Final thoughts on the Alchemist.


Advanced Player's Guide Playtest: Final Playtest


The alchemist is the perfect addition to the Pathfinder RPG. It takes an old Fantasy stereotype and turns it into a fun and crazy adventurer that feels more like an Indiana Jones type Character than a Professor in a lab (Even though he can be played as booth)

One complaint I’ve heard from some people is that they dislike the way the extracts work and just want the Alchemist to cast spells like a regular caster. Apparently they find that the creation of extracts and the fact that the other players have to spend their own actions to drink them to be a disadvantage. And that’s even if the Alchemist bothered to take the infusion discovery.

What..?

First of all, the Alchemist doesn’t need to share his extracts to be useful. He can act as the ultimate self buffer, bouncing around the dungeon and being able to healing himself and thus taking some lightening the load of the Party’s healer. The Barbarian is a self-buffer, and I don’t see people complaining about him. Not the ones onhis side anyway...

In fact with some smart choices the Alchemist could become a rather decent frontline fighter himself.
Secondly; The Alchemist needs to be a regular caster.
What’s the point? Why the heck do we need another caster for?! The whole point of the Alchemist was to create something different and it worked! And don’t forget that you can actually create extracts later during the day, as opposed to the rigid memorize fist thing in the morning that wizards and Clerics do. How many times haven’t you wished that you memorized something else that could very well have saved your party a lot of unnecessary headache? Well the Alchemist offers a solution to that problem in since he can decide to leave a few extract “slots” open.

“You lost 6 whole constitution points from the poison? I’ll have a restoration whipped up for you in a minute.”

“OMG, trolls! I think we’ll need some more cure potions here!”

“Well what do you know, there was a Dragon here after all! Protection from Energy, anyone?”

And yes, they Hve to spend actions quaffing the extracts down themselves, but if you ask me the benefits outweigh the disadvantages here.
You do not, for instance have to be anyway near them. You can hand out the extracts at the start of the day and then you can be of help to your friends even if you’re forced to split up. And yet again, YES I know that they have to use the items themselves but when you hand out a Stoneskin to your Fighter, a Heal to the mage and a Transformation to the Rouge I think they’ll actually thank you.

The bombs are fun to use, but not overpowering. You have a chance of racking up some impressive single target damage, but nothing that really rivals that of rouge. You make up for it by being able to attack at range and being able to spread the damage out as you please. Friendly fire is a problem, but if you warn your team mates beforehand this probably won’t be a concern.
Having bombs that are ranged weapons that deal supernatural damage is good when you face creatures with spell resistance, but remember that as a “regular” weapons there are several low level ways of foiling their attacks.

The point I am trying to get across is that the Alchemist is great. It requires some advanced tactics to be sure, but it is an advanced class. It can play several roles which makes it a good class to add to a party that already has all it’s roles covered and it can also specialize enough to cover one role if need be.
Please don’t change the way the Alchemist works, because it’s not broken. The only thing I would like to be added is for the Alchemist to use extracts offensively in some way. I am thinking of something along the lines of Spellvials (Magic of Eberon) that makes it possible to deliver offensive one target effects like Hold person with ranged touch attacks. That's really the only thing that I would add to the class as of now.

So long and thanks for all the bombs!


I'm really liking the Alchemist in it's current form. It's very flexible, has a great flavor, and isn't completely useless. I would not like it if they made it a normal arcane spellcaster.

I LIKE the fact that my extracts are mine. If I want other people to use my stuff, I'll brew them a potion. Also, about people using their actions to buff is a GOOD thing. As a Sorc I was constantly expected to throw out buffs in the first few rounds of battle, which isn't fun for me (G. Invis, Bull's Strength, etc...) because I had so many spells per day. I would much rather everybody use their own actions to buff.

Brew Potion @ lvl 1 pretty much eliminates the entire problem anyway. 25gp and 2 hours for a shield potion? Yes please. We don't normally have a cleric, so the ability to brew Cure Light Wounds is great. A wand takes care of out of combat healing.

I love that it only takes 1 min to prep an extract. It's not fast enough to replace a sorc's spontaneous casting, but it's quick enough to be flexible in the field.

The cool part is you can build a Bow Alchemist, a melee weapon alchemist, a natural attacking melee alchemist, a pure bomb guy... all effective if built correctly. I'm currently playing a poison focused, rapier weilding alch. Could I make bigger boom as a bomb thrower? Sure could, but it wouldn't be as fun. I think people put too much emphasis on being crazy optimized and powerful and not enough on making an interesting charactor.

Dark Archive

What Sidivan said. I'd love to play an alchemist, but as a GM I have do with creating nasty alchemist villains! And by Asmodeus, they're so damn flexible and fun to run! :)


Sidivan wrote:
Brew Potion @ lvl 1 pretty much eliminates the entire problem anyway. 25gp and 2 hours for a shield potion?

Just a small point of clarification here....

Brew Potion does not allow spells that have a range of Personal (see page 551, under Brew Potion) and the Shield spell has a range of Personal (p 342).

I only know this, because I was trying to figure out ways to get out of a predicament that we shouldn't have been in to begin with (in a 3.5 game, playing an Artificer)....and I was going to brew a few potions for us to get out of it. Unfortunately, every one I wanted to bew was a "personal" spell and the DM rules that I couldn't make a single use Wonderous Item out of it either.


Sidivan wrote:
25gp

23gp 5sp :)


The Fool wrote:

How many times haven’t you wished that you memorized something else that could very well have saved your party a lot of unnecessary headache? Well the Alchemist offers a solution to that problem in since he can decide to leave a few extract “slots” open.

You're right; the alchemist looks like an extremely versatile and fun class.

Just a little correction: spellcasters are allowed to delay their spell preparation, so they're able to leave some slots open, too.

PRD wrote:

When preparing spells for the day, a wizard can leave some of these spell slots open. Later during that day, he can repeat the preparation process as often as he likes, time and circumstances permitting.


Cpt. Caboodle wrote:
The Fool wrote:

How many times haven’t you wished that you memorized something else that could very well have saved your party a lot of unnecessary headache? Well the Alchemist offers a solution to that problem in since he can decide to leave a few extract “slots” open.

You're right; the alchemist looks like an extremely versatile and fun class.

Just a little correction: spellcasters are allowed to delay their spell preparation, so they're able to leave some slots open, too.

PRD wrote:

When preparing spells for the day, a wizard can leave some of these spell slots open. Later during that day, he can repeat the preparation process as often as he likes, time and circumstances permitting.

Quite true, quite true. I had completely forgotten that they can do that in Pathfinder.

If I understand it correctly however, it states that the wizard needs at least 15 minutes to prepare those open slots. Not bad, but I think that the Alchemist will have an easier time prepping in the field, though...

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shalandar wrote:
Sidivan wrote:
Brew Potion @ lvl 1 pretty much eliminates the entire problem anyway. 25gp and 2 hours for a shield potion?

Just a small point of clarification here....

Brew Potion does not allow spells that have a range of Personal (see page 551, under Brew Potion) and the Shield spell has a range of Personal (p 342).

I only know this, because I was trying to figure out ways to get out of a predicament that we shouldn't have been in to begin with (in a 3.5 game, playing an Artificer)....and I was going to brew a few potions for us to get out of it. Unfortunately, every one I wanted to bew was a "personal" spell and the DM rules that I couldn't make a single use Wonderous Item out of it either.

I THINK it was stated somewhere that the alchemist can brew potions of any of the extracts he knows, even ones that are usually not permitted because of the personal range/target. They're special!


Possibly so. It says:

Alchemist Class description, Final wrote:

Brew Potion (Ex): At 1st level, alchemists receive Brew

Potion as a bonus feat. An alchemist can brew potions of
any formulae he knows (up to 3rd level), using his alchemist
level as his caster level.

They'll probably clarify this in the final product...


The Fool wrote:
You have a chance of racking up some impressive single target damage, but nothing that really rivals that of rouge

That blush is really impressive with its single target damage.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Peter Stewart wrote:
The Fool wrote:
You have a chance of racking up some impressive single target damage, but nothing that really rivals that of rouge
That blush is really impressive with its single target damage.

It is surprisingly difficult to take someone's arguments seriously whrn they can't even spell the name of a core class. Typos are one thing, but that wasn't the first time it was misspelled.

Although...a female makeup alchemist with rouge bombs? Hm...

I have to admit that one of my favorite things about the alchemist is that the contents /forms of their bombs and extracts are left wholly to the player(s) to determine.


I love the alchemist, i'm playing one in a current camp... one of the funnest characters ever!!! This class is now in my top three (with the sorcerer, and rogue). I see my self playing a lot of alchemists


SmiloDan wrote:
I THINK it was stated somewhere that the alchemist can brew potions of any of the extracts he knows, even ones that are usually not permitted because of the personal range/target. They're special!

"Brew Potion (Ex): At 1st level, alchemists receive Brew

Potion as a bonus feat. An alchemist can brew potions of
any formulae he knows (up to 3rd level), using his alchemist
level as his caster level."

RAW, you are correct. It does say "any".

Shadow Lodge

RicoTheBold wrote:


It is surprisingly difficult to take someone's arguments seriously whrn they can't even spell the name of a core class. Typos are one thing, but that wasn't the first time it was misspelled.

Might want to watch your own spelling before calling out someone else, even if yours was a typo :) And furthermore, if you your throwing out their entire, well written post because they don't know the difference between rouge and rogue, it just seems silly. But thats just me :)


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kabump wrote:
RicoTheBold wrote:


It is surprisingly difficult to take someone's arguments seriously whrn they can't even spell the name of a core class. Typos are one thing, but that wasn't the first time it was misspelled.
Might want to watch your own spelling before calling out someone else, even if yours was a typo :) And furthermore, if you your throwing out their entire, well written post because they don't know the difference between rouge and rogue, I'd say lighten up. But thats just me :)

LOL, yeah. I actually had a typo in one of my mentions of "alchemist" before I posted, but caught it. I blame the iPhone and the lack of tactile feedback for that. Plus, if you've never used one, faith/dependence in the autocorrect is a must, or you'll never get anything typed.

Still, I read the OP's post in full and actually agree with basically everything. I wasn't even going to call out the spelling until I saw someone else had.

There are many perfectly legitimate reasons for not having perfect spelling (typos being the biggest). Dyslexia is something I've never experienced, but it must be a real burden for some. I work with a guy who has multiple sclerosis, is confined to a wheelchair, types slowly and imprecisely, and struggles with his vision and often cannot even see his typos. Still, he was (deservedly) promoted to the head of our help center and is a wonderful guy all around.

All that said, c'mon man. It's the name of a core class. It's repeated a million times in the core rules, often in giant bold letters. It just gives the impression the poster doesn't actually bother reading the rulebooks and has never played an RPG before. I've seen a number of useful, interesting posts by The Fool lately, including this one. Spelling rogue as rouge hurts the strength of the argument. It doesn't invalidate it, and this is just a message board.

I feel like my earlier post should have each sentence taken about as strongly as any other, and I suggested a bomb made of personal cosmetics, so that shows roughly how harsh my criticism was intended to be. I did not mean to offend, just mildly rebuke.

Shadow Lodge

RicoTheBold wrote:


LOL, yeah. I actually had a typo in one of my mentions of "alchemist" before I posted, but caught it. I blame the iPhone and the lack of tactile feedback for that. Plus, if you've never used one, faith/dependence in the autocorrect is a must, or you'll never get anything typed.

Still, I read the OP's post in full and actually agree with basically everything. I wasn't even going to call out the spelling until I saw someone else had.

<snip>

All that said, c'mon man. It's the name of a core class. It's repeated a million times in the core rules, often in giant bold letters. It just gives the impression the poster doesn't actually bother reading the rulebooks and has never played an RPG before. I've seen a number of useful, interesting posts by The Fool lately, including this one. Spelling rogue as rouge hurts the strength of the argument. It doesn't invalidate it, and this is just a message board.

I wasn't meaning to offend, I was offering that up tongue-in-cheek, mostly because I am a horrible speller. And its very easy to mis-type rogue as rouge, and spell check wont catch your error :) That's all I'm saying. On point, I feel his post here sums up my thoughts on the Alchemist perfectly, I will get to play one here soon in a new game im starting, and I couldn't be more excited.


Just as a note, though I was picking on the OP for his use of rouge, I agree with the majority of the points he raised.


Seven new posts, almost all of them discussing a stupid typo... :(

I can agree that it's pretty poor of me to misspell a core class name (and yes I do know the difference between rogue and rouge) but come on! I fired that post of in the morning, right before I went to my class.

There are probably loads of spelling errors and grammatical faults in that post but may I suggest that we keep discussing the Alchemist for now. They are closing the playtest today after all...


I love every single thing about the Alchemist with one glaring exception: the theme. All of the praise you have for it is perfectly justified but it's ruined by having a class named Alchemist that can't do anything special with alchemy, and instead adds in a bunch of spellcasting thinly disguised as alchemy.
I would love to see the mechanics of the Alchemist class preserved, I just want them attached to a different theme. Rune-mage, for example, would be perfect.


The Fool wrote:

Seven new posts, almost all of them discussing a stupid typo... :(

I can agree that it's pretty poor of me to misspell a core class name (and yes I do know the difference between rogue and rouge) but come on! I fired that post of in the morning, right before I went to my class.

There are probably loads of spelling errors and grammatical faults in that post but may I suggest that we keep discussing the Alchemist for now. They are closing the playtest today after all...

One last thing before Jason closes down the forum: What do you guys think about the idea of spellvials?


The Fool wrote:
One last thing before Jason closes down the forum: What do you guys think about the idea of spellvials?

I think it makes the Alchemist even more of a spellcaster who just uses different rules. Which is a bad thing if it stays as an Alchemist, but is otherwise probably a good thing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd like to see some Mutagens that increase mental ability scores. Much like the original jerry lewis' nutty professor (the funny one). Just so i could get a cool personality change and occasionally face for the party. Heh.


Great idea, why not?
If there was worries, there could be an exemption so the alchemical bonus doesn't apply to bomb damage.

Dark Archive

sense I've only a few hours left to post before these forms are locked up for good, i wanted to put an idea out there. As the OP said (up top), about a concept for more offensive style-alchemy. What if they had a discovery that allowed them to infuse a spell into their bombs.

So, they throw a bomb that deals 3d6+4 damage and greases the area. How do you control the effects? Simple, be very mindful of what spells you give the alchemist access to. Another words, don't give him fireball, but give him other ways of being offensive. I don't want a re-flavored wizard, i want an alchemist. And as he stands now, that's what I've got.

Dragon


DragonBringerX wrote:

sense I've only a few hours left to post before these forms are locked up for good, i wanted to put an idea out there. As the OP said (up top), about a concept for more offensive style-alchemy. What if they had a discovery that allowed them to infuse a spell into their bombs.

So, they throw a bomb that deals 3d6+4 damage and greases the area. How do you control the effects? Simple, be very mindful of what spells you give the alchemist access to. Another words, don't give him fireball, but give him other ways of being offensive. I don't want a re-flavored wizard, i want an alchemist. And as he stands now, that's what I've got.

Dragon

I loved it when you said "don't give him fireball, but give him other ways of being offensive." :D

It made me think of my character who is extremely offensive to most everyone.

Anyway, My group discussed the very same idea last session and your idea came up. While I am all for throwing geese bombs the DM said that it would be to powerful. He said that using a spellvial-esque way of delivering offensive extracts would not only fit the style of the Alchemist but it would make him have to decide if it would be the best time to use an spellvial or a bomb. But I haven't actually tested this idea out yet, so I don't know if it would work out properly...

Dark Archive

far_wanderer wrote:

I love every single thing about the Alchemist with one glaring exception: the theme. All of the praise you have for it is perfectly justified but it's ruined by having a class named Alchemist that can't do anything special with alchemy, and instead adds in a bunch of spellcasting thinly disguised as alchemy.

I would love to see the mechanics of the Alchemist class preserved, I just want them attached to a different theme. Rune-mage, for example, would be perfect.

Er, they create alchemical items faster than anyone else, and can brew potions NOBODY else can (i.e. from any formulas they know)! I'd say that suits the theme pretty well, right? And they also get cool bombs and mutagens that feel pretty much "alchemical", at least to me.

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I was hoping for an alchemist that used more astrology and metallurgy, knowledge and balance of the humors and classical elements, and more flavorful mutagens.


Asgetrion wrote:
Er, they create alchemical items faster than anyone else, and can brew potions NOBODY else can (i.e. from any formulas they know)! I'd say that suits the theme pretty well, right? And they also get cool bombs and mutagens that feel pretty much "alchemical", at least to me.

That's precisely the problem - bombs, mutagens, and extracts feel "alchemical", but they aren't. They don't depend on Craft (Alchemy) or Brew Potion, they have a limited duration, they don't require material components, and without jumping through some significant hoops they can't be used by anyone except the Alchemist. So it feels like alchemy, but instead it's just a fancy way of being a normal spellcaster.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

It's been stated by Jason in a previous thread that the new class names are set firm with zero possibility of change.

I guess in lieu of some of the great ideas here I'd like to see the flavor text describe some of the alternate "origins" of the alchemist (runes, strange pseudoscience, etc.) It could be the best middle ground expected at this late in the game.

Shadow Lodge

far_wanderer wrote:


That's precisely the problem - bombs, mutagens, and extracts feel "alchemical", but they aren't. They don't depend on Craft (Alchemy) or Brew Potion, they have a limited duration, they don't require material components, and without jumping through some significant hoops they can't be used by anyone except the Alchemist. So it feels like alchemy, but instead it's just a fancy way of being a normal spellcaster.

Thats an interesting opinion. I don't agree with it, but I understand where you are coming from. This class, to me, feels like an alchemist. They brew up strange potions that do extraordinary things (extracts) and are master of the alchemical craft (their craft(alchemy) bonus), and the mutagens also feel alchemical to me. If I am understanding you correct, and it is entirely possible im not, you want their abilities to tie in to the craft(alchemy) skill, which seems to me to be a HORRIBLE idea. No other class has its class features dependent upon a specific skill, why should the alchemist? There is much more, as I see it, to an alchemist than making things with craft(alchemy).I think in the end, we just have a different idea of what an alchemist should entail. Out of curiosity, you keep mentioning that this is not an alchemist for you. What do YOU envision the class being able to, so I can understand why you dislike the current incarnation of an alchemist?

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