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Alchemist Feats


Advice

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I've just started playing an Alchemist using the Final Playtest version. I want to make a ranged, bomb-focused character, but I'm actually having a lot of trouble finding feats that are worthwhile for that kind of character. I was planning on taking the Two-Weapon Fighting line and Rapid Shot for bomb novas with Fast Bombs; however, the wording is slightly ambiguous, and I have an inkling that combo isn't going to work once the actual book comes out(as it's really quite overpowered).

With that in mind, I've decided I would rather choose feats assuming that Two-Weapon Fighting and Rapid Shot will not work with bombs.

The game is a core-only affair, for the most part. We're using the OGL feats presented at http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ though.

Currently, the character is an elf and level 3. I have one extra feat (we're using flaws from 3.5 Unearthed Arcana), giving me Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Improved Initiative. Stats were rolled and overall very good: Str 8, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 10, Cha 13.

I've been looking at Weapon Focus and Skill Focus (Craft (alchemy)), but I see very little else that really works well with the Alchemist's abilities. What feats would others recommend?


Alchemist is built for Eberron Halflings. There's one racial feat for halflings that is huge for alchemists:

Shaped Splash [Racial] (Races of Eberron, p 111)
Prereq: Halfling, Dex 13, BAB +1
Benefit: If you throw a splash weapon and it hits the creature you target, you can immediately make a second attack against any creature adjacent to the first. If the second attack succeeds, the secondary target also takes direct hit damage from the thrown splash weapon. In addition, you can choose not to deal splash damage to specified creatures that occupy spaces adjacent to one or both targets.

Now, alternatively, you can get your DM to allow you the feat without the halfling requirement in which case... well... your bombs are a lot more effective, especially when throwing bombs into melee with your precise shot.

Also you'll want Grenadier from PHB2 (p 79) which gives you an additional +1 on attack rolls with splash weapons, and +1 damage with them (to both primary and splash damage)


Besides Far Shot, Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot (and maybe Shot on the Run), the Core Rulebook doesnt have great feats for alchemists taking (Vital Strike and IVS works, but only the first dice is doubled, the others dice are extra damage, as noted in the APG Playtes Final, same for critical). So, you can choose feats to help you overall, like Improved Initiative, Iron Will and Improved Iron Will (help with your low Will), Medium Armor Proficiency (only to get mithral ones, for the movement thing), Fleet, Skill Focus and Item Creation feats.
Lets wait the final Advanced Player Guide, it will bring some nice feats for alchemists.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

VoodooMike wrote:

Alchemist is built for Eberron Halflings. There's one racial feat for halflings that is huge for alchemists...

...Also you'll want Grenadier from PHB2 (p 79) which gives you an additional +1 on attack rolls with splash weapons, and +1 damage with them (to both primary and splash damage)

If it wasn't a core only game (for the most part), I'd have far more options, unfortunately. :(

freduncio wrote:

Besides Far Shot, Point-Blank Shot and Precise Shot (and maybe Shot on the Run), the Core Rulebook doesnt have great feats for alchemists taking (Vital Strike and IVS works, but only the first dice is doubled, the others dice are extra damage, as noted in the APG Playtes Final, same for critical). So, you can choose feats to help you overall, like Improved Initiative, Iron Will and Improved Iron Will (help with your low Will), Medium Armor Proficiency (only to get mithral ones, for the movement thing), Fleet, Skill Focus and Item Creation feats.

Lets wait the final Advanced Player Guide, it will bring some nice feats for alchemists.

Those were the sorts of things I've been looking at. I'm thinking of taking Master Craftsman and using that to make magical alchemical items (like alchemist's fire using fireball, for instance).


Ah, I missed the core-only part. Yeah, there aren't a lot of useful feats for you to take, then. Even item creation feats don't really work out since the class description implies that the Alchemist has no caster level, only a virtual caster level when combined with the "Brew Potion" feat-equivalent that it gets as a class feature.

You'll just have to wait on the book itself if the DM won't entertain non-core feats.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

VoodooMike wrote:

Ah, I missed the core-only part. Yeah, there aren't a lot of useful feats for you to take, then. Even item creation feats don't really work out since the class description implies that the Alchemist has no caster level, only a virtual caster level when combined with the "Brew Potion" feat-equivalent that it gets as a class feature.

You'll just have to wait on the book itself if the DM won't entertain non-core feats.

Yeah, I'll need to go the Master Craftsman route instead, from the looks of it.


A new player is asking me about playing an alchemist.

After reading it, and then seeing this post, I'm wondering why would you really want to go nova with your bombs?

At 3rd level you probably only have around 8 bombs per day. With rapid shot, that means only 4 rounds and then you are out of bombs until tomorrow, right?

I'm sure you are very likely to have more than 4 rounds of combat each day, so what do you plan to do the rest of the time?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic - I'm legitimately wondering how the alchemist class plans to be effective in combat, and while I see the benefit of going nova and front-loading your damage, I am actually curious about what you'll do for the other 15 or 20 rounds of combat you're likely to have each day.


Well this would obviously depend on your game. I'm running a game with a Goblin, Alchemist and in our last session he didn't use a bomb once. The one before that I think he used them twice.


DM_Blake wrote:

A new player is asking me about playing an alchemist.

After reading it, and then seeing this post, I'm wondering why would you really want to go nova with your bombs?

At 3rd level you probably only have around 8 bombs per day. With rapid shot, that means only 4 rounds and then you are out of bombs until tomorrow, right?

I'm sure you are very likely to have more than 4 rounds of combat each day, so what do you plan to do the rest of the time?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic - I'm legitimately wondering how the alchemist class plans to be effective in combat, and while I see the benefit of going nova and front-loading your damage, I am actually curious about what you'll do for the other 15 or 20 rounds of combat you're likely to have each day.

I've played an Alchemist from level 2-7 in a long epic campaign and there has never been a single moment that I couldn't be of some kind of use for the others.

I would recommend you to get Infusion early on so that you can buff other players with spells they wouldn't normally be able to use (True strike comes to mind) and heal them if you feel like it.

If you want to be effective in combat then most of the archer feats will serve you well, but by RAW rapid sot won't work. Igniting and throwing a bomb is a standard action, not an attack action. When you get Fast bombs at level 8 it might work if your DM allows it.

Also be sure to have other kinds of bombs available to you than fire. The ice bomb staggers the enemy while the electrical bomb merely dazzles, although the latter one doesn't allow a save vs the effect. It's your choice.


Heads up, you cannot rapid shot bombs. Rapid Shot is specifically for Ranged Weapons. While bombs are indeed a ranged attack, they are in fact Thrown Splash Weapons. This coupled with the fact that they, like alchemist fire do not appear on a weapon list(they are more items than weapons) should alone be clue enough, but there's more. The feat rapid shot uses the word FIRED as its descriptor, thrown weapons and thrown splash weapons are just that, thrown not fired. Rapid shot is thus specifically targeted at bows, crossbows, slings, and guns which all fire ammunition of some kind.

As for TWF I'm not sure weather it would work or not, as it works with thrown weapons like shuriken and throwing knives. Then again these are weapons, which do appear on weapons charts, and require a normal attack roll not just a ranged touch as the bombs do. Anyone got a ruling on this?


JimmyNids wrote:
Heads up, you cannot rapid shot bombs.

+1

The only way to throw more bombs per round is with fast bombs. You can throw a maximum of 3 bombs per round once you reach level 15.

Andoran

this is not true. there is a way to rapid shot bombs. it's called the Launching Crossbow from the Adventurer's Armory (pg 4). the footnote says it's also in the Campaign Setting, but i couldn't find it. basically it's a crossbow with a cup that fires out grenades and bombs. now you combine this with the Crossbow Mastery feat from the Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide (pg 10) that allows you to make a full attack with a crossbow with all attacks you would normally get with any other weapon, and you can really decimiate your supply of bombs in 1 round. the feat has 3 other feat prereqs and the crossbow burns an exotic weapon proficiency feat, so you are looking at lvl 7 minimum before you can do all this, but you can really unload bombs if you want.


You forget something, the description for Bombs states it is a standard action to ready and throw a bomb. Fast Bombs discovery allows you to bypass this standard restriction, however:

"The alchemist can prepare and throw additional bombs as a full-round action is his base attack bonus is high enough to grant him additional attacks. This functions just like a full-attack with ranged weapon."

The 2 bolded sections above show the act of creation+throwing is a full round action that functions like a full-attack, but is not a full attack. Its much the same as the feat cleave, which is a standard action but cannot be used with another action like say a charge, only in this case your creating and throwing as a special action instead of cleaving.

Perhaps Cleave isn't a perfect example but the point is still valid, you cannot use this full-round action in conjunction with the full-attack action that firing the crossbow would be as they are 2 seperate types of full round actions. Best way to look at it is crossbow fire is a Full-Attack action, where you would be making a Fast Bombs action instead.

Andoran

since the ability says "this functions just like a full-attack with a ranged weapon" i'd let them work together. either that or allow the bow feats apply. i mean the Crossbow Mastery feat allows you reload as a free action. you you are already that fast at making and throwing bombs with the Fast Bomb discovery. i'm leaning more towards Crossbow Mastery though. i haven't seen an alchemist at high level yet, so i'm not exactly sure how overpowered this can get. burning the extra feats to fire off bombs like a grenade launcher seems like a fair trade off to me.


Now that I reread things, honestly you are only nerfing the alchemist, using a launcher crossbow is no longer a ranged touch attack but a normal ranged attack, you would end up needing more to hit his normal AC than his Touch AC 7 out of 10 times.

Andoran

yeah. you're trading in the easy way to hit for carpet bombing the area. nothing says you have to use the crossbow every time you want to attack. you can throw bombs normally, but you won't be allowed to apply things like rapid shot or many shot. it's a trade-off, but i think it gives the player more options on how to play their character.

Andoran

JimmyNids wrote:

Heads up, you cannot rapid shot bombs. Rapid Shot is specifically for Ranged Weapons. While bombs are indeed a ranged attack, they are in fact Thrown Splash Weapons. This coupled with the fact that they, like alchemist fire do not appear on a weapon list(they are more items than weapons) should alone be clue enough, but there's more. The feat rapid shot uses the word FIRED as its descriptor, thrown weapons and thrown splash weapons are just that, thrown not fired. Rapid shot is thus specifically targeted at bows, crossbows, slings, and guns which all fire ammunition of some kind.

As for TWF I'm not sure weather it would work or not, as it works with thrown weapons like shuriken and throwing knives. Then again these are weapons, which do appear on weapons charts, and require a normal attack roll not just a ranged touch as the bombs do. Anyone got a ruling on this?

P4 of the Final Class Playtest PDF : "Bombs are considered a weapon and can be selected using feats such as Point Blank Shot and Weapon Focus."

Hence, the TWF chain works. In fact, everything that would work for throwing daggers works for throwing bombs (except for the no-precision damage part : no sneak attacking with bombs, doh).

BTW, Rapid Shot also works because it is for all Ranged weapons and "Ranged weapons are thrown weapons or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee." (p 141 of the core).

But, as DM Blake mentioned, it does not make the alchemist broken. Just more fun to play :-)

Edit : of course, all of this requires Fast Bomb too

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If you haven't already considered it, look at "Splash Weapon Mastery" from the Adventurer's Armory. It makes your bombs a little less erratic when you miss and gives you an extra 5' square of splash.

I've been struggling with the same feat issues with my alchemist and I found perhaps the biggest problem the lack of a +1 BAB at level 1. That really limits ones options, especially if they want to take a more melee oriented tack. For your ranged character though, precise shot, improved precise shot, and the like might be useful (and by extension you're required to take point blank shot), and I think far shot and shot on the run could be especially handy for a ranged alchemist.


You CAN Rapid Shot Bombs, but you must have the discovery Fast Bomb to make a Full-Round Attack.

It works just like a crossbow with Quick Load feat...

Osirion

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kevin Morris wrote:

I've just started playing an Alchemist using the Final Playtest version. I want to make a ranged, bomb-focused character, but I'm actually having a lot of trouble finding feats that are worthwhile for that kind of character. I was planning on taking the Two-Weapon Fighting line and Rapid Shot for bomb novas with Fast Bombs; however, the wording is slightly ambiguous, and I have an inkling that combo isn't going to work once the actual book comes out(as it's really quite overpowered).

With that in mind, I've decided I would rather choose feats assuming that Two-Weapon Fighting and Rapid Shot will not work with bombs.

The game is a core-only affair, for the most part. We're using the OGL feats presented at http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ though.

Currently, the character is an elf and level 3. I have one extra feat (we're using flaws from 3.5 Unearthed Arcana), giving me Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, and Improved Initiative. Stats were rolled and overall very good: Str 8, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 20, Wis 10, Cha 13.

I've been looking at Weapon Focus and Skill Focus (Craft (alchemy)), but I see very little else that really works well with the Alchemist's abilities. What feats would others recommend?

Except the Alchemist is from the Advanced Player's Guide. So, you're already NOT doing "core only" by using that class. And why are you still using the playtest version? If you cant afford the APG then you can get the info for free here on paizo's site (which I linked below).

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advanced/baseClasses/alchemist.html

Cheliax

GREETINGS FROM 2010

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

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