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Solve et Coagula: A Practical Guide to Alchemy
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Solve et Coagula: A Practical Guide to Alchemy


Solve et Coagula

A Practical Guide to Alchemy

By Joseph Carriker

"Let this be the lesson, then. Nothing in all the world is unchanging. The practice of alchemy can thus be understood to be the quest to master the inevitability of transformation. There is no question whether or not all things – yourself included – will be changed. The only question is whether or not you shall direct that change."

–Druxus Rhym, Zulkir of Transformation, "On the Great Work of Alchemy," private papers, c.1354 DR

Every adventurer knows the benefits of having that vial of alchemist's fire or a thunderstone on hand. But there is so much more to the alchemist's art than that. Add simple but plentiful detail to these ancient arts for your campaign! This 32 page sourcebook contains:

  • A short history of alchemy in the Forgotten Realms.
  • Expanded rules for using the Alchemist's Supplies Tool Proficiency, as well as other alchemical equipment.
  • Brand new alchemical compounds, with recipes divided into Common, Uncommon, Rare, Very Rare and even Legendary formulas.
  • New Character Class Archetypes, including the College of the Great Work bard, the Mountebank rogue, and the Azoth-Infused sorcerer, as well as advice for how to use established Backgrounds to build alchemist characters.



Joseph Carriker of Oakthorne Scrivenings has worked in the gaming industry for sixteen years, starting with the popular d20 Scarred Lands setting for Sword & Sorcery Studios, as well as doing work on Wizards of the Coast's Stormwrack and Tome of Battle for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. Most recently, as a part of Green Ronin Publishing's team, he helped design the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, doing design work on the setting, the gods, and the new Backgrounds for that sourcebook. This is the first of many of his contributions to the Dungeon Master's Guild.

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Reviews (7)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
Anthony A February 24, 2019 12:51 pm UTC
Absolutely love this, but had one clarifying question: are the costs listed for the different concoctions intended to be the market or crafting value? Meaning if I was making, say, the Sleeping Gas would it cost 50gp or 25 gp in materials per vial?
Customer avatar
Joseph C March 15, 2019 7:58 am UTC
Costs are market price. Use standard crafting guidelines for your campaign (so, default 5e has crafting cost half market price - so yeah, 25gp in materials per vial.)
Customer avatar
Michael O May 25, 2018 12:37 am UTC
So, unless I want to use the rules for speeding up something, I otherwise would use the crafting rules in the Dungeon Master's Guide or Xanathar's Guide to Everything for stuff like Potions right? Like this is more of an extension rather than a total replacement for crafting potions (although health potions are described to be made differently than other potions in XgtE, saying herbalism is required for it.)?

Ah, also, I see that you have two legendary recipes, the philosophers stone and the homunculus, but they don't have any mechanics for their creation or effects once they are created, rather descriptions of the potential process. Is this intentional? Am I as the GM meant to create my own mechanics for whatever story I'm doing if my player wants to make those items? Or are their descriptions literal and their mechanics are inferred from the description, like the Philosophers stone can just heal any injury or cure any disease infinitely?
Customer avatar
Joseph C February 13, 2019 6:53 am UTC
Hey, Jake - yeah, this uses the crafting rules for equipment, rather than magic items, though. Whatever your campaign uses, it should fold right into that.

The legendary recipes aren't intended to be complete. They're meant to be inspirations for DMs to work alchemy into their campaigns as something more than just another type of equipment, providing epic goals for alchemist characters to shoot for. I avoided hard mechanics for these wonders because I wanted to let DMs choose their impact for their own campaigns.
Customer avatar
Kurt T May 22, 2018 1:46 am UTC
Amazing work. My players love these options and so do I. It has really enhanced my game!
Customer avatar
Joseph C February 13, 2019 6:54 am UTC
Thanks so much, Kurt!
Customer avatar
Cee J June 11, 2017 6:39 pm UTC
Hey, I see a lot of alchemical items/potions that you can produce but does it have ingredients/how to make these concoctions? I have a player who wants to use herbalism mixed with alchemy to produce potions but I want to have him actually search for the ingredients
Customer avatar
Joseph C June 23, 2017 12:17 pm UTC
It does not. Like most crafting in 5e, the contents of this book abstract the materials necessary to gather for use in crafting the contents.

There is an abstracted system for using an Alchemist's Kit to perform alchemical harvesting, based on gathering materials from monsters (teeth, claws, etc). You could pretty easily adapt that for using Herbalist's Kits in wilderness areas.
Customer avatar
Joseph C September 09, 2016 9:22 am UTC
I have now added a free PDF preview of the Azoth-Infused sorcerer archetype, available at the link below!
Customer avatar
Joseph C September 01, 2016 10:20 am UTC
Many thanks to the Going Last Gaming Podcast for their podcast review of SOLVE ET COAGULA! Check them out!
Customer avatar
JEREMY G August 27, 2016 7:23 pm UTC
I purchased this product on the recommendation of one of my favorite Realms writers (Brian Cortijo), and I am super glad that I did.

This book gave me a lot to think about for my own Cormyr sourcebook, and it certainly has given life to one of the NPC alchemists from my book.

I plan to add this book to the list of recommended products in my sourcebook.

Note: I saw one small typo on page 22 under Spell Inks. It reads "on unit"; this should be "one unit."

Excellent work.
Customer avatar
Joseph C August 27, 2016 9:55 pm UTC
Hey, Jeremy! Thanks for the purchase, and doubly thanks for the very kind review.

And I'll add that to my errata list; thanks again. :)
Customer avatar
Michael F August 23, 2016 12:27 am UTC
Does this follow the same 25gp per day structure as the DMG suggests, or does it offer its own crafting process?
Customer avatar
Joseph C August 23, 2016 12:55 am UTC
Because alchemical items aren't magic, they are designed assuming the character will be using the Crafting downtime activity from the PHB, which provides 5gp per day of work. This makes some alchemy very labor intensive to create, although there's several alchemical tools in this supplement to reduce the time in question.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on August 22, 2016.