There are various drugs available in the black markets of the world. Some are alchemical concoctions, while others are simply natural ingredients with potent properties.
Rolls against drug addiction are required when you take the same drug more than once in a one-week period. The first time you do so, no roll is required. Thereafter, however, using the drug will require you to make a Spirit roll if you have used it within the last 7 days. The addictiveness of the drug is applied as a penalty (or bonus) to this roll.
Drug addiction manifests in the form of the Habit Hindrance. It starts out as the Minor variant - though there are no mechanical penalties, the addict feels compelled to seek out the substance in question, even to their own detriment. They may experience withdrawal symptoms if deprived - such as headaches, paranoia or pain - but they are not so severe as to cause mechanical ramifications. Only if they fail a second addiction roll does it progress into a Major Hindrance.
Duration: 1 hour
Vaue: 150 silver
Thin slivers of a dried, black fungus. It is used by placing it between the cheek and gum, and extended use blackens the teeth. Using it temporarily awakens latent psionic powers, allowing the user to read the surface thoughts of those around them. Users without psionic training have difficulty using the drug effectively.
Mechanically, taking dream flake temporarily gives the user the Arcane Background (Psionics) Edge. They receive 10 power points and gain access to the Mind Reading power. An ordinary person who takes dream flake will be untrained in the Psionics skill, and will therefore have difficulty activating the power consistently.
Those who become addicted to dream flake tend to become paranoid that without their mind-reading powers, others are plotting against them or thinking evil thoughts about them. They grow reclusive and suspicious, and will avoid interactions while sober.
Duration: 4 hours
Value: 25 silver
A powerful drug often taken by insomniacs, this foul-tasting draught induces a powerful, dreamless sleep within minutes of being drunk. This sleep cleanses any Fatigue that requires rest to recover from, no matter what conditions the imbiber is sleeping in. They will only sleep for 4 hours, but will awaken as refreshed as if they had slept for 8.
The downside of this drug, besides its addictiveness, is the deep state of sleep that it puts the user into. Someone who has taken Oblivion will be dead to the world. No amount of noise can wake them; even pain will do nothing to revivify them from their coma-like state. Only certain magics meant to cure poison can undo the effects of Oblivion before its duration ends.
Addiction to this drug simply manifests as wanting to use it more and more frequently. Addicts prefer the dreamless sleep to their waking hours, and will spend as much time comatose as possible. They constantly feel tired, but are unable to get a good night’s sleep without Oblivion.
Duration: 1 hour
Value: 50 silver
A semi-magical concoction, “pain oil” is a waxy poultice made from alchemical reagants. It is a powerful painkiller which is often favored by warriors; one dose is enough to negate a single wound penalty for an hour, allowing you to act without worrying about impairment. It is possible to take multiple doses at once to negate multiple wounds.
There is a downside to pain oil, however. It masks pain so effectively that people using it don’t feel their wounds the way they would under normal circumstances. Unless you are doing no travelling or strenuous activity, using pain oil on a day causes that day to “not count” for the purposes of natural healing.
Addiction to pain oil manifests in the form of physical symptoms - aches and pains, phantom illnesses and old scars or injuries “acting up”. Only more pain oil will keep the pain away.
Duration: 1 minute
Value: 100 silver
A powerful adrenal stimulant, the Red Lotus can be smoked in a pipe or applied to the flesh in a paste. Within one round of doing so, the user will enter a berserk rage. The effects of doing so are identical to the Berserk Edge, including the drawbacks - such as Fatigue or attacking the wrong person. A rage induced by Red Lotus cannot be voluntarily ended; you must wait until the 10-round duration has elapsed. Red Lotus is banned in most nations due to its dangerousness and incredibly addictive properties.
Those who become addicted to red lotus become morose and listless, and believe that the only time they feel “truly alive” is when they are experiecing its effects. They also have vivid flashbacks and dreams about the things they did while under the influence, often tinged with revulsion and regret over their own lack of control.
Duration: 10 minutes
Value: 50 silver
A powder that is snorted - its name comes because it comes in crystalline form, and is shattered into fragments then ground into dust. When taken, time seems to slow down. For the duration, the user gains the effects of the Alertness and Level-Headed Edges. When the effect ends, they gain a level of Fatigue for 1 hour.
Because of its short duration, shatter addicts usually feel an immediate desire for more when the effects end. If possible, they will redose again and again - the expense of the drug makes this a very costly proposition. When an addict is sober, they will feel like everything is happening too fast, that the world is overwhelming and overloading their senses, and that they’re not in control.
Duration: 8 hours
Value: 50 silver
A fine silvery dust that is snorted through the nose, called “powdered mithril” by some, this is a powerful mind-enhancing drug made from potent magical herbs. It has an exceedingly long duration, making it very popular amongst certain classes of people. While its effects are ongoing, the user increases their Smarts by one die, as well as any skills linked to Smarts.
Those who use this drug regularly find themselves increasingly dependent on it, feeling as though they’re not “firing on all cylinders” unless they’ve taken it recently. They become distressed if required to do mental exertion without it - even trivial tasks, like addition or basic problem solving.
Duration: 6 hours
Value: 5 silver
Named for its distinctive shape as well as the “jolt” it gives when chewed, stormleaf is a common drug that grows like a weed and is easy to obtain. When placed in the mouth, it gives the sensation of a sudden, painless electric shock that courses through the body. After it has been chewed, it increases alertness significantly for 6 hours.
Chewing stormleaf (or drinking “lightning tea”) gives a +2 bonus to the Vigor roll made to avoid becoming more fatigued due to a lack of sleep. Furthermore, it will allow you to ignore the effects of Fatigue for its 6 hour duration. A second dose will allow you to ignore Exhaustion. As long as you keep redosing, you can keep the effects of sleep deprivation at bay indefinitely; you don’t suffer from any of the usual penalties to the Vigor roll that going for long periods without sleep normally applies.
Stormleaf just keeps you awake, however. It doesn’t actually mean you don’t need any sleep. Eventually, even at a +2, you will fail enough Vigor rolls to become Incapacitated and pass out for 2d10 hours. Note that users who don’t crash and manage to stay awake for long periods of time often report hallucinations and other psychological disturbances.
Addiction to stormleaf is rare, and many people take it regularly without incident. It is commonly sold in markets and herbalist shops. Those who do become addicted, however, experience a variety of flu-like symptoms. Headaches and uncontrollable shaking are the most common withdrawal symptoms, but fever and delirium can occur in extreme cases.
Will O’ Wisp
Duration: 1d4 hours
Value: 30 silver
A pale blue liquid produced from certain rare flowers that grow deep in fey forests; supposedly, it was faeries that first brought this drug to the world, but humans have since learned to manufacture it. When taken, will o’ wisp causes the user to see objects outline in flickering flames that vary in colour between bright red and deep purple. The user will also see mysterious flames hovering in the distance, especially at night. The drug also causes euphoria and absent-mindedness, and users tend to “space out” observing the flames around them for hours at a time.
Although it is merely a pretty phenomenon and an addictive high to most, the faerie fire effect created by this drug is not just in the user’s head - it is a magic effect. Even things the user can’t see clearly will be outlined in fire, making them much easier to track. While under the effects of the drug, the user halves all penalties due to Illumination. For this reason, will o’ wisp is sometimes taken by thieves and assassins - or those who fear they are being followed.
Those who become addicted to will o’ wisp feel that colours have become washed out and grey in comparison to the vibrancy of faerie fire. They will have trouble telling different colours apart, and as the withdrawal grows worse may even report a “blurriness” of vision as objects seem to meld together into a grey smudge.