Alchemist Class Preview

Monday, April 9, 2018

Just read any messageboards or comment threads, and you'll realize this truth about people: some of them love to throw bombs and blow things up. It's a visceral thrill. Lobbing bombs is dramatic and fun, and every so often all of us love to watch something burn. If you enjoy this activity more than most, do we have a class for you!

So far we've previewed the fighter and the rogue. You might have thought we'd showcase one of the original spellcasting classes next, but that involves talking a bit more about spellcasting, so instead, we decided to unleash the secrets of the alchemist in our newest preview of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook.

In the early days of Pathfinder First Edition, the alchemist saw release in the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide. Since then, the alchemist has proven to be very popular. Unsurprisingly, when we surveyed the player base about what classes see the most play, the alchemist rose right to the top (along with the oracle, but more on that in a later preview). That alone would have promoted the class into the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, but tackling the alchemist early on during the design process was beneficial for another reason: it allowed us to take a hard look at alchemical item design with the alchemist in mind rather than as a later add-on.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Alchemist Features

While anyone trained in Crafting can take the Alchemical Crafter skill feat and craft their own alchemical items, the alchemist is much better at this crafting discipline. At 1st level, he gains Alchemical Crafter and a formula book for free, along with four bonus alchemical item formulas (for a total of eight, including the four from Alchemical Crafter). Each time he levels up, he gains two more formulas. This is on top of ones he either discovers or invents. Not only does he gain more access to alchemical tricks, by way of advanced alchemy and the quick alchemy action, but he can also spend resonance to create alchemical objects on the fly, though such hasty concoctions are potent for only a short period.

Crafting is all well and good, but what about bombing potential? The alchemist's bombs are now the basic alchemical items you are familiar with: things like alchemist fire, thunderstones, acid flasks and so on. He crafts these items and lobs them. At 3rd level, he gains the empower bomb feature, which allows him to multiply the damage of the bombs he creates. This multiplier increases with level until it reaches six times the alchemical bomb's base damage at 19th level.

But that's only the start—at 5th level the alchemist learns the secrets of mutagens, and as he progresses his ability to craft alchemical items on the fly becomes both greater and faster.

Alchemist Feats

Tying these features together is the selection of alchemist class feats. As with other class feats, they allow the alchemist to either focus or diversify his features and talents. In the case of the alchemist, class feats come in a few broad categories. If the alchemist wants to make the most of his crafting, he might choose Efficient Alchemy or Enduring Alchemy at 4th level. The former allows him to craft larger batches of alchemical items during downtime, while the latter extends the amount of time he can use alchemical items that he creates with the Quick Alchemy action. When he reaches 6th level, Powerful Alchemy allows him to increase the DCs of his alchemical effects, while the 18th-level Improbable Elixirs feat enables him to craft elixirs with the effects of magical potions.

Making stuff is great, but destruction is much more fun. Most alchemical bombs are splash weapons, which means that when the alchemist hits an enemy, those nearby take a bit of damage. At 4th level, an alchemist with the Calculated Splash feat can deal splash damage equal to his Intelligence modifier instead of the normal 1 splash damage. At 6th level, the alchemist can take the Precise Bomb feat, allowing him to hit everyone but his allies with the splash damage. Taking both feats increases the hurt he puts on enemies while saving his allies the pain. Of course, there are also plenty of feats that affect the primary target of a bomb. Debilitating Bomb at 6th level and its greater counterparts at 10th and 14th levels allow the alchemist to apply different types of conditions to the primary target of his bombs.

After an alchemist gains the mutagen crafting feature, he can take feats that modify how those powerful elixirs interact with his internal chemistry. For instance, the 8th-level Feral Mutagen feat boosts the alchemist's Intimidate checks and morphs his teeth into frightful jaws and his hands into rending claws. Other such modifications are subtler. The 10th-level Stalker Mutagen feat grants the alchemist Stealth as a signature skill and allows him to move up to his Speed when he sneaks. While all mutagens grant some bonuses and drawbacks, the Perfect Mutagen feat at 18th level allows the alchemist to ignore the drawbacks when under the effect of a mutagen he crafted.

All of this is only a small sample of what the class has to offer. The alchemist is also a master of poisons (which he can craft for free each day just like other alchemical items), has easy access to a number of skills, and can act as the party's trap disabler or healer if necessary. The diversity in the class allows you to pick and choose exactly how you want to manifest your particular brand of alchemical discoveries.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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QuidEst wrote:
In the playtest, elixirs still used resonance when the Alchemist wasn’t the one drinking them.

Are you talking about the bottles labeled "Healing" in the Everflame podcast? If you do, these were gifted from the villagers at the start of the adventure. Not made by the Goblin.


Keep in mind that some things from the preview games have changed. Alchemist’s daily prep seems likely because the article mentioned they were still working on start-of-day vs. on-the-fly crafting.


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ryric wrote:

so it's entirely possible that the foe's touch AC is based on metagaming nonsense like its CR rather than the fact that it's a lumbering beast the size of a house.

Please, Paizo, don't do that.


Elfteiroh wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
In the playtest, elixirs still used resonance when the Alchemist wasn’t the one drinking them.
Are you talking about the bottles labeled "Healing" in the Everflame podcast? If you do, these were gifted from the villagers at the start of the adventure. Not made by the Goblin.

Nah, I’m talking about the elixirs from the Everflame podcast that the goblin made, that healed 1d6 instead of 1d8, but could be drunk at full health for a +1 bonus on some stuff for an hour, that the goblin could drink without expending resonance but others needed to spend resonance on.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

I agree with a concerning point I've seen raised that if the higher level alchemist needs a damage multiplier to make bombs good, then bomb type alchemy items will quickly become useless for everyone who isn't an alchemist. My preferred route would be to just make considerably better higher level bomb items, then give the alchemist an additive bonus instead of a multiplicative one to represent the benefits of specialization.

So say, instead of a 4d6 bomb multiplied by 6 in the hands of a 20th level alchemist, you have a 15d6 bomb. But the alchemist gets +1d6 to damage at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, so the 20th level alchemist still does 24d6 damage.

This lets low level bombs still be useful to a high level alchemist in the same way a basic arrow is still useful to a high level archer. It lets high level bombs be useful to everyone, and gives my rogue or fighter a reason to buy them. And importantly, it helps insulate the game from being broken by a new bomb type in a later splatbook that is just better than the CRB bombs and "goes wild" with multiplication.

I'm currently trying to reverse engineer their thought process in my head. So far what I'm thinking their line of thought is as follows:

  • Magic weapons have a damage multiplier equal to bonus +1.
  • Bombs don't get a bonus and so wouldn't be party to the magic weapon multiplier.
  • The alchemist multiplier is an attempt to simulate the magic weapon multiplier.
  • Alchemist multiplier goes to x6 instead of x4 (what with +3 weapons apparently being cap).
  • Bombs thus probably take two actions to use instead of one. Maybe one action to activate / light a fuse / whatever, one action to actually throw.

So if that's their thought process I understand how they arrived at giving the alchemist a multiplier. I just disagree with the multiplier being the best solution here because as mentioned, it makes bombs quickly become useless at high levels to anyone who isn't an alchemist or an alchemy / bomb archetype.

Assuming I'm not missing anything, I would still just recommend they make /better bombs/ and give the alchemist bonus dice for specialization rather than a multiplier.


Concerning the archetype tangent, Pact Worlds's archetypes were really quite good. I don't think we have anything to worry about on that front.


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+3 weapons aren’t the cap, I believe. There was mention of +4 weapons.

Bombs take one action to draw, one to throw. There’s a first level feat to make this one action to draw two bombs.

Silver Crusade

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Concerning the archetype tangent, Pact Worlds's archetypes were really quite good. I don't think we have anything to worry about on that front.

They're handled better but they're still uneven in regards to what your class in Starfinder gives up.

Soldier just loses out on feats and their second style is delayed, Solarion loses out on Revelations and a Zenith Revelation...

Liberty's Edge

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emky wrote:

I'm not a fan of alchemy in my fantasy, and it's disappointing that something so niche as alchemist is being made core when there were plenty of other classes to choose from instead.

It's the same thing (to a lesser degree, though) as goblin being made core. Things that should be relegated to splat books are core, so if you're "banning" them from your game for thematic reasons, you're losing parts of the tightly balanced system and large parts of the core book. And, since they're core, they'll be more supported in all the future splatbooks as well, rather than kept where they should be -- more niche.

im not sure i would call the alchemist nitch in pathfinder

its one of the more popular classes and paizo considers it much like the goblin a symbol of there game.
it also has less overlap with other classes.
unlike oracles, witches, magus, etc


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Fuzzypaws wrote:


I'm currently trying to reverse engineer their thought process in my head. So far what I'm thinking their line of thought is as follows:
[list]
  • Magic weapons have a damage multiplier equal to bonus +1.
  • Bombs don't get a bonus and so wouldn't be party to the magic weapon multiplier.
  • The alchemist multiplier is an attempt to simulate the magic weapon multiplier.
  • Alchemist multiplier goes to x6 instead of x4 (what with +3 weapons apparently being cap).
  • I think you're confusing weapon quality, which give a mundane +1 to +3 to hit based on craftsmanship, with magic weapon enhancements, which give a +1 to (presumably) +5 (additive) multiplier to base weapon dice. The two are not directly related. You can have a +3 to hit weapon crafted by an amazing bladesmith that does no extra damage, or a 6d8 damage +5 longsword that doesn't help you hit because the Wizard who enchanted it just used a common store bought sword.

    Albatoonoe wrote:
    Concerning the archetype tangent, Pact Worlds's archetypes were really quite good. I don't think we have anything to worry about on that front.

    The archetypes are good, the underlying design of what the classes give up to take archetypes is fundamentally screwed up and doesn't work well for anyone but Soldier and maybe Technomancer.


    Alchemist has always been one of my favorite PF classes. I'm disappointed about losing elixirs, but I understand. Maybe there is a way we can still make potion/potion like things. I'm very nervous about mutagen being delayed so long. I prefer melee builds, and loved the idea of the meek scientist turning huge to pound face. Hopefully there is a archetype that pushes mutagen forward in trade for delaying bombs/poisons or something.

    Liberty's Edge

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    In terms of people who don't want bombs:

    This Edition makers it easy not to have them. They're just one more (well, several more) Alchemical Items on the list. Not taking them is like playing a Wizard who doesn't take Evocation spells, and is just as easy.

    Likewise, I strongly suspect that you can readily create an entirely self-buff focused Alchemist at 1st as easily as a Transmutation focused Wizard, it just won't technically, mechanically, be with Mutagen yet.

    Now, skipping bombs would make one of the listed Class Features useless, but it seems very likely that there will be an Archetype for that given that Erik Mona posted a 'What are everyone's 5 Favorite Archetypes?' thread and Vivisectionist came in in the top 5 of all Archetypes Paizo has ever made.

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    TheFinish wrote:
    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Cyrad wrote:


  • Mutagen won't be available until later levels. It makes sense to space out the abilities, but one of the great strengths of the class in PF was the ability to make a variety of characters with an alchemist. By taking away the class feature vital to a melee alchemist and requiring a higher level, it feels like it would limit character concepts.
  • My suspicion is that there will be an Archetype that gives Mutagen at 1st or 2nd level, but at the cost of some other alchemist stuff.

    Also, with poisons available and hopefully better (and most importantly, free), that might be a very solid melee alchemist option.

    TheFinish wrote:

    Wait, so the Alchemist bases his Resonance on Int rather than Cha (alright), but he has to use it for his free alchemical items (beyond Quick Alchemy).

    So the 2E Alchemist has the same cap (Level+Int Mod) that the 1E Alchemist had for bombs....but has to use it for:

    - Bombs
    - All other alchemical items they want to make for free
    - Attuning magical items
    - Consumables (except, I'd hope, those consumables that fall under their free alchemical items.)

    That doesn't sound fun at all....

    Actually, we have a fair amount of evidence that bombs made with his free alchemy or in the normal way costing money cost no Resonance at all. Only those made with Quick Alchemy. Ditto alchemical items in general, actually.

    And we also know they get 5 or 6 free alchemical items a day at 1st level so their free items a day seem to be substantial.

    Oh? I mean from the Techraptor interview it doesn't seem that way at all:

    "At the start of each day, the alchemist can prepare a number of items using some of his or her resonance pool. The exact amount isn’t known yet, but doing this is going to be more efficient than creating items on the fly via Quick Alchemy, which will also eat out of the resonance pool."

    Obviously alchemical stuff you craft shouldn't eat resonance (that'd be incredibly dumb)...

    yeah the data seems to conflict ,, we definitely need to get more information


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    Albatoonoe wrote:
    Concerning the archetype tangent, Pact Worlds's archetypes were really quite good. I don't think we have anything to worry about on that front.

    Can I get rid of things like the Mechanic's Control Net? You know, abilities that were useless for certain concepts but fall outside of the class's archetype replacements?

    It's not really the archetypes themselves that I don't like in SF, but rather the inflexible frame on which they are built.

    Grand Lodge

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    My only complaint about alchemists in 1E is their exceptions-based rules that no one else can do. I hope they fix that for 2E. For example, an alchemist can draw an extract which for all intents and purposes is a potion and drink it all as a standard action. While the rest of us have to spend a move action (that provokes) plus a standard to perform the same action. Makes no sense and is not explained in the rules. They essentially get a special version of quick draw that no one else can take and the benefit of a handy haversack which they do not own.
    They can learn new formulas by studying a wizard’s spellbook, but somehow the reverse process is too complicated for wizards so they cannot do so in reverse.


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    The thing I like the most about this version of the alchemist is that the items he's creating are basically the same as the ones that anyone else can make, just better/faster. The way PF1 alchemists were randomly magical while 'normal' alchemists weren't bothered me a lot, lol.

    The one thing I don't like is how long it takes to get Mutagen and Feral Mutagen. I made a melee focused beastmorph alchemist for PFS, and he was one of my favorite characters even at level 1 and 2. Now it seems like I would have to wait until level 5 to even get mutagen, and level 8 for claws?

    Hopefully an archetype will be available to work around that, maybe something that trades out enhanced bombs for earlier mutagens and such.


    Xenocrat wrote:
    Fuzzypaws wrote:


    I'm currently trying to reverse engineer their thought process in my head. So far what I'm thinking their line of thought is as follows:
    [list]
  • Magic weapons have a damage multiplier equal to bonus +1.
  • Bombs don't get a bonus and so wouldn't be party to the magic weapon multiplier.
  • The alchemist multiplier is an attempt to simulate the magic weapon multiplier.
  • Alchemist multiplier goes to x6 instead of x4 (what with +3 weapons apparently being cap).
  • I think you're confusing weapon quality, which give a mundane +1 to +3 to hit based on craftsmanship, with magic weapon enhancements, which give a +1 to (presumably) +5 (additive) multiplier to base weapon dice. The two are not directly related. You can have a +3 to hit weapon crafted by an amazing bladesmith that does no extra damage, or a 5d8 damage +5 longsword that doesn't help you hit because the Wizard who enchanted it just used a common store bought sword.

    That makes sense, and would line up directly with the x6 multiplier at high levels being equal to a magic +5 thrown weapon.

    It still doesn't change the thrust of my argument though. Anyone can pick up a +5 thrown weapon and benefit from that extra damage. But only the alchemist can pick up a low damage bomb and benefit from the x6. So it still results in bombs dropping off and becoming useless at high levels unless you're an alchemist.


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    Meanwhile I dislike Alchemist is suddenly mundane and weaker now. Along with the gold cost. My fear is that Alchemist just becomes a money pit in game. Or the supply officer of the team.

    Liberty's Edge

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    MerlinCross wrote:
    Meanwhile I dislike Alchemist is suddenly mundane and weaker now. Along with the gold cost. My fear is that Alchemist just becomes a money pit in game. Or the supply officer of the team.

    We have no idea how powerful Alchemical items are, and they get a fair number for free every day at no cost. So this seems super premature to say.


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    MerlinCross wrote:
    Meanwhile I dislike Alchemist is suddenly mundane and weaker now. Along with the gold cost. My fear is that Alchemist just becomes a money pit in game. Or the supply officer of the team.

    That at least isn't a concern. They get a number of free items per day, which presumably rises with level, like how a caster gets extra spell slots per day as they go up in level. /On top of that/ they can spend gold to have even more consumables permanently available, just like a caster spending gold in PF1 to permanently have more potions and scrolls available.

    If an alchemist gives buff items to party members, they act just like a buffbot caster. If they instead focus on destructive items they act like a blaster caster. If they instead focus their buffs on themselves, they act like a codzilla.

    Sovereign Court

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    MerlinCross wrote:
    This isn't even a problem for just Alchemist; can you picture a class you have to wait before actually playing the way you wanted? Maybe Druids can get their Animal at level 5, or Fighters can only pick Archery at 5. It's insane. The rules not the people making them I mean.

    Yeah, I can. It's the wild shaping (1e) druid. We have to wait four levels to do that... or even more if you want something more than animal. So it wouldn't be the first time this has happened.

    (I really wanted to play a druid, ideally feyspeaker, who maintains alraune form... but it's not an option until the tail end of PFS levels or even later. Bleh.)

    That said, it really would be nice if alchemists could pick their focus (mutagen, bombs, poison, etc.) at 1st level and then grow into the other stuff.


    All the concerns about "how much of what resource does each thing take" are probably best left for when we have the full numbers and mechanics. Since "make a thing cost more or less" is one of the easiest changes to do during the playtest, and some things will make more sense when we can see the whole picture.

    We were told that the Alchemist can "efficiently" invest resonance into alchemical items, so it's pretty clearly not one for one. If it's 20 for 1, that's might be too much.

    Sovereign Court

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    Rysky wrote:
    Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
    I can understand the desire to offer PF2E Archetypes as an option to all classes, but I really really dislike how they've been implemented so far in Starfinder. I know Paizo wants to call like things by the same name (feats), but can we consider a slight divergence in this case? Keep Archetypes as class non-specific if you wish, but can we have a unified term -- some term like Specializations -- that alter one specific class, similar to the PF1E archetypes did?
    Seconded oh so much.

    Tentative third here, since I obviously don't know anything about the PF2 archetypes yet. But PF1's archetypes were my absolute favorite part of the system, allowing incredible depth of customization and intricate changes to existing classes. I'd hate to lose that in the name of standardization.


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    Fuzzypaws wrote:
    MerlinCross wrote:
    Meanwhile I dislike Alchemist is suddenly mundane and weaker now. Along with the gold cost. My fear is that Alchemist just becomes a money pit in game. Or the supply officer of the team.

    That at least isn't a concern. They get a number of free items per day, which presumably rises with level, like how a caster gets extra spell slots per day as they go up in level. /On top of that/ they can spend gold to have even more consumables permanently available, just like a caster spending gold in PF1 to permanently have more potions and scrolls available.

    If an alchemist gives buff items to party members, they act just like a buffbot caster. If they instead focus on destructive items they act like a blaster caster. If they instead focus their buffs on themselves, they act like a codzilla.

    You actually addressed why it's a concern, not why it isn't.

    Potions and Scrolls as nice as they are, are limited to 1 a day. Alchemy however, at least in 1e, does not. You are limited to time still yes but Gold is the bigger one. So during possible downtime, an Alchemist can get with crafting far more stuff than a Wizard can. And with the benifit of not needing team mates to need Spellcart or UMD.

    So I can see Alchemist just stockpiling stuff


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    It does seem that since classes are so templated now: features at odd levels, feats at even ones it would be super easy to do class archetypes. And people will want to play archetypes sometimes specifically to get rid of class features that don't fit their vision of their character (rogues without sneak attack, Druids who don't change shape, Alchemists without mutagen, etc.)

    I can see how for the playtest we want to stress test things like "the specific numbers for sneak attack, mutagen, etc. But in the final game it would be nice to be able to jettison unwanted class features via archetypes.


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    MerlinCross wrote:
    Fuzzypaws wrote:
    MerlinCross wrote:
    Meanwhile I dislike Alchemist is suddenly mundane and weaker now. Along with the gold cost. My fear is that Alchemist just becomes a money pit in game. Or the supply officer of the team.

    That at least isn't a concern. They get a number of free items per day, which presumably rises with level, like how a caster gets extra spell slots per day as they go up in level. /On top of that/ they can spend gold to have even more consumables permanently available, just like a caster spending gold in PF1 to permanently have more potions and scrolls available.

    If an alchemist gives buff items to party members, they act just like a buffbot caster. If they instead focus on destructive items they act like a blaster caster. If they instead focus their buffs on themselves, they act like a codzilla.

    You actually addressed why it's a concern, not why it isn't.

    Potions and Scrolls as nice as they are, are limited to 1 a day. Alchemy however, at least in 1e, does not. You are limited to time still yes but Gold is the bigger one. So during possible downtime, an Alchemist can get with crafting far more stuff than a Wizard can. And with the benifit of not needing team mates to need Spellcart or UMD.

    So I can see Alchemist just stockpiling stuff

    I'm guessing that the free items will be temporary, and lose potency after 1 day. To make them permanent, you need to spend gp.

    It's not even all that handwavey - you can say that the stabilizers are the expensive part, and that the alchemist is skilled enough to actually brew unstable concoctions without the stabilizers (which is why he can do it for free,) but without the stabilizers they will degrade.


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    I love Alchemist's in P1E, but not sure if I like what I'm hearing in 2e.

    So if I understand this correctly, you will make bombs from the standard items like Alchemist's Fire, Liquid Ice, Acid, etc? And the big thing is requiring resonance to do so.

    One thing I liked in 1e is if I ran out of bombs, I could craft a lot of standard alchemical items as a back-up. It's not unusual for my Alchemists to carry 10+ of each of the offensive alchemical items.

    With this, that won't be possible. As you are making bombs out of the those same items, and you have a limit due to your resonance. Unless you can still make a 'standard' Alchemist's Fire, besides making a bomb of it. If you can, I hope you can still get your INT modifier added to damage.

    Also, I'm assuming the resonance is shared between my bombs and any magic items I want to have equipped/use?

    I'm not a fan of resonance in the first place, I think it's a horrible limiting factor, but that the Alchemist needs it for one of his cornerstone abilities is not something I am a fan of at all.

    The Exchange

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    Deadmanwalking wrote:
    Likewise, I strongly suspect that you can readily create an entirely self-buff focused Alchemist at 1st as easily as a Transmutation focused Wizard, it just won't technically, mechanically, be with Mutagen yet.

    I really hope so, because I would love to play a Witcher kind of character. ^^

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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I can see how for the playtest we want to stress test things like "the specific numbers for sneak attack, mutagen, etc. But in the final game it would be nice to be able to jettison unwanted class features via archetypes.

    Agreed. I don't necessarily need everything in the playtest, or even necessarily in the CRB. But it'd be nice to have the tools to create such archetypes available for down the line.


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    Who are these people that were asked about preference? It would be nice to see the results of said survey.


    Kalindlara wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I can see how for the playtest we want to stress test things like "the specific numbers for sneak attack, mutagen, etc. But in the final game it would be nice to be able to jettison unwanted class features via archetypes.
    Agreed. I don't necessarily need everything in the playtest, or even necessarily in the CRB. But it'd be nice to have the tools to create such archetypes available for down the line.

    They’ve said something along those lines. Class archetypes are still supported under the new archetype rules.


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    Hobbun wrote:

    I love Alchemist's in P1E, but not sure if I like what I'm hearing in 2e.

    So if I understand this correctly, you will make bombs from the standard items like Alchemist's Fire, Liquid Ice, Acid, etc? And the big thing is requiring resonance to do so.

    One thing I liked in 1e is if I ran out of bombs, I could craft a lot of standard alchemical items as a back-up. It's not unusual for my Alchemists to carry 10+ of each of the offensive alchemical items.

    With this, that won't be possible. As you are making bombs out of the those same items, and you have a limit due to your resonance. Unless you can still make a 'standard' Alchemist's Fire, besides making a bomb of it. If you can, I hope you can still get your INT modifier added to damage.

    Also, I'm assuming the resonance is shared between my bombs and any magic items I want to have equipped/use?

    I'm not a fan of resonance in the first place, I think it's a horrible limiting factor, but that the Alchemist needs it for one of his cornerstone abilities is not something I am a fan of at all.

    Again, as has been addressed multiple times, you can still just spend gold to stockpile more bombs and those won't require resonance. It's implied that you get a bunch of free temporary (1 day duration) items each day at no resonance cost, can spend resonance efficiently (more than 1 item per resonance) to prep more such temporary items at the start of the day, and only drop down to 1 item per resonance if you are making them on the fly instead of at the start of the day.


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    "Spend some gold for permanent alchemical items, because the free ones don't last" would be sort of isomorphic to "prepare a scroll of whatever spell is handy in a pinch but you won't want to cast it every day", which is a way to split divvy up resources for spells that people are pretty okay with.


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    If it helps, the Quick alchemy ability can be viewed as effectively giving an alchemist a "wand" using the resonance system as a class ability.

    Except it's multiple wands, consisting of one for every possible not-spell/elixir the alchemist has, at the maximum effectiveness of those abilities that the alchemist can reach.


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    I like what we've seen so far with the Alchemist.

    The old Alchemist was basically a potion-based wizard. As a result, the character was fairly derivative. I like the idea of an Alchemist that uses the regular alchemical items and just becomes better at using them (and perhaps even has more potent versions as well).

    Sure, this isn't the old Alchemist. But you know? That is not necessarily a bad thing. And for everyone complaining you don't have all your powers at level 1? Well, I remember seeing players in games I ran who never used a certain power because they forgot they had that ability. By spreading out abilities so you get them more gradually, you learn those abilities better and don't end up a one-trick wonder who doesn't know how to react when your favorite attack fails.

    What I've seen so far for the classes looks interesting. And we're only catching glimpses. It will take the Playtest being in our hands before we finally know how this will play out. So don't just hate something because it's not the same old same old. Who knows, it might actually be a lot more fun having been changed up. :)


    Please tell me they gain the ability to craft a roflcopter at 14th level, rideable or not, I don't mind!

    Sovereign Court

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    QuidEst wrote:
    Kalindlara wrote:
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I can see how for the playtest we want to stress test things like "the specific numbers for sneak attack, mutagen, etc. But in the final game it would be nice to be able to jettison unwanted class features via archetypes.
    Agreed. I don't necessarily need everything in the playtest, or even necessarily in the CRB. But it'd be nice to have the tools to create such archetypes available for down the line.
    They’ve said something along those lines. Class archetypes are still supported under the new archetype rules.

    The question is whether they will be PF1-style class-integrated archetypes that replace features specific to the class, or generic archetypes that simply have a prerequisite of "wizard" while not altering or replacing any wizard-specific class features. We don't know yet.


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    Actually, one benefit of "universal" Archetypes in-game is that you could have a Vigilante or Intrigue Archetype that anyone could use rather than depend on whoever designed the Archetypes - for instance, an Intrigue Paladin or an Intrigue Fighter.

    We'll have to wait and see what they do with these. No doubt we'll have both generic and class-specific archetypes.


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    Seems we no longer have a shapechange specialist. :(


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    I think PF2 will have a better way to handle universal archetypes than Starfinder does. Starfinder had no universal class structure, so each class definition required a statement of what class feature was replaced at each eligible level.

    PF2, however, appears to have a standard progression for many features of all classes. That would mean that any archetype that alters or replaces one or more of those common features would be a universal archetype, while an archetype that alters or replaces unique class features would be particular to the classes that have those features.

    Sovereign Court

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    David knott 242 wrote:

    I think PF2 will have a better way to handle universal archetypes than Starfinder does. Starfinder had no universal class structure, so each class definition required a statement of what class feature was replaced at each eligible level.

    PF2, however, appears to have a standard progression for many features of all classes. That would mean that any archetype that alters or replaces one or more of those common features would be a universal archetype, while an archetype that alters or replaces unique class features would be particular to the classes that have those features.

    This is a good summation of what I'm hoping for. Including some of both types, of course.

    Silver Crusade

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    Kalindlara wrote:
    David knott 242 wrote:

    I think PF2 will have a better way to handle universal archetypes than Starfinder does. Starfinder had no universal class structure, so each class definition required a statement of what class feature was replaced at each eligible level.

    PF2, however, appears to have a standard progression for many features of all classes. That would mean that any archetype that alters or replaces one or more of those common features would be a universal archetype, while an archetype that alters or replaces unique class features would be particular to the classes that have those features.

    This is a good summation of what I'm hoping for. Including some of both types, of course.

    I’m hopeful for this as well.

    With the standardized progression for all classes I’m not opposed to universal Archetypes, but I absolutely wouldn’t want them to be the only (or even majority) or Archetypes.


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    KingOfAnything wrote:
    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Similarly an alchemist might not need his mutagen for mathematical reasons until level 5, but if I'm playing a mutagen alchemist it's because I want to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I don't want to have to be stuck with "Dr. Jekyll from levels 1 to 4 and then finally get Mr Hyde at level 5." From a character creation standpoint (as opposed to a numbers, numbers, numbers approach) it's unsatisfying.

    On one level, I get this desire. But at the same time, I never felt that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a satisfying character concept at level 1 for a PF1 alchemist. Low-level mutagen felt very limiting, and at the same time I didn't feel like the character had much room to grow into.

    I actually like that the low-level alchemist is Dr. Jekyll experimenting with various concoctions until they discover the mutagen/cognatogen. I do hope that there is at least one elixir that acts like a minor mutagen, though.

    Can we use the same concept for other classes? Simple weapons for fighters only until level 5 so they can gain the experience necessary to use them? Or no sneak attack for the rogue until level 5 so they can learn how to best use weapons to hurt people? Or cantrips only for wizards until level 5 so they can roleplay gaining mastery over magic?

    Liberty's Edge

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    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Can we use the same concept for other classes? Simple weapons for fighters only until level 5 so they can gain the experience necessary to use them? Or no sneak attack for the rogue until level 5 so they can learn how to best use weapons to hurt people? Or cantrips only for wizards until level 5 so they can roleplay gaining mastery over magic?

    We sorta already have these with less hyperbole. A Fighter has basically no advantages over, say, a Barbarian in terms of weapon mastery at very low levels, and a Wizard doesn't get their iconic Fireball or ability to Fly until 5th level.

    Rogues do get Sneak Attack earlier, I'll grant you, but there are several other things thematically tied to being a Rogue they don't get until around this point (Uncanny Dodge in PF1, quite possibly Evasion in PF2).

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    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    KingOfAnything wrote:
    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Similarly an alchemist might not need his mutagen for mathematical reasons until level 5, but if I'm playing a mutagen alchemist it's because I want to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I don't want to have to be stuck with "Dr. Jekyll from levels 1 to 4 and then finally get Mr Hyde at level 5." From a character creation standpoint (as opposed to a numbers, numbers, numbers approach) it's unsatisfying.

    On one level, I get this desire. But at the same time, I never felt that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a satisfying character concept at level 1 for a PF1 alchemist. Low-level mutagen felt very limiting, and at the same time I didn't feel like the character had much room to grow into.

    I actually like that the low-level alchemist is Dr. Jekyll experimenting with various concoctions until they discover the mutagen/cognatogen. I do hope that there is at least one elixir that acts like a minor mutagen, though.

    Can we use the same concept for other classes? Simple weapons for fighters only until level 5 so they can gain the experience necessary to use them? Or no sneak attack for the rogue until level 5 so they can learn how to best use weapons to hurt people? Or cantrips only for wizards until level 5 so they can roleplay gaining mastery over magic?

    Fighters do get their weapon mastery at 3rd, but rogues have to wait until 9th to get their debilitating strike! Ninth level for what I consider the defining class ability for rogues. Really.

    Fortunately, it's not all-or-nothing in any case. Fighters can use weapons, rogues can make sneak attacks, and alchemists can self-buff all from level 1.

    The great thing about all those defining abilities is that they build on the level 1 abilities to give a sense of character progression over a campaign.


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    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    KingOfAnything wrote:
    John Lynch 106 wrote:
    Similarly an alchemist might not need his mutagen for mathematical reasons until level 5, but if I'm playing a mutagen alchemist it's because I want to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I don't want to have to be stuck with "Dr. Jekyll from levels 1 to 4 and then finally get Mr Hyde at level 5." From a character creation standpoint (as opposed to a numbers, numbers, numbers approach) it's unsatisfying.

    On one level, I get this desire. But at the same time, I never felt that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a satisfying character concept at level 1 for a PF1 alchemist. Low-level mutagen felt very limiting, and at the same time I didn't feel like the character had much room to grow into.

    I actually like that the low-level alchemist is Dr. Jekyll experimenting with various concoctions until they discover the mutagen/cognatogen. I do hope that there is at least one elixir that acts like a minor mutagen, though.

    Can we use the same concept for other classes? Simple weapons for fighters only until level 5 so they can gain the experience necessary to use them? Or no sneak attack for the rogue until level 5 so they can learn how to best use weapons to hurt people? Or cantrips only for wizards until level 5 so they can roleplay gaining mastery over magic?

    It’s more like Wizard not getting arcane discoveries until 5th, or Rogue not getting skill unlocks until fifth, or Fighter not getting weapon training until 5th.

    Alchemist gets alchemy, quick alchemy, resonance, bombs, and three class feats before that. They may not be the features you want, but it’s not like the class is missing its central element.

    Silver Crusade

    The Archetype discussion is really interesting. I'm thinking along the lines of some of you as well, but also speculating—wildly—that Archetypes might encompass multiclassing a la VMC. I threw up a new thread over here if we want to split that discussion off.


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    QuidEst wrote:
    It’s more like Wizard not getting arcane discoveries until 5th, or Rogue not getting skill unlocks until fifth, or Fighter not getting weapon training until 5th.

    But wizards get evocation cantrips at level 1, fighters get to use weapons at level 1, rogues get sneak attack at level 1.

    QuidEst wrote:
    Alchemist gets alchemy, quick alchemy, resonance, bombs, and three class feats before that. They may not be the features you want, but it’s not like the class is missing its central element.

    It's all a matter of where you draw the line. If using mutagens is my shtick (as opposed to using elixirs), just like a fighter using a greatsword is his shtick (as opposed to weapons) or a wizard using evocation spells is his shtick (as opposed to spells) then having to wait until level 5 to get my shtick is "meh".

    Alchemist is one of the classes I don't particularly feel any great draw towards. One of the few class features of interest in the class for me (and the main reason I don't just write it off completely) is the mutagen. Now I'm not saying 1st level mutagen has to equal a 5th level mutagen (just as a 1st level evocation spell doesn't have to equal a 3rd level evocation spell) but not getting to use my shtick until level 5 isn't fun from a roleplay perspective.

    I'm sure the buffs from ordinary elixirs will ensure that the alchemist is mathematically on par with other classes. But from a roleplay perspective the mathematics is not my first priority.


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    Say that to the Druid, they have to wait to level 4 to get Wild Shape

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