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Help with 4th level Alchemist


Advice

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Greetings!

I'm about to start a campaign playing a 4th level Alchemist and I'd really appreciate some input about my character concept and capabilities.

Spoiler:

Asar Abdul Bin Muqaddim Zakwan Bin Farrukh Taysir

Alchemist 4 (Vivisectionist | Preservationist)

Race (Human)

Traits
Conspiracy Hunter (Stealth)
Accelerated Drinker

Stats

STR 07 -02
DEX 18 +04
CON 12 +01
INT 16 +03
WIS 12 +01
CHR 12 +01

Fort 4 + 1 = 5
Ref 4 + 4 = 8
Will 1 + 1 = 2

AC 10 + DEX (4) + ARMOR (2) = 16
HP 29

BAB +3
Dagger +8 (+6/+6) | 1d4-2 19-20/x2
Ranged Splash Weapon +8 (+6/+6) | Varies

Skills

Appraise (INT) 1 + 3 + 3 = 07
Craft (Alchemy) (INT) 4 + 3 + 3 + 4 = 14
Disable Device (DEX) 4 + 3 + 4 = 11
Knowledge (Arcana) (INT) 1 + 3 + 3 = 07
Knowledge (Nature) (INT) 4 + 3 + 3 = 10
Perception (WIS) 4 + 3 + 1 = 08
Stealth (DEX) 4 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 12
Sleight of Hand (DEX) 4 + 3 + 4 = 11
Spellcraft (INT) 2 + 3 + 3 = 08
Use Magic Device (CHR) 4 + 3 + 3 = 10

Equipment (6.000gp - 2.760gp = 3.240gp)

Body
Quilted Cloth +1(AC +2, DEX +8, 15lbs, 1.250gp) **(23 lbs)**
Dagger, Masterwork (1d4, 19-20/x2, 10ft., 1lb, 302gp) x2
Clothing, Hot Weather Outfit (+2 Fort vs hot climate, 4lbs., 8gp)
Wrist Sheath, spring loaded (+2 Sleight of Hand to conceal, draw as free action, 1lb., 5gp) x2
Potions (200gp)
Cure Light Wounds (1d8 + 1, CL1, 25gp) x4
Enlarge Person (Cl1, 25gp) x2
Reduce Person (Cl1, 25gp) x2

Backpack, masterwork (60lbs., +1 STR carrying capacity, 2lbs., 50gp) **(60 lbs.)**
Alchemist's Lab, portable (+1 Craft(Alchemy), 20lbs., 75gp)
Bag, waterproof (0,5lb., 5sp)
Bedroll (5lbs., 1sp)
Spellbook, travelling (1lb., 50 pages, 10gp)
Hourglass (1 hour, 1lb., 25gp)
Ink (1 vial, 8gp)
Inkpen (1sp)
Compass (+2 Survival and knowledge (dungeon), 0,5 lbs., 10gp)
Kit, Alchemist's (5lbs., 25gp)
Rope, silk (50 ft., 5lbs., 10gp)
Vermin Repellent (5gp)
Waterskin (4lbs., 1gp)
Chemicals (471gp, 5sp)
Alchemist's Fire (1d6 + INT (x2 rounds | Fullround REF DC 15) | Splash 1 + INT, 1lb., 10gp) x4
Acid (1d6 + INT | Splash 1 + INT, 1lb., 5gp) x4
Liquid Ice (1d6 + INT | Splash 1 + INT, 2lbs., 20gp) x2
Powder, Flash (1 round Blindness, Fort DC 13, 10ft. radius, 25gp) x4
Thunderstone (1 hour Deafness, Fort DC 15, 10ft. radius, 1lb, 15gp) x2
Alchemical Grease (+5 Escape Artist and vs Grapple, 1lb., 2gp 5sp) x1
Alchemical Solvent (0,5lb., 10gp) x2
Antiplague (+5 Fort vs Disease, 25gp) x4
Antitoxin (+5 Fort vs poison, 25gp) x4
Smokestick (Fog 10ft. cube, 0,5lbs., 10gp) x2
Sunrod (Light for 6 hours, 1lb., 1gp) x1

Spells

Lvl 1 > 4
Lvl 2 > 2

Level 1
Comprehend Languages
Cure Light Wounds
Disguise Self
Enlarge Person
Illusion of Calm
Shield
Reduce Person
Summon Nature's Ally I
Deathwatch

Level 2
Alter Self

=========================================================================== =====================================================

Level Progression

1- Feat (Spell Focus: Conjuration), Feat (Two-Weapon Fighting), Alchemy, Throw Anything, Brew Potion, Mutagen, Sneak Attack +1d6
2- Discovery (Infusion), Bottled Ally I
3- Feat (Weapon Finesse), Swift Alchemy, Sneak Attack +2d6
4- Discovery (Spontaneus Healing)
5- Feat (Augment Summoning), Bottled Ally II, Sneak Attack +3d6
6- Discovery (Sticky Poison), Swift Poisoning
7- Feat (Planar Preservationist), Sneak Attack +4d6
8- Discovery (Combine Extract), Bottled Ally III
9- Feat (Improved Two-Weapon Fighting), Sneak Attack +5d6
10- Discovery (Enhance Potion), Bottled Ally IV
11- Feat (Combat Expertise), Sneak Attack +6d6
12- Discovery (Greater Mutagen)
13- Feat (Gang Up), Sneak Attack +7d6
14- Discovery (Poison Conversion), Bottled Ally V
15- Feat (Greater Two-Weapon Fighting), Sneak Attack +8d6
16- Discovery (Grand Mutagen)
17- Feat (Extra Discovery), Discovery (Eternal Potion), Sneak Attack +9d6
18- Instant Alchemy, Bottled Ally VI
19- Feat (Improved Feint), Sneak Attack +10d6
20- Grand Discovery (True Mutagen)

The idea is pretty straight: Go Two-Weapon Fighting all the way, delivering sneak attacks as much as possible (via party ally or Monster Summoning). Also, personal and party buffs (like shield, Alterself and Enlarge) will come into play.

The character is a kind of Striker(glass cannon)/Skill Monkey, with lots of chemicals to use.

Any comments are welcome! Specially regarding the use of alchemical items at latter levels.

Thanks!


In case you didn't know, accelerated drinker doesn't work with an alchemist's extracts or mutagens, only things like potions and other drinks.


Some Random Dood wrote:
In case you didn't know, accelerated drinker doesn't work with an alchemist's extracts or mutagens, only things like potions and other drinks.

Oh man...

Any comments?


I would think that the claw/claw/bite from Feral Mutagen is going to be more effective at delivering sneak attacks than TWF until very high level as all three attacks are at your full BAB.

Shadow Lodge

ahhh 7 strength... you can't actually move with your backpack, apart from taking a fullround action to move 5ft, you can move around with a max of 80 pounds(70 without the masterwork backpack), but all your equipment comes to 83, you need to have at least 8(including masterwork backpack) strength just to move at a heavy load with all that stuff. oh and 1d4-2 on a non-sneak attack? you can crit for a total of 4 damage, max, fun...

My suggestions:

  • Trade in the +1 quilted cloth for a mithrial chain shirt (1100g) it's cheaper, lighter and gives more AC, the only downside is the max dex for this is 6 compared to 8 on the quilted cloth.
  • You have enough cash for a handy haversack, get one, it'll make a lot of your encumbrance problems disappear.
  • 10 strength, the only people that can get away with 7 strength are wizards, witches and sorcerers


Skerek wrote:
ahhh 7 strength...

Yeah...I'd switch the cha and str stats. Why would you WANT to take a -2 on all your damage rolls?


As a GM, I would have to question your level progression. Vivisectionist and Preservationist are 2 different classes.
So, at 4th level you could be a dual class -
Vivisectionist 2/Preservationist 2 - the bonuses from each are not additive just because they are both a sub-class of alchemist - so you would only have Bottle Ally 1, and sneak attack would still only be +d6, not rising to +2d6 until you raise to Vivisectionist 3. I would not let you use Preservationist Level toward effective Rogue level for that bonus. Similarly, Bottle Ally II would not come until Preservationist 5.

Unless I'm missing something ...

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Skip finesse and Two-Weapon Fighting. Natural Attacks and strength bumps are your friend. The natural armour from mutagen and the shield bonus from your shield extract will give you more than enough AC while you tear face with a massive strength score coming off of claw/claw/bite.

Bonus points for picking up Medium Armour Proficiency and rocking a breastplate.

Speaking as a vivisectionist player, it is not easy to deliver sneak attacks, so relying solely on sneak attack for damage is a poor idea. Going claw/claw/bite off your strength will give you great damage, and it will be massive when the stars align and you can sneak attack with all of it as well. When you're not mutagened, I would recommend a longspear so you don't have to worry about getting into the thick of it.

Since you're fourth level, your most useful extract is alchemical allocation. Pick up a potion of heroism, and keep that buff up all the time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Vivisectionist and Preservationist are archetypes that stack. If you intend to use natural weapons, a amulet of mighty fists(agile) is your friend. An Elixir of Shadewalking, or any awesome elixir, and alchemical allocation is also your friend.

Cheliax

Skip the weapon finesse agile weapon stuff. It is a waste of feats and money.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Mergy wrote:
Skip the weapon finesse agile weapon stuff. It is a waste of feats and money.

How will he increase damage and defeat mad?


I'd say get finesse but consider passing on Agile weapon. Just don't dump str; without agile, it's atill adding to damage, SA or not. you don't need it high, but a 12 isn't much to afford. Charisma on the other hand should be dumped completely. Use Magic Device is great and all, but you can overcome a -2 cha penalty, and most of the reason you take UMD ranks as an alchemist is for your tumor (improved) familiar to use them. :D

Shadow Lodge

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Skip the weapon finesse agile weapon stuff. It is a waste of feats and money.
How will he increase damage and defeat mad?

Alchemists don't really need dex if you can get them into heavy armor since they don't actually cast spells, they just pull out and drink extracts as a standard action. A single dip into fighter won't hurt your sneak attack/spell progression that much, and gets you heavy armor and a free feat, what's not to like?


Thanks for all the replies!!!!

I just forgot to mention, but in this campaign I'll not be able to buy certain items (special materials like mithral, scrolls, potions I can't make, and magic items worth more than +1), so that's why I got the Quilted Cloth.

Regarding Strength, I dump it because my attacks will be mostly by sneaking (with the aid of summoned monsters and allies).

Adding Alterself (troglodyte), plus 6 from DEX, 4 from shield, 2 from mutagen and 2 from armor, my AC will be at 30, so I can provoke AoO just to get in the right spot to sneak.

Also, becoming a troglodyte gives me 3 natural attacks, much like the feral mutagem (besides a +2 to STR).

Looking forward your replies!


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You're an alchemist, and not allowed to craft?


blackbloodtroll wrote:
You're an alchemist, and not allowed to craft?

I'm allowed to craft. I'm not allowed to BUY potions I can not craft.


I don't see all that stuff fitting into a mundane backpack, MW or not. I recommend a Haversack.

At level 4, with only 1 feat in two-weapon fighting, this doesn't seem that sound. A BAB of 3 and Dex bonus 4, I'm not sure where you're squeezing out +8 to attack, unless the daggers are magic. Throw anything don't apply to daggers.

With a +12 Stealth, stealth attacks are going to be hard to come by. Flanking with a 16 AC? You're gonna get creamed. I would suggest either focusing on the summoning (and dumping the 2WF and Finesse, and getting your bombs back) or playing a rogue who dips into Alchemist for the bonus sneak and Mutagen (which helps your build a little, but is still only 1 encounter/day). Even a 1lvl dip into rogue will profit you more than the loss of BAB, methinks.

Also, note that the Preservationist trades in poison for critters, effectively nerfing discoveries like Sticky Poison.

Cheliax

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Skip the weapon finesse agile weapon stuff. It is a waste of feats and money.
How will he increase damage and defeat mad?

MAD isn't a problem because alchemists don't need a lot of high stats. If you want a melee build, go medium constitution, medium dexterity, high strength, medium intelligence. Iron Will is a great way of making up for a low wisdom:

Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 8

Feats Iron Will, Medium Armour Proficiency (or a 1 level fighter dip for heavy)

Mutagen with strength will give a great to hit, and feral mutagen will give a great claw/claw/bite that is quite superior to alter self: the claws and bite are both higher damage than alter self's, and it lasts for 10 minutes per caster level. You cannot rely on sneak attack for damage. With these stats you're clawing at 1d6+5 and biting at 1d8+5. With a 7 strength you've got +1 chance to hit but you're hitting for 1d6-2 and 1d8-2. Both builds have equal sneak attack abilities, and they'll both have similar levels of armour.

If you want to wear light armour because of movement speed, you need to get used to preparing expeditious retreat and not worrying about what armour you're wearing. If you think you'll have problems with magic items, I believe alchemists qualify for Craft Wondrous Item.


Skerek wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Mergy wrote:
Skip the weapon finesse agile weapon stuff. It is a waste of feats and money.
How will he increase damage and defeat mad?
Alchemists don't really need dex if you can get them into heavy armor since they don't actually cast spells, they just pull out and drink extracts as a standard action. A single dip into fighter won't hurt your sneak attack/spell progression that much, and gets you heavy armor and a free feat, what's not to like?

Works great for an armored dwarf tank who wants to chuck bombs, which is pretty far from what OP seems to want to do.

I do think it's beneficial to think of alchemists as full casters RE: multiclassing. Even a 1 level dip will sting somewhere down the road, when you want some discovery/ extract u don't qualify for.

Now a rogue who wants to be Sir Sneaksalot can benefit from a dip into Vivisectionist, which I think is closer to this build.

Cheliax

@joeyfixit:

This is why I did not initially suggest the fighter dip; that's the alternate plan. It is perfectly fine to stick with Medium Armour Proficiency from the feat and grab a nice breastplate. He'll be much more ahead than with his +1 quilted cloth. If they're both +1 it's a difference of 3 AC, and it doesn't even cost a feat because he didn't have to waste one on Weapon Finesse.


I have swapped STR and CHR, so I do not have a penalty to damage.

Cheliax

You are still much better off swapping strength and dexterity as well. Two-weapon fighting doesn't mean much when you're planning on having claws with mutagen/alter self anyway.


Mergy wrote:
You are still much better off swapping strength and dexterity as well. Two-weapon fighting doesn't mean much when you're planning on having claws with mutagen/alter self anyway.

The main problem here is Character Concept.

My concept is a "Muslim-like physician", with quick mind and reflexes.

I'm not found of Mr Hide, for this specific character (I have a trully brutal claw slashing barbarian in another game, so no reason to replicate it), so I'm focusing in not getting hit, while being dextrous and able to buff (and self buff) the party.


Venshad wrote:
Mergy wrote:
You are still much better off swapping strength and dexterity as well. Two-weapon fighting doesn't mean much when you're planning on having claws with mutagen/alter self anyway.

The main problem here is Character Concept.

My concept is a "Muslim-like physician", with quick mind and reflexes.

I'm not found of Mr Hide, for this specific character (I have a trully brutal claw slashing barbarian in another game, so no reason to replicate it), so I'm focusing in not getting hit, while being dextrous and able to buff (and self buff) the party.

If you already have a melee brute, and you want to be an agile physician, why not ditch vivisectionist entirely and do a bomb focused build? That way your high dex and int you want for roleplaying complement the build mechanics-wise. If you like vivisectionist for the "surgeon" aspect, Chirurgeon seems like it would do equally well, and you can always roleplay the "vivisectionist" part by collecting specimens, dissecting enemies, etc. Heck, TWF even complements the bombs ;) (although PBS/Precise Shot/Rapid Shot might be a better choice)

Cheliax

I don't view it so much as Mr. Hyde; at least I don't picture bulging biceps. It's magical, alchemical strength and you can be skinny as a rail, slim and fast while still overpowering your enemy with precise and deadly strikes.

Then again, I think roleplaying stat scores is silly.

Taldor

Excuse me, but can someone tell me how the extra natural attacks work? Do you get a bite on a standard attack, and a bite/claw/claw on a full attack?

As to the build, definitely get a handy haversack, and I'd actually suggest staying away from TWF - it's really, really hard to get a full sneak attack.

I do think weapon finesse is a good idea, because you want a lot of dex for touched range attacks.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Mergy wrote:

I don't view it so much as Mr. Hyde; at least I don't picture bulging biceps. It's magical, alchemical strength and you can be skinny as a rail, slim and fast while still overpowering your enemy with precise and deadly strikes.

Then again, I think roleplaying stat scores is silly.

Why? I find the opposite silly.

Cheliax

I just don't think stat scores should speak to a character's personality. There is more than one way to illustrate any single attribute score; as a result I don't worry about my attribute scores when roleplaying my character.

If I have I play a character it shouldn't matter what his strength is. If he's really weak and I play him like a muscleman, he's also kind of deluded, but that doesn't mean that every low strength character has to shun the outdoors or that every high strength character is a veiny musclehead.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I thought you were talking mental scores.

Cheliax

Both. I'll pick a personality, and I'll pick what I want my character to do. I don't necessarily have one of these aspects choose the other.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You should search up on practical optimization. The idea of a 7 int genius still ruffles my tail feathers.


Real alchemists bust out of their shirts when they drink.

Cheliax

I've seen the practical optimization thread. What does that have to do with anything?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Mergy wrote:
I've seen the practical optimization thread. What does that have to do with anything?

Actually, I am walking away from this one. As long as you and your fellow players are having fun, rock on.


Beebs wrote:
Venshad wrote:
Mergy wrote:
You are still much better off swapping strength and dexterity as well. Two-weapon fighting doesn't mean much when you're planning on having claws with mutagen/alter self anyway.

The main problem here is Character Concept.

My concept is a "Muslim-like physician", with quick mind and reflexes.

I'm not found of Mr Hide, for this specific character (I have a trully brutal claw slashing barbarian in another game, so no reason to replicate it), so I'm focusing in not getting hit, while being dextrous and able to buff (and self buff) the party.

If you already have a melee brute, and you want to be an agile physician, why not ditch vivisectionist entirely and do a bomb focused build? That way your high dex and int you want for roleplaying complement the build mechanics-wise. If you like vivisectionist for the "surgeon" aspect, Chirurgeon seems like it would do equally well, and you can always roleplay the "vivisectionist" part by collecting specimens, dissecting enemies, etc. Heck, TWF even complements the bombs ;) (although PBS/Precise Shot/Rapid Shot might be a better choice)

Muslim physician with high Dex, little to no armor, multiple dexterous blows per round? You want to play a Monk.

Max out heal, have a high Wisdom that boosts your AC. Pick up Heal as a skill focus. You get the TWF in your flurry of blows for free (and you can use daggers, as far as I can tell.

A Monk of the healing hand can heal people by spending Ki. Probably while saying "Wax on, wax off."

Doesn't fit the Muslim concept? Hammer it with RP til it does.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Miyagi Muslim? When did that happen?

Cheliax

What's Muslim about high dexterity? That's a little confusing.


Mergy wrote:
What's Muslim about high dexterity? That's a little confusing.

Not my build. But high Dex will boost AC, and let him hit easier w/Weapon Finesse.

What's Muslim about low Dex?


And what's Muslim about an Alchemist?

Cheliax

That's what I'd like to know. I'm pretty sure Muslims are allowed to have whatever stats they like.


Mergy wrote:
That's what I'd like to know. I'm pretty sure Muslims are allowed to have whatever stats they like.

Um, what are we talking about?

Cheliax

Something about a paladin/synthesist to fight that guy you were fighting. What happened to that thread anyway?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I blame Will Smith.


Mergy wrote:
Something about a paladin/synthesist to fight that guy you were fighting. What happened to that thread anyway?

Workin on it. Don't derail the man's thread.


I blame shirts.


Guys, thanks for the comments!

About the haversack, I'm not allowed to buy one, sadly.

I'm also in a doubt about the Natural attacks. How would they improve when I reach BAB +6?

By now I'll stick with TWF and see what happens. Designing PCs can be really hard. I'll see how the campaign will evolve and the capabilities more suited to the character. If TWF is a nuisance, I'll just retrain at the next level.


It's pretty cool to go between tossing bombing and raking people down with claws.


Venshad wrote:

Guys, thanks for the comments!

About the haversack, I'm not allowed to buy one, sadly.

I'm also in a doubt about the Natural attacks. How would they improve when I reach BAB +6?

By now I'll stick with TWF and see what happens. Designing PCs can be really hard. I'll see how the campaign will evolve and the capabilities more suited to the character. If TWF is a nuisance, I'll just retrain at the next level.

Sorry, how is an alchemist going to retrain a feat?


Venshad wrote:
I'm also in a doubt about the Natural attacks. How would they improve when I reach BAB +6?

They don't, natural attacks don't gain any more attacks with a bab of +6 or higher.

Cheliax

They benefit from full BAB at all times however. Bite/Claw/Claw goes a long way and will only start to peter out in the later levels.

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