers burnt
  6. tiny pastries made exquisitely with rare spices
  7. the exudations off the back of a giant toad
  8. ashes of ancient heroes snorted
  9. paste made for the fat of the executed
  10. entrancing figure made with string as in cat's cradle
  11. the rarest drug, only the blood of someone previously intoxicated
  12. reptile scales held under the tongue
  13. animal spines used to pierce the flesh
  14. clothes woven from the hair of an anti-saint
  15. dust taken from the footprint of witches/giants/demons
  16. nymph tears
  17. centaur milk
  18. a Feng shui-like arrangement of furniture, candles, and flowers
  19. a temporary tattoo from plant sap
  20. an arcane pattern painted across the face
  21. plant pollen of low efficacy so that the user must be covered with it
  22. breath of a dying mage
  23. heavy water
  24. distillation from the scraps of an ordination feast
  25. Yogic-like poses performed in a particular sequence
  26. pink crystals from deep in the earth
  27. palm-sized clay coin, broken for effect
  28. Ent water
  29. Tomb salt, scraped from the mineral buildup on tombs
  30. Temple tar, scraped from the smokey residue in the dark corners of busy temples
Update: I made it into a chart and bundled it with the one-page drugs for your phone or tablet here. I'm not too happy with the "drugs" icon, doesn't seem as iconic at a small size, but I'll worry about revising it a little later.

I was thinking the mantra and yogic poses would be a little different because the character can partake any time they want.  I might adjust the addiction rules to make them require them more and more often, until the mantra chanter would be unable to pray, cast spells, or be quiet in the dungeon.  The yogi would have to withdraw from adventuring to perform the postures full time.

The lamprey seems gross to me, I might roll randomly to see what it does, then make it a fad in Nidus.


  1. William S. Burroughs meets Edgar Rice Burroughs.

  2. This is just what I need just when I was just thinking about needing it. Nice.

  3. 31. an earworm, possibly with sanity-eroding side effects
    32. a taboo on taking any action to preserve your own life or that of another
    33. a taboo on eating, drinking, speaking and sleeping
    34. a word that must be repeated continuously without stopping to draw in breath

    (...actually I guess that last one's a potion duration: it works as long as you can keep repeating the formula).

  4. @Needles: thanks, hope so.

    @Roger: hah, yeah, thanks.

    @John: That is great to hear.

    @Richard: great ideas, thanks.

  5. trad. icon for drugs: mortar and pestle. No doubt you could find one with more character...
    alternative icons

  6. What lovely variety!

    The lamprey one reminded me of the beard leeches I designed for my necrodwarves...

  7. Thanks, Richard. When I see the mortar I think more of legitimate medicine or, in this case, alchemy. Probably the clearest icon would be a big ganja leaf, but I'm thinking more of sinister stuff like black lotus and such.

    ff: thanks, and creative how the leeches are like little hp batteries.