Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual (PFRPG)
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Master your Craft!

Harness the powers of alchemy with Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual! Along with nearly 100 never-before-seen alchemical items, this volume features a brand-new rules subsystem for creating potent alchemical items on the fly using a variety of alchemical reagents and alchemical recipes. Whether you’re brewing the magical dwarven ales of the Five Kings Mountains or honing the deadly secrets of the Daggermark Poisoners’ Guild, you’ll discover all the tools you need inside the Alchemy Manual!

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • New rules for crafting a wide variety of alchemical items in mere seconds using specialized reagents and alchemical processes.
  • Over 85 new alchemical tools, weapons, remedies, poisons, and drugs.
  • Entangle your foes with Kyonin alchemical arrows, bolster your allies’ defenses with Belkzen bloodgorge or Pei Zin incense, and disintegrate the armor of entire armies with Thuvian wish alchemy.
  • Details on some of Golarion’s most famous alchemical practitioners and their methods, including the firework makers of Varisia, the derro magisters of the Darklands, and the homunculus crafters of Ustalav.
  • New ways to craft and use alchemical items ranging from the practical to the bizarre, such as a method to use herbalism in place of alchemy and rules for crafting living oozes from raw ingredients.
  • A new class archetype, over a dozen new pieces of adventuring gear, new magic bottles to contain your alchemical creations, and much more!

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

Written by Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, and David N. Ross
Cover Art by Kerem Beyit

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-605-8

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Raise a Toast for a Book That Fills a Hole!


I binned my first draught, as most has been said by the others, and decided instead, to celebrate this product in verse.

So here's my tribute to the Lords of The Boards.
Apologies to all concerned; you know it's in fun.

Damiel's Drink (to the tune of 'Lily The Pink', by The Scaffold)

We'll drink a draft or two
Of Damiel’s Patent Mutagen Brew
It works on any sentient race
You may not get what you ever expected
But you’ll be totally off your face

Sebastian Brony became a pony
But being earthbound made him cry
So after a snifter, of Mutagen Lifter
This Pegasister has learned to fly

Leprechaun Spanky looked tired and manky
He was constipated and cold
But one application of Lubrication
Now he’s pooping pots of gold

We'll drink a draft or two
Of Damiel’s Patent Mutagen Brew
It works on any sentient race
You may not get what you ever expected
But you’ll be totally off your face

Mikaze was frantic, a hopeless romantic.
Wanted Men and Orcs to wed
But after they rubbed on some Rootagen Powder
Now they're never out of bed

TriOmegaZero, the Caydean hero
Would pour anything down his throat
He hosted a hearty fraternity party
And now's he's fathering a goat

We'll drink a draft or two
Of Damiel’s Patent Mutagen Brew
It works on any sentient race
You may not get what you ever expected
But you’ll be totally off your face

Ashton Sperry was notably merry
From the Muse-Booze he'd imbibed
Till the morning, when he was drawn in
Inside the pictures he had scribed.

Mister Timitius found potions delicious
Wondered what could be the harm.
One too many deadlines, then we all read the headlines,
'Man Grows Extra Pair Of Arms'

We'll drink a draft or two
Of Damiel’s Patent Mutagen Brew
It works on any sentient race
You may not get what you ever expected
But you’ll be totally off your face

Poor Damiel, he became unwell, he
Self-medicated till he burst.
But with a final, defiant gamble,
He dared the Gods to do their worst

To the Cathedral he ascended
The Starstone pulsing holy power.
And now it's time to pack them all in;
The Church is calling Happy Hour!

We'll drink a draft or two
Of Damiel’s Patent Mutagen Brew
It works on any sentient race
You may not get what you ever expected
But you’ll be totally off your face

A mixed alchemical bag.


I've got a mid-level bomb-focused alchemist in PFS and I had just started to look into what alchemical items were available from Ultimate Equipment to create a proper alchemical arsenal in my backpack, when I found this book had come out. There's some underwhelming reviews here, but I took a chance anyway.

Seems that the reviews before mine are pretty spot on. Spontaneous Alchemy Poisons are the only categories of feats the book covers, and there's only 5 feats in the whole book. Homonculus maintenance, Ooze crafting and Mythic options. The dreaded "a DC 13 Fortitude save negates this effect" rears its ugly head in a few of the new items, rendering them fairly worthless.

Having said that, there are a few items that do stand out - Focusing Flask lets you throw several of the same splash weapon at a time and raises the save DC (700gp). Winged Bottle lets you drop a splash weapon from above from 130ft away, and it flies there (1620gp). Durable Arrows (1gp) don't break on a hit or a miss with some minor exceptions (among other "Alchemical Archery" options like this).

Spontaneous Alchemy isn't terrible - the idea of creating items like Antitoxins, Alchemist's Fire, Trip Arrows, Desiccating Lubricant, Tanglefoot Bags with a standard action, at the cost of a feat is pretty cool. Poisons, Drugs and Alcohol never fall into this category, which are reduced to a minimum of 1 hour instead. If you can take advantage of this, it's probably the best part of the book, and there's a nice 2-page table that covers the details pretty well.

There's 6 more fireworks, 4 new "ales" to buff then break you, 16 new "alchemical reagents" that function the same as the Adventurer's Armory alchemical material components (which are great, but I don't see any stand-outs, and all of them are consumed when used). There's actually more if you include reagents that aren't listed with the other Alchemical Reagents on the front and back covers, such as Pesh (under Drugs) and Ginger Extract and Mugwort Extract (under Herbalism).

I thought there was an Alchemist archetype in the book, but I can't see it. The book says it covers options for Alchemists, Barbarians, Bards, and Rogues, but there's only a single archetype? Based on a alcohol drinking barbarian?

And that archetype isn't referenced in the (very-weak) Contents page. Thankfully the following page has a second sort-of-Contents page that points to pages that have the new alchemical rules in the book (which aren't bookmarked in the PDF version).

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Alchemy Manual


Originally posted at, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion Alchemy Manual




TL; DR-Lot's of alchemy types, but not much depth. 87%

Basics- Let's Cook! Alchemy Manual is a splat book in the truest sense. This book moves at a rapid fire pace presenting over 10 different types of alchemy traditions in the Pathfinder world. Each tradition gets two pages to introduce the story behind the alchemy type as well as a few potions or poisons that distinguish one from another. In addition, numerous items, small additions to spells/alchemical items, and new ways to craft alchemical items are presented.

Mechanics or Crunch- First things first, alchemy has always been somewhat tricky in the 3.X systems. You end up with things that are two broken for the rules or underpowered to uselessness. This book tends to be closer to underpowered. The items presented are on par with the standard alchemy items, but those items tend to be useless as the player has better options with spells or abilities. The book does introduce some nice new feats and items, but those same items may not be the first thing a player will grab for when looking how to battle a problem. Also, the book introduces several different types of alchemy. That's nice from a flavor standpoint, but no one type gets enough of a foundation to stand alone. Each tends to get 3/4 of a page of items, so you left wanting more for each one. 3/5

Story of Fluff-While this is an item book, I was honestly impressed with the detail each type of alchemy was given in its presentation. Readers learn a lot about several different types of alchemist in the Pathfinder world. The stories do make for some rather interesting reading. I enjoyed this far more then I enjoyed the mechanics of the book. 5/5

Execution-This is a Paizo book. I have a tradition of giving them high marks, but that's because the consistently know how to may a book look nice and be readable. I'd like the text bigger, but I mostly read on an IPad, so the page is smaller than the print version. Great art and a well done layout lead to excellent ease of reading. 5/5

Summary-Alchemy is always a touchy subject in Pathfinder and 3.X games. To powerful and all the players use it. To underpowered and it's a waste of time to introduce it. This book is an ok. Honestly, it won't change your opinion of alchemy. It's well done for the story aspect, but if you are deciding if you want to buy a mechanics supplement, you really have to ask yourself "Do I like alchemy already?"

Great Edition to Alchemy


I love this new book, it open up a lot of options for all characters who use alchemy and poison. the new reagent crafting option are fun and add some great flavor, but easy to leave out if you dont want to use them. Some great new alchemical items and a few magic items. it also has rules for using Profession (herbalism) instead of craft (alchemy) If you a you are looking for a Manual on Alchemy this is the book for you.

Great and useful new options


Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

I tend not to get hugely excited by books that are mostly new “crunch” options for the game. The fact of the matter is that Pathfinder has a ton of options already and new ones tend to get lost (in my mind, at any rate) amidst all the others. However, the Alchemy Manual introduces a ton of new options that I can see immediate use for. With alchemy not receiving quite as much attention as feats, spells, and archetypes, this book stands out as a collection of things that truly enhance the game. As such, this is a book that really does excite me. I can’t wait to introduce its new options into my games.

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As is standard for the Player Companion line, Alchemy Manual is softcover.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Hobbun.

zergtitan wrote:
Giorgo wrote:

Does this book cover rules for gathering raw materials needed to craft Alchemy items with the Craft (Alchemy) or Profession (Herbalist) skills?

My players are in a town with no Alchemy items available, but the skills to make their own , and around the town there are plains, forest and mountains they can search for raw material/components.

It does give you recipes and the cost of the raw materials + time. but you might have to GM how to get the raw materials yourself.

Yeah, I was so hoping for at least one table for "Random Alchemical Materials". Ideally there would be a few, such as Forest, Subterranean, Freshwater, Saltwater, etc... so many times there's a "Is there any useful components among these mushrooms?" and it would be great to be able to roll on a table and say "yes, you find 1d4 wartroots" and have a listing for what wartroots can be used in. All the alchemical ingredients within are great, but I kinda wish there was a big list of them, be it plants, fungus, animal parts, minerals, etc.

Actually, that would be fun, too -- a bestiary add-on including useful parts of the things you kill. Which ones are edible, which ones make good potions, crafting armor and weapons from them (thinking of the scene in Aliens vs Predator with the spear and shield made from the Xenomorph...). Maybe it's too much like MMO vender trash, but it would be nice to give the players SOMETHING when they kill a monster that doesn't carry treasure... skins, meat, components, etc.

Is there content in this book that isn't available online?

Shadow Lodge

shaventalz wrote:
What's the proper price of saltpeter, on the inside back cover? It lists the price as 3gp, but when using it as a power component, it says 1 dose is 1gp. Which is it?

Question seconded!

I love the Shriek Bomb and Artokus' Fire from this. Some of the arrows are especially useful as well. Over all, a very good resource for expanding alchemical weapons and uses.

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