The Witcher 3

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About this mod

In the days of yore, there was alchemy...

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Once upon a time, talented Polish developers poured out their hearts and souls into a magical game. Taking as inspiration the brilliant work of Andrzej Sapkowski, they managed to bring to life the essence of his prose in rich detail and nuance. The game came to be known as The Witcher; this is my attempt to recreate one of its most interesting and celebrated aspects: alchemy.

Ingredients are comprised of one of six elemental substances: Aether, Rebis, Quebrith, Vitriol, Hydragenum or Vermilion. These substances are innate in all matter. Every alchemical concoction can be created by combining different ingredients containing these substances. In vanilla, recipes were tied to specific ingredients, that is not the case anymore. You can replace any ingredient in a recipe for another that contains the same primary substance. This provides a great deal of flexibility when creating alchemical items as you are no longer bound to any ingredient in particular.

Ingredients can contain specific secondary substances, Albedo, Rubedo, and  Nigredo.These have no purpose on their own, but have useful side effects when used in a potion brewed with ingredients all containing the same substance:

  • Albedo dominance — Reduces toxicity of all subsequently consumed potions by 20%.
  • Nigredo dominance —  Increases damage inflicted by 20%.
  • Rubedo dominance — Accelerates vitality regeneration.

All bases -solvents, catalysts and spirits- can be categorized as standard, high or top quality. You can use top quality bases, in lieu of high or standard, but you can't use a standard quality base if the item requires a better one. If using a higher quality base when the recipe requires a lower one, the required amount will be reduced to reflect this.

The ingredients for potions, oils and bombs have been changed in order to better fit the new system. Alcohest, and dwarven spirit can no longer be created in alchemy, White Gull is the only craftable potion base, like it was in  the first Witcher game. Both Alcohest and White Gull can be used multiple times before being spent; to be precise, twice for the former and thrice for the latter. This figure can be configured in the mod menu.

When creating items, It is possible to use raw ingredients or to distill them to obtain the pure substance. Using the pure substance affords you the benefit of needing less measures to fulfill the ingredient requirements and, if using a strong or pure alcohol, allows you to create enhanced and superior versions of an item. Distilling ingredients will require the purest of alcohols and two empty bottles.

General Changes

  • Potions, bombs and oils no longer have a limit, you can carry however many you create.You must create them, the game will not do it for you.
  • Potions will stack in duration when the same potion is re-applied before the previous one's effect has worn off.
  • Potions do not run out before you have time to sneeze. The starting duration is modest but significant and  can be increased via a skill in the alchemy tree.
  • Oils are single use, each bottle can be applied to a blade once and it's discarded afterward.
  • Monster mutagens can be used to make lesser mutagens of the same color by dissolving them in strong alcohol.
  • Performing alchemy takes time by default, but only when done within the built-in alchemy meditation mode. The screen fades to black after brewing, the camera spins and time elapses. Disabling the 'Alchemy Takes Time' menu option disables these features.
  • Plants do not show up on the mini-map by default, their spawn rate has been greatly diminished and their yield per shrub was significantly increased. These settings are configurable in the mod menu. More information can be found in the first sticky post on the comments section.

Alchemy Skills
Skills that didn't fit the changes of the mod or were broken as a result of them, have been redesigned. All except are passive abilities, meaning they need not to be equipped in order to work.

  • Half Life:  Potion durations are increased by 20% per skill level.
  • Catalysis: Potions are digested 20% faster perk skill level.
  • Equilibrium: Potions induce 5% less toxicity per skill level but last 16% less time.
  • Alembic: Primary substance distillation generates greater yield. Chances of obtaining lesser mutagens in the process.
  • Proficiency: Monster mutagens can be used one additional time per skill level, before being consumed in alchemy.
  • Mitogenesis: Power is permanently increased by 3% per level.
  • Angiogenesis: Vitality is permanently increased by 4% per level.
  • Frenzy: Slows time on any attack or arrow, or any other projectile thrown at the player. The effect depends on toxicity levels and doesn't work against undodgeable stuff.
  • Metastasis: Increases maximum toxicity by 7% per level.
  • Adaptation: Decreases toxicity damage by 10% per level.
  • Autophagy: Toxicity is eliminated 20% faster per level.

There is no more automatic item refill when meditating. You will need to acquire all the necessary ingredients if you want to create something. To create alchemical items, you need to sit down by a fire. The mod features its own real-time meditation feature which allows you to create one if you have enough firewood. To enter the meditation state you need to press the "L" key. Tapping it will suffice to  make Geralt sit down, whereas holding it for half a second will build a campfire. Once in the meditation position you can press L again to enter the alchemy menu, or hold it to exit the meditation state. To accelerate time while sitting down, simply press and hold the "Space" key,

Recipe Changes
Enhanced and superior recipes for oils, bombs and potions were eliminated, giving a much needed declutter to the alchemy menu. Enhanced and superior items are created from the same basic recipe by using ingredients with higher concentration of primary substances or the raw substances themselves, in addition to a high quality base. In each case, visual indicators will be shown in the alchemy menu whenever the item to be created is enhanced or superior.
When creating items the result will be:
      Enhanced if either:
  • Either all ingredients are rich sources of a primary substance and a high quality base is used.
  • The majority of ingredients(ingr / 2 + 1) are primary, rich or a combination of primary and rich, plus a top quality base is used.
      Superior if:
  • All ingredients are primary substances and a top tier alcohol is used.
Since the only way to obtain superior items is by using primary ingredients directly, it isn't possible to create superior potions with secondary substances, this is by design. Players will need to consider their options and determine whether is best to go for the raw boost superior potions offer or the moderate boost of enhanced with the added utility of secondary substances. If compromising is not an option, there is always the possibility of adding secondary substances to White Gull, but that incurs the penalties of additional toxicity and resources.

Toxicity is tracked independently for each potion imbibed; different multipliers in the mod's menu control the rate in which toxicity is removed. By default, toxicity purging will slow down when toxicity is above 72%, as Geralt's system struggles to clear it. Toxicity will remain latent throughout the potion's life and some of it will linger after the potion runs out. The rate at which this lingering toxicity is cleared, can be configured in the mod menu.
Toxicity will not be applied at once, but gradually while the potion is being metabolized (30 second period by default). As soon as you become toxic, you will start suffering toxicity damage. Insignificant at first, the damage will increase in cubic fashion reaching 3.84% of total health per second at 100% toxicity. A seemingly high figure but the mod offers several ways to greatly reduce toxicity damage.

Control Scheme
(M & K) : (Controller)
    L          R3            -> Tap to enter the meditation position.
    L          R3            -> Hold ~0.5 seconds and release to enter meditation AND build a fire.
    L          R3            -> while on the meditation position, tap to enter the alchemy menu.
    L          R3            -> while on the meditation position, hold to stand up.
    Space      R Digit       -> while on the meditation position, hold to accelerate time.
    R mouse    R3            -> while in the alchemy menu, opens the menu to choose another ingredient.
    L mouse                  -> while in the alchemy menu, click on an ingredient to display its information.
    Shift                    -> Hold while using the R Mouse button when at an alchemist to buy an ingredient.
    Dot                      -> Tap inside the alchemy menu to only show ingredients of a secondary substance.
    Comma                    -> Same as above, but goes to the previous substance.
    S                        -> while in the alchemy menu, same as the right mouse button.

Game Fixes
  • The mod fixes an issue with the Synergy skill, incorrectly removing its bonuses.
  • The mod fixes a bug causing the game to double the regeneration of health and stamina.
  • The mod fixes an issue where plants may have an active interaction component when there's nothing to loot from them.

Pretty much every setting in the mod can be changed in the mod menu.

The Installation instructions are included inside the mod's root directory, read them and follow them thoroughly. Do NOT use  Nexus Mod Manager to install.

  • For compatibility reasons, the mod focuses on reinventing the core of the alchemy system, and the manner in which alchemical items are created. The balance and usefulness of such items is unchanged. It is perfectly possible to use other mods that make these sort of changes without issues, even if they're dubbed alchemy overhauls, as long as this mod's scripts are unaffected or win any ensuing conflict.
  • XML edits were done to alchemy recipes, alcohols and loot definitions for balance reasons, but these are not essential for the mod's correct functioning. You may let other mods overwrite them if you so wish at the risk of upsetting the ingredient/economy balance.
  • was rewritten from scratch and should never be merged. Manual compatibility patches should be created for mods that absolutely require changing this script to work. can be merged as long as no change is done to the OnUpdate effect block or a patch is created for it.

Thanks to rmemr for his w3string encoder mod.
Thanks to traderain for the WolvenKit.
Thanks to Meraxeel for his help testing and providing helpful suggestions.
Special thanks to DominusSicarum for maintaining and improving the mod in my absence. Kudos!