I just wanted to share a table I made up which is my summary of how to live better through Darklands chemistry. The table goes a little something like this:
| 0 - 14 || Caravan || al-Razi Noxious Aroma 25Q|
| 15 - 17 || Caravan || Solomon's Eyeburn 25Q|
| 18 - 42 || Caravan || Avicenna Essense O' Grace 45Q|
| 43 - 76 || Koln || Brother Elias Sunburst 45Q|
| 77 - 142 || Koln || Raimundus Lullus Firewall 45Q|
|143 - 163 || Koln || Gerard of Cremona Eaterwater 45Q|
|164 - 177 || Koln || Hugh's Arabian Fire 45Q|
|178 - 203 || Koln || Nicolas of Autrecourt Transformation 45Q|
The first column is the sum that you get when you add your Philosopher's Stone, your Intelligence, and your Alchemical Skill together. Admittedly it's tough to get that sum less than about 12 or so, but I think with the proper selection of birth and careers, together with really poor answers to a select group of questions in the mines, it may be possible. Further, I stopped the column at 203, but I think with the proper selection of careers and a little saintly aid, it would be possible to get higher than 203.
The second column is the best place to sell the potions. A caravan is the best for the first three formulae, but villages, mines, and small cities will work nearly as well. Koln is the best place to sell the rest, and it has no equal. However, Ulm, Danzig, Nurnberg, and a few others are nearly as good.
The third and final column is which formula to use to make the potion. Basically, the first two work because they have the cheapest components. These aren't really the ones to get the best profit, but rather the ones where the loss is the least. You could consider the loss to be tuition for possibly improving your alchemical skill. The turning point, or the break-even point occurs somewhere in the 45Q Essense O' Grace potion. When the sum is 42, and for a while before, you are actually earning money as you learn. You can earn three times as fast if you make three potions at once. Oh, one more thing--when your skill is this low, you usually have to content yourself with whatever formulae you have rather then going for the most profitable. (Aside--you can trade formulae with the alchemist in town even if you don't have a formula! You get one: he doesn't: he's happy.)
Finally, along about the Firewall or Eaterwater, you can make money so fast that it no longer becomes a problem. Want ten complete plate mail outfits from Nurnberg for each person? No problem! A few days making potions and voila'.
Note that the prices are based on my experience with a talker with charisma of 41. I have found that prices are quite sensitive to charisma. Also I tested prices at several places, and I have found the components to be relatively insensitive to place, but the potions are quite sensitive to place. That's why I listed the best place to sell the potions in the table above. If you use a talker with a different charisma, or buy your components at a different place, the numbers in the first column are liable to vary some from the numbers I have listed. However, I feel that they would make a good rule of thumb in any event.
The reason I mention all this is that in my first time playing I had a difficult time making enough money to supply my needs. I was usually knocking the heads of thugs in the side streets. Now I just go to a village and brew away.
I have a spread sheet with a lot of the information that this table was based on. It's in Micro$oft (pteh!) Excel, and I will give a copy of the spreadsheet to this list if there's enough interest.