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Advice on a melee Alchemist build?


Advice


So I've been working on a mutagen-focused Alchemist that will eventually go into Master Chymist for PFS, largely working from Ogre's Alchemist Guide.

Here's what I've got:

Half-Orc Beastmorph Alchemist
STR 19 (+2 from Half-orc)
DEX 12
CON 12
INT 14
WIS 10
CHA 8

Half-Orc Traits:
Scavenger (replaces Intimidating)
Orc Ferocity
City Raised (replaces Weapon Familiarity)
Skilled (replaces Darkvision)
(These choices are mostly role-playing based)

Feats:
1: Throw Anything and Extra Bombs from Alchemist
1: Medium Armor Proficiency

Traits:
Insider Knowledge (Knowledge (Local))
Armor Expert

Extracts:
Cure Light Wounds
Identify
Enlarge Person
Shield

Mostly I'm struggling with feat choice. I threw on Med. Armor Proficienct to make him a little more durable on the front lines, but I don't know if the feat is weak or not. I was also thinking about moving around a few stats to get a little more CON. Also, would getting Improved Unarmed Strike to build up the Kirin Style chain be worth it?

Cheliax

I don't think it's worth it grabbing Medium Armour Proficiency. Between shield and mutagen you should be pretty well armoured, especially once you get a mithral breastplate (I notice you have Armour Expert, which will allow you to use a mithral one without proficiency).

I would not get City Raised. A greataxe is amazing for an alchemist to use, and certainly better than any other choice.

As for stats, I would recommend taking a point out of strength to bump constitution up to 14. As a feat, you can't really go wrong with Iron Will, especially with your wisdom of 10.


Thanks for the tips!

I realize I'm missing out on the greataxe, but a longsword isn't so much worse, and the +2 to knowledge (local) fits better with my idea of an urban half-orc scientist/anthropologist who researches (but has never experienced first-hand) orc culture.

Also, the strength point move would be okay, but then I'm stuck with an odd point at level 12 (if I get that high). I'll see if I can't finagle something else?

Any opinion on the Kirin Style chain? It essentially lets me get some combat bonuses for making the appropriate knowledge checks (although my only class-skill knowledges are arcana, nature, and local--not useless, but by no means comprehensive). I also couldn't take the last feat in the chain unless I somehow got to 13th level.
Kirin Style Kirin Strike Kirin Path

Cheliax

No problem.

A longsword isn't a poor weapon, but you will notice the difference. I would actually suggest longspear as well if you're going to not be using the orc weapons anyway.

Are you planning on grabbing Feral Mutagen at level 2? What are your other feat and discovery plans? As for the odd point of strength, you shouldn't worry too much about that: first of all, with modules you can get a PFS character up above level 16; second, planning for your mid-levels is probably more useful right now. 18 is the magic number, and anything else is probably redundant, especially if we can give you more health.

I'm not a fan of Kirin Style for alchemists for a few reasons. The prerequisites are harsh for a class with no bonus feats and too many nice discoveries, you're lowering your intellect with your mutagen, and you're correct in that your pool of knowledge is likely to be mediocre. The bonuses to damage and the eventual movement from Kirin Path are all based on intellect as well, which you're likely to have at maybe 18 by the time you get to level 13 while buffed up. I'm not saying it will be awful, but there may be better choices.


My suggestion - increase Dex and Con - you will be a frontliner, so the extra hp and AC will be good. Yes you loose STR, but your survivability increases.
Get vestigal arm for a shield later on, you can hold a large darkwood shield without penalties and don't need to cast shield (saves time).
Feat suggestion for 1st level: Splash weapon mastery, if you miss, you have a chance to a) still get splash damage off and b) avoid your friends.
I have a similar build: STR 17, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 10, Cha 7
Increaeses to Str first, then INT.
I would take the racial trait which gives you +1 to all saves, really worth it IMHO.


Here's the plan for my discoveries and feats:

Alchemist:
1: Throw Anything, Extra Bombs, Ferocious Resolve/Iron Will/Toughness
2: Feral Mutagen
3: Power Attack
4: Lingering Spirit/Spontaneous Healing/Tanglefoot Bag/maybe Vestigial Arm for a shield?
5: See level 1/Extra Discovery
6: Wings/see level 4
7: See level 1/Extra Discovery
8: Force Bomb/Combine Extracts

Master Chymist:
9: Extra Discovery
10: Advanced Mutagen: ???
11: Extra Discovery/Improvised Weapon Mastery
12: Advanced Mutagen: Greater Mutagen


Personally I prefer the vivesectionist for melee as long as you can get the gm to allow your bombs to add to sneak attack from master chemist


I have a melee alchemist in PFS and i can say that lingering spirits has saved his life on a few occasions.


Vivisectionist, unfortunately, is not PFS legal. I think I can also go without the wings discovery, as the beastmorph alchemist can add a fly speed to his mutagen form (although it's not as far or maneuverable). The only thing that I'm somewhat torn about is that if I took alchemist up to 10 I could get the ever-elusive pounce...


To be perfectly fair, an alchemist (especially a melee alchemist) can pretty much get by with having a 12 INT at level 1 (if you basically spend your attribute points in intelligence as you level up, you will always have enough intelligence to learn your new extracts when you need to).

In addition, I've found that Master Chemist is kinda like a 'trap' class. Sure, it looks good for flavor of course, but most of the benefits you gain from the class are pretty much the same benefits that you can gain from the alchemist class on its own.

On a side note, here are a few feats/discoveries that you need to consider:

1) Extend Potion and Eternal Potion - the main goal is to end up with Eternal Potion of course (I mean, think about it...if there was a feat that said 'you are constantly under the effect of haste' or 'you are constantly under the effect of Good Hope'...EVERYONE would take that feat).

2) Healing Touch - it basically upgrades spontaneous healing, giving you fast healing 5 for a number of rounds per day equal to your level (and it also can help your party as well).

3) Preserve Organs and Mummification - gaining immunity to cold/nonlethal damage/sleep/paralysis are all good benefits (not to mention getting the fortification benefit from preserve organs). Mummification also combos well with the Ablative Barrier extract.

4) Infusion - giving your party the ability to gain access to your extracts can be VERY useful (especially since extracts only require a standard action to both retrieve and drink). This discovery really is a must have.

5) Tumor Familiar - Getting Iron Will + Alertness (or Improved Initiative + Alertness) are both really good options.

In addition to the above mentioned feats/discoveries, you also wanna try to stack as many natural attacks as possible (especially when you're aiming for a Feral Mutagen build). Items such as Helm of the Mammoth Lord, Demon Talons (which can be used on vestigial arms...or Talons of Leng if your GM won't allow Demon Talons), and the Tentacle discovery can all give you a few more extra attacks.

An amulet of mighty fists and a vest of stable mutation are both good options as well.


There are a few things that the Master Chymist gives you that straight alchemist can't. It bumps up the BAB progression (and therefore the hit die accordingly) and more or less keeps the same save progression, but most importantly it allows you to use your mutagen form much more than the regular alchemist. As written, an alchemist can use as many mutagens per day as he can make, but it takes an hour every time, which is not always feasible. It also grants you access to advanced mutagens, and there's not really anything else that can help you upgrade your mutagen before level 12. That said, I'm sure going straight alchemist is also fairly rewarding, I am just more interested in my character going the master chymist route.

As for the gear, where is the Helm of the Mammoth Lord, and what does it do? I can't seem to find any stats for it.


It seems to give a gore attack, but i'm not sure of the details since i can't find it on the SRD - whether its counted as a primary attack etc.

What do you guys thinking of dipping into Barbarian, possibly Wild Rager, since the level 2 feature allows you to make an additional attack with a somewhat small penalty to atk rolls and AC? You could take Lesser Fiend Totem to get a gore attack while raging too.

Just need to figure how to bump Will saves in order to counter the confusion effect, but since you're dipping the barb levels won't go up.


Wild rager isn't allowed in PFS, but barbarian could be useful.

I played pretty much exactly what you are planning, but I also took vivisectionist until they banned it. I'm currently lv 13 (10 alche, 1 barb, 2 master chym) playing the retirement arc. Some advice

- Lower your str for more dex and con, if you plan to be a front line fighter with a d8 hd you will want a lot of hp.

- I would suggest taking something to improve that weak will save of yours. Both the iron will feat and the indomitable faith trait both increase will saves.

- The spontaneous healing and healing touch discoveries are worth taking for a front line fighter. It also allows you to stabilize allies in an emergency (I've done this a few times so far).

- Lingering spirit can save your life (it has saved mine a few times).

- At higher lvs it's nice to have a ranged weapon (bombs), both fast bombs and force bombs would be useful. The first allows you to throw more than 1 bomb a round, and the 2nd bypasses all dr and resistances. Or you could take a different discovery to add a status effect to your bombs.

- Preserve organs and mummification are great. Paralysis immunity is awesome, also grants immunity to hold person. Works great with ablative barrier (hello dr5/-), and since ablative barrier doesn't actually give dr, it stacks with stoneskin.

- You can get away with a low int, but personally I wouldn't. You would be missing out on skill points, extra extracts, extra bombs, higher bomb damage and dcs.

- Some of the extracts I use the most are shield, barkskin, ablative barrier, alchemical allocation and universal formula. And once I get it, I'm sure delayed consumption will be aded to that list.

Depending how you built it, an alchemist can be one rock solid tank. My alchemist at lv 13 is one hell of a beast. I can buff my ac up to 40, I've got over 130 hp, I wouldn't die until -32 hp, with spontaneous healing/healing touch I can heal a little as a free action or auto stabilize if unconscious, or use it on an ally if needed. The group I'm playing the retirement arc with, our 2 front liners are myself and a monk that can buff his ac even higher than me (who has died 9 times since character creation).


Why did you dip only 1 into barbarian? Just for Rage?

And is there anything from alchemist/chymist that can negate the fatigue from raging?


Ok not read it all yet.

But here is what one of my players done:

Vestigial Arm Discovery and Multiweapon Fighting.

Now it isn't exactly perfect but it is passable. Though it might not be usable in PFS.

Nothing else I can add that hasn't already been suggested.


Helm of the Mammoth Lord is in the Ultimate Equipment and it basically grants you a 1d6 gore attack (primary attack of course). It also gives you endure elements for cold and lets you speak with elephant-like creatures.

I understand your point about the mutagens, but keep in mind that your mutagen already lasts you 10 minutes per level (and when you gain Persistent Mutagen at level 14, you can basically have it on all the time). Furthermore, losing out on extracts in the Master Chemist route isn't really appealing (at least in my opinion).

Advanced Mutagens are nice, but again, aside from the ability to automatically enlarge yourself (which is something you can already do with extracts anyway), I don't really think that its worth again (in terms of power at least, but as I said, if you got your heart set on it, then feel free to pursue it).

Greater, Grand, and True Mutagen all give you amazing benefits on their own, which is one reason why I normally encourage most peps to just stick with a straight alchemist.

On a final note, I really would encourage you to go ahead and focus on steal, acrobatics, and disable device. An alchemist with this skill set can really contribute to the party (granted, you can't disable magic traps, but magic traps really are pretty rare as it is).

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