D&D5e Alchemy

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Alchemist's Supplies (Tool Proficiency)

Characters proficient in this Tool Proficiency are trained alchemists, capable of using the ingredients, tools, and techniques in the creation of alchemical goods. A set of alchemist's supplies (per the Player's Handbook) fits into a satchel of moderate size, and consists of a variety of alchemical tools: flasks, alembics, crucibles, and an octavo journal containing the alchemist's recipes.

Type DC Base Value
Aberration 14 15 gp
Celestial 18 25 gp
Construct 20 5 gp
Dragon 12 25 gp
Elemental 16 25 gp
Fey 18 15 gp
Fiend 14 15 gp
Monstrosity 16 10 gp
Ooze 20 10 gp
Plant 16 5 gp
Undead 18 5 gp
  • Alchemist's Formulary: This octavo-sized journal records the alchemical recipes known to the alchemist. Upon taking the alchemist's supplies proficiency, a character knows all Common recipes, plus four Uncommon recipes and one Rare recipe. The alchemist character may find or purchase other recipes as play progresses.
  • Alchemical Harvesting: One of the things alchemists frequently go adventuring to do is to harvest the myriad occult principles and substances that can be found in some of the creatures adventurers frequently deal with. Once a creature has been killed, an alchemist can harvest alchemical materials from its body, abstracted as a certain value of "alchemical materials."
    • Each creature type provides a DC and a base cost. To harvest alchemical materials from the remains of a monster, an alchemist must make an Intelligence (Alchemist's Supplies) check, at the listed DC. If successful, they gain an amount of alchemical materials equal to the base cost for that creature type, multiplied by the creature's CR. Alchemist's supplies are assumed to come with the means of preserving and transporting such materials. Harvesting a creature for alchemical materials takes half an hour.
    • Example: Once Gromand's group has finished killing the aboleth that has been tormenting the countryside, he takes a careful look at it, opens his alchemist's supply kit and goes to work. His Intelligence (Alchemist's Supplies) check comes up a 22, more than enough to harvest an aberration. Given that an aboleth is a DC 10 creature, the base value of harvesting an aboleth is 150 gp - giving him quite a good supply of raw materials for his work.

Alchemical Equipment

Alchemy Lab

500gp (3 slots) • +100 gp per additional slot
An alchemy lab is a much larger workspace than a simple set of supplies. Where alchemist's supplies can only be used to work on a single project at a time, the purpose of a lab is to allow multiple processes to work at the same time. Setting up an alchemical lab requires space to do so. If the character's Lifestyle does not provide multiple rooms for their living situation, the character must either find a space to do this or upgrade their Lifestyle so that it does. Generally speaking, a Comfortable Lifestyle is sufficient to provide the room needed for a lab setup.

Each slot allows an alchemist to tend to a single project, performing the standard 5gp worth of work towards the completion of that alchemical item for each slot. An alchemist can tend to a number of such slots equal to 1 + their proficiency bonus. Alchemists with large labs frequently employ apprentices to help tend to the extra projects "on the fire" (as it were).

Multiple slots can also be dedicated to a single project, devoting more resources to the project in question. For each slot dedicated to a given item, 5gp of work is done per day towards that item being completed. Thus, if an alchemist devotes three slots toward finishing a potion of climbing, they accomplish 15gp per day of crafting toward that end.


An athanor is a specialized piece of equipment. An alchemist can use an athanor with his alchemist's supplies, or if set up in an alchemical lab, an athanor takes up a single slot. Each athanor is dedicated to a single alchemical item, and takes one day to set up and properly calibrate. Once this is done, though, each day of work using an athanor in the creation of the proper item provides 15gp worth of work per day, rather than the standard 5gp.


Lesser: 50 gp • Greater: 75gp
An alembic allows an alchemist to work on larger amounts of alchemical goods at once - the amount of effort that goes into brewing a single batch can be doubled (with a lesser alembic) or even tripled (with a greater alembic). The standard materials cost must still be paid for all the items being created - work on one item is work on all of them thanks to the alembic's function.

An alembic takes up on alchemical lab slot, but it can be added to the same slot already occupied by an athanor, allowing the alchemist to not only work on two or three items at the same time, but to do so at the increased speed provided by the athanor. This process is fraught with peril, however, and requires a DC 15 alchemical supplies check, with failure ruining all of the work and wasting the materials invested.

Metallurgical Crucible

150 gp
Though smaller, less intense crucibles are used in every alchemist's kit and lab, the metallurgical crucible is particularly hefty, capable of generating and handling the prolonged heat necessary in the creation of alchemical alloys and refinements, such as orichalc, lunargent, and alchemist's steel. A metallurgical crucible can only be added to a lab, and provides an additional slot that can only be used for the creation of those metals whose description notes that they require one.

Alchemical Recipes

Like magical items, alchemical items are rated in terms of their rarity.

  • Common recipes are known by virtually all alchemists as a standard part of the lore. All alchemists are assumed to know common rarity recipes.
  • Uncommon recipes are usually plentiful for sale and trade. Most alchemists know of these recipes, and those with long experience in the field or who belong to long-standing guilds or traditions of alchemists know most of them.
  • Rare recipes are often considered either prizes worth a great deal of coin, or very strange examples of the alchemist's art.
  • Very Rare recipes are usually the product of inventive alchemists hard at work pushing the boundaries of their art.
  • Legendary recipes live up to their name: no one even knows if these supposed recipes are even actually possible with the alchemist's art alone, and are all probably the province of magic proper.