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Alchemy

Okay so I feel that we need to keep moving things forward and inputting new ideas, so here is what I would refer to as an 'official' proposal. Old page logged Here.

I will start in the cliche way; What is Alchemy?

So we have two goals with alchemy. The ability to refine objects of little value into objects of greater value through some process, and the ability to mix these objects (and indeed possibly all objects) into various recipies, with the ultimate goal to learn to make an elixir of life.

What I believe is required is a great variety from the current system, where one would mix a few things and get a result or not. This could and possibly should also be a time consuming task for the player, offering rewards equivalent to gaining experience for kills. This gives alternate tasks to the monotomy of kill, kill, kill.

Reagents

Reagents will be anything that causes a reaction when mixed with other objects (which in turn will be reagents through creating this reaction).

So how will this be handled explicitly?

Defining

Any object should have the ability to be defined as a reagent. This will give it various basic properties which can be altered to suit the reagent in question. Using special hooks in the item, reagents should be given the possibility of special effects.

Recognition
Players will be better in dealing with reagents that they recognise as such. It is possible to mix in a leather boot to your broth in the hope that something will happen, however this may be less successful than working in a more enlightened fashion. Indeed it is true that by working blindly a player will have a chance of learning about certain reagents.

There are various properties in which a player may become aware of through careful study:

Property Low skill Medium skill High skill
Flamability Cannot recognise flamability Know flamable Aware and able to manipulate accurately
Poisonous
Value

There are also various effects that the reagent may incur onto the player. Any of these may be recognised as an effect of that reagent.

Refining

Reagents should be able to be 'refined'. That is to say they should have the ability to be altered into a purer state. This will include using a mortar to crush plants which will make them more effective when preparing a recipie.

Reagents may not have any effect in their raw state, and/or their effect may vary depending on the refining done and the skill it is done with.

Tasks
The tasks for this should be dependant on each reagent. We can have various basic tools and tasks for use currently, but there should be hooks available to process raw reagents.

An example of tasks which will be available to refine a reagent:

Tasks Effects
Crushing If performed well, increases effectiveness of resulting recipie
Burning  
Boiling  
Freezing  
Soaking  
Storage  

Finding

Reagents are not necessarily plants. However they all must be found in some way. This could be simply by taking the scalp of the correct monster/race.

This also brings into account the task of mining for reagents.

Recipies

A recipe in this sense is the instructions for preparing something. The something at this stage will be the result of mixing reagents.

Recognition

As with reagents, recipies should also require recognition. This will ascertain what the player sees when handling the recipe.

There are various ways in which a player may recognise a recipe

Study
Through careful study of a recipie, it is possible that a player will gain a good knowledge of the ingrediants and workings of this recipe.

Learn
It should be possible to teach recipies to other players. The recipe itself should be present, and this should be a chargable learning process. Whether the teaching player gains experience for doing so is up for debate, but I would argue it's not required.

Experience
A good alchemist may recognise a recipe without study or learning. This is reserved for players who are proficient. It should also be noted that this recognition may be made for inexperienced, unintellegent players, and may be incorrect.

Preparation

The preparation step of a recipe involves using the reagents to create the end result. This may vary in possibility and effectiveness based on various aspects:

Conditions
Certain conditions may be required for correct preparation of a recipe. This includes the temperature of the room and the state in which the reagent is.

Requirements
The requirements for preparation may vary also between recipes and may also include any conditions.

The most obvious requirement at this stage is to have the necessary reagents present.

Mixing
This is the process in which the reagents are combined in order to produce the result of the recipe. Mixing doesn't necessarily involve swirling things around in water and may require certain objects also.

Storage

The storate of both reagents and recipies can have various effects to the results if done poorly. While some reagents may react well to being left in the open air, some may become weaker in their effect and others may change their effect completely.

Results can differ between leaving a reagent to soak in water or in blood.

Results

The resulting recipe can be used in various ways based on the effectiveness and othersuch properties which have been set.

By defining all such results for each scenario outlined here, we will likely create a lot of work for future builders. This should be possible through the use of well placed hooks, although given the setting of each property of the reagents at this point in time, there should be standard results which can be applied, with the ability to add results in much the same fashion as adding new reagents and recipies.

Comsumable
The results of a recipe may be consumable. This may be through self-consumption or the poisoning of others (EG Hamlet style poison in ear while sleeping, or poisoning the drink of your nemesis).

Applyable
The results of a recipe may be applyable. This would entail the application of a recipe to a wound, or a poison to a sword. It should be noted that consumable recipies are also applyable, as applyable recipies are consumable, however the effects of this may be unwanted.

Interaction

At many stages of the process, interaction will be required by the player. This should give rewards for the time consumed, but also be not an instant process.

Preparation

The act of preparing may involve many steps, including refinining the reagents and performing the necessary tasks to create the desired recipe.

Learning

It is probably worth noting that things may be learnt incorrectly, if learnt from a poor teacher. This can be rectified through experience or higher quality learning.

Miscellaneous

As the current system is very rigid, I would like this to move in a much free-flowing version in which new alchemy-aspects may be added at any time. There will precoded an array of choices but the option will remain to change any aspect or to invent one completely without a large amount of changes being made to the rest of the alchemy system.

-- ProdigY - 21 June 2007

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