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How does the alchemist use discoveries that are based on caster level?


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Split off from the other alchemist thread.

RAW, alchemists have no caster level except for extracts and making potions.

Such discoveries include: Bottled Ooze, Wings, and Tumor Familiar.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:

Split off from the other alchemist thread.

RAW, alchemists have no caster level except for extracts and making potions.

Such discoveries include: Bottled Ooze, Wings, and Tumor Familiar.

The level of the alchemist is the effective caster level for pretty much any alchemy-related things he does, if determining his caster level is necessary. That is RAW, in fact, since that's how caster level works for all classes.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Split off from the other alchemist thread.

RAW, alchemists have no caster level except for extracts and making potions.

Such discoveries include: Bottled Ooze, Wings, and Tumor Familiar.

The level of the alchemist is the effective caster level for pretty much any alchemy-related things he does, if determining his caster level is necessary. That is RAW, in fact, since that's how caster level works for all classes.

Oh well.

Hm.

Ok.

I was hoping for an answer that also answered the question of whether they can take Item Creation feats (other than brew potion, obviously) or not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Split off from the other alchemist thread.

RAW, alchemists have no caster level except for extracts and making potions.

Such discoveries include: Bottled Ooze, Wings, and Tumor Familiar.

The level of the alchemist is the effective caster level for pretty much any alchemy-related things he does, if determining his caster level is necessary. That is RAW, in fact, since that's how caster level works for all classes.

Oh well.

Hm.

Ok.

I was hoping for an answer that also answered the question of whether they can take Item Creation feats (other than brew potion, obviously) or not.

Well, it might have served you better to just ask that, rather than actually not asking a question at all in your first thread. (It's hard for me to accurately answer questions when they're not actually asked!) :-)

An alchemist CAN take item creation feats, in any event. When an item calls for a spell prerequisite, the alchemist simply substitutes his extract of the same name. This does mean that, other than potions, there's a lot of specific items an alchemist won't qualify for, so it might be a good idea to max out your Spellcraft skill for all the requirements you'll be missing...


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh no, I was wondering this as well. I was just hoping the answer would apply to that question as well.

But thanks!

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Woot! :)


Bottle ooze is actually an extract so would follow the rules for extracts which includes rules for how you figure the 'caster level' for them.

Nauseating flesh doesn't it is a natural ability (since it isn't labeled as extraordinary, spell like or supernatural) and non-magical in nature -- the saving through is 10+1/2 the alchemist's level + his Int Mod according the the discovery section.

Wings is the biggest issue -- and I think somewhere (and I don't know where) it is stated that if the discovery refers or needs a caster level then you use the alchemist level but I'm unsure where such language is beyond what is including in the extract section (which doesn't apply here unfortunately).

Tumor specifically states how to figure out the powers involved.


If you don't mind me asking James Jacobs, if the alchemist's extracts/formulae are so interchangeable with their equivalent spells, why aren't they just called spells? Was it just to use the science words (which is cool with me), or is there more?

Is the only real restriction/difference that an alchemist's written formula are proprietary (an alchemist could write a formula from a wizard book, but a wizard could not copy a spell from an alchemist's)? But this caveat really isn't any odder than the minor spell casting differences between other caster classes like the sorcerer, witch, bard, etc. Are there more differences?

Since alchemists could scribe scrolls, would an alchemist's scrolls be formulaic (as opposed to arcane or divine) and only castable by an alchemist without a UMD check?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Sekret_One wrote:

If you don't mind me asking James Jacobs, if the alchemist's extracts/formulae are so interchangeable with their equivalent spells, why aren't they just called spells? Was it just to use the science words (which is cool with me), or is there more?

Is the only real restriction/difference that an alchemist's written formula are proprietary (an alchemist could write a formula from a wizard book, but a wizard could not copy a spell from an alchemist's)? But this caveat really isn't any odder than the minor spell casting differences between other caster classes like the sorcerer, witch, bard, etc. Are there more differences?

Since alchemists could scribe scrolls, would an alchemist's scrolls be formulaic (as opposed to arcane or divine) and only castable by an alchemist without a UMD check?

I don't mind you asking James Jacobs at all!

The alchemist's extracts are not called spells because they are cast differently enough from spells to justify not calling them spells. In fact, a very early build had them labeled exactly that—as spells—but calling them spells kept messing with the flavor of the class and kept forcing us to put extra wordage in there... stuff like, "Even though the alchemist casts spells, he doesn't say magic words" and so on.

To a certain extent... using the word "extract" instead of "spell" is purely flavorful. And it's IMPORTANT flavor.


Extracts don't have the same components as spells, and they also have a limited targeting options (the drinker, and commonly only the alchemist unless an infusion). These seem to be the main differences.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Makes me wonder if alchemists can take Arcane Strike.


Nope because they don't cast spells and specifically don't cast arcane spells.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Nope because they don't cast spells and specifically don't cast arcane spells.

I never said that I thought deeply about it!

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
An alchemist CAN take item creation feats, in any event. When an item calls for a spell prerequisite, the alchemist simply substitutes his extract of the same name. This does mean that, other than potions, there's a lot of specific items an alchemist won't qualify for, so it might be a good idea to max out your Spellcraft skill for all the requirements you'll be missing...

That REALLY needs an errata. they're called out specifically as not spellcasting, it says they don't qualify for brew potion on their own, and the prerequisite for item creation feats is spellcaster level X.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
An alchemist CAN take item creation feats, in any event. When an item calls for a spell prerequisite, the alchemist simply substitutes his extract of the same name. This does mean that, other than potions, there's a lot of specific items an alchemist won't qualify for, so it might be a good idea to max out your Spellcraft skill for all the requirements you'll be missing...

That REALLY needs an errata. they're called out specifically as not spellcasting, it says they don't qualify for brew potion on their own, and the prerequisite for item creation feats is spellcaster level X.

I agree especially since a they have been known to create constructs.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks James for qualifying that for everyone. I do appreciate it!

Qadira

Fantastic news James. My KM Alchemist is going to be very happy indeed.


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

So, just to clear up a LOT of threads, I must formally ask this question:

Does the alchemist have a caster level equal to his class level, or is he "considered to have caster levels" only for very limited and specific purposes?

An official answer for this one will settle a ton of arguments. :)


Bump


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

So, just to clear up a LOT of threads, I must formally ask this question:

Does the alchemist have a caster level equal to his class level, or is he "considered to have caster levels" only for very limited and specific purposes?

An official answer for this one will settle a ton of arguments. :)

I think you are right in that an alchemist's caster lv would be equal to his alchemist lv. But I wouldn't mind getting an official answer as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Some Random Dood wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

So, just to clear up a LOT of threads, I must formally ask this question:

Does the alchemist have a caster level equal to his class level, or is he "considered to have caster levels" only for very limited and specific purposes?

An official answer for this one will settle a ton of arguments. :)

I think you are right in that an alchemist's caster lv would be equal to his alchemist lv. But I wouldn't mind getting an official answer as well.

James Jacobs has spoken. Alchemists have a caster level, plain and simple. (But they can't use metamagic feats on extracts.)


Tell me when it's in the FAQ or errata -- until then it's simply his view as he has stated many times before.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

With all due respect to James, he is largely responsible for Golarion and the the Adventure Paths. His rules answers are usually limited to the way he runs *his* game and while they are extremely helpful for people who *just want to run the damned game*, I've seen some of them get reversed by PF developers.

So by all means, use his suggestion, just don't assume they have the weight of an official FAQ answer or a rules errata.

Edit: for what it's worth I have no problems using James' suggestion in my home game or even PFS.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Actually, James point of view on this is very helpful. Maybe it isnt RAW yet (and in fairness maybe it never will be), but it gives us a more RAI viewpoint.

And it simplifies a lot about how alchemists fit into the mechanics.

Whether it becames FAQ/Errata or what not, James point should remind us all as DMs that its our game. So long as we are having fun, don't get too bogged down in the rules (which coming from me a *cough* rules lawyer *cough* is almost sacrilege!) ;)


James Jacobs wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Split off from the other alchemist thread.

RAW, alchemists have no caster level except for extracts and making potions.

Such discoveries include: Bottled Ooze, Wings, and Tumor Familiar.

The level of the alchemist is the effective caster level for pretty much any alchemy-related things he does, if determining his caster level is necessary. That is RAW, in fact, since that's how caster level works for all classes.

Oh well.

Hm.

Ok.

I was hoping for an answer that also answered the question of whether they can take Item Creation feats (other than brew potion, obviously) or not.

Well, it might have served you better to just ask that, rather than actually not asking a question at all in your first thread. (It's hard for me to accurately answer questions when they're not actually asked!) :-)

An alchemist CAN take item creation feats, in any event. When an item calls for a spell prerequisite, the alchemist simply substitutes his extract of the same name. This does mean that, other than potions, there's a lot of specific items an alchemist won't qualify for, so it might be a good idea to max out your Spellcraft skill for all the requirements you'll be missing...

Okay, so can 11th level Alchemists become liches?

Do Alchemists count as Arcane Casters when hit with Feeblemind?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Joey, you are worrying far too much about a feeblemind. Generally if you even consider lichdom, you're going too far. Plus, all the GM needs to do is apply threnodic spell or whatever, and then not only is your extract making screwed, but since your Cha is -5, you will lose almost all or all of your hp.

And there is no reason whatsoever to think that they are arcane casters. Their description doesn't mention it. If they were, it would've. A cleric isn't an arcane caster either, despite their description not saying that they are one.

Just keep an extract of Heal on hand with instructions that in case of Derp, drink.

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