Alchemist awkwardness, design flaw or intended?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Alchemist fluff is really good, but the design intent don't really match, for example:

Alchemist have to wait until level 8 to have +6 base attacks and get a secondary attack, it seems to me that it was the only design reason to put fast bomb(multiples attacks) with a level 8 requirement: so you can only take it when you actually need it, but of course it doesn't take in consideration feats like rapid shot, so in practice you end up having to play a fairly week bomb thrower alchemist until level 8, it is likely ok for people who play high level adventures often, but not every adventures work like that.

Another thing is stick poison, it is worded to be used only with melee weapons, but the melee alchemist is fairly directed to an unarmed melee, also it sort of remove the ranged alchemist without apparent reasons, I mean: it could be for balance reasons but I really doubt so.

In practice, you only use craft(alchemy) to create potions, alchemy items takes too long to create so you end up buying then and master crafter (the only feat that makes creating poison possible) is meant only to melee with weapon poison users alchemists (a rare kind) but the use poison, swift poison and etc are in the base class description, I guess they choose to put then there just so people could trade then with archetypes... that's a weird reason thought...

so... is it just me or do you also think that alchemist have some weird design calls?


I don't think that limiting an alchemist to 1 bomb per round at lower levels is that bad, or, put another way, that the alchemist at low levels is weak enough to need the ability to do so. I would say it isn't a weird design call, but an intentional design call to keep the alchemist at 1 bomb per round until his BAB allows more, no matter what other methods he uses of getting those attacks.

As for sticky poison, I'm not sure how that would work on ranged attacks, so yeah, it is pretty much specifically keyed to melee attacks. I guess you could put it on a javelin and hope they don't throw it back at your non-poison immune allies? And I am also not sure why melee alchemist is only a natural weapon alchemist. Can you go that route? Certainly. But you could also have a roguish alchemist sneaking around with poisoned daggers and quaffing invisibility extracts to get in and out. Or a greatsword alchemist who downs his mutagen and charges in screaming. Plus, your poison use means you can poison your own claws and be fine, so long as you are using injury rather than contact poison.

Crafting alchemical items normally takes time, yes. More time than adventurers in fast paced campaigns have unless they specifically ask their DM for some down time. But you can grab the master alchemist feat, which speeds up crafting by a factor of 10, and his swift alchemy reduces that reduced time by half. At super high levels, instant alchemy takes over for just stupid fast crafting.

And why is master crafter the only way to make poisons? Poisons are not magical items, you can make them with mundane craft (alchemy) checks, which you happen to be awesome at thanks to your class abilities. From the SRD:

SRD wrote:
Poisons can be made using Craft (alchemy). The DC to make a poison is equal to its Fortitude save DC. Rolling a natural 1 on a Craft skill check while making a poison exposes the crafter to the poison. Crafters with the poison use class feature do not risk poisoning themselves when using Craft to make poison.

Anything I missed? I'm not trying to be dismissive, but genuinely answer your concerns.

Dark Archive

Nothing in sticky poison says it has to be applied to a melee weapon. Heck there is nothing preventing you from applying poison to your bombs for gosh sake.
I've been making 3 chamber bomb vials just for that purpose for 2 months now.


Carbon D. Metric wrote:

Nothing in sticky poison says it has to be applied to a melee weapon. Heck there is nothing preventing you from applying poison to your bombs for gosh sake.

I've been making 3 chamber bomb vials just for that purpose for 2 months now.

Strictly by RAW, "bombs are considered weapons" (alch class description) and "Injury poisons are primarily contracted through the attacks of certain creatures and through weapons coated in the toxin." (Afflictions section of CRB), so I suppose you could put poison in your bombs.

I'd just be sure to run that one by your DM first and figure out how it is going to work.

Does it hit everyone the bomb hits, or only the direct hit?
If it hits everyone, how many doses does it take?
What type of poison does it use?
-Injury, which it inflicts when poison shrapnel hits
-Contact, which it inflicts when the vial hits the target (if this is the case, does it still work if it just hits the touch AC, or would that cause the poison to be harmlessly deflected while the bomb still goes off)
-Inhaled, which is aerosolized by the explosion?
How does the sticky discovery affect this use?

I would also try and be sure not to step on the toes of the poison bomb discovery, which has smoke bomb as a prereq and requires lvl 12.


One alchemist bomb isn't the most damage that a level 4-5 pc can do, but its one of the most consistent forms of damage. You only need to make touch attacks, so while you won't crank out 50 points of damage every other round like the rampaging barbarian you can still do 20 every time.

There are other ways of expanding a bomb to do more damage and do more besides more bombs.

Explosive or acid bombs can effectively add an extra d6 of damage onto the bombs.

Frost bombs stagger opponents.

The infusion discovery can make you an asset to your party to help them do damage until you pick up rapid shot at 7th and then multiple bombs at 8th. You go from 1 bomb to 3 in a level.

Quote:
but the melee alchemist is fairly directed to an unarmed melee

Once you're immune to poison, there's no reason you cant poison your claws and teeth. (and tentacle)


Only thing I find myself somewhat agreeing with is the fast bomb possibly, it would be a bit more elegant to allow it to be taken at 6th possibly. Before that I think it inappropriate to allow multiple touch attacks, as it is level 8 the change to 1 bomb per round to frantic bomb tossing alchemist is a bit too sudden of a change to me.

Shadow Lodge

*shrug*

Alchemists are a little weaker kicking out *damage* at 5-7th level (before that bombs are reasonably competitive). This is made up for in a large part by their versatility. I highly recommend stink bomb as a way to supplement your damage dealing with some great save or suck effects which are extremely effective at levels 5-7 and beyond. Alternately you can make a switch hitting alchemist who bombs when he can and wades into melee with feral mutagen when he has to. You also have some nice extract options with Vomit Swarm to help get through the rough times :D


Bascaria wrote:


And why is master crafter the only way to make poisons? Poisons are not magical items, you can make them with mundane craft (alchemy) checks, which you happen to be awesome at thanks to your class abilities. From the SRD:

SRD wrote:
Poisons can be made using Craft (alchemy). The DC to make a poison is equal to its Fortitude save DC. Rolling a natural 1 on a Craft skill check while making a poison exposes the crafter to the poison. Crafters with the poison use class feature do not risk poisoning themselves when using Craft to make poison.
...

The craft rules work for cheep things but a 400gp poison, without master crafter feat, would take 10 weeks to create (1 dose)

Bascaria wrote:


As for sticky poison, I'm not sure how that would work on ranged attacks, so yeah, it is pretty much specifically keyed to melee attacks.

Sticky poison just could be a poison that requires a smaller dosage to use, effectively allowing you to apply it to your Intelligence modifier weapons.

Poisoning my claws is ok.. but teeth is just wrong :P

Well, I guess I'll be a master crafter to create poison for my group, it will be a bit clumsy, they will have to carry an extra sword for me to poison (either that or risk spending poison on creeps)

I have another one to add: why there is no alchemist item? I mean, since you can't use metamagic rods or pear of power for the extracts, also there is no magic bombs... I expected to be some magic items for him, but, unless I'm missing something, there is none


Snake 1: "Hey, do you know whether we're venomous?"
Snake 2: "I think so. Why do you ask?"
Snake 1: "I bit my tongue!"

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Alchemist awkwardness, design flaw or intended? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.