I have some questions about alchemy in SR5 :

  • Are "Contact triggered" preparation triggered by someone with gloves ? Or someone with a combat armor ?

  • Is it possible to create some king of "grenade" triggered by "shock" or "be broken" ?

  • Is it possible to create a preparation during a run ? I think about a fireball preparation create on site, with "Time trigger" to destroy something 5-10 min after the runners are left

Thank you in advance for your answers


1 Answer 1


Reasonably quick answers.

  1. Yes. Any magical spell that requires physical contact is assumed to work through clothing or armor. This is drawn from the description of how a Touch spell works on p281 of the Core Rulebook

    Some spells can only be cast on targets that you're touching. You don't need to see these targets, but you might need to make an unarmed attack to make contact with an unwilling target. Touching a target through clothing, armor, or a layer of paint is acceptable

    As this is not contradicted in the alchemy section, it can be assumed to work the same way.

  2. No. There are only three triggers in Alchemy: Command (from the spellcaster only), Contact (with a living being), and Time. I've seen homebrew rules that add others, but those are not part of the core rules.

  3. Yes, assuming you have time and the materials you need. You do not need to be in a Magical Lodge to create an Alchemical Preparation. As long as you have an object suitable as the Lynchpin and whatever tradition-appropriate tools you need (which is very flexible...you might need nothing more than a knife to scratch runes into the surface), you can create Alchemical Preparations anywhere.

    However, bear in mind that it takes a number of minutes equal to the Force of the preparation in order to create it. So, if you are making a powerful spell into a Preparation, it is going to take you a few minutes to get it ready to go.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Preparing on the fly also has the advantage of being able to recover your stun damage (from drain) against actually casting a spell (usually done in combat). So, if you take 5 minutes to prepare a fireball, you could rest for an hour and recover yourself, then later use this potion in combat without any additional drain. A friend rolled an alchemist and his catch-phrase was "preparing ahead is better than reacting", but of course, he had a bunch of non-alchemy spells for when things went south. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 19:32
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras Assuming you have time to rest, that's an excellent plan. But taking a 1 hour nap during a Run is a quick way to get dead. :) Most Alchemists prepare just before the run starts, then try to catch a quick nap to recover stun damage....THEN they go get started on the actual job. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 19:34

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