Mentalism and Water Memory

This is just an idea I have. In our world there is the idea of Water Memory and is popular with some supporters of homeopathy. the principle is that you can dilute a solution of a healing herb extract so much that there is in probability not a single molecule of the herb extract in any one sample of the water but the water retains a memory or imprint of the herb being there and retains the healing properties of the herb.

Now mentalism allows one to both manipulate water (Liquid Manipulation) and memory (Mind Mastery).

Could a mentalist develop a spell list that allowed them to create single dose potions by imprinting spells into vials of water? Essence allows casters to create runes from 3rd level and channelling allows stones to be enchanted using symbols (Symbolic Ways) from 4th level.

Could a mentalist be able to create 1st level spells as potions from 5th level?

I can see that this would make the realm of mentalism much more powerful. The potions are portable in a way that standing stones are not and can be drunk by anyone without skill unlike runes that require a level of education investment.

An alchemist can create a 1st level potion at third level so it would take something away from the alchemists profession if other people could also make potions.

I am a great supporter of players researching their own lists and spells and think it should be encouraged. So we are talking about a fairly big investment in development points as well as time. A 5th level spell takes something like 5 weeks of meditation to research. Higher level spells to create 2nd and 3rd level potions would take at least 3 months if not years.

Would you consider allowing a player to create such a list?

10 Replies to “Mentalism and Water Memory”

  1. Intriguing. I like house the thought process–building the idea out of a basic principal like homeopathy rather than coming up with a class type and using a spell list to meet the associated tropes.

    I would call this “Infusions” or “Distillations”. Infusions works as a better description of the process over ’embedding’ or Distillations to keep the concept within that homeopathic mechanism.

    From a balance perspective I would propose a few limitations/requirements to differentiate from other alchemy processes like potion making:

    1. The substrate would be distilled water or similarly purified water. Perhaps have the 1st lvl spell be “Distill Water”.
    2. Duration. Because the spell/effect is being embedded in water rather than a more elaborate liquid/substrate or a simple embedding (charm, candle, salve) than it should have a limited duration: minutes or hours. This also balances out against standard alchemy which requires costly ingredients and time consuming spell embedding.

  2. It does somewhat strain the concept of Mentalism, as it seems a bit more Essence-y, and the ‘memory’ of water memory is a metaphorical memory. But I’d be in for doing it because it would allow me to make my Witcher class (based on the characters in the novels and videogames). This would be a Mentalism semi that has spells to aid him in combat, which include potions (as well as oils that give his sword different properties and ‘bombs’ that are like magical hand grenades). He’s kind of like a Warrior Mage but with spells that are more combat support than elemental blasting.

  3. I haven’t read/played the Witcher franchise but that sounds interesting.

    My initial reservations were that it would devalue the alchemist and over power the mentalist.

    On the other hand it would make the lay healer incredibly useful if he or she could prepare even short shelf-life healing potions.

  4. In regards to the Witcher, I think you could see him as essentially a Semi with a focus in Alchemy.

    In addition to the balancing factors you guys note above, there are a few more baked into the lore:

    –Toxicity: In the videogame at least, there is a downside to the Witcher if he is constantly popping his own potions. They build up toxicity in his body. So this limits the amount he can use at any one time.

    –Ingredients: The Witcher needs powerful ingredients for his alchemy, such as body parts and fluids from rare monsters.

    Use of any or all of these could be good balancing factors.

    For a look at how the videogames handle the Witcher’s three alchemical products (potions, oils, and bombs), as well as downsides like toxicity, you can check out the videogame wiki:

    1. For me, this raises the issue of the difference between Rolemaster Alchemy (the creation of magic items) and standard fantasy Alchemy (mixing magical elements to create materials with magical properties).

      In my own campaign and rules, I do differentiate the two, so using magical spells and imbedding into objects is “investiture” and “alchemy” is a physical science. Thus it’s easy to have non-casters or non-essence casters able to make these witcher items using the alchemy skill.

      1. Yes, I think it could be good to have a skill like that. Instead of involving the slow embedding by casting of daily spells, it would involve obtaining rare ingredients and carefully blending them. This would be a way I think of balancing the skill.

        I would probably put it in the Crafting category of RMU.

          1. That looks very interesting, though I wasn’t aware that alchemists needed substrates. Does one need special paper for example to make a Rune?

            It might be interesting to allow Alchemy to be the skill that allows you to mix magic/rare/special ingredients into potions/etc without actually using magic to do it, and then allow investiture to be the creation of potions/etc through magical means. The magical method (investiture) would mean you could do it essentially anywhere, at low to no cost (just the cost of casting the spells), and without special ingredients, while Alchemy would not require spellcasting but would require expensive ingredients and skill in the craft/technique.

            1. We use the alchemy pretty much that way. With the right equipment we allow those with the alchemy skill to create healing potions for example from the herbs that have the same effect. The difference is that the ‘potion’ version is simply ‘drink’ whereas the herb may need all kinds of prep and the alchemist can attempt to reduce the addiction factor. The downside is that the potion has a shelflife and can go bad. Magic potions on the other had have no ‘best before dates’. (Are best before and use by dates just a European thing?)

              1. We have use by and best before dates in the Americas too… it’s just that with all the preservatives and chemicals some companies put in their food, sometimes you don’t need them 🙂

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