- 1 Mastery
- 2 Character Creation
- 3 Apparatus
- 4 Potion Characteristics
- 5 Calculating Potion Strengths
- 6 Tips
- 7 Messages
- 8 Useful Potions
Alchemy is one of the seven skills that make up the Magical Arts in Oblivion. This skill allows you to identify the different effects of all the ingredients that you find in Cyrodiil. These ingredients can then be used to make potions and poisons. The potency and price of the potions and poisons that you make is determined by your Alchemy skill level. Selling potions and poisons that you have created is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to get gold in the game.
In-game Description: Create potions and gain benefits from alchemical ingredients more effectively.
Alchemy's governing attribute is Intelligence, but Intelligence has no effect on the potency of the potions that you make (this is very different from earlier Elder Scrolls games such as Morrowind). Furthermore, boosts in Alchemy caused by enchantments (potions, spells, or equipped constant effect items) have no impact on the potions that you make; the Altar of Alchemy in Frostcrag Spire is the one exception, which will improve your potions.
You can consume up to four potions at one time. This number does not increase at higher alchemy levels. However, you can drink an unlimited number of potions if you hot-key them, as long as the potions don't have duration effects. Otherwise, you will need to wait until one of the effects has run out to start drinking again. An unlimited number of ingredients can be eaten at once. Potions without duration effects that aren't hot-keyed can also be drunk more than four at a time if you close and then re-open your inventory.
Potions can be very powerful. For example, at the highest levels and with the best equipment, a Restore Health potion can restore 559 points of Health and a Restore Magicka potion can restore 1872 points of Magicka. A Damage Health poison can cause 240 points of damage, and this amount can be more than tripled in combination with other damage effects. Therefore, investing some time in Alchemy will unlock some of the most powerful effects available in-game.
If you would like to experiment with what types of potions and poisons are possible, try using the Alchemy Calculator page.. This calculator provides information on the strengths of the various effects and the ingredients that can be used to obtain them. For more information, see the
- A Novice (Alchemy < 25) recognizes one of four potential alchemical properties of an ingredient.
- An Apprentice (Alchemy = 25-49) recognizes two of four potential alchemical properties of an ingredient.
- A Journeyman (Alchemy = 50-74) recognizes three of four potential alchemical properties of an ingredient.
- An Expert (Alchemy = 75-99) recognizes all four potential alchemical properties of an ingredient.
- A Master (Alchemy = 100) can make potions from a single ingredient. Only the first effect of the chosen ingredient gets added into the potion.
Your Alchemy skill level also affects the strength (both magnitude and duration) of the potions you brew. Your Alchemy skill level is modified by your Luck (+5 Luck is equivalent to +2 Alchemy, maximum 100 Alchemy). However, only your character's base level of Alchemy and Luck are taken into account: magical enhancements or reductions (e.g., Fortify Luck, Drain Alchemy), whether from potions, spells, or equipment, have no effect on the strength of your potions.
Your Alchemy experience increases five points for the creation of each potion with two or more ingredients (one-ingredient potions, which can be created before alchemy level 100 with alchemy-boosting items, give no experience). Experience also increases 0.5 points for each non-food ingredient eaten.
As your Alchemy level increases, so too will the strength of your potions and the effects of Wortcraft (eating ingredients). To increase Alchemy, you will need to collect as many ingredients as possible so you can make as many potions as possible. For the purpose of skill training, you only need to have a Mortar and Pestle in your inventory.
- Farms are your best bet for finding a lot of free ingredients and raising Alchemy quickly. You can also find ingredients in the various Mages Guild Halls.
- In fact, food can be found in nearly every building in Cyrodiil.
- Infinite numbers of certain ingredients can be obtained:
- Shepherd's Pie from Eyja (who comes with Rosethorn Hall in Skingrad)
- Six food ingredients from Rona Benanius/Plautis Rusonius (only if Fighter's Stronghold has been installed).
- Purgeblood Salts using an exploit (only if Vile Lair has been installed).
- Greenmote from the Greenmote Pile in Greenmote Silo (only if Shivering Isles has been installed and the Ritual of Mania has been started).
- If your Strength is too low to keep all the ingredients that you collect while traveling, carrying a Mortar and Pestle allows you to quickly make a potion and gain experience instead of just discarding the ingredients.
- Unwanted potions yield good profit when sold, and good self-made potions and poisons make rising up through the early levels much easier.
- Avoid eating ingredients at higher levels, because you will gain much more Alchemy experience by making potions out of the same ingredients. At lower levels, some ingredients can be difficult or impossible to find another one to mix with, so eating may be more useful. Furthermore, be careful not to eat too many ingredients at once - excessively high magnitudes for active effects can produce game instabilities.
- Increasing Skills: General tips on how to improve your skills semi-naturally
- Trainers: Pay for Alchemy lessons
- Alchemy Training: Persuade a Master Alchemist to instruct you further.
- Skill Books: Books that provide lessons in Alchemy
- Increasing Attributes: Tips on training skills to improve Intelligence
- Free Skill Boosts: One free Alchemy skill boost (for one point) is available during Dagon Shrine
- Magic Items: There are multiple generic items which should fortify Alchemy. However, these enchantments do not actually do anything for the character and are therefore useless.
- Unique Items: A list of unique items, some of which fortify Alchemy. These do not include leveled items such as those received from quests, or artifacts. However, since these enchantments do not actually do anything for the character, they are useless.
When your Alchemy skill reaches 70 or higher, NPCs will start saying: "How about mixing up some potions? You look like quite the alchemist."
The following races provide initial skill bonuses in Alchemy:
The following standard classes include Alchemy as a major skill:
The qualities of the different apparatus are: Novice, Apprentice, Journeyman, Expert, and Master.
- Mortar and Pestle
- The Mortar and Pestle is the basic apparatus that you need to combine two or more ingredients to create a potion; it is the only required apparatus.
- One effect of the Mortar and Pestle is to add to your Alchemy skill - anywhere from 2.5 points (Novice equipment) to 25 (Master equipment).
- Therefore, improving the quality of your Mortar and Pestle increases the prices of potions and causes small increases in the magnitude and duration of all effects of both potions and poisons.
- The Retort increases the magnitude and duration of all positive effects of the potion.
- A Retort will typically increase the magnitudes of all positive effects by 5% (Novice equipment) to 50% (Master equipment); durations are increased by 10% (Novice equipment) to 100% (Master equipment).
- A Retort never has any effect on a poison, or on the negative effects of a potion.
- The Calcinator increases the magnitude and duration of all effects, both positive and negative.
- A Calcinator alone typically increases both the magnitude and duration by 3.5% (Novice equipment) to 35% (Master equipment)
- If a Calcinator is used in combination with a Retort, the Calcinator will typically increase the magnitude of positive effects by 14% (Novice equipment) to 140% (Master equipment).
- The purpose of the Alembic is to decrease the magnitude and duration of negative side effects in potions (not in poisons). However, there are some quirks about how Alembics actually work (see Calculating Potion Strengths for details).
- An Alembic is supposed to decrease both the magnitude and duration of negative side effects by 20% (Novice equipment) to 200% (Master equipment).
- In reality, a Novice Alembic may increase the magnitude and duration of negative side effects by as much as 15%!
- Apprentice and higher quality Alembics will always decrease negative side effects, but the magnitude and duration are never decreased below 1.
- An Expert quality Alembic is sufficient to ensure that all negative side effects always have the magnitude and duration of 1; upgrading to a Master quality Alembic causes no further improvement.
- Alembics will typically increase both the magnitude and duration of poisons, even though they're not supposed to (this effect is not dependent upon the quality of the Alembic; see Calculating Potion Strengths for details).
The above statements about the quantitative impact of the various apparatus are for typical cases; however, as discussed in Calculating Potion Strengths, the exact impact depends upon several factors. A piece of advanced equipment's weight is the Novice weight for the type plus its strength as a decimal.
- Novice Apparatus
- A Novice Mortar and Pestle is available in the sewers during the tutorial. Cloud Ruler Temple East Wing has a full set of Novice Alchemy equipment available to Blades. Novice Alchemy equipment can also be stolen from the Mages Guild, or taken freely if you are a member. Ancotar keeps a complete set of Novice Alchemy equipment on a bench in his room in Fort Caractacus; it can be stolen without his intervention before beginning Zero Visibility (attempting to do so during or after the quest may cause him to attack you). Novice Alchemy equipment can also be bought from vendors. In addition, the Alchemy equipment at the Mages Guilds respawns, in case you simply want to drop in from time to time and make a potion, without carrying around 16 pounds of gear.
- Stronger Apparatus
- Higher quality apparatus can be bought from the various Alchemy vendors or found in dungeons, particularly Conjurer and Necromancer lairs. As you level up, the quality of apparatus available also increases. The increase in the quality of apparatus does not correlate to your Alchemy skill level. When a piece of apparatus appears in random loot, there is a two in five chance it will be a Mortar and Pestle, and a one in five chance for each of the other three types of apparatus. The chart below shows at what level each grade of apparatus can be found at vendors and in dungeons.
Quality Vendors Dungeons Novice 1 1 Apprentice 6 5 Journeyman 14 9 Expert 18 13 Master never 17
- The most likely sources of stronger apparatus are Conjurer Dungeons and Necromancer Dungeons. As can be seen from the containers section of each of these pages, boss chests in these dungeons each have a 25% chance of containing a random leveled piece of Alchemy apparatus; other containers in the dungeons each have a 10% chance. In other dungeons (e.g., Monster, Undead, or Vampire), Alchemy equipment will only appear in boss chests, with only a 10% chance. For any character who is at least level 17, there is an equal chance of finding Journeyman, Expert, or Master equipment.
- One strategy for finding a full set of Master equipment is to save just outside an area with a conjurer or necromancer boss chest (and regular chests) (e.g., before the door to the second level of a conjurer dungeon), then quickly run up and open the boss chest (and regular ones), reloading if it doesn't contain the item you want. Echo Cave is an ideal place for this, as there are five boss chests and some regular chests in Echo Necromancer's Chamber, the third zone. Fort Ontus Understreets also is a good alternative. Finally, Moss Rock Cavern is another good choice, as there are two boss chests within easy reach of the main entrance.
- Another strategy for finding Master equipment is to go to the Temple of the Ancestor Moths and search every container inside, as it is a relatively small dungeon with no fighting required. After exiting the dungeon, you can wait 72 hours and all the chests will be re-filled with more random loot possibly containing Master Equipment.
- Crystal ChestsSI also have 25% of containing alchemy equipment. These are scattered all throughout the Shivering Isles. However, these do not respawn!
- The highest level of equipment that is guaranteed to be in Cyrodiil (without mods) is Apprentice. There are a few instances of each individual piece of Apprentice equipment. The only complete set, containing all four pieces of Apprentice equipment, is housed in Fathis Aren's Tower, on the table on the upper floor of the tower. The location is related to Arrow of Extrication. It is possible to sneak past Fathis, enter the grotto, enter the tower, and take the equipment, all without killing Fathis or being on the quest at the time. Fathis will not attack a Mages Guild member in good standing but any creatures present in the tower will.
- A bug in the vendor leveled lists means that they are less likely to stock Journeyman equipment at level 15 and above than they are at level 14, as a second set of Apprentice equipment is added to the possibilities at that point.
- In the Shivering Isles, a Journeyman Calcinator (along with an Apprentice Mortar and Pestle and a Novice Alembic) can be found in the quarters of the Duke of Mania.
Strength of Apparatus
The following table shows the relative strengths of the various quality levels of apparatus. This table applies to all pieces of Alchemy equipment. These strengths determine the price, duration, and magnitude of potions and poisons.
See the Alchemy Effects page for detailed information on the magical effects available in Alchemy.
Your potions/poisons can contain multiple effects. The potion-creation screen will show up to five effects. In fact, up to eight effects can be simultaneously present in a single potion/poison (all will be shown when you look at the vial in your inventory).
Any mixture containing even just one positive effect will produce a potion. Potions are colored pink in your inventory and when one is activated, your character will drink it. If there are any negative side effects also contained in the potion, you will be affected by them.
Any mixture containing exclusively negative effects will produce a poison. Poisons are colored green in your inventory. When activated, the poison will be applied to your active weapon; the next time you use the weapon your target will be poisoned. For a melee weapon (blade or blunt), the poison will only be used if your weapon strikes an actor (creature or NPC). Striking an inanimate object will not use up the poison. When attached to a bow, however, a poison is used up on the next shot, whether it lands or not. Even if you pick up the arrow that you just shot, the poison is wasted.
The strength of a potion is not influenced by which ingredients you use. For example, a Pumpkin + Watermelon potion will have the same Restore Fatigue magnitude and duration as a Flour + Apple potion (only the weight will be affected, with the caveats described under Weight). Including three or even four ingredients with the same effect will not increase the potion strength. Finally, on the potion creation page, the slots that you use and their order have no effect: e.g., you can put your ingredients in slots one and two, one and four, or three and four. However placing the same ingredients in different slots may lead to a different order of effects for multi-effect potions, which can result in two (or more) potions with the same effect, price and weight being unable to stack with each other in your inventory.
The simple rule is: the weight of the potions you create is calculated as the average of the weight of the individual ingredients used to make the potion.
The full rule is a bit more complicated. The weight of a specific potion is determined by the ingredients used the first time you make that potion. Thereafter, any identical potion will have the same weight. Identical means the potion must have the same name, the same list of effects (in the same order), and the same magnitude and duration of each individual effect, but not necessarily the same ingredients.
So, if you are whipping up a large batch of Restore Fatigue potions from all the food you are carrying, if your first potion is made with a Watermelon and a Pumpkin, then all your subsequent Restore Fatigue potions will be abnormally heavy (5 pounds!), even if they are made with other lighter ingredients. It's quite possible due to this oddity that you will end more encumbered after an Alchemy session than you were before you started. Thus, the best practice is to use your lightest ingredients first, and only use the heavier ones afterwards. You also may want to hold a few light ingredients for each time your Alchemy skill level increases.
You can escape the "Watermumpkin Catastrophe" in a few ways:
- Change Skill Level - When your Alchemy skill level increases, the potion strength generally goes up; at that point the weight is recalculated (note that this can happen mid-session if you are churning out a large batch of identical potions: pay careful attention to catch the sound cue that says your level just went up).
- Change Equipment - Changing alchemy equipment will change the potion strength.
- Change Potion Name - The most reliable way is simply to rename your potion. Even minor edits (adding an extra space, adding a number at the end) are sufficient to force the game to consider this to be a new, different potion and recalculate the weight. The only disadvantage is that you may forget to use the new name on a later batch of potions.
- Keep Samples - You may also want to hold one sample (don't sell or use them all) of each kind of potion you regularly make in order to refer to it. For example: If you are attempting to make a potion of Restore Fatigue using Bread Loaf and Lettuce that will have the effect of 9 for 34 seconds, but your inventory sample shows your previous best was 8 for 31 seconds, you may be about to make a "Pumpmellon" mistake. It would be better in this example to first use light ingredients like a Strawberry and a Radish to make one very light potion (weighing 0.1). The advantage is: if this were the first instance of Restore Fatigue having the improved effect, it would force all the subsequent potions made using Bread Loaf and Lettuce to be very light as well. If you regularly maintain samples and a reserve of a few light ingredients, all of your potions for Restore Fatigue, Restore Health, Restore Magicka, Burden, Damage Fatigue, etc. should weigh 0.1 each.
Prices of Potions
The price for which you can sell your potions (and poisons) is determined by your Alchemy skill level (modified by Luck) and the quality of your Mortar and Pestle. The number of ingredients, cost of the ingredients, number of alchemy effects, and quality (or even presence) of other alchemy equipment have no effect. The price of a potion can be calculated from:
Price = (Effective_Alchemy + MortarPestle_Strength*25) * 0.45
The prices are always rounded down (so if you calculate a price of 8.95, the actual price will be 8 gold). Therefore, custom potions can range in price from 3 to 56 gold.
However, the same quirk described above for Weight also applies to the potion price. In other words, the price is set the first time you make a specific potion; all subsequent potions with the same name, same alchemy effects, and same strength will have the same price.
This may be most apparent when making Cure Disease potions. Since Cure Disease potions have no strength, the price ends up being determined by your level the first time you make a Cure Disease potion. On the one hand, it makes sense that two potions that have the same effect should have the same price. On the other hand, it makes no sense that two Cure Disease potions made by two level 75 alchemy characters should have different prices, and in particular that the potion made by the first-timer will cost more than that made by a character who has been making them continually since the start of the game.
Calculating Potion Strengths
The equations to determine potion strengths are based on the same equations used to determine the magicka costs of custom spells, using the same effect Base Costs provided on the Spell Effects page. For all potions and poisons made using only a Mortar and Pestle, the Magicka cost (i.e., the amount of Magicka that would be required to cast an equivalent spell) is simply:
Magicka_Cost = Effective_Alchemy + MortarPestle_Strength*25
Effective_Alchemy = Alchemy_Skill_Level + 0.4*(Luck_Level-50)
Effective_Alchemy is set by the character's base levels of Alchemy skill and Luck (i.e., completely ignoring any active Fortify, Damage or Drain effects), and has a maximum value of 100 and minimum of 0. (The only Fortify Alchemy alchemy effect that will make a difference is the Alchemical Brilliance spell of Frostcrag Spire's Altar of Alchemy; even with the altar, however, your maximum
Effective_Alchemy is still capped at 100). Note that attributes such as Intelligence do not have any effect.
It seems that Bethesda intended to use this simple equation to determine a base magnitude (
Base_Mag) and base duration (
Base_Dur) for any effect; these base values would be applicable for a given
Effective_Alchemy and quality of Mortar and Pestle. Then a set of Master Equations would be used to add in the effects of all the other apparatus (Retort, Alembic, and Calcinator). However, in implementing this system, Bethesda seems to have made a few mistakes, so, in fact, the system is overly complex, with several exceptions that crop up in various situations.
To start with, there are several different equations for the base magnitudes and base durations. Some effects (Duration-Only Effects) only have a Duration (Magnitude always = 1). Other effects (Magnitude-Only Effects) only have a Magnitude (Duration always = 1). For the remaining effects, the base duration is defined to be four times the base magnitude. Subsequent sections detail the exact equations used to determine the base magnitudes and base durations for each of these situations. These equations have all been incorporated into the, if you would like an easier way to figure out a given effect's magnitude and duration.
Caveat: The following equations have not yet been tested on a Master Calcinator (they have been thoroughly tested for all other 19 pieces of alchemy equipment). However, there is no reason to believe that they should not apply equally to a Master Calcinator.
Taking the base durations and magnitudes (as provided in subsequent sections), the master equations are then:
Magnitude = Base_Mag * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength + Ret_Mag_Fac*Retort_Strength - Alem_Fac*Alembic_Strength) Duration = Base_Dur * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength + Ret_Dur_Fac*Retort_Strength - Alem_Fac*Alembic_Strength)
Ret_Dur_Fac factors are always zero for negative effects; the
Alem_Fac factor is zero for all positive effects and for all poisons (Alem_Fac only affects negative side effects in potions, although the presence of the Alembic will affect poisons - see below). However, as detailed below, there are multiple exceptions to these equations. See here for an explanation of potions versus poisons, but the short version is that a poison has no positive effects and a potion has at least one positive effect. Note that since the only Magnitude-Only effect, Dispel, is considered positive, so there are no Magnitude-Only poisons.
In all cases, the final magnitudes and durations are rounded such that 4.5 is rounded up to 5; 4.49 is rounded down to 4. The minimum values for the duration and magnitude are always 1.
The following table provides the factors to use in this equation.
The exceptions, described in more detail below, occur when using a Calcinator and a Retort simultaneously on a positive effect which is not Duration Only, or when using an Alembic on a negative effect which is not Duration only.
This results in the following multiplicative modifiers to Base_Mag and Base_Dur:
1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength + 0.5*Retort_Strength
1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength + Retort_Strength
|Most Positive Effects, Calcinator and Retort
1 + 1.4*Calcinator_Strength + 0.5*Retort_Strength
1 + 1.4*Calcinator_Strength + Retort_Strength
1 + 0.3*Calcinator_Strength + 0.5*Retort_Strength
1 + 0.15*Calcinator_Strength*Retort_Strength
|Most Negative Effects, No Alembic
1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength
1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength
(1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength)*(1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength - 2*Alembic_Strength)
(1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength)*(1 + 0.35*Calcinator_Strength - 2*Alembic_Strength)
1 + 0.25*Calcinator_Strength + 0.35*Retort_Strength - 2*Alembic_Strength
This section provides the equations for effects where both the magnitude and duration are variable (which are the vast majority of available effects).
For both positive and negative effects, at any
Effective_Alchemy level and for any Mortar and Pestle quality, the base magnitude and duration are determined from:
Base_Mag = [ (Effective_Alchemy + MortarPestle_Strength*25)/(Effect_Base_Cost/10 * 4) ] ^ (1/2.28) Base_Dur = 4 * Base_Mag
The Master Equations are only applicable when using just a Mortar and Pestle and Calcinator. (Pieces of equipment with no effect can also be added without invalidating the Master Equations, i.e. a Retort for calculating negative effects or an Alembic for calculating positive effects)
There are two exceptions, however, when alternate equations must be substituted for the standard master equations
Exception 1: For positive effects when using both a Calcinator and Retort, a special factor,
Calc_Mag_Fac=1.4, is used instead of
Calc_Fac=.35 (note these equations can not be used with
Magnitude = Base_Mag * (1 + Calc_Mag_Fac*Calcinator_Strength + Ret_Mag_Fac*Retort_Strength) Duration = Base_Dur * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength + Ret_Dur_Fac*Retort_Strength)
Exception 2: For negative effects when using an Alembic, the equations become (note these equations can not be used with
Magnitude = Base_Mag * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength) * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength - Alem_Fac*Alembic_Strength) Duration = Base_Dur * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength) * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength - Alem_Fac*Alembic_Strength)
Note that the Calcinator effect is included twice in both of these equations. These equations apply for negative effects in potions (i.e., unwanted side effects), in which case the equations are used as is. These equations are also used for poisons (i.e., any concoction which consists solely of negative effects), in which case
Alem_Fac is always set to zero. This means that poisons are affected by adding an Alembic (the quality of the Alembic does not matter, just that you have it in your inventory).
Some implications of these equations for the negative side effects of potions:
- A potion made with a Novice Alembic can actually have stronger negative side effects than a potion made with no Alembic at all (if you are using an Expert or Master Calcinator).
- Using an Expert Alembic will always cause a 100% reduction in the magnitude and duration of side effects; therefore, the magnitude and duration of all side effects will be 1 (reductions past 1 are never possible).
- A Master Alembic is no better than an Expert Alembic (both cause all side effects to have magnitude and duration of 1).
For both positive and negative effects, at any
Effective_Alchemy level and for any Mortar and Pestle quality, the base duration is determined from:
Base_Dur = (Effective_Alchemy + MortarPestle_Strength*25)/(Effect_Base_Cost/10)
For duration-only effects, the master equation works exactly as advertised.
In other words, the Alembic quirks mentioned under Most Effects for negative effects do not apply to Paralyze and Silence effects. For these two negative effects, adding an Alembic has no effect on poisons. Furthermore, an Alembic will always decrease the strength of any negative side effects in potions.
For one solitary effect, Dispel, only the Magnitude is variable (i.e., its Duration is always 1). Just to guarantee confusion, this one effect has its own set of governing equations.
For both positive and negative effects (not that negative Magnitude-Only effects are actually available), at any
Effective_Alchemy level and for any Mortar and Pestle quality, the base magnitude is determined from:
Base_Mag = [ (Effective_Alchemy + MortarPestle_Strength*25)/(Effect_Base_Cost/10) ] ^ (1/1.28)
The master equations work for Dispel as long as a Calcinator and Retort are not used simultaneously. But if using both a Calcinator and Retort, a modified equation is required (this equation can not be used with
Retort_Strength=0 or with
Calcinator_Strength=0; because Dispel is a positive effect, an Alembic makes no difference):
Magnitude = Base_Mag * (1 + Calc_Fac*Calcinator_Strength * Ret_Mag_Fac*Retort_Strength) Magnitude = Base_Mag * (1 + 0.3*Calcinator_Strength * 0.5*Retort_Strength) Magnitude = Base_Mag * (1 + 0.15*Calcinator_Strength *Retort_Strength)
Yes, the effects of the Retort and Calcinator are multiplied together here, not added. Although this is probably a mistake on Bethesda's part, this is the equation that governs Dispel potions. Therefore, the strongest Dispel potions are actually made using a Retort alone (because 0.5 > 0.3); adding a Calcinator weakens the Dispel effect.
- The system for making potions is simpler in Oblivion than it was in Morrowind. If you have an ingredient selected and you click an empty space to add another ingredient it shows the ingredients that have matching properties. This means that you can make money (and increase both your Alchemy and Mercantile skills) by buying an alchemist's entire stock and matching them to make potions. Even poisons can be sold. Then any leftover ingredients can be either sold back to the merchant or kept to carry on to the next session.
- Unlike Morrowind, created potions will only contain the ingredients' known effects according to your Alchemy skill. Hidden effects are completely ignored (in Morrowind hidden effects would still be applied to the final potion).
- Combining ingredients that have only negative effects in common creates a poison. You can apply it to a weapon (bow/sword) and the next attack will apply the poison's effect to the enemy, often causing massive damage of proportions very hard to achieve by other schools of magic. The disadvantage of poisons is that their effect is usually distributed over time (i.e., the enemy may take several seconds to die). Note that if combined ingredients have at least one positive effect in common, the effect is a "spoiled potion" (one with both positive and negative effects), not a poison, and can not be applied to a weapon. This may cause poisons that are possible to make at lower levels become unavailable at higher levels, as positive effects of ingredients get unlocked.
- Once you reach Journeyman or higher, your ability to create complex potions and poisons is greatly increased. Effects will be added to your potion if you are combining more than one ingredient with that effect. You do not seem to gain anything by using more than two ingredients with the same effect (potion strength seems to be the same), but you can combine different damage effects (fire, frost, shock, health damage) for greater strength of a poison.
- For example, with an Alchemy skill of 50 (can see three effects), consider combining Harrada (Damage Health, Damage Magicka, Silence), Spiddal Stick (Damage Health, Damage Magicka, Fire Damage), and Vampire Dust (Silence, Resist Disease, Frost Damage) together. The resulting poison will have the combined effects: Damage Health + Damage Magicka + Silence. Note that you cannot make a potion when enemies are nearby.
- If you make a potion out of stolen ingredients, the resulting potion is not flagged as being stolen.
The following table provides the messages that are displayed when your Alchemy skill levels up.
|Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and learning their secrets. You are now an Apprentice of Alchemy. All potion ingredients have four potential effects. You can now automatically identify the first two effects.
|Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and learning their secrets. You are now a Journeyman of Alchemy. All potion ingredients have four potential effects. You can now automatically identify the first three effects.
|Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and learning their secrets. You are now an Expert of Alchemy. All potion ingredients have four potential effects. You can now automatically identify all the effects.
|Your stained fingers attest to your diligence in mixing potions and learning their secrets. You are now a Master of Alchemy. Normally it takes two or more ingredients to make a potion. As a master Alchemist, you can create a potion from a single ingredient.
For lists of useful potions that can be made, see Useful Potions.