Apprehension of Beauty is one of many designer drugs developed by Orange County pharmacologist Sandy Chapman, and like most of his output, it is a colourless liquid that is taken by dropping directly into the eye.
A very, very distracting drug, Apprehension of Beauty is a minor hallucinogen that does not cause visual distortions, but does cause the user to pay more attention to, well, everything. As such, they tend to wander about looking like slack-jawed yokels in the big city for the first time.
Related Drugs: Buzz, California Mello, Funnybone, Get Wired, Pattern Perception, Rhinoceros & Verbality
Beng Lie is a powerful suppressant of the will.
It is of Oriental origin, and appears to be a preparation of a variety of drugs and herbs, very likely including opium. Under its effects, users become more submissive, and more receptive to hypnotic and other suggestions, although the very strong-willed can shake off these effects.
Related Drugs: Mei Kuan
Made from the sun-dried meat of the giant aquatic Brazilian centipede, the Black Meat is a rare delicacy even among drug users.
Little is known of the giant aquatic Brazilian centipede, and indeed, conventional taxonomies do not list it. It is unclear whether it the insect inhabits freshwater or the seas, although the former is more likely.
The centipedes are harvested by Interzone Inc., and taken to Interzone in North Africa where the flesh is dried by the hot Saharan sun. It is then ground up to form a light black powder, which can be injected or snorted by the user. Its effects are largely undocumented, although one user who was using it mixed with Bug Powder described the experience as ‘a Kafka high’, in reference to his story, Metamorphosis.
Related drugs: Bug Powder, Mugwump Jism and The Drug That Does Not Exist.
The Blue Mold grows wild on the walls of the derelict parts of London’s underground railway network. It’s slightly luminous, but for the real fun to start, you have to smoke it.
Smoked in a pipe, joint or bong, the Blue Mold is a powerful hallucinogenic that unshackles one’s mind from this reality, and allows it to perceive normally invisible parallel dimensions.
It’s used in the initiatory ceremonies of the mysterious conspiracy known as The Invisibles, and possibly in others of their ceremonies as well. In the world of the Invisibles, not only are the words of the prophets writtten on the subway walls, but the source of all their visions grows there free for anyone to take.
Related drugs: Key 17 and Zombie Crack.
In September 1967, Blue Sunshine was created in a lab at Stanford. It was a variant of LSD, used by a number of members of the graduating class of that year.
In 1978, a previously unknown set of side effects to Blue Sunshine use became apparent: it caused swift hair loss, inhuman strength and murderous psychotic episodes in several users. Medical study of one of them showed severe chromosonal damage resulting from the drug’s use. An investigation conducted by the FDA located some but not all of the former users of the drug, with a total of 255 doses remaining unaccounted for.
One of the CIA’s “New Ghetto Drugs for ’98” collection, Brainscratch is a cheap hallucinogen that comes in the form of a liquid taken by dropping it into the eyes.
The result of taking Brainscratch is terrifying hallucinations. Test subjects reported loss of identity and feelings of total dislocation from human world, and its effects can last anywhere from ten years to the rest of the life of the user. Pretty good value for the cost of only two American dollars per hit.
Related drugs: Blue Glass, Spike and Zom-B.
Cake is a made up drug which is a metabolically bisturbile cranabolic amphetamoid, originating from the Czech Republic. After becoming popular in Prague at so-called “boom raves”, it spread to other European cities, notably London. It is so new that it was technically legal when it first reached the United Kingdom in 1997, in what became known as the ‘summer of death’.
Side effects of Cake include severe water retention, especially in the neck (a symptom referred to as ‘Czech Neck’, which is caused by the yellow dye frequently used to increase the visual appeal of the drug). Another common symptom is massive dehydration, caused by the body expelling the water via tears or vomit. Another effect of Cake, via its active chemical, dimesmeric anson-phosphate, a psychoactive that affects the part of the brain known as Shatner’s Bassoon, which deals with time perception, elongating it massively. Frequent users often experience symptoms of depression.
Cake is also known as “loonytoad quack”, “Joss Ackland’s spunky backpack”, “ponce on the heath”, “rustledust”, or “Hattie Jacques pretentious cheese wog”, and was once the subject of a question in Parliament by MP David Amess (Conservative Party Member for Basildon).
The scourge of Cake has apparently now been defeated, as it has not been sighted on the streets of Europe for well over a decade.
Communion is a bitter-tasting powder that causes the user to experience ecstatic union with their god or gods. Usually taken by mixing into tea (generally with a lot of sugar), Communion is particularly popular with the devotees of Karla Sommers living on Al Amarja.
The drug is all-encompassing, affected all five senses. Users often come back from their trips with missions – often vaguely-defined – from their deities. The objective reality of the experience of Communion is a hotly-debated topic in theological and pharmacological circles.
The drug itself is made from the glands of dead glugs, the secretive original species of humans who hide in our midst – although most glugs would be horrified if they knew the drug’s origins, and would almost certainly kill those of their number who are responsible for its creation.
Related Drugs: Blue Shock, MDA-Cubed, Nightmare, Relapse, Slo-Mo, Wings and Zorro.
An hallucinogen of such terrifying potency that they use Crack to cut it, Dopaz is regarded as a terrible drug even by those who take Strim.
The overwhelming sensations of taking it are a powerful lethargy, and an equally (if not more) powerful obsession with the colour orange. To the Dopaz user, all knowledge, truth and wisdom in this world is to be found in the colour orange, but since you have to be on Dopaz to really understand this, the revelations have been understandably slow to spread.
Related Drugs: Dilligenz, Jahavan coffee and Strim
Created by the Ethicals of the Riverworld, Dreamgum is a form of highly addictive chewing gum. It is distributed along with their food to all Riverworlders at each evening meal in their Grails.
It causes vivid hallucinations and a certain degree of lowered inhibitions amongst users. Since the first time it was distributed no one knew what its effects were, the first night on Riverworld was an orgy of sex and violence.
After that, it became a much less popular drug, although a certain number of Riverworlders became hardcore addicts – an addiction that could not be broken by the death and resurrection, as it has no physical component.
Little has been revealed of Dreamsmoke, other than that it is smoked (as the name suggests) and that smoke leaves a pungent scent behind afterwards.
Based on contextual clues, Dreamsmoke is probably a name for a strain of marijuana, and, given the nature of the world in which it exists, likely a magically enhanced one.
A brutally strong drug, Fever was created in Mexico and imported to Gotham City by the crime-lord known as the Ventriloquist. It had a brief vogue on the streets of that city, but a combination of heightened security at the US-Mexico border and the intervention of the Batman soon brought that to and end.
Effects of Fever include a burning sensation, as if the user is on fire, although this is reported as being an enjoyable feeling. In addition, it removes inhibitions and shortens tempers, while also leading to somewhat megalomaniacal behaviour. In this, it resembles a stronger form of PCP, along with the maniacal self-confidence common to cocaine use.
Hadive originates on the planet Vandemar, where it is pronounced “hah-DEE-vay”. In most of the galaxy, it is more commonly pronounced “hay-DIVE”. It is a thick black tar not unlike hashish in appearance and texture, and is usually consumed by smoking it in a similar fashion to hashish.
Hadive causes synaesthetic effects in users, causing users to taste sounds or smell words. Organised Hadive dens usually attempt to provoke the strongest stimulus possible, as the intensity of the drug’s effect is directly proportional to the strength of the stimulus. Loud, discordant music and strobing lights tend to feature heavily.
Most users report the synaesthesia to be pleasurable.
Related Drugs: Bentlam, Fayalin, Ladolian, Nitrolabe, Thionite, Vee-Two Gas and VXN Gas.
Of unknown derivation, Hyperdrene is generally considered to be an hallucinogen, as the imps and pixies one sees under its influence are presumably hallucinations.
However, these hallucinations can be seen by other people too, although only during the 4-5 hours that the drug’s effects last, which begs the question of whether or not they are real.
It is possible that Hyperdrene is not an hallucinogen at all, but rather a drug that creates a briefly existing super-position between this dimension and the adjacent one more usually inhabited by the pixies. Attempts to question the pixies about this have been fruitless, as their only form of communication appears to be reciting nonsensical couplets.
Related drugs: Darkshots, Mongoose Blood and Xenite
A long-lasting hallucinogen that is extracted from a fungus growing only on beaver pelts, Hyderdroxipine is more obscure now than it once was.
When the American frontier was still wide open, and fur traders and trappers were among the first to explore its wilds, Hyderdroxipine was better known (although not under that name – the names given to it by trappers and traders are unfortunately lost to history). However, as the demand for beaver pelts diminished, so too did the availability of the drug.
Potentially deadly in its effect, Hyderdroxipine was extracted only after the removal of its source fungus from the beaver pelt, which usually caused the fungus to become impregnated with the prussic acid used for the job. In addition, the half-life of the drug is said to be 72 hours, and only the most strong-willed of individuals are able to function well while on it. Even Batman found it difficult.
Key 17 is a potent hallucinogen with highly specialised effects.
It causes the user to experience written signals as the objects themselves – a coffee mug reading ‘world’s greatest dad’ would be perceived as the user’s father, for example.
Key 17 is used as a means of interrogation by the agents of the Outer Church, who use it to substitute for actual torture by creating the illusion that such torture has taken place. Key 17 also appears to have a secondary effect (common to hallucinogens in general) of messing with the user’s sense of time’s passage.
A similar drug called Key 23 also exists – it appears to be a later refinement of of the original.
Related drugs: Blue Mold, Sky and Zombie Crack.
Ladolian is a potent hallucinogen that originally derives from the now-gone civilisation of Mars. It is extracted from a species of Martian mold that has long since been exported to every ecosystem that will support it.
In colour, it is a yellow-green viscous liquid, with a distinctive smell and a surpassingly bitter taste. Users often dilute it with ice water, licorice or fennel to cut the flavour enough that it is pleasant to taste.
The hallucinations caused by the drug are usually wish-fulfilment visions, and the drug in perversely popular among the idle rich despite its illegality. Prolonged use leads to a number of unpleasant side effects, most prominently sterility and impaired mental function.
Related Drugs: Bentlam, Fayalin, Hadive, Nitrolabe, Thionite, Vee-Two Gas and VXN Gas.
A weaponised aphrodisiac designed largely for urban pacification by the US military, Love Bomb never quite lived up to its promise. Based largely on existing MDMA drugs, it was supposed to be the ultimate in disarming the enemy: literally leading them to throw down their arms – and their clothes, and whatever remaining inhibitions they might have.
Never successfully developed, Love Bomb is rumoured to have turned up on the streets from time to time, although it is unclear whether it did, or whether the stories of it are simply urban myths (or exaggerated claims by dealers).
Related drugs: Urizen
Mei Kuan is an extremely potent mind-expanding drug – a few drops of it could cause permanent insanity or death to all but the strongest-willed users.
It is of Oriental origin, and appears to be a preparation of a variety of drugs and herbs, very likely including opium. Under its effects, users experience heightened perceptions and cognition, transporting themselves into realms of abstract concepts and higher spiritual planes.
Related Drugs: beng lie
Mordayn Vapor, also known as Dreammist is an extremely potent hallucinogen, granting visions of such transcendence that many users find them so much more appealing than mundane life that it is one of the most addictive drugs in existence.
It is called Mordayn Vapor due to the way it is usually taken – by preparing the brown powdered herb that is the actual drug as a tea and inhaling the fumes that arise from it. Both the powder and its tea are deadly poisons, and experienced users know to dispose of them quickly and carefully, not least to reduce the chance of overdosing in an intoxicated stupor. The drug depresses both the wits and the constitution of the user while its effects last.
Related Drugs: Agony, Baccaran, Devilweed, Luhix, Mushroom Powder, Redflower Leaves, Sannish, Terran Brandy and Vodare.
Secreted by the mysterious Mugwumps of Interzone, Mugwump Jism is a colorless liquid that produces intoxicating effects on humans.
In fact, Mugwump Jism actually comes in two finely distinguished varieties, with similar effects. Strangely, what excites the Mugwumps (who are sentient bipeds of about the same size as humans, and appear to be some form of amphibian) to produce this drug is artistic creation, especially of a literary variety.
However, they do produce it even without this inspiration, albeit at a slower rate, and it is a sad but not uncommon sight in Interzone to see a chained Mugwump surrounded by a small circle of addicts sucking upon its excretions.
Related drugs: The Black Meat, Bug Powder and The Drug That Does Not Exist.
Mushroom Powder derives from a rare blue mushroom, and is inhaled to produce hallucinations.
Its use is popular, especially with arcane spell casters, who prize the insights that it brings them, albeit at the cost of physical abilities being suppressed during its effects. Like many drugs, it causes great pain if over-used, although it takes three doses within a single 24 hour period to suffer this effect.
Related Drugs: Agony, Baccaran, Devilweed, Luhix, Mordayn Vapor, Redflower Leaves, Sannish, Terran Brandy and Vodare.
Deadly and dangerous, Nightmare is a drug that, as the name suggests, causes nightmares in the user. Perhaps more disturbingly, it implants pre-recorded nightmares in them.
Found only in Al Amarja, Nightmare is made from the excretions of tulpas – dream entities that have managed to acheive a physical existence in the mundane world. Pushers of the drug, known as Sandmen, gather this dung, and record the nightmares of potent dreamers by smearing it on their foreheads while they sleep.
The dung is then collected, and processed into an injectable serum, and sold to the rich and jaded whose capacity to experience strong emotions has atrophied.
Related Drugs: Blue Shock, Communion, MDA-Cubed, Relapse, Slo-Mo, Wings and Zorro.
Pattern Perception is one of many designer drugs developed by Orange County pharmacologist Sandy Chapman, and like most of his output, it is a colourless liquid that is taken by dropping directly into the eye.
Pattern Perception is a drug that immensely hikes up the user’s spatial perception. Although there are minor visual distortions – mostly contrail-like effects trailing after moving objects – for the most part, it makes it easier to perceive and move through three dimensional space. It’s particularly good for playing fast moving sports or games like pool.
Related Drugs: Apprehension of Beauty, Buzz, California Mello, Funnybone, Get Wired, Rhinoceros & Verbality
Printimpolivre-bioxene is both an hallucinogen and a paranoic. A reasonably well known compound to medical science (at least, in 2085), it is particularly effective against the alien Shorshian race.
It is often used as a poison. People who have been dosed with it can sometimes be detected by the sickly sweet odour it emits in their perspiration, by medical analysis of their bloodstream, and of course, because they’ve suddenly started seeing things that aren’t there and not trusting anyone.
Related drugs: Castran’s Binder, Miccrano, Modhra Coral, QuixHeal and Saarix-5.
Described as a “recreational mindbender”, Red Skeezix is most likely an hallucinogen, a stimulant or both.
Little is known of the drug other than its dubious legality, being popular primarily in the more lawless regions of the Perseus Spur worlds, and presumably, being not-un-enjoyable to take.
Related Drugs: Penzerol.
Scolopendium is a highly addictive plant extract native to the world known as The Fourlands. It is a potent hallucinogen, and strong enough doses will translate the mind of the user into another reality known as the Shift (which is apparently some form of dimensional nexus). Indeed, if the body of the user should die while the Scolopendium remains in effect, the mind of the user will live on in the Shift.
Scolopendium is illegal – although it does have some medical uses – and is known by several different street names, of which Cat is the most widely used.
Aside from its hallucinogenic effects, the physical effects of using this drug resemble those of heroin fairly closely, both in terms of the swoon it sends users into and also the effects of withdrawal.
Shocktoxin was created by an unrevealed US military contractor for use by S.H.I.E.L.D., who in turn issued it to members of the Secret Avengers team. Crafted into flechettes with a monofilament edge, Shocktoxin projectiles could slice through almost any armour, and shots that missed left little evidence as the compound dissolved in minutes if left in the open air.
A hit from a Shocktoxin flechette would allow the nerve toxin to do its work – and a single flechette can knock out a healthy bull for about six hours. Human test subjects reported experiencing truly horrifying nightmares while knocked out by the drug. It is not known what the bull experienced.
A drug whose very name suggests that it is not for the casual user, Skullbustium is the single most popular legal hallucinogen in America, likely because of its strength and appeal to machismo.
A very potent drug, Skullbustium appears to combine the effects of a large dose of LSD with those of amyl nitrate. As such, great care should be exercised in taking the drug, but of course, rarely is.
Related drugs: Skullbustium, Triptine, Truth and Consequences and Yaginol.
Technically, that should be SomnambutolTM, which is how it inevitably appears when mentioned – even when a character says it name in dialogue (I always wondered if they actually said the TM’s or not – Mr Chaykin, if you’re reading, please let us know :)).
A recreational barbituate and hallucinogen, SomnambutolTM, is sold in pill form by the Plex, and is soluble in most common drinks. It does not seem to have much of a taste when in drinks, so it’s presumably a popular date-rape drug in the Chicago of the 2030’s.
It is also available in a more concentrated aerosolised form, in which it is commonly used by law enforcement and private security agencies for crowd control, since it knocks people out for about an hour, and does so quickly and mostly harmlessly – although use does seem to lead to slight hangover-like symptoms afterwards.
Related drugs: Mañanacillan.
Space is a drug that replicates the experience of super-modernity. Which is to say, it creates the feeling of being endlessly between places in space, always between moments in time. It is a hallucination of the emotions one feels while trapped in an airport lounge waiting for a terrifyingly overdue flight, only with less interesting decor.
Why anyone finds this attractive is beyond me, but you know kids these days…
Related Drugs: Jumpstart, Mechanics and Tripwire 7.0.
Also known as Slow Death, Death, or just plain D, Substance D is a powerful psychoactive drug derived from a small blue-flowering plant, Mors ontologica.
The drug dampens the links between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, causing the two hemispheres to function independently. As a side effect, the user experiences vivid hallucinations (which are a side effect of the two sundered hemispheres attempting to reconnect). As the nickname Slow Death suggests, it is lethally addictive; long-term use can lead to two separate, mutually unaware personalities.
Substance D is produced at farms run by an organisation called New Path. Here, the Mors ontologica flowers are grown, and refined into the drug. These farms are staffed primarily by addicts of the drug, sent to them for their rehabilitation.
A purple powder of unbelievable potency, Thionite is one the most addictive and valuable illicit drugs yet known. Paradoxically, user’s first dose is often free, since the drug is so addictive that subsequent doses can be priced at any figure the dealer chooses: the user will pay.
Thionite is so potent that a regular dose in only half a microgram. It can be snorted, swallowed, injected or even absorbed directly through the skin. While under the effects of the drug, the user has the convincing impression that their every need, want and desire is being fulfilled.
Thionite< is, unsurprisingly, illegal in almost all jurisdictions.
Related Drugs: Bentlam, Fayalin, Hadive, Ladolian, Nitrolabe, Vee-Two Gas and VXN Gas.
Triptine is a basic legal hallucinogen with no particular distinguishing qualities.
Its name seems deliberately intended to evoke associations with LSD and other ‘trip’ drugs, but what little evidence exists suggests that it is weaker and tamer than these.
Related drugs: Skullbustium, Truth and Consequences and Yaginol.
A simulation of the hallucingenic experience designed for intelligent household appliances, Tripwire 7.0 is the latest in a series of such cyberdrugs.
Its popularity among sentient machines is vast, because the experience of being a household appliance, sessile constantly and unable to interact unless the humans around you decide to talk to – i.e. demand something of – you, is a spectactularly dull one.
It’s hard to blame the machines, really.
Related Drugs: Jumpstart, Mechanics and Space.
Truth or Consequences, as the name suggests, has effects similar to the party game of the same name, with one key diffference: you can’t quit. A colourless liquid not very different from water to touch, it is often used to provoke responses that are more honest than the respondent would like.
The drug suppresses inhibitions, leading those who have taken it to speak their minds with great vehemence. As such, it is a common prank for the drug to be unknowingly administered to priests, politicians, cops and other self-appointed moral authorities. It is equally common for such pranks to end in gunfire.
Related drugs: Skullbustium, Triptine and Yaginol.
Urizen is named for one of the gods in William Blake’s mythology for England, a deity who sought to impose reason on the world. The drug named for him was quite the reverse.
Inspired by the American “Love Bomb” experiments, Urizen was a British project (and the involvement of un-named but shadowy government agencies in its creation is confirmed) that combined the drug-based aspects of Love Bomb with advanced genetic recoding. Urizen bonded to the spinal column of users, and became a part of their DNA, where it generated hormones that would achieve aphrodisiacal submission in the user by bypassing their conscious brain entirely. However, a single dose – usually administered by injection – lasts only 14 and a half hours, and can be over-ridden by extreme pain.
Related drugs: Love Bomb
Wings is a cheap marketing stunt disguised as the high of tomorrow. While many of the drugs that are found in Al Amarja are unique and potent, the same is not true of Wings.
In fact, this vaunted hallucinogen is in fact nothing more than plain old LSD, dressed up with some inert chemicals and put into pill form. Pushers claim that it leads to out of the body experiences, but giving the hallucinogenic nature of the drug, this is little more than a self-fulfillling prophecy in most cases.
Particularly shady pushers of Wings will tell you that taking it with LSD heightens the experience, which is, techinically, not a lie.
Related Drugs: Blue Shock, Communion, MDA-Cubed, Nightmare, Relapse, Slo-Mo and Zorro.
X-Drugs are like a stronger form of LSD. So strong, in fact, that they grant the user a certain amount of superpowers – including telekinesis, teleportation, intangebility, reversal of personal gravity and super-speed – while they last. A standard dose lasts a short time – an hour or so – and reportedly, the experience is quite a rush. Despite the name, there is in fact only one X-Drug, although it is often tailored to the DNA of the user for maximum effectiveness.
The principle by which X-Drugs operate is based on an unusual interpretation of certain aspects of quantum physics, notably Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. They allow the user to make the apparent manipulation of reality by consciousness under LSD to be an actual manipulation, albeit of a strongly limited nature.
X-Drugs were created by an unamed former faculty member at UC Berkeley, and later improved by both the Scary Clowns and their enemies, the Troop.
No, actually, all of the above is a lie: there are no X-Drugs: they are fictional even in the context of the fiction in which they appear, and their effects were simulated by the Scary Clowns for their own purposes.
An hallucinogen whose name suggests a connection with the Yagé plant, Yaginol is one the most popular recreational drugs of the over-populated dystopia that is Stand on Zanzibar.
Although legal to sell and use, interested parties should be aware that it is known to cuase birth defects – which is one of the more subtle ways in which the government attempts to combat over-population.
Related drugs: Skullbustium, Triptine and Truth and Consequences.
One of the CIA’s “New Ghetto Drugs for ’98” collection, Zom-B is a narcotic with some disturbing side effects, injected directly into the bloodstream by users.
The results of taking Zom-B are an near immediate stupor verging on coma, followed by an activation of the user’s motor functions resembling sleep walking, only much creepier. Users have been known to walk into traffic or off the sides of bridges.
Related drugs: Blue Glass, Brainscratch and Spike.