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Zenith's Guide to the Alchemist


Advice

Shadow Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I've made a guide to the Alchemist! Comments, questions, and concerns are appreciated. Let me know if you disagree with anything, or if I've left anything out.

Zenith's Guide to the Alchemist

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

...WHAT?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?

ANOTHER GUIDE TO THE ALCHEMIST?!?!

HOW DARE YOU!!!!

I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO OFFENDED IN ALL OF MY LIFE, I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS BZ!!!

In non comically over dramatic responses...pink, really? Not sky blue or purple?

It looks like a fun read, I'm looking forward to looking over it in greater depth, see if I don't have any suggestions and such. Let me know if you'd like your guide linked with mine.

EDIT: Since you're only talking about the bomber alchemist, shouldn't the guide's name reflect that? You have given me reason to look over Fast Bombs again though.

Shadow Lodge

Learned from the best! Yeah, I think pink stands out more.

Sure, let's cross link guides. I'll put that in.

Fast bombs are my favorite!


Reading through it.
while I don't know if it would change the level value. (it does for me but I like weird things) There are some discoveries I would note.

-------------
Healing Touch is a tad more useful than you imply. I don't think its useful for healing others.. but it increases your self healing quite abit. Well doubles what you get from Spontaneous Healing anyway. Worth mentioning I think on the quick overview you do.

Not amazing, but I think worth mentioning anyway.

------------
probably not worth it. but I believe Spell Knoweldge techicnally allows you to get Arcane Strike.
Not exactly a reason to pick it up, but it is an interesting little sidenote. If someone was interested in it for some other reason, it would be a nice bonus. Or I suppose if they were trying to build off of arcane strike (there are a few things in ACG that do I think?)
(I only realized because I wanted to pick it up to get Acid Touch, to make potions of it to use with my Injection Spear and VMC magus)

-------------
I like the guide. Its always nice to see different viewpoints..

I almost want to write up poison centric stuff.. though Njolly covers that all very well.


Intend to read this later (I have confidence that it will be good), but +1 on the suggestion to rename the guide to have Mad Bomber Alchemist instead of just Alchemist in the title, to pave the way for complementary guides to other types of Alchemist (Jekyll and Hyde Alchemist and Virtuoso Alchemist come to mind, although the latter falls more properly under the role of Investigator if you can get your hands on it).


From the feats section:
"Deadly Aim (***): Now here's an interesting one. You get to trade your ability to hit for extra damage. You are going to be attacking touch, so that's not a huge issue. However, the damage boost isn't huge and you may be better off with another feat."

Deadly Aim can't be used with touch attacks.

And I've never used Two-Weapon Fighting but even if it works with bombs the feat says you get -6 with your primary hand and -10 with your other hand. Bombs are probably light weapons so you reduce them by 2 but adding rapid shot that is still a penalty of -6/-6/-10.

Shadow Lodge

@ Zwordsman: Really good catch on healing touch. I didn't see that it doubled healing. I've upgraded the color. Not sure on the Arcane Strike bit, I'll have to think about that.
Yeah, N.Jolly covers poisons and alchemical items very well. I didn't see a need to redo that.

@Unarcane Election: I think the guide actually just covers the whole alchemist class except for the Vivisectionist. My professional opinion is that bombs are much more powerful than melee, and that melee should be treated as a sub-role. I talk a bit about how to make that work, but I can talk a bit more about it if you think it's not clear.

If anybody has a non-vivisectionist Alchemist for whom melee is a better option than bombs in general, I'd love to see it. Running the numbers though, bombs seem much better (unless you are a vivisectionist, obviously).

@Bigguyinblack: Really good call on Deadly Aim. I'll remove that. Assuming bombs are a light weapon, the TWF feat actually brings the penalty down to -2 with your primary hand and -2 with your off hand. With Rapid shot, that's a total of three attacks at full BAB -4. Well worth it when attacking touch.

Shadow Lodge

As a side note, how do people feel about me arranging discoveries, feats, and the like in order of strength, rather than in alphabetical order? It's my preferred way of looking at a guide while making a build. Thoughts?


I liked it. It let me compare big hitters side by side, and I could really see the power level drop steadily as I went down the lists. Not a bad job at all. There's a few proofread errors so you might read through real slow and keep a close eye on words that seem to be autocorrected, but it's all easy enough to follow.

I do wish that guides would include the actual wording of the abilities as they're discussing them, for the sake of clarity, perhaps in a spoiler type format if one is available. A hyperlinked name would be functional also.

I do see spots where our opinions differ on a few abilities, for instance I value the bomb extracts much higher for being able to inflict two statuses at once on the first turn. Sure one is much weaker, but if you have an extract to spare it can easily be a great way to save action economy. Anything sugary on top of my cake is good enough for me I suppose.


I thunk ordering by genre and then usefulness isnt a bad idea


Broken Zenith wrote:
If anybody has a non-vivisectionist Alchemist for whom melee is a better option than bombs in general, I'd love to see it. Running the numbers though, bombs seem much better (unless you are a vivisectionist, obviously).

I don't know about the numbers, but last time I checked this awesome Second Darkness PbP (admittedly I have fallen way behind :-(), this brawling Alchemist was the linchpin of the party.

Broken Zenith wrote:
As a side note, how do people feel about me arranging discoveries, feats, and the like in order of strength, rather than in alphabetical order? It's my preferred way of looking at a guide while making a build. Thoughts?

Could go either way on that, although I am a bit biased towards alphabetical listing due to this being easier to find stuff on Google Docs (which is slow to search -- doesn't apply to your guide, though -- thanks for hosting it on something else).


Broken Zenith wrote:
As a side note, how do people feel about me arranging discoveries, feats, and the like in order of strength, rather than in alphabetical order? It's my preferred way of looking at a guide while making a build. Thoughts?

Pointing to the good stuff is more useful than rating the stuff i already found before opening the guide, so that's a yes on order by usefulness.


Broken Zenith wrote:

@ Zwordsman: Really good catch on healing touch. I didn't see that it doubled healing. I've upgraded the color. Not sure on the Arcane Strike bit, I'll have to think about that.

Yeah, N.Jolly covers poisons and alchemical items very well. I didn't see a need to redo that.

@Unarcane Election: I think the guide actually just covers the whole alchemist class except for the Vivisectionist. My professional opinion is that bombs are much more powerful than melee, and that melee should be treated as a sub-role. I talk a bit about how to make that work, but I can talk a bit more about it if you think it's not clear.

If anybody has a non-vivisectionist Alchemist for whom melee is a better option than bombs in general, I'd love to see it. Running the numbers though, bombs seem much better (unless you are a vivisectionist, obviously).

@Bigguyinblack: Really good call on Deadly Aim. I'll remove that. Assuming bombs are a light weapon, the TWF feat actually brings the penalty down to -2 with your primary hand and -2 with your off hand. With Rapid shot, that's a total of three attacks at full BAB -4. Well worth it when attacking touch.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light.

Unless the PRD has a major typo it is only reduced by 2 each. Maybe with more feats it is reduced by more but with just TWF and Rapid Shot you are looking at big penalties.

Shadow Lodge

The text next to the word "normal" denotes what the rules are if you don't have the feat.

The text next to the word "benefit" denotes what the rules are if you do have the feat.

I am suggesting that we pick up the feat.

Alternatively, you can look at this chart.


Broken Zenith wrote:

The text next to the word "normal" denotes what the rules are if you don't have the feat.

The text next to the word "benefit" denotes what the rules are if you do have the feat.

I am suggesting that we pick up the feat.

Alternatively, you can look at this chart.

My mistake.

Silver Crusade

Okay, finally reading over this, I'll give some thoughts here.

-Not sure why you have "roles and subroles" when you only have 2 options, I'd consider just knocking that down to either roles or subroles.

-Even if you think the alchemist is entirely better with bombs, I still think the guide should denote it's a bomber guide since the title is very open with what could be in it. If someone's looking for melee stuff, it'd be nice to know that they're not going to find that being given the same focus as ranged stuff.

-As for "options in descending order of value", for me I'm not the biggest fan, but that's just personal preference, it works fine that way. I just enjoy the mesh because it makes me feel better about finding a good option, and makes the options feel more organic and less forced. Again, it's purely preference, this way of doing things is fine.

-Grenadier is still purple/pink for me, although I love mixing alchemical items in a hybridization flask and just messing around with that.

-I was a little shocked mindchemist was only orange, I figured the additional damage would be enough to push it over into green.

-Again, I'm all on the void bomb bus, especially having a solid debuff on a successful save too. I'd say it's the best elemental substitute.

-Confusion Bomb for me has too many 'edge' cases of arguing for it to hit blue for me, as well as the question of "does it count as being attacked for the purposes of confusion's effects?" A little too finicky for my taste, I'd go green at highest, although it's red in my guide almost out of spite for the annoying rulings more than anything.

-Inferno Bomb comes in at the point where fire damage is a lot weaker sadly, while stink bomb has some more time to shine before everything is poison immune. I'm a fan of the base smoke bomb as long as you're willing to invest in some way to see in smoke, making it a control option. I will admit without the investment, it probably is orange.

-Why no love for celestial poisons? After a point, a lot of your foes will end up being evil outsiders/undead, and keeping the door for poison open to them is a solid decision if you're focusing on poison.

-GLAD SOMEONE ELSE REALIZES WINGS ISN'T FREAKING GREEN! Sorry, of the few things that bugged me in my guide, people positing that Wings was anything higher than orange was most of them.

-I'd say Extra Bombs is green based on your description of it. It's a secondary feat at the best of times, but a solid one.

-Dodge feels a little lower than green to me.

-Planar Preservationist is purple/pink if you're going preservationist, the amount of options it opens up is straight up beautiful, and summoned monsters outstrip summoned animals pretty quickly in the area of versatility, something that a summoner wants.

-It's worth noting Diehard is better if you take Adopted with the skinwalker trait that counts as Endurance for prerequisites, assuming you're willing to pay a trait over a feat for it.

-I wanted to like Focused Burn more, but eventually you're probably not using fire damage bombs as much, and the damage scales VERY slowly, making it a lackluster trait in play.

Overall I liked it though, it was a solid read, and a few things that you've put up made me think that I should reevaluate my own guide once I finally build up the determination to do so.


Here is my case for why Mindchemist/Cognatogen should be green if not blue.

Mindchemist gives you the Cognatogen instead of the mutagen. The difference is a +4 int and a penalty to str, which we don't need, opposed to a +4 to dex and a penalty to our will saves.
+4 dex gives us up to 2 ac and +2 to hit. Since we are going against touch the +2 to hit is less good than if we were going against full AC.
+4 int gives us 2 damage per bomb, +2 to the reflex saves of our bombs splash and +2 to the DC of the effects of our bombs, making them more likely to stick. Both still give you the +2 natural armor.

Since you never explained why you feel Cognatogens are so bad compared to mutagens it's hard to know exactly what to compare against.


The Bombchucker is a good item to add to your list.


Chess Pwn wrote:
The Bombchucker is a good item to add to your list.

bit of a lack of the useful stats for that item.. but sure sounds pretty neat.

wonder if they have the stats on that on d20 or something


Zwordsman wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
The Bombchucker is a good item to add to your list.

bit of a lack of the useful stats for that item.. but sure sounds pretty neat.

wonder if they have the stats on that on d20 or something

did you not click the link?

"Using a bombchucker increases the range increment of any thrown splash weapon by 10 feet" which would include bombs. It's a super inexpensive way of increasing your range.


Okay, I finally got to read the guide, so my observations follow.

In the section about Fast Bombs, you call it a feat, but it is actually an Alchemist Discovery (I know about Extra Alchemist Discovery, but this actually makes a difference if you are really feat-starved (VMC, perhaps?), and lets you get it 1 level earlier than the feat would, unless you dipped an odd number of levels in something else).

Races: Surprised I have only seen this pointed out in one guide (unfortunately I can't remember which one), but a race that gives you a bonus in your dump stat is not all bad. This means that if you dump that stat, you just get down to 9 instead of 7 (or worse), which still gives you back 4 points you can use to invest somewhere else. If this is a stat that you really wanted at 10 rather than a true dump stat, you could even put one level-based ability score increase into it, with the same efficiency (in terms of effective point buy points earned) as an unmodified stat that you had bought up to 13 or 14. Not great, but not as bad as it seems at first glance.

Fire Bomber is not listed in your Archetypes section, even though you mention it with Goblin. Other racial archetypes (of which quite a lot are available, including a second Goblin archetype that can be stacked with Fire Bomber) are not mentioned at all (at least in the Archetypes section -- just got done with this).

I think I can answer Chess Pwn's recommendations (above) of Cognatogen: It isn't just a mirror image of Mutagen, but actually leaves ability damage to the score that it penalized (strangely, Mutagen doesn't do this). This isn't something that you want to do, especially to a score that you dumped. Fortunately, Lesser Restoration is a 2nd level Extract.

Boneshard Bomb sounds brokenly overpowered, considering how much you save in reagent costs relative to its prerequisite (Alchemical Zombie). Also strange that the animated corpses get the Skeleton Template instead of the Zombie Template.

Delayed Bomb and Remote Bomb could be good if you are into Special Ops. Strange that Remote Bomb is a feat instead of an Alchemist Discovery.

Implant Bomb would be great for a villain. Again, strange that it is a feat instead of an Alchemist Discovery.

Ricochet Splash Weapon: Doesn't this also work with your Bombs?

Cure Wounds series: I would rate the first two of these Blue, because you will be glad to have these in case your primary healer goes down. After the first two, you start falling too much behind 9/9 spellcasters that have the Cure Wounds series, so a lower rating is applicable, although I wouldn't put the higher levels into the Red.

Duplicate Familiar sounds like Twin Form for Familiars: It would let you get a lot more use out of a Tumor Familiar (you don't have to worry about it dying), and with Infusion (actually not sure if this is necessary) let your Shaman (especially), Witch (even more especially) or Wizard friend likewise get a lot more use out of their Familiar. Sounds Green to me, or Blue if you have Infusion and a friend with a Familiar, or Purple if your friend is a Shaman, Witch or other class archetype with a spell storing Familiar.

Why is Neutralize Poison Red? If somebody gets a really nasty poison in them, Delay Poison might not be good enough.

Vest of Stable Mutation sounds like it would be Blue if you are going to go Jekyll and Hyde, especially if you want to interleave this with Bombing. Too bad it sounds like it doesn't work on Cognatogen, though (or even if it does, it wouldn't prevent the ability damage afterwards; if it did, it would be Purple).

Poisoner's Gloves can be each be used once per day, so you are limited to 2 attacks with these per day. Too bad Vestigial Arms can't be upgraded to give you extra attacks, but you COULD carry around several Poisoner's Gloves, temporarily hand them to your Tumor Familiar, use Monstrous Physique to morph into a multi-armed form, and then put the gloves on.

Multiclassing into Fighter: If you are really feat-starved (VMC maybe?) and wnat to go Jekyll and Hyde with Combat Maneuvers, a 2 level dip in Lore Warden gives you Combat Expertise (unfortunately a needed prerequisite for several of them) and 2 other feats. If you need Diehard and Endurance for some reason, a 1 level dip into Unbreakable Fighter gets you both of these. Still probably Orange for the reasons you say, but worth noting, but see build thoughts below for builds where it might potentially rise to Green.

Anything come to mind to do with VMC? I have some thoughts but will have to do more study on this later, but for starters, VMC Oracle (Flame (Gaze of Flames)) will let you see through your Smoke Bombs without penalty (unfortunately one stage of this is eaten with the goofy Curse Focus, but getting Stabilize as an Orison could actually be useful in case your primary healer goes down -- just don't dump Charisma below 10), and later you can get Wings of Fire to let you save on Fly Extracts, and note that picking the Wasting Curse will eventually get you immunity to the Nauseated condition, so that you can move through your own Stink Bomb clouds without penalty; VMC Sorcerer (Ghoul, Nanite, or Orc) unfortunately lags behind the Eldritch Heritage feat chain, but could get you useful powers for your Jekyll and Hyde side without needing to pump Charisma (and Orc even gives you a list of Bloodline Feats that might be useful around level 11); VMC Wizard (Conjuration:Teleportation) to be able to teleport out of trouble (or in to make trouble), and later you can get the Wizard Discovery Knowledge is Power to use your high Intelligence to improve your Combat Maneuver Checks and CMD (especially after you get a Vest of Stable Mutation so that you can fully stack it with the effects of your Mutagen), although the Cantrip you get in the meantime isn't likely to be as useful as Stabilize.

How did you get Pounce and Trip (and eventually Grab) on the Vivisectionist/Beastmorph build?

Build thoughts: If you wield a polearm (or a Whip or other non-two-handeded Reach weapon, but these require an awful lot of feats to make them good -- see below) and have Combat Reflexes and an Improved (eventually Greater) Combat Maneuver that you can do in place of an attack (most likely you want Trip), you can Bomb and control the area around you at the same time; once you get a Vest of Stable Mutation you can even be Mutagenized at the same time without hurting your Bombing. Enlarge Person and/or Longarm make this even better (with both you will control a huge area). If you go for a Smoke Bomb build with something like VMC Oracle (Flame (Gaze of Flames)), you could really wreak havoc on the battlefield even though the 2 level Lore Warden Fighter dip will delay your Alchemist class features. Weapons to do this with follow.

Longspear: not the greatest, but since it is a simple weapon, it doesn't require a feat, archetype, martial dip, or particular race/alternate racial trait to get proficiency with the weapon;

Guisarme and Horsechopper: martial polearms with Reach and Trip, and otherwise somewhat better than a Longspear -- if you Grenadier archetype gets you proficiency without needing a particular race/alternate racial trait;

Dwarven Dorn Dergar: both reach and close range; if you are a Dwarf, the Grenadier archetype gets you proficiency, and since you are probably getting Two-Weapon Fighting anyway, you will qualify for Dorn Dergar Mastery to make it one-handed (although you also need Darting Viper to make this really good);

Elven Branched Spear: +2 to Attacks of Opportunity and works with Weapon Finesse; if you are an Elf, being a Grenadier or taking a martial dip gets you proficiency if you are a Half-Elf, you can trade in Skill Focus for proficiency; get Agile weapon enhancement if you can;

Fauchard: exotic no matter what race you are (but being a Half-Elf that trades in Skill Focus for proficiency can still work for this), but with a Reach, Trip, and Critical 19-20/x2, you will be slicing and dicing with it, especially if you get the Keen enchantment;

Kobold Long Lash Tail Attachment: requires that you be a Kobold with the Tail Terror feat and a feat, Grenadier archetype, or a martial dip to get proficiency, but leaves your hands free without needing to spend a Discovery on Tentacle or Vestigial Limb; the downside is that since you are Small, Enlarge Person just gets you up to Medium and therefore doesn't improve your reach significantly;

Whip: requires a lot of feats to make it good, so you probably need a 2 level dip in Lore Warden Fighter to make this work; you can save on the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat if you are a Half-Elf who traded in Skill Focus for proficiency or a Half-Orc who traded out Ferocity for Orc Ferocity for Beastmaster and take the Grenadier archetype or the martial dip (these combinations also get you Net proficiency), or traded out Weapon Familiarity for City-Raised (also gets you Longsword proficiency, and doesn't require martial dip or an archetype, although you probably need the martial dip anyway for the feats), or picked Caravan Drover as one of your traits and took the Grenadier archetype or a martial dip.

Edit: Added Oracle's Curse to VMC Oracle above.

Shadow Lodge

Okay! Let's go down the list.

@ Bigguyinblack: No worries!

@ N. Jolly

- Good call, changed that to just "Sub-Roles"

- Eh, it covers everything the Alchemist can do except for one Archetype. I do talk a bit about melee, but my opinion is that optimizing the Alchemist means realizing that bombs should be your priority. But I'll point out the melee options a bit more where I see that I've truely undersold it.

- Pink I just reserve for "everybody absolutely must take this, regardless of build." It feels a bit strange to apply this to an archetype, given that it precludes other valid options (such as beastmorph), but you're right, the Grenadier is really good.

- I just really don't like the Cognatogens. I'll explain that a bit better in the archetype and discoveries page.

-Yeah, void bombs are pretty sweet. I've made a note that if you are a drow, you should definitely get them.

- Oh man, I love confusion bombs. They are encounter ending, as far as I'm concerned, and targeting Will is a beautiful thing as it's rare for a bomb.

- I try not to rate things based on the paradigm that you'll be fighting a lot of demons and such at higher levels. Hopefully your GM knows to vary enemies and encounters enough Inferno Bombs will be good. against plenty of enemies.

- Same explanation. I hate discoveries and feats that just help you against specific enemy types. If you know your campaign is going in that direction, then definitely grab it. Otherwise, trust your Gm to vary encounters. You've already invested enough into Poisons.

- Yeah, only get wings if you like the flavor. Otherwise, stick with the extract.

- I think extra bombs are really important. They are a good fallback once you've taken all the key discoveries and feats, but for that reason perhaps they should be green. Alright, I'll downgrade them.

- I suppose Planar Preservationist is a bit better than I said initially. I'll change the text a bit.

- I actually alway have liked dodge. A straight +5% miss chance on opponents is a nice little thing to have from the start of a camapgin to the end.

- Sure, but that skinwalker thing is a bit of an edge case.

- By level 7, focused burn is equivalent to Weapon Specialization. By level 15, it's equivalent to two weapon specializations. It's true that you won't be throwing fire bombs all the time, but when you use tanglefoot, confusion, curse, or the like, those deal fire damage. That's pretty good for a trait!

- Glad you liked it!

@ Chess Pwn

- I've talked a bit more about why I don't like Cognatogen on the guide, but essentially I hate the ability damage, and with Grand you are forced to penalize ability scores you are using (Dex or Con).

- Bombchucker is a great item! That's a fantastic find, thanks. I'll also add that to Improving Your Class with items

@UnArcaneElection:
- Good call, fixed the fast bombs discovery typo

- Sure, I'm not downgrading a race because it gives you a bonus in your dump stat. I'm downgrading a race because it doesn't give you a bonus in a stat you want. A bonus in a stat you want is far more effective than a bonus in a stat you don't want. If you want Int at 18 and Cha at 10, then a +2 bonus to Int is going to save you 7 point buy points, while a +2 bonus to Cha is only going to save you 2 point buy points.

- Yeah, I need to add those racial archetypes.

- Yup, I agree on the Cognatogen.

- Yeah, I kind of thing Boneshard Bomb is overpowered. I almost put it at pink, but I hesitate to do that with discoveries I haven't seen in action.

- Delayed Bomb, Remove Bomb, and Implant Bomb, are all fun, flavorful, and interesting. However, I have a tough time recommending them from a optimization point of view.

- Yeessss, I think that it would work with bombs. Guess I should upgrade that! Still though, I've only upgraded it to an orange. It would very rarely get used.

- I hate to be the guy that always talks about wands, but honestly you should just buy a wand for those cure spells. I've made a note of that.

- Huh, I hadn't thought about it for use with other people's familiars. Interesting! I'll give it a qualified green in that case.

- For neutralize poison, you need to make a caster check against the DC of the poison. For Delay poison, they are just automatically immune to poison. If it's a really nasty poison, I would prefer that there's no chance it continues to affect me now. Let's deal with it outside of combat.

- Yeah, you are right that the Vest of Stable mutation would help with Strength Mutagens. I'll make a note of that. Too bad it's so pricey. Might as well upgrade your headband of Intelligence at that price.

- Damn, I didn't catch that poisoner's glovers were once per day. I'll downgrade that to green I think.

- I'll add in the note about Fighter.

- Honestly, I don't know that much about VMC, but I think my objections to multiclassing would still apply - right?

- Pounce and Trip are gotten from Beastmorph. At 10th level he can choose 3 "abilities" from Beast Shape II. Pounce, Trip and grab are all in there.

-I'm probably not going to include to much on specific weapons to use. My suggestion if you are tanking is really feral mutagen for the natural attacks anyway. But that all looks absolutely correct.

Phew! Did I miss anything?


I haven't felt the str damage really, but I guess I understand why you rate it so poorly.


Broken Zenith wrote:

{. . .}

- Honestly, I don't know that much about VMC, but I think my objections to multiclassing would still apply - right?

Not exactly. Regular multiclassing eats levels of your class progression. Variant Multiclassing instead eats character advancement feats at every level 4n + 3, but doesn't slow down your class progression. Unfortunately, the quality of VMC options is EXTREMELY UNEVEN -- some pretty good things in there, and some real stinkers. The Amateur Night guide that you already have linked does a pretty good job of conveying this concept overall, but then you have to look on your own for gems like getting Smoke Bombs from your regular Alchemist progression and combining it with Gaze of Flames as your first VMC Oracle Revelation. You can even do both regular multiclassing and VMC -- Paizo recommends against it, but then goes ahead and allows it and even adds things to facilitate it so that you can get things like Arcane Trickster builds to be usable (right off hand I can't think of anything analogous for the Alchemist, but being able to dip 2 levels of Lore Warden Fighter would help a LOT with the feat loss from going VMC, since VMC means feat starvation.

Related to this, I was toying with the idea of making an inverted controller build as Oracle VMC Alchemist or Cleric VMC Alchemist or even some arcane class VMC Alchemist, but ran afoul of the unevenness of VMC: VMC alchemist is just bad (what kind of VMC Alchemist doesn't give you Discoveries?).

Broken Zenith wrote:

- Pounce and Trip are gotten from Beastmorph. At 10th level he can choose 3 "abilities" from Beast Shape II. Pounce, Trip and grab are all in there.

{. . .}

Oops, I should have followed the chain of things to look up Beast Shape from Beastmorph.

Shadow Lodge

Hmm, I'll have to look into the VMC thing. Looks like there's a lot there to consider.

Silver Crusade

-I wouldn't say only vivisectionist is true Hyde myself, it just something the class excels at due to the amazing collection of transmutation extracts it gets. I talk about where some hyders can start with a bomb to debuff before wading into melee, it's a great combination. Although you're right that Fast Bombs helps a LOT here to make sure that debuff sticks.

In the end, melee's fun in its own way, and there's no wrong way to play this class aside from Blazing Torchbearer or Rage Chemist.

-I guess we just have different estimations for pink/purple. For me, purple is "You can very easily make a build around this", which is super important. It's always interesting to see how people define their highest rating though.

-Personally I'm not big on Cog either, I'm a Mute player when given the chance.

-I just know tons of creatures at higher levels have fire resistance/immunity, it's not uncommon which is why fire damage always scores lower for me.

-I always just found focused burn lacking for myself, but I think part of that's because of how little I like doing fire damage.

Overall I liked the guide though, I think it has a very calm tone to it aside from where you get deeply excited about Fast Bombs.


The +2 DC from Cog really tends to help at medium and higher levels when creature saves get pretty good.

Plus, you get 2 extra bombs from the +4 Int. ;)

Shadow Lodge

True, but I just really hate the ability damage. It get better at higher levels, but cogs are a struggle for the first half dozen levels.


The Spell Knowledge discovery opens the door for Arcane Strike.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/alchemist/discoveries/paizo--- alchemist-discoveries/spell-knowledge

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/arcane-strike-combat

Arcane Strike increases base bomb damage, thus increases splash damage.

And btw, that was me posting on your site. :) It amuses me that two Zeniths enjoy Alchemist bombers so much.


ZenithTN wrote:

The Spell Knowledge discovery opens the door for Arcane Strike.

Arcane Strike increases base bomb damage, thus increases splash damage.

And btw, that was me posting on your site. :) It amuses me that two Zeniths enjoy Alchemist bombers so much.

LINKIFICATION COMPLETE.

Shadow Lodge

New build is up! The Mortar is probably one version of my ideal, fully optimized alchemist.

The Mortar


I don't know if this will improve gnomes from green, but the attack bonus from small size and the pyromaniac alternate race trait are also things to consider.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love this guide. Your Guide to the Builds is always the first place I send people who want ideas for characters. Thanks for the alchemist guides, and for all your work.

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