FMA Alchemy (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Alchemy. The art of understanding, constructing, deconstructing, and then reconstructing the universe. The following variant rules are an attempt at recreating the wondrous power seen in the all too popular Fullmetal Alchemist series.

These rules are designed in such a way that the Alchemist makes skill checks to perform his "magic". The only thing limiting the user's use of Alchemy is his skill with it. To use Alchemy, he needs the Alchemy Feat and ranks in one of the 8 Alchemy skills: Alchemy (Earth), Alchemy (Water), Alchemy (Fire), Alchemy (Air), Alchemy (Organic), Alchemy (Metal), Alchemy (Chemical), and Alchemy (Soul). There is also Knowledge (Alchemy) for anyone who wishes to know facts and lore on the subject. Of all the Alchemical elements, Alchemy (Soul) is the only skill that requires special training before ranks may be invested into it. You either must have the Soul Alchemy feat (access gained from having a Black Gate experience) or being taught by someone who has the Soul Alchemy feat.

How Alchemy works is the user states to the GM what he intends to do with his alchemy, and then makes the correct Alchemy skill check. The GM tells the user how successful it was based on the check. This means the success or failure is entirely up to the wisdom and mercy of the almighty Game Master. Example: Bob the Alchemist wishes to transmute the earth into a fist, knocking his enemies into the wall behind them. He makes an Alchemy (Earth) check, and gets a 25. The GM decides that this is sufficient for such a simple task. Next, the enemies get a Reflex save. If the use of Alchemy gives someone else a saving throw, the DC is 10+ Half user's level since Alchemy Feat+ Intelligence Modifier.

Before Bob may even begin to think about transmuting the earth, he must first have a transmutation circle drawn and activated. Circles can be of the following sizes: Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, and Giant. The bigger the circle the more powerful the transmutation they can allow. Tiny circles can only support up to DC 15 transmutations, small 25, medium 35, and so. Activating a circle is a swift action, provided you can touch it, while drawing the circle takes longer. Tiny and Small are standard actions, Medium are full round actions, Large takes a minute, and Giant circles take 5-10 minutes, if not longer. With the Fast Drawing feat, Tiny and Small take a Swift action to draw and activate, Medium a standard action, Large 5 rounds, and Giant 1-5 minutes. This is the minimum time needed to draw a circle. If one uses a Large or Giant circle a number of times more then their Constitution modifier in the same encounter, then they become fatigued. Again and they become exhausted. A third time and they fall unconscious.

Alchemy may not be used an infinite amount of times. You give the circle some of your energy in order for it to tap into the geothermal energy deep below. You may use tiny, small, and medium circles safely a number of times in the same encounter equal to your Constitution score, more and you become fatigued. More then twice your Constitution and you become exhausted, more then thrice and you fall unconscious.

In order to transmute, you must have enough materials available to you. Also, the materials must be of the appropriate kind. One can not use water to fuel fire alchemy, although one could use chemical alchemy to turn the water into hydrogen and then use flame alchemy. One could not make bread out of earth or metal or sand, but one could make bread if one had grass about him. In the above example, Bob transmuted the earth into a rock fist and smashed his enemies. Because nothing is created or destroyed with alchemy, there would be less earth around the area where the fist first began. The earth is not gone, it has just been reformed into a new shape and moved.

Alchemy Skills[edit]

This section is to describe what the Alchemy skills can and can not do.

  • Air Alchemy can change the winds, control updrafts, purify poisonous air, etc. Anything that has to do with gases, Air Alchemy can manipulate.
  • Chemical Alchemy can change matter between the 3 different stages: solid, gas, and liquid. It can also be used to draw a single type of atom from a substance, like oxygen from water to breath. Colonel Mustang's gloves were not Fire Alchemy, but Chemical Alchemy, as it it rearranged the atoms in the air to a more flammable gas. Chemical Alchemy is a catch all, if it can't be done in the other 7 skills, it most likely can in this one.
  • Earth Alchemy can move the earth, is the most popular, and easiest to use and learn. Most commonly used to make fists or elevators, it can also be used to forge weapons in seconds with the aid of other alchemy checks.
  • Fire Alchemy is a difficult school to master, and many are wrong to think of it as the most destructive alchemy. Flame Alchemy has many uses beyond blowing up stuff: sealing wounds close, stopping the bomb from exploding, melt some metal, raising the temperature in one's target to cause him to fall ill, etc.

Alchemy Feats[edit]

  • Alchemy: This feat allows you to invest ranks into the 8 Alchemy skills, as well as unlock access to the other Alchemy feats. Requires an Intelligence score of at least 15.
  • Fast Drawing: This feat allows the alchemist to draw his transmutation circles much faster then normal. Requires an Intelligence score of at least 15, Dexterity score of at least 13, and the Alchemy feat.
  • Alchemy Tattoo: This feat allows one to have a transmutation circle drawn on their body. Because of the power that courses through the circle, only hardy people can take this feat. The transmutation circle only allows transmuting of one element, but transmutation with that element is a swift action. The circle size tattooed to ones body can not be larger then one size step less then their size. Requires an Intelligence score of at least 15, a Constitution score of at least 13, and the Alchemy feat.
  • Alchemy Body Tattoo: This is one step up from an alchemical tattoo. An alchemical body tattoo covers the entire body, and is basically an all purpose transmutation circle. All Alchemy checks made are swift actions, and the circle is treated as being your size category. Because of the immense power coursing through the users body, only the most hardy of people can have this without suffering ill effects. Requires an Intelligence score of 17, a Constitution Score of 17, two Alchemy Tattoo feats, and the Alchemy feat.
  • Alchemical Healing: Some alchemist, having a great understanding of the body, can use their talents to heal deadly wounds. The base DC to heal one with alchemy is 20, but if the person is of a different race, the DC is higher. If you succeed your Alchemy (Organic) check, you heal the subject 1 point per 5 points in the check. Requires an Intelligence Score of 15, 15 Ranks in Heal, 15 ranks in Alchemy (Organic), and the Alchemy feat.

Gate of Truth[edit]

The Gate of Truth is the keeper of all knowledge, the infinite truth. It is a Lawful Neutral deity with 50 Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. It may take 20 on all Alchemy checks. If one attempts forbidden alchemy, they summon the Gate. A large eye will appear in the transmutation circle and black arms will reach up out of it. It will show the alchemist the Truth, and take from him something of equivalent value as payment. This is called a Gate of Truth Experience.

Those who survive a Gate of Truth Experience will gain access to Gate of Truth feats, but they must first survive the ordeal. It is straining on the both the mind and body. When the Gate of Truth contacts them, they must make a will save DC 25 or their mind will collapse under such power. If they succeed they see a little bit of the truth and may take Gate of Truth feats. They must then make a DC 30 Will save or the experience ends. If they succeed they get +1 to Intelligence. DC 35 and another +1 Intelligence. Repeat the process until the alchemist fails a will save. Now the Gate of Truth collects the toll; if they succeed the first save, they may lose a hand or a foot. The second and they may lose an arm or a leg. The more they see, the more they lose. It is possible to see the entire Truth, in which case there would be nothing left of the subject (but perhaps that wouldn't be so bad). If the subject survives, they also get one free Gate of Truth feat. The Gate of Truth is open-minded, and is willing to negotiate the toll for the amount of truth seen. However, it will only settle for what is fair; no more, no less.

Gate of Truth Feats[edit]

  • Body as Matrix: This feat allows one to use their own body as the transmutation matrix within the circle. All they must do to perform alchemy, is to form their body into a circle (clapping, crossing legs, etc) and then touch their target. This is the same as Alchemy Body Tattoo, without the strain on the body. One may still not use their body as circles that are larger then their size category. Requires Intelligence 17, Gate of Truth Experience, and the Alchemy feat.
  • Soul Alchemy: This feat means one has seen enough of the Truth to perform Soul Alchemy: creating Philosopher's Stones, Homunculi, and transferring souls to objects or to other people. One does not need this feat to invest ranks in Alchemy (Soul), they just need someone to train them and this feat is that training. Requires Intelligence 17, Gate of Truth Experience, and the Alchemy feat.
  • Understanding: This feat represents that you have seen enough of the truth to understand an alchemical element, much greater then others could. At the time of choosing this feat, choose one Alchemy skill and you may now take a 10 on checks with that skill even if rushed or threatened. This feat may be taken multiply times, once for each of the 8 Alchemy skills. Requires Intelligence 17, Gate of Truth Experience, and the Alchemy feat.
  • Soul Transmutation: This feat represents that you have seen enough of the truth to use your own soul like a Philosopher's Stone in dire emergencies. Make the Alchemy check as if you were using a stone, and then subtract from your maximum, venerable, old, and middle age 1 per 5 points used in the check. Then make a Fortitude save equal to the check or fall unconscious. Requires Intelligence 17, Gate of Truth Experience, the Human Transmutation feat, and the Alchemy feat.
  • Teleportation: This feat represents that you have seen enough of the truth to be able to dissemble an object here and resemble it over there. You may only teleport to another Teleportation circle that you are aware of. To teleport, you must succeed an Alchemy (Chemical) check DC 15 +1 per 10 pounds being transmuted. The distance is not a factor, as long as the circle is not disturbed. Requires Intelligence 17, Gate of Truth Experience, and the Alchemy feat.

Philosopher's Stone[edit]

The Philosopher's Stone, the Red Stone, the Blood Stone, the Red Water, the Soul Stone, the God's Blood Stone, the Immortal Stone, the Devil's Stone. As it has many names, it has also has many shapes and sizes. They all allow the same thing, to perform alchemy without the need of a transmutation circle or with the appropriate materials. One could take a pebble, and with the stone, turn it into a minigun with nigh infinite bullets.

The Philosopher's Stone allows one to perform all alchemy as a swift action and can take a 20 on any alchemy check, even if rushed or threatened. One can even add a bonus to their Alchemy checks with a Red Stone. However, the stone is not infinite. It too has limits. Every 5 points in the Alchemy checks used with it, it loses one Life point. When it is out of Life points, it grows dark. If it is used while there are no life points, then an alchemical backfire occurs.

To make a Philosopher's Stone, one needs to sacrifice people. It requires a large transmutation circle and several people, 5 or 6 is good. The DC to make a stone is 5 per person used in its creation. If you succeed the Alchemy (Soul) check, then you figure how many Life Points it has. Figure the maximum age of all the subjects, and then subtract from that their current age. Subtract from the sum 100, and if a number remains greater then 0, then you have created a stone! If not then no stone is created, and you've lost your sacrifices.


Humans created through alchemy and stabilized by a Philosopher's Stone. Homunculi can be created two ways: Performing human transmutation, or introducing a Philosopher's Stone into a human's blood stream. If one is created though alchemy, it is ghoulish, deformed, and at -1 hp and dropping. Introducing a Philosopher's Stone into it's blood stream before it dies will attempt to stabilize it, and if it succeeds will begin to appear more human-like. In either case, before they become Homunculi they must succeed a Fortitude save DC 25 or the stone force's itself out and the subject dies.

Once a Homunculus has survived the ordeal, they may then start taking Homunculus Feats, and gain the following racial traits:

  • Regeneration: The round after a Homunculus takes damage, they heal 1 HP for 1 Life Point from their Philosopher's Stone. They can heal as many points as they have Life Points.

Bound Soul[edit]

Death need not be the end if one is skilled enough in alchemy. One may attempt an Alchemy (Soul) check to bind a soul to an object, usually armor. The DC is 25 plus the characters level if the target has been dead for no longer then an hour, or 35 plus their level if they are still alive. The subject's HP becomes that of the object, and they gain Hardness equal to the object. Their HP does not increase when they level up, but every other level after they become a bound soul, they gain an additional feat. They use their Wisdom score in place of their strength score and don't have a Constitution score. If they are bound to a suit of armor, they receive no armor check penalties or speed penalties. Their dexterity increases by 4, but have 2 less charisma. A bound soul adds his armor bonus to AC, and takes no arcane spell casting failure chance.


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