1. Siegfried
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    Siegfried Member

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    Creating a drug or mind altering substance in fantasy?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Siegfried, Jul 19, 2008.

    Hmm, I've created one, but still it wasn't easy. Have anyone here ever made a drug? The idea began from me using it to describe the colours of something and how the MC viewed them.

    How would any of you go about it?

    :)
     
  2. Asuran
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    Asuran Member

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    Considering most medications are made from plants, I would first go about creating a plant which could be made into the drug by ferementation or some other method. Having new species of plants in fantasy is to be expected, so new drugs shouldn't be all that hard to accept.
     
  3. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aye, I read this book not long ago which was about murder over this drug which was created, and it was made from a toxic plant from another planet, so aye, just make it based on a plant substance, and has had ..... Halogen 22 added to it, to make it a halucigen or something like that. I tend to make up words when it comes to anything technical which I don't have a clue about. :p
     
  4. DrJoe
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    DrJoe Member

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    I like the idea of creating a drug, purely because of my fascination with hallucinogens..
     
  5. Steak-Ums
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    Steak-Ums Member

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    Well, old game I used to play had skooma.
    Came from grounded up rocks, and there was a whole trade...
    Google USEP Wiki Skooma.
    It could give you some ideas.
     
  6. DrJoe
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    DrJoe Member

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    Hey, anyone remember Valkyr from Max Payne? It was like LSD and Heroine that made you kill. There was even this whole creepy sequence where you started tripping on it.
     
  7. Steak-Ums
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    Steak-Ums Member

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    Or that movie where he had to keep his adrenaline up.
    With sex in the middle of a street.

    I remember Valkyr though.
     
  8. Twigstar
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    Twigstar Member

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    Plenty of instances with fictional drugs. Skooma was from the Elder Scrolls I believe. Errrm, there's Substance D from A Scanner Darkly....And a load more than I can remember.

    How would one go about it? From the two examples, you can derive two answers from. Skooma was a sort of crack. Similar effects, both mentally and socially. Substance D was a brilliant made up affair. With the effectual euphoria of marijuana, and the lasting and gradual effects of LSD.

    So yeah, you could make up a dangerous plant, with the same world impact that the infamous opium, extracted from poppies has - Like 'Substance D'. Or, alternatively, a chemical concoction, much like LSD - Which is basically fertiliser gas, mixed with some acid of some sort, to create LSA, and to which effect, goes through further 'purification', to make LSD. Just use your imagination, and remember that you can get into it as deep as you like. If the book heavily revolves around it, it'll be good to make up some technical bollocks for the product - But if it only has a passive impact, just concentrating on the effect, looks, quantity, and the likes would suffice! Hell, you could just have your characters inhaling a new brand of boot polish!
     
  9. Mintzs
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    Mintzs Member

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    In a piece a wrote several months back, I wrote out a "drug". It was something called "Vala Powder", and when interacted with some type of water or moisture, the victims would become very hormonal and anxiously sexual. It was like an instant viagra, but more like an aroma therapy.

    But, of course, I didn't keep it. It didn't fit in with the plot nor did it fuel anything in anyway. If it just doesn't fit, I would scrap it.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (soma), or Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly (substance D) for research. Also, don't overlook Frank Herbert's Dune (melange).
     
  11. Siegfried
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    Siegfried Member

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    I've read Brave New World a very creepy if I may say. But thanks for all the help. I'll look out for Scanner Darkly and Dune. It just I'm creating a whole new world, so it's likely they'll be something. Thanks again everyone.
     
  12. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    You know, in Medieval Times people smoked many things that made them feel all... happy and dizzy. That's because, in those times, the plants they smoked weren't combined with chemicals and substances, they just took the plant and BOOM!
    An example of this is Tolkien's Middle-Earth, how many times did Merry and Pippin acted as if they were high after smoking pipe-weed?
     
  13. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I don't care for drugs so I don't write of them much, but in one of my stories, I created a sort of "fairy sleeping medicine" which is supposed to be safe but has unforeseen side effects on the human protagonist. She takes a pellet to go to sleep and enter a dream state since she's having difficulty. It takes a moment to kick in, but then everything around her changes color, stars appear in the (daytime) sky, and her hands start glowing. When the people around her talk it sounds echoey, then when she finally slips into a dream state she's so zoned out she isn't even aware of it and is too busy amusing herself with how funny her own echoey voice sounds until the character bringing her the dream snaps her out of it.

    In another scene a different character "overdoses" on the medicine to get to sleep, and remains practically comatose for quite a while.

    Since this is a fictional native society in my story, I assume the drug is made of plants, of course, though it was never important enough to get into the specifics. They'd probably be plants nonexistent in reality anyway. The drug is in round pellet form, small and brown, and the protagonist says it tastes like coffee grounds.

    There are various other "drugs" throughout the stories but they're mainly medicines, not hallucinogenics or anything. Even with this one, it was just an unexpected side effect.
     
  14. Adelaide
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    This isn't literature, but in Batman Begins (I don't know if it appears in the actual comics), the doctor used that weird hallucinogen to make people see everyone else as a terrifying monster. Just another thought.
     
  15. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    Drugs and mind-altering substances can be fun to play with. (In the fictional sense, of course.)

    There are drugs that everyone uses and gradually become dependent on. In a less-technological world, for example, it could be that everyone drinks wine and ale and beer when they can get it, because fermented stuff is less likely to cause illness. This means that your MCs (and minor characters) might have withdrawal problems if they get stuck away from civilization. Caffeine can also be like this.

    Plants often contain substances that cause odd effects when you eat too much. Things like tobacco, marijuana or the coca plant are more obvious than peyote or jimsonweed, and you may want to avoid those because they are more obvious. Nonetheless, you can have fun with plants and plant extracts, especially if your world has one or more of the following:

    a) professional herbalists or apothcaries
    b) herb or plant-based medicine
    c) herbs and plants frequently used in cooking, as spices or preservatives .... or even poisons
    d) people who import plants from overseas; an accompanying network of traders
    e) plants used for "traditional" ceremonies or for meditation (incense, hallucinogens)
    f) professional poison detectors (or professional poisonmakers)

    You can also have manufactured drugs, possibly in combination with some other factor that makes the drugs more menacing. Soma wouldn't be nearly as scary in a society like that of Europe or the U.S.; half of its fright potential comes from the way the government/society of the book uses it all the time, for everything. So have a drug that's really addicting, but needed because it's an awesome painkiller and this society has problems with debilitating and painful diseases. Or have a drug that gives you clear and logical thinking, or good reflexes - something emergency response personnel (firefighters, cops, soldiers or surgeons in the Emergency Room) would love - but which has horrible side effects, such as severe mood swings, if a second counteracting drug is not taken within 4 or 8 hours.

    Or - and this is particularly fun and scary - you can have an informationally advanced society. As part of the general body of knowledge of that culture, certain people may know how to synthesize short peptides or proteins or chemical mixes that will trigger very specific responses in people. An example is the bradykinen (sp?) peptide, which was accidently created in a lab when a researcher was looking for a way to "block off" pain receptor proteins. The bradykinen protein is close to what he was looking for, but not quite right. It goes to the correct receptors; unfortunately, it causes pain rather than alleviates it.

    So you can easily postulate drugs which might make someone calmer, more relaxed, more angry, more responsive to bribes, more or less rational, better or worse at learning, more or less willing to perform socially unacceptable tasks, more or less willing to ignore their consciences under pressure ... Of course, given that it's me I'd have a tendency to write all these things into a story and then have the "good side" or "good countries" using them, to make everything deliciously morally ambiguous.

    Hope something in there helped, and happy writing.
     
  16. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    I created a drug one time through magical means. In my world there are nanite users and they cant get high. so a magic user helps a nanite user create a drug to sell
     

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