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This is for a fantasy-themed game, but since I want a word that is a real English word this seemed an appropriate place to ask.

I'm looking for a word to describe a category of processes applied when combining reagents/reactants, such as applying heat.

"You create a potion by combining reagents by means of a __________ [generic word that could cover a process like heating/chilling/steaming/mocking]"

In a culinary context one could use "cooking" generically to cover various methods like sauteing, boiling, roasting, etc.

A single word would be ideal, but a 2-word phrase would probably work as well. It would not need to be common in modern English, but would need to be recognizable as English.

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    The noun reagent already covers the territory. Better to find a another term for the materia magica, and then talk about reacting them together (in the appropriate manners, of course). – John Lawler Jan 16 '17 at 22:06
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An (incomplete) list of chemical reaction terminology, found at [OxfordReference.com] unless otherwise noted.2 Perhaps one of these might fit your need?

  • Condensation The change of a vapour or gas into a liquid. The change of phase is accompanied by the evolution of heat (see latent heat).

  • Distillation The process of boiling a liquid and condensing and collecting the vapour. The liquid collected is the distillate. It is used to purify liquids and to separate liquid mixtures (see fractional distillation; steam distillation). See also destructive distillation; extractive distillation.

  • Reaction The interaction of two or more substances that results in chemical changes in them.

  • Oxidation The process in which an electron is transferred to an oxidizing agent or, alternatively, when a compound is combined with oxygen or has hydrogen removed.

  • Reduction The loss of oxygen from a compound. For example, the sesquioxide ferric oxide can be reduced to the monoxide ferrous oxide by bacteria. See gley soils.

  • Esterification A reaction of an alcohol with an acid to produce an ester and water; e.g.CH3OH+C6H5COOH⇌CH3OOCC6H5+H2O The reaction is an equilibrium and is slow under normal conditions, but can be speeded up by addition of a strong acid catalyst. The ester can often be distilled off so that the reaction can proceed to completion. The reverse reaction is ester hydrolysis or saponification. See also labelling.

  • hydrolysis A reaction between a substance and water in which the substance is split into two or more products. At the points of cleavage the products react with the hydrogen or hydroxyl ions derived from water.

  • catalysis A chemical term, literally meaning ‘breaking down’, and in digestive physiology referring specifically to the breaking down of ingested food by an animal's own digestive enzymes. Compare autocatalysis.

  • Rearrangement A type of chemical reaction in which the atoms in a molecule rearrange to form a new molecule. Examples are the pinacol rearrangement and the Wagner-Meerwein rearrangement.

  • polymerisation The chemical process, normally with the aid of a catalyst, to form a polymer by bonding together multiple identical units (monomers). Wikipedia

  • electrolysis The production of a chemical reaction by passing an electric current through an electrolyte. In electrolysis, positive ions migrate to the cathode and negative ions to the anode. The reactions occurring depend on electron transfer at the electrodes and are therefore redox reactions. At the anode, negative ions in solution may lose electrons to form neutral species. Alternatively, atoms of the electrode can lose electrons and go into solution as positive ions. In either case the reaction is an oxidation. At the cathode, positive ions in solution can gain electrons to form neutral species. Thus cathode reactions are reductions.

  • chemiluminescence Light produced as a chemical reaction proceeds, e.g. the production of light by firefly luciferase when it hydrolyses ATP (used as a sensitive assay system). Another assay involving chemiluminescence is for the production of reactive oxygen species by activated leucocytes in which bystander substrates (luminol or lucigenin) emit light when oxidized. See bioluminescence.

  • neutralization The guarantee of the independence and political and territorial integrity of (usually) a small power by a collective agreement of great powers, subject to the condition that it will not take up arms against another state, except in self-defence, or enter into any treaty that may compromise its neutrality.

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Consider the verb form synthesize of synthesis

Synthesis : the production of a substance by the union of chemical elements, groups, or simpler compounds or by the degradation of a complex compound

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How about chemical reaction?

Your example:

"You create a potion by combining reagents (or ingredients) by means of a chemical reaction."

OD:

chemical reaction: A process that involves rearrangement of the molecular or ionic structure of a substance, as distinct from a change in physical form or a nuclear reaction.

Example sentences:

  • ‘Soaps are created by the chemical reaction of a fatty acid with an alkali metal hydroxide.’

  • ‘The energy involved in a chemical reaction can be related to the differences in energy between the reactants and products.’

  • ‘The arrow in a chemical equation represents the process of the chemical reaction.’

  • ‘The heat triggers a chemical reaction that turns the polymers into a hard, incredibly sturdy structure.’

  • ‘Enthalpy is more useful to chemists than energy when measuring the heat involved in chemical reactions.’

  • ‘They each have different chemical reactions because of their molecular structure.’

  • ‘A burning cigarette is a complex system in which many types of chemical reactions and physical processes occur in parallel.’

  • ‘They are catalysts that either begin chemical reactions or speed up chemical reactions already in progress.’

  • ‘Energy is not only involved in chemical reactions and technology, but also in our basic bodily functions.’

  • ‘The state of matter may affect the way in which the molecule takes part in a chemical reaction.’

  • ‘Atoms of these elements have six valence electrons and tend to gain or acquire electrons in chemical reactions.’

Chemical reactions may involve multiple steps, including heating, cooling, extraction, etc. Very general.

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You can use recipe in the general sense.

"You create a potion by combining reagents by means of a recipe."

M-W:

recipe noun
2 : a set of instructions for making something from various ingredients
3 : a formula or procedure for doing or attaining something

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