Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual (PFRPG)

4.10/5 (based on 7 ratings)
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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4.10/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Hit or Miss


Depending on what you are playing, this book is either a five star or two star book.

In an organized play environment such as Pathfinder Society or in a campaign with little crafting time, this book is fairly underwhelming. many items are prohibitively high costing for low level characters and just not powerful enough for high level ones. There are a few gems here and there, but just not enough to warrant buying the book for most players.

That said, in a campaign that offers time for crafting this book is solid, especially for Alchemists (no surprise there). Players who enjoy crafting, especially the little nuances, will greatly enjoy this book. There is enough information available to play a game within a game as you track alchemical reagents, time spent crafting to the minute of the day, and even tools available. The book also offers different backgrounds of alchemy, from Katapeshi Drug alchemy to Varisian Fireworks to Daggermark Poisons. To that end, it could be called Inner Sea Alchemy in all honesty.

In the end, the book gets 3 stars from me. It's invaluable for that niche of people who will use it, but the average player won't need it.

Everything it says in the name


A solid addition to the player companion line this book gives you everything you would expect with the title. More alchemical items to make, more weapons, new remedies, and drugs to add to your parties budding alchemist's cookbook. On top of that though you get tons of new item options you weren't even prepared for like Ooze crafting, herbalism crafting, mythic alchemical items, fungal grafts, and homunculus modifications everyone is in for a whole lot of new fun items to play with. On top of all that you get the spontaneous alchemy system, allowing players to throw together alchemical items potentially in instants but with bigger surprises in case of failure and slightly higher costs. Honestly the best part of the whole spontaneous alchemy system though is how they sought to replicate the historical system of alchemy, giving special symbols to each ingredient type and alchemical process. Right now I'm just starting to hand out some of these symbols to my party alchemist and I literally cannot wait to watch him start fiddling with different reagents and processes trying to instantly remake other items.

If I had to have one complaint though it's that we only get spontaneous alchemy stats for the poisons and drugs presented in this book (instead of all those in the PFC and GMG) as well as missing a lot of recipes for Ultimate Equipment as well. But they do manage to get all of the basic alchemical items from the Core rulebook and with luck they will manage to get the rest of the items in the PFC and Ultimate equipment stated out for the system soon enough.

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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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