Secrets of Alchemy

Friday, April 20, 2018

Historically, alchemy was a protoscience with diverse traditions seen throughout the world. Its chemical discoveries were often explained and expanded upon using the metaphysical traditions of the practitioner's native culture. These alchemical experiments and observations were later refined by experimentation and rigor to become the modern science of chemistry.

In Pathfinder First Edition, alchemy was the domain of lower-level pseudo-magical treasures, at least until the alchemist made his debut in the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide. This class forged the way for creating higher-level alchemical items and effects, though it often leaned on arcane magic to get the job done.

When we tapped the alchemist for inclusion in the Pathfinder Playtest, it gave us the chance to rethink the essentials of alchemy and create a broad tradition that reflected its historical inspiration. For the upcoming version of the game, we've pulled magic and alchemy apart. Alchemy might feature dramatic effects, but these are powered by the reactions of powerful chemicals—and sometimes catalyzed by resonance—creating a type of fantastic mad science. Where magical power comes from the energies of a spellcasting tradition, alchemical power comes from the fusion of latent potential trapped within matter, released as energy through a reaction with a different potent material. Strike a sunrod on a hard surface and its alchemical reagents combine to create light. A creature's internal chemistry interacts with an elixir of life to heal wounds or brace the body against toxins. Bombs let off explosive energy when their flask shatters against a creature, exposing the contents to the air.

While magic involves pulling energy out of thin air by way of spells, rituals, or magically empowered items, basic alchemy is a specialty of the Crafting skill. Any character with the Alchemical Crafting skill feat can create alchemical items as long as they have the proper formula, along with enough time and reagents. Alchemists know (or hazard) shortcuts to the process and can create unstable alchemical items by using an alchemist kit and paying a resonance cost.

So, what kind of items can they make in the Pathfinder Playtest? Alchemical items come in four general categories: here's what you can expect from each.

Bombs

This category will be familiar territory for those of you currently playing Pathfinder. Alchemist's fire, liquid ice, and bottled lightning have been a mainstay for low-level alchemists and other characters over the years. In the Pathfinder Playtest, these items are the baselines for alchemical bombs. While the base bombs deal a relatively low amount of damage, the advanced alchemy class feature allows the alchemist to infuse them with extra power according to the alchemist's level. While these powerful bombs are unstable (losing potency in either 24 hours or after a round, depending on how the alchemist crafted them), during that limited time they can pack a punch. For instance, here's bottled lightning.

Bottled Lightning Item 1

Alchemical, Bomb, Consumable, Electricity
Price 3 gp
Method of Use held, 2 hands; Bulk L

Bottled lightning is packed with reagents that create an electric blast when exposed to air. Bottled lightning deals 1d6 electricity damage and 1 electricity splash damage and causes the target to be flat-footed to all creatures until the start of your next turn.

If an 11th-level alchemist makes one of these bombs using his advanced alchemy, the electricity damage increases to 4d6 damage, though the splash stays at 1 (unless said alchemist takes the Calculated Bomber feat, which would increase that splash damage to his Intelligence modifier). The flat-footed effect also stacks with anything extra the alchemist might add to the bomb from his class feats, making bottled lightning a great choice when going up against bosses or high-AC foes.

Of course, there are some surprises among the alchemical bombs. Thunderstones, which deal greater sonic damage in the hands of a higher-level alchemist, and tanglefoot bags are also on the bomb list.

Elixirs

In Pathfinder First Edition, we have potions, elixir, and extracts, all taking up much of the same mechanical design space. In the playtest, these divisions are less ambiguous. Potions are potent liquids made by way of magical crafting and have magical, often arcane, effects. Elixirs, on the other hand, are alchemical concoctions producing effects that are often very dramatic, but are non-magical. Potions are often quicker to use and usually pack some extra oomph, but elixirs work even in places where magic is dulled or suppressed, and an alchemist can craft them in a hurry. Though both potions and elixirs are used by consuming them, and often require a bit of resonance to kick them into gear, elixirs' spectrum of effects tend to deal with changing the body or state of mind. An example of this second sort of elixir is the liquid courage found in bravo's brew.

Bravo's Brew Item 3

Alchemical, Consumable, Elixir, Mental
Price 7 gp
Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk L
Activation Operate Activation

This flask of foaming beer grants courage. For the next hour after drinking this elixir, you gain a +1 item bonus to Will saves, and a +3 item bonus to Will saves against fear.

Some of the most potent elixirs are mutagens. These elixirs transform the mind and the body in dramatic ways, granting sizeable item bonuses to a number of related skill checks and attributes. However, this comes with a drawback: penalties to some other group of relevant skills and attributes. Mutagens also tend to morph the user's physical features in some way. For instance, a lesser bestial mutagen gives you a more savage aspect with greater muscle mass, granting you a +2 item bonus to Athletics checks and unarmed attack rolls and increasing the amount of damage die you roll for such attacks, but this new form is clumsy and lumbering, imparting a -1 penalty to Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery checks, as well as to AC and Reflex saves.

Mutagens have some limitations. They must be attuned to a specific creature; this typically involves including some bit of the attuned creature's body (such as hair, nail trimmings, saliva, or the like) as a reagent during the crafting process. Moreover, you can only have one mutagen benefit active at a time, though you can suffer from any number of mutagen drawbacks simultaneously.

What about extracts? Well, in this scheme, they're just not necessary anymore. But, I wouldn't be surprised if we do something else with extracts sometime in the future, reviving that game term to make something particularly dynamic and fun.

Poisons

Alchemists usually deal with elixirs that bolster the body and the mind, but they can also dabble in alchemical poisons that do just the opposite. While there are many poisons in nature, alchemical poisons tend to be more refined versions of those natural poisons, often distilled or concentrated, created for both potency and ease of use.

For example, here's the sleep poison favored by drow.

Sleep Poison Item 2

Alchemical, Consumable, Injury, Poison
Price 5 gp
Method of Use held, 2 hands; Bulk L
Activation 3 Operate Activations, no Resonance Point cost
Saving Throw Fortitude DC 13; Maximum Duration 4 hours; Stage 1 slowed 1 (1 round); Stage 2 asleep with no Perception check to wake up (1 round); Stage 3 asleep with no Perception check to wake up (1d4 hours)

Let's say you found or made a vial of sleep poison. It takes three Operate Activation actions to apply it to a weapon (which must be one that deals either piercing or slashing damage). If the next attack made by the weapon is a hit or critical hit, the target must attempt a save against the poison, gaining the effects of Stage 1 on a failure (or Stage 2 on a critical failure), with later saves determining how the poison either intensifies or is shaken off. Since the maximum duration of the poison is 4 hours, no matter what happens, the poison will be completely gone from the target's system 4 hours later.

Like all alchemical items, an alchemist can create a less stable version of a poison using his advanced alchemy, as long as he possesses the formula for that poison and has the resonance to spare. Here's the bad news. Sleep poison is a closely guarded secret of the drow, so good luck getting the formula.

Tools

The last category of alchemical items is tools. Tools are the items that don't fit in other categories. They typically affect the terrain, vision, or other aspects of the environment, instead of affecting a creature directly. The sunrod is one example of an alchemical tool. The smokestick is another.

Smokestick Item 1

Alchemical, Consumable
Price 2 gp
Method of Use held, 2 hands; Bulk L
Activation Operate Activation, no Resonance Point cost

With a sharp twist of this item, you instantly create a screen of thick, opaque smoke in a 5-foot-radius burst centered on one corner of your space. All creatures within that area are concealed. The smoke lasts for 1 minute or until dispersed by a strong wind.

As you can see alchemy has become a discipline in its own right, with many tools to aid adventurers in general and the alchemist in particular.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
51 to 100 of 417 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wild Spirit wrote:
Is Elixir of Sex Shifting still a thing in PF2 or has it become a potion?

I'll bet the alchemical HRT from Adventurer's Guide will at least make a return in the new core book.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Fuzzypaws wrote:
Thank you so much for lowering the prices of bombs, poisons, etc. They were really excessive in PF1 for what you got!

Keep in mind that the prices here should be multiplied by 10 if you want the Pathfinder equivalents, based on the new starting wealth of 15gp.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
Also not fan of the bulk system, would prefer weight.
Eh. Weight can get fiddly as hell. I'll wait to see the final system before passing judgment.

I much prefer a looser definition like "bulk." Measuring exact weights has never been a particularly fun or even intuitive system for me. Too much bean-counting for too little reward. A more narrative measurement is easier to manage and play around with if need be.

Then again, these days, I'm not a fan of precise measurements for range and stuff, and would greatly prefer range bands and the like.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Trimalchio wrote:
Also not fan of the bulk system, would prefer weight.

I'd be alright if they at least included weight for fluff, and let carrying capacity be determined by bulk.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

So, less obvious information I can infer from this blog.
1) Level 11 alchemist bomb does 4d6 damage, with a maximum of 3 bombs per turn (missing shenanigans like rapid shots ecc). 3x4 is the same as 2x6, only "extra attacks" like rapid shot and the like most likely do not apply anymore. This tell me average DPR is going down compared to now. Which is good.
2) Resonance is called for 6 times in this post. Meaning, it has become such an integral part of the ruleset is not going away no matter how much we don't like it. And I don't.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I like bulk - it's the only encumbrance system from any RPG that I can recall actually using in play.

It seems that item levels are a thing. Now the question is whether they correspond to spell level of character level.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

So... This blog pretty much confirms that alchemists can use magical items, like everyone else, but actually can't use them, because they need to conserve their resonance.

Non-magical class with non-magical abilities crafting non-magical items requires the magical resonance resource to function. Can't wear magical armor or use magical weapons because that all consumes resonance and the alchemist requires resonance in order to use it's class features.

This is a huge turn off for the class and the entire resonance system.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do bombs really require two hands to use? That seems a little much.

I think that the two-handed requirement of smokesticks is also going to heavily impact their usage as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Funny thing I noticed. Pretty much all the fun stuff like bombs and poisons need two hands to operate. Seems fairly inconvenient for bombs, needlessly punishing even for einhand (rogues certainly could have enjoyed hucking a lightning bomb at someone and stabbing for sneak attack but can't have your weapon out short of sacing your third action to draw...) builds and downright broken on posions (takes two hands to slather it on something, but you can't hold a weapon since you're occupied using the poison...).


Trimalchio wrote:

What is item 1 item 2 item 3 at the top of each entry?

4d6 seems pretty lack luster, is it one action to throw, so someone could throw 3 of these a round?

Are alchemical items designed to not be used by anyone besides alchemists past level 3?

The number is basically the "level" of the item. The Spells in the spell blog had a similar listing with "Spell 1" and so on. I guess Alchemical items will be leveled in PF2, too. So you can't use more powerful items at low levels.

The 4d6 is the base damage of a level 1 bomb times 4. I would assume there are higher level bombs with a much higher base damage. I could see a level 11 character throwing level 6 bombs (analogue to spells) dealing like 5d6 damage or something like that. And if an alchemist multiplies all damage by 4...

As for alchemy past level 3, higher level alchemical items should be more potent and more usable in the long run. Bombs with more damage, potions with higher DCs, Elixiers with stronger buffs and so on.

Edit: Ninja'd like 20 times. But some how I seem to be the only one who thinks there will be more powerful bombs at higher levels. Do y'all really think they'd give the Alchemist a limited-times-per-day attack for 4d6 at level 11 while the rogues deals unlimited 10d6 with his +3 shortsword and sneak attack?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:

Do bombs really require two hands to use? That seems a little much.

I think that the two-handed requirement of smokesticks is also going to heavily impact their usage as well.

1 hand to hold it and one to trigger it. Pulling granade pins with the teeths only happens in films.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Wild Spirit wrote:
Is Elixir of Sex Shifting still a thing in PF2 or has it become a potion?

We've had three transgender people (two transwomen and one transman) in three APs (Reign of Winter, Wrath of the Righteous, and Hell's Rebels) that I can recall off the top of my head, and each seems to have shifted their gender differently. One used magic itself which suggests either a specialty spell or a Ritual. It was a one-and-done affair. The second was a potion (purchased for her by her wife) and also was a one-and-done deal. The last was from the sounds of things an ongoing process which likely would be an Alchemical Elixer (that in his case probably boosted his testosterone) and one potential plot point given is that his supplies are running low and he needs more to continue transitioning.

So I'd say there's probably elixirs that allow people to gradually become their true gender, expensive potions that also let people transition, or magical rituals that in the right place and time can help people transition.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dekalinder wrote:

So, less obvious information I can infer from this blog.

1) Level 11 alchemist bomb does 4d6 damage, with a maximum of 3 bombs per turn (missing shenanigans like rapid shots ecc). 3x4 is the same as 2x6, only "extra attacks" like rapid shot and the like most likely do not apply anymore. This tell me average DPR is going down compared to now. Witch is good.
2) Resonance is called for 6 times in this post. Meaning, it has become such an integral part of the ruleset is not going away no matter how much we don't like it. And I don't.

Just because something is integral doesn't mean there's no chance of it being cut out. I believe Owen had a story about Starfinder's internal playtest, where an integral part of the system was so reviled they had to replace it with something completely different, as well as scrub all the many mentions of it from the final book. Obviously it's not gonna be super likely to get removed, but there's a non-zero chance of it getting removed if enough people don't like it.

Based on what I've heard about the resonance system though, I think I'm gonna like it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Blog wrote:
Bulk

I don't know which I hate more: core goblins or bulk... :P

Secondly, I'm questioning the hands listings: Bottled lightning requires 2 hands... Isn't just thrown? Is it big enough to require 2 hands?

BRAVO'S BREW requires ONE hand... Do you carry it around unstoppered? I hope hands required for these two got switched.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, Alchemists lost Int Bonus to bombs it seems, and Elixirs/Mutagens require resonance to use.

Oh and bombs need 2 hands (how exactly does the playtest alchemist draw 2 then), as do poisons (how am I supposed to put poison on a weapon then? Drop the thing on the floor?).

And poisons still have super low DCs. Yaaaay.

Also the poison doesn't seem to have any sort of....frequency. I mean we know Duration, but not frequency. How often do I have to test for that sleep poison?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Blog wrote:
Bulk

I don't know which I hate more: core goblins or bulk... :P

Secondly, I'm questioning the hands listings: Bottled lightning requires 2 hands... Isn't just thrown? Is it big enough to require 2 hands?

BRAVO'S BREW requires ONE hand... Do you carry it around unstoppered? I hope hands required for these two got switched.

Bottled Lightning probably requires you to pour a vial into a bottle with the other component and then throw it. You don't risk having the two parts in the same area because if it breaks, you suddenly have a shocking situation on your hands - or waist if in your belt pouch. ;)


19 people marked this as a favorite.
graystone wrote:
BRAVO'S BREW requires ONE hand... Do you carry it around unstoppered? I hope hands required for these two got switched.

If you don't rip the cork out with your teeth, the Bravo's Brew does not function properly.


Re-post for visibility:

Somehow I seem to be the only one who thinks there will be more powerful bombs at higher levels. Do y'all really think they'd give the Alchemist a limited-times-per-day attack for 4d6 at level 11 while the rogue deals unlimited 10d6 with his +3 shortsword and sneak attack?

The 4d6 is the base damage of a level 1 bomb times 4. I would assume there are higher level bombs with a much higher base damage. I could see a level 11 character throwing level 6 bombs (analogue to spells) dealing like 5d6 damage or something like that. And if an alchemist multiplies all damage by 4, the damage will be much more useful.


Hmm, well this blog has a number of interesting items to mull over in it. At least for me, several of those are ones I have reservations about or am not interested in such as bulk.

If we're going with leveled items ala Starfinder I'm going to be disappointed as I am not a fan of that either.

I agree with the commentary regarding the number of hands for items; it seems cumbersome in many places. Operate Activation actions is a mouthful and seems .. eh. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue now does it?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
If you don't rip the cork out with your teeth, the Bravo's Brew does not function properly.

Isn't that a hand and mouth requirement then? ;)

Though if that's actually the thought, I'd question why you couldn't twist a smokestick with a hand + teeth...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Seeing a lot of talk of the ability to throw 3 bombs per round. Was this confirmed somewhere? Wouldn't you have to use an action to draw the next bomb?

Also RE: the bomb damage, I would hope there are stronger bombs out there, yeah... but why aren't they being shown off? Monday's spell post looked so cool, and we got to see some really good high level spells, so it's jarring going to this post and seeing the only high level example being "here's an 11th level guy throwing a cheap bomb for 4d6+1."


3 people marked this as a favorite.
TheFinish wrote:
And poisons still have super low DCs. Yaaaay.

Did you miss the 5 gp price tag? I was actually wondering if DC 13 was too high.

I don't know what kinds of other dangers or restrictions are involved, but if I could just visit the local apothecary and spend 5 gp for a poison that has a half-decent chance of slowing and maybe KOing my enemy, I would probably poison 100% of my weapons 100% of the time. Obviously drow sleep poison will not be that readily available, but if other poisons are similarly deadly with similarly low costs I can see a massive shift in the percentage of characters that use poison.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nah, the number of hands makes a lot of sense. Pulling pins, mix liquids, lighting fuses. All of this takes both hands.


Blave wrote:

Re-post for visibility:

Somehow I seem to be the only one who thinks there will be more powerful bombs at higher levels. Do y'all really think they'd give the Alchemist a limited-times-per-day attack for 4d6 at level 11 while the rogue deals unlimited 10d6 with his +3 shortsword and sneak attack?

The 4d6 is the base damage of a level 1 bomb times 4. I would assume there are higher level bombs with a much higher base damage. I could see a level 11 character throwing level 6 bombs (analogue to spells) dealing like 5d6 damage or something like that. And if an alchemist multiplies all damage by 4, the damage will be much more useful.

Keep in mind that the alchemist is targeting touch AC, so their crit probability is WAY higher.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Blave wrote:

Re-post for visibility:

Somehow I seem to be the only one who thinks there will be more powerful bombs at higher levels. Do y'all really think they'd give the Alchemist a limited-times-per-day attack for 4d6 at level 11 while the rogue deals unlimited 10d6 with his +3 shortsword and sneak attack?

The 4d6 is the base damage of a level 1 bomb times 4. I would assume there are higher level bombs with a much higher base damage. I could see a level 11 character throwing level 6 bombs (analogue to spells) dealing like 5d6 damage or something like that. And if an alchemist multiplies all damage by 4, the damage will be much more useful.

Given there is a Feat that you can use to throw more than one Bomb a round, and that electrical bomb costs 3 gold a pop, you could in theory throw three a round. That's 12d6 right there. And seeing Alchemists can make some of their bombs for free (but which short out or lose potency after 24 hours)... it's not even necessarily a constant loss of money. Just if you want to keep a lot extra on hand.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hopefully for alchemists these items in general have a scaling effect, not just bombs. Otherwise we run into the same system seen previously with spells. As you level you would need higher level formulas to do more powerful effects instead of the automatic heightened effects that spells will now have. Maybe items, like spells, could have a heightened entry that triggers off of the alchemist level instead of alchemist having a blanket +d6 to bombs periodically. Call it something like "experimentation" or "ingenuity" level.

Overall though, I am liking where alchemy is going as a basic part of the system.

Sovereign Court

RumpinRufus wrote:
I don't know what kinds of other dangers or restrictions are involved, but if I could just visit the local apothecary and spend 5 gp for a poison that has a half-decent chance of slowing and maybe KOing my enemy, I would probably poison 100% of my weapons 100% of the time. Obviously drow sleep poison will not be that readily available, but if other poisons are similarly deadly with similarly low costs I can see a massive shift in the percentage of characters that use poison.

And so much this. Also it was listed as 'Item 2' which we don't have a great understanding of yet. If this is in fact a level 2 item however a DC 13 is great. If there are higher level/tier poisons that scale DC accordingly it'll be awesome.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm guessing the levelled items won't have a "hard" limit like they did in Starfinder. Although I didn't really have a problem with it as for me it was really just a clearer guideline, I wouldn't give a lvl 3 PF character a +4 vorpal whatever anyway. Regardless as Alchemy is done through formula I'm guessing that the free formula you get will be restricted by level, so that a Lvl 1 Alchemist can't just pick "Godstone" as one of the items he knows how to make.

*Also I like Bulk. Ignored carrying rules in all other iterations of DnD, but Bulk was easy enough for my players to actually enjoy making encumbrance choices.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
worldhopper wrote:
Seeing a lot of talk of the ability to throw 3 bombs per round. Was this confirmed somewhere? Wouldn't you have to use an action to draw the next bomb?

AFAIK it's one action to draw a bomb and one action to throw it. I seem to remember the playtest alchemist in the podcasts drawing two in one action thanks to a Class Feat, but that sort of clashes with the fact that a bomb requires two hands to use, per this blog.

RumpinRufus wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
And poisons still have super low DCs. Yaaaay.

Did you miss the 5 gp price tag? I was actually wondering if DC 13 was too high.

I don't know what kinds of other dangers or restrictions are involved, but if I could just visit the local apothecary and spend 5 gp for a poison that has a half-decent chance of slowing and maybe KOing my enemy, I would probably poison 100% of my weapons 100% of the time. Obviously drow sleep poison will not be that readily available, but if other poisons are similarly deadly with similarly low costs I can see a massive shift in the percentage of characters that use poison.

I didn't, I merely ignored it because we don't know how money actually works, though I fully expect it to work as it did in PF1.

It's still 3 actions (that don't even bloody work as written) to apply a DC 13 poison to a weapon and it works for 1 hit. That's it. Unless the save bonuses have been drastically reduced, I don't see how it's any better than PF1 poisons except in price.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
RumpinRufus wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
And poisons still have super low DCs. Yaaaay.

Did you miss the 5 gp price tag? I was actually wondering if DC 13 was too high.

I don't know what kinds of other dangers or restrictions are involved, but if I could just visit the local apothecary and spend 5 gp for a poison that has a half-decent chance of slowing and maybe KOing my enemy, I would probably poison 100% of my weapons 100% of the time. Obviously drow sleep poison will not be that readily available, but if other poisons are similarly deadly with similarly low costs I can see a massive shift in the percentage of characters that use poison.

new starting wealth seems to be 15gp, so we could be looking at gold being an order og magnitude more valuable (1 2e.gp bwing roughly 10 1e.gp.), so instead of 5gp, think 50.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm kinda surprised there are people that prefer weight to bulk. I've never enjoyed weight as a subsystem in Pathfinder - it's clunky and a huge time-waster to have to reference over and over again. Bulk simplifies the wide range of weights to a small range of numbers (typically Light to 2 Bulk for most items) and is far simpler to reference and keep track of. It's not as realistic, but I'm personally a fan of ditching realism if it becomes a pain, and I haven't personally tracked or required my players to track weight for years, preferring to just keep things reasonable without having to check the numbers. Can't say I've missed it.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think this answers a number of my concerns about the alchemist class from its preview, for the better.

I still have mixed feelings about the class being core just because I feel like a "mad scientisty" sort of flavor doesn't fit universally into a fantasy campaign the way a wizard or rogue does, but I also get why it is there because it now sits behind and works with the alchemical equipment. So I'm willing to see its development and where this goes. I like particularly that the class abilities have been removed from spellcasting.

As a fan of alchemical items, I like that they seem to be more potent and varied, both in and out of an alchemist's hands, which provides a lot of variance for how to deal with certain situations. I wonder outside of assisting with conditions, if there will be any alchemical healing items (that cure hp, even if just say 1 at a time to a certain max). While on one hand I don't want to remove the role magical healers play per se, having more ways in which PCs can heal damage is good, and opens the door for feasible low-magic campaign subsystems.

*realizes she is putting her can opener perilously close to a container of live bait, but proceeds with caution* I wonder if rogues can sneak attack (or whatever it's called now) with alchemical bombs now, or if that remains a change that PF wrought upon its ancestral system.


TheFinish wrote:
worldhopper wrote:
Seeing a lot of talk of the ability to throw 3 bombs per round. Was this confirmed somewhere? Wouldn't you have to use an action to draw the next bomb?
AFAIK it's one action to draw a bomb and one action to throw it. I seem to remember the playtest alchemist in the podcasts drawing two in one action thanks to a Class Feat, but that sort of clashes with the fact that a bomb requires two hands to use, per this blog.

Yeah, I'd really love clarification on what the 2-hand thing means. Is it actually carrying the item with two hands, or more like somatic casting where you just have to have the other hand free? Can you activate these items while wielding a shield?

TheFinish wrote:
It's still 3 actions (that don't even bloody work as written) to apply a DC 13 poison to a weapon and it works for 1 hit. That's it. Unless the save bonuses have been drastically reduced, I don't see how it's any better than PF1 poisons except in price.

Hm. I would hope that there would at least be alchemist or general feats roughly equivalent to Swift Poisoning and Sticky Poisons. Again though, you'd think that'd get mentioned while they're trying to sell us on this.


Blave wrote:

Re-post for visibility:

Somehow I seem to be the only one who thinks there will be more powerful bombs at higher levels. Do y'all really think they'd give the Alchemist a limited-times-per-day attack for 4d6 at level 11 while the rogue deals unlimited 10d6 with his +3 shortsword and sneak attack?

The 4d6 is the base damage of a level 1 bomb times 4. I would assume there are higher level bombs with a much higher base damage. I could see a level 11 character throwing level 6 bombs (analogue to spells) dealing like 5d6 damage or something like that. And if an alchemist multiplies all damage by 4, the damage will be much more useful.

Either sneak attack is going the way of 5ed, namely 1/turn, or it's scaling is going to be reduced. There are probably more powerfull bombs, but they most likely take more action to concot/activate. This is all my speculation btw.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Keep in mind that the alchemist is targeting touch AC, so their crit probability is WAY higher.

Well the numbers are guesswork, of course, but there MUST be higher level bombs. Even with high crit chance, 4d6 is nearly nothing at level 11, especially with characters (and assuming all monsters) having about 40% more HP than in PF1.

I mean, a fighter with a +3 greatsword will also deal 8d6 damage, like the alchemist with his crits. Except the fighter can crit on top of that and gets his strength bonus and so on.

There's no way touch targeting touch AC can make up for these small numbers.

Disclaimer: All thoughts based on the info revealed so far with some parallels drawn from PF1. I'm aware that the numbers will look different in PF2. But with all classes including wizards bascally getting "full BAB", the difference between touch AC and normal AC might not be as big as it is in PF1.


I'm happy to see the bulk system here (assuming that's equal than Starfinder). Even that this is not "realistic", it's very player-friendly and make some sense so now we can use it in the game without spending hours to calculate encumbrance.

About the Alchemy, I'm happy with the new system, but I'm just afraid that now every party will need to have an alchemist, a wizard that is a Master of Alchemy or if ALL characters will like to tap into alchemy disciplines...


5 people marked this as a favorite.
The blog wrote:
Sleep poison is a closely guarded secret of the drow, so good luck getting the formula.

Yeah... closely guarded. It's a good thing nobody's been spreading that around. >_>


TheFinish wrote:
It's still 3 actions (that don't even bloody work as written) to apply a DC 13 poison to a weapon and it works for 1 hit. That's it. Unless the save bonuses have been drastically reduced, I don't see how it's any better than PF1 poisons except in price.

I assume you can spend those three actions at the start of the day and have your weapon poisoned until you use it.

Have we heard any indication that poisons lose potency? Certainly alchemist-generated "unstable" poisons will deteriorate after a day or round, but I don't think there's been any hint that bought-and-paid-for poisons will degrade once applied.


If a bomb takes two hands to use, does the rapid whatever bomb drawing description cover how in the heck you're using them?

Oh, and when can I put an othur in my smokesticks for burnt othur fume grenades?

One last question that has very little to do with the blog. What is your favorite flavor of icecream?

Remember when I said that I only had one more question? I lied.
Back to the blog, how useful is poison? What's the frequency on these babies? Is it measured in hurts? Do multiple doses up the DCs? Is immunity to it still available at mid levels? When can a character eat moonberry icecream with lich dust on top? Why is the answer to the last question, "level one?" Why didn't I add the caveat of, "without ill effects?" Will I need to make a save if I eat it too fast, or if I eat too much of it?
I may have lost my train of thought...

Oh, back on track. We're using item level again. Is it like Starfinder's item level, or are they more like spell levels? Does it interact with resonance costs, crafting DCs, or the ability to be purchased outside of how much money a character is willing to whop on the counter? Is seven gold going to be a significant investment at third level if it's nearly half of the first level starter loot?

Spoiler:
I don't actually expect any answers, I just enjoy asking questions.


Dekalinder wrote:
Either sneak attack is going the way of 5ed, namely 1/turn, or it's scaling is going to be reduced

Magic weapons provide more damage, the new power attack deals more damage than the old one and everthing has 40% more hitpoints. Why on earth would they reduce sneak attack?


Guess that judging from all those new limitations on the mutagens, traditional 3.X multiclassing is still a thing.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Trimalchio wrote:

What is item 1 item 2 item 3 at the top of each entry?

Also not fan of the bulk system, would prefer weight.

4d6 seems pretty lack luster, is it one action to throw, so someone could throw 3 of these a round?

Are alchemical items designed to not be used by anyone besides alchemists past level 3?

it looks like there will be feats to make them better in different ways


6 people marked this as a favorite.
LuniasM wrote:
I'm kinda surprised there are people that prefer weight to bulk. I've never enjoyed weight as a subsystem in Pathfinder - it's clunky and a huge time-waster to have to reference over and over again. Bulk simplifies the wide range of weights to a small range of numbers (typically Light to 2 Bulk for most items) and is far simpler to reference and keep track of.

I've never had an issue adding numbers together to get an easily identifiable result: add weights together to get a final weight in actual term I use every day. Bulk... It groups together items in a vague range that then converts to ANOTHER vague range... How is that easier? I can show a new player pounds and they know what that is... 1 Bulk? Light bulk? What?

I don't dislike it on realism grounds, but that it's not making my job easier but harder. I don't get what benefit there is to reinventing the wheel. Or in your words, "clunky and a huge time-waster". :P

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tels wrote:

So... This blog pretty much confirms that alchemists can use magical items, like everyone else, but actually can't use them, because they need to conserve their resonance.

Non-magical class with non-magical abilities crafting non-magical items requires the magical resonance resource to function. Can't wear magical armor or use magical weapons because that all consumes resonance and the alchemist requires resonance in order to use it's class features.

This is a huge turn off for the class and the entire resonance system.

from what i have read ,magical weapons do not use resonance unless the item casts a spell like effect,

armor i think uses 1 point a day though


Blave wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:
Either sneak attack is going the way of 5ed, namely 1/turn, or it's scaling is going to be reduced
Magic weapons provide more damage, the new power attack deals more damage than the old one and everthing has 40% more hitpoints. Why on earth would they reduce sneak attack?

To not have everything explode in 1 round like it happens now? Number of attacks are being reduced now so static plusses to damage are less effective than before, power attack takes 2 action IIRC ecc. I reiterate taht is all speculation on my part but I have the impression they want to "normalize" the damage and lenghten the average turn life of the enemy. I could be wrong.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Aw man, I loved Bottled Lightning, being able to shoot a (weak) bolt of lightning around was super fun and a great alternative to just another throwable splash weapon.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

A bomb that does only 4d6 damage plus 1 splash damage at level 11! That is weak.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:
1 hand to hold it and one to trigger it. Pulling granade pins with the teeths only happens in films.

What a coincidence, we happen to be playing a fantasy game as well! :D

But seriously, from everything that's been said, these are flasks packed with dangerous reagents, not grenades with fuses to be lit.

As such, I don't see why you can't throw it with one hand.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alchemaic wrote:
Aw man, I loved Bottled Lightning, being able to shoot a (weak) bolt of lightning around was super fun and a great alternative to just another throwable splash weapon.

I once had a vishkanya use Alchemical Tinkering to shoot a (weak) bolt of lightning out of his mouth. It was entertaining.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bruno Mares wrote:
About the Alchemy, I'm happy with the new system, but I'm just afraid that now every party will need to have an alchemist, a wizard that is a Master of Alchemy or if ALL characters will like to tap into alchemy disciplines...

This is another concern I have. Having a major mechanic so tightly tied to a single class opens you up to 2 opposing problems: either the mechanic is powerful/relevant frequently enough that the class that uses it becomes a necessity (see: clerics/paladins and Channel Energy, before archetypes opened it up to a zillion other classes), or the mechanic is balanced enough that the class that focuses on it exclusively isn't worth taking more than a level or two in (see: gunslingers).

51 to 100 of 417 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: Secrets of Alchemy All Messageboards