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This article was written by the player Boa, and posted on Apr 18 2009.
Last updated by the god Dentin on Nov 20 2009, and Sep 13 2010.

This article does not cover the brewing of poisons. For the darker side of brewing, see our article on The Black Art of Poison Brewing.

The Ralnoth Alchemists Guild maintains a list of commonly known and used potion recipes. This list includes ingredients and expected spells, as well as other possibly useful information about common brews.

The Art of Alchemy

Mages don't only just cast spells - they also have access to a brew potion skill. With this mid-level skill, the mage can brew special spells, even those generally only gifted to clerics by their gods, and even some not castable by any other means. It is rumoured some alchemists even know recipes to brews that restore the drinker's mana! These recipes are often well-guarded secrets, as alchemists generally do not like competition in acquiring the ingredients needed to make their prized brews.

The Brewing Skills

The first thing you need to do before you can brew is learn the 'brew potion' skill. This skill is the basis for all potion brewing, but it isn't the only skill you can get. Salk in the city of Ralnoth, as well as many other trainers, can teach you this skill and get you on the way to brewing potions.

There are other skills that may help you with brewing and using potions. The first of these, 'potion lore', allows you to identify the critical aspects of new brews and is required to submit new potion recipes to the Ralnoth Alchemists Guild. If you know potion lore, you'll be able to identify possible spells on brews and how common they might be.

The next skill, 'reagent lore', can help you identify spell component ingredients with special properties. Spell components can have affinities for a particular spell or spell group, and by using several components from the same group you can greatly increase the chance of getting spells. As an example, creating a brew using only ingredients from the 'ice' group would be very likely to produce ice spells.

The skill 'brew focus' is used after you know a particular brew well and wish to extract a single spell from it. By concentrating and using your mana, you will improve the odds of the desired spell being brewed. This also has the effect of making other spells less likely to be brewed, which can be good or bad depending on what other spells are present. Usually this spell is used to make sure that 'clean' potions are brewed, for example 'pure' heal, with no side effects.

If you find a really good brew that you want to use later, the 'potion bottling' skill that can be used to preserve brews so that they don't lose their magical properties over time. This skill can be learned from Salk in Ralnoth and requires one hundred gold for each bottle. Beware! Bottled potions do not save, so if you need to log out you may want to drop or donate your potions. This also means that bottled potions will be lost if the game reboots, so you can't collect bottled potions indefinitely.

Collecting Brewing Supplies

There are three main types of items that can be used as potion ingredients. These fall under the category of 'spell component', 'herb', or 'food'. These are found under the 'TYPE' heading in an identify or list. All these various kinds of potion ingredients can be bought or otherwise acquired from special shopkeepers, or found around the world. These shopkeepers are in every major city from Airam to Zin.

Note that finding or buying potion ingredients can be difficult or expensive, and if your skill levels are low you may fail and ruin the brew. It's a good idea to practice your potion brewing skills to a high level so you don't waste ingredients.

Before you can brew anything with your ingredients, you'll need to find a liquid container in which to brew the potion. These are generally pretty easy to come across, and can range from small bowls to mugs, buckets, and cauldrons. You should be able to find suitable liquid containers in shops or donation rooms, if you don't stumble across any while adventuring.

One last thing to consider when looking for brewing ingredients is the Ralnoth Alchemists' Guild. Salk, in Ralnoth, is a high ranking member of the Guild, and can help you enter and advance in the guild. To begin, you must learn the 'potion lore' skill, which will allow you to submit new recipes to the guild. Submit enough high level recipes and you can gain access to guild-member-only shops loaded with obscure spellcomps.

Finding Brew Recipes

The easiest way to start brewing is to use what's called the 'scattershot' approach, which can occasionally land you a lot of experience as well. This is done by acquiring a lot of spellcomps and simply brewing all of them together to see what you get. If you don't like the result, you can easily empty out the container and repeat. Be careful though, as some potions will be activated by being dumped out. Some alchemists prefer to simply donate these potions instead of having to deal with dangerous high level spells.

Assuming your recipe yields a potion, the level of the spells will be determined by the average levels of the spellcomps you used. Note that food is usually low level, and some spellcomps are listed as 'total levels'.

One downside of the scattershot approach is that it can use a lot of ingredients, and sometimes it's hard to duplicate the results or collect the same ingredients again. For this reason, it's pretty popular to get starter recipies from the web page of the Ralnoth Alchemists Guild.

When looking for recipes, it's very helpful to have the 'potion lore' skill. If you possess this skill, you will be told the chances of what the recipe will brew, such as 'certain to brew heal', or 'low chance to brew stoneskin'. This is much more effective than just identifying brews as the brew you made may have been misbrewed or contaminated.

Remember that if you create a really good brew that you want to use later, the potion bottling skill allows you to bottle your brew so that it won't lose its spells over time.

Technical Details of Brewing

In September of 2010, the brewing system was taken apart and rebuilt, adding a lot of features and interesting brewing possibilities. For this part of the article, the "old system" is brewing prior to September 2010, and the "new system" is how brewing works after September 2010.

The old system was 100% "mad scientist" factor brewing. The resulting spells were completely random, with a completely random brew percentage (like always, sometimes, etc.) You could have multiple spells on a brew, because they were picked completely randomly and tossed onto the potion. Neither builders nor players had any way to influence or control the brewing process.

The new system is fundamentally different in a lot of ways, but the biggest, most core change is this:

All possible spells are considered for the brew, and only one each of the most likely ones are selected, until the brew is complete. Note that even spells with zero chance to be brewed are still considered, they just never appear in a potion.

This by default implies that you can only ever get one copy of a spell on a brew. Never again will people be able to brew triple level 80 cone of cold potions, or double level 60 fireweb.

All spells start with zero chance to be brewed. We then add chances to each spell in three stages:

  • Spell components that have affinity for a particular spell group are added. About half of the spells in the group are randomly chosen, and each is given some chance to be brewed.

  • Spell components that have affinity for a particular spell are added. The spell gets some random chance to be brewed. This chance is stronger than the chance for spells in a spell group.

  • Finally, there is a "mad scientist" portion of the brew, which adds some chance to completely randomly picked spells.

Here are some observations about what might happen as a result of this:

  • If you brew a potion using components with multiple different spell groups, you'll have a chance to brew a lot of different spells, possibly the limit of what can be put into the brew. It's just that the chances won't be very high for most of them. This can lead to some very chaotic brew recipes.

  • If you brew a potion using multiple components from the same spell group, you'll have a good chance to get multiple spells from the group, and not a lot of other spells.

  • If you brew something using a small number of components without any affinities, you'll be relying completely on the "mad scientist" part.

  • If you brew something using one component with group affinities, you'll be relying mostly on the "mad scientist" part, and you'll get occasional hits within the group. Sometimes the "mad scientist" part of the brew will add to the group part, and you'll get a really solid brew.

  • If you brew something using one component with a spell affinity, you'll have a good chance to get that spell, and you'll probably be hoping that the "mad scientist" part doesn't screw things up.

Regarding the new skills that have been added with the new system, 'reagent lore', will tell you what the spell components have affinities for. If you can't identify what the component does at your current skill level, you will be able to later once your skill level increases high enough.

The second new skill is perhaps the most valuable addition. By focusing a brew, you can greatly increase the chance that a specific spell is brewed. A side effect of this is that other spells have a much lower chance of being brewed, so a potion with a good chance to brew one desirable spell and several bad ones can be brewed such that the desirable spell occurs nearly always and the undesirable spells are much less likely.

Some other related trivia about the new system:

  • The code has a random but low chance to anonymously submit unsubmitted brews. This is to ensure that exotic but commonly used potions eventually end up as common knowledge. As a potion brewer, you are allowed to keep your secrets for a time, but not forever. This is similar to patenting an invention.

  • Gods have the ability to set or remove spell component affinities. You can expect that spell components with affinities will in the future become more common, and spell components that have no affinity today may have an affinity tomorrow. This will add spells to your existing brews if you use those components.

  • The reverse of the above is also true: you may find that some crazy good brew has been dented by having the affinity changed on one of its components. There are guidelines to limit the damage/change that builders cause by doing this, but we reserve the right to break brews this way. Hopefully change can be kept to a minimum.

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