Apothecary Lifepath

Hey all,

I am trying to create a sorecer type character who doubles as an apothecary, one capable of making poisons and medications. My vision is that this cat is a village hedge wizard when a war starts. Rather than joing the soldiery, he starts brewing concoctions that relieve pain, so as to help his army. And he also brews poisons that cause pain, so as to hurt the enemies’ soldiers. I don’t really want these items to be magical, which makes me think the enchanting rules might not be quite right. Nor do I think this is primarily an alchemical concept, so I don’t think alchemy is quite right either.

I think I would need an Apothecary type life path, one that specializes in cooking both harmful and helpful “tonics,” (for lack of a better word), not one that specializes in the treatment of wounds. But I’m not seeing a lifepath that really does that. Am I missing it?

If not, I took a crack a creating one. I’m hoping to get some feedback so I can refine it. (If you know of an existing lifepath that accomplishes the same objective, just tell me what I’m missing and I’ll abandon this home brew option altogether.) :slight_smile: Anyway, here’s the lifepath:


Setting: Outcast; Leads: City, Seafarer, Peasant; 6 years; 20 resource points; Stats: +1 M & +1 P; Skills: 8 points: Apothecary, Poisons, Concoction-Wise; Herbalism, Foraging, Cooking, Soothing Platitudes; Traits: 2: Off kilter, Detached, Eidectic Memory; Requirements: Apt Pupil, Student, Poisoner, or any Doctor type lifepath.


Thanks in advance,


This is a very powerful lifepath. You are basically getting equal, or better numbers in every single category as compared to every other outcast LP.

  • The RPs should come down, I would go no more than 10/12 - why should he get 2.5x what the poisoner gets?

  • Only give a stat point in mental, or make it an either/or.

  • Fewer skill points. As it is now, he just knows everything he would need to, and would still have points left over for other skills.

  • Why Eidetic Memory?

I would revisit the points in the MB (if you have it) that cover LP generation, and pare it down to what the LP is, not that plus all the other stuff you’d like it to be. (No snark in there, I know how hard it is to build a balanced LP. It is a good start, it just needs to come down. :slight_smile: )

Can I ask why a Lifepath, rather than picking skills up with General points? Because for that concept, you really just need to open up the Apothecary, Poisons and either Herbalism or an appropriate Wise. Going from Doctor to Poisoner would cover it, if you’re okay with adjusting the character’s concept a bit.

No snark read in any of it. These are exactly the sorts of observations for which I was hoping, so I thank you. Now to respond and revise.

This is really just a mistake. I set the resource points first, by comparing the path to the Wizard/Sorcerer paths. I had it equal the Wizard of War’s resource points, because that is the lowest total for a sorcerer life path. It was only later, after I set the skills and such, that I realized this path isn’t comparable to Wizards. But then I forgot to reduce the resource points. Which is to say, completely agreed. 20 is too high.

I struggled here. Wasn’t sure if this path would qualify as one in which a person “survives by wits alone.” Your instinct is not, so I’m happy enough to pare that down, too. Call it +1 M.

I actually was looking at the Monster Burner when I set the lifepath’s skill points. The rules told me to go with 1 point per skill except the one on which the lifepath is particularly reliant. So that’s what I did. But if you think the points should come down, then down they will come.

Here’s my thought: there are multiple ways (Apt Pupil and Poisoner) to acquire this path without being able to read and write. If you take this path without the ability to take notes on what you’re doing, then you better have a darn fine memory, so that you can recall how to make the concoctions you brewed successfully. That make sense? Or do you think the trait is still misplaced?

And now, the first revision:


Setting: Outcast; Leads: City, Seafaring, Peasant; 6 years; Stat: +1 M; Resources: 10; Skills: 5 points: Apothecary, Poisons, Concoction-wise, Herbalism, Cooking; Traits: 2: Off Kilter, Detached, Eidetic Memory; Requirements: Apt Pupil, Student, Poisoner, or Any Doctor Type Lifepath.

Thoughts? Still too much?


That’s a good question. I’m not entirely certain the Lifepath is necessary, actually. As of now, I have bought Apothecary and Poisons with the general skill points. He is terrible at both of these skills, but he has them.

So why try and design a life path, then? Mostly because I would prefer he be a little better at brewing his concoctions, since making them is the gist of his one paragraph back story, even if that means he loses some of his ability to do a DoW or to use Sorcery.


Yeah, the sorcerous LP’s will lead you astray–they all have ridiculous RP’s because they need to buy spells.

My objection to this lifepath is that it isn’t actually a lifepath. It’s two put together: physician and poisoner. They’re very different jobs! But since you already are likely to have one of those to get this apothecary, you might as well fill in the gaps with the other. Or use general points. Making lifepaths that do what you want to do is cheating; you have to come up with a way to make the character you want with the actual lifepaths.

My first reaction upon reading this was an incredulous, “What are you talking about? Physician is just the Doctor in the City Setting. It is not an Apothecary.”

And then I looked at the physician life path again. And it turns out that it is very much the “good” apothecary while poisoner is very much the “bad” apothecary. Not only that, but there is even a City Doctor path I had somehow altogether missed.

And so now my reaction is: you’re right, Wayfarer. The reason my apothecary doesn’t exist as one path is that it exists as two. I started this thread by saying I would drop the home brew if you could point me to a life path I was missing. You have.

So consider this one dropped.



I see you dropped it, but wanted to add one thing. That LPs are setting dependent. Any given setting may have extra or forbidden LPs to highlight, alter, or remove skills and setting coolness.

Anyways, just saying that if people in the setting would see and recognize an apothecary, and not think that they are all doctors and poisoners, then this would be a good life path for that setting.

If your char is unique, then no it probably isn’t.

Lifepath limitations are cool, but as long as new ones are made from a setting perspective side, then I think adding new ones is awesome.

That’s true to a point. If the result is the same as having two lifepaths, though, I’d hesitate to add a new combo lifepath. Instead, I think that combo would just happen quite often and people would recognize it. Taking the physician and poisoner lifepaths is a great way to make a well-rounded apothecary.

I can see having to change the poisoner LP if you want becoming a military “apothecary” to be a recognized and respectable thing, though, but I still think it’s better represented by just using general points to get Poisons.

Yeah, but is every apothecary on your setting spending a few years learning to poison people?

Hmmm, I guess the answer to that is that they are getting the poisons skill in the above Lifepath! So yeah.

Is the main argument that this LP gets two primary professional skills?

They are not getting some of the other skills that go with poisoner though, so in my mind it is still kosher.