20 Things to Find in an Alchemist’s Laboratory

Alchemists toiling away in their laboratories need a vast amount of equipment for their work. Such rooms resemble wizard’s laboratories in many ways and can be just as exciting (and dangerous) to explore.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)


Use this table to determine what the PCs find, as they search the alchemist’s laboratory:

  1. Part of the alchemist’s bench top is badly scarred by acid. The burn is wide and deep—clearly a lot of acid was spilt.
  2. A strange stench—a combination of several different chemicals along with a heavy burning smell—hangs heavily in the air. The smell is stronger the close one gets to the floor.
  3. A wet rag—covered in some kind of bright yellow sticky material—lies discarded under the alchemist’s workbench.
  4. A small coffer atop a high shelf contains several crystal potion vials. Each contains a potion of a different colour; sadly none are labeled (and all are failed experiments).
  5. A faint yellow haze hangs in the air against the ceiling. The room strongly smells of ozone.
  6. Several small bowls contain vary amounts of water. Each of the bowls also holds a single stone—all of different types.
  7. A small red cloth covers something small on the bench—a broken egg shell shattered into several parts. However, the egg is much larger than could be garnered from a chicken or similar bird.
  8. A small cauldron stands over an iron brazier. The cauldron contains a thick, greenish goop that smells like a half-orc’s armpit.
  9. White string binds a stack of hand drawn plans for some kind of fiendishly complicated apparatus or machine together. The sheaf of notes lies on a shelf close to the alchemist’s workbench. Several grubby fingerprints mar the top sheet.
  10. A small shelf contains a dizzying array of small glass bottles and vials. Each seemingly contains a different kind of liquid. A cloying, unpleasant smell hangs in the air around the shelf.
  11. An empty wine glass stands atop a small, unlocked coffer. Thin wooden panels divide the interior into a dozen spaces. Each section contains a different kind of sand, earth or powdered rock.
  12. A ragged piece of blue velvet holds a single feather. The feather is overly large—perhaps one-foot in length—and is brilliantly white (except for its very tip, which has a silvery, glistening sheen).
  13. This perfectly smooth stone ball the size of a man’s fist glistens as if it has just been immersed in water. It is, however, completely dry.
  14. A leather pouch stuffed down the back of a chair contains several small bones. The bones are cracked and pitted.
  15. A small glass bottle contains a thick, pale blue syrupy liquid. Three large fangs lie at the bottom of the bottle.
  16. A small vial rests on a plate alongside two dirty quills. The vial is about half full of red ink.
  17. A tattered book—with a much-stained cover—contains basic formula for the most common alchemical items. A close reading of the text, however, reveals deliberate errors in the formulas that render anything made using the instructions inert.
  18. A tattered book—with a much-stained cover—contains basic formula for the most common alchemical items. A perusal of the text reveals the formulas are particularly well written and illustrated. Items created using the instructions last 50% longer than normal.
  19. Perceptive searchers discover a loose section of floor. Below lies a storage niche than contains four (empty) exquisite glass potion vials wrapped in black velvet cloth.
  20. Mottled brown and green mould grows up one leg of the alchemist’s workbench. The mould smells like decomposing flesh.

Want More?

If you enjoyed this article, check out Alternate Dungeons: Alchemist’s Laboratory for all the tools a busy GM needs to make an adventure in an abandoned village truly memorable! Written by Nick Wasko, Alternate Dungeons: Alchemist’s Laboratory is an essential tool in any GM’s arsenal!

Alternatively, if you like unique treasures check out All That Glimmers. With over 150 pages of unique treasures, All That Glimmers enables you to quickly and easily generate details of unique treasures ready for your campaign!

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