Previews for December and Beyond
See What's "In the Works"

Alchemical Capsules

The life of an adventurer demands constant readiness and efficient response to threats. In the heat of combat or the sudden danger of a cave-in, an adventurer rarely has time for the careful application of an alchemical substance. Such substances remain useful in those instances where an adventurer knows of a task ahead of time or is lucky enough to spot his foes before they are aware of his presence, but these situations are the exceptions rather than the rule. To answer this need, enterprising adventurers and alchemists have long worked to perfect alchemical substances that are easier to apply in the heat of combat, allowing the user to gain the benefits of alchemy's power without wasting time that could otherwise be spent attacking the foe or casting a spell.

Alchemy's answer to the adventurer's need is a simple device that allows the wearer to hold a minute amount of an alchemical substance in his mouth. The wearer can break a capsule with only an instant's thought, allowing him to continue fighting while imbibing the reduced amount of the alchemical substance.

Alchemical capsules affect only living creatures with a discernable anatomy. Constructs, elementals, oozes, undead, and other creatures that don't meet this requirement gain no benefit from the use of an alchemical capsule.

The efficient use of alchemical capsules depends on a delivery device. Most adventurers who utilize these items prefer the capsule retainer, a device consisting of a thin, rubbery strap looped inside the teeth. The strap is fitted with a small, smooth metal ring that can hold one alchemical capsule. The ring can be positioned on either the inside or outside of the wearer's gums. Some users find that holding the ring inside the gum and keeping the capsule under their tongues is the most comfortable way to wear the capsule retainer, while others find that holding the ring on the outside of the upper gum allows them to tuck the capsule in their cheek comfortably.

Those relying on secrecy in the use of their alchemical capsules turn instead to the alchemical tooth. As its name suggests, this specially concealed item has been made to look like a false tooth. The tooth functions in all respects like an alchemical capsule retainer. In addition, it is very hard to find without a thorough search (Search DC 30 to find). The tooth is most often used as a concealed version of the capsule retainer, but a few extremely dedicated spies and other agents carry a tooth filled with poison as insurance against being captured alive. An alchemical tooth can hold one dose of any contact or ingested poison, but such poison can only affect the wearer of the tooth -- there's no way to make the tooth an effective delivery mechanism when combined with a bite attack.

Only one capsule retainer (or alchemical tooth) can be worn at any one time, and only one capsule at a time can be stored in each capsule retainer or alchemical tooth. Using an alchemical capsule requires only a swift action if it is held in a properly worn capsule retainer or alchemical tooth. (Without a capsule retainer, using an alchemical capsule is the equivalent of using a potion.)

Fitting an alchemical capsule into an empty capsule retainer or alchemical tooth is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Alchemical capsules (including the alchemical weapon capsules described later in this section) can't be used effectively as melee or ranged attacks.

(These are just a couple of the capsules you'll find in this section -- Mat)

Antitoxin Capsule: This small capsule holds a weak dose of antitoxin. When imbibed, it provides a +1 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saving throws made against poison. This bonus lasts for 1 minute.

Strongarm Capsule: This small capsule holds a dose of a thin red liquid. When swallowed, the liquid provides a temporary boost of physical power at the cost of leaving the user fatigued. When used, the strongarm capsule provides the user with a +1 alchemical bonus on Strength checks and on melee weapon damage. This benefit lasts for 2 rounds, at the end of which time the user becomes fatigued. If a character who uses a strongarm capsule is already fatigued when the benefit of the capsule ends, he becomes exhausted.

Alchemical Weapon Capsules

Just as the capsule retainer provides adventurers with an efficient way to ingest certain alchemical substances without detracting from their other efforts in combat, alchemical weapon capsules allow the application of specially prepared substances that affect the properties of the treated weapon.

Using an alchemical weapon capsule requires only a swift action if it is held in a properly attached weapon capsule holder (see below). Otherwise, applying an alchemical weapon capsule is the equivalent of applying a magic oil.

The most common method of applying an alchemical weapon capsule is the weapon capsule retainer. This long leather thong, wrapped around a melee or thrown weapon just at the base of the blade or striking surface, holds a thin, fitted ring sized for a single alchemical capsule. Another, more expensive option is the triple weapon capsule retainer, which stores three capsules rather than only one. A character wielding a weapon with a triple retainer can use one, two, or all three capsules held as part of the same action.

Only one weapon capsule retainer (or triple retainer) can be attached to any one weapon. Attaching a weapon capsule retainer to a weapon or putting a capsule into an empty weapon capsule retainer is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Thus, filling a completely empty triple weapon capsule retainer requires three full-round actions.

An alchemical weapon capsule retainer can also be filled with a single dose of an injury poison. Activating the capsule coats the weapon with the poison, allowing the wielder to deliver toxic strikes with the weapon. A character using poison in this way faces all the normal perils of using poison (including accidental exposure when activating the capsule as well as on a natural 1 on the attack roll).

Alchemical weapon capsule retainers can't be used on projectile weapons, but work normally on thrown weapons. They have no harmful effect on the wielder or on the weapon.

(These are just a couple of the capsules you'll find in this section -- Mat)

Ghostblight: A ghostblight alchemical capsule coats a melee or thrown weapon with a thick gray liquid. This allows the weapon to ignore the miss chance caused by incorporeal creatures (as if the weapon had the ghost touch magical property). The alchemical capsule's effects last for 3 rounds.

Quickflame: A quickflame alchemical capsule coats a melee or thrown weapon with a thin sheet of oil that instantly bursts into flame. This allows the weapon to deal extra fire damage for a very short amount of time without damaging the weapon or its wielder. A weapon treated with quickflame deals 1d6 points of fire damage with each successful strike. The alchemical capsule's effects last for 1 round, ending at the beginning of the wielder's next turn. The fire damage doesn't stack with any other fire damage the weapon deals.

Main Page

Recent Previews
Recent Articles

About Us Jobs New to the Game? Inside Wizards Find a Store Press Help Sitemap

©1995- Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use-Privacy Statement

Home > Games > D&D > Articles 
You have found a Secret Door!
Printer Friendly Printer Friendly
Email A Friend Email A Friend
Discuss This ArticleDiscuss This Article