So, my group has been told there is a pride of gryphons cruising around not far from the town they're in, and the king is offering good money for capture of any healthy, unharmed gryphons. (He might pay something for a slightly injured one).
One of the party is looking into using a paralysis toxin to subdue one.
The town is not particularly large, and the alchemist only had 1 dose each of carcass scavenger toxin, curare and Wolfsbane. The alchemist has said he can work to extract more if he is provided the raw materials (woohoo, a quest!) but that raises a few questions:
1. Assuming materials are provided, and given an alchemist charges 250gp/month, what is the cost for the alchemist to do the work? There has been a proposal for 62.5gp per attempt (1/4 of 250) given an attempt takes a week. (Realistically, I assume that a week to extract may not necessarily require an alchemist to be actively working on it the whole time (there might be some waiting involved), but I am inclined to overcharge rather than undercharge, as some of my players have a keen eye for exploitation opportunities). (And this is easily done given my players suggested it).
2. What should a curare plant (enough for 1 dose) cost? It's been noted Wolfsbane toxin is 350gp/dose while 1lb of Wolfsbane costs 10gp (noting there is nothing to suggest how much Wolfsbane plant is required to make 1 dose of toxin).
Trying to work backwards: A dose of curare is 1500gp, and assuming fresh plants (being generous), it's a 14+ (roughly 1/3 chance). So it takes 3 tries and 3 lots of curare plant to get 1 dose of the stuff, making each attempt theoretically worth 500gp. Going back to an alchemist's time being worth 62.5gp per week (and thus, per attempt), and that makes the materials worth 437.5gp. Again, it's probably the case that other materials are involved and they would be part of that material cost. Noting curare is a 20+ naturalism roll (once per week) of 20+, it appears very hard to find. My inclination is to assume it costs about 400gp for enough to attempt.
Another way of looking at it is that a naturalist is presumably a 1 proficiency NPC. Looking in Chapter 3, I see a basic Healer can heal 3 patients per day at 1gp/day/patient. This is a monthly (28 days for all months in my campaign, for simplicity) income of 84gp, or 21gp per week. Given a naturalist would spend 20 weeks (on average) to find a curare plant, you'd think he would charge 420gp for it. This is roughly in line with my 400gp above.
(If we do a comparison with Wolfsbane, again assuming fresh plants, 350gp per dose goes to ~120gp per attempt. Half that goes to the Alchemist, meaning ~60gp for materials. 1lb of Wolfsbane is 10gp, so I guess this means you need a fair bit of Wolfsbane to extract 1 dose of poison (say, 5lb)).
Alchemist will charge 62.5gp per 1 week ATTEMPT to extract a poison, based on their 250gp monthly fee divided by 4.
Curare plant (enough to make a dose of curare poison) will cost 400gp (rounder figure than 420gp).
(I'm assuming in all of this that markup for profit is in the Alchemist's monthly rate. His "value add", so to speak)
Would welcome any thoughts on this, particularly any where I might be setting myself up for grief/exploitation later on.