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Am I missing something? (Alchemist Bombs)


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Salutations.

So, my party decides to attack a dragon that (unknown to them) is 7 levels above them. I want to impress, through the combat enounter, that despite their superior number, this dragon totally owns them.

As written, his AC is high enough that even with buffs and flnking, the party is going to have a hard time hitting them. And if they do, there's some DR to slow them down, and a bucket load of HP's to make sure he isn't dying anytime soon. His SR is so high, that there's virtually no chance of a spell killing him outright.

That battle goes on as I expect...expect for one thing...the alchemist bomb's were singlehandedly depleating his HPs.

It's a touch attack that has no problem hitting a dragon (or any creature, really). The Dragon's 40 AC is completely worthless. It's not a physical attack, so DR doesn't matter. It's not a spell, so the SR doesn't come into play either. Given about 4 rounds of feat laden bomb throwing, he could take down that dragon without anyone else landing a hit.

Now, granted, I could have the dragon priortize him as a target...and hopefully rip the Alchemist a new one before he gets four founds. But, really...am I the only one who has a problem that the alchemist, more than all other classes put together, can significantly damage a dragon way above its CR when the other classes can't scratch his scales? And, I mean, this applies to just about any monster (there are so few with decent touch AC)....the bombs hit every single time at this level.

I know I have a few DM tricks to combat them.... I know they're limited (he has 20/day) so I make sure they're not doing 15 minute workdays, etc....but so are Wizards high level spells...they are limtited too...but they have to hit SR to get through higher level mobs. Why does the alchemist get a free pass?


that is one of the alchemists benefits. I have no problem with it. Honestly dragons are smart, if little johnny in the corner is hitting him with things that hurt then he eats him. Done. If you are running something 7 levels above then you have to play it that way. A dumb dragon is not a hard dragon.

hmm rereading that it seems bit snarky and mean, not the intention...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anything that targets touch AC is going to do well against creatures with low touch AC. That's kind of how it's intended.

This was an encounter that the alchemist excelled at. Nothing wrong there.


The thing is, Cheapy, looking over CR 13+ mobs...they almost ALL have low touch AC. (Party is level 13-14). Is there an encounter that the alchmist doesn't excel at? The only one I can come up with right now are "longer work day" encounters, LOL.

Andoran

Live Dragon. Dead Alchemist.


Yeah...I get that part, Martin. :) But, my question is...why is the alchemist even able to damage the dragon to begin with when every other class is completely powerless against this great wyrm?

Andoran

Alchemist bombs are limited. Swords are not. Every class has its own advantages and disadvantages. Thrown in a few more encounters per day.


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Here's another way to look at it. A party of paladins sneak up on the dragon and use smite. Despite that, Given his high AC, there would be more than enough misses that the dragon would survive the alpha strike...no problem.

A team of alchemist sneak up on the dragon and do a alpha strike with alchmist bombs. The dragon dies on round 1 because for all its AC and SR, none of that applies to bombs.

The Alchemists totally outshine the paladin on something the paladin is designed to shine against.

No other class has abilities that hit just about every time despite all monster defenses (AC/DR/SR). Someone would have to have a 30 touch AC just to give that alchemist team a run for their money...and very few baddies have anywhere close to that.

Yeah... I definately see that the bomb limit / day helps...but, again, spells are limited as well (the ones high enough to do that kind of damage, especially), and they STILL have to get through a mob's SR. A CR 20 dragon is very rarely phased by a level 13 caster's spells...but an LV 13 alchmist bombs hit every time.

I'm by no means implying that, as a DM, I'm powerless to address it. Waves of trash mobs, longer work days, etc all help. It's just that, when you put the sorcerer or wizard (who are also slinging damaging effects around...and are limited/day) next to them...it just seems a tad unbalanced at higher levels when so many baddies have decent SR and saves (meaning the wizard's limited damaging spells are resisted often enough) where those bombs just never miss and saves aren't allowed for 1/2 damage or anything.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes, this is an encounter that plays to the strength of certain classes.

Just like how martials do awesome against golems and other magic-immune monsters, while the casters lament their inability to do anything, so too does the alchemist (and gunslinger) do awesome against creatures with pitiful touch AC.


How about terrain? Can the dragon fly out of the thrown range? Does he have mooks to occupy the alchemist with? How about spells and like powers to grant miss chances?


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Because the alchemist is, essentially, throwing elemental explosives around. Any other party member could have the same attack with an Alchemist's Fire flask (or holy water, acid, or other splash weapon).

The only (real) difference here is that the alchemist's splash weapon scales up with levels... but, at the same time, it's their primary class feature (and makes up for the fact that their infusions only affect a single target -- which makes things like infusions of haste way less spiffy).

However, dragons are very intelligent (certainly by CR 20), and capable of magic use, and more than capable of casting Protection from Energy, which pretty much ends the alchemist's threat.

Beyond that, deflection, luck and dodge bonuses apply to touch AC.
Anything providing any cover-like ability creates an instant miss chance. And, really, if the alchemist blasts the dragon after a warning, why wouldn't the dragon blast the alchemist back. That tends to be the sort of thing that is well, well in the Dragon's favour.

Andoran

Alchemist bombs have rather large range limitations (range increment = 20'). Flyers utilizing ranged longbows with far shot should be very effective. Rock throwing giants should also do nicely. Just have the ranged opponents not play tactically stupid by letting the adventurers get into close quarters combat with them.

Cheliax

no spells of energy resistance?

default alchemist bomb is fire damage. did they have discoverys to change the damage type? if not energy resist fire can shut down an alchemist quick


Actually, Flea..funny story about that...

The Dragon stayed 100 ft in the air to specifically have advantage vs. the party. Melee fighters were helpless. Spell slingers would sling spells but they were missing against the beasts' SR. Even the resident archer saw his arrows bounch off that 40 AC.

But despite the -12 penalty associated with range penalties, the alchemist didn't miss. Not once. In an encounter that lasted 5 rounds, the party did 150+ pts of damage to this epic creature. And every last HP of it came from the alchemist.

There's an RP reason why the dragon spent the first 2 rounds holding his attack, and the next 2 reasons killing the fighter. The Dragon's life (at 400+ hps) was never in danger. I just think that its very ironic that the paladin with super smite power designed to whoop up on Dragons couldn't touch the Draggy, but the alchemist was hitting every single time.

And, again, it's not just draggy...You can count on one hand the number of monsters at CR 13+ who have decent dodge AC and access to resist energy. Where as just about EVERY baddie has high AC, DR and/or SR. Again, this is not gamebreaking. And, I don't deny that Draggy can eat alchemist for breakfast. I just don't get why the alchemist totally outdamage an entire party put together, including those classes who are traditionally the best at those encounters unless I go out of my way to make the work days super long (which pushes the casters as much as it does the alchemist) or give every other monster access to resist energy.

NV... Yes, they can, and do. There's once that lets them do less damage, but changes the damage to force damage and give a chance to knock prone...but I'm not sharing that with my player. I assure you, though, if I pull out Energy resistance too often, he will pick up that discovery.


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If you want balanced encounters I suspect you need to throw out the bestiary.

Monsters tend towards gigantism for no good reason. This is the culprit behind combat maneuvers sucking and is your problem here. So stop using monsters. Use humanoids with lots of class levels. They won't be sucking up size penalties to touch AC and trying to paper over them with natural AC. They won't be having absurd CMDs that make maneuver builds useless at high level.

Because one thing that Alchemist is not going to blow away is a +7 CR monk.


He only gets so many bombs per day and their individual damage is poor. Use more encounters... A mage would mess that dragon up much worse, even w/ the SR.

As Martin noted, the bomb range is also very short. Really, any smart dragon should fly high overhead and do strafing runs, DMs just don't play it that way because then the encounters would be unwinnable. Seriously though. High flight speed + Flyby Attack. It's crazy effective.

And touch AC is a dragon's most glaring weakness, and flight makes melee only happen on the dragon's terms. So ranged touch attacks ARE its Achille's Heel, I'd disagree that "paladins are meant to stomp evil dragons but alchemists are not" claim. Maybe there's nothing about dragon slaying in the fluff; but mechanically it's clearly something they're well cut out for.


Hahaha....maybe I should have a Draggy that took monk levels. HHHeeeeyyyy!!

I'm not implying that Alchemists aren't meant to stop dragons...but given that Paladins get specific bonus to those evil creatures...they should be on par with other classes and vice versa (if nothing else). Bombs are limited, but so are smites. I'm not saying alchemist can't be little better or worse...but Daaaang...they are REALLY better.

Just because Wolverine is the best at what he doesn't, it doesn't imply there aren't some others that are really good at it! :)


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I have to reiterate the question, why is a dragon of that level not protected with a simple Resist Fire spell? Alchemist base bombs are fire damage. Dragons of that power are not stupid, ill informed or unprepared.

The alchemist is what the alchemist is. That is why they are dangerous. But a simple, super common 2nd level defensive spell will take 30 points off each bomb. How dangerous is the Alchemist now?

Also a bomb is a thrown weapon with a 20 foot range increment. Meaning, IIRC, their maximum range is 100 feet. Why would the dragon even be in range? 5 feet higher and the bombs automatically fall short.

Large, old dragons are smart dragons. Running a full spectrum energy protection suite should be common. If they could afford it I don't see why everyone would not aquire items of energy resistance for whatever enerfy their natures do not already protect them against.

Cheliax

gunslingers are just as bad... just sayin. some classes excell at melee, some have smarter tactics

think SMART, not HARD

PAllys tend to dump int, so they dont realize the tactical advantage of not hitting the big flying tank monster with a sword.


Atarlost is right -- the problem is that most (almost all) high-CR creatures are massive, taking huge hits to touch AC for size -- which in normal melee are then balanced out by natural armour. You want to ruin the alchemist's day? Give a Quickling class levels and a ring of protection.

However, again, I'll point out that the tactic that you're stressing about is using splash weapons -- which is something anyone can do. For example, I played in a campaign where a pack of (grunt) goblins killed our party's 5th level paladin by throwing alchemist's fire and oil on his full plate.

And yes, I know, bombs scale up -- but then, that's why the high-CR monsters also have spells and other magical defenses.

Andoran

Honestly? Smite damage aside, Paladins aren't really focused Dragon Slayers, they're more inclined towards Evil Outsiders and Undead (the other two things their Smite doubles against), which are two things the Alchemist may not do as well against.

And I agree with others. High level NPCs (as opposed to monsters) are gonna do a lot better against touch attacks than moinsters are.

And for Dragons specifically, as others have mentioned, some elemental resistance spells of some type should very much be in their repetoire, simply in case they need to fight another Dragon, and will brutally reduce the Alchemist's damage.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
And for Dragons specifically, as others have mentioned, some elemental resistance spells of some type should very much be in their repetoire, simply in case they need to fight another Dragon, and will brutally reduce the Alchemist's damage.

Agreed. Any dragon not fire protected should have never made it to that age. It is the single most prevalent elemental attack form in the multiverse. If you live 1500+ years and are as smart as Albert Einstein you would prepare for these things.


If the dragon was surprised, he may not have a round to cast resist energy. His innate defenses, however, make every other PC worthless aginst him, however, because he's CR+7. However, the alchemist has no problem. Again, refer to my example above where a hypothetical group of alchmist surprise him. At 7d6+INT with rapid shot and the such, it adds up real fast because every shot hits with not chance of save, AC miss, etc.

If high touch AC was somewhat common at higher levels, it would be cool. I think the resist energy seems like a great idea..But, again, do it often enough and the player just takes force bombs. If he does, the alchemist becomes good vs. everything except creatures with high touch AC...which you can count those on one hand.

If you're doing encounters from an AP book or something along those lines (like my prescripted homebrew) and you're not changing the encounters to somehow match the party, the alchemist shines just about every encounter except those that are the result of a longer adventure day.

I agree about the gunslingers. I think I would only run them with the more old age weapons (I believe those rules state that the touch attack deal only happens if the PC is within the first incrament).


Quote:
And for Dragons specifically, as others have mentioned, some elemental resistance spells of some type should very much be in their repetoire, simply in case they need to fight another Dragon, and will brutally reduce the Alchemist's damage.

But, isn't it something else that dragon's breath allows a saving throw....but bombs do not? And with the feats, they do more damage/round than breath weapons. I would be a lot more comfy if it at least allowed either SR or a save of some sort.


JCServant wrote:
But, isn't it something else that dragon's breath allows a saving throw....but bombs do not? And with the feats, they do more damage/round than breath weapons. I would be a lot more comfy if it at least allowed either SR or a save of some sort.

Dragons are not alchemists. Breath weapons do not miss on a natural 1 or care about armor class at all. While touch AC is almost always easy to hit you stll need to hit. There are MANY ways to block thrown weapons (which are missles), such as protection from missles, wind wall, and other spells which auto stop hurled or launched missles (alchemy bombs are hurled/thrown weapons and have all their weaknesses)

You said the group was tenth level. That means your dragon is at least 17 hit die. Why the hell does he not have a constant resist fire on? It is 10 minutes per level. As a 17 HD sorcer that is a little over 4 hours a cast (assuming standard draconic spell power). With a simple lesser metamagic rod of extend one casting would be almost 8.5 hours of protection. More than enough for a long excursion about town trolling adventurers.

Yes, Alchemy bombs are dangerous. So are archers, wizards and other things. If you let any class alpha strike a lone creature then that lone creature, if played uninteligently, will die painfully. But if you play the dragon as the eons old creature of cunning it is, this should not be a major issue.

You say the dragons natural defenses stymy all the other characters? They do for the alchemist as well. Have him fly 5 feet higher. Now the alchemists bombs cannot hit, even on a natural 20. Flight is a power the dragon possesses and should never be ignored. Aerial superiority makes or breaks wars and no one should be more aware of that than a dragon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A CR 20 Dragon won't be phased by Alchemist bombs. At CR 20 a Dragon should have casting as Sorcerer between 15-19 CL depending on the type of dragon. They should more than enough defenses with spell casting. As well if that isn't enough a CR 20 dragons hoard is massive at triple treasure. With just over 200,000 gp in treasure they should have something they can use to stop an Alchemist.

Take CR 20 Red Dragon for instance. They could have Fickle winds at CL 17 which would deflect any bomb thrown their direction upwards and away. Suddenly that Alchemist bomb attack is useless.

With CL 17 the dragon could have Resist Energy 30 and Protection from Energy for 204 pts of damage. What dragon with sorcerer spell casing wouldn't take those two spells, especially if that dragon has vulnerability to type of energy.

If I were talking to dangerous PCs with CR 20 dragon I would use Project image and if they attacked I'd time stop, power up with protection magic and come out for the kill.

APL +7, that would be TPK.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

You should see what they do against Golems...


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

I agree with you, JCServant: having primary class features that are opposed by something as flimsy as a touch-AC was not a great design decision. I don't like it. If I had designed it, I'd have make the alchemist bomb target normal AC, but on a miss act as a splash weapon that deals area damage (and can be evaded).

That said, a CR20 dragon would be really really hard to surprise. With their innate paranoia and access to divining magic, a typical high-CR dragon should have a very clear idea of what is happening around him in a 100 mile radius. Then even if that failed, he is likely to have contingency spells in place. Finally, having 400+ HP goes a long way to keep a dragon alive for one surprise round against four or five alchemists.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You know, a sorcerer with Acid Arrow would've done just as well as the alchemist, wouldn't he?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Honestly? Smite damage aside, Paladins aren't really focused Dragon Slayers, they're more inclined towards Evil Outsiders and Undead (the other two things their Smite doubles against), which are two things the Alchemist may not do as well against.

They aren't?

"If the target of smite evil is an outsider with the evil subtype, an evil-aligned dragonp, or an undead creature, the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per level the paladin possesses"

I'd say they are...just about every draggy is an evil draggy. Again, not saying that means that the Alchemist can't be better against them than Pallies...just saying that being a LOT better than them seems to take away something small (not a lot) from that class. Being able to have a very damage spell like effect that's AoE (with the popular right discovery) and that's limited in times per day (and, therefore, feels like a spell) yet hits regardles of SR and saves takes away something from the wizard (And with the selective discovery, you can even make sure it doesn't hit your friends in close quarters!) Again, none of this is game breaking. Just saying, feels like it does outshine other classes on what they normally do well a very regular basis. Outside of using oil mentioned above (which does not scale), no other class has an ability that is so reliable in doing significant damage.


JCServant wrote:
Yeah...I get that part, Martin. :) But, my question is...why is the alchemist even able to damage the dragon to begin with when every other class is completely powerless against this great wyrm?

There are a fair number of "SR=no" wizard spells that can harm a dragon as well, for what it's worth.

EDIT: I should have read to the end of the thread; Jiggy made basically the same point.


Jiggy wrote:
You know, a sorcerer with Acid Arrow would've done just as well as the alchemist, wouldn't he?

Ayup. It just doesn't do nearly as much damage, though it scales a bit. And most mages don't burn the feats that a bombing alchemist takes to make sure that penalties from silly things like soft cover, melee engagement with friends and range are minimized or eliminted altogether. They have better BAB and usually put a lot of points in DEX. So, even with multiple attack, range and feat penalities (from rapid shot and the such) they miss very rarely. (though, when they do miss, its a LOT of fun).


Atarlost wrote:

If you want balanced encounters I suspect you need to throw out the bestiary.

Monsters tend towards gigantism for no good reason. This is the culprit behind combat maneuvers sucking and is your problem here. So stop using monsters. Use humanoids with lots of class levels. They won't be sucking up size penalties to touch AC and trying to paper over them with natural AC. They won't be having absurd CMDs that make maneuver builds useless at high level.

Because one thing that Alchemist is not going to blow away is a +7 CR monk.

Yeah, this is probably the heart of the matter right here. And you're right on in that CM Statement. I have a CM fighter in that group build around tripping....as the party leveled up, he began feeling pretty useless. I let him change a few feats so he would have more effectiveness against those massive foes, but I totally see your point.

Qadira

The dragon played nice and the alchemist didn't actually do anything worth noting, since the dragon was not fought. Also after 5 range increments you cannot reach the target, so at 101 feet the dragon is immune.

Besides being rediculous that a person can throw a glass bottle 100 feet straight up:

Range: Any attack at more than this distance is penalized for range. Beyond this range, the attack takes a cumulative –2 penalty for each full range increment (or fraction thereof) of distance to the target. For example, a dagger (with a range of 10 feet) thrown at a target that is 25 feet away would incur a –4 penalty. A thrown weapon has a maximum range of five range increments. A projectile weapon can shoot to 10 range increments.


I took another look at the Dragon. Now, I full admit, I don't do a TON of preparation before a session..... I read over the monsters once so I know what they can and cannot do. I try to RP my monsters too. If they perceive a threat on the battlefield, I want to know what their options are at that point. Generally, I try not to meta too much.

I guess it's possible that the Dragon could have spells perma-on. But, that's not the way he's written up, so I didn't have him prebuffed. As far as energy resistance, he doesn't have it. It's not on his spell list. Now, I could have meta'd that in, or maybe used some of the logic you guys used above (He's 1,500 years old, he should have more than a few tricks), but I generally use Paizo beasts because I don't have that much free time to do TOO much extra planning. I kinda buy these books so I don't have to think up of what spells, abilities, etc that a 1,500 year old dragon may have (I even by the extra books, like Dragons Revisited, so I get ALL the bases covered!)

I guess he could burn a limited wish for a greater resistance.....but, he could probably eat the alchemist just as fast.

Again, I want to point out....the dragon's life was never in danger. Not even close, really. I was just shocked (and inspired to write this post) that an alchemist was doing signficant damage to the Dragon when everyone else was completely helpless to do anything against this Great Wyrm.


Ooo...Thanks for the rule update, GD. I did not know about the 5 increment limit (Hopefully there's not a feat that removes that, or he'll find it once I start enforcing it.... if not, I feel a better about this). Learn something new everyday! I thought it was rediculous, too, that he was throwing them so high, but a quick rules search turned up nothing aside from the normal increment penalty...depsite the -12 I was assessing, he was hitting NP. (EVen though the Dragon was flying around, he was within 120' to the alchemist with altitude involved...and not only is there no penalty for throwing up in the air that far, but none for the fact that the dragon is flying pretty bloody fast)

Andoran

JCServant wrote:
They aren't?

I did say 'Smite damage aside', you know. :)

JCServant wrote:
I'd say they are...just about every draggy is an evil draggy. Again, not saying that means that the Alchemist can't be better against them than Pallies...just saying that being a LOT better than them seems to take away something small (not a lot) from that class. Being able to have a very damage spell like effect that's AoE (with the popular right discovery) and that's limited in times per day (and, therefore, feels like a spell) yet hits regardles of SR and saves takes away something from the wizard (And with the selective discovery, you can even make sure it doesn't hit your friends in close quarters!) Again, none of this is game breaking. Just saying, feels like it does outshine other classes on what they normally do well a very regular basis. Outside of using oil mentioned above (which does not scale), no other class has an ability that is so reliable in doing significant damage.

Sure, sure, he can do, what, 7d6+8 damage three times a round? That's 32.5 damage an attack. Almost 100 points a round. Of course, and fire Resistance (I believe the most common type) reduces that by a whole lot. If he makes it force damage, it goes down to d4s and thus only 25.5 per attack. All this also requires a few Feats and several Discoveries. It's also a lot less average damage than many focused melee or ranged DPR builds (though he could get TWF and boost back up to come closer to them), though it will tend to outshine them in the very specific circumstance of vastly higher CR foes...provided they don't do things to counter him.

He can do this for about 7 rounds a day. Or around two fights, maybe three if they're short. The entire game is predicated on more like 4 fights a day, and tends to break in favor of casters (like the Alcemist) if you include less than that (and in favor of Fighters and such if you do a lot more).


Unlike earlier editions, Far Shot doesn't increase range, it lowers the penalty, so I think you're golden on that, JC (the 5x only on thrown -- which also applies to slings, actually).

Andoran

JCServant wrote:
Ooo...Thanks for the rule update, GD. I did not know about the 5 increment limit (Hopefully there's not a feat that removes that, or he'll find it once I start enforcing it.... if not, I feel a better about this).

There isn't. There is Bomber's Eye (a 1st level Alchemist Extract), though, which increases the range increment by 10'. So you'd need to be more than 150' away to be really safe.

Qadira

I think there is a crossbow that can fire alchemist fire, or at least something to buff the range to 30 feet, like an atlatl. I don't have a quote handy though, but its not from the core book.

I suggest you don't worry about it, maybe throw a couple combats with decent touch AC. I

I have always found making the monsters myself is way simpler than searching through books for one that fits. No chance of me not knowing what it can or should do or how it should react. Plus the players have never encountered it before. One big note, I did this for a 4th Ed game, pathfinder is probably more complicated.

Edit: found one

Flask Thrower 25 gp — — — 20 ft. 4 lbs. — see text GoG
Benefit: A flask thrower significantly extends the range of thrown substances that deal splash damage, such as acid, alchemist’s fire, or holy water, as well as that of tools such as tanglefoot bags, thunderstones, or caltrops.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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JCServant wrote:

Here's another way to look at it. A party of paladins sneak up on the dragon and use smite. Despite that, Given his high AC, there would be more than enough misses that the dragon would survive the alpha strike...no problem.

A team of alchemist sneak up on the dragon and do a alpha strike with alchmist bombs. The dragon dies on round 1 because for all its AC and SR, none of that applies to bombs.

Or, option three: a party of paladins sneak up on the dragon, use smite evil, and make an alpha strike with alchemist's fire. As far as I can tell, the bonuses from smite evil apply to splash weapon attacks.

(Hm. Now I want to play an "exorcist" paladin who goes around smiting demons with flasks of holy water.)


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Sure, sure, he can do, what, 7d6+8 damage three times a round? That's 32.5 damage an attack. Almost 100 points a round. Of course, and fire Resistance (I believe the most common type) reduces that by a whole lot. If he makes it force damage, it goes down to d4s and thus only 25.5 per attack. All this also requires a few Feats and several Discoveries. It's also a lot less average damage than many focused melee or ranged DPR builds (though he could get TWF and boost back up to come closer to them), though it will tend to outshine them in the very specific circumstance of vastly higher CR foes...provided they don't do things to counter him.

He can do this for about 7 rounds a day. Or around two fights, maybe three if they're short. The entire game is predicated on more like 4 fights a day, and tends to break in favor of casters (like the Alcemist) if you include less than that (and in favor of Fighters and such if you do a lot more).

I'll paste a quote from another post... "It's important to note that you can throw bombs with both hands if you get the Two Weapon Fighting feats, and this stacks with Rapid Shot. This lets a 10th level alchemist throw five bombs a round at +3/+3/+3/-2/-2 (before adding Dex or point-blank). Not very high, but you don't need that high a bonus. Personally I'd go this route before going for Rapid Shot, simply because you can continue gaining more attacks as you spend more feats."

Of course, he focuses on dex... and I think he's closer to a +12/+12/+7/+7+/+7 build if he's using all the feats above (He wisely doesn't if there's a chance he'll miss -- You'd be surprised how many high level mobs don't even have a 12 touch AC). So, yeah, he can actully push well past 100 pts...doing significan't splash damage with improved AoE discovery and selective bombing and the such. And, yes, he can only do that about 4 rounds before he's exhuasted. But that's 400 pts of (all but) gaureenteed damage. Unless the enemy has touch AC or some sort of Acid resistance (He's an acid build), all he needs to do is have the friend keep that baddie busy for a round or two.

If he holds his bombs for the BBEG of the day, it is the most reliable fastest way to tear just about any BBEG down. Unless I meta a bit, and build the mob specifically with Acid AND fire resistance (he can change on fly!) or spells specifically tailored for missle defense (Which, let's admit it, when you're a bad guy with 40 AC, you probably didn't put that on the top of your list), the guy is toast.


Epic Meepo wrote:
JCServant wrote:

Here's another way to look at it. A party of paladins sneak up on the dragon and use smite. Despite that, Given his high AC, there would be more than enough misses that the dragon would survive the alpha strike...no problem.

A team of alchemist sneak up on the dragon and do a alpha strike with alchmist bombs. The dragon dies on round 1 because for all its AC and SR, none of that applies to bombs.

Or, option three: a party of paladins sneak up on the dragon, use smite evil, and make an alpha strike with alchemist's fire. As far as I can tell, the bonuses from smite evil apply to splash weapon attacks.

(Hm. Now I want to play an "exorcist" paladin who goes around smiting demons with flasks of holy water.)

Now THAT'S a good idea! Especially if they have certain feats for extra throwing potential! I think thrown weapons get STR damage bonus...so that with smite damage on every hit means a +20 (13 lv with +7str) damage with every one. Nice!

Shadow Lodge

Each class can appear very powerful at certain levels. The alchemist I have gmed for did a lot of damage consistently, but not as much as other characters I have since experienced. I know you are talking specifically about this encounter, but I wouldn't put the Alchemists bombs above the damage potential of an optimised druid in wild shape or a magus powering out numerous shocking grasps every round through their sword. If they were optimised for this, as your Alchemist is for throwing bombs, then damage would be comparable or more.

I know the touch ac makes it a powerful tool, but as many have pointed out, it has its weakness. Energy resistance, range and the fact its a missile weapon.

Gunslingers could hit touch ac. An archer ranger could have "pin point targeting" at level 10 and ignor armour and natural armour, if he has dragon as his favoured enemy he could be +6 to hit and damage. DR is only /magic so unlikely to be effective at this level. Granted its only one shot, but the alchemists damage is 7d6 (24 points), the rangers would be 1d8+str+magic+fav enemy so probably 17 points or so, with a much greater range and number of options.

Alchemists are regular damage dealers, they are a pain as a dm, but they can easily be out damaged by others.

Qadira

JCServant wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
JCServant wrote:

Here's another way to look at it. A party of paladins sneak up on the dragon and use smite. Despite that, Given his high AC, there would be more than enough misses that the dragon would survive the alpha strike...no problem.

A team of alchemist sneak up on the dragon and do a alpha strike with alchmist bombs. The dragon dies on round 1 because for all its AC and SR, none of that applies to bombs.

Or, option three: a party of paladins sneak up on the dragon, use smite evil, and make an alpha strike with alchemist's fire. As far as I can tell, the bonuses from smite evil apply to splash weapon attacks.

(Hm. Now I want to play an "exorcist" paladin who goes around smiting demons with flasks of holy water.)

Now THAT'S a good idea! Especially if they have certain feats for extra throwing potential! I think thrown weapons get STR damage bonus...so that with smite damage on every hit means a +20 (13 lv with +7str) damage with every one. Nice!

Str is not added on splash weapons.

Shadow Lodge

Devils are immune to fire and have resistance 10 to acid, demons have a good range of resistances too.

I'm not sure, but I imagine you can't throw bombs while you are grappled either as I would think you would require two hands to mix the bomb.

Andoran

JCServant wrote:
I'll paste a quote from another post...

Uh...you did see me explicitly mention he could also get TWF, right? And the attack sequence you mention also requires Haste.

JCServant wrote:
Of course, he focuses on dex... and I think he's closer to a +12/+12/+7/+7+/+7 build if he's using all the feats above (He wisely doesn't if there's a chance he'll miss -- You'd be surprised how many high level mobs don't even have a 12 touch AC). So, yeah, he can actully push well past 100 pts...doing significan't splash damage with improved AoE discovery and selective bombing and the such. And, yes, he can only do that about 4 rounds before he's exhuasted. But that's 400 pts of (all but) gaureenteed damage. Unless the enemy has touch AC or some sort of Acid AND fire resistance (he can change on fly!) or spells specifically tailored for missle defense (Which, let's admit it, when you're a bad guy with 40 AC, you probably didn't put that on the top of your list), the guy is toast.

As you say that'll both up his per round damage and cut his number of rounds doing this to 4. And it will indeed be potentialy difficult for some enemies to have both of those Resistances.

But you're neglecting two things:

1. The Alchemist kinda sucks the rest of the time. You're talking aq bomb-throwing specialist here, so what's he even doing to be remotely effective the rest of the time? Acting as a sub-par archer, probably? He'll be very much not that useful aside from this one Nova a day. Hell, a Wizard (or any other Caster) can do the same, if they like.

2. This makes him the primary target for whoever it is he's attacking. Alchemists have pretty good AC and saves vs. everything but Will Saves...but the AC might easily not be good enough, and that low Will Save might be the death of him. After one round of this kind of nova aassault, the big bad he's doing this too is going to pull out all the stops to kill him specifically, and unlike Smite Evil, his nova effect in no way protects him from this retribution.
.
.
.
Is it a good, effective, tactic? Yes. Is it broken or unbeatable? Very much no.

Andoran

Tilnar wrote:
Int is, if you take Throw Anything -- so we need weak, but smart smiting paladins. :)

It is not. The Alchemist Class does add Int to splash weapons, but the Feat on its own does nothing of the kind.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Tilnar wrote:
Int is, if you take Throw Anything -- so we need weak, but smart smiting paladins. :)
It is not. The Alchemist Class does add Int to splash weapons, but the Feat on its own does nothing of the kind.

Right, sorry. I thought this was a result of the feat, but it isn't -- it just gives you a +1 to hit. My bad.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

But you're neglecting two things:

1. The Alchemist kinda sucks the rest of the time. You're talking aq bomb-throwing specialist here, so what's he even doing to be remotely effective the rest of the time? Acting as a sub-par archer, probably? He'll be very much not that useful aside from this one Nova a day. Hell, a Wizard (or any other Caster) can do the same, if they like.

2. This makes him the primary target for whoever it is he's attacking. Alchemists have pretty good AC and saves vs. everything but Will Saves...but the AC might easily not be good enough, and that low Will Save might be the death of him. After one round of this kind of nova aassault, the big bad he's doing this too is going to pull out all the stops to kill him specifically, and unlike Smite Evil, his nova effect in no way protects...

1. I think he's a pretty good archer (If he's built around bombs, he's got pretty much the same feats you'd expect the Ranger to take... The only down side is a somewhat lower BAB). Remember, he's still got mutigens to help buff himself up. So, if he does have a few rounds to buff before a fight, there's no reason he wouldn't be shooting as good as non-buffed ranger.

2. True. But unless the mob has more than 200 HPs at our level range, it will get 1-2 rounds to take down that alchemist, assuming none of the alchemist friends are in the way to stop the baddie. If he doesn't, the mob is dead. The alchemist has to roll a 1 to miss. A 2 will almost always hit. Whereas, if that mob took on another high DPS character, (Let's say, a barbarian), there's a signfican't chance the barbarian would miss. (Whether the BBEG dies in 2 rounds or 4 usually depends on whether the Barbs gets a crit and/or lands those last few attacks on the full round action).

3. What bothers me is that, while it is limited/day, the bombs are a "I Win" button to be used against just about any BBEG in that 100' range in 1-2 rounds. Unless I build a BBEG to have a high touch AC or something. We've mentioned plenty of tactical ways to address this...but, as a DM, I've don't recall having to constantly consider a single character class so much in my tactical setup just to make the encoutner (and BBEG) challenging and memorable. The fact is that if a BBEG of this level gets close to the party (within 100') he/she BBEG WILL die in 1-2 rounds if the alchemist has enough bombs remaining, regardless of his natural defensese (Because, again, very few NPCs and monsters, outside of monks and quickings, have a high touch AC). While it's not unheard of to have a BBEG die quickly on an occasion because he failed a double save on an insta-death spell, or the barbarian rolled two crits on his Battle Axe of Bloodlust full round attack, the alchemist does it every time with almost no chance of failure at all.

I can always throw TWO or THREE BBEG's at the party instead of just one. I just think that having the alchemist reliably do enough damage to kill off one or two by himself in so few rounds makes the other party members go HMMMMM.

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