Uringen Assayer (Alchemist)


Round 2: Design an archetype

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 8

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Uringen Assayer (Alchemist)
A Uringen assayer seeks to master the strange forces affecting the unstuck town of his namesake.

Dimensional Draft (Su): At 1st level, a Uringen assayer creates an alternative bomb catalyst which instead produces a dimensional draft, causing him to become unstuck from Golarion when imbibed. He can use a number of dimensional drafts each day equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier. The effects of a dimensional draft last for a number of rounds equal to half his class level (minimum one). Preparing and consuming a dimensional draft is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

While under the effects of his dimensional draft a Uringen assayer gains the benefits of the blink spell with the following changes. If he materializes while moving through a creature or unattended object, then both he and the creature or object take the same damage. This damage ignores hardness and DR, is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 at every odd-numbered level thereafter. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ the Uringen assayer’s level + the Uringen assayer’s Constitution modifier) reduces this damage by half. A Uringen assayer that takes this damage is not shunted as per the blink spell. If a Uringen assayer’s dimensional draft ends while he occupies the same square as a creature or object, he is shunted normally.

Dimensional drafts are unstable, and if not used in the round they are created or if used by anyone else, they become inert. This ability replaces bomb.

Blink of an Eye (Su): At 1st level, a Uringen assayer’s land speed increases by 10 feet while under the effects of his dimensional draft. This ability replaces throw anything.

Displaced Viscera (Su): At 2nd level, a Uringen assayer’s internal organs become slightly out of phase with Golarion. He gains the preserve organs discovery as a bonus discovery. This ability replaces poison use.

Blinkback (Su): At 2nd level, when a Uringen assayer moves through a creature or unattended object while under the effects of his dimensional draft, he may adjust his chance of materializing to 45% or 55%. This changes to 40% or 60% at 5th level, and to 30% or 70% at 8th level. At 10th level, when a Uringen assayer moves through a creature or unattended object while under the effects of his dimensional draft, he chooses whether or not to materialize. This ability replaces poison resistance.

Unstuck Cohesion (Su): At 6th level, while under the effects of his dimensional draft, a Uringen assayer does not need to make a saving throw and always takes half damage from materializing while passing through a creature or object. This ability replaces swift poisoning.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I like the Uringen theme.

Dimensional Draft: Neat ability... but you're giving a 3rd-level spell effect to a 1st-level character. That's a big red flag.

Displaced Viscera: Clever!

I think the idea is neat, but the power is off, and most of your abilities are hanging on the blink power, which is too good in the hands of a 1st-level character.

I do NOT recommend this archetype for advancement.

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

Michael, congrats on making the Top 32, and designing a rather original alchemist archetype.

While I see the point that Sean is making on the power level, this shows a lot of great flavor and the theme is coherent throughout. The main blink power is good, but it's most defensive than offensive, and you are giving up the poison track for it, so it's not as off as it might seem.

I'm going to say I'm on the fence with this one. It needs work, but it's pretty damn entertaining.

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

Well, as you may have noticed since the other two judges are all about crunch, I am focusing on design decision, big idea, concept, follow through, etc. I think you found those things. I agree with the mechanical comments, but I think you found a solid theme and carried it through. I think the big idea of playing with the very unique unstuck town. I don't think this is the strongest of the top 16, but I think this one deserves to be there.

I DO Recommend this archetype for advancement.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I'm a big fan of an alchemist that uses himself as the mechanism for attack. This is one of my definite votes. Uringen is just plain tough to do, but this made it work.


Interesting idea but Dimensional Draft needs lots of work. Also, I'd see it more as replacement for mutagen instead of bombs. On fence between dot and reject.

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

After the Round 2 rules were revealed, the Uringen alchemist was absolutely one of the archetypes I tried to come up with. I considered blink but just didn't quite find something I liked. You managed to do it.

I can certainly see where Drejk's criticism comes in, but I think the theme's tight and the changes in later powers are smart (particularly the increase to speed instead of Throw Anything considering the nature of the change to bombs). I do wonder if having to take damage himself to use the ability may really hurt compared to the pure damage capability of bombs and whether that ends up hurting the character too much (after all, if you're doing this every round against a fighter or barbarian, you're going to fall down before they do), but I guess it's offset by the defensive bonuses while blinking.

After my first read of everything, I suspect I'll be voting for this one.


Drejk wrote:
Interesting idea but Dimensional Draft needs lots of work. Also, I'd see it more as replacement for mutagen instead of bombs. On fence between dot and reject.

I agree, although that may be in part because the archetype I developed in case I made the Top 32 was very similar to the Assayer in its key ability, which eventually granted blink and traded out the mutagen rather than bombs.

Contributor

I think this is the coolest of the three archetypes I have read so far (I'm working on it!) In terms of its flavor, this archetype is oozing it. I am curious about the decision to grant blink at 1st level; however I also wonder whether or not a standard action for 1 round of blink at 1st level is truly overpowered; especially considering that the option gives up what is arguably the alchemist's only real damage-dealing option. The alchemist does not gain the feat selection to keep up with other classes and it does not have Sneak Attack to bolster its powers. You couldn't even trade for it because vivisectionist requires that you trade out bomb for sneak attack!

Even at 1st level, I honestly think its a fair trade considering that you will not find a 3rd level spell that scales up to 10d6 damage by 20th level. Add in the fact that an alchemist could normally fast throw up to four bombs in a single round if he wanted to (five with haste) and I honestly don't think that 1st level blink should be ruffling as many feathers as it seems to be.

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

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While a 3rd level spell may seem really OP for a 1st level character, it's really not that bad. The defensive elements are strictly worse than Vanish (not properly invisible; half the duration), while the offensive elements hurt the Alchemist every bit as much as they do his enemies. The Con-based Fortitude save is a very good idea. Not only is it not keyed to the class's casting stat, but it also makes it fairly difficult to increase your Fortitude save against the Draft without also increasing the DC of the save; bonuses to Fortitude for Alchemist level (after first) and Con increase the DC of the Draft at a 1:1 ratio.

All in all, I really like this archetype. It exemplifies the mechanically sound, tightly knit work that we want to see in our Superstars.

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

My plan is to comment on all 32 archetypes. We'll see if I make it!

I will give general impressions, but with 3 areas of particular focus that suit my personal interests. Archetype and feat names: do they show flare? 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 feat names: Somewhat above average. Name is kind of utilitatian. Blinkback seems like a time ran out thing. But the others are solid.

River Kingdom tie: Strong. Tied to the unique nature of a unique place, and well done at that.

Desire to play: Strong. This would be fun to experiment with. It's all tied to Dimensional Draft, but there's a lot of creative fun to be had there. Getting it at first level means there might well be some dipping, and that needs to be carefully considered, but the archetype itself opens up some tactical fun.

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

well written and good use of template; strong RK connection.

when i saw blink at 1st level i immediately thought this would have all kinds of balance issues. it still makes me nervous, but you seem to have done a pretty good job balancing it. thematically it would have made more sense to replace mutagen with your draft, but replacing bombs does seem more balanced.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

This is an excellent case of great idea, flawed execution. It's star ability, dimensional draft is absolutely terrible. Let's look at this for a moment.

At level 1, you get blink - something many 5th level characters don't even get. That's way overpowered. But there's an even more troubling problem:

"he and the creature or object take the same damage."

So, to do damage with the ability that replaces the alchemist's primary damage special ability you have to take 100% of the damage you do. And not just that, you have to provoke at least one AOO to do so. Sure, that's at 50% miss chance, but that means give or take 25% of the time you're going to be taking MORE damage than the target you're attacking. And while you can attack multiple people in a round - how often can you take multiple iterations of 6d6 damage and not have to take the next round or two out of battle to recover, if you even survive.

Now, compare this to a normal alchemist who at that level can be doing two or three attacks at 6d6 damage each, without taking any damage at all.

Sorry, but that just fails on too many levels.

Still, good luck!

Dark Archive

I love this archetype. It's outside of the box, which is what I want from someone who is injecting new ideas into Pathfinder. It's also deeply entrenched in the setting, which is something I find is lacking in the other archetypes. This is not something that could just appear anywhere, but is clearly rooted in the River Kingdoms.

Blink mechanics have always been a double edged sword, which I feel brings this archetype in-line on a power spectrum, and is easily balanced compared to the other archetypes. Look at this and think to yourself, "Is it this so unbalanced that everyone is going to be running around with Uringen Assayers?" Of course not. With the potential for damage to the caster, I think it presents a good balanced archetype for players that like to weigh risk with reward, and keeps the sort of inherently dangerous and unpredictable qualities of the Alchemist intact.

This is what I want to see more of. Voting for this.

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

I am too excited by this archetype to offer much criticism, other than the mechanical issues already raised.

I don't have much new to add to the discussion, unfortunately.

I LOVE your naming and theme.

I DO recommend, but you really need to focus on bringing your mechanics and rules-fu to the table if you progress.


Yeah the dimensional draft needs a little work but I think that it's fine at first level -- after all we've seen teleport handed out at first level so this doesn't seem too much.

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

Having planned on doing an Unringen Alchemist too, this archetype is already one I like. The excellent writing and strong theme only add to the enjoyment, but...

The blink at first level really is powerful. Granted, it's not a powerful attack/defense until it can be used more than a round or two, but it would be terribly disruptive in a lot of 1st level adventures. Having the ability to pass through solid objects is not accounted for in 1st level modules and could disrupt a game and foil a GM (An unpickable lock? No problem, I'll just pass through the door!).

Level dipping would probably be rare since you were wise enough to limit the ability to class level rather than character level. You'd have to dip 4 levels before it got really powerful, and that's firmly in the realm of multi-classing.

Then there's the problem of hurting yourself while hurting others. Does this attack payoff?

I guess I would let this play in my game, if the characters were starting out at something other than 1st or 2nd level.

In the end, your idea and strong writing might win out over the questions that plague this archetype.

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 weird in a cool way! I definately like the dimensional hook.
Bad: unfamiliar with the RLs tie but I'll trust the judges here. I know RLs from KM.
Ugly: A little frontloaded for me I like archetype swaps to be spread over more levels.
Overall: great effort and this is a contender for my vote, just not a lock 8 is tought I like roughly 8 archetypes enough to contend for my last 3 spots and 5 are a lock.

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

First off, great tie in to the RK - it really uses the details of one of the more unusual kingdoms, instead of a more generic "river" or "freedom" theme, so great job there. Also, the abilities really tie well to Unrigen.

As for the powers, I was struck that while they're pretty cool, I'm concerned that they're too weak to replace bombs. The suggestion to replace mutagen has a better fit (especially since you actually drink the mutagen and it changes you, while you throw your bombs at other targets). Mutagen would also have given you some more plateus to increase the power, and preserved the main offensive option for alchemists. As written, the assayer can't use bombs, his extracts only affect himself (and aren't really offensive anyway), and he doesn't have poison use.

I'll probably vote for this, but it has some serious flaws.

Sczarni

I love the blink power, and especially the eventual option to deliberately blink into an occupied space.

I'm thinking that by 10th level, I'd be souping up my HP with Mutagen and some nice extracts, and telefragging as my main attack method!

This is the first archetype in the round so far that has made me immediately start thinking about putting together a full character build for it, with my HP as the main resource. High Con score, Toughness feat, the Spontaneous Healing discovery, maybe the Simulacrum discoveries for an army of telefragging clones...

Well done.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Displaced Viscera is nice. Otherwise, this doesn't seem to have quite finished bending the existing rules system to the author's ideas.

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