A modest proposal: The Alchemist


Round 3: Alchemist and Inquisitor

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I'm a huge fan of the alchemist, but I feel as though the default progression is currently pulled in a few too many different directions despite player interest ("I want to be Dr. Jekyll the 2nd. Instead, I'm... good at poisoning people?") . I would like to propose a simple plan to alleviate many of these issues:

Step 1: Remove the abilities at level 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. This is the poison chain, persistent mutagen, and instant alchemy.

Step 2: Make said abilities into discoveries (with appropriate tweaks to power, as necessary).

Step 3: Give the alchemist discoveries at every even-numbered level.

This would permit alchemists to specialize in a number of different fields, and allow more persistent access to discoveries, which are clearly one of the most exciting components of the class. I shouldn't have to add that there are plenty of other alchemy-type abilities people want that could be done as discoveries (brew potions, anyone?).

As I envision it, there should be 5-8 discoveries for each general branch of alchemy (poison, bombs, mutagens, and extracts) in addition to the more straightforward utility ones (like infusion, fast alchemy, etc). With appropriate level limitations (which would become simpler than the current "You need x other discoveries first" nomenclature) to police things, it wouldn't get out of hand.

Incidentally, this'd be a great opportunity to add abilities to make a poisoner alchemist viable. I'd really like to play such a one, but poisons are cripplingly expensive to have to depend on regularly in combat - imagine a fighter having to re-buy his +1 sword after every couple of days of adventuring...

Poisoner (Ex): The alchemist can quickly concoct a virulent injury poison. Doing so takes him just as long as it would to prepare a bomb. This poison does 1d4 str or dex damage for 4 turns (save 1), and has a fort DC of 10 + 1/2 level + int modifier. Each use of this ability costs the alchemist one of his daily uses of the Bomb power.

Silver Crusade

Wow, I really like this, but I'd rather just make the bombs unlimited (That really wouldn't overpower the character) and allow him to make the poison Int modifier times per day.

Scarab Sages

Man, I thought this thread was going to be about baby-eating alchemists. Color me disappointed.


I wonder if Babies count as an exotic ingredient for the purposes of extracts, potions, or bombs...baby bomb coming through!

On a more serious note, I'd be happy to see this. Specialization for a generalist class is bad! Pigeonholing sucks!

More Discoveries, less "chosen abilities," less punishment for not following the set trees!


Curse you Swift! You've ruined the phrase 'modest proposal' for EVERYONE EVER.

Actually, baby eating as a swift action sounds good to me. Replicates the effects of Hero's Feast.

N. Jolly wrote:
Wow, I really like this, but I'd rather just make the bombs unlimited (That really wouldn't overpower the character) and allow him to make the poison Int modifier times per day.

The various per-day uses are a bit odd, I agree, but for now I'm trying to work as closely within the current boundaries of the class as I can. Full changes to abilities is a topic for a different thread.

Liberty's Edge

I admit I kind of like this idea. A discovery every even level and moving some of the set abilities into discoveries would be a good change.

That might make the class progression feel very much like a rogue with their class features, but I don't really think that's necessarily a bad thing.

I do like the idea of more focused "Jekyll/Hyde", Poisoner, or Explosives oriented alchemists, rather than a forced hodge-podge of all three.

Grand Lodge

Tom Baumbach wrote:
Man, I thought this thread was going to be about baby-eating alchemists. Color me disappointed.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that.


Maeloke wrote:

Step 1: Remove the abilities at level 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. This is the poison chain, persistent mutagen, and instant alchemy.

Step 2: Make said abilities into discoveries (with appropriate tweaks to power, as necessary).

I disagree, except maybe persistent mutagen. The poison chain is fun and flavorful, but it's nothing worth spending limited class resources on, and instant alchemy is what an alchemist should be able to do, no matter it's specialty. Persistent mutagen I could perhaps see as a discovery.

Quote:
Step 3: Give the alchemist discoveries at every even-numbered level.

I agree, but there needs to be more discoveries. Right now, they lean pretty heavily towards bombs, and that's not much fun.

Quote:
(brew potions, anyone?).

THIS! Seriously, I have no idea why this isn't in the class. And it shouldn't be a discovery even. It should just be there.

Quote:
Poisoner (Ex): The alchemist can quickly concoct a virulent injury poison. Doing so takes him just as long as it would to prepare a bomb. This poison does 1d4 str or dex damage for 4 turns (save 1), and has a fort DC of 10 + 1/2 level + int modifier. Each use of this ability costs the alchemist one of his daily uses of the Bomb power.

Interesting.....

Sovereign Court

MaverickWolf wrote:
Maeloke wrote:

Step 1: Remove the abilities at level 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. This is the poison chain, persistent mutagen, and instant alchemy.

Step 2: Make said abilities into discoveries (with appropriate tweaks to power, as necessary).

I disagree, except maybe persistent mutagen. The poison chain is fun and flavorful, but it's nothing worth spending limited class resources on, and instant alchemy is what an alchemist should be able to do, no matter it's specialty. Persistent mutagen I could perhaps see as a discovery.

I disagree with your disagreement, I love poisons and would definitely take those if they were discoveries.


Obviously then, if the poison chain is not worth spending limited class resources on, Alchemist discvoeries should be improved to make it worth spending those resources on, and to have more of those resources to spend.

If the flaw is that it is "fun and flavorful but not enough resources," we need more resources.

If the flaw is that it is "fun but not useful" then it needs to be useful.

If the flaw is all of the above, all of the above must be repaired.

Simple.


MaverickWolf wrote:
I disagree, except maybe persistent mutagen. The poison chain is fun and flavorful, but it's nothing worth spending limited class resources on, and instant alchemy is what an alchemist should be able to do, no matter it's specialty. Persistent mutagen I could perhaps see as a discovery.

I concur that the poison abilities, as they stand, are not much of a match for the ones focusing on bombs, but that's why I added that the power levels would need some tinkering. Poison is such fun!

MaverickWolf wrote:
I agree, but there needs to be more discoveries. Right now, they lean pretty heavily towards bombs, and that's not much fun.

Yep! Like I said, a good 5-8 for each specialty would be a good baseline to work from. Suggestions for all of them is something I'll leave for another page - I suspect you've got plenty of ideas in that thread of yours that I haven't gotten around to reading yet.

Kerian Valentine wrote:

Obviously then, if the poison chain is not worth spending limited class resources on, Alchemist discvoeries should be improved to make it worth spending those resources on, and to have more of those resources to spend.

If the flaw is that it is "fun and flavorful but not enough resources," we need more resources.

If the flaw is that it is "fun but not useful" then it needs to be useful.

If the flaw is all of the above, all of the above must be repaired.

Simple.

I *think* you're being sarcastic about the alleged simplicity of my suggestion. And that's quite alright, because when one gets into it, it'll likely require far more work than a simple 3-step process.

Still very much worth the adjustment.


Maeloke wrote:

I'm a huge fan of the alchemist, but I feel as though the default progression is currently pulled in a few too many different directions despite player interest ("I want to be Dr. Jekyll the 2nd. Instead, I'm... good at poisoning people?") . I would like to propose a simple plan to alleviate many of these issues:

Step 1: Remove the abilities at level 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18. This is the poison chain, persistent mutagen, and instant alchemy.

Step 2: Make said abilities into discoveries (with appropriate tweaks to power, as necessary).

Step 3: Give the alchemist discoveries at every even-numbered level.

This would permit alchemists to specialize in a number of different fields, and allow more persistent access to discoveries, which are clearly one of the most exciting components of the class. I shouldn't have to add that there are plenty of other alchemy-type abilities people want that could be done as discoveries (brew potions, anyone?).

As I envision it, there should be 5-8 discoveries for each general branch of alchemy (poison, bombs, mutagens, and extracts) in addition to the more straightforward utility ones (like infusion, fast alchemy, etc). With appropriate level limitations (which would become simpler than the current "You need x other discoveries first" nomenclature) to police things, it wouldn't get out of hand.

Incidentally, this'd be a great opportunity to add abilities to make a poisoner alchemist viable. I'd really like to play such a one, but poisons are cripplingly expensive to have to depend on regularly in combat - imagine a fighter having to re-buy his +1 sword after every couple of days of adventuring...

Poisoner (Ex): The alchemist can quickly concoct a virulent injury poison. Doing so takes him just as long as it would to prepare a bomb. This poison does 1d4 str or dex damage for 4 turns (save 1), and has a fort DC of 10 + 1/2 level + int modifier. Each use of this ability costs the alchemist one of his daily uses of the Bomb power.

Pretty much my own thoughts as well.

More discoveries, better discoveries, and make the poison chain discovery based, make the mutagens not enhancement bonuses etc...

Dark Archive

This is super awesome. I hope Paizo takes a serious look at this post.


No, there was no sarcasm intent in my post. I was disagreeing with the idea that "poisons aren't worth a discovery" from MaverickWolf. If Poisons aren't worth the limited resources, we need to make sure that they are.

I sure know I support your idea and may wind up playtesting this altered alchemist if I can find a chance.


Kerian Valentine wrote:

No, there was no sarcasm intent in my post. I was disagreeing with the idea that "poisons aren't worth a discovery" from MaverickWolf. If Poisons aren't worth the limited resources, we need to make sure that they are.

I sure know I support your idea and may wind up playtesting this altered alchemist if I can find a chance.

I dunno, having a single dose of poison being viable for multiple attacks is quite a good discovery, even at 1/4lvls discoveries. Mainly it's due to the new pathfinder poison and disease mechanics though, and better poisons being available.


Ben Adler wrote:


I dunno, having a single dose of poison being viable for multiple attacks is quite a good discovery, even at 1/4lvls discoveries. Mainly it's due to the new pathfinder poison and disease mechanics though, and better poisons being available.

That's true, but with the ability he made there would be less actual poison buying. And if you level base the discoveries instead of making them so that you have to have a certain number of other discoveries, then being able to use a poison more then once will be fair, considering that the saves of the enemies goes up in the high levels that discovery would need.


Taku wrote:
Ben Adler wrote:


I dunno, having a single dose of poison being viable for multiple attacks is quite a good discovery, even at 1/4lvls discoveries. Mainly it's due to the new pathfinder poison and disease mechanics though, and better poisons being available.

That's true, but with the ability he made there would be less actual poison buying. And if you level base the discoveries instead of making them so that you have to have a certain number of other discoveries, then being able to use a poison more then once will be fair, considering that the saves of the enemies goes up in the high levels that discovery would need.

Oh, I entirely agree in putting the poison abilities in discoveries, I'm just mentioning that they're not really that underpowered.

I know I'm used to thinking of poison as something that sucks from what 3.5 did to it, but that's not really the case anymore.


This is great. After playing around on the Alchemist, I really feel like its trying to do a bunch of different things. I thought about building a character who staid at range and just threw bombs, but then Im "wasting" an aspect of the class---the poison stuff. In keeping with Paizo's attitude with the other APG classes(which I feel are extremely customizable), I think it'd be wonderful to have more choices. It felt extremely weird to be at level 8 and only have two class related decisions to make ("spells known" aside).


Ben Adler wrote:

Oh, I entirely agree in putting the poison abilities in discoveries, I'm just mentioning that they're not really that underpowered.

I know I'm used to thinking of poison as something that sucks from what 3.5 did to it, but that's not really the case anymore.

It's not so much that they're underpowered so much as they're just too expensive to try and build into the core techniques of a character.

There's only one poison that really feels potent enough to use regularly, but cheap enough to afford for a character of moderate level - purple worm poison. DC 24 save, d3 strength, requires 2 saves, and only costs 700 - 350 if you're brewing it yourself. That yields a fairly consistent 4-8 str damage on the sucker, which is plenty respectable. For that price and return, I could see stocking up on the stuff as early as level 7-9.

Of course, that's about the time wizards are getting spells that say "make a fortitude save or die", and for their part, clerics and druids get the Poison spell - d3 con damage over 6 rounds, and only 1 save required. All free. Poison's such a narrow, oft-resisted corner of damage rules, I really wouldn't mind seeing alchemists be pretty dangerous with the stuff without having to shell out.

Anyhow, I'm getting sidetracked by the poison thing. I'm glad people seem generally in favor of the notion - I'm crossing my fingers for Jason's revised version to allow for my dedicated mutagenist gnome with crazy hulk serum. Y'all can keep your poison and bombs.


A gnome hulking out? Are you going to use a Enlarge person extract before or after?


Taku wrote:
A gnome hulking out? Are you going to use a Enlarge person extract before or after?

To be honest, my hope is that a revised version of the discovery list will include one that allows mutagens to increase your size.

Hell, since I'm wishing (and because I love making up rules), here's generally what I'd like to see in a mutagen progression (these would all be discoveries, i.e. optional):

Mutagen (Su): An alchemist can brew a potent tonic that monstrously increases his body at the expense of his mind. It takes one hour to brew a mutagen, and the alchemist may only have one at a time. As it is calibrated to the alchemist's particular body chemistry, this mutagen will only work for the alchemist who created it. It grants a +2 alchemical bonus to natural armor and one physical ability score (str, dex, or con), for up to 10 minutes per level (the alchemist chooses the duration when he brews the mutagen). However, the alchemist takes 1d4 wisdom and charisma damage every time he drinks the tonic. This damage may not be healed while the benefits of the mutagen persist, and the mutagen's effects may not be dismissed - the alchemist must wait until the effects subside.

Mutagenic Brute (Su): The chemicals make your limbs into dangerous battering weapons. While under the effects of a mutagen, the alchemist gains two primary slam attacks that he may use in lieu of melee weapons. These slams deal d6 damage (d4 if the alchemist is small). At 10th level, this damage increases to d8, and at 16th, it increases to 2d6.

Improved Mutagen (Su): The bonuses for mutagens increase to +4 for natural armor and one ability score. Additionally, the alchemist gains a +2 alchemical bonus to a second physical ability score. The wisdom and charisma damage increases to d6 per dose of mutagen.
The alchemist must be level 8 or higher to select this discovery.

Mutagenic Growth (Su): The chemicals make you bigger! While under the effects of a mutagen, the alchemist grows one size category, gaining a +2 size bonus to strength and a -2 size penalty to dexterity, and a reach of 10 feet. He gains all the normal benefits and penalties associated with increased size, including increased weapon damage and penalties to attacks and armor class. At 14th level, the alchemist may elect to brew especially potent growth mutagen, which increases his size by two steps. If he does so, his size bonus to strength increases to +4, and dexterity penalty to -4. This effect does not stack with other size increasing spells or effects. The alchemist must be level 8 or higher to select this discovery.

Persistent Mutagen (Su): When he brews a mutagen, the alchemist may elect to have the effects last up to 1 hour per level. The alchemist must be level 12 or higher to select this discovery.

Greater Mutagen (Su): The bonuses granted by the mutagen increase to +6 for natural armor and one physical ability score. A second ability score gains a +4 alchemical bonus. The wisdom and charisma damage from this mutagen is 1d8 per dose. The alchemist must be level 14 or higher to select this discovery.

Mutagenic Vigor (Su): While under the effects of a mutagen, the alchemist gains fast healing 5. The alchemist must be level 16 or higher to select this discovery.

Perfect Mutagen (Su): The alchemist gains +6 alchemical bonus to two physical ability scores and +2 to the remaining score when drinking a mutagen. He no longer takes ability damage when drinking a mutagen. This may only be selected at level 20.

Sovereign Court

Maeloke wrote:
Taku wrote:
A gnome hulking out? Are you going to use a Enlarge person extract before or after?

To be honest, my hope is that a revised version of the discovery list will include one that allows mutagens to increase your size.

Hell, since I'm wishing (and because I love making up rules), here's generally what I'd like to see in a mutagen progression (these would all be discoveries, i.e. optional):

Mutagen (Su): An alchemist can brew a potent tonic that monstrously increases his body at the expense of his mind. It takes one hour to brew a mutagen, and the alchemist may only have one at a time. As it is calibrated to the alchemist's particular body chemistry, this mutagen will only work for the alchemist who created it. It grants a +2 alchemical bonus to natural armor and one physical ability score (str, dex, or con), for up to 10 minutes per level (the alchemist chooses the duration when he brews the mutagen). However, the alchemist takes 1d4 wisdom and charisma damage every time he drinks the tonic when the effects of the potion end this ability damage is restored. This damage may not be healed while the benefits of the mutagen persist, and the mutagen's effects may not be dismissed - the alchemist must wait until the effects subside.

Mutagenic Brute (Su): The chemicals make your limbs into dangerous battering weapons. While under the effects of a mutagen, the alchemist gains two primary slam attacks that he may use in lieu of melee weapons. These slams deal d6 damage (d4 if the alchemist is small). At 10th level, this damage increases to d8, and at 16th, it increases to 2d6.

Improved Mutagen (Su): The bonuses for mutagens increase to +4 for natural armor and one ability score. Additionally, the alchemist gains a +2 alchemical bonus to a second physical ability score. The wisdom and charisma damage increases to d6 per dose of mutagen.
The alchemist must be level 8 or higher to select this discovery.

Mutagenic Growth (Su): The chemicals make you bigger! While under the effects of a mutagen, the alchemist grows one...

You realize you not only added a second ability damage to the base mutagen but took away the ability to restore the damage while under the mutagens effects and didn't give it anything to make it better without discoveries. If you're adding wisdom damage you should at least change it so that the effects of the damage go away with the effects of the bonus (see bolded portion above), otherwise until you can invest in mutagen discoveries they suck.


lastknightleft wrote:
You realize you not only added a second ability damage to the base mutagen but took away the ability to restore the damage while under the mutagens effects and didn't give it anything to make it better without discoveries. If you're adding wisdom damage you should at least change it so that the effects of the damage go away with the effects of the bonus (see bolded portion above), otherwise until you can invest in mutagen discoveries they suck.

I also converted the bonuses to alchemical ones. That's a bloody face stomping right there, when belts of physical perfection come so cheaply and the class can brew potions of barkskin and bull's strength. I'm seeing level 8 characters with long-term +6/+4/+2 physical ability scores and +7 natural armor. By 14 you're looking at +10/+8/+4 and +11 natural armor *easy*.

To compensate for that power, I upped the ability damage and added some amusing flavor stipulations to it's treatment. Right now, the ability damage is inconsequential, since the alchemist can brew potions of lesser restoration and drop them immediately after the mutagen. What's the point of even putting it in there when it's so easy to obviate? Further, since the alchemist has no limit on the number of times per day he can brew mutagens, there's nothing preventing them from taking a break whenever the mutagen wears out and cooking up another batch... unless the ability damage becomes crippling after too many doses. I like that solution better than an arbitrary daily use limit, or having the damage just 'go away' when the bonuses expire.


I tend to agree..my #1 thought was not enough discoveries to really make a unique character..every even level would work, as long as the more powerful stuff was properly handled.
Just as an aside, I would rather them be less magically flavored. Would it really unbalance things to be able to hand off your mixture/bomb to another player? It just doesn't seem to fit my concept of alchemy, I guess. For me, whipping up a bomb, and handing it to another player to toss, or mixing up the right drink to enhance someone elses abilities seems less cheesy, and more realistic. I would still limit the mutagens to their maker. It would make the character less a caster, although I am aware of the higher attack bonus problem of handing off bombs...


Blackerose wrote:

I tend to agree..my #1 thought was not enough discoveries to really make a unique character..every even level would work, as long as the more powerful stuff was properly handled.

Just as an aside, I would rather them be less magically flavored. Would it really unbalance things to be able to hand off your mixture/bomb to another player? It just doesn't seem to fit my concept of alchemy, I guess. For me, whipping up a bomb, and handing it to another player to toss, or mixing up the right drink to enhance someone elses abilities seems less cheesy, and more realistic. I would still limit the mutagens to their maker. It would make the character less a caster, although I am aware of the higher attack bonus problem of handing off bombs...

Your aside gets at the biggest disconnect of the class, I think. There are two ways to go with the alchemist: the classical sort, who patiently brews up concoctions and passes them around, creating huge utility for the whole party, and the adventurer sort, whose abilities (like any other adventuring class) are primarily intended to serve himself in immediate fashion.

It's clear Paizo's going for the latter sort, and I don't blame them - selfless players are hard to come by. That said, I also don't see why someone shouldn't be allowed to play that role. There's already some support for it in the discoveries, with Infusion, but it would be simple enough to add more. If the power level seems like it could get out of hand, one can diminish the effectiveness. Stuff like:

Transfer Mutagen (Su): The alchemist can choose to brew a mutagen for a creature other than himself. Because he is less familiar with physiology not his own, the bonuses the mutagen provides are halved, but it otherwise functions identically. The alchemist must be level 6 to select this discovery.

Sustain Bomb (Su): An alchemist's bombs retain their effectiveness for one hour after they leave his possesion. He may therefore brew bombs and give them to other creatures to throw. However, as he is unable to maintain their potency directly, they deal 2 fewer d6 damage when thrown by someone other than the alchemist. The alchemist may sustain a number of bombs equal to his intelligence modifier. The alchemist must be level 8 to select this discovery.


Maeloke wrote:
Blackerose wrote:

I tend to agree..my #1 thought was not enough discoveries to really make a unique character..every even level would work, as long as the more powerful stuff was properly handled.

Just as an aside, I would rather them be less magically flavored. Would it really unbalance things to be able to hand off your mixture/bomb to another player? It just doesn't seem to fit my concept of alchemy, I guess. For me, whipping up a bomb, and handing it to another player to toss, or mixing up the right drink to enhance someone elses abilities seems less cheesy, and more realistic. I would still limit the mutagens to their maker. It would make the character less a caster, although I am aware of the higher attack bonus problem of handing off bombs...

Your aside gets at the biggest disconnect of the class, I think. There are two ways to go with the alchemist: the classical sort, who patiently brews up concoctions and passes them around, creating huge utility for the whole party, and the adventurer sort, whose abilities (like any other adventuring class) are primarily intended to serve himself in immediate fashion.

It's clear Paizo's going for the latter sort, and I don't blame them - selfless players are hard to come by. That said, I also don't see why someone shouldn't be allowed to play that role. There's already some support for it in the discoveries, with Infusion, but it would be simple enough to add more. If the power level seems like it could get out of hand, one can diminish the effectiveness. Stuff like:

Transfer Mutagen (Su): The alchemist can choose to brew a mutagen for a creature other than himself. Because he is less familiar with physiology not his own, the bonuses the mutagen provides are halved, but it otherwise functions identically. The alchemist must be level 6 to select this discovery.

Sustain Bomb (Su): An alchemist's bombs retain their effectiveness for one hour after they leave his possesion. He may therefore brew bombs and give them to other...

That also works with what was said before, about being able to choose your "path" as it were, for your alchemist. It would be easy to pull off with the discovery every other level route..That is the alchemist I personally would play..at least the 1st time around


N. Jolly wrote:
Wow, I really like this, but I'd rather just make the bombs unlimited (That really wouldn't overpower the character)

Sure that's not broken in the slightest . . . I'm sure that's what they were thinking when they introduced the Warlock in 3.5 . . .I've personally had a warlock break a game by breaking out of prison single-handedly killing 26 guards in the process and not taking a single point of damage . . .


anbucleric wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
Wow, I really like this, but I'd rather just make the bombs unlimited (That really wouldn't overpower the character)

Sure that's not broken in the slightest . . . I'm sure that's what they were thinking when they introduced the Warlock in 3.5 . . .I've personally had a warlock break a game by breaking out of prison single-handedly killing 26 guards in the process and not taking a single point of damage . . .

That's not much proof either way unless you've got more details.

I could do the same thing with a fighter fairly easily, not to mention rogue/mage/cleric

Compare the damage of a bomb to the damage of a TWF rogue with sneak attack.


Ben Adler wrote:
anbucleric wrote:

Sure that's not broken in the slightest . . . I'm sure that's what they were thinking when they introduced the Warlock in 3.5 . . .I've personally had a warlock break a game by breaking out of prison single-handedly killing 26 guards in the process and not taking a single point of damage . . .

That's not much proof either way unless you've got more details.

I could do the same thing with a fighter fairly easily, not to mention rogue/mage/cleric

Compare the damage of a bomb to the damage of a TWF rogue with sneak attack.

+1

A prison that couldn't deal with a warlock was definitely not equipped to deal with a rogue or sorcerer either. Tell me a you've seen a level 10 warlock single handedly beat down four 3.5 vrocks and we can visit the issue again.

I miss playing that rogue...


I was having the same idea myself about discovering your path, I've spent the past 2 weeks working on some ideas. first I would like to show how I would explain extracts.

Extracts (EX): The Alchemist does not cast spells, but instead creates a number of extracts that duplicate the effects of spells though an alchemical process. Each day the alchemist can prepare a number of extracts as given on their progression table. Each extract takes 1 minute to prepare. Extracts are mostly complete when prepared, but the alchemist is the only one who knows the last few ingredients that completes the mixture just before adding it to a vial of Aquas Neutralis, then drinking it before it fizzes completely out of the vial, as such extracts can only be activated by the alchemist. At first only the alchemist can use his own extracts, but he may discover ways to use them on others. (see discovery class feature)

As for discoveries here is what I thought of

Enhanced Extract:
The Alchemist has discovered ways make their Extracts behave differently, in effect the Alchemist can now add a meta-magic effect to an extract. Increases in spell level also increases the extracts level. This ability grants 1 meta-magic effect each time

Mix potion:
The alchemist can mimic any potion from any class but must use craft alchemy (DC = 20 + spell level) instead of the normal rules for brewing potions though the price is not reduced in this due to the complexity and time needed for the alchemist to complete this potion

Dilution: Prerequisites: Mix potion
The Alchemist can dilute a potion or extract to make two of them, however, these diluted potions effects are halved

Alchemical Additives:Prerequisites: Mix potion
The alchemist is able to add alchemical mixes to a potion that grants the effects of one meta-magic feat that is chosen at the time this discovery is taken

Eternal potion:Prerequisites: Mix potion, Alchemical additives, Aquas Densus, Aquas Vertere

Elixir of life:Prerequisites: Mix potion, Alchemical additives, Eternal potion

Aquas Densus:
The Alchemist can now make extracts into an oil like substance which allows the alchemist to use extracts on himself or others with a ranged touch attack.

Aquas Vertere:Prerequisites: Aquas Densus
The alchemist can cause the effects of his extracts to have a inversed effect on the subject, such as cure moderate wounds instead deals damage or bull’s strength instead reduces the subjects strength score.

Volatile concoctions: (instead of Bomb)
The Alchemist is able to create a mix of chemicals that explode a few moments after the right chemical mix occurs. The alchemist in this extent can make alchemical bombs a number of time per day equal to his level + intelligence modifier. These bombs deal an amount of fire damage equal to 1d6 times half the alchemists level. Alchemists who take this discovery are proficient with volatile concoctions.

Mutagen:
The alchemist can brew special formulas into a substance known as a mutagen. This formula adds a +2 bonus to and ability score of the alchemists choice when he creates it, but deals 1d4 charisma damage each time he drinks one. These effects last for a number of rounds equal to the alchemists level when it was created. The alchemist can create a number of mutagens equal to his level + Intelligence modifier each day

Aerial mutagen:Prerequisites: Mutagen
The alchemist grows wings and gains a fly speed equal to twice his land speed with good maneuverability, + 6 dexterity, lightning reflexes, + 2 natural armor.

Aquatic Mutagen: Prerequisites: Mutagen
The Alchemist grows gills and gains a water breathing effect and a swim speed equal to his land speed. The alchemist also gains + 4 Strength, +4 Dexterity and +1 natural armor.

Expert applicator:
The alchemist is able to apply poison as a move action, this improves to a swift action when you chose either toxic synthesis or immunity build up, and then a immediate action if the alchemist gains the other ability

Immunity Buildup:
The Alchemist purposely exposes themselves to small doses of poisons that help him to become resistant to them, the alchemist gains poison resistance 2 which improves by 2 every 3 levels until 10 level, when the alchemist gains immunity to poisons.

Toxic synthesis:
The alchemist may add a poison to the effects of his alchemical creations, such as poisoned tangle foot bags or a vial of alchemist fire. Splash damage can’t afflict some one with the poison. Use the higher of the 2 craft DC + 5 When crafting these items.

Modify venom: Prerequisites: Expert applicator
You may add meta-magic feat effects such ass maximize or extend and add it to poisons instead. Each effect raises the cost of the poison by a multiple of the level increase normally associated with the feat. For example, Maximizing a poison would have you multiply the base cost of the poison by 3, then add that amount for a new total price. If the effect of a meta-magic feat doesn’t have an obvious impact on the effect of the poison, it can not be applied


Robert Petty wrote:
<wall of text>

Hey, a lot of good ideas in there. The alchemical latin might be a bit... arcane, but I appreciate the effort :)

Enhanced extract and alchemical additives are excellent ways to enable and encourage alchemist's affinity for potions, and keep it relevant at higher levels. I'd be a bit more clear with your wording on them, because their effects are a bit fuzzy (and consequently, either too powerful or too weak). Does enhanced extract require the alchemist use a higher level extract slot? With only 6 levels of spells to play with, the alchemist may not be able to afford to use the ability often.

For alchemical additives: "The alchemist selects a metamagic feat. The alchemist may apply this feat to any potion or elixir he brews, increasing the caster level and expense accordingly" (maybe for free, not sure how potent this really is), or "Select a metamagic feat. The alchemist applies the effects of this feat to any potion he drinks or elixir he uses." Freebie potion improvement seems like it might just be too good- like all potions in the party get passed by the alchemist, and suddenly everyone's drinking maximized and empowered potions of bull's strength and cure serious wounds.

Your poison tree is excellent, but Expert Applicator is probably more complex than it needs to be. Just have it say "Whenever the alchemist applies poison to a weapon, he may choose an additional effect from the following: It deals one additional point of ability damage for each failed save, or it lasts 3 additional rounds, or it's save DC increases by 2". Muddling around with metamagic terms is confusing when there's no spell actually being cast.

Your rebuild of mutagen is a bit odd - does it grant an alchemical bonus, or an enhancement? Why does growing wings grant dexterity, natural armor, and a feat? Why do gills grant strength and dexterity? If these features stack, they're collectively nonsensical and *way* too powerful. Above all though, why would you do something so finicky as 1 round/level duration and level+int modifier per day uses? The alchemist will be sucking down a mutagen every thirty paces (and consequently going unconscious thanks to the charisma damage). If you're going to do multiple mutagens in a day, make it something reasonable like 1+int mod, have them last 1 min/level, and have the damage go away when the thing expires.

Aquas vertere is a clever way to nearly double the alchemist's spell list. While it's function is fairly intuitive for some spells, it's not nearly as obvious for others (Protection from arrows? Undetectable alignment? Too many DM judgment calls to make). What I'd instead do is grant access to a specific and limited list of more offensive spells (touch and ranged touch) that can be made into potions and thrown (so aquas densus would be a prerequisite). The alchemist gets to choose one that he can use in this manner. An initial list might include Ray of enfeeblement and inflict moderate wounds. Then 'improved aquas vertere' with a higher minimum level could grant another spell from an expanded list including Poison and Enervation, and the final 'greater aquas vertere' could give access to Disintegrate or Harm.

With my build or yours, though, we run the risk of allowing an alchemist with the Infusion discovery to share around a lot of offensive magic and nova out his daily extracts in one go. Power level is hard to judge.

Lastly: I like bombs in the core progression, just as a baseline 'damage dealt' sort of metric for the alchemist. Rather than make it into a discovery, I'd like to find ways to build it into the other lines of alchemical research - like a mutagen that does your bomb damage as a breath weapon, or a poison that deals your bomb damage as an injury poison. That kinda stuff.


Maeloke wrote:
Robert Petty wrote:
<wall of text>

Hey, a lot of good ideas in there. The alchemical latin might be a bit... arcane, but I appreciate the effort :)

Enhanced extract and alchemical additives are excellent ways to enable and encourage alchemist's affinity for potions, and keep it relevant at higher levels. I'd be a bit more clear with your wording on them, because their effects are a bit fuzzy (and consequently, either too powerful or too weak). Does enhanced extract require the alchemist use a higher level extract slot? With only 6 levels of spells to play with, the alchemist may not be able to afford to use the ability often.

For alchemical additives: "The alchemist selects a metamagic feat. The alchemist may apply this feat to any potion or elixir he brews, increasing the caster level and expense accordingly" (maybe for free, not sure how potent this really is), or "Select a metamagic feat. The alchemist applies the effects of this feat to any potion he drinks or elixir he uses." Freebie potion improvement seems like it might just be too good- like all potions in the party get passed by the alchemist, and suddenly everyone's drinking maximized and empowered potions of bull's strength and cure serious wounds.

Your poison tree is excellent, but Expert Applicator is probably more complex than it needs to be. Just have it say "Whenever the alchemist applies poison to a weapon, he may choose an additional effect from the following: It deals one additional point of ability damage for each failed save, or it lasts 3 additional rounds, or it's save DC increases by 2". Muddling around with metamagic terms is confusing when there's no spell actually being cast.

Your rebuild of mutagen is a bit odd - does it grant an alchemical bonus, or an enhancement? Why does growing wings grant dexterity, natural armor, and a feat? Why do gills grant strength and dexterity? If these features stack, they're collectively nonsensical and *way* too powerful. Above all though, why would you do something so...

A lot of this is just rough draft ideas that I could come up with, I was planing to present this to my play group to discuss flavor and game balance issues, and then I found this board. Wording is extremely important in these and could easily make or break a class. I hope to find better ways to explain these without having to write a novel or instruction manual but the idea is to add abilities representative of what Alchemists are known to do in popular stories.

Liberty's Edge

I have a minor class feature I'd like to see added.

I'd like to add Alchemists having Evasion setup as a class feature for them in the future. They have a good reflex save and they deal with explosions on a daily basis ... surely they've learned to get out of the way a little bit?


Maeloke wrote:
Robert Petty wrote:
<wall of text>

Hey, a lot of good ideas in there. The alchemical latin might be a bit... arcane, but I appreciate the effort :)

Enhanced extract and alchemical additives are excellent ways to enable and encourage alchemist's affinity for potions, and keep it relevant at higher levels. I'd be a bit more clear with your wording on them, because their effects are a bit fuzzy (and consequently, either too powerful or too weak). Does enhanced extract require the alchemist use a higher level extract slot? With only 6 levels of spells to play with, the alchemist may not be able to afford to use the ability often.

For alchemical additives: "The alchemist selects a metamagic feat. The alchemist may apply this feat to any potion or elixir he brews, increasing the caster level and expense accordingly" (maybe for free, not sure how potent this really is), or "Select a metamagic feat. The alchemist applies the effects of this feat to any potion he drinks or elixir he uses." Freebie potion improvement seems like it might just be too good- like all potions in the party get passed by the alchemist, and suddenly everyone's drinking maximized and empowered potions of bull's strength and cure serious wounds.

Your poison tree is excellent, but Expert Applicator is probably more complex than it needs to be. Just have it say "Whenever the alchemist applies poison to a weapon, he may choose an additional effect from the following: It deals one additional point of ability damage for each failed save, or it lasts 3 additional rounds, or it's save DC increases by 2". Muddling around with metamagic terms is confusing when there's no spell actually being cast.

Your rebuild of mutagen is a bit odd - does it grant an alchemical bonus, or an enhancement? Why does growing wings grant dexterity, natural armor, and a feat? Why do gills grant strength and dexterity? If these features stack, they're collectively nonsensical and *way* too powerful. Above all though, why would you do something so...

My first goal was just to brainstorm what ever I could for alchemists. Now my goal is revising these ideas for game balance and clarity. these are my current revisions

Enhanced Extract:
The Alchemist has discovered ways to make they’re Extracts behave differently, in effect the Alchemist can now add one meta-magic effect to an extract chosen when this discovery is learned. Any Increases in spell level that would normally occur instead increases the extracts level accordingly. Chose from the following list of meta-magic effects: Empower, Extend,or Maximized. Other meta-magic effects may be added to this list subject to GM’s approval.

Mix potion:
The alchemist can mimic any potion from any class but must use craft alchemy (DC = 20 + spell level) instead of the normal rules for brewing potions though the price is not reduced in this due to the various materials that must be used to substitute for spell casting.
You must be at least 4th level to select this discovery.

Dilution:
The Alchemist can dilute a potion or extract to make two of them, however, these diluted potions effects are halved. Potions or extracts that have been enhanced can not be diluted.
You must have the mix potion discovery to select this discovery.

Alchemical Additives:
The alchemist is able to add alchemical mixes to a potion that grants the effects of one meta magic feat that is chosen at the time this discovery is taken. Any increase to the spell level instead increases the total price of the potion by a multiple of the base price of the potion. For example a potion that would cost 750 GP that gets a empower meta-magic effect would increase in price by 1,500 GP for a total cost of 2,250 GP.
( 750 base price x 2 meta-magic effect ) + 750 = 2,250.
You must be at least 10th level and you must have the mix potion discovery to chose this discovery.

Aquas Densus:
The Alchemist can now make extracts into an oil like substance which allows the alchemist to use extracts on himself or others with a ranged touch attack.

Aquas Vertere:
The alchemist can cause the effects of his extracts to have a inversed effect on the subject, such as cure moderate wounds instead deals damage or bull’s strength instead reduces the subjects strength score. Only numeric values can be changed in this way.
You must have Aquas Densus before you can learn this discovery

Volatile concoctions:
The Alchemist is able to create a mix of chemicals that explode a few moments after the right chemical mix occurs. The alchemist in this extent can make alchemical bombs a number of time per day equal to his level + intelligence modifier. These bombs deal an amount of fire damage equal to 1d6 times half the alchemists level. Alchemists who take this discovery are proficient with volatile concoctions.

Swift applicator:
The alchemist is able to apply poison as a move action, this improves to a swift action 6th level and to an immediate action at 18th level

Immunity Buildup:
The Alchemist purposely exposes Himself to small doses of poisons that help him to become resistant to them, the alchemist gains poison resistance 2 which improves by 2 every 3 levels until 10 level, when the alchemist gains immunity to poisons.

Toxic synthesis:
The alchemist may add a poison to the effects of his alchemical creations, such as poisoned tangle foot bags or a vial of alchemist fire. Splash damage can’t afflict some one with the poison.Use the higher of the 2 craft DC + 5 When crafting these items. The poison to be added must be readily available before the Alchemist starts crafting the item.

Volatile concoction was just an attempt to explain "making" a bomb by "adding" a catalyst to it.

I wanted to make mutagen more versatile by allowing charters to use different forms that portray different aspects such as a flying creature, and assign abilities that would thematically work with each aspect.

Swift alchemy and instant alchemy are great for creating alchemical items faster, But I don't see how these abilities will allow them to apply poison any faster. So I just split that off into it's own discovery. I think the class should still keep poison use because being careful with chemicals carries most of the same practices as being careful with poisons.


Aquas Vertere is still a bad idea, even after your slight clarification. A lot of the spells are certainly irrelevant, I'll grant you, but the magic system just can't handle being inverted. Alchemist pops someone with a potion of inverse Expeditious Retreat: Fail a save and you can't move! Or nega-barkskin: What exactly is a negative natural armor bonus, some sort of anemia? Even a reversed cure potion becomes confusing, because it's behaving like an Inflict potion, but it's not actually dealing negative energy damage.

If you want offensive thrown potions, make them real spells. Saves everyone a ton of headaches.

My trouble with your proposed mutagen ideas isn't that they're unclear, it's that they're too powerful. If we're talking about abilities the alchemist gets at alternating levels, you'll quickly have guys with both gills and wings on top of the regular mutagen bonuses, scoring in the vicinity of +8 str, +10 dex, +2 con, and +7 natural armor. That's not even remotely balanced as a class feature, even for a level 20 character, much less one thats 8 or 12.

Adding versatility is fine, but it's best to confine yourself to versatility, rather than adding power. Wing mutagen only gives wings & fly speed, gills only gives water breathing & swim speed. Now, If you can only pick one at a time, say so. If these replace the regular mutagen's effects, say so. But don't leave that sort of thing open to speculation and abuse.


I think I would redo mix potion thus:

Mix Potion (Ex): The alchemist effectively gains the brew potion feat, and may brew any extract he knows into a potion as though he were a spellcaster of his alchemist level. The alchemist is limited to a maximum of 4th level spells, but if he has the Enhance Extract discovery, he may apply those effects to his potions (increasing their level up to his current maximum, with commensurate increase in cost).

Your version gives the alchemist unlimited access to everyone's spells below level 4 in the books, which isn't really appropriate. Regular potion brewing is perfectly workable for the class.

I don't see any reason to alter paizo's dilution effect... it's straightforward, confined in scope, and still costs resources. Your version becomes weird - you again talk of manipulating spell numbers without consideration for the spells it doesn't work for.

Enhanced extract, Alchemical additives, Densus, Swift applicator, and Immunity buildup are excellent as presented.

Toxic synthesis is a cool idea, but I can't imagine actually seeing it used extensively. Alchemical items are largely irrelevant by the time characters can afford to use poisons, and there will be better delivery systems for it at that point. Perhaps if the APG includes new, exciting, higher-level stuff.


Maeloke wrote:
Ben Adler wrote:
anbucleric wrote:

Sure that's not broken in the slightest . . . I'm sure that's what they were thinking when they introduced the Warlock in 3.5 . . .I've personally had a warlock break a game by breaking out of prison single-handedly killing 26 guards in the process and not taking a single point of damage . . .

That's not much proof either way unless you've got more details.

I could do the same thing with a fighter fairly easily, not to mention rogue/mage/cleric

Compare the damage of a bomb to the damage of a TWF rogue with sneak attack.

+1

A prison that couldn't deal with a warlock was definitely not equipped to deal with a rogue or sorcerer either. Tell me a you've seen a level 10 warlock single handedly beat down four 3.5 vrocks and we can visit the issue again.

I miss playing that rogue...

The only way to effectively combat a Warlock is to throw stuff at it that has massive amounts of Dex, thus a high touch AC, or things with SR . . .


anbucleric wrote:
The only way to effectively combat a Warlock is to throw stuff at it that has massive amounts of Dex, thus a high touch AC, or things with SR . . .

At level 7, Mr. Warlock deals 4d6 damage as a ranged touch attack as many times per day as he likes.

At level 7, Ms. Sorceress can cast Scorching Ray seven times per day, dealing 8d6 damage with a ranged touch attack. When she runs out of those, she has to resort to dealing 4d4+4 damage with Magic Missile another seven times, but luckily, that one can't miss. Or, if she's feeling especially daring, she can dip into her 3rd level spells for 7d6 damage to many targets at once!

On a long enough timeframe, yes, the warlock can do a lot of damage. But he'd better hope the sorceress isn't around, because she'll finish most of his fights in half the time.


anbucleric wrote:
The only way to effectively combat a Warlock is to throw stuff at it that has massive amounts of Dex, thus a high touch AC, or things with SR . . .

That or something with a bunch of hitpoints, that's got low AC on all fronts and hurts people badly.

Like most animals and large mindless critters.
They also tend to have very good anti-spellcaster options like grab.

Warlocks are great at avoiding damage, they're also great at doing a little bit of damage every round (4d6 at lvl 7 averages out to a whopping 14 points of damage, I'm pretty sure most fighters/rogues and even a few monks can top that per-round).
They're not that great when compared to real casters, or real damage dealers however.

To put it another way, as a GM I'd just have a giant insect come up and eat him if you really have an issue with players playing defensively.
The only real power warlocks have worth fearing is the unlimited use of Evard's Black Tentacles.


Step 4: Eat a baby. It's good for the economy and tasty to boot.

Ok, fixed it!


Maeloke wrote:

Aquas Vertere is still a bad idea, even after your slight clarification. A lot of the spells are certainly irrelevant, I'll grant you, but the magic system just can't handle being inverted. Alchemist pops someone with a potion of inverse Expeditious Retreat: Fail a save and you can't move! Or nega-barkskin: What exactly is a negative natural armor bonus, some sort of anemia? Even a reversed cure potion becomes confusing, because it's behaving like an Inflict potion, but it's not actually dealing negative energy damage.

If you want offensive thrown potions, make them real spells. Saves everyone a ton of headaches.

My trouble with your proposed mutagen ideas isn't that they're unclear, it's that they're too powerful. If we're talking about abilities the alchemist gets at alternating levels, you'll quickly have guys with both gills and wings on top of the regular mutagen bonuses, scoring in the vicinity of +8 str, +10 dex, +2 con, and +7 natural armor. That's not even remotely balanced as a class feature, even for a level 20 character, much less one thats 8 or 12.

Adding versatility is fine, but it's best to confine yourself to versatility, rather than adding power. Wing mutagen only gives wings & fly speed, gills only gives water breathing & swim speed. Now, If you can only pick one at a time, say so. If these replace the regular mutagen's effects, say so. But don't leave that sort of thing open to speculation and abuse.

Their aren't many ways to explain why an Alchemist would use harmful effects. The intent of extracts is that the alchemist uses them on himself and may later on learn to use them on others. Expanding the Extract list will be difficult and a bit tedious considering how many spells to add and at what level, not to mention in game explanations as well. Your right about how I'm unclear about certain spell effects getting inverted. My idea as best as I can explain it now, is only numeric effects like ability scores or HP can be effected. I would like to make a new list of discoveries that include new extracts too chose from to add to the Extract list.

The mutagens I made, well I wanted to make an optimized from for certain situations, each new mutagen effect would simply replaced the old. Scrap the whole thing, I already incorporated your ideas into 3 Alchemist NPCs


Maeloke wrote:

I think I would redo mix potion thus:

Mix Potion (Ex): The alchemist effectively gains the brew potion feat, and may brew any extract he knows into a potion as though he were a spellcaster of his alchemist level. The alchemist is limited to a maximum of 4th level spells, but if he has the Enhance Extract discovery, he may apply those effects to his potions (increasing their level up to his current maximum, with commensurate increase in cost).

Your version gives the alchemist unlimited access to everyone's spells below level 4 in the books, which isn't really appropriate. Regular potion brewing is perfectly workable for the class.

I don't see any reason to alter paizo's dilution effect... it's straightforward, confined in scope, and still costs resources. Your version becomes weird - you again talk of manipulating spell numbers without consideration for the spells it doesn't work for.

Enhanced extract, Alchemical additives, Densus, Swift applicator, and Immunity buildup are excellent as presented.

Toxic synthesis is a cool idea, but I can't imagine actually seeing it used extensively. Alchemical items are largely irrelevant by the time characters can afford to use poisons, and there will be better delivery systems for it at that point. Perhaps if the APG includes new, exciting, higher-level stuff.

Originally I had it as just giving the Alchemist the brew potion feat.

I'm getting ideas for using craft alchemy to improve on Alchemical items, but as you can see, I have trouble keeping things perfectly clear or balanced.

about Dilution, When something gets Diluted, it's made weaker or less concentrated. How can diluted potions have the full effect then? I decided to remove the monetary cost and instead add a penalty that would also seem more appropriate for something being made weaker.


Robert Petty wrote:
Their aren't many ways to explain why an Alchemist would use harmful effects. The intent of extracts is that the alchemist uses them on himself and may later on learn to use them on others. Expanding the Extract list will be difficult and a bit tedious considering how many spells to add and at what level, not to mention in game explanations as well. Your right about how I'm unclear about certain spell effects getting inverted. My idea as best as I can explain it now, is only numeric effects like ability scores or HP can be effected. I would like to make a new list of discoveries that include new extracts too chose from to add to the Extract list.

We're still communicating at cross purposes here. I *get* your idea. Reversed numeric values are logically fine in and of themselves. What becomes a problem is the breakdown in conventional treatment of many spells. There is no core rules precedent for a negative armor bonus, yet your proposal would make them widespread. Consider a fellow with an AC of 10 (+2 dex, +2 deflection, -4 armor): he's actually harder to hit with a finger (touch attack) than he is with a fist (melee).

Ability damage is common enough, but a reversed Bear's Endurance would inflict a negative ability enhancement on a target. Enhancement bonuses don't stack, so the larger one applies - ergo anyone with an enhancement bonus to constitution is immune to such an extract. Additionally, con draining effects *always always* operate off of fortitude saves, not will.

Resist Energy grants resistance 10/20/30. What does it do when reversed? Does every instance of that energy dealing damage inflict an additional 10/20/30 on the target? If so, I've already broken the alchemist. If not, what *does* it do?

Why even start on the idea of clarifying all those rules issues when you can instead say: "The alchemist makes a potion of Ray of Enervation. It is thrown instead of shot, but all other effects are identical." An expanded list takes all of a paragraph to compose - hell you could just make a discovery like

Advanced Extract: Choose a spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list of a level that the alchemist can make extracts for. The spell must be a target: touch or ranged touch spell. The alchemist adds this spell to his list of available extracts. The alchemist must have the Aquas Densus discovery before selecting this one.

Robert Petty wrote:
about Dilution, When something gets Diluted, it's made weaker or less concentrated. How can diluted potions have the full effect then? I decided to remove the monetary cost and instead add a penalty that would also seem more appropriate for something being made weaker.

Again, you make a logical point, but I'm afraid logic must be sacrificed on the altar of rules viability. A Cure Moderate potion could sensibly be reduced from 2d8+3 to 1d8+1, but how do you deal with Reduce Person, Disguise Self, Levitation, or Tongues? By the time you've excepted every exception and clarified every result, you'll have five pages of text that nobody will ever want to read, because it's about making crappy potions anyway.

Improved alchemical items would be sweet. That list is practically short enough to give individual treatment to each item.


wow, do you have any lists likeyour mutagen one for the other branches? I really like the bomb idea and would like to see your input on it's discoveries.


I really like this idea. I never want my good characters to use poison, and having poison come with the class means that by ignoring it I am doing myself a disservice.

If I just choose the other lines though, it would be fine. I could have a good alchemist that doesn't have any poison abilities.

Poison makes a whole lot of sense for any neutral or evil alchemists I may play (or use against PCs) and it would still be available as part of a build.


Actually, wouldn't poison be considered Chaotic rather than Evil? It's a sneaky/disloyal maneuver, not an evil one. Sacrificing souls to power a weapon, that would be evil. Poison is just unethical, not immoral.


Kevin-Éric Bouchard wrote:
Actually, wouldn't poison be considered Chaotic rather than Evil? It's a sneaky/disloyal maneuver, not an evil one. Sacrificing souls to power a weapon, that would be evil. Poison is just unethical, not immoral.

I don't know... here is a quaaote i love but can't remember where it is from.

"the difference between an ethical man and a moral man is that an ethical man knows it is wrong to cheat on his wife wile a moral man will n ot cheat on his wife"

just because the unethical man knows it is wrong and might still do it does not mean it isn't still wrong


Taku - was that request of yours directed at me?

Joseph Raiten wrote:

"the difference between an ethical man and a moral man is that an ethical man knows it is wrong to cheat on his wife wile a moral man will n ot cheat on his wife"

just because the unethical man knows it is wrong and might still do it does not mean it isn't still wrong

I don't really see poison as having any sort of alignment association on it's own. It's just a tool like any other, to be put to good or evil purposes as the user intends.

I mean, consider the usual use of the stuff: You're putting it on a sword and hacking at an enemy with it. You're trying to kill them via physical trauma. I see no more nobility or benevolence in sword strokes than I do in toxins, just less subtlety. Hell, poison is probably *more* merciful in some cases.

Now, a poisoner *could* be a really nasty guy. Laces the food of innocents with wyvern venom, uses purple worm poison as an interrogation device... but that's the user, not the poison.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Maeloke wrote:


I don't really see poison as having any sort of alignment association on it's own. It's just a tool like any other, to be put to good or evil purposes as the user intends.

I mean, consider the usual use of the stuff: You're putting it on a sword and hacking at an enemy with it. You're trying to kill them via physical trauma. I see no more nobility or benevolence in sword strokes than I do in toxins, just less subtlety. Hell, poison is probably *more* merciful in some cases.

Now, a poisoner *could* be a really nasty guy. Laces the food of innocents with wyvern venom, uses purple worm poison as an interrogation device... but that's the user, not the poison.

Poison is, to me, a 'slippery slope' kind of thing for a good character. It also depends on what you are doing. If the poison is a muscle paralytic that slows reflexes and you put it on your sword, that's probably not a big thing for a NG or CG (but a LG would pushing it). If the poison causes hideous pain and permanent scaring, then that might be pushing it for any good character. Also, good is supposed to give quarter when asked for it, but if you're poisoning someone with your blade, that might not be possible, which could cause you some issues (especially if you are a Paladin or Knight, actually, I think a Knight using poison would have violated his oaths, and a Paladin is walking the thin edge).

Poisoning food would probably be pushing it for any good character. Mainly because you can't be sure someone else might not get the poison. For example, the target's 8 yo daughter hops up on his lap and starts eating his desert (which is his favorite and you poisoned it to make sure you got something he'd eat). Now you've poisoned an innocent. Remember, the poison itself may not be anti-good, but, if you are using it like this, you are knowling taking the chance that you might get the wrong target, which is not a 'good' approach.


Andrew Betts wrote:
Tom Baumbach wrote:
Man, I thought this thread was going to be about baby-eating alchemists. Color me disappointed.
I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that.

Yeah, me too.

I love love love the idea of making more things discoveries and doing the every even level discoveries. This is fantastic. Advanced Extract and Aquas Densus are cool too (and I like how Advanced Extract draws on an existing 3.5 mechanic from the Warmage and Beguiler).

To me, I'm between Maeloke and mdt on poisons. It's a tool like any other, but many good individuals voluntarily take oaths that prevent them using poisons. LG types, Pallies especially. If they break that oath, it's a chaotic (or even evil act, depending) because they broke a personal oath, not because the poison itself is. But a CG Ranger/Rogue fighting an evil tyrant? Oh, he'll use poison if the situation calls for it.

'Course, Con poison is a little trickier because of the amount of implied suffering/agony involved.

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