Interrupting an Alchemist.....


Rules Questions


Ok, so I was just throwing an alchemist at my party, and had a few small glitches -- I'm rather certain that I did things correctly per the rules (RAW), but I thought I should ask.

The rules indicate that an alchemist using an extract does so as if drinking a potion and it's a standard action. Now, to me, this indicates that the alchemist has already done the hard work of preparing the elixirs and so it's all standard actions from that point on to use them...

So, here come the "sticky" bits that had my players a little upset - again, I'm pretty sure I'm correct but would like to be sure:

#1. Drinking an extract = standard action -- even if the spell that the extract is made from has a 1 round casting time.
(In this case, the feral Master Chymst, after getting his/her greater invis dispelled and losing the ability to fast bomb the party into bits decided it was claw/claw/bitey time and Enlarged -- and I got complained at for the fact it happened right away).

#2. While drinking a potion provokes an attack of opportunity, an alchemist using an extract doesn't lose the extract or need to make a concentration check as a result of damage, sice they're not casting a spell. After getting hit by the flurrying monk (due to the loss of AC in the enlarging), he/she tossed back an elixir of Stoneskin (probably should have done them in the opposite order, really, but shh), got hit by the attack and then of course, I was protested at because he/she got DR10 anyway.

Now, I can see their point - alchemists being the equivalent of uninterruptable spellcasters is pretty severe - and while only being able to affect the self nerfs the utility of some spells (haste, for example), it has 0 drawback on self/personal/single-target spells anyway. At the same time, this seems to be what the rules say. I'd like to know if I was wrong so I can bump the CR for XP and loot for his/her "special" ability before next week's session.


#1. Drinking an extract = standard action -- even if the spell that the extract is made from has a 1 round casting time.
(In this case, the feral Master Chymst, after getting his/her greater invis dispelled and losing the ability to fast bomb the party into bits decided it was claw/claw/bitey time and Enlarged -- and I got complained at for the fact it happened right away).

-that's correct. Just like players can speed things up by drinking a potion, the alchemists enlarge person is faster than a wizard casting it.

#2. While drinking a potion provokes an attack of opportunity, an alchemist using an extract doesn't lose the extract or need to make a concentration check as a result of damage, sice they're not casting a spell.

-Correct. Despite using a functional spell list and functionally casting spells in liquid form the alchemist is not actually casting anything. To disrupt a drinking alchemist you would either have to sunder the container or disarm them of the potion

Now, I can see their point - alchemists being the equivalent of uninterruptable spellcasters is pretty severe - and while only being able to affect the self nerfs the utility of some spells (haste, for example), it has 0 drawback on self/personal/single-target spells anyway.

-the main drawback is that he's casting first and second level spells instead of fourth and fifth.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:


-the main drawback is that he's casting first and second level spells instead of fourth and fifth.

Not always. Past spell level 3 for an alchemist, or any other 6th level caster, the spell list may start to get a bit wonky. Some spells he gets at 3rd a wizard may get at 4th, and so on. 9th level spells are 6th level for him.

Shadow Lodge

Tilnar wrote:
#1. Drinking an extract = standard action -- even if the spell that the extract is made from has a 1 round casting time.

Drinking is a standard action, but I think the effect doesn't take place until the full round is over. So it's uninterruptable but still takes the full time.

Quote:
#2. While drinking a potion provokes an attack of opportunity, an alchemist using an extract doesn't lose the extract or need to make a concentration check as a result of damage, sice they're not casting a spell.

The party could sunder or disarm the extract instead.

Quote:
Now, I can see their point - alchemists being the equivalent of uninterruptable spellcasters is pretty severe - and while only being able to affect the self nerfs the utility of some spells (haste, for example), it has 0 drawback on self/personal/single-target spells anyway. At the same time, this seems to be what the rules say. I'd like to know if I was wrong so I can bump the CR for XP and loot for his/her "special" ability before next week's session.

The flip side is you can't use concentration to quaff an extract defensively, have to take a discovery to share your 'spells' with anyone, and even then you can only share it with one person.


Matt Stich wrote:
Not always. Past spell level 3 for an alchemist, or any other 6th level caster, the spell list may start to get a bit wonky. Some spells he gets at 3rd a wizard may get at 4th, and so on. 9th level spells are 6th level for him.

Well, keeping in mind that the Alchemist doesn't get level 3 Extracts till 7th, and level 4 extracts till 10th, some things he gets much later than a wizard, two to three levels later. That greater invisibility he's just busting out at 10th, the wizard had since 7th level. Therefore, as levels increase, he's paying for that faster, hard to interrupt time with the fact that it's increasingly level inappropriate.

Now, if anyone wants to get bummed, get bummed about the Summoner, who is sometimes getting his party buffs at 1 caster level BEFORE the wizard -- Summoner has haste at level 4, and Summon Monster IX and Teleport circle at level 16, for goodness' sake! :D Most of them, though, are staggered on-par when the wizard would have them -- which annoys alchemists a little bit...

Liberty's Edge

0gre wrote:
Drinking is a standard action, but I think the effect doesn't take place until the full round is over. So it's uninterruptable but still takes the full time.

Ogre, what's the logic on a potion of a full round effect taking a full round to take effect?

Scarab Sages

Negative energy burst from an evil cleric even moderately optimized is IMO far more dangerous and also uninterruptible. Think of it as an extra challenge for your party, who probably didnt think alchemists were that dangerous before meeting yours... :)

Shadow Lodge

Howie23 wrote:
0gre wrote:
Drinking is a standard action, but I think the effect doesn't take place until the full round is over. So it's uninterruptable but still takes the full time.
Ogre, what's the logic on a potion of a full round effect taking a full round to take effect?

...

.

gah

Drinking a potion is a standard and the effect is immediate.

Drinking an extract is 'like' drinking a potion, except where it isn't (which is a little fuzzy to me to be honest). I kind of assumed you treated it like a spell with regards to casting time, etc, based on this but I'm not entirely certain.


Having played an alchemist through the last four parts of the serpent skull path, I can tell you that not being able to drink defensively is quite a pain.

Alchemists have some great buffs, but there were a few times I wished that I could use still spell after some closet troll grappled me.

However, having Freedom of movement with delayed consumption was pretty sweet. You know, once I got to 13th level.

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