Alchemist Class Preview

Monday, April 9, 2018

Just read any messageboards or comment threads, and you'll realize this truth about people: some of them love to throw bombs and blow things up. It's a visceral thrill. Lobbing bombs is dramatic and fun, and every so often all of us love to watch something burn. If you enjoy this activity more than most, do we have a class for you!

So far we've previewed the fighter and the rogue. You might have thought we'd showcase one of the original spellcasting classes next, but that involves talking a bit more about spellcasting, so instead, we decided to unleash the secrets of the alchemist in our newest preview of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook.

In the early days of Pathfinder First Edition, the alchemist saw release in the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide. Since then, the alchemist has proven to be very popular. Unsurprisingly, when we surveyed the player base about what classes see the most play, the alchemist rose right to the top (along with the oracle, but more on that in a later preview). That alone would have promoted the class into the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, but tackling the alchemist early on during the design process was beneficial for another reason: it allowed us to take a hard look at alchemical item design with the alchemist in mind rather than as a later add-on.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Alchemist Features

While anyone trained in Crafting can take the Alchemical Crafter skill feat and craft their own alchemical items, the alchemist is much better at this crafting discipline. At 1st level, he gains Alchemical Crafter and a formula book for free, along with four bonus alchemical item formulas (for a total of eight, including the four from Alchemical Crafter). Each time he levels up, he gains two more formulas. This is on top of ones he either discovers or invents. Not only does he gain more access to alchemical tricks, by way of advanced alchemy and the quick alchemy action, but he can also spend resonance to create alchemical objects on the fly, though such hasty concoctions are potent for only a short period.

Crafting is all well and good, but what about bombing potential? The alchemist's bombs are now the basic alchemical items you are familiar with: things like alchemist fire, thunderstones, acid flasks and so on. He crafts these items and lobs them. At 3rd level, he gains the empower bomb feature, which allows him to multiply the damage of the bombs he creates. This multiplier increases with level until it reaches six times the alchemical bomb's base damage at 19th level.

But that's only the start—at 5th level the alchemist learns the secrets of mutagens, and as he progresses his ability to craft alchemical items on the fly becomes both greater and faster.

Alchemist Feats

Tying these features together is the selection of alchemist class feats. As with other class feats, they allow the alchemist to either focus or diversify his features and talents. In the case of the alchemist, class feats come in a few broad categories. If the alchemist wants to make the most of his crafting, he might choose Efficient Alchemy or Enduring Alchemy at 4th level. The former allows him to craft larger batches of alchemical items during downtime, while the latter extends the amount of time he can use alchemical items that he creates with the Quick Alchemy action. When he reaches 6th level, Powerful Alchemy allows him to increase the DCs of his alchemical effects, while the 18th-level Improbable Elixirs feat enables him to craft elixirs with the effects of magical potions.

Making stuff is great, but destruction is much more fun. Most alchemical bombs are splash weapons, which means that when the alchemist hits an enemy, those nearby take a bit of damage. At 4th level, an alchemist with the Calculated Splash feat can deal splash damage equal to his Intelligence modifier instead of the normal 1 splash damage. At 6th level, the alchemist can take the Precise Bomb feat, allowing him to hit everyone but his allies with the splash damage. Taking both feats increases the hurt he puts on enemies while saving his allies the pain. Of course, there are also plenty of feats that affect the primary target of a bomb. Debilitating Bomb at 6th level and its greater counterparts at 10th and 14th levels allow the alchemist to apply different types of conditions to the primary target of his bombs.

After an alchemist gains the mutagen crafting feature, he can take feats that modify how those powerful elixirs interact with his internal chemistry. For instance, the 8th-level Feral Mutagen feat boosts the alchemist's Intimidate checks and morphs his teeth into frightful jaws and his hands into rending claws. Other such modifications are subtler. The 10th-level Stalker Mutagen feat grants the alchemist Stealth as a signature skill and allows him to move up to his Speed when he sneaks. While all mutagens grant some bonuses and drawbacks, the Perfect Mutagen feat at 18th level allows the alchemist to ignore the drawbacks when under the effect of a mutagen he crafted.

All of this is only a small sample of what the class has to offer. The alchemist is also a master of poisons (which he can craft for free each day just like other alchemical items), has easy access to a number of skills, and can act as the party's trap disabler or healer if necessary. The diversity in the class allows you to pick and choose exactly how you want to manifest your particular brand of alchemical discoveries.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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edduardco wrote:
Say that to the Druid, they have to wait to level 4 to get Wild Shape

Keep it low level and I'd be okay with druids getting wildshape at 1st level as well.

Sovereign Court

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'm sure the buffs from ordinary elixirs will ensure that the alchemist is mathematically on par with other classes. But from a roleplay perspective the mathematics is not my first priority.

I'm not really understanding why you can't call one of your elixirs your mutagen for a few levels if it is the roleplaying perspective and not the mechanics that are the issue.

Could an elixir of beastskin* (+1 natural armor) fill that role?

*wild, ungrounded speculation


Mutagens are different in that they give you a benefit with a disadvantage. A mutagen that increases ac while decreasing mental stats would work.


Maybe I'm giving them too much credit, but I'm thinking there will probably be feats to get weaker mutagens early... They are going to have dozens of feats for each class but are only showing off a couple in each of these previews. There will also probably be an archetype to delay or entirely trade out bomb-focused powers so you can get mutagens early and make them better, considering how wildly popular the Vivisectionist is.

Give us a blog on Archetypes already!!

Sovereign Court

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I'm not a big fan of drawbacks, but there is definitely a space for that kind of thing in alchemical items. Things like clear ear in PF1 giving a mix of bonuses and penalties.


KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'm sure the buffs from ordinary elixirs will ensure that the alchemist is mathematically on par with other classes. But from a roleplay perspective the mathematics is not my first priority.

I'm not really understanding why you can't call one of your elixirs your mutagen for a few levels if it is the roleplaying perspective and not the mechanics that are the issue.

Could an elixir of beastskin* (+1 natural armor) fill that role?

*wild, ungrounded speculation

I like your wild, ungrounded speculation. It takes guts, kid. Or maybe a spine. I'm not very good with metaphorical anatomy. Or metaphors...

Anyways your suggestion will be technically functional for those stuck eating RAW. Kind of like a band aid can stand in for glue on projects that you don't need to be pretty. Of course, that might be a problem when you're fixing your boss's fancy desk, or when you've found an antique puzzlebox who's previous owner got frustrated and broke it open only to be cursed to forever...
Wait, what was I talking about again?

Oh, and it would need to have a debuff, like making your puzzlebox ugly as sin.


The whole "just reflavour" argument doesn't really work. You could say: Fighters can just use longswords at level 1 and call it a "great" (long)sword. But obviously what is "essential" to a character is going to differ from player to player and even from character to character.


Oh crap, my boss is going to kill me.

Sovereign Court

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
The whole "just reflavour" argument doesn't really work. You could say: Fighters can just use longswords at level 1 and call it a "great" (long)sword. But obviously what is "essential" to a character is going to differ from player to player and even from character to character.

Unfortunately, not every character is a level 1 concept.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
The whole "just reflavour" argument doesn't really work. You could say: Fighters can just use longswords at level 1 and call it a "great" (long)sword. But obviously what is "essential" to a character is going to differ from player to player and even from character to character.
Unfortunately, not every character is a level 1 concept.

Unfortunately a fighter using martial weapons isn't a level 1 concept (but don't worry, simple weapons in the hands of a fighter have been mathematically balanced).

Normally things are pushed back from level 1 for balance reasons. Can you provide a compelling reason why mutagen swilling alchemists (gives you a small bonus along with a disadvantage. The disadvantage can be cosmetic if that's the unbalancing element!) are no longer a level 1 concept when they could be in Pathfinder 1st edition?

The start of this tangent was "it never made sense for 1st level characters to do their shtick of using mutagens. It makes perfect sense for that to be delayed until level 5". That was using thematic and flavourful reasons to explain the delay (and not mechanical). Unfortunately that thought process works on other classes just as easily and yet no-one's advocating for such a delay in those classes.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Spend some gold for permanent alchemical items, because the free ones don't last" would be sort of isomorphic to "prepare a scroll of whatever spell is handy in a pinch but you won't want to cast it every day", which is a way to split divvy up resources for spells that people are pretty okay with.

Numbers in general is the issue here, we don't have them. What's the price for making them permanent? What kinds of numbers do they have? What's the point of using Magic X when we can make Alchemical Y and cover that anyway without the cost of Resonance later? And again, it's a time thing. Your Scroll might be nice but I can craft 5 things in a day.

Hey Alchemist boy; whip us up some magic/non magic juice for later K? Thanks. Wait, you want me to pay? I need my magic sword and rings.

MusicAddict wrote:

If it helps, the Quick alchemy ability can be viewed as effectively giving an alchemist a "wand" using the resonance system as a class ability.

Except it's multiple wands, consisting of one for every possible not-spell/elixir the alchemist has, at the maximum effectiveness of those abilities that the alchemist can reach.

Every not spell/elixir, chemical item and bombs. We very much needed the boost to our Res pool because we'd run out pretty quickly otherwise. And do we know that's how it's going to work "To the Maximum Effectiveness"? So basically Max Caster level? But if someone that isn't Alchemist uses it, it gets weaker but still at.... who's Max effectiveness?

To me the changes are starting to loop in on themselves making Alchemist seem more like an NPC crafter class than a valued team member. I can understand some people who want to play party buffer or the item shop. I see no reason to shift the entire class over to that idea. But we just won't know till we get the numbers in front of us.

If the new items are still too weak, what's the point? If they can compete with magic, what's the point if they are cheaper/easier? And if they are pretty strong, what's the limit to them as they don't take Resonance? Too much gold and they just get tossed in with Potions and Scrolls, "Nice to have but maybe later" items that sit at the bottom of your bag. And then there's how long the alchemic items either last or take to use. I'm a sucker for Alchemical Cement but 1d6 hours? Better to have a Wizard cast shape stone or someone just destroy that door frame and block the path.

Gah, I'll wait to see what happens when the item chart comes out. I fully expect my issues to be addressed then but unsure as to just HOW it will shape up.


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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Normally things are pushed back from level 1 for balance reasons. Can you provide a compelling reason why mutagen swilling alchemists (gives you a small bonus along with a disadvantage. The disadvantage can be cosmetic if that's the unbalancing element!) are no longer a level 1 concept when they could be in Pathfinder 1st edition?

Mutagens mess with your stats, and provide martial bonuses. Mutagens were already very powerful, providing rage-like benefits for 10 minutes at level 1 instead of less than a minute for Barbarian. But, Barbarian started off better on their attacks (having better weapon proficiencies and BAB). Now that Alchemist isn't starting off far behind than the Barbarian, introducing mutagen at first level, on top of their other features (which are important to a lot of other people), would be unbalanced. They could give every Alchemist a weak first level mutagen, but at that point, it might as well be a class feat (to give it a little more power) or an elixir (allowing picking it up for a pretty low investment).

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Unfortunately a fighter using martial weapons isn't a level 1 concept (but don't worry, simple weapons in the hands of a fighter have been mathematically balanced).

I don't think this is a fair comparison. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard aren't common dips (taking that as an indication of front-loading), and you're asking why they aren't having what little they get taken away. Paladin, Alchemist, and Sorcerer are a lot more common. Paladin sounds like it is getting smite evil moved from first, and Alchemist is getting mutagen moved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sorcerer's bloodline arcana either moved or tweaked.


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MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
"Spend some gold for permanent alchemical items, because the free ones don't last" would be sort of isomorphic to "prepare a scroll of whatever spell is handy in a pinch but you won't want to cast it every day", which is a way to split divvy up resources for spells that people are pretty okay with.

Numbers in general is the issue here, we don't have them. What's the price for making them permanent? What kinds of numbers do they have? What's the point of using Magic X when we can make Alchemical Y and cover that anyway without the cost of Resonance later? And again, it's a time thing. Your Scroll might be nice but I can craft 5 things in a day.

Hey Alchemist boy; whip us up some magic/non magic juice for later K? Thanks. Wait, you want me to pay? I need my magic sword and rings.

MusicAddict wrote:

If it helps, the Quick alchemy ability can be viewed as effectively giving an alchemist a "wand" using the resonance system as a class ability.

Except it's multiple wands, consisting of one for every possible not-spell/elixir the alchemist has, at the maximum effectiveness of those abilities that the alchemist can reach.

Every not spell/elixir, chemical item and bombs. We very much needed the boost to our Res pool because we'd run out pretty quickly otherwise. And do we know that's how it's going to work "To the Maximum Effectiveness"? So basically Max Caster level? But if someone that isn't Alchemist uses it, it gets weaker but still at.... who's Max effectiveness?

To me the changes are starting to loop in on themselves making Alchemist seem more like an NPC crafter class than a valued team member. I can understand some people who want to play party buffer or the item shop. I see no reason to shift the entire class over to that idea. But we just won't know till we get the numbers in front of us.

If the new items are still too weak, what's the point? If they can compete with magic, what's the point if they are cheaper/easier? And if they are...

I think you're overthinking it way too much. You started worrying that it would cost too much doing your class feature, now you worry it might be too useful, but not just for you, and if it is, then it's not okay either... let's just say you contradicted yourself a couple time in this thread, and you seem somewhat confused.

They only show a part of the class potential in these preview, one possible path you can choose, as they usually only reveal one feat per level... There will be many more that change the flavor.
It would be best for you, I think, to put yourself in a "wait and see" mode. At least for the Alchemist. They also seem to have created a whole new sub system for alchemical items, and we still need to see most of it. (Personally, I'm very excited by what I heard, I wanted that kind of subsystem for a LONG time.)


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Kalindlara wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
I can understand the desire to offer PF2E Archetypes as an option to all classes, but I really really dislike how they've been implemented so far in Starfinder. I know Paizo wants to call like things by the same name (feats), but can we consider a slight divergence in this case? Keep Archetypes as class non-specific if you wish, but can we have a unified term -- some term like Specializations -- that alter one specific class, similar to the PF1E archetypes did?
Seconded oh so much.
Tentative third here, since I obviously don't know anything about the PF2 archetypes yet. But PF1's archetypes were my absolute favorite part of the system, allowing incredible depth of customization and intricate changes to existing classes. I'd hate to lose that in the name of standardization.

And absolutely fourthed. Sure, I'd be happy with universal archetypes alongside, but given the plethora of specialisations and flavors that could be garnered with class-specific archetypes it would be a huge blow if they disappeared.

Archetypes are immensely popular, add huge frameworks of flavour and allow for many future possibilities. Why change what worked so well?* I know there is an argument for things being easier to insert after the fact rather than remove once people are used to them, but wasn't the remarkable success of archetypes as introduced in the APG (regardless of earlier, similar iterations in 3.5) an indicator of something that needn't be added later, if it already worked?

*Obviously some folks may not like archetypes, or argue that they didn't work well. I'd obviously disagree.)

Liberty's Edge

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QuidEst wrote:
I don't think this is a fair comparison. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard aren't common dips (taking that as an indication of front-loading), and you're asking why they aren't having what little they get taken away. Paladin, Alchemist, and Sorcerer are a lot more common. Paladin sounds like it is getting smite evil moved from first, and Alchemist is getting mutagen moved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sorcerer's bloodline arcana either moved or tweaked.

Obviously our experiences must differ, because I have never seen anyone dip alchemist, and sorcerer only once. Paladin dips were almost exclusively for Oradins. Meanwhile, characters with a 1 level dip in fighter seem to be exceedingly common.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deighton Thrane wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I don't think this is a fair comparison. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard aren't common dips (taking that as an indication of front-loading), and you're asking why they aren't having what little they get taken away. Paladin, Alchemist, and Sorcerer are a lot more common. Paladin sounds like it is getting smite evil moved from first, and Alchemist is getting mutagen moved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sorcerer's bloodline arcana either moved or tweaked.
Obviously our experiences must differ, because I have never seen anyone dip alchemist or sorcerer. And Paladin was almost exclusively for Oradins. Meanwhile, characters with a 1 level dip in fighter seem to be exceedingly common.

Hmm. Could be. That the Fighter archetype with a mutagen is really popular only complicates things.

Liberty's Edge

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QuidEst wrote:
Deighton Thrane wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I don't think this is a fair comparison. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard aren't common dips (taking that as an indication of front-loading), and you're asking why they aren't having what little they get taken away. Paladin, Alchemist, and Sorcerer are a lot more common. Paladin sounds like it is getting smite evil moved from first, and Alchemist is getting mutagen moved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sorcerer's bloodline arcana either moved or tweaked.
Obviously our experiences must differ, because I have never seen anyone dip alchemist or sorcerer. And Paladin was almost exclusively for Oradins. Meanwhile, characters with a 1 level dip in fighter seem to be exceedingly common.
Hmm. Could be. That the Fighter archetype with a mutagen is really popular only complicates things.

Well, with fighter moving mutagen to level 3, brawler seems to have taken it's place. But even then, I've seen people contemplate taking it, but never bothered. Gaining +4 to a stat is nice, but it taking an hour to create and lasting 10 minutes meant it was great in a dungeon crawl where you go room to room cracking skulls, but insignificant when exploration took more time. Other options usually gave you better options. Even 1 bonus combat feat was usually a better choice. And even though rage was only 4+con rounds per day, you could usually stretch that out to a few combats, or use it all in one really difficult fight. The versatility of usage in rounds was usually the better choice.


Mutagen was probably really moved out of level 1 so you wouldn't dip Alchemist with your Fighter/Barb and get an item that makes you incredibly strong. In other words, people had a good thing and abused it to ruin PFS, and now it had to be removed. Lowest level you can put a thing before dipping is very discouraged is 3. (Paladin taught us 2 levels still too low). So it should probable be at that level tbh.


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Bruno Mares wrote:
ryric wrote:

so it's entirely possible that the foe's touch AC is based on metagaming nonsense like its CR rather than the fact that it's a lumbering beast the size of a house.

Please, Paizo, don't do that.

Paizo has to do that, Critical Hits are easier now than they ever were.

Take my Paladin in PFS right now, at level 10 he has (on average) a 23 AC (27 if smiting a target) and, for touch AC that is a 12 Touch AC (something like that) meaning he'd be critted on by anyone and everything with a touch attack just because he uses armor.

This is a major problem in the game atm which is why it is so dex favored.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Deighton Thrane wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I don't think this is a fair comparison. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard aren't common dips (taking that as an indication of front-loading), and you're asking why they aren't having what little they get taken away. Paladin, Alchemist, and Sorcerer are a lot more common. Paladin sounds like it is getting smite evil moved from first, and Alchemist is getting mutagen moved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sorcerer's bloodline arcana either moved or tweaked.
Obviously our experiences must differ, because I have never seen anyone dip alchemist, and sorcerer only once. Paladin dips were almost exclusively for Oradins. Meanwhile, characters with a 1 level dip in fighter seem to be exceedingly common.

I see a fair number of alchemist dips, partly for mutagen, partly to grab vestigial arms.


Yet again, society has let me down.

Spoiler:
The joke being a double entendre.

Spoiler:
I'm terrified of heights.

Liberty's Edge

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HWalsh wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
ryric wrote:

so it's entirely possible that the foe's touch AC is based on metagaming nonsense like its CR rather than the fact that it's a lumbering beast the size of a house.

Please, Paizo, don't do that.

Paizo has to do that, Critical Hits are easier now than they ever were.

Take my Paladin in PFS right now, at level 10 he has (on average) a 23 AC (27 if smiting a target) and, for touch AC that is a 12 Touch AC (something like that) meaning he'd be critted on by anyone and everything with a touch attack just because he uses armor.

This is a major problem in the game atm which is why it is so dex favored.

Based on the Proficiency Blog it seems very likely that all PCs will add their level to their AC. This presumably holds true for CR on enemies as well, and I can't imagine such a bonus not applying to Touch AC. So that should help, though I'd still imagine armor won't apply.


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If the argument for delaying mutagen is that it's too powerful, couldn't you make a 1st level version that scales up to the current power level?

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So lets make a new alchemical item available to everyone. Something that boosts mental functions at the expense of irritability. Call it a proto-cognatogen or something. At level five, the alchemist can make a special boosted version that gives a bonus to their Intelligence at the expense of a corresponding physical stat. Pretty straightforward expansion of ability. Now it is the cognatogen.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
If the argument for delaying mutagen is that it's too powerful, couldn't you make a 1st level version that scales up to the current power level?

The benefit is that Alchemist gets a boost, and some of the people who like mutagen are happier. (Some of them are of course just as annoyed by a weak, imitation mutagen.)

The cost is an extra complication for new players, archetypes are harder to write for Alchemist because mutagen exists at two levels, and some people who dislike mutagen are slightly more annoyed. (Some of them are of course fully annoyed at having it as a feature at all.)


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If enough of the player base both want and don't want mutagen in the alchemist class it seems like a good argument for making it modular (and if it falls on the same line for people who do and don't want bombs that's even better). It doesn't seem like a good argument for delaying it to level 5.

Shadow Lodge

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So... What exactly do you get level to level beyond either damage increases or the ability to qualify for more feats? As it stands it sounds more and more like a lot of the options that used to be features of the class you'd take as part of your leveling progression are just becoming feats you take instead when you qualify.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's an.. "interesting"? idea, but it feels like it's falling back into the dead level trap of 3.5, with more levels that are just devoid of anything save BAB & Save increases. Those were crap back then, and I'd hate to have another game where we've got levels where nothing unique is happening at that level.

Also, if a lot of these powers are being moved to feats, what are archetypes going to be modifying?

Shadow Lodge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
If enough of the player base both want and don't want mutagen in the alchemist class it seems like a good argument for making it modular (and if it falls on the same line for people who do and don't want bombs that's even better). It doesn't seem like a good argument for delaying it to level 5.

Agreed. What could be cool is getting to choose at 1st when you make the character whether you want bombs or mutagens, and then it scales out accordingly and you can get the other option when you hit 5th. That way you can have the Hulk/Mr.Hyde characters at 1st alongside the Mad Bombers and they can both just get the other option later.


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doc the grey wrote:
So... What exactly do you get level to level beyond either damage increases or the ability to qualify for more feats?

My best guess at this point is:

Odd levels: Class Features and general or ancestry feats
Even levels: Class Feats and skill feats.

So for the Alchemist it might look like:
1st- Alchemical Crafting, Ancestry Feat
2nd- Alchemist Feat, Skill Feat
3rd- Empower Bomb, General Feat
4th- Alchemist Feat, Skill Feat
5th- Mutagen, Ancestry Feat


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QuidEst wrote:
I don't think this is a fair comparison. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard aren't common dips (taking that as an indication of front-loading), and you're asking why they aren't having what little they get taken away. Paladin, Alchemist, and Sorcerer are a lot more common. Paladin sounds like it is getting smite evil moved from first, and Alchemist is getting mutagen moved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sorcerer's bloodline arcana either moved or tweaked.

While I'm on the side of "alchemist 1 dips were really dumb," I will say that fighter dips are actually exceedingly common. Heavy armor and tower shield proficiency and a bonus feat are incredibly enticing.

For the record, I have no problem with multiclassing. I do have a problem with patchwork dips that serve no purpose other than "I want this cool class feature." People who dipped alchemist on martials because their martials were the type to experiment with alchemical concoctions is perfectly fine, but doing so on your 11-or-lower Int fighter or barbarian and ignoring every aspect of the class's flavor just to get a free boost to Strength is not and _maybe_ some first level self buffs is not.


I just realized... Is it the first blog post with no hint of the subject of the next one?


Elfteiroh wrote:
I just realized... Is it the first blog post with no hint of the subject of the next one?

Unless the Oracle hint is supposed to be the clue. Or the bit about spellcasting at the start of the post.


Paradozen wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
I just realized... Is it the first blog post with no hint of the subject of the next one?
Unless the Oracle hint is supposed to be the clue. Or the bit about spellcasting at the start of the post.

Ooh! Yeah, maybe... That would be sneaky, would be the first time it's at the start and not at the end of the post. :3 (But the Oracle part I feel like it'll be later...)


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I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FedoraFerret wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
I don't think this is a fair comparison. Fighter, Rogue, and Wizard aren't common dips (taking that as an indication of front-loading), and you're asking why they aren't having what little they get taken away. Paladin, Alchemist, and Sorcerer are a lot more common. Paladin sounds like it is getting smite evil moved from first, and Alchemist is getting mutagen moved. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sorcerer's bloodline arcana either moved or tweaked.

While I'm on the side of "alchemist 1 dips were really dumb," I will say that fighter dips are actually exceedingly common. Heavy armor and tower shield proficiency and a bonus feat are incredibly enticing.

For the record, I have no problem with multiclassing. I do have a problem with patchwork dips that serve no purpose other than "I want this cool class feature." People who dipped alchemist on martials because their martials were the type to experiment with alchemical concoctions is perfectly fine, but doing so on your 11-or-lower Int fighter or barbarian and ignoring every aspect of the class's flavor just to get a free boost to Strength is not and _maybe_ some first level self buffs is not.

I agree with the one level to gain armor proficiency is gaming the system. I am guessing that you won't get all the proficiency's that you would normally get at level 1 when you multi-class in the new system.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."

Sounds like a cleric archetype.


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Starbuck_II wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."
Sounds like a cleric archetype.

If this were the case, I would be very upset. If the oracle is no better than a cleric archetype, why not make the sorcerer into a wizard archetype? Oracle has more unique mechanics and narrative potential than "I've got special blood."


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I'd be happy with Oracle in the CRB, especially if they flip cleric to spontaneous casting and oracle to arcanist-style preparatory casting to better reflect their flavor~

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."
Sounds like a cleric archetype.
If this were the case, I would be very upset. If the oracle is no better than a cleric archetype, why not make the sorcerer into a wizard archetype? Oracle has more unique mechanics and narrative potential than "I've got special blood."

Because Sorcerer is A Staple Of The Game, while Oracle is Just Some Class Paizo Made Up.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."

Seconded. And fourthed. Its multiplicative support for this idea.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Because Sorcerer is A Staple Of The Game, while Oracle is Just Some Class Paizo Made Up.

Nothing that was introduced in 3rd edition is a sacred cow, IMO.

I mean, we've already done away with "base attack bonus."


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Gorbacz wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."
Sounds like a cleric archetype.
If this were the case, I would be very upset. If the oracle is no better than a cleric archetype, why not make the sorcerer into a wizard archetype? Oracle has more unique mechanics and narrative potential than "I've got special blood."

Because Sorcerer is A Staple Of The Game, while Oracle is Just Some Class Paizo Made Up.

Oracle was in 3.0, certainly Dragon Lance had them. Called them Mystics, but same class.


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Gorbacz wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."
Sounds like a cleric archetype.
If this were the case, I would be very upset. If the oracle is no better than a cleric archetype, why not make the sorcerer into a wizard archetype? Oracle has more unique mechanics and narrative potential than "I've got special blood."

Because Sorcerer is A Staple Of The Game, while Oracle is Just Some Class Paizo Made Up.

Well... That's certainly an opinion. Definitely the most dismissive thing I've seen all week.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Because Sorcerer is A Staple Of The Game, while Oracle is Just Some Class Paizo Made Up.

Nothing that was introduced in 3rd edition is a sacred cow, IMO.

I mean, we've already done away with "base attack bonus."

I'm pretty sure that people surprised/aghast at the lack of Sorcerer outnumber the people taken back by the lack of BAB. Remember, we're talking normal gamers here, not us rules junkies.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really hope the oracle thing is "Surprise! We decided to make the Oracle the 13th core class."
Sounds like a cleric archetype.
If this were the case, I would be very upset. If the oracle is no better than a cleric archetype, why not make the sorcerer into a wizard archetype? Oracle has more unique mechanics and narrative potential than "I've got special blood."

Because Sorcerer is A Staple Of The Game, while Oracle is Just Some Class Paizo Made Up.

Well... That's certainly an opinion. Definitely the most dismissive thing I've seen all week.

It's not dismissive. Sorcerer is something that registers with everybody who has played any of D&D editions that came up since 18 years ago. Oracle? Not even close in brand recognition.

You can make Oracle a Cleric variant, but you pretty much have to keep Sorcerer as a separate class. Same with the ideas of Paladin being a Fighter variant. That just won't float with casual gamers who expect the D&D staples.


FedoraFerret wrote:
While I'm on the side of "alchemist 1 dips were really dumb," I will say that fighter dips are actually exceedingly common. Heavy armor and tower shield proficiency and a bonus feat are incredibly enticing.

I'm in a human heavy campaign. I have a rogue who dipped into ranger for 1 level (why yes I'll take Favoured enemy human in the human heavy campaign + medium armor) and is going into to dip into fighter for an extra fighter for heavy armor.

Best part is in hindsight it probably isn't netting me enough advantages and I should have gone straight rogue.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Because Sorcerer is A Staple Of The Game, while Oracle is Just Some Class Paizo Made Up.

Nothing that was introduced in 3rd edition is a sacred cow, IMO.

I mean, we've already done away with "base attack bonus."

Tell that to the 3.5 diehards. Also BAB was just a simplified version of THAC0 which was just a clean up of the attack table matrix. So I wouldn't call BAB a 3.5e mechanic but the latest iteration of an original D&D mechanic.


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But why bother making the oracle an archetype of something else to begin with? I feel like "you were exposed to fundamental esoteric truths, which gave you access to power, but it messed you up since mortals aren't supposed to know these things" is a compelling enough idea that it deserves to be its own class.

Like it doesn't need to be in the CRB, but it definitely shouldn't be rolled into another class before, say, the Arcanist, Bloodrager, Brawler, Cavalier, Gunslinger, Hunter, Investigator, Magus, Psychic, Skald, Slayer, Summoner, Swashbuckler, Vigilante, or Witch would be (and we know the Witch won't be since it nearly made the cut for the CRB.)

Like if we're going to start making calls about "this class from PF1 shouldn't be a class anymore" starting with the oracle would be baffling.


Biggest reason I've seen people play an Oracle is it makes war cleric builds better than the cleric and if you don't have to fill the healer role you can spam all those non healing spells to great advantage. Very rarely do I see it chosen for flavour or because prepared casters are too hard.

Make the Oracle better balanced and I think you would see its popularity tank.


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Or alternatively if the Cleric wasn't a bad class outside of spellcasting like it was in PF1, the popularity of clerics would rise.

But personally I prefer Oracles to Clerics because:
- I strongly prefer spontaneous casting
- I like the idea of a divine caster with no clue where their power comes from, who is not answerable to anything except fundamental truths.
- Curses are a rad mechanic.
- Ranting about the nature of fire, or time, or metal, or life is way more fun than preaching about one's fantasy-land deity.

I mean, the oracle was easily one of the most flavorful classes in PF1, so why give that up for no reason?


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I have never seen a cleric in my games but I've seen multiple oracles because of preferring the flavour.

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