[Quest Reward] Brainstorming a new type of chem

I’ve come up with an idea for a quest, and I’m putting the context behind all that under the quest summary. The only necessary context is: the questgiver, Dr. Avery, rewards the PCs with the recipe for a new kind of chem after the PCs complete a quest to obtain some mutated insect brain tissue for the doctor.

Quest Background and Summary

In my Fallout: Texas game, Dr. Avery is an entomologist who’s been studying signs of sapience developing in animals. They’d probably be very interested in the FEV/EEP and its variants, but for this quest they’re trying to find samples of nervous and brain tissue in “wild” intelligent animals, looking for signs of “unguided” mental development.

Dr. Avery is also, apparently, an intelligent insect. I have a whole theme about how Avery’s pursuit of science has left them so isolated from humanity that their own metamorphosis into an insect didn’t bother them. I’m also not going to confirm whether or not “Dr. Avery” is actually a mutated insect who found the real Avery’s research, files, personal logs, and mementos and now believes that they are Dr. Avery. I don’t consider this important to this specific quest or rewards, but there’s your context.

The quest has the PCs tasked to retrieve brain tissue samples from intelligent animals like the secretive mutant alligators roaming the nearby wetlands. Avery also asks for any other samples that the PCs think might be relevant.

If the PCs think to mention it, any one of them with a high enough Medicine or Science could try to convince Avery to take a sample of their own intelligent mutated animal brain tissue. Avery doesn’t have faith any of their assistants enough to let them attempt to take a sample without killing them, but if the PCs demonstrate their Medical skill they can perform the procedure.

Dr. Avery studies the brain tissue and while it’s not what they wanted, they discover medicinal properties in the sample that they use to synthesize new formulae.

My question for y’all: What should this new chem do? As it’s derived from something in insectoid brain matter I feel like it should affect mental acuity, sensory input, and/or sociability.

Alternatively, since I’ve been picturing Dr. Avery as a cazador, perhaps taking the chem alters how the body responds to poison?

Cazador Brain Poison Emulsion Solvent
Effects: When the character takes poison damage, they instead heal equal to the amount of damage. If the character takes no poison damage during the duration of a dose, they suffer 3 Combat Dice Persistent poison damage
Duration: Lasting
Addictive? No

Thanks to everybody who indulged my long-winded post!

Some ideas from me:

  • you can see in a heat mode
  • your brain uses 70% capacity for x hours (where x is the science rank) and you reduce difficulty of any INT tests for 2 (minimum 0), then you gain 1 fatigue and have to sleep whole next day
  • you can see through living bodies and with that you can spot Synth 3gen (it would be nuts, I would love to be able to do that)

The first one sounds interesting. Maybe it’d work like Cateye from the video games. Mechanically I’d make it Lasting and the user gains the Night Person Perk even if they don’t meet the prerequisites. And then if they already have it, maybe a bonus to aiming?

It’s even better than night vision, you can use it in a day too.

Now balancing :slight_smile:
It is powerful, so imo it should be addictive stuff.
It should last for one scene, but you can’t ‘turn it off’.
Outside of combat it’s ofc useful. Now in combat.
Mechanically maybe it should give a player option to decrease any range attacks by 1, but when you take a look into something where is a lot of heat - like a bomb blast, it makes you blind for one round.

How about sth like this?

I would name it H.E.A.T.O.

Oh geez, watching plasma and laser weaponry while that’s on would give me such a headache.

Definitely addictive. I’m thinking 2? Same addictiveness as Orange Mentats.

Addiction: You increase the difficulty of all PERtests by +1 and you cannot use the Aim Minor Action whenever you are not under the effects of the chem.

Sounds great :slight_smile:

I will put it to my notes, maybe one day I would use it also in my campaigns :wink:

I couldn’t decide on which chem to use between the poison healing chem or the heat vision chem.

So I’m gonna do both! And I’ll probably make Dr. Avery a source of all sorts of weird, custom chems. Getting a new chem recipe every couple of quests, especially by completing optional objectives, feels very Fallout. Plus it gives me a strong thematic focus for Avery that I can hook other stuff onto.

Like if Dr. Avery is known for their chems, they probably have connections with whoever’s doing drug stuff in the region. Especially if they have the means to produce Stimpacks, they’re probably making a killing selling those.