Gralton Infiltrator (Alchemist)


Round 2: Design an archetype

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka RainyDayNinja

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Gralton Infiltrator (Alchemist)
Blending arcane talent and innate guile, the Gralton infiltrator crafts deceptions with as much care and study as his alchemical tinctures. He devotes his talent to rescuing Galtan nobles or engaging in espionage for one of the many secret societies in Gralton, always staying a step ahead of the Gray Gardeners.
Class Skills: A Gralton infiltrator gains Bluff, Disguise, Knowledge (local and nobility), Linguistics, and Stealth as class skills, and does not gain Appraise, Disable Device, Fly, Heal, Knowledge (nature), or Survival as class skills.
Infiltrator's Draught (Su): Rather than enhancing physical prowess with mutagens, the Gralton infiltrator creates special draughts which allow him to go unnoticed. When a Gralton infiltrator drinks one of these draughts, he gains an alchemical bonus equal to 4 plus 1/3 his level on Bluff checks, Disguise checks, and Linguistics checks to create forgeries. In addition, the draught conceals his alignment from all forms of divination, and masks the auras of all carried or worn magical items as unmagical, as if under the effects of magic aura (Will save DC 10 + 1/2 the alchemist’s level + the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier). The effects last for 10 minutes per alchemist level. At 14th level, the effects last for 1 hour per level.

This ability otherwise functions as and replaces the mutagen and persistent mutagen class abilities (a Gralton infiltrator cannot create mutagens unless he selects the mutagen discovery).
Discoveries: A Gralton infiltrator may take the following rogue talents as discoveries: camouflage, convincing lie, honeyed words, and quick disguise. At 10th level, add the master of disguise rogue talent to this list. Treat his alchemist level as his rogue level for these talents.
Extracts: Add the following spells to the Gralton infiltrator's extract list as extracts of the given level: innocence (1st), misdirection (2nd), glibness (3rd), detect scrying (4th), false vision (5th), mislead (5th). These extracts must still be added to his formula book as normal.
Coach of Deception (Su): A Gralton infiltrator is skilled at smuggling allies past their enemies. If he has an unused extract slot, he can spend 1d4 minutes on personal coaching of an ally. The ally gains an insight bonus to Bluff and Disguise checks equal to double the level of the extract slot. This bonus lasts 24 hours, or until that extract slot is used (whichever comes first). The same extract slot cannot be used for more than one ally. This ability replaces the Brew Potion bonus feat.
Mental Defenses (Ex): At 2nd level, a Gralton infiltrator adds his Intelligence modifier to Will saves against spells of the divination school, and abilities that detect lies or force the truth. This ability replaces poison resistance.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

An alchemist infiltrator, eh? And tied to Gralton, the kingdom made of exiled nobles from Galt who want to reclaim their old home? Interesting. :)

Class Skills: Makes sense.

Infiltrator's Draught: I like this idea, it's like a reverse of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde, where the unrefined lout disguises himself as a smooth-tongued spy with the proper alchemy. That "4 + 1/3 level" bonus is ugly, though, better to express it as "+X at 1st level, this increases to +Y and 2nd," and so on.

Discoveries: Sure.

Extracts: Sure.

Coach: The execution of this is weird. I'd make it a special infusion that grants half the alchemist's bonus from infiltrator's draught (similar to a ranger's companions bond). I like the idea of it, though.

Mental Defenses: A nice swap.

This is a tight design, good theme, definitely appropriate for the River Kingdoms. Good job!

I DO recommend this archetype for advancement.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Initial impression: an alchemist/rogue mash-up! Creative, well executed.

Recommended.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Congrats Joseph, you have landed in the Top 32 with style. Alchemist seems to be the class that found a lot of recommendations, and very little overlap. Good choice.

For the infiltrator, I caught myself wondering, "Is this a rogue who's a little bit alchemist, or an alchemist who has gone a little bit rogue?" Then I realized "I don't care, this is really solid work!"

Nicely executed on flavor, on mechanics, and on originality.

Recommended to advance!


I like the overall idea.

I'd have a few minor issues with the mechanics: I think that as infiltrator it should keep Disable Device. I also agree with Sean opinion that 4+1/3 level is ungainly bonus and Coach Of Deception is a bit weird and I would solve it differently. Additionally I'd probably also change Mental Defense to follow Poison Resistance progression instead of adding Intelligence bonus to saving throws.

You have a high chance of getting my vote.

EDIT: Oh, and you made that mirror of swarm transformation thingie? Another plus.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Another of the judge-approved Alchemists! I'm fond of Inquisitors and Alchemists, but my bias aside you've done well here, Joseph. Good tie-in to Golarion/RK and nice simple but well executed abilities.
Nice tweak to create Infiltrator's Draught and its associated caveats with reference to vanilla Alchemist.
One small point:
I really dislike the name "Coach of Deception". I thought it involved horses, a carriage and a whole lotta cloth a la the grand installation artist Christo. I'd prefer something like Deceptive Advice/Allied Subterfuge/Ocean's Eleven/Bond of Deception...

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

I really like this archetype. Good strong tie-in to the world without going overboard, interesting class abilities without any of them being particularly unbalancing, and no obvious areas for abuse that I can see.

This is a stellar piece of work.

good luck, and keep it up in the future rounds!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

good template use, obvious RK connection.

there are a few mechanical issues but i think they're a writing issue, not a balance problem (and i think sean's suggestions, along with drejk's note on the save bonus progression, solve them perfectly). this is a well balanced and nicely executed archetype.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Joseph, nothing I can say here (that Sean didn't say). I absolutely love this mash-up.

My only, tiny quibble is the name Coach of Deception. I totally thought this was going to be an ability to smuggle people in a horse drawn coach. Maybe renaming, but this is only for me so take that with a grain of salt.

DO recommend and I am checking the box right now!

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

I will give general impressions, but with 3 areas of particular focus that suit my personal interests. Archetype and ability names: do they show flair? How closely tied to the River Kingdom is the archetype? And last but certainly not least, do I want to play this archetype?

Archetype and ability names: Below Average. These are perhaps too literal. Coach Of Deception, as has been noted, is misleading.

River Kingdom tie: Average. The inspiration is valid, but this could be a rogue alchemist in most any city.

Desire to play: Below average. For me this just doesn't click. The idea of a Alcherogue is appealing, but nothing in this execution of it excites me. It's a coherent design, though.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka surfbored

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Joseph Kellogg wrote:

Gralton Infiltrator (Alchemist)...

The name is okay. I'm not terribly fond of using proper names in archetype names, but for this contest it seems appropriate. On the other hand, the opening flavor text is quite good. I get a real mental picture of what you're going for.

Joseph Kellogg wrote:

Class Skills: A Gralton infiltrator gains...

These trades seem fair, and fit the theme nicely.

Joseph Kellogg wrote:

Infiltrator's Draught (Su): Rather than enhancing physical prowess with mutagens...

You're trading AC and physical bonuses for spy related stuff. I guess that is balanced enough, and it sticks to the theme. Others have mentioned making the progression more standard, which I agree with.

What's up with the Will save for magic aura though? There is no Will save for this spell. Or are you overriding the DC for any use of Identify (which is normally DC 10 + spell level + Int mod)? If so, that's a pretty good boost in DC. The fact that it lasts a lot shorter than the actual spell might balance though. (This needs to be clarified.)

I hate the phrase "This ability otherwise functions as and replaces...", but it's the standard so I won't hold it against you.

Joseph Kellogg wrote:

Discoveries: A Gralton infiltrator may take the following rogue talents...

Rogue talents as discoveries. Smart way to get a whole bunch of description in very few words.

Joseph Kellogg wrote:
Extracts: Add the following spells...

Keeps the theme and another smart way to make a lot of changes in very few words.

Joseph Kellogg wrote:

Coach of Deception (Su): A Gralton infiltrator is skilled at smuggling allies...

More sneaking, but this time for allies. Hmmm, this takes away potions (and weakens potion discoveries by extension), which can do a whole range of things. Perhaps you're starting to specialize a little too much now?

Why not just brew a potion of disguise self, or alter self, or the like and give it to your allies/charges?

This should say, "At 1st level..." to stick with convention.

Joseph Kellogg wrote:

Mental Defenses (Ex): At 2nd level, a Gralton infiltrator adds...

Still hiding I see. This feels weaker than what you're giving up since poison resistance increases in power. It's still themed properly though.

And then, that's it. All the changes pretty much take place at 1st and 2nd level. That makes me a little sad.

Overall: Yeah, it's pretty good. It's not going to make it to the top of my list, but it ticks a lot of boxes. I wish there were higher level abilities or at least some "active" abilities. But you'll be the sneakiest kid on the block.

Good luck!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Good: This is straight up cool mash up of 2 great classes
Bad: The parts that tie to theme seem out of place or tacked on to me.
Ugly: Your avatar is gregori, a hated bard form the setting, JK.
Overall: I wasn't in love with your mirror but this archetype is one of the best I've seen this year and its getting my vote.

Star Voter Season 6

Very intelligent design work sometimes gets in the way of elegance. I think this is such a case. That said Grey Gardeners shout out and Coach of Deception alone make this a yes for me.

Star Voter Season 6

Solid mechanics, a good theme, and just overall well designed. You have my vote.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Congrats! All I can say is this reminded me of a BlackAdder episode.
Good luck!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

This is pretty good. Great tie in to the RKs, and the powers all make sense. This lets an alchemist do some stuff that they otherwise couldn't.

That being said, it's an odd choice to make an alchemist stealthy without doing something about their bombs. That's their main class ability, and they're not exactly subtle. I'd have really liked this even more if there was an ability that made their bombs silent, invisible, create phantasmal distractions, etc. instead of big firey explotions.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

I love using alchemist with a secretive Gralton twist. I thought that was an area rife for archetyping, but couldn't quite come up with something I liked. You ability to pull that off, and with a class I certainly wouldn't have though of here, almost wins me a vote on its own, to be honest.

I'm not sure I'd be thrilled to have my mutagen be so much less combat effective, but it definitely makes sense with the class. As others have said, coach of deception is a bit awkward; I also was expecting some type of horse-drawn carriage.

I think Joel's again got good insight about the bombs, though I could see changing both bombs and mutagen being too much, if only for word count reasons.


I don't know about subtle bombs. I think just a note about how the delayed bomb discovery complements the archetype and he's done.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 aka Wolfwaker

Another interesting alchemist variant. I like it.

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