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RPG Superstar 2015

Alchemist Questions (Evil - Way of the Wicked)


Rules Questions

Star Voter 2014

Howdy all,

I'm going to be a player again after nearly three years in the DM seat and this will be my first PF character that I get to play (i/o NPC)

We're playing Way of the Wicked, the 'evil' campaign by Firemountain Games.

Starting at lvl 1 and going to lvl 20!

So, an 'evil' Alchemist! I'm thinking about the Jeckyl & Hyde (mutagens), combined with bombing (should work although it's MAD!)

The plan is 7 levels of Alchemist, then 10 levels of Master Chymist, and then the last 3 levels of Alchemist.

Limited to CRB & APG (and a splash of ultimate equipment). No UM or UC (no exceptions!). Access to MIC and SC from 3.5 upon DM approval.

25 point buy will go a long way, and humans (my race) have been improved and can add +1 to three ability scores. With the 25 point buy, I can't go below 8 or above 16 (but can add three +1's, so it could be 17 max)

I'm going for:
STR 16 (for more damage in mutagen form, I'll be front line!)
DEX 16 (for bombing, better AC, better reflex, more initiative, ...)
CON 14
INT 16 (skills and number of bombs and bomb damage)
WIS 10 (will hurt, especially with low will save progression)
CHA 8 (bit of a dumpstat, but fits well with my background and there are 2 other CHA 16+ characters in the party)

Feats on level 1: Point Blank Shot and Extra Discovery (Feral Mutagen)

Very decent in melee, fair chance to hit with bombs (+5 touch attack at level 1 for 1d6+4 direct and 4 splash)

So: my questions... and I apologize if any have been asked before!

1/ I read on this forum and if the FAQ that drawing, preparing and drinking an extract is a standard action. So I can move 30' and draw/prepare & drink an extract? Or does it have to be prepared ahead of time to be quaffed as a standard action?

2/ The consensus is that there is no way to avoid the AoO for preparing and drinking the extract. Although, even if you take damage, there is no chance the extract will fail and you can still just drink it and have it take effect right?

3/ Can I end my mutagen prematurely? It is 10 minutes per level, what if I want 'out' after 3 minutes? :-)

4/ Point Blank Shot adds 1 damage within 30 feat on a ranged attack. Does it only add to the 'direct hit' damage or also to the splash damage?

5/Drawing and drinking a mutagen: is drawing the mutagen a move action and drinking it a standard action, or is it like an extract: standard action to draw & drink?

6/ What action (how long?) does it take to change shape to the mutated form? Immediately upon imbibing? After a lapse equal to a standard action? At the end of my turn?

I'll have more questions later probably, but I'll start small :-)

Thanks in advance!

Dark Archive

All decent questions and I'll answer as best we can but 2 things need to be addressed first.

A. You can't take Extra discovery at level 1, you need to have the discovery ability itself before being able to take the feat and you don't get that ability until 2nd level. Pick something else.

B. You are going to be EXTREMELY disorganized this way since your mad bomber is focused on Dex and has a really high feat cost (either the TWF chain or the ranged chain (point blank, precise, rapid, improved precise, etc). You will NOT have the feats to fuel both of these paths, I recommend focusing on one or the other not both.

anyway, your answers below:

1. Yes, that's how it works.
2. It's a grey area but SKR has stated he believes the class is an actual caster class with spellcasting levels/abilities in an alternate form so I'd impose concentration checks as normal for using an extract while taking damage. Ask your GM how he'll rule it however.
3. It doesn't actually state it's dispelable. You'll need to ask your GM.
4. Nope, just the direct damage. There's no attack roll on splash damage so it doesn't kick in the PBS.
5. The Extract and Bomb abilities state it's a standard to draw, mix and drink but the Mutagen states it's a standard to drink not draw and drink.
6. It happens at the end of the standard action of drinking it. No delay just like a spell.


Your Melee Damage will be your main bread and butter with feral mutagen so I would suggest getting power attack at level three, a good first level feat would be dodge as you will be the main target and getting hit is always bad remember this also increases your CMD. Bombs will be a good back up when your enemies are at range I would suggest eventually getting dispelling bomb to force the flying wizards to engage in melee.
your low CHA score could be a problem though in WotW so I would suggest stealth so that you can stay of of the way during CHA based infiltration while still being able to enter the fray from a hidden spot. Also you should at least once be able to do the creepy horrible monster steping from the shadows and in to the nightmares of your enemies.

Marathon Voter 2014

Okay, hold on.

You prepare your extracts and mutagens ahead of time, much like memorizing spells for a Wizard.

Once you have them prepared, it simply takes a standard action to "cast" that extract (by drinking it).

It's the same with your Mutagen. You prepare it ahead of time, like memorizing a spell and it has a 24-hour lifespan. At any moment you can "cast" it as a standard action, and bam, instant Mr. Hyde.

With extracts and mutagens, there's no "draw" action associated with them. As long as you have prepared them, they're good to go for use at any moment on a standard action.

Now, potions, oils, elixirs...that's different. Those require the action to retrieve them, then the action to use them.

But simply think of your Extracts and your Mutagen like spells, that you "cast" by drinking them.

Also, if you plan on Mr. Hyde-ing out, remember that you will need Improved Unarmed Strike. Also, someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're going to need Improved Unarmed Strike in order to avoid Attacks-of-Opportunity from your claw/bite attacks.


No, the feral mutagen gives three primary attacks so all will be at full base attack and none of them will provoke an attack of opportunity unless he is using one of them to do a combat maneuver.
From the SRD: '"Armed" Unarmed Attacks: Sometimes a character's or creature's unarmed attack counts as an armed attack. A monk, a character with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, a spellcaster delivering a touch attack spell, and a creature with natural physical weapons all count as being armed (see natural attacks).'

Dark Archive

Had to go looking for the Faq entry on all these to confirm these questions. Have only ever had one alchemist at my table and that was for a single game so I was a bit rusty on the rules.

First:
Alchemist: What kind of action is it to use an extract, mutagen, or throw a bomb?

It is a standard action to use an extract, mutagen, or throw a bomb. This action includes retrieving the necessary materials from the alchemist's supplies, in the same manner as retrieving a material component is included in the act of spellcasting.

—Sean K Reynolds, 08/31/10

Second:
Alchemist: Does the damage bonus from the Point Blank Shot feat apply to bombs?

Yes.

—Sean K Reynolds, 10/22/10

Glad you asked these questions, I needed to research both of these for a game this weekend and I'd feel horrible if I'd ruled these two incorrectly.
(I stand by the rest however)

Star Voter 2014

Thanks guys, that clarifies all of my (first) questions!

Now, on to the next one :-)

7/ If I take a mutagen that boosts my strength by +4, my intelligence takes a -2. Does this affect everything? Specifically:
- Int based skill checks go down with 1
- Number of Bombs decreases by 1
- Bomb damage reduced by 1 (both primary and splash)
- Prepared extracts due to high intelligence (like bonus spells): do I lose the ones that were allowed by high INT if it drops below the threshold?

As to some of your remarks & concerns: thanks for those! Really appreciated! Luckily I won't need Improved Unarmed Strike, as claws and bite count as natural weapons (like a monster's) and don't provoke AoO. As to the 'chaotic' build of mad bomber versus Jeckyl & Hyde, the stats do add up (16/16/14/16/11/8), so stat-wise I'll make it. Feat-wise, I'm not going beyond point blank and precise shot. Rapid, IPBS, two-weapon fighting etc are not on the list. I'll take fast bomber as soon as the BAB makes sense, nothing else. Bombs will be thrown, especially the smoke bomb, dispelling bomb and stinking/poison bomb once available :-)

But the bread and butter is indeed the mutagens... I'm getting more than RAW per day: I can have INT mod (3) prepared ahead of time (including an antidote if I want).

I have a lenient DM ;-)


I believe that mutagen gives a penalty to intelligence in which case your

Int based scores go down by one.

Number of bombs stays the same

bomb Damage is reduced by one as is the reflex save.

Extracts per day are not reduced though the save DC will be.

Star Voter 2014

Just ran our fist 'session' during an entire Roleplaying weekend (+/- 18 hours of play) and already level 3.

First off, Way of the Wicked is a brilliant campaign!!!

The Alchemist is a great class: lots of skills (thanks to high INT and lots of usefull class skills). Mutagen is great for damage dealing, especially with Feral Mutagen! Boms rock, especially as of level 3 with point blank and precise shot and precise bombs. Against a tightly packed bunch of enemies and a good initiative roll, the 'mad bomber' is brutal!

All in all, very pleased with the class and the build. It's often a choice between going all out as Mr Hyde with Claws and Teeth or as Doctor Jeckyl with Bombs (or a combination with a dex mutagen... +2 to hit)

Thanks for the above clarifications, they were immediately useful in game! :-)

Star Voter 2014

Okay, a new question came up:

I have the Discovery/Feat: Precise Bombs, which allows me to deselect INT modifier (3) squares from the bomb's splash area. Great stuff as my allies usually swarm the opponents I want to bomb.

No issues if the bomb hits. Assuming I have to declare ahead of the throw/bomb which squares to exclude from the splash (really? sub-question 1: do I have to declare ahead of time?), no issues, I spare my allies.

Now, what if the bomb misses due to a failed attack roll? (with my rolls, happens quite often)
--> I use the D8 scatter die to see where the bomb lands and then determine the new squares for the splash damage. Can I in this instance still decide to 'spare' some squares with allies in them? Or is the feat useless in this case and do I just shower all adjacent squares in this case with spash damage?

Star Voter 2014

Anyone? :-)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

You should only declare what squares you spare when the bomb hits not before. And for the part 2 the Precise Bombs Discovery does nothing.

Precise Bombs
Benefit: Whenever the alchemist throws a bomb, he can select a number of squares equal to his Intelligence modifier that are not affected by the splash damage from his bombs. If the bomb misses, this discovery has no effect.

I am making a Alchemist (Beastmorph)/Master Chymist for a backup character for a Serpent's Skull campaign I am in. I would not worry or concentrate on bombs very much as you will have very few even at high levels, remember you do not gain extra bombs for your Chymist levels just bomb damage. If you go for a all out bomb hurler you could literally be out of ammo in 2 rounds or so.

My guy would be Alchemist 8/Barbarian 2/Chymist 10.


Philip Dhollander wrote:


But the bread and butter is indeed the mutagens... I'm getting more than RAW per day: I can have INT mod (3) prepared ahead of time (including an antidote if I want).
I have a lenient DM ;-)

Woah woah woah! I demand that you tell your DM that he's essentially giving you a free discovery/feat as well as essentially giving you +2000g every day because that's how much it costs for 2 extra mutagens (going by RAW).

That said, I think the 1000g requirement for extra mutagens is absolutely ridiculous, and that it should be more like 25-50g per character level (also, past level 14 you wouldn't likely need the feat anymore). At the least, you shouldn't be essentially getting the free feat of infuse mutagen though, it should still cost you a discovery to get those 2 extra mutagens per day.

_____________________________________

The following is sort-of off-topic, but whatever.

I don't understand why drinking [and retrieving] a mutagen would be a standard action if drinking and retrieving a potion is a standard+move. Same thing for extracts, although I can kinda understand this part for balance reasons (since with other casters just takes a standard).

Shouldn't alchemists be allowed to draw potions as a swift or free action or something? I don't know if it's just my uninformed belief, but I'm thinking that some DMs kinda ignore this move action to draw potion rule anyway (but not for other items)? Well obviously SOME would, but I mean a reasonable chunk, like at least 1 in 4 or something. One could say that the potion is strapped to one's chest like throwing knives, or even around one's neck (they're only 1 oz), hence really convenient access.

Also, the FAQ says Accelerated Drinker trait won't work with extracts (for whatever reason, again almost certainly balance reasons), but it doesn't mention mutagens; you think they could have easily included mutagens in the FAQ answer to be a little bit comprehensive, no?

Star Voter 2014

@Joesi: I can have - for free - 3 mutagens active at one time (under RAW, brewing time 1 hour, for all three). The 3 is based on my INT modifier, so it increases when I can pump my INT score.

As an offset, I can never make more than 3 (or INT modifier) per day. When they're gone, it's over for the day. As per RAW, I can spend an hour whenever I want to make an extra mutagen... no longer true for this version of the alchemist. So it is kind of balanced. The cost (1000 gp per extra mutagen) is just ridiculous. At worst, the progression should be as the paladin smite or the inquisitor's judgement: 1 + 1/3 levels of the class.


Philip Dhollander wrote:

@Joesi: I can have - for free - 3 mutagens active at one time (under RAW, brewing time 1 hour, for all three). The 3 is based on my INT modifier, so it increases when I can pump my INT score.

As an offset, I can never make more than 3 (or INT modifier) per day. When they're gone, it's over for the day. As per RAW, I can spend an hour whenever I want to make an extra mutagen... no longer true for this version of the alchemist. So it is kind of balanced. The cost (1000 gp per extra mutagen) is just ridiculous. At worst, the progression should be as the paladin smite or the inquisitor's judgement: 1 + 1/3 levels of the class.

RAW says nothing about getting a number of mutagens equal to intelligence modifier simultaneously. It also says nothing about having more than one mutagen even if they're different types.

Quote:
An alchemist can only maintain one dose of mutagen at a time—if he brews a second dose, any existing mutagen becomes inert. As with an extract or bomb, a mutagen that is not in an alchemist’s possession becomes inert until an alchemist picks it up again.

And Infuse mutagen makes it quite clear that you can't normally have multiple functioning mutagens of different types at once (nor can more than mutagen be affecting the character at once either, but I assume you're aware of that one)

Infuse Mutagen wrote:
Benefit: When the alchemist creates a mutagen he can infuse it with an extra bit of his own magical power. This inflicts 2 points of Intelligence damage to the alchemist and costs 1,000 gp in rare reagents, but the mutagen created persists on its own and is not rendered inert if the alchemist creates another mutagen. This allows an alchemist to create different types of mutagens and keep them handy for emergencies. This does not allow an alchemist to gain the effects of multiple mutagens—only the most recently imbibed mutagen has any effect.

By being able to have 3 mutagens premade ready-to-use, you're essentially getting the Prestige class Master Chymist's class feat (req level 10 or something) for free, or the infuse mutagen feat for free, along with no penalty to int when making them, and a 1000 gp (100%) discount in doing so.

The fact that you can make "ONLY THREE" (which would increase to "ONLY FIVE/SIX/SEVEN" later on) is absolutely absurd. It's not like anyone would make much more than 3 in a day anyway (certainly not more than 2 or 3 via the infuse mutagen feat unless they got a huge a discount on the crafting price like you)
Three is a lot of mutagens. It's three times more than what anyone can get without paying lots of money (and int damage), or being high level (and spending a level in a pseudo-non-alchemist class).

You can the GM can do what you guys think works, and it might not be a big deal, but I could only assume alchemists weren't given that sort of ability for a reason; it makes them pretty damn strong being able to go into übermode whenever they want. It's essentially giving the character a net 2 free ability points (or even kinda +4 if it's a dump stat), as well as +2 armor, for essentially all major encounters/combats. If you're also a rage chemist and have feral mutagen, things will be ridiculous; alchemists are already strong if you build them for melee (feral mutagen rage chemist), they don't really need in that field. (although like I said earlier, I think the cost of infuse mutagen is really dumb)


Quote:

RAW says nothing about getting a number of mutagens equal to intelligence modifier simultaneously. It also says nothing about having more than one mutagen even if they're different types.

Quote:

An alchemist can only maintain one dose of mutagen at a time—if he brews a second dose, any existing mutagen becomes inert. As with an extract or bomb, a mutagen that is not in an alchemist’s possession becomes inert until an alchemist picks it up again.

And Infuse mutagen makes it quite clear that you can't normally have multiple functioning mutagens of different types at once (nor can more than mutagen be affecting the character at once either, but I assume you're aware of that one)

you can ignore this, since I know that's not what you're saying; at first I kinda thought it's maybe what you're saying, but I see now it isn't. You didn't really address my original point that it's giving a huge bonus compared to what the rules say (limited to making 3/[int mod] mutagens a day is a very non-penalty/non-limiting "penalty"; it doesn't balance the benefit out at all)


Philip Dhollander wrote:


1/ I read on this forum and if the FAQ that drawing, preparing and drinking an extract is a standard action. So I can move 30' and draw/prepare & drink an extract? Or does it have to be prepared ahead of time to be quaffed as a standard action?

Under Alchemist in the Alchemy section, the 4th paragraph, last 2 lines read:

"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."

The word "prepare" in your first question has several meanings. If you have prepared your extracts at the beginning of the day, it is a standard action to draw your extract and drink it. If you have an empty extract slot, preparing the extract takes a minute.

Star Voter 2014

the board ate my post (rather lengthy post)... F*CK!

@Joesi: summary of eaten post: yes, it is very powerful, but the RAW alchemist can make 10 or even 20 mutagens per day if needed, IF he has one hour between encounters (usually the case, unless in a dungeon bash with dozens of rooms full of monsters). I can never have more than INT mod per day (3 now). The RAW alchemist can make one more mutagen before bedtime for the night time ambush... I can't when I'm tapped out...

Is it really good? YES! Was it needed to survive the first two-three levels of Way of the Wicked? Yes :-)

@Mapleswitch: I prepare in the morning, so with those prepared extracts, I can move + draw + drink in one round! Cool :-)

Star Voter 2014

New question!

This Discovery (Master Chymist):

Furious Mutagen (Ex): The damage dice for the feral mutagen’s bite and claw attacks increase by one die step. The character must have an effective alchemist level (alchemist level plus chymist level) of at least 11 and must have the feral mutagen discovery or advanced mutagen to select this ability.

--> Does that mean that the die size simply increases by one, thus becomes the next highest die available? D4-D6-D8-D10-D12?

OR

--> Does it mean that the "die step" increases by one? (as if you cast enlarge person while holding a weapon)? D6 becomes D8, but D8 becomes 2D6 and 2D6 becomes 3D6?

Thanks!
Philip

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