For Reference: Heroin

A few months ago I came across a great article on the IntarWeb about the origin, trafficking and “business” of Heroin which went into great detail about how it was the main product of the East India Trading Company and how the British exported heroin in vast quantities to China and not the other way round. I’ve since lost track of it but had an idea for a game. Anyone knows which article I’m talking about? Pop it in the comments. Ta.

gives an example of the interesting history of the drug.

Heroin, however, was not brought into existence until 1874.

Heroin was first synthesized by a dude named C.R. Alder Wright, who in addition to having lots of given names, was an English chemist employed at St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London.

Another chemist, this one German, employed at Bayer, and named Felix Hoffmann, independently re-synthesized diacetylmorphine in a failed attempt to make codeine from morphine. After testing it out in some lucky humans, Bayer decided to rename the compound heroin, reportedly because it made test subjects feel, among other things, heroic.

Again with the ideas.

I envisage a game called “Heroics” set in the pulp era with a very edgy, gritty feel. The heroes are, of course, heroin addicts and it is the drug which gives them their powers. The eventual collapse of their bodies is part of the whole story.


  • Getting heroin is not hard but it starting to become outlawed in some regions and in others it is socially unacceptable or available only with prescription
  • It causes chronic constipation
  • it’s up to the GM on whether the heroic feeling is any more than just a feeling
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