Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game


Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Help a girl lob some bombs


Hi all.

I have a game tomorrow and need help building a 9th Level Alchemist. The other players have a Cleric, Barbarian and Wizard.

I do not want to be a direct melee combatant and want to be a granadier sort. With INT and DEX of 20 (perhaps higher because of +4 DEX belt) what other magic items should I take. I already have portable hole, and a +2 Chain shirt.

With 33,000 gp+ what other items should I equip my PC with?

What Feats should I opt for? I am already taking Rapid Shot and Improved precise shot.

Planing to use Stink Bombs/Precise bombs, mainly. Any other pointers? Its supposed to be a tough adventure.

Thanks for any advise.

Dark Archive

Strafe Bomb is a really nice option if you want to be able to throw bombs in a line as opposed to an explosion. Not a huge impact on damage, but could be worth looking into.

Also, Tanglefoot Bombs are probably remarkable things.

As an alchemist, I always tend to pick up 1-2 Extra Discovery feats by level 10 as well. Hope this helps!

What books and sources are open?

Best core race choices are Elf (boosts 2 most important stats) and Halfling (boosts dex and has size and thrown weapon bonuses, and w/ warslinger trait could possibly launch bombs from a sling on a full attack to extend range). Out of core, Ratkin and Tiefling are also nice choices.

I would use mostly Stink Bombs and Confusion Bombs (no save allowed, which is nice). Dispelling Bomb is annoying in that you can't choose what to dispel, but it lacks an asterisk, so you can combine it with Confusion Bomb (you could also combine it w/ Stink Bomb and be ok by rules as written, but DM might not let you get the cloud effect due to dispelling causing it to not do splash damage), making it helpful.
I would not treat the bombs as a "blasting" or direct damage type resource. They do too little damage and you get too few for that. Use them for debuffs and debilitating to get more life out of each bomb.

Consider being a Mindchemist to boost Int instead of dex, it will boost damage and save DCs. You also get double Int to knowledge skills.

You need BAB +11 for Imp. Precise Shot, I assume you meant Precise Shot. If you can, take Splash Weapon Mastery.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

You might check out the grenadier archetype out of the PFS Field Guide. It focuses a bit more on bombs and is quite nice. You give up poison for some of the abilities, but if you're not going melee, it would fit well.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Mindchemist for the win. I believe it stacks with grenadier as well.


See if you can convince your Barbarian to fight with a reach weapon, so he's outside your bomb radius. I've seen campaigns derailed because the alchemist accidentally killed all his own allies. Though that was at low levels, if you're at Level 9 you should be fine.

The Extra Bombs feat should help you focus on them even more. Though Stream was right-- you won't get enough per day to make it your primary source of damage. Pick up Point Blank and Precise so you can carry a crossbow or other ranged weapon, so that you can bomb when possible and not lose effectiveness when you run out.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Precise Bombs and Splash weapon mastery are your friends.

I've never seen an alchemist accidentally kill their allies by the way.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The Smoker option will make you in control of the battlefield.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Important note: Smoke and Stink bombs still deal their bomb damage.

Smoker Mindchemist Grenadier is a encounter ender.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You're good with all thrown weapons and alchemical items. Make use of that. Grab acid flasks, holy water, silver javelins, and a tanglefoot bag or two.

For items, i'd recommend a cloak of resistance, a handful of useful potions (maybe 2000 gp worth) and 2000 for a magic melee weapon as a backup.

Then, think in terms of capabilities. Can you deal with invisible opponents, turn invisible, fly, run away from terrible things, see in the dark, deal with getting hurt, taking ability damage, bypass a trapped door, fight an opponent with fire resistance or poison resistance (most devils, and holy water works on them)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Stingchucks are good alchemist back up weapons.
Alchemical allocation makes elixirs an endless boon for you.
I suggest the Elixir of Shadewalking.

Think about the wings discovery if you want to stay out of melee. Targeted bomb admixture extract is a good way to boost single target damage and avoid cheesing off your allies. A handy haversack is great because you can retrieve any potions or alchemical items that you need as a move action, your hole holds a lot but good luck finding it in combat. Get a portable alchemists lab to brew potions and craft alchemical items. A buckler is a great way to get your ac up and with your feat selection, it will always be giving you its bonus.

Dark Archive

How are you grabbing Improved Precise Shot without +11 BAB?

Other than that, I would suggest elf as a race, or as others suggest the grenadier archetype for longbow proficiency. This way you don't have to waste your bombs on the easy encounters. With Fast Bombs and Rapid Shot, you'll definitely be in danger of running out of them fast.

You may want to grab Far Shot if you want to really be out of melee. Bombs have an awful range increment, and being able to throw from up to 100 ft. away with only -5 instead of -10 is definitely a blessing.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unless you have a specific build in mind it's hard to justify not taking Extra Discovery for every feat.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Try to take Iron Will, or it's probable that you might end up bombing the living hell out of your party members. Alchemists and Gunslingers are excellent candidates for being taken over by evil NPC's domination attempts. ^^

Dark Archive

Biggest downfall of the stingchuck, they weigh 9 lbs each
other then that can not stress the value of splash weapon mastery enough

Liberty's Edge

I like to take a more well rounded approach to combat. If you're looking to chuck lots of bombs, I think everyone here is on the right track, but what you need to be aware of is what happens when you're out of bombs. I've seen this happen all to easily to alchemist midway a dungeon, especially since it looks like you've only got one solid melee.
The grendadier is impressive, and I can see that doing a lot of damage over the course of you're career, but take a look at the preservationist. At your level you'd have access to summon nature's ally 4, and as all extracts are activated as a standard action, you'd be able to summon a monster as fast as a summoner with it. This will give you some versatility in the upcoming battles that you may find you'd really want.

A lot of good suggestions have already gone out there with regards to bomb tossing discoveries as well as the wings discovery. Since your'e 9th level to start I'd offer the suggestion to pick up Preserved Organs Discovery with the intention of picking up the Mumification Discovery at 10th level. The immunities you gain with the mumification Discovery are really hard to pass up, immune to cold, nonleathel damage, paralysis & sleep. You should also look into explosive missle for some synergy with your crossbow & breath weapon bomb for those instances you enemies are too close to chuck a bomb without an attack of opportunity.
Ofcourse any bomb chucker should have precise bombs so as to not damage other party members incidentally.

Out side of this, find a light weapon you like and pick up weapon finess and a +1 agile version of this weapon (equivalent of a +2 weapon). You'll be able to use you dex for to hit and damage for those occasions you'll be in melee. And yes, you will be in melee. With a party you're size and only one true melee fighter, this is going to happen. Ofcourse, avoid it as much as possible, but be ready for it just in case. My advise would be to use a cestus or spike gauntlet, as both are simple weapons, you can still create and chuck bombes or fire crossbows while wearing them and they are light weapons so you have a chance to fight back if your grappled. Not to mention they are nearly impossible to disarm.

Since you've got such a high Intelligence and you are looking to use crossbows pick up Focused shot. You'll only be able to take one shot a round, but you'll add your intelligence to your crossbow damage.

Finally, invest in defense. Pick up a Darkwood buckler and enchant this as at least to +2. Being darkwood will relieve it of the armor check penalties and you can still use you're hands to prepare bombs or drink extract. Cloak of Resistenct +2 is pretty critical as well. Amulets of natural armor and a ring of deflection and a ring of featherfall to round it out defensively. And Potions! Look at your extract list and locate those potions you think you might use a lot of (ie cures, invisibility, fly) and purchase these @ half price because of your brew potion feat. As a 2nd level extract you can get Alchemical Allocation. This will allow you to drink, then spit the potion back into the vial and retain it's magical properties without using the actual potion. This is especially good to use for potions of spell not on your list.

mindchemist as everyone said is good idea. Don't forget to throw alchemist fire when bombs are gone. Altough if you expect tedious days, then don't use fast bombs.
My favourite is a mix with psychonaut, you'll do most of your damage by int, not by d6's, but it shines when you get lvl 5 spells which is quite late. If you let your bombs do other effects than damage, it's great. No need for fast bombs. Just use any thrown weapon for pure damage, don't waste bombs.

otherwise the grenadier is a good pure damage dealer, but remember that bombs are a resource per day.

Perhaps invest in some defensive feats and discoveries that add HP or saves.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Goblins and small tieflings make great alchemists.

Shadow Lodge

With 33,000 gp+ what other items should I equip my PC with?

Take the Grenadier Archetype. Its all about the bombs

Snag a bow with seeking and a + whatever bonus. During the easy fights pick off mooks with your bow. During the hard fights NOVA. Leave the boss Entangled, staggered, and then knock them prone with a force bomb.

Weapon blanches in alchemical silver, cold iron, adamantite, and ghost salt.

Blunt arrows.

A wand or two of cure light wounds

1 Point blank
2 Frost bombs (free precise bombs from grenadier)
3 Precise Shot
4 Tanglefoot bomb
5 Iron will
6 Discovery: Wings
7 Rapid shot
8 Fast Bombs
9 Extra discovery- Force bomb

I normally reccomend infusion but you're already high level and you have a wizard and a cleric.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
Unless you have a specific build in mind it's hard to justify not taking Extra Discovery for every feat.

Ugh, so not true. 1-2 extra discovery is fine, but you can't even use it for your first feat, you want feats to back up what your character is doing, and there is only so many discoveries that you actually really want. Some of the discoveries are nice, but probably are too situational to find a time to use them.

Level 1, point blank shot, lvl 2 explosive bombs or smoke bombs, lvl 3, precise shot, lvl 4 precise bombs or stink bombs, lvl 5 extra discovery for what you didn't take at 2, lvl 6 for what you didn't take at 4, lvl 7 rapid shot, lvl 8 fast bombs.

8th level is right when your guy gets access to fast bombs, so its important that you also have rapid shot to make the discovery even better. 3 bombs a round is going to clear enemies mobs fast, but potentially kill the party fast. Which is the reason for the precise bombs and the precise shot. Don't want to accidentally miss and hit the other PCs, or to include the PCs in the area of effect.

Up until after lvl 8 there isn't much flex in building a bomb oriented alchemist, but after that there is a bit more, but only so many discoveries are actually going to be useful for it. Since the OP wants a 9th level alchemist i would say follow the track I wrote, then at 9th take extra discovery again and get either force bombs or dispelling bombs.

One concern with this build is running out of bombs (asuming 20 int, that is only 14 bombs, slightly more than 4 full round attacks), but extra bombs isn't a good choice due to the fact that it doesn't really add enough. One thing to keep in mind is a back up weapon. Acid vials work great for this, try to make your own to keep costs down (won't get to use full attacks with them, since they aren't bombs or technically ammo). Also get a good bow. The feat chain above assuming an elf makes for a great archer secondary. If you have a str bonus, or use your mutagen bonus for STR, you can really put the damage on quick with a compound bow.

Couldn't Vital Strike be used as an alternative to Fast Bombs? I imagine that not using so many bombs per round would be helpful.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Gloves of storing are good for holding back up splash weapons. Efficient quiver can hold a good number of stingchucks as well.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Vital strike adds weapon damage. As far I can figure it doesn't work with bombs since the damage isn't weapon damage, its elemental.

If anything, vital strike would only add the 1d6 base bomb damage that is multiplied on a critical hit. It is certainly not worth it for that.

There's another possible way to ration bombs. If you can afford a MoMS dip at levels 7-8 and can get your knowledge skills high enough you can Kirin Strike for a total of 3x int damage on your first bomb/round. If you take Breadth of Experience as an elf you can auto-make the Kirin Style DC for a CR +4 creature with 20 int once you have the full Kirin chain. CR +7 for undead and animals.

But you're down two alchemist levels and two feats (BoE and Kirin Style, the others are monk bonus feats) for +10 damage on one bomb per round and only against the primary target, and not the first round of combat where your swift action is spent identifying a target and can't be used for kirin strike.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Help a girl lob some bombs All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2016 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.