Mutagens: A tad weak right now.


Round 3: Alchemist and Inquisitor

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Right now, I don't think that the mutagen ability is as strong as it should be. I love the Jekyll/Hyde aspect of the mutagen, but right now it has two problems.

1. The alchemist takes 1d4 Cha damage.
2. The mutagen starts useful but ends weak unless the alchemist spends his discoveries on making the mutagen better.

1d4 Charisma damage is a serious hindrance to most alchemists (who are going to be Int-based). It greatly reduces the number of times that an alchemist can use a mutagen--not just in the period of one day, but over the course of a week. I get that mutagens are supposed to be somewhat risky, but I'd like to see the Charisma damage changed to a change in personality. An alchemist who imbibes a mutagen should become belligerent, easily provoked, prone to taking risks, and so on.

However, my main concern with the mutagen is that it starts really useful and then trickles off in effectiveness. At level 1, a +2 enhancement bonus to natural armor and an ability score is awesome. At level 15, it's not.

Here's suggestion #1:

Spoiler:

At 4th level, the mutagen grants a +4 enhancement bonus to an ability score.

At 8th level, it grants a +4 enhancement bonus to an ability score and a +2 enhancement bonus to a second ability score.

At 12th, it grants a +4 enhancement bonus to one ability score, a +4 enhancement bonus to a second ability score, and a +4 enhancement bonus to natural armor.

At 16th level, it grants a +6 enhancement bonus to one ability score, a +4 enhancement bonus to a second ability score, a +2 enhancement bonus to a third ability score, and a +4 enhancement bonus to natural armor.

At 20th level, it grants a +6 enhancement bonus to one ability score, a +4 enhancement bonus to a second ability score, a +4 enhancement bonus to a third ability score, and a +4 enhancement bonus to natural armor.

The feral mutagen discovery could stay in the game, and you could add others that increase the abilities of the mutagen without making them numerically superior (a size increase, the ability to breathe fire, and the like).

My suggestion #2 is making the mutagen bonuses alchemical. This is thematic and it makes them useful because they stack with other bonuses.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Well, the discoveries are designed to be a path of specialization. You can make your bombs much better, your mutagens much better, or pick up some general ones that improve other aspects of the character.

I am hesitant about making the mutagen into a concept that scales quite as dramatically as you suggest, especially not without taking a very long and hard look at the duration...

That said.. I am open to discussion...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


You seriously had enough time to look at this class and weigh all of it's features against the greater scheme of things? You had time to work-out alternate suggestions already? The developers spent all this time on this class, and you in an instant can do better?

(sorry to be snarky, but come-on, already?)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Snakey wrote:

You seriously had enough time to look at this class and weigh all of it's features against the greater scheme of things? You had time to work-out alternate suggestions already? The developers spent all this time on this class, and you in an instant can do better?

(sorry to be snarky, but come-on, already?)

I was wondering the same thing...


You're right that my suggestions might be a little strong, Jason. What about these instead?

Spoiler:
At 5th level, the mutagen grants a +2 enhancement bonus to a second ability score.

At 10th level, it grants a +4 enhancement bonus to an ability score and a +2 enhancement bonus to a second ability score.

At 15th, it grants a +4 enhancement bonus to one ability score, a +4 enhancement bonus to a second ability score, and a +4 enhancement bonus to natural armor.

At 20th level, it grants a +6 enhancement bonus to one ability score, a +4 enhancement bonus to a second ability score, a +2 enhancement bonus to a third ability score, and a +4 enhancement bonus to natural armor.


I still think adding a breath weapon discovery would be cool.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am ok with the alchemist having to spend resources (discoveries) to make the mutegen better. After all ability score boosts are less gauranteed nowadays since they all sit in similar body slots. So I dont think the boost will become useless even without investment of discoveries. And as for the charisma damage, better brew up some lestor restore potions if you plan on using it regularly. Seems like a no brainer choice of spell


Snakey wrote:
You seriously had enough time to look at this class and weigh all of it's features against the greater scheme of things? You had time to work-out alternate suggestions already?

Yes, actually. Even a second-level spell grants a +4 enhancement bonus to a stat. At levels 8+, this is just not a particularly powerful ability.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Enchanter Tom wrote:
Snakey wrote:
You seriously had enough time to look at this class and weigh all of it's features against the greater scheme of things? You had time to work-out alternate suggestions already?
Yes, actually. Even a second-level spell grants a +4 enhancement bonus to a stat. At levels 8+, this is just not a particularly powerful ability.

First of all that second level spell doesnt also provide a natural armor bonus and potentially, a set of natural attacks as well as possibly a much higher bonus. So while you do have to invest some resources to make it awesome, its still pretty good for a standard class ability.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

I'd need to see some actual playtest data before making any judgments on the suggestions being made in this thread. Although it does seem odd that the alchemist takes ability damage for an ability that isn't much more powerful than bull's strength without a heavy investment of discoveries. Also, Charisma damage makes a Jekyll/Hyde alchemist less able to Intimidate his opponents when bestial.


I like the class, I like it alot, however from a party dynamic standpoint, might it be better to put all the poison use abilities into discoveries, and make things like infusion(which lets your extracts affect other party members) a basic class ability?
Also, some of the discoveries (the basic elemental ones mainly) are good, and flavorful, but they may not be worth sinking a 1per 4 levels class feature into each one, perhaps something like combining multiple elemental bomb effects into a single discovery? Right now gut reaction is that spending your discoveries improving level+Int bombs per day (with a 5 or 10' radius of negligible damage) isn't that great of a payoff.


I see it as a specilization route, which means that if you don't invest in it, it WILL suck at higher levels. That's the point.

That said, I am interested to see if you can truly create a combat monster with the same potential as a bomb-thrower (I especially like the wis damage!)


Well, my thinking is that the bombs are automatically useful at high levels. The mutagens are not, which is why they should scale somewhat.


Epic Meepo wrote:
I'd need to see some actual playtest data before making any judgments on the suggestions being made in this thread. Although it does seem odd that the alchemist takes ability damage for an ability that isn't much more powerful than bull's strength without a heavy investment of discoveries. Also, Charisma damage makes a Jekyll/Hyde alchemist less able to Intimidate his opponents when bestial.

Intimidating Prowess.

I agree, though. Doubling their effects at level 12 or something doesn't seem too unreasonable.

Dark Archive

I'm also not too big on the mutagen. It talks about "different" mutagens, but I didn't really see any difference... Besides the Feral Mutagen. Also there is a vastly disproportionate amount of "bomb" enhancing discoveries as opposed to the other types. Also, i am under the impression that the chr damage taken by swallowing a mutagen does not go away when the mutagen expires and must be recovered normally.

This class has 2 abilities that deal ability damage. I am not sure I like that as balancing mechanic. Reducing the Alchemist's chr by 1d4 for the duration of the mutagen? Sure. Makes perfect sense. Actual ability damage? I'm not so much a fan. I'm also not sure balancing having multiple mutagens available by lowering the characters casting stat is a good idea. Costing more money? Sure( which it does ). Mutagens are powerful and you do need a mechanism to prevent abuse... But I don't know if ability damage is the answer.


Draeke Raefel wrote:
I'm also not sure balancing having multiple mutagens available by lowering the characters casting stat is a good idea.

INT based caster, not CHA.

Dark Archive

Mirror, Mirror wrote:
Draeke Raefel wrote:
I'm also not sure balancing having multiple mutagens available by lowering the characters casting stat is a good idea.
INT based caster, not CHA.

... Read the Infused Mutagen discovery...


Draeke Raefel wrote:
... Read the Infused Mutagen discovery...

I see what you mean, but this is a method for stockpiling mutagens. You do it one day, get a lesser restoration from the cleric, and are ready to go the next.

I guess it really just limits how quickly you can stockpile, though a CHA hit would likely end the stocking quicker, as they would likely have a lower CHA than INT.

PS: you didn't really explain that well in the post. "multiple" could refer to different types of mutagen options OR a number of actual mutagens.


At a cursory glance, I agree that the Mutagen ability looks week. However, it's worth noting that there are a lot of Transmutation spells like bull's strength in the Elixer formulae list, so stacking those could allow an Alchemist to start being pretty dangerous. A 2nd-level Alchemist with a Strength Mutagen and self-cast Bull's Strength elixer gets +6 to Strength. Add that to an affordable 14 Strength and you've got 20 strength and +5 attack and damage bonuses right off the bat.

Also, while discoveries are understandably sparse, changing the damage type of bombs might do well to be separated from that in some way; an option at 4th level to change bomb damage type as a bonus feature, with an option to keep the existing fire damage with a slight improvement such as catching enemies on fire. Then, the Explosive discovery could be more generalized with special bonuses for each damage type (deafening for sonic, minor Dex damage for frost, etc.)


Warlord255 wrote:

At a cursory glance, I agree that the Mutagen ability looks week. However, it's worth noting that there are a lot of Transmutation spells like bull's strength in the Elixer formulae list, so stacking those could allow an Alchemist to start being pretty dangerous. A 2nd-level Alchemist with a Strength Mutagen and self-cast Bull's Strength elixer gets +6 to Strength. Add that to an affordable 14 Strength and you've got 20 strength and +5 attack and damage bonuses right off the bat.

+1, though enhancement bonuses do not stack. But the basic argument is sound: you could make a mutagen for +2 con and have +4 str from your extract.

Add some buffs together with a mutagen and you can be quite a beast.

Dark Archive

Warlord255 wrote:

At a cursory glance, I agree that the Mutagen ability looks week. However, it's worth noting that there are a lot of Transmutation spells like bull's strength in the Elixer formulae list, so stacking those could allow an Alchemist to start being pretty dangerous. A 2nd-level Alchemist with a Strength Mutagen and self-cast Bull's Strength elixer gets +6 to Strength. Add that to an affordable 14 Strength and you've got 20 strength and +5 attack and damage bonuses right off the bat.

Also, while discoveries are understandably sparse, changing the damage type of bombs might do well to be separated from that in some way; an option at 4th level to change bomb damage type as a bonus feature, with an option to keep the existing fire damage with a slight improvement such as catching enemies on fire. Then, the Explosive discovery could be more generalized with special bonuses for each damage type (deafening for sonic, minor Dex damage for frost, etc.)

Bull's Strength and Mutagen both give enhancement bonuses so they do not stack.

I guess my problem is Mutagen doesn't last that much longer than Bull's Strength or Bear's Endurance.


Draeke Raefel wrote:

Bull's Strength and Mutagen both give enhancement bonuses so they do not stack.

I guess my problem is Mutagen doesn't last that much longer than Bull's Strength or Bear's Endurance.

Durp. I feel like a bit of a fool now.

I have to wonder, might it be worthwhile to have Mutagens be a second "formula school" that contains the spells like bull's strength and perhaps self-altering utilities like spider climb? While this would bring up the problem of not being able to share those spells with allies via Infusion, it could open the door for allowing mutagens to be shared - though likely at higher risk.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Well, the discoveries are designed to be a path of specialization. You can make your bombs much better, your mutagens much better, or pick up some general ones that improve other aspects of the character.

I am hesitant about making the mutagen into a concept that scales quite as dramatically as you suggest, especially not without taking a very long and hard look at the duration...

That said.. I am open to discussion...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I aggree the current mutagen progression of greater at 12th and grand at 16th is much too slow,

it also doesn't stack with an alchemists own extracts.
by 4th level they can bull strength themself, which won't stack with taking a mutagen, or barkskin themself

the bonus type granded by a mutagen should be compatable with their own buff spells.

Grand at 8th and Greater at 12th is good.

and having another low level mutagen boost discovery would be good.
something that gives them DR silver or magic with the claws? or on top of having claws, after a certain level, the way sorcerer bloodline claws progress.


Instead of Charisma damage, you could be unable to make use of certain skills (like Bluff and Diplomacy) while under the effects of a mutagen. Alternatively, you could suffer a penalty to skill use.

On the other hand, the alchemist does eventually get restoration for dealing with ability damage.


Change the bonus type from enhancement bonus to alchemical bonus and the mutagens become very very attractive.

(If there are concerns about balance, half the alchemical bonuses, and/or reduce their duration to say 10 minutes +5 per level instead of 10 minutes per level.)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kolokotroni wrote:
Enchanter Tom wrote:
Snakey wrote:
You seriously had enough time to look at this class and weigh all of it's features against the greater scheme of things? You had time to work-out alternate suggestions already?
Yes, actually. Even a second-level spell grants a +4 enhancement bonus to a stat. At levels 8+, this is just not a particularly powerful ability.
First of all that second level spell doesnt also provide a natural armor bonus and potentially, a set of natural attacks as well as possibly a much higher bonus. So while you do have to invest some resources to make it awesome, its still pretty good for a standard class ability.

by 4th level you're occasionally facing damage reduction from silver, cold iron, and magic. which your claws won't penetrate. a sorcerer of the right bloodline will get claws that outpace the ones you have to wait for 4th level to attain. and you don't have a formulae for Magic Fang or Greater Magic Fang to buff your own attacks.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Thraxus wrote:

Instead of Charisma damage, you could be unable to make use of certain skills (like Bluff and Diplomacy) while under the effects of a mutagen. Alternatively, you could suffer a penalty to skill use.

On the other hand, the alchemist does eventually get restoration for dealing with ability damage.

considering the delayed rate of spell progression, restoration as a 3rd level spell would help the alchemist out


Petrus222 wrote:
Change the bonus type from enhancement bonus to alchemical bonus and the mutagens become very very attractive.

And would apply that bonus to more than just the antitoxin.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Thraxus wrote:
Petrus222 wrote:
Change the bonus type from enhancement bonus to alchemical bonus and the mutagens become very very attractive.
And would apply that bonus to more than just the antitoxin.

giving mutagens a natural progression, and having the discoveries boost that progression would also be good.

2nd level
+2 alchemical bonus to one ability, +2 alchemical bonus to natural armor

6th level
+4 alchemical bonus to one ability, +3 alchemical bonus to natural armor

10th level
+4 alchemical bonus to one ability, +2 to a second, +4 to natural armor, and DR 3/silver , DR 3/cold iron, or DR 1/-

15th level
+4 alchemical bonus to one ability, +4 to a second, +2 to the third. +6 to natural armor and DR 5/silver or DR 5/cold iron, or DR 2/-

have Greater Mutagen available at 8th level to provide an additional +2 natural armor, and +2 to a second score.

have Grand Mutagen available at 12th to provide another +2 to natural armo and +2 to the primary stat boost.

if they invest all of their infusions in mutagen enhancements

- 6th : +4, and +3 natural armor
- 8th : +4/+2, and +5 natural
- 10th: +4/+4, and +6 natural, some DR
- 12th: +6/+4, and +8 natural, some DR
- 15th: +6/+6/+2, and +10 natural, some DR.


How does the Mutagen compare to the Barbarian's base Rage ability (not rage powers)?

Dark Archive

Why should a character invest in the mutagen discoveries if he could also get a permanent transformation effect without any negative effects?


Enchanter Tom wrote:
I get that mutagens are supposed to be somewhat risky, but I'd like to see the Charisma damage changed to a change in personality. An alchemist who imbibes a mutagen should become belligerent, easily provoked, prone to taking risks, and so on.

You then run into the problem of a Role Play penalty that is easily ignored without a mechanics penalty to back it up. Penalties have a mechanics component for this very reason.

Thraxus wrote:
Instead of Charisma damage, you could be unable to make use of certain skills (like Bluff and Diplomacy) while under the effects of a mutagen. Alternatively, you could suffer a penalty to skill use.

A penalty to Charisma based skills with the exception of intimidate would be a good solution, possibly with a duration that extends beyond the duration of the mutagen. For simplicity's sake say the penalty could last double the duration of the mutagen (if the mutagen lasts 30 minutes, then the penalty lingers for 30 minutes after the mutagen effect expires).

As for giving mutagens an automatic progression instead of using discoveries...I need more time with the class to form an opinion.


Enchanter Tom wrote:

1d4 Charisma damage is a serious hindrance to most alchemists (who are going to be Int-based). It greatly reduces the number of times that an alchemist can use a mutagen--not just in the period of one day, but over the course of a week. I get that mutagens are supposed to be somewhat risky, but I'd like to see the Charisma damage changed to a change in personality. An alchemist who imbibes a mutagen should become belligerent, easily provoked, prone to taking risks, and so on.

I have to disagree with you there. While I'm not playtesting until after the holidays. I don't see how 1d4 Cha drain is a serious hinderence to a class that has Int as it's primary. Having Cha drain won't affect anything ability-wise unless I missed something in my read thru.

As far as making rules for changing personality, that is a big RPG no-no. That should fall under the Role Playing department. A player should find a way to roleplay that Cha loss. Making rules for a characters personality other than the guidelines for alignments should never happen except in the most extreme of circumstances.


Anvil wrote:
I have to disagree with you there. While I'm not playtesting until after the holidays. I don't see how 1d4 Cha drain is a serious hinderence to a class that has Int as it's primary. Having Cha drain won't affect anything ability-wise unless I missed something in my read thru.

When you reach 0 Charisma, you're comatose.


Enchanter Tom wrote:
Anvil wrote:
I have to disagree with you there. While I'm not playtesting until after the holidays. I don't see how 1d4 Cha drain is a serious hinderence to a class that has Int as it's primary. Having Cha drain won't affect anything ability-wise unless I missed something in my read thru.
When you reach 0 Charisma, you're comatose.

I got the impression the Cha drain was not permanent but lasted for the duration of the mutagen...it's oddly worded.

If it is permanent then here's a suggestion Jason.

SUGGESTION- THE ALCHEMIST SHOULD GET A SAVING THROW to potentially fight off the side effects of the mutagen and negate the 1d4 CHA drain. The DC could increase by 1 for every mutagen that has been drank(drunk?) since the last failed saving throw. The first time an alchemist uses a mutagen he gets no saving throw.

Dark Archive

Enchanter Tom wrote:
Anvil wrote:
I have to disagree with you there. While I'm not playtesting until after the holidays. I don't see how 1d4 Cha drain is a serious hinderence to a class that has Int as it's primary. Having Cha drain won't affect anything ability-wise unless I missed something in my read thru.
When you reach 0 Charisma, you're comatose.

By level four they can create lesser restoration extracts to counter the negative effects of the mutagen.

I would rather see the negative effect as something that will negatively affect the Alchemist. Make it 1d4 INT damage and you have a real negative impact in return for the positive gain.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's not drain. It's damage. It heals automatically 1 point per day, or 2 points with a DC 15 Heal check.


Shisumo wrote:
It's not drain. It's damage. It heals automatically 1 point per day, or 2 points with a DC 15 Heal check.

This. Ability damage is always temporary. Ability drain is always permanent (although healable by spells and such, of course).


Zurai wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
It's not drain. It's damage. It heals automatically 1 point per day, or 2 points with a DC 15 Heal check.
This. Ability damage is always temporary. Ability drain is always permanent (although healable by spells and such, of course).

Ah so it is damage not drain. Then it's actually a pretty weak drawback. Especially in a high magic campaign. I could only see this as a problem at low levels or for that short time span when the party is trying to get a somewhat crazy alchemist to the healer.

Sounds like fun RP opportunities there! I really like this class!


Perhaps the Alchemist should suffer a penalty, rather than damage, while using the mutagen. And, charisma doesn't seem enough. Perhaps willpower (coupled with their weak will save, it would make for an interesting drawback).

I also agree with the OP that it could use a little bit of a boost, but not a scaling boost for the alchemists who don't spend their discoveries on it.

Overall, how about this:

Basic Mutagen:+2 to nat AC, +4 to ability score, -4 charisma penalty, -4 wisdom penalty

Greater Mutagen: +4 nat AC, +6/+4 ability scores, -4 charisma penalty, -4 wisdom penalty

Grand Mutagen: +6 nat AC +8/+6/+4 ability scores, -4 charisma penalty, -4 wisdom penalty

True Mutagen: +8 nat AC +8/+6/+6 ability scores -4 charisma penalty, -4 wisdom penalty

If we bump everything just a bit, and give it a tiny bit more downside, I think the ability will work nicely.

Sovereign Court

I will chime in with the others that are saying that the mutagen bonus should not be an enhancement bonus. The big cap to the mutagen line that gives decreasing pluses to each stat is next to worthless. I can't imagine a character of that level not having any stat boosting belts at all, and the weakest of which would negate the paltry +2 to the 3rd stat.

If the druid can actually assume larger and smaller forms, get multiple natural attacks, assume natural armor, movement modes, senses, etc etc, all as a class benefit in addition to spellcasting, I can't imagine a little more meat on the alchemist's bones wouldn't be in order.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Twowlves wrote:


I will chime in with the others that are saying that the mutagen bonus should not be an enhancement bonus. The big cap to the mutagen line that gives decreasing pluses to each stat is next to worthless. I can't imagine a character of that level not having any stat boosting belts at all, and the weakest of which would negate the paltry +2 to the 3rd stat.

If the druid can actually assume larger and smaller forms, get multiple natural attacks, assume natural armor, movement modes, senses, etc etc, all as a class benefit in addition to spellcasting, I can't imagine a little more meat on the alchemist's bones wouldn't be in order.

A major class ability should not be replaceable by a belt and an amulet. Make the Mutagens into an Alchemical bonus.


Serisan wrote:
Twowlves wrote:


I will chime in with the others that are saying that the mutagen bonus should not be an enhancement bonus. The big cap to the mutagen line that gives decreasing pluses to each stat is next to worthless. I can't imagine a character of that level not having any stat boosting belts at all, and the weakest of which would negate the paltry +2 to the 3rd stat.

If the druid can actually assume larger and smaller forms, get multiple natural attacks, assume natural armor, movement modes, senses, etc etc, all as a class benefit in addition to spellcasting, I can't imagine a little more meat on the alchemist's bones wouldn't be in order.

A major class ability should not be replaceable by a belt and an amulet. Make the Mutagens into an Alchemical bonus.

Make them more than generic stat bonuses, they're quite boring the way they are now, it's like trap sense on rogues, it's there, and sometimes nice, but who's ever honestly cared about it more than once every few sessions?


I'd like to throw in another vote for the mutagen ability having some kind of natural progression. As it stands, it's the only one of the alchemist's abilities that does not remain viable at higher levels. I understand the balance concerns, but it really feels like a pointless class feature rather quickly. I also feel the Cha drain should become a Cha penalty while the mutagen is active. I should not have to keep restorative extracts handy just to use a primary class feature.


Id like to add my support to the following critiques of the alchemist and just some of my opinions on what I have seen so far.

Cha Damage to use a base feature is incredibly harsh. Especially when it is not a main stat and could easily leave you comatose in certain fights.

Mutigens should have a better progression. I feel (like many others) it loses its usefulness later one. Also discoveries could instead provide different evolution style upgrades( increased size, breath weapon, wings, extra limbs, bites ect. Add variety). also maybe adding a sicked effect at the end of the duration, similar to fatigue for barbarian.

I feel like the Alchemist is several different ideas just all pushed together and none of them are too powerful or level well. Part bomb thrower (which I am not a big fan of and just kind of seems like an idea that got pushed into the class), Part caster who mixes his spells via potions but some of them dont make sense for being potions, and Part Shape shifter (similar to the Dr. Jekyl idea). I wouldnt be opposed to refining the focus of the class a bit, maybe pulling out the bomb throwing part and tweak it to be something like...making catridges or special arrows/bolts that deal extra damage via alchemy, requires him to prepare ahead of time to do that. I just feel like it needs to be tightened up.

Just my 3am observations :\


Now I notice for mutagens that the bonus is enhancement...why? The mutagen is actually changing the person's shape, not giving them an enhancement, so I would think it would give them a size bonus like the spell beast shape would give a medium creature, since it's actually changing the body into more of a bestial creature, not just making them magically stronger or quicker, which is what enhancement to me implies. Granted I also see that right now you have to take discoveries to improve it to even make it worthwhile to use, I would suggest either adding more discoveries for the levels, or perhaps taking it completely out of the discoveries and making a separate discovery list for each class mutagen, bomb and extracts. After doing such, more discoveries would have to be added to each list to balance it out, I'll post more on my idea bout such later.


I'll throw in that the CHR damage is a perfect way of doing a simple "Dr. Jekyll is really turning in to a creep". And with restoration on the available list, it is not a major penalty at all.

I do think the mutagens are a bit weak. For one thing, Greater Mutagen requires two other discoveries. That means you are stuck with +2 until 12th level. I don't think bumping it to +4 and +6 for free along the way would be bad. Then let the discoveries bring in the second and third ability scores plus maybe unlock the cap to +8. I've no idea what the right mix is, but that seems in the ballpark to me. Whereas the current version seems like something I wouldn't bother with beyond level 4 or 6.


Velderan wrote:
Perhaps the Alchemist should suffer a penalty, rather than damage, while using the mutagen. And, charisma doesn't seem enough.

Just for the flavor of it, I really prefer the damage. As I read it the idea here is that messing with this stuff has side effects, that persist well beyond the perks. They don't have to outweigh the perks. I don't think these do at all.

Now I could be convinced that adding in some Wis damage as well makes sense. Damage to two different abilities gets to be a burden, but maybe have it be 1d4 damage to either Wis or Chr at random.

Sovereign Court

BryonD wrote:

I'll throw in that the CHR damage is a perfect way of doing a simple "Dr. Jekyll is really turning in to a creep". And with restoration on the available list, it is not a major penalty at all.

I do think the mutagens are a bit weak. For one thing, Greater Mutagen requires two other discoveries. That means you are stuck with +2 until 12th level. I don't think bumping it to +4 and +6 for free along the way would be bad. Then let the discoveries bring in the second and third ability scores plus maybe unlock the cap to +8. I've no idea what the right mix is, but that seems in the ballpark to me. Whereas the current version seems like something I wouldn't bother with beyond level 4 or 6.

+1 I know Jason hates when we say that, but that's exactly what I was thinking, and Bryon said it first, other posters have posted progressions that are rediculously too good for what this ability should be.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
lastknightleft wrote:
BryonD wrote:

I'll throw in that the CHR damage is a perfect way of doing a simple "Dr. Jekyll is really turning in to a creep". And with restoration on the available list, it is not a major penalty at all.

I do think the mutagens are a bit weak. For one thing, Greater Mutagen requires two other discoveries. That means you are stuck with +2 until 12th level. I don't think bumping it to +4 and +6 for free along the way would be bad. Then let the discoveries bring in the second and third ability scores plus maybe unlock the cap to +8. I've no idea what the right mix is, but that seems in the ballpark to me. Whereas the current version seems like something I wouldn't bother with beyond level 4 or 6.

+1 I know Jason hates when we say that, but that's exactly what I was thinking, and Bryon said it first, other posters have posted progressions that are rediculously too good for what this ability should be.

My only question is if you can justify changing over to Alchemical from Enhancement if you go to +8. You could make a pretty mean Alch if you can give yourself a total of +14 to a stat.

I think the Mutagens balance out best if changed to Alchemical bonuses, then maybe reworking the Discovery progression. As has been said elsewhere, one of the best possible solutions is simply giving an additional Discovery at level 1. Generally speaking, I think that fixes the class nicely.


Gee - I should probably have added my thoughts to the above - or learned how the reply button worked.

I agree that the mutagen as an Enhancement bonus does not offer much as a class feature. At second level, the Alchemist gets a 4300GP stat bump item that only works 10min/level and causes 1d4cha damage. And it stays a 4300GP stat bump item unless he invests heavily from other class features into making the stat bump item marginally better stat bump item.

The issue is that the class feature is only a substite for a pretty small amount of money. It offers nothing more than the alchemist could get by buying a +2 belt and drinking a 300GP potion.

Were the bonus an alchemical one - then there would be a really good reason for the Alchemist to spend that action in combat, or just before combat, in order to give him that +2 to one of his physical stats, and it would also make the greater mutagen's more attractive around the time you could get the greater mutagen feature especially since at that time the character probably would already be able to afford a +4 stat bump item.

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