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Alchemy. How does it work?


Rules Questions


So I'm trying to start a pure Goblin Alchemist, decided to go the way of Chiru-whatsit for an off healer, but I'm curious on how the extracts and formulae work. I tried reading the various guides, but I always kind of feel, at the end of it, like I'm not quite getting it.

At level one I get two extracts, one standard and one for my high int, but which ones do I get to prepare? ANY one on the level 1 extract list?

Is there a general FAQ about playing an Alchemist I can look up? I have that Ogre one but it seems to focus more on the combat and builds over basic information for a newbie on the class.


Extracts:
Extracts are the most varied of the three. In many ways, they behave like spells in potion form, and as such their effects can be dispelled by effects like dispel magic using the alchemist's level as the caster level. Unlike potions, though, extracts can have powerful effects and duplicate spells that a potion normally could not.

An alchemist can create only a certain number of extracts of each level per day. His base daily allotment of extracts is given on Table 2–1. In addition, he receives bonus extracts per day if he has a high Intelligence score, in the same way a wizard receives bonus spells per day.

When an alchemist mixes an extract, he infuses the chemicals and reagents in the extract with magic siphoned from his own magical aura. An extract immediately becomes inert if it leaves the alchemist's possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an alchemist cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use (but see the “infusion” discovery below). An extract, once created, remains potent for 1 day before losing its magic, so an alchemist must re-prepare his extracts every day. Mixing an extract takes 1 minute of work—most alchemists prepare many extracts at the start of the day or just before going on an adventure, but it's not uncommon for an alchemist to keep some (or even all) of his daily extract slots open so that he can prepare extracts in the field as needed.

Although the alchemist doesn't actually cast spells, he does have a formulae list that determines what extracts he can create. An alchemist can utilize spell-trigger items if the spell appears on his formuale list, but not spell-completion items (unless he uses Use Magic Device to do so). An extract is “cast” by drinking it, as if imbibing a potion—the effects of an extract exactly duplicate the spell upon which its formula is based, save that the spell always affects only the drinking alchemist. An alchemist can draw and drink an extract as a standard action. The alchemist uses his level as the caster level to determine any effect based on caster level.

Creating extracts consumes raw materials, but the cost of these materials is insignificant—comparable to the valueless material components of most spells. If a spell normally has a costly material component, that component is expended during the consumption of that particular extract. Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements (alchemist extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement).

An alchemist can prepare an extract of any formula he knows. To learn or use an extract, an alchemist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the extract's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an alchemist's extract is 10 + the extract level + the alchemist's Intelligence modifier.

An alchemist may know any number of formulae. He stores his formulae in a special tome called a formula book. He must refer to this book whenever he prepares an extract but not when he consumes it. An alchemist begins play with two 1st-level formulae of his choice, plus a number of additional forumlae equal to his Intelligence modifier. At each new alchemist level, he gains one new formula of any level that he can create. An alchemist can also add formulae to his book just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs, pages, and time requirements. An alchemist can study a wizard's spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a formula book. An alchemist does not need to decipher arcane writings before copying them.


The bolded bit should answer your specific question. Please feel free to ask for any more "how do extracts work" questions. If I don't have the answer, I'm sure another messageboard-goer will.


Ok, that's probably where I got confused. I mixed up knowing formulas with how many extracts he can prepare per day.
Thanks.


No problem. More nifty extract facts: 1)they only take 1 minute to prepare, so if you leave one open you can turn it into whatever out-of-combat extract you need (well, if you have it in your formula book) 2)they take 1 standard action to "cast;" even if they take a full-round action normally (or a swift action - c'est la vie).

So...once you get the infusion discovery, you can give the biggest melee type in the party an extract of enlarge person that he can quaff on his own as a standard action and then, after the fight, prepare comprehend languages to read the scroll-of-why-you're-here and save the day!


^ They also befit from anything that reduces the time taken to down a potion (Restless Hunger trait, Drunken Brute Barbarian)


deuxhero wrote:
^ They also befit from anything that reduces the time taken to down a potion (Restless Hunger trait, Drunken Brute Barbarian)

Not anything...

FAQ wrote:

Alchemist: Does the Accelerated Drinker feat from Cheliax, Empire of Devils allow a character to drink an alchemist extract as a move action?

No.

—Sean K Reynolds, 10/08/10

Cheliax

deuxhero wrote:
^ They also befit from anything that reduces the time taken to down a potion (Restless Hunger trait, Drunken Brute Barbarian)

No, they don't. Extracts and Mutagens are not the same as potions. They're not covered by the Drunken Brute "move action" item or "Accelerated Drinker" or any of that.

Standard action for the use of an Extract or Mutagen.


Well, the Chirugeon has some special thing at level two that makes all healing class extracts instantly into infusions, which is pretty nifty for helping heal.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't breaking the Alchemist class, since my Pathfinder group hasn't really had an Alchemist in it before.


I also have to ask, what's the difference between brewing a potion and creating an infusion?


You can also use spell trigger items (wands) that are on your extract list. Wand of CLW to out-of-combat heal? Yes, yes you can.


I'm still confused on the difference between applying an infusion to someone else and just giving them a potion.


Lamontius wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
^ They also befit from anything that reduces the time taken to down a potion (Restless Hunger trait, Drunken Brute Barbarian)

No, they don't. Extracts and Mutagens are not the same as potions. They're not covered by the Drunken Brute "move action" item or "Accelerated Drinker" or any of that.

Standard action for the use of an Extract or Mutagen.

"An extract is “cast” by drinking it, as if imbibing a potion"


...so there's no difference?


LeviGratton wrote:
I'm still confused on the difference between applying an infusion to someone else and just giving them a potion.

My last posts refers to the action used. For your question.

Quote:
An extract immediately becomes inert if it leaves the alchemist’s possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an alchemist cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use (but see the “infusion” discovery below).

It's simply impossible if you don't have the Infusion dicovery.


I get how Infusion lets you pass out extracts to companions, but since you can just make potions that can be passed around, is the only difference the fact that you have to pay half the base cost of ingredients when brewing a potion, and that it takes longer to do?


LeviGratton wrote:
I get how Infusion lets you pass out extracts to companions, but since you can just make potions that can be passed around, is the only difference the fact that you have to pay half the base cost of ingredients when brewing a potion, and that it takes longer to do?

That's probably the most important immediate difference. Brew Potions has specific rules, too, to include a spell level cap and "no personal spells." The "no personal spells" restriction makes Infusion seriously awesome.

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