Alchemist playtest (Minor spoilers for Entombed with the Pharaohs)


Round 3: Alchemist and Inquisitor


This weekend I finally got to see my favorite of the new APG classes in play. One of my players decided to give the alchemist a try as we were about to start the Paizo adventure Entombed with the pharaoh's.The party consisted of four 6th level characters:

A Human Warlord 5 (Adamant's Tome of secrets)/Student of war 1 (Seeker of secrets), a Human Scholar 1/Martial artist 5 (both classes from the Pdf A fistful of Denarii available her at the Paizo store), a Human bard 6 and the aforementioned Alchemist who also had one level in the Pathfinder delver Prc from Seeker of secrets.

The party were all members of the Pathfinder society on a mission to find a lost pyramid in the Egypt inspired land of Osirion.

The session started as the Pc's had just arrived in Sothis to attend an auction. This was mainly an rp session, although the highly skill based group got to use their knowledge history skill quite a bit. The scene also introduced the pc's to a rival adventuring party and their Chelaxian legionaries who they would be fighting later on.
The pc's was lead to a former adventurer who knew the way to the pyramid and discovered they needed a special mask to summon the pyramid from another plane. The rival adventuring party had been spying on the pc's however and beat the pc's to the mask. The pc'sd quickly discovered this and rushed into the desert in pursuit of their rivals.

Here the rivaling party had left a group of five Chelaxian legionaries to ambush the pc's. The legionaires were all human warrior2/monk 1 armed with sais and bardiches. They had taken up position behind two sand-dunes flanking the pc's. The pc's were traveling by camel at a distance of about 20-30 feet from the dunes. Due to the sand all terrain counted as difficult to everyone except for the camels which I ruled had adapted to these conditions.

The combat started with the bard climbing off his non war trained camel and using inspire courage by giving an inspiring speech. The martial artist climbed off his camel and plugged an arrow into one of the legionaries who only suffered a few hp of damage, because of the legionnaires' reach he suffered an attack of opportunity and was hit suffering some slight damage. The legionaries then moved into position with their bardiches and started to hack away at the pc's. The martial artist and alchemist suffered a few points of damage, the others were unscathed. It was then the alchemist who choose to remain mounted on the party's only war trained mount. The alchemist took his chances and tried to throw a bomb. Two legionaries got attacks of opportunities but both missed. The bomb hit one legionary dealing 21 points of damage (3d6+6, thanks to bonuses from party buffs). The legionnaire was barely standing at this point. The warlord used an ability to grant the party some temporary hit points and dismounted.

Round two started with the bard moving into melee with a legionary missing him with his spiked shield but continuing with his inspiring speech. The martial artist moved into melee with two legionaries, avoiding an attack of opportunity thanks to his mobility feat and used cleave to severely wound both of them. The legionaries then continued to act. One tried to use stunning fist in conjunction with a flurry of blows against the bard, but failed miserably. Both legionaries facing the martial artist dropped their bardiches in favor of flurry/stunning fist combos, but didn't hit with a single attack. The bombed legionary moved into flanking position against the alchemist reducing his temporary hit points. The last legionary managed to chip away some temporary hit points from the warlord. The alchemist decided to try to finish off the bombed legionary by throwing another bomb at him. The legionary missed with his attack of opportunity and was reduced to a smoking corpse by the alchemists bomb. The warlord moved into line with the alchemist using an ability which increased the alchemist's and his own AC as long as they remained adjacent to each other. He also hit a legionary with his falchion severely wounding him.

Round three quickly followed. The bard repeated his actions from the second round with an equally miserable result. The martial artist tried to use cleave again and managed to dispatch one legionary, but he missed the second one. The legionaries continued using flurry and stunning fist but only managed to remove some temporary hit points from the martial artist and warlord. The alchemist decided to heal himself using an extract. The warlord managed to further wound the legionary in front of him.

Round four, the last round. The bard finally managed to hit the legionary with his spiked shield dealing some minor damage to him. The martial artist dispatched the legionary threatening him and moved closer to the warlord and alchemist. The alchemist used a wand to heal the martial artist and succeeded in his use magic device skill check. The warlord managed to dispatch his legionary and the last legionary found it best to surrender at this point. The alchemist rolled heal checks on the dying legionnaires and managed to save one. The two surviving legionnaires promised not to return and confirmed that the rivals had the mask and a cadre of legionnaires with them.

The party moved on not realizing that the smell of blood and sound of combat had brought the attention of a Hieracosphinx (A sphinx with the body of a lion and wings and head of a falcon, basically a flying intelligent dire lion.). The sphinx quickly moved into attack, but the pc's noticed him as he tried to sneak up behind them.

The combat started with the warlord pulling out his crossbow barely missing the sphinx. The martial artist soon followed with his bow and slightly injuring the beast. The bard used inspire courage mocking the stupid sphinx with perform comedy. The sphinx then dived down onto the warlord using pounce and rake dealing massive damage to him. The alchemist pulled out his gun and managed to hit the sphinx for some minor damage.

Round two and the warlord dropped his crossbow, dismounted and pulled out his falchion while granting the party some temporary hit points. The martial artist moved adjacent to the warlord and managed to deal some minor damage to the sphinx. The bard continued to mock the sphinx and fired the spikes from his spined shield and managed to get a critical hit on the monster. The sphinx tried to focus his attacks on the warlord removing all of his temporary damage and dealing some more damage to him. The alchemist threw a bomb at the sphinx and dealt a fair amount of damage.

Round three. The warlord started a defensive line with the martial artist to increase their armor class, but missed his attacks. The martial artist managed to further weaken the sphinx. The bard cast cure moderate wounds on the warlord. The sphinx continued to maul on the warlord, but missed most of his attacks, but still managed to wound the warlord. The alchemist used his healing wand on the warlord.

Round four. The warlord continued to grant AC bonuses but missed his attacks. The martial artist managed to further wound the sphinx ever so slightly. The bard fired some more spikes at the sphinx managing to kill it. The alchemist went to harvest some components from the sphinx.

After having healed up the pc's continued their search for the pyramid. They spotted their rivals summoning the pyramid from a distance, but decided not to interfere because of the large amount of legionnaires. After their rivals had entered the pyramid the legionnaires moved back to their camp, and the pc's stealthily approached the pyramid. The alchemist drank an extract of alter self to grow wings and flew up to the pyramid entrance with a rope. The rest of the party took 10 on their climb checks and climbed up.

Once inside the alchemist lit a sunrod and they saw that they were in a long corridor with thousands of Osirian hieroglyphics covering the walls. They spent little time with the symbols and quickly moved on. The corridor opened up to a new hallway with symbols covering the floor. As the pc's saw the symbol a shiver went down their spine at the same time a dessicated corpse carrying a bow came at them from the shadows.

The Alchemist reacted lightning fast and threw a flask of alchemical lightning (alchemical splash weapon dealing 1d8 electricity damage) at the mummy, hoping not to harm the symbols on the walls or floor. The mummy seemed to be damaged by the blast as the warlord and martial artist quickly moved into melee almost at the same time, the warlord bolstering the party with his presence granting temporary hit points and the martial artist biting his sword into the shambling corpse. The mummy suddenly exploded in a burst of fury launching to attacks against the warlord reducing his temporary hit points.The bard decided that the rest of the party had control and spent his round starting to write down the unfolding events.

The second round the alchemist threw a new bottle of alchemical lightning behind the mummy catching it in the splash. The mummy was barely standing and after a blow from both the warlord and martial artist dispersed into a pile of dust and bones.

The rest of the session was spent on investigating the pyramid. They got to roll some knowledge and linguistics checks but the alchemist didn't get to do anything major.

From this playtest I have found the alchemist to be a real fun class. We all loved it when the bombs started flying as I described craters popping up in the sand. The bombs are highly useful and their damage really decent. The ability to add his intelligence bonus to damage with splash weapons make these more useful. The extracts add some versatility to the class, but the long activation time of bombs and extracts can be really frustrating. I think it should take only a standard action to both mix and drink an extract and make and throw a bomb. The plkayer also wondered about why the alchemist didn't have the brew potion feat as he thought it would be a given. He didn't like that he had to spend his only discovery to allow the rest of the party to use his extracts and we all agreed that the alchemist should get far more discoveries. The poison aspect of the class seemed tacked on and I think it should be a discovery so that those who want to focus on poisons can do so. We all thought it would be more fun if the alchemist had a book of formulas like a wizards spellbook instead of the current system.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Once again, bombs are awesome (when you don't hit your friends), mutagen is never used, and people are slightly confused about poisons.

I do recommend using Mutagen in order to boost your Dex during a big fight. That way your bombs are more accurate and your AC goes up by three. I think that would have helped in your fight. Mutagen is also a standard action so you can maneuver into position for future bombing the same round you drink the mutagen.

Also, you don't need to make a UMD check to use a wand if it's a spell on your list. They are spell trigger items.


Scipion del Ferro wrote:

Once again, bombs are awesome (when you don't hit your friends), mutagen is never used, and people are slightly confused about poisons.

I do recommend using Mutagen in order to boost your Dex during a big fight. That way your bombs are more accurate and your AC goes up by three. I think that would have helped in your fight. Mutagen is also a standard action so you can maneuver into position for future bombing the same round you drink the mutagen.

Also, you don't need to make a UMD check to use a wand if it's a spell on your list. They are spell trigger items.

Yes that extra dex and natural armor are real lifesavers at the earlier levels.


Scipion del Ferro wrote:

Once again, bombs are awesome (when you don't hit your friends), mutagen is never used, and people are slightly confused about poisons.

I do recommend using Mutagen in order to boost your Dex during a big fight. That way your bombs are more accurate and your AC goes up by three. I think that would have helped in your fight. Mutagen is also a standard action so you can maneuver into position for future bombing the same round you drink the mutagen.

Also, you don't need to make a UMD check to use a wand if it's a spell on your list. They are spell trigger items.

Yeah didn't really think about the UMD thing at the time. I think the designers were going for a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing with the mutagens and so strength fits better thematically, although I do agree it's mechanically weak. I think the ability should start off at +4 bonus to strength and con to make it on par with a barbarians rage and maybe grant some form of natural attack, a slam comes to mind.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Then I suppose the Feral Mutagen at 4th level is right up his alley.


Scipion del Ferro wrote:
Then I suppose the Feral Mutagen at 4th level is right up his alley.

I meant as a base ability of the mutagen, not a discovery. My player wasn't interested in mutagens at all it seemed. What he liked most about the class was the bombs and extracts.

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