A&A Formulae, Theriacs

  1. Does the apothecary have to choose whether his Theriac is ingested or skin contact upon invention? Upon creating a new batch? Upon use?

  2. Is there a limit to the number of different Form/Material bonuses, or a cap on total bonus, an apothecary can include in one Theriac recipe?

  3. Honestly, do people find it reasonably balanced that formulae have to first be invented theorically (costing XP), then invented practically (with seasons in the lab) and then produced (in another lab season yet)?

I don't recall if the book says this, but I would say yes, decided upon inventing the Theriac.

I'm pretty sure the book says this is limit to the Ability used, so most likely Medicine in this case. (I say most likely because at least Enigmatic Wisdom can substitute for Medicine.)

This doesn't sound right. I thought the xp way was a way to start with them, having already learned them from someone else's work in the past. I thought the play method mirrored the Hermetic laboratory method for charged items and so was quite reasonable.


I agree with callen on point 1

2 - A&A p70 says the Philosophic Bonuses can never exceed the ability used in the formula. So the total of S&M, risk modifier and any lab bonuses (presumably adapted from the ones in covenants?) can't exceed medicine for theriacs.

3 - Oh, I see what you mean. You need to gain 5xp (whether from reading, or from 1 season's practice) to research a formula before you start doing the lab research, and the comment at the end of the "concocting a formula" section on p.72 makes it clear a lab text for a formula is often written with a tractatus of at least quality 5 so researchers can learn the formula and be ready to use it in the same season.
I'm not sure it's "reasonable", it certainly deters me a little from playing around with these by telling me I have to spend 5xp per formula, but it does make them different. I suppose it was put in as this is a form of special effect that anyone with enough education can learn, no Gift or Mystery Initiation required.

This isn't quite right. The rules are basically like making a charged item, except for the initial invention of the formula. The first season that you make the formula you have some output, but you get a much larger yield in subsequent seasons.
The requirement to spend xp on the formula first is the payback for this being an activity that anyone with academic training can do. It does not require The Gift or any Virtue -- just a lab, the time, and the cost of the ingredients. We've been using this in play for a few years now, and it works.