Lesser Sun Orchid Elixir


Advice


The original Sun Orchid Elixir, as described in 2008 Pathfinder Chronicles Gazeteer, was like this:

"Sun Orchid Elixir
Magic can do a great deal to extend one’s life, but most of these paths lead to a perverted form of undeath or are simply so powerful as to be extremely rare. As such, the sun orchid elixir is a valuable commodity. Those who imbibe a draft of the potent brew cease to age for 1d4 years, with no apparent side effects. Not surprisingly, vanity-seekers go to nearly any length to acquire the elixir, resorting to bribery, extortion, and murder. To curtail such troubles, the use of the elixir is outlawed in Thuvia (with the notable exception of the formula’s creator). Anyone found breaking this law is executed, and foreigners who bring such troubles to Thuvian shores face exile and are banned from further purchases.
Each vial of the elixir requires six mature sun orchids to create and 1 month’s time to ferment, although the exact formula used is a state secret. The vials typically sell for about 20,000 gp each, with the sun orchids needed to brew them often commanding a bounty of 500 gp apiece."

Okay, this version is FAR weaker than the current one. I think it should be attainable for players.

So, if the original Sun Orchid Elixir were refluffed as a new Longevity Potion... what level should it be? And its price?

Thank you very much in advance.


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If adventurers can afford it, you should probably have an excuse or two why rich people don't just buy up the whole supply to live forever.

My take:
Sun Orchid Elixir Reject Item 18
Rare Alchemical Consumable 
Price 10,000 gp
Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk L
The annual auction for the Sun Orchid Elixir only has six winners, but attracts many bids. As part of the exclusive auction's rules, the losers don't receive their money back. The process for creating the elixir is complicated, and often produces failed batches that do nothing to unwind the ravages of time, merely halting its progress for a little while. Thuvia provides these as consolations to the highest failed bidders, with the number fluctuating year by year. Some choose to drink them, taking even a handful of extra years, but many would rather recoup a small portion of their losses to live their remaining life in some degree of comfort.

Drinking a Sun Orchid Elixir Reject stops the aging process for 1d4 years. This number is rolled in secret, as there is no way of knowing how potent each reject vial is. The unreliability is part of what keeps the price low, because regular users find themselves needing to check themselves daily for subtle signs of aging or else buy a fresh supply every year from a constantly changing pool of suppliers. Most choose to save up to try for a true Sun Orchid Elixir instead.

Unlike Crafting most items, there is no recipe or formula for creating a Sun Orchid Elixir Reject.


The excuse for why you don't have rich people willy nilly buying it up is that Invevitables start coming to kill you if you don't have some part in the "grander purpose".

The come for all the Orchid Elixir users eventually, they're just inclined to let certain ones go longer.


QuidEst wrote:

If adventurers can afford it, you should probably have an excuse or two why rich people don't just buy up the whole supply to live forever.

My take:
Sun Orchid Elixir Reject Item 18
Rare Alchemical Consumable 
Price 10,000 gp
Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk L
The annual auction for the Sun Orchid Elixir only has six winners, but attracts many bids. As part of the exclusive auction's rules, the losers don't receive their money back. The process for creating the elixir is complicated, and often produces failed batches that do nothing to unwind the ravages of time, merely halting its progress for a little while. Thuvia provides these as consolations to the highest failed bidders, with the number fluctuating year by year. Some choose to drink them, taking even a handful of extra years, but many would rather recoup a small portion of their losses to live their remaining life in some degree of comfort.

Drinking a Sun Orchid Elixir Reject stops the aging process for 1d4 years. This number is rolled in secret, as there is no way of knowing how potent each reject vial is. The unreliability is part of what keeps the price low, because regular users find themselves needing to check themselves daily for subtle signs of aging or else buy a fresh supply every year from a constantly changing pool of suppliers. Most choose to save up to try for a true Sun Orchid Elixir instead.

Unlike Crafting most items, there is no recipe or formula for creating a Sun Orchid Elixir Reject.

I can think of several reasons rich people aren't living forever thanks to this elixir:

-The formula is Rare, only a few people know it, and they keep it in secret, for whatever reason (like fear of Inevitables...).
-Maybe the formula was discovered very recently, and its creator is hoarding it so they can keep selling it for a high price.
-Maybe a PC with the Inventor feat created it.
-Maybe you need to be a 20 level character to brew the elixir, so only a few people in Golarion can do it, and they can only produce a few vials every year.
-Maybe is actually cheaper to buy a single true Sun Orchid Elixir vial, rather than buy a Lesser Orchid Elixir every year (because it's the only way to make sure you aren't actually aging, since you don't know if the effect will last more than one year); let say the Lesser Sun Orchid Elixir costs 10,000 gp per vial... you would need 400,000 gp to stay young for 40 years.
-Maybe you need very expensive and rare ingredients to brew it.


Yeah, I don't mean the question just as "why aren't rich people immortal?", but rather as "why hasn't their demand forced it out of the PCs' price range?" Even if Inevitables inevitably drop by, an extra century or few isn't bad. It sounds like you have that covered.

You might even add in that the two elixirs do not play nicely together at all, so drinking the weaker one also means you'll never be able to get any younger. (Well, excluding some very unpleasant rituals or reincarnation.)


QuidEst wrote:

Yeah, I don't mean the question just as "why aren't rich people immortal?", but rather as "why hasn't their demand forced it out of the PCs' price range?" Even if Inevitables inevitably drop by, an extra century or few isn't bad. It sounds like you have that covered.

You might even add in that the two elixirs do not play nicely together at all, so drinking the weaker one also means you'll never be able to get any younger. (Well, excluding some very unpleasant rituals or reincarnation.)

The lore also says that the reject elixirs are given to the failed bidders as a partial compensation because they don't get their money back from the bid. So presumably there isn't a "infinite" supply.

However, this should really mean that it shouldn't have a fixed price. It should still be rare and though there are more than 6 per year, it's probably not enough that anyone with 10,000 gp can get it. Although it is worth noting that PCs wouldn't have that kind of cash until between 14th and 15th level (in PF2).

And PCs wouldn't want spend all their wealth on this item (probably).

And you have competition from merchants and other wealthy people (presumably).


You would also need to know these elixirs are a thing, know where they are being made, know how to contact the auction house to get into the bid, out bid all the othwr merchants/politicians, somehow survive any assassination attempts from people who want your elixir (assuming you didn't drink it right away), etc. The cost of the elixir is "cheap" its the cost of the whole process that gets you.

The whole thing is an adventure onto itself.


Claxon wrote:
The lore also says that the reject elixirs are given to the failed bidders as a partial compensation because they don't get their money back from the bid. So presumably there isn't a "infinite" supply.

I was thinking of something the PCs can make by themselves, rather than something so closely related to the original Sun Orchid Elixir.

Claxon wrote:

However, this should really mean that it shouldn't have a fixed price. It should still be rare and though there are more than 6 per year, it's probably not enough that anyone with 10,000 gp can get it. Although it is worth noting that PCs wouldn't have that kind of cash until between 14th and 15th level (in PF2).

And PCs wouldn't want spend all their wealth on this item (probably).

And you have competition from merchants and other wealthy people (presumably).

Rather than players buying it, I was thinking of using it as a plot device.


Dagnew wrote:
Claxon wrote:
The lore also says that the reject elixirs are given to the failed bidders as a partial compensation because they don't get their money back from the bid. So presumably there isn't a "infinite" supply.

I was thinking of something the PCs can make by themselves, rather than something so closely related to the original Sun Orchid Elixir.

Claxon wrote:

However, this should really mean that it shouldn't have a fixed price. It should still be rare and though there are more than 6 per year, it's probably not enough that anyone with 10,000 gp can get it. Although it is worth noting that PCs wouldn't have that kind of cash until between 14th and 15th level (in PF2).

And PCs wouldn't want spend all their wealth on this item (probably).

And you have competition from merchants and other wealthy people (presumably).

Rather than players buying it, I was thinking of using it as a plot device.

I would say that's impossible. Not impossible to create an alchemical consumable elixir that affects a person's lifespan in general, but impossible for the PCs to figure out the Sun Orchid Elixir recipe, even the "reject" version.

The lore around the elixir is that it's a closely guarded secret, and if it could be replicated probably other people would have done so in the 3000 years it's been a thing.

However, I do like saying yes to players when it's reasonable and an elixir of "extend my life from 1 to infinite years" has minimal actual bearing on the game. I would allow, as a 20th level alchemist feat, something that worked like the philosopher's stone feat which would grant you a recipe for an a special elixir that would work like the sun orchid elixir (but only for you) and work like the reject elixir for others.

I realize it's functional not very different, but from a lore stand point the alchemist is creating their own formula not duplicating sun orchid formula. And they tune it to their physiology so it doesn't work as well for others. Oh, and probably add a restriction to only create 1 a year.

Edit: Rereading your statement you may have intended essentially what I just suggested and I misunderstood your post in my original statement, but I'm just going to let it ride as is.

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