Master Alchemist Feat: a fix or too powerful?


Rules Questions


One of my players is a poison master, so this feat really makes using poisons viable, but does it modify the rules too much?

Let me illustrate:

For the purpose of this, my player has a combined +18 to his alchemy craft skill (18 INT)

Medium Spider Venom
Cost: 150 gp
Craft cost: 50 gp
Average skill roll of a 10...

SP of completion per week: 392

this poison takes 1.28 weeks to complete.

With the feat he completes 4 doses of this poison in only 0.12 weeks, or roughly one day.

This is one hell of a feat, but is it too much? I like the rule changes, especially since we have a house rule to increase poison DC's (a search on this forum will find that).


Globetrotter wrote:

One of my players is a poison master, so this feat really makes using poisons viable, but does it modify the rules too much?

Let me illustrate:

For the purpose of this, my player has a combined +18 to his alchemy craft skill (18 INT)

Medium Spider Venom
Cost: 150 gp
Craft cost: 50 gp
Average skill roll of a 10...

SP of completion per week: 392

this poison takes 1.28 weeks to complete.

With the feat he completes 4 doses of this poison in only 0.12 weeks, or roughly one day.

This is one hell of a feat, but is it too much? I like the rule changes, especially since we have a house rule to increase poison DC's (a search on this forum will find that).

The only reason it might be too powerful is because of your house rule. That means it isn't a problem with the balance of the feat but something you've done outside the game parameters.

Not saying it is bad, just that a perceive issue wasn't with the rules of the game but something you decided to house rule into effect ;)

Crafting has always been somewhat of a "problem child," it takes 8 hours of crafting per day - which is time you aren't resting or adventuring. Many times the cost of the mundane item (time cost more so than gp cost at lower levels) is annoying downtime that is bad for the adventure itself as a whole. "Yep we went in yesterday, realized we needed this, this and that, so now she's crafting up things while we sit around." A class that has crafting as a main focus, just exaggerates that more so feats come into play. It really depends on the type of campaign.


I didn't really want to bring in the houserule I created, but yes, that is the beginning of my head scratching.

However, looking at the rules,

The feat speeds up creation of poisons by a huge factor. For an INT 18 character, you are producing a four poisons in one day of work, or 1 per every two hours (averaging).

Whereas without the feat, you are producing one in about 74 hours... or 37 times as fast for medium spider venom.

if we compare with deathblade, one dose takes 10.71 weeks without the feat and 4 doses in one week. That is a difference of 428.57 hours for one dose and 10 hours for one dose with the feat. 43 times as fast.... wow.

My houserule has no bearing here, as that is just adjusting DC's and that would ultimately slow this process down a bit, so for rule correction, I want to make sure I am understanding the RAW implications.


Globetrotter wrote:

I didn't really want to bring in the houserule I created, but yes, that is the beginning of my head scratching.

However, looking at the rules,

The feat speeds up creation of poisons by a huge factor. For an INT 18 character, you are producing a four poisons in one day of work, or 1 per every two hours (averaging).

Whereas without the feat, you are producing one in about 74 hours... or 37 times as fast for medium spider venom.

if we compare with deathblade, one dose takes 10.71 weeks without the feat and 4 doses in one week. That is a difference of 428.57 hours for one dose and 10 hours for one dose with the feat. 43 times as fast.... wow.

My houserule has no bearing here, as that is just adjusting DC's and that would ultimately slow this process down a bit, so for rule correction, I want to make sure I am understanding the RAW implications.

If it were just a matter of being fast maybe, but you also have to include the cost of the item. You aren't getting anything for free, you're just getting it faster than others as that is your classes "schtick." You have to invest a good amount of gold for the best poisons and the poisons typically are single use per dose. They go fast so in effect all you are doing is burning through gold faster. Sure you might have 20 doses of poison, but if it is effective poison that is all you have. Pretty much just like charged magic items.

They take a day to rest and craft, the character gets 4 doses of poison by spending the gold on the mats. The next day they have approximately 1 dose per encounter (game balance on 4 encounters per day). If your concern is that they could take a ton of time off and just craft and craft and craft, that is actually a problem of you not having control of the game in a way. The game is pretty much always broken by down time, something as a DM you will have to deal with any time crafting is involved.


Quote:
If your concern is that they could take a ton of time off and just craft and craft and craft, that is actually a problem of you not having control of the game in a way.

No wonder people don't like posting here... You are very rude.

This has nothing to do with me not being able to control my group, I am trying to look at how one feat increases the time by a factor of 40. No reason to to make this personal.

I like the feat and will have my player use it. I think it fixes much about the rules, but I wanted to know what others thought.

Thanks for not helping at all.


Globetrotter wrote:
Quote:
If your concern is that they could take a ton of time off and just craft and craft and craft, that is actually a problem of you not having control of the game in a way.

No wonder people don't like posting here... You are very rude.

This has nothing to do with me not being able to control my group, I am trying to look at how one feat increases the time by a factor of 40. No reason to to make this personal.

I like the feat and will have my player use it. I think it fixes much about the rules, but I wanted to know what others thought.

Thanks for not helping at all.

I'm not being rude, I'm stating a point. If you are worried that the PC's could craft a ton of poisons and that is somehow unbalancing you need to address the issue of control of the game and not allowing it to happen. That is a problem that occurs when the DM has "lost control." It isn't a personal attack, it is a statement of fact.


Crafting things quickly is a good thing, not a bad thing (IMO). I just wish other crafting could be speeded up as well (it shouldn't take months and months and months for a PC to craft an adamantine weapon, for instance).


Honestly I have to say with the cost of poisons (even while crafting them yourself) and the ease of poison immunity (how many things can you actually poison in the bestiary? Let alone all the classes with either immunity or good fortitude saves/bonuses against poisons) being able to quickly make poisons isn't that big of a deal -- the ability to quickly apply poisons and having a single dose last for multiple hits is honestly bigger since it actually has an effect on combat.

However even there it's fairly minor -- at worse it's no worse than cloudkill or the like.

Shadow Lodge

One think I'd like to point out, (and maybe it was because you were just giving an example?) And Int of 18 would allow for 5 doses to be made at one time, not 4... It adds doses equal to your int bonus to the crafting, not just sets it to your int bonus. But I digress.

A couple of questions:
Is the character in question an alchemist? Swift alchemy makes a big difference in time too. I wondered because...
Your figures are off by a bit, so I was curious how you got them.

28 (ave check) * 14 (dc of poison) = 392 sp

150/39.2 = 3.82 (weeks) (Swift alchemy would make this 1.91 weeks)

Now, if an alchemist with swift alchemy he'd then be able to make 5 doses in 6.25 hours (Of course, if he were an alchemist he couldn't have an 18 skill with an 18 int he'd have to have a 19 with the master alchemist feat... But again, I digress.)

Now, you mentioned that your house rule doesn't come into affect, but it does. By increasing the poison's DC, that will also increase the DC to craft it, and by doing that, you decrease the time it takes to make it. The higher the DC (assuming you can make the check) the more progress you make. Example:

poison DC 14 Skill 18
check = 14 * 28 = 392

Poison DC 15 Skill 18
check = 15 * 28 = 420

Poison DC 20 Skill 18
check = 20 * 28 = 560

So by increasing the DC you would be allowing them to make the poisons even faster because they're getting more work done. (That's why you can voluntarily add +10 to the craft dc to reduce the craft time)


Master Alchemist: +2 Craft Alchemy
Int 18: +4
Alchemist level 5: +5
Ranks: +5
Class Bonus: +3

+21 Craft alchemy (base)

Roll of 10 = DC 31

Master Alchemist allows you to use the GP value of the item instead of the SP value, and make up to 5 doses at a time (while still paying for them) and Swift Alchemy halves the time it takes.

All this is of course dependent on if you consider poisons to be an alchemical item or not -- they do use craft(alchemy) to make, but I'm not sure I would classify them as alchemical items.

Shadow Lodge

Abraham spalding wrote:

Master Alchemist: +2 Craft Alchemy

Int 18: +4
Alchemist level 5: +5
Ranks: +5
Class Bonus: +3

+21 Craft alchemy (base)

Roll of 10 = DC 31

Master Alchemist allows you to use the GP value of the item instead of the SP value, and make up to 5 doses at a time (while still paying for them) and Swift Alchemy halves the time it takes.

All this is of course dependent on if you consider poisons to be an alchemical item or not -- they do use craft(alchemy) to make, but I'm not sure I would classify them as alchemical items.

APG FAQ wrote:

For the purposes of an alchemist's class abilities, are poisons considered alchemical items?

Yes. (SKR 10/12/10)

–Sean K Reynolds (10/12/10)

EDIT: Also... 2+4+5+5+3=19 not 21


yeah, I read 5 instead of the 3 -- playing yatzhee with the boy will posting.

skill focus would be a good choice as would an actual alchemy lab.

with both you should be +24.

Shadow Lodge

Basically this feat reduces crafting alchemical items to times comparable to magic item crafting or a bit faster. So alchemists can actually craft stuff and use it on a regular basis. Compare this to crafting a scroll and it becomes far more reasonable.

Overall it's a solid feat.


Finally, some worthwhile feedback.

Yes, I like the feat a lot as well. I did some number crunching last night and found it very useful. My only concern was how well it works in comparison to the original non-feat rules. Ultimately it allows for poisons to be used in a timely manner.

My player is a rogue with the poison class variant from the APG. I didn't notice the "ADDS YOUR INT", wonderful catch!!

This also synergies well with our household on increasing poison DC's.

Thanks guys for your insightful feedback.

Shadow Lodge

If you're interested I have a spreadsheet that does all the number crunching for alchemical items (and a page for poisons). (of course I originally made it assuming Master alchemist so most work is listed in days instead of weeks, but just divide by 7 and you'll have weeks.)

You can find it here.


Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

One think I'd like to point out, (and maybe it was because you were just giving an example?) And Int of 18 would allow for 5 doses to be made at one time, not 4... It adds doses equal to your int bonus to the crafting, not just sets it to your int bonus. But I digress.

A couple of questions:
Is the character in question an alchemist? Swift alchemy makes a big difference in time too. I wondered because...
Your figures are off by a bit, so I was curious how you got them.

28 (ave check) * 14 (dc of poison) = 392 sp

150/39.2 = 3.82 (weeks) (Swift alchemy would make this 1.91 weeks)

Now, if an alchemist with swift alchemy he'd then be able to make 5 doses in 6.25 hours (Of course, if he were an alchemist he couldn't have an 18 skill with an 18 int he'd have to have a 19 with the master alchemist feat... But again, I digress.)

Now, you mentioned that your house rule doesn't come into affect, but it does. By increasing the poison's DC, that will also increase the DC to craft it, and by doing that, you decrease the time it takes to make it. The higher the DC (assuming you can make the check) the more progress you make. Example:

poison DC 14 Skill 18
check = 14 * 28 = 392

Poison DC 15 Skill 18
check = 15 * 28 = 420

Poison DC 20 Skill 18
check = 20 * 28 = 560

So by increasing the DC you would be allowing them to make the poisons even faster because they're getting more work done. (That's why you can voluntarily add +10 to the craft dc to reduce the craft time)

I just wanted to note, that you actually would only be able to create 4 poisons with an INT of 18, because the Master Alchemist feat states that you can create a number of doses equal to your intelligence modifier (minimum 1) at one time. It does not state that you add your INT modifier to number of doses created.


Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

One think I'd like to point out, (and maybe it was because you were just giving an example?) And Int of 18 would allow for 5 doses to be made at one time, not 4... It adds doses equal to your int bonus to the crafting, not just sets it to your int bonus. But I digress.

A couple of questions:
Is the character in question an alchemist? Swift alchemy makes a big difference in time too. I wondered because...
Your figures are off by a bit, so I was curious how you got them.

28 (ave check) * 14 (dc of poison) = 392 sp

150/39.2 = 3.82 (weeks) (Swift alchemy would make this 1.91 weeks)

Now, if an alchemist with swift alchemy he'd then be able to make 5 doses in 6.25 hours (Of course, if he were an alchemist he couldn't have an 18 skill with an 18 int he'd have to have a 19 with the master alchemist feat... But again, I digress.)

Now, you mentioned that your house rule doesn't come into affect, but it does. By increasing the poison's DC, that will also increase the DC to craft it, and by doing that, you decrease the time it takes to make it. The higher the DC (assuming you can make the check) the more progress you make. Example:

poison DC 14 Skill 18
check = 14 * 28 = 392

Poison DC 15 Skill 18
check = 15 * 28 = 420

Poison DC 20 Skill 18
check = 20 * 28 = 560

So by increasing the DC you would be allowing them to make the poisons even faster because they're getting more work done. (That's why you can voluntarily add +10 to the craft dc to reduce the craft time)

Sorry to do this, but I can't find a way to direct message: your link to dropbox for the spreadsheet doesn't work. Is it possible to get a copy? Can send you my email if you would like.

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