Further Playtesting The Alchemist

Round 3: Alchemist and Inquisitor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

With the help of my GM I’ve been playtesting the alchemist up to level 8 in the AP : Council of Thieves part 1, 2 & 3. After each gaming session my group would talk about the game we just played and talk about the class. In my free time, I’ve read what other playtesters had to say about the class in the forum. Here are the further opinions of my group for the class and what change we did while we played.

As an Alchemist you can, or should be able with the help of feats and/or discoveries to specialize in :

With all the type of bombs to choose from in the Discoveries, there should be no problem here. However, my group thought of some other type of bombs to be added to the list such as Bombs that alter the terrain : fire-wall bombs, isolation sphere bombs, grease bombs & web bombs.

We also talked about some bomb specific discoveries such as : allow a bombs to ricochet off surfaces before detonating, increase range of the bomb (throwing and radius wise), increase damage die, multiple throwing of bombs, etc...

Add a few feats that would help out with bombs, such as : Extra Bombs, shape splash/selective splash, etc...

We discovered that the series of discoveries for mutagen was missing a few discoveries to allow a “specialization”. There are 4 mutagen discoveries (not including the grand discovery) out of 7 discovery “slots”.

My group thought about this and we came to the conclusion that there should be more discoveries for mutagens. After thinking about it we came up with these ideas : An improve or greater feral mutagen, which improved claw/bite damage, rend/pounce/scent ability and any other “feral induced” change that comes up to mind. Mutagens that allow environmental and/or energy adaptations (think endure element/energy resistance). Mutagens that could alter you physically, giving you greater abilities, such as a swim, climb, burrow, fly or greater land speed. Or grow a tail, another set of arms, horns, darkvison, chameleon abilities, etc…

We also discussed the Charisma damage a lot. This aspect of the mutagen is a big drawback as it should be, but we believe that it should become temporary damage that ends when the mutagen ends. If not, you’re either using your Elixirs (yes plurals since you can roll a 4 on your Cha damage and a 1 on your restoration roll) to repair the damage you’ve done to yourself. Or another spell-caster can spend his resources to restore you to your normal charismatic self. Another option is to buy a wand of restoration (lesser) for 4.500 gp, which in itself is not a bad thing and use it to fix the problem. Potions could be a good option too for only 300 gp.

So with all the trouble this gave us after 3 games, we changed for the temporary ability damage.

We talked about giving another ability damage ( Int. or Wis )while the mutagen is in effect and adding other “use per day” for every 5 class level.

1 feat that should be added to discoveries for an Elixirs specialist is the “Master Craftsman” feat that would allow the creation of potions or at least an ability to create potions like the “brew potion” feat. Players won be brewing potions constantly simply due to the cost and time restriction (just like you don’t see a spellcaster spending all his free time creating magical devices for the entire party)

We also discussed the Formulae list, which we would bring certain change. In our playtest we changed “shield” with “mage armor”, since mage armor fits more with the idea of an alchemist altering himself than creating an invisible floating disc in front of himself (yes we know that the duration is different).

We also enlarged the Formulae list with spells found in other books such as Spell Compendium (a post will soon be added)

Alchemically created devices & poisons

More Discoveries that increased the DC of Alchemical Items and or Poison


With all our ideas with discoveries, we came up with the idea of having a lesser discovery at every 3rd level and a greater discovery at every 5th level

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

I would really like to have a preview of what feats (please more then the tactical feats which are useless for the alchemist) and alchemical items they are adding. The impact they would have on this classes playtest would be incredible.

I'm a little surprised there is no class feature that adds your level into craft (alchemy) checks.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You talk about feats for the alchemist Scipion and it brought on the memory of a conversation that we had in our group after a session. In particular concerning “Point Blank Shot” and splash weapons.

Does it make sense (as far as sense goes in a fantasy world ruled by magic and the likes) to use the +1 damage from that feat with splash Weapons? Do you apply the damage to the direct hit only? To the Splash damage also? Can you apply the bonuses from the “Grenadier” feat ( found in PH II ) and stack them with “Point Blank Shot”. If that is the case, then at first level a human alchemist that selects both feats gets a +2 bonus to attack & damage with all his plash weapons.

That’s pretty good.

As for other types of feats my GM suggested feats that resemble the metamagic feats fond in the core books. Feats such as “Maximize Bombs” that would maximized the damage at the cost of 3 or 4 daily bomb use.

As for other feats for the alchemist, we talked about,

•Mad Alchemist (Tactical) : a great tactical feat for the alchemist
•Shape Splash : but with certain modifications, such as taking the 9 affected squares of a splash weapon and converting them into a cone or a line effect.
•Extra Bombs : as the many “extra class ability” feats
•Extra Mutagen : same as the previous
•Extra Elixir
•Selective Splash : As selective channelling
•Brew Elixir : something resembling the brew potion feat
•Direction Blast : Determine the direction of the bomb blast
•Exploding Fist : Make a touch attack with a bomb
•Rapid Throw : as the Rapid shot feat
•Dragonbreath : spray fort the content of alchemist fire as a cone shape attack
•Experience Thrower : Throw 2 items at a time
•Extend Mutagen
•Poison immunity
•Poison Expert & Poison Master
•Brutal Throw & Power Throw

For new Alchemical items, the GM allowed the use of the “Ultimate Equipment Guide” from Mongoose Publishing and a few other books with interesting items for Alchemist. Just to name a few :

•Alchemist Coat/Robe : Allow the retrieval of 1 alchemical item per round in 1 of the many pockets as a free action.
•Tripvine : as web spell but is not destroyed by fire.
•Iceflow Oil : as grease spell or does direct damage.
•Quickflame : 3 rounds of flaming weapon.
•Acidic Tar : Burns and destroy metallic (armor) and those inside it.
•Naphtha : that’s something resembling napalm

And my personal favourite item for alchemist : an Alchemical Blade from the Magic of Eberron Book.

Scipion del Ferro wrote:
I'm a little surprised there is no class feature that adds your level into craft (alchemy) checks.

The second paragraph of the Alchemy class ability state :

“When using Craft (alchemy) to create an alchemical item, an alchemist gains a competence bonus equal to his class level to the Craft (alchemy) check."

So yeah it gives a pretty good bonus

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Doh! That was exactly what I was referring to. I must have just mindblanked reading it.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Interesting ideas folks, I will keep them in mind when it comes time to revise this class.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Having those feats and items available would be very helpful. Think of play testing the Inquisitor without the Tactical feats available when it's such a large portion of the class. :)

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