Alchemy and Quaesitor

One of my players wants to create his first mage and has posited Quaesitor with Alchemy, which he uses to conduct his investigations (touches of Lord Darcy I suspect). TMRE covers alchemy in a different way - more "deeper" into the subject. Pending coverage of "basic" alchemy in 5th, I propose to use the 4th edition virtue of Alchemy. What do people think?

4th Ed Virtues, esp. those in TM4e tend to be over-powered compared to 5e equivalents.
If you compare TM4e and TMRE where they overlap most closely, you will some of what I mean...

4E Alchemy is over-powered:

  • the 4e core version adds an additional Ability score to Lab Totals - in 4e, you should consider a Magical Affinity - which will either be much narrower than the 4e version, or somewhat narrower but a Major virtue.
    (That said, 5e Magical Affinity is quite powerful!)
  • 5e drops adding extra Abilities in most circumstances.

4e Mysteries Hermetic Alchemy is much more powerful and wide-ranging than 5e Mysteries Revised Alchemy.
TM4e adds bonuses to many Muto and esp. MuTe effects, including dropping levels from spell effects.
The Vis distillation effects of TM4e are also more powerful than 5e.

TMRE weakens the style compared to 4e, making its tone similar to the tone of 5e core... and also restricts Hermetic Alchemy to Hermetic-related tasks, like vis distillation and enchantments...

for now, consider perhaps using TMRE and Hermetic Alchemy as contained within that?
But also note - Alchemy, in both 4e and 5e, is nothing like Lord Darcy, and offers nothing particularly useful to Investigations.
The player would be better off considering Hermetic Divination!

It's not usually a good idea to take a "style" of magic from a novel and try to import into ArM - usually you will find that it is at a tangent to the way ArM magic works, and either you can't explain it in ArM terms (and shouldn't!) or you allow it and then begin to regret the relaxation...

He might also consider simply creating charged item enchanted devices in the form of potions, salves, or other alchemical mediums.

Caribet - thanks for that. I was not even thinking about anything other than the basic 4th ed virtue but I take your point. Perhaps I'll give the bonuses to potion creation but drop the Knowledge ability add. I'm going to be discussing this with the player.

I agree that transferring novels into other settings is frequently unwise but the issue is convincing the player!

If the character wants to progress into Hermetic Alchemy then he'll be using the TMRE rules.