Personal tools


From Mizahar Lore

Jump to: navigation, search
The Perfect Blend.

Philtering is the skill of mixing and brewing potions. It is always considered a supplemental skill because it is most often combined with other skills or arcana. Philtering truly shines forth and augments other skills. Knowing how to properly combine and brew substances is an art form in itself. Practitioners of medicine, perfumers, cooks and even painters or glyphers know that understanding philtering can be the difference between life and death, beauty and catastrophe, and finally exquisite taste or culinary ruin.

With properly philtered arcana potions, mages can in essence gift their abilities in the arcanic realm to others not equally knowledgeable. Even bearers of Gnosis Marks, such as Rak'keli's Healing, can channel their ability into philters and store their power in the form of specialized potions meant to cure anything from broken bones to burnt skin. Philtering is the all around useful supplementary skill that depends on other skills to support itself.


Prerequisites and Related Skills

While Philtering has no prerequisites, the following skills will be incredibly augmented by the application and use of philtering.

Note that regardless of your level of Philtering, anything created through its use will be limited by the level of the skill used to add extra effects. For example, if an Expert Philterer/Novice Morpher were to craft a philter that, when consumed, causes one to change shape, the magnitude of the change would be limited to what a Novice Morpher could do (understand that the benefit here comes from the fact that the morphing effects are able to be used on others and not just the morpher themselves thus going beyond the normal limits of morphing magic). Another example, a Master Philterer with a single mark from Vayt attempts to create a philter that can poison an entire city with deadly effects. While their Master level in Philtering would allow remarkable philters to be made, their single mark from Vayt limits what related effects can be added to a philter.

Training and Learning

Philtering can be learned by trial and error, rare yet informative books and manuscripts, or through an evolution of similar fields of study such as herbalism, poisons, medicine, etc. The most effective way to learn Philtering is from another Philterer. Having a teacher to direct one’s studies allows the student the chance to gain directed knowledge on certain substances and materials as well as specific processes. There are few formal schools however that focus on Philtering however those that do teach it offer a chance for students to learn from a number of other Philterer and thus gain a wider array of skills and knowledges from such mentorship.


Philtering has applications that span a wide range of areas. Most complex medicines are created through philtering as well as balms, salves, tinctures, poisons and potions. Cooking can benefit from philtering with an end result being food that far surpasses anything possible through simple food preparation and processing. Poisons can become layered with numerous effects while the natural properties of herbs can be enhanced. Magical talent and religious faith can also be contained, quantified and combined for often awe-inspiring effects. While the more mundane products can often be produced by competent or greater practitioners of other fields, the philterer can often do such things with greater quality at comparable levels of skill of philtering. For example, a competent herbalist may be able to craft a potent herbal tea but a competent philterer could craft the same thing with multiple flavors and beneficial properties not normally found within the mundane herbal ingredients.


Philtering is not for the unfocused. It requires a great attention to detail and a desire for perfection. Mistakes made in the processessing of lesser philters may result in minor wounds, burns or rashes but mistakes made in more advanced, gnosis/magic-infused philters can be disabling or even deadly. Attempting to produce philters one does not possess the skill to fully understand has led to disastrous results for philterers and innocent bystanders alike.


It doesn’t matter how one learns philtering, there are basic pieces of knowledge that are common to all methods of learning. These basic fundamentals must be understood before taking the steps needed to craft more advanced philters. These processes are essential to the entire science of philtering and without them, one cannot hope to attain true mastery of it.


Gasses and other vapors can be purified through filtration. Usually, cheesecloths treated with charcoal help filter out contaminants within a base substance. These impurities are left behind on the charcoal and cloth thus purifying the vapors for condensation. These cheesecloth filters are usually inserted into glass globes within tubes used for distillation. Pressurization and isolation aid in the filtering process.


Semi-solid substances such as waxes and other similar compounds can be processed through assation to help purify and separate key components from the base substance. The end result is the reduction of the base substance into ash and dust thus revealing its root components. The base substance is placed in a glass vessel and dried over hot ashes or on placed the edge of a special brazier. If an oven is available, it is more preferred due to the more even, clean reduction.


Hard solids are reduced to powered material through this process. It allows the philterer to purify solids and reduce them down to more workable forms without a loss of usefulness and beneficial properties. Some substances are crystallized through this process. The actual process involves heating the base substance without it contacting the heat’s fuel source. The temperature is not enough to melt the base substance but hot enough to cause various thermal-based changes in the base substance that brings out a purer end result. Calcination may also be performed by crushing or smashing minerals beforehand and then heating them to crystallization. The final product of this form of calcinations is known as calx.


This is a supplementary process used for identification. The appearance of some substances can be tested thus identifying what they are. A sample of an unknown substance is dissolved in water and poured through a tube lined with papyrus or paper. Elements and compounds within the unknown sample move through the tube and paper at varying speeds and the colors line up in bands on the paper. Philterers can then identify components within the sample based on the colored bands and in turn have a better chance at identifying the unknown sample.


This process is used for refining materials to a more pure state. Materials to be purified are placed in a cupel and heated to extreme temperatures. Impurities are then either absorbed into the cupel and crucible or they bleed off and ultimately evaporate. See further into the article for details regarding philterting equipment.


Distillation is made up of a number of reactions. The first is evaporation; heating up a liquid in an alembic or retort causing it to boil in to vapors. Second is condensation or descension. The vapors rise through coiled glass tubes where they cool and eventually become liquid once more. Finally comes distillation where the newly reformed liquid is collected in a container. This new liquid is a much purer form of the original and can sometimes be different altogether depending on what components were left behind in the process.


This process involves a substance being saturated in a dissolving liquid in order to purify it. Another method of insuration involves the use of a dessicant such as salt. The salt will help dry out the substance thouroughly for use in other processess.


This process quickly vaporizes a solid substance with intense heat. As quickly as it is vaporaized, the substance condenses and transforms into a different solid form. Ceramic and porcelain retorts are used as they are able to withstand the greater temperatures. The distillation coils are often packed in ice to rapidly speed up the cooling process.

Philtering Equipment

Alembic – A glass device used in the distillation and separation of liquids. It is made up of a pear-shaped holding bell topped by a screw-on venting hood. There are various tubes attached to the hood that empty heated vapors into a waiting receptacle. Alembics are placed on ceramic or metal stands and are placed over a heat source.

Balance and Scale – These are used for more precise measuring of weights and/or amounts of a substance. The scale is usually made of steel or bronze and provides more accurate measurements from as little as one-tenth of an ounce up to 75 pounds.

Brazier, Philtering – Used for heating a beaker or bottle. It is used in a variety of processes that involve heating a substance either directly or indirectly. Burettes and Pipettes – Burettes are thin glass tubes blown into long cylinders and sized for very small substance amounts of an ounce down to one-tenth of an ounce. Most philterers have at least one in their lab with three being a large but not uncommon number.

Corks – Corks are used to stopper any number of different types of containers such as glass vials, beakers or jars. Some corks have holes drilled in them so coils and tubes can be connected to other devices for distillation. Crucible – This ceramic or porcelain vessel is used to heat substances to high temperatures. Most philterers have a small and large one with most kits having only one small one. It is not uncommon for a lab to have two of each size.

Cupel –A shallow, heat-resistant, porous vessel used in separating minerals from base elements. It is usually used in an oven of some sort or it may be placed over a brazier or crucible. They are used mainly with substances that require large amounts of heat to purify and reduce. There is usually one small one found in a kit while a lab usually has three or more of varying sizes.

Distilling Coil – A specialized piece of glass that allows vapors to condensate. Vapors rise into the coil and then condense back into a newly formed liquid as they move further from the heat source.

Glassware – Beakers, tubes, vials, jars, bottles and cups of all sizes.

Kiln/Oven – Iron ovens or ceramic kilns are essential to the philterer’s work. An oven is big enough to support working on a single philter at any one time while larger kilns are used for larger projects as well as turning substances into powder.

Mortar and Pestle – These are used for crushing materials and are made of either stone, wood or ceramic. A kit comes with a small mortar and pestle that can easily fit in the philterer’s hand. A larger one can be found in a full lab.

Philterer’s Clothing – Aprons, gloves and a variety of different types of cloth and clothing are useful and sometimes necessary for philterers to perform their work.

Retort – A glass alembic made of a single piece of glass. It is molded or blown with sealable openings at both ends and is used for distillation.


A number of different kind of products can be created through the use of philtering. It is important to note however that philtering is a supplemental skill. As such, other skills are required in order to fully realize the potential of philtering. Philters that do not contain magical or gnostic properties generally require Novice Level Philtering and at least a Novice Level in another skill such as cooking, herbalism, medicine or poison. Oftentimes more than one of these other skills are required. For example, philters that act as curatives or otherwise have some manner of healing or relief properties, will require at least a Novice Level Philtering, Novice Level Medicine and quite often Novice Level Herbalism as well. The greater the level of philtering, the greater the effects will be of the more mundane philters. Even mundane philters (philters that are not infused with magic or gnosis) which are crafted by highly skilled philterers (L3 and L4) can possess seemingly supernatural effects. In order to craft a MAGIC philter or potion, one must possess a magical skill or gnosis mark in order to infuse magical properties into the philter. The skill in a magical discipline or number of gnosis marks will determine just how potent the supernatural effects are. For examples of the types of philters out there and possible skill requirements needed to craft them, see the Price list for more details.

Skill Progression

Novice (1-25)
At this level, a practitioner learns the basic mixing of substances. They gain a bit of knowledge about food preservation and liquid nutrition. Philterists receive a working knowledge of their tools, especially the glassware involved, that are required for adequately philter substances. They are able to turn living things like plants into tinctures, distillations, creams and salves. For example, they can take simple moss and mint - mix it with a bit of alcohol and beeswax to create a lovely lip balm that keeps the winter wind from chapping lips. They are able to produce one dose or vial of whatever they are philtering per session if the potion is combined with another skill (aka medicine). If they are doing a simple distillation or reduction, they are able to distill or reduce as much as they require so long as they are attentive to their philtering (as in keeping an eye on the stove or campfire to make sure the pot doesn't boil dry or the distillation doesn't become to hot and break flasks.
Competent (26-50)
At this level, philterers can add Gnosis abilities and magic into their filters at the rate of one effect per philter. By this level they have mastered tinctures, tonics, and are great at balms and soaps. Cooks with Philtering skills can create two or more layers of flavor in their dishes which might be wholly independent of each other. They can create potions that waterproof items, and do simple mixtures like turning talc or zinc into wet paste to use as sunscreen. Practitioners of philtering can create hair oil, lotions, and most importantly preserve foodstuffs. They can also create multiple doses per philtering sessions - upwards of two to three in most normally used cases.
Expert (51-75)
Expert philterers can combine multiple spells or gnosis abilities into their philters. They can create philters that sustain others for long periods of time, decreasing or eliminating the need for actual food and water while using these dangerous substances. They can layer unlimited flavors within flavors and make each independent of the other to the point that a single philtered candy can taste like a four course meal. Philterers at this level can create highly volatile substances that can explode or generate dramatic events like firestorms. These mix masters can create stunning visual effects such as fireworks or incredibly loud noises just out of common substances. Doses of philters at this level range around ten per session.
Master (76-100)
Master level philterers are virtually unlimited in what they can create with their philters. They can create large far ranging effects with only a single dose of a small philter. For example, a master level philterer can create a single vial of philter that is capable of, when added to a water supply of a city, infecting that entire water system and causing it to duplicate any effect the philterer desires - sickness in the population, vomiting, delusions, a love philters, etc. They can create firestorms that can ignite whole forests from a simple vial of explosive philter, or use a philter to pour it onto a field and cause that entire food crop to start flowering and seeding immediately. Master level philterers are both beloved and feared at the same time. Those that have caused problems with their philtering haven't lived long however - their threat to society is well known. At this level, doses of philters created in one session reach anywhere from a dozen upwards of hundreds.