Alchemist Discoveries


Advanced Player's Guide Playtest: Final Playtest


After playing the Alchemist from Round 3 of the Playtest, I was impressed. This is an idea that has been very pervasive in fantasy and D&D for a long time, but was poorly implemented in 3.5. I tried to play an alchemist in 3.5 but it was a miserable failure. This Alchemist class in Pathfinder solved many of these issues.

After playing the Final Playtest version, I am excited and disappointed. Here's what my group came up with.

Discoveries
I was very excited over having more discoveries to choose from, and better utility of the previous ones. On top of that, more discoveries were given to the Alchemist. I had a hard time choosing the right ones, and now that there's even more to choose from, it would be even harder. Giving the Alchemist more discoveries helped greatly.
-The "Precise Bombs" discovery was very much appreciated, since my fellow players did not appreciate getting hit with so much splash damage.
-"Combine Extracts" is another good addition to the Final Playtest.
-"Elixer of Life" is good (was in the Round 3 as well), but I expected to see in the Final Playtest Guide a lower-level version that has the effects of the "Raise Dead" spell. This lower-level version could be a requirement for "Elixer of Life".
-"Potent Bomb" is a step in the right direction, and a welcome addition to the Final Playtest Guide, but needs to go up 2d6 each time, with a max bomb damage of 20d6. This puts the bomb on par with "Chain Lightning", but doesn't feel like a waste of a discovery. As it is, to raise it to 15d6 (at 20th level, no less), I have to blow 5 discoveries. That's sad.

Grand Discovery
The biggest disappointment by far are the options to choose from for the "Grand Discovery". Here's why:
-Awakened Intellect is WAY too underpowered at level 20. You're telling me that I should spend my greatest discovery as an Alchemist raising my INT by TWO POINTS?? I've had more ability ups than that so far. I have a circlet of intelligence that does the same thing, and it's cheap. But my big, grand, amazing level 20 ability is +2 Int? Nope. If this option is kept, it needs to be AT LEAST a +6. You're about to venture into Epic levels...some epic items will raise Int by +10!
-Eternal Youth is interesting, but not really viable, unless you are playing a geriatric game, but that's not often. Most games don't run long enough for this to be a problem or an issue. If this option is kept, at least make it add to your physical stats as well. Maybe you're not only eternally young, but also now incredibly strong/buff/dexterous/etc.
-Fast Healing: This is the best one, and is scaled appropriately to level 20, in my opinion.
-Philosopher's Stone: Useful, but not useful enough for a final ability.
-Poison Touch: This is the other one that's good, but it's not well defined. The wording is ambiguous.
-True Mutagen is worthless because the Discovery "Grand Mutagen" already adds a +6 armor and +8 to primary stat, +6 to secondary, and +4 to tertiary. So I should blow my grand discovery on something that lowers the primary stat and raises the tertiary stat by +2? No thank you. Instead, I'd recommend having the True Mutagen bonuses stay the same, but having them STACK with "Grand Mutagen". That would be well worth it.

Confusing terminology
In the Final Playtest Guide, the terms "extract" and "potion" are thrown around too much. Are they the same thing? Please standardize word usage or clarify the difference more concretely.

Taking Alchemist to the next level
In our playtest, we experimented with the idea of taking the Alchemist a step farther. With the extracts (or potions?), it's just like he's a wizard or sorcerer but you drink the spell instead of casting it. Big deal. So instead we came up with cool ways to give the extracts a little more flair. For instance, the "see invisibility" extract is a fine powder that I throw into the air that reveals invisible creatures in a radius. The Invisibility spell is a jar of goo that you dump onto yourself and covers you, making you invisible. The fly spell is literally a copper circle that attaches to your back and mechanically opens wings. This adds a little more of a gritty feel to it, and we liked it.

Thanks for reading this, and thank you for letting us test your new classes. It was fun.

Edit: I made a few mistakes in the original updated. (3:26pm CST, Feb 9)


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment---final/magic-items/artifacts#TOC-Philoso pher-s-Stone


Honkeycorn wrote:


Disappointed
-True Mutagen is worthless because the Discovery "Grand Mutagen" already adds a +6 armor and +8 to primary stat, +6 to secondary, and +4 to tertiary. So I should blow my grand discovery on something that lowers the primary stat and raises the tertiary stat by +2? No thank you. Instead, I'd recommend having the True Mutagen bonuses stay the same, but having them STACK with "Grand Mutagen". That would be well worth it.

This was stated by Jason as being a misprint in the "UPDATE - A few simple Corrections " sticky. True mutagen gives +8 to all physical stats as an alchemical bonus.

Sovereign Court

Honkeycorn wrote:
-True Mutagen is worthless because the Discovery "Grand Mutagen" already adds a +6 armor and +8 to primary stat, +6 to secondary, and +4 to tertiary. So I should blow my grand discovery on something that lowers the primary stat and raises the tertiary stat by +2? No thank you. Instead, I'd recommend having the True Mutagen bonuses stay the same, but having them STACK with "Grand Mutagen". That would be well worth it

This was a mistake and has been corrected, it provides a +8 bonus to all three stats.

ARGG! NINJA'D

honkeycorn wrote:
In the Final Playtest Guide, the terms "extract" and "potion" are thrown around too much. Are they the same thing? Please standardize word usage or clarify the difference more concretely

These are two different things. If you see it talking about potions it's refering to the magic item only and not your extracts. If it's talking about extracts it's talking about your bottled spells that only work for you and no one else. anything that says it affects potions does not affect extracts and vice versa.


lastknightleft wrote:
These are two different things. If you see it talking about potions it's refering to the magic item only and not your extracts. If it's talking about extracts it's talking about your bottled spells that only work for you and no one else. anything that says it affects potions does not affect extracts and vice versa.

It's still confusing. There could be alot done to reword this verbiage to be less confusing, especially if a player is coming straight from 3.5 for the first time.


Honkeycorn wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
These are two different things. If you see it talking about potions it's refering to the magic item only and not your extracts. If it's talking about extracts it's talking about your bottled spells that only work for you and no one else. anything that says it affects potions does not affect extracts and vice versa.
It's still confusing. There could be alot done to reword this verbiage to be less confusing, especially if a player is coming straight from 3.5 for the first time.

I know where you come from, as I didn't know of this game 2 months ago. But don't worry, it's easy to get adjusted.

Btw, there isn't really anything to be confused about.

Extracts: daily spells-in a-bottle

Potions: the same old 3rd level spell max drinks we've seen around since DnD 3.0.


The Fool wrote:


I know where you come from, as I didn't know of this game 2 months ago. But don't worry, it's easy to get adjusted.

Btw, there isn't really anything to be confused about.

Extracts: daily spells-in a-bottle

Potions: the same old 3rd level spell max drinks we've seen around since DnD 3.0.

Oh, I know what they are. The issue is not for me.

I'm a usability expert. I have a masters degree in User Experience. It's what a do for a living. Technical writing is something I do on a daily basis. My comment was on the actual writing of the Alchemist descriptions. They need improvement so that the average user who wanders over from D&D 3.5 can immediately pick it up without any confusion. This is a huge strength that Paizo has with it's Pathfinder properties: it's easy to migrate from 3.5 to 3.75 (as they're calling it). This Advanced Player's Guide needs to follow the same high level of quality in easy-to-understand descriptions, and potions and extracts needs to be clarified in more concrete terms in the actual verbiage itself.


Adding to this, has anyone thought of discoveries that seem to be missing?

I think not having bomb add-ons for Grease and Web effects is an egregious error, for example.

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