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How well does a Bomber play


Advice

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So as listed above, how does a bomb wielding Alchemist fare in the game. I played one to level 2 and my campaign ended so I never got to try him out thoroughly. What kind of feats, traits, races, and equipment can they play well off of?? I've read Ogres guide but that was before UC, ARG, and UE so was anything new or amazing that was released in that time frame? And this will not be a "play a Vivisectionist" kind of post thanks =D

Lantern Lodge

There is a grenadier archetype for alchemist. It loses the ability to make poisons, but gain the precise bombs discovery as a bonus and can make some special use of his bombs.

look it up at: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/alchemist/archetypes/paizo---a lchemist-archetypes/grenadier

Its from the Pathfinder Society Field Guide.

Hope more people reply, I too am making an alchemist.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oooooo that is snazzy because I have never been a fan of poisons though I am a bit disappointed that it replaces Brew Potion as well

Lantern Lodge

The grenadier archetype is kinda made for PFS, where the brew potion feat is not allowed.

If you happen to be in a home game, maybe you could convince your GM to just let you keep brew potions instead of having it replaced by Martial Weapon Proficiency?

Qadira

the only major issues with emphasis on bombing is that you have a very finite number of bombs you can throw per day. Unless you're taking the alternate racial feature (for gnomes and maybe some other races) that increases the number of bombs you can throw or blowing feats on extra bombs (probably both), the maximum bombs you'll have even at level 20 is 33 (lvl 20 and a +13 bonus to int). While 33 is a pretty good number, you can blow through that in 11 rounds of full attacks with the fast bombs discovery (or 8 rounds with haste/rapid fire, 6.5 rounds with both).

If you took all 20 levels of +1/2 bombs per day, you'd get an extra 10 bombs at lvl 20. With the extra bombs feat, you get 2 per feat for an absolute maximum of 20. However, I suspect you're going to want to take a few other feats beside extra bombs. For the sake of argument tho, we'll assume you did. That brings your maximum bombs/day to 63. That's a good number, but let's look at the math. 63 bombs will last you 21 rounds or 16 rounds with haste. If you drop 2 feats to get PBS and Rapid Shot, 59 bombs will last you 15 rounds or 12 with haste.

Granted, you're dishing out a LOT of damage/round with your bombs, so combat may only last a couple rounds. If that's the case, then go for it. I'm just concerned that your bombs/day will prove a difficult hurdle to overcome in the long run.

On a more optimistic note, if the bombs/day aren't so much of an issue in your opinion, I think this build could be a LOT of fun. With Fast Bombs, you can toss out 3-5 (depending on haste/rapid shot) each with a different effect on them. Imagine throwing and explosive bome (sets the target on fire), frost bomb (stagger), tanglefoot bomb (entangle and possibly rooted in place), blindness bomb (duh), and a concussive bomb (deafened) all in one round?! That's some nasty business right there! Toss a witch partner in the mix to blast the BBEG's saves to hell and all of these effects are nearly guaranteed to land. Let the carnage begin!

edit - I'm starting to think the Linnorm on the cover of the APG is SCREWED

Silver Crusade

Dukai wrote:

the only major issues with emphasis on bombing is that you have a very finite number of bombs you can throw per day. Unless you're taking the alternate racial feature (for gnomes and maybe some other races) that increases the number of bombs you can throw or blowing feats on extra bombs (probably both), the maximum bombs you'll have even at level 20 is 33 (lvl 20 and a +13 bonus to int). While 33 is a pretty good number, you can blow through that in 11 rounds of full attacks with the fast bombs discovery (or 8 rounds with haste/rapid fire, 6.5 rounds with both).

If you took all 20 levels of +1/2 bombs per day, you'd get an extra 10 bombs at lvl 20. With the extra bombs feat, you get 2 per feat for an absolute maximum of 20. However, I suspect you're going to want to take a few other feats beside extra bombs. For the sake of argument tho, we'll assume you did. That brings your maximum bombs/day to 63. That's a good number, but let's look at the math. 63 bombs will last you 21 rounds or 16 rounds with haste. If you drop 2 feats to get PBS and Rapid Shot, 59 bombs will last you 15 rounds or 12 with haste.

Granted, you're dishing out a LOT of damage/round with your bombs, so combat may only last a couple rounds. If that's the case, then go for it. I'm just concerned that your bombs/day will prove a difficult hurdle to overcome in the long run.

edit - I'm starting to think the Linnorm on the cover of the APG is SCREWED

On a more optimistic note, if the bombs/day aren't so much of an issue in your opinion, I think this build could be a LOT of fun. With Fast Bombs, you can toss out 3-5 (depending on haste/rapid shot) each with a different effect on them. Imagine throwing and explosive bome (sets the target on fire), frost bomb (stagger), tanglefoot bomb (entangle and possibly rooted in place), blindness bomb (duh), and a concussive bomb (deafened) all in one round?! That's some nasty business right there! Toss a witch partner in the mix to blast the BBEG's saves to hell and all of these...

The solution to this problem is not to think of bombs as a weapon, but rather a spell.

Think about it this way

With Stink Bomb, you can create a stinking cloud
With Confusion Bomb, you can confuse your target
With Poison Bomb, you can create a cloudkill
With Tangelfoot Bomb, you can entagle your target
With Force Bomb, you can knock your target prone
With Frost Bomb, you can stagger your target
With Dispelling Bomb, you can dispel magic
With Blinding Bomb, you can blind creatures

I could go on, but the point is that with Bombs, you get to emulate powerful spells, with a DC that scales to your level, AND most of the bombs deal damage on top of their status effects.

Monsters are not going to be happy if you deal 4d6 of damage and nauseate them.

Qadira

Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree. The versatility of bombs is really really fun and exciting. However, the fun ends if you run out of bombs which is again the *only* major concern I have with the bomb-focused build.

Another thing to consider going bomb-focused would be the mindchemist archetype for the "free" swap to cognatogens for increased bomb damage. Then again, bumping dex for more accuracy is pretty nice too, esp if you have to throw beyond your first or second range increment.


It depends pretty much entirely on your GM.

I played one with a GM that (apparently) really didn't like me throwing bombs, and he made sure it was extremely difficult to throw them. It was absolutely no fun--I spent more time delaying and using my sling than I did throwing bombs.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

I have a 10th level bomber I played through from 1st level and while it was fun, it gets frustrating because there are times when you run out of bombs or bombs just aren't very useful (creatures with energy resistance or just situations where it's difficult to get off ranged attacks).

I've started stating out all my alchemists so they can switch hit, it makes them more versatile and less swingy. Having the options to either melee or bomb means your character is going to have fun/ cool stuff to do more of the time.

FWIW: The above mentioned grenadier is a nice archetype for switch hitting, the martial weapon proficiency, free precise bomb, and the ability to add alchemical solutions to melee weapons all work well for characters who switch things up a lot.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:

I have a 10th level bomber I played through from 1st level and while it was fun, it gets frustrating because there are times when you run out of bombs or bombs just aren't very useful (creatures with energy resistance or just situations where it's difficult to get off ranged attacks).

I've started stating out all my alchemists so they can switch hit, it makes them more versatile and less swingy. Having the options to either melee or bomb means your character is going to have fun/ cool stuff to do more of the time.

FWIW: The above mentioned grenadier is a nice archetype for switch hitting, the martial weapon proficiency, free precise bomb, and the ability to add alchemical solutions to melee weapons all work well for characters who switch things up a lot.

Dennis could you post a sample build of a switch hitting bomber for those taking notes (like myself =D) I love playing switch-hitters after Treantmonk broke it down for Rangers so anytime I can utilize the method effectively then I am there.

Lantern Lodge

Remember that you can use Craft Alchemy (which you get a bonus to.) To craft alchemical items like acid, Alchemist's fire/frost...etc at only 1/3 the price.

So keep a couple with you and throw those, when don't have/need to use your bombs. Remember your int modifier adds to such attacks.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Secane wrote:

Remember that you can use Craft Alchemy (which you get a bonus to.) To craft alchemical items like acid, Alchemist's fire/frost...etc at only 1/3 the price.

So keep a couple with you and throw those, when don't have/need to use your bombs. Remember your int modifier adds to such attacks.

Also the grenadier can apply those said alchemists fires and such onto that martial weapon so does that mean you would add your INT to that damage as well??

Qadira

Holy cow! I never realized that alchemists get their int on ALL splash weapon damage! That's HUGE

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

KrythePhreak wrote:
Dennis could you post a sample build of a switch hitting bomber for those taking notes (like myself =D) I love playing switch-hitters after Treantmonk broke it down for Rangers so anytime I can utilize the method effectively then I am there.

If you build a grenadier optimized to melee you can't go too wrong, low dexterity isn't too much of an issue since you are targeting touch AC.

I have a guide out there I wrote some time ago... needs updating but it's mostly still good.

Since grenadier gets precise bomb, the only bomb focused feats/ discoveries you would really need is fast bombs at 8th level. Make sure you get boots of speed though so you can tap them to get three bombs a round. Optionally, pick up two weapon fighting for doubling up on bombs.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:
KrythePhreak wrote:
Dennis could you post a sample build of a switch hitting bomber for those taking notes (like myself =D) I love playing switch-hitters after Treantmonk broke it down for Rangers so anytime I can utilize the method effectively then I am there.

If you build a grenadier optimized to melee you can't go too wrong, low dexterity isn't too much of an issue since you are targeting touch AC.

I have a guide out there I wrote some time ago... needs updating but it's mostly still good.

Since grenadier gets precise bomb, the only bomb focused feats/ discoveries you would really need is fast bombs at 8th level. Make sure you get boots of speed though so you can tap them to get three bombs a round. Optionally, pick up two weapon fighting for doubling up on bombs.

Ahhh you were Ogre...I followed your guides and advice a few years ago and just thought you disappeared like Treantmonk but I see you just changed your name. Would Rapid Shot and Manyshot apply to bombs as well so you can get even more out in a round??

Qadira

Rapid Shot would, Manyshot would not as it specifically only applies to attacks with bows.

And I completely forgot that technically TWF feats count for fast bombs which means with TWF, ITWF, GTWF, Rapid Shot, and Haste, you could throw 8 bombs a round...which would run you out of bombs very very quickly, but oh man, the devastation

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dervish Dancing Grenadier!!!!! Focus on DEX and INT and you get that Martial Weapon which would be scimitar....oh man oh man oh man its looking good now


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Having back-up splash weapons is a good tactic. The Stingchuck is costless, and deals bludgeoning damage.


Dennis' idea to make your bomber a switch-hitter is a great idea and, as it uses an archetype that appears in the Pathfinder Society Field Guide, is PFS legal (I'm not sure if PFS matters to you). I would have played a grenadier, myself, but I had already started playing when I discovered the archetype. *Sigh. Oh, well*

My alchemist is only second level at the moment (I don't get to play nearly as often as I'd like) but I took the Preservationist archetype (I, too found that the poison features weren't worth it). Basically I can cast Summon Nature's Ally spells as extracts. I plan on taking a small selection of the Smoke-based bomb discoveries and the Planar Preservationist feat, as well, in an effort to make an alchemist version of a god-wizard/blast sorcerer combination. I haven't played him out too far, yet, but I expect him to deliver.

Another sell on the Preservationist (specifically to you, Krythe) is that it doesn't give up Brew Potion.

If you do play a Grenadier, I would consider playing an elf and taking the ECB as your martial weapon. I haven't tested this last bit, but it sounds potentially pretty cool.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

KrythePhreak wrote:
Dervish Dancing Grenadier!!!!! Focus on DEX and INT and you get that Martial Weapon which would be scimitar....oh man oh man oh man its looking good now

I have a dexterity based switch hitter, he went with feral mutagen and amulet of natural armor with the agile enhancement (conveniently also in the PFS FG) which gives dexterity to damage on all my natural attacks. Later on I figure on going with the monstrous physique to get 4-5 natural attacks per round with gargoyle or similar forms.

I went halfling.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:
KrythePhreak wrote:
Dervish Dancing Grenadier!!!!! Focus on DEX and INT and you get that Martial Weapon which would be scimitar....oh man oh man oh man its looking good now

I have a dexterity based switch hitter, he went with feral mutagen and amulet of natural armor with the agile enhancement (conveniently also in the PFS FG) which gives dexterity to damage on all my natural attacks. Later on I figure on going with the monstrous physique to get 4-5 natural attacks per round with gargoyle or similar forms.

I went halfling.

Do you mean an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists?? and how does applying Agile to the amulet work if that was what you meant?? Do you pay the base 5000 and instead of getting the +1 it instead turns your attacks into Dex based attacks??


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Wayangs, some Aasimar, and some Tieflings are the only small races that have no penalty to strength.

Each are possible of having a bonus to Int as well.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Wayangs, some Aasimar, and some Tieflings are the only small races that have no penalty to strength.

Each are possible of having a bonus to Int as well.

Wayangs are the only small race of those three BBT

Lantern Lodge

KrythePhreak wrote:
Secane wrote:

Remember that you can use Craft Alchemy (which you get a bonus to.) To craft alchemical items like acid, Alchemist's fire/frost...etc at only 1/3 the price.

So keep a couple with you and throw those, when don't have/need to use your bombs. Remember your int modifier adds to such attacks.

Also the grenadier can apply those said alchemists fires and such onto that martial weapon so does that mean you would add your INT to that damage as well??

I don't think so. It only affects items using the Throw Splash Weapon attack.

However, you can apply it to one of your bombs to make it deal more damage to the main target.

The grenadier archetype's Alchemical Weapon ability is a little like the Magus, accept that the damage is lesser and it works better with a range weapon.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
KrythePhreak wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Wayangs, some Aasimar, and some Tieflings are the only small races that have no penalty to strength.

Each are possible of having a bonus to Int as well.

Wayangs are the only small race of those three BBT

With Blood of Fiends & Blood of Heaven it is possible to play Small-sized Aasimar & Tieflings. You just use the appropriate race & switch the size from Medium to Small.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
KrythePhreak wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Wayangs, some Aasimar, and some Tieflings are the only small races that have no penalty to strength.

Each are possible of having a bonus to Int as well.

Wayangs are the only small race of those three BBT
With Blood of Fiends & Blood of Heaven it is possible to play Small-sized Aasimar & Tieflings. You just use the appropriate race & switch the size from Medium to Small.

Ah okay I dont have the books and had never read that on the SRD so thats a new one to me but cool nonetheless...idk the more I look at it the more a Ratfolk or Gnome Alchemist seems appealing...Ratfolk have those awesome bonuses in all the right spots but if anyone has played Borderlands 2 yet then one could see the fun in playing a Pyromaniac Tiny Tina Gnome Alchemist

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

KrythePhreak wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
KrythePhreak wrote:
Dervish Dancing Grenadier!!!!! Focus on DEX and INT and you get that Martial Weapon which would be scimitar....oh man oh man oh man its looking good now

I have a dexterity based switch hitter, he went with feral mutagen and amulet of natural armor with the agile enhancement (conveniently also in the PFS FG) which gives dexterity to damage on all my natural attacks. Later on I figure on going with the monstrous physique to get 4-5 natural attacks per round with gargoyle or similar forms.

I went halfling.

Do you mean an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists?? and how does applying Agile to the amulet work if that was what you meant?? Do you pay the base 5000 and instead of getting the +1 it instead turns your attacks into Dex based attacks??

Yeah.. that :P

It just adds dexterity to damage.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:
KrythePhreak wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
KrythePhreak wrote:
Dervish Dancing Grenadier!!!!! Focus on DEX and INT and you get that Martial Weapon which would be scimitar....oh man oh man oh man its looking good now

I have a dexterity based switch hitter, he went with feral mutagen and amulet of natural armor with the agile enhancement (conveniently also in the PFS FG) which gives dexterity to damage on all my natural attacks. Later on I figure on going with the monstrous physique to get 4-5 natural attacks per round with gargoyle or similar forms.

I went halfling.

Do you mean an Agile Amulet of Mighty Fists?? and how does applying Agile to the amulet work if that was what you meant?? Do you pay the base 5000 and instead of getting the +1 it instead turns your attacks into Dex based attacks??

Yeah.. that :P

It just adds dexterity to damage.

So its basically 5000 gold to turn Nat Attacks into Dex?? That is how it would work right without any additional modifiers correct??

Oh and for those not knowing of this Tiny Tina I speak of then here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBLWDvlvn8Q

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Yes. The down-side is it is expensive to upgrade them.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The upside is that it's generally far better than any other +1 equivalent enhancement you can get. Eventually by a large margin.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmm this makes the Dex switch-hit build seem more fun as well...and I really like a Pyro Gnome so yep this is gonna be fun

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Be prepared for lots of "You bite him in the crotch" jokes.

Maybe that's just my group.

.

Probably just me actually.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dennis Baker wrote:

Be prepared for lots of "You bite him in the crotch" jokes.

Maybe that's just my group.

.

Probably just me actually.

Haha in my group you don't even need to be small size to get those jokes


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Treating bombs like spells is the way to go. The tricky part is deciding on a method of attack when not using bombs. That's why multi-classing into Rogue[but you can't sneak attack with bombs], Gunslinger or even Fighter at level one appeals. The natural fit is thrower but it suffers for numerous reasons that all boil down to damage output.

Deciding where to mix the various feats into your build is mentally taxing. Ranged: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Splash Wpn Mastry, Two Weapon Fighting and maybe Many Shot...etc. Spend so much effort in covering those bases and you'll realized quickly that you're stuck with a lot less "bombingness".

Assuming you're wanting something Range attack oriented...

Sample Build:
Elf Grenadier 12/16/12/18/12/7 (Precise Bombs, LongBow)
1. Point Blank Shot 1d6+4 bombs, 1d8 bow 7 Bombs/day to start
2. Tanglefoot Bomb
3. Rapid Shot
4. Infusion
5. Precise Shot or Splash Wpn Mastery
6. Breath Wpn Bomb
If you bump your Dex to 17 at L4 you can take Manyshot at L8 for three attacks - bow only. Could also invest in a composite long bow for 1d8+1.

Sample Build
Elf Mindchemist 12/16/12/18/12/7
1. Fighter, Rapid Shot, Point Blank Shot
3. Tanglefoot Bomb, Precise Shot
5. Precise Bombs, Infusion
7. Breath Wpn bomb, Splash Wpn Mstry
Defender of the Society gives you +1AC. If you choose Mstwrk Agile breastplate you'll be -3 armor check but you'll have 20AC. You could also have a Great Sword for a melee weapon and a Composite Longbow...or hurl Chakrams.

Silver Crusade

I agree with a lot of this ^

But I would take Smoke Bomb over Tanglefoot bomb. Stink Bomb is arguably your best bomb and will wreck encounters early game, especially with the Mindchemist archetype. I have a 4th level bomber with Stink Bomb DC's of 19.


Elamdri, what do you use as your attack of choice when you're not bombing and how did arrange your feats to support this?


ratfolk are also good because you get +2 dex and int with the strength penalty and alchemists need both.


I'm far from the best optimizer, but a while ago I played an elf grenadier alchemist in a pbp. Focused on bombs (obviously), with a bow for back up...going rapid shot instead of two weapon fighting for extra bombs so it would work for the bow too, and picking up a feat (can't remember the name, but it's in the srd) that let you add int to damage for one shot with a bow...and using an agile elvin great blade thingy (sorry, been away from the game for a while and can't remember a lot of the specifics) with the free martial weapon prof from grenadier. If I remember right I mainly went for the cloud kill bombs, but that was before some of the more recent options, so I might come up with something better given a look at the new stuff.

Silver Crusade

Havoq wrote:
Elamdri, what do you use as your attack of choice when you're not bombing and how did arrange your feats to support this?

I use a bow when not bombing, which isn't often. Typically the fight is over once I get off my first stinking cloud. After that, I just sit back and pelt people with arrows.

Build

Elf Mindchemist 4

20 Int

Use Int Cognotogen

1st: Point Blank
2nd: Smoke Bomb
3rd: Precise Shot
4th: Stink Bomb

With your buffs up, you have a DC of 19 (10 + 2 + 5 + 2)

It's nasty and ends fights. I typically only need 1-2 bombs a fight.

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