Effect: this formula will allow the alchemist to brew an alien concoction known only as Aklo. The exact origin of Aklo is a mystery. The formula can be found in The Codex. Once the Aklo is brewed it can be used in conjunction with specific Aklo letters and words to help unlock the secrets of wizardry, and produce desired spell effects.
It should be noted that ingredients for this potion will vary from one world to the next. The most effective Aklo can only be brewed in the Dreamlands of Earth where an alchemist can obtain a unique and highly toxic variety of green capped mushroom found in the Enchanted Wood. When unable to visit the Dreamlands the alchemist can substitute ingredients as needed, with varying degrees of success. If this is the case then it is up to the game master to set the needed parameters for the alchemical workings and ingredients. A modern day example would be the strain of Psilocybin mushroom found in Mexico, which can help produce the desired mind altering effect, but is less potent and requires a different brewing process to draw out a weaker variation of Aklo.
As mentioned before, changing the basic alchemical ingredients needed to brew Aklo can actually change the potency of the potion. This could mean a variety of things, such as higher level spells not being available, or perhaps a higher dosage of Aklo is required. This allows the game master to tweak the magical saturation of the game world, and control the availability of magical spells. In the end I would suggest using what feels right for the setting being presented.
The basic brewing process is the extraction and separation of toxins and hallucinogenic properties of the mushrooms. When dealing with toxic materials there is a possibility that the alchemist will accidently make a mistake and poison the person imbibing the Aklo, which can be determined by rolling against the alchemist’s Alchemy skill (possibly a secret roll by the game master). If the alchemist fails the skill check then the potion produced could be poison, and once again this is handled by the game master.
As a final note, it should be mentioned that the availability of Aklo should echo the magical saturation of the setting. In a higher magic campaign Aklo can be purchased from a local alchemist. In a low magic setting it is up to the players to brew their own Aklo, and this could turn into full blown adventures just acquiring the needed materials.
- Material: specially devised and crafted alchemical alembic, pedestal and mortar that are used exclusively for the making of Aklo
- Material: green capped mushroom that grows in Earth’s Dreamlands, specifically in the Enchanted Wood (most effective), or other similar mushroom with hallucinogenic properties (1 lb of mushrooms to brew 12 oz of Aklo)
- Material: natural spring water found in Earth’s Dreamlands (most effective), or other purified natural spring water (1/2 gal of water to brew 12 oz of Aklo)
Brewing Time: 24 hours / 12 oz (12 doses)
Uses (Duration): 1 dose allows 8 hours of effective spell casting ability (higher dosage required if the formula has been altered with the use of weaker mushrooms)
Alchemy Skill Level: 3
Sanity Cost: 0 (for brewing); could be some sanity loss with prolonged use (game master determined)
Saving Throw: vs. Poison (if the Aklo is accidently brewed incorrectly / game master determined)
Note: The game mechanics discussed can be used for any edition of Dungeons & Dragons, but are specifically written for Castles & Crusades. As with most game materials I will present, this article is considered Open Game License (OGL).