Chasing the Philosopher's Stone: N. Jolly's guide to the Pathfinder Alchemist


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Can anyone please explain how N. Jolly's Master Hyde build is able to perform all those natural attacks? Is it the bite+claw from feral mutagen and the hoofs from skinwalker shift?


Rev Bolyard wrote:
Can anyone please explain how N. Jolly's Master Hyde build is able to perform all those natural attacks? Is it the bite+claw from feral mutagen and the hoofs from skinwalker shift?

Wearboar-kin (ragebred): Gore and 2 hooves.

Feral mutagen: Bite and two claws.

Pretty much it. He's basically taking advantage of the fact that the mutagen and ragebred natural attacks don't overlap.


It occurs to me that Mummification might not stack with any polymorph spells, since it's an ex ability that arguably depends on form ("making yourself into a living mummy" and whatnot). That severely cuts down on its use for a natural attacking hyde that depends on polymorph spells. Has anyone played with this at a table to have any input how GMs would typically swing with that? It seems to make beastmorph even more of a no-brainer for that build, if mummification was something the alchemist wanted to pick up.


Could you update your guide for the newer Archetypes like Alchemical Sapper, Blood Alchemist, Metamorph and Tinkerer? I would like to get your opinions and thoughts on those.


Poison Dusk wrote:
What are your thoughts on the Metamorph archetype? Any good way to make it work? If you are adding it soon I can wait to read it.

From what I understand, you wait until level 9 and then you get ALL of the attacks. Or you abuse certain forms for weapon proficiency with everything while negating the need to ever roll UMD.

Another guy goes into detail about it while criticizing the potential toxicity of the mechanics.


The guide author has commented that he's basically needing to abandon his guides. He had like 10 guides, and was planning on keeping most up to date, but he's said his life changed to lower the time he can spend on guides.
In other words, unless someone asks and is granted permission to take over the guide, it's not going to be updated.


Rosc wrote:
Poison Dusk wrote:
What are your thoughts on the Metamorph archetype? Any good way to make it work? If you are adding it soon I can wait to read it.

From what I understand, you wait until level 9 and then you get ALL of the attacks. Or you abuse certain forms for weapon proficiency with everything while negating the need to ever roll UMD.

Another guy goes into detail about it while criticizing the potential toxicity of the mechanics.

A good read. Pointed out things I had not thought of, including some very strong forms to take I somehow missed while putting in reaserch time. And I put in a lot of time. I guess I will be updating my spreadsheet.

Silver Crusade

Chess Pwn wrote:

The guide author has commented that he's basically needing to abandon his guides. He had like 10 guides, and was planning on keeping most up to date, but he's said his life changed to lower the time he can spend on guides.

In other words, unless someone asks and is granted permission to take over the guide, it's not going to be updated.

This is true; due to the freelance projects I've taken on (check them all out in my profile :D), I can't continue to update my guides, but I am willing to give them to someone who would like to update them if at all possible. I'd rather people keep adding to something that others use, and anyone who wishes to do so can feel free to PM me or email me about it.


Working on a character for a game that starts at level 1 and has the houserule of only being able to take 1 archetype for a class, no matter how stackable it is, and I could use a bit of help. I want to make a Hyde type alchemist, centered around shapeshifting, and since the metamorph archetype apparently sucks before level 9 and is too strong after that point, I was thinking Beastmorph. Would Beastmorph without vivisectionist be just fine for an alchemical shapeshifter, or should I look for a different archetype to use?


N. Jolly wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

The guide author has commented that he's basically needing to abandon his guides. He had like 10 guides, and was planning on keeping most up to date, but he's said his life changed to lower the time he can spend on guides.

In other words, unless someone asks and is granted permission to take over the guide, it's not going to be updated.
This is true; due to the freelance projects I've taken on (check them all out in my profile :D), I can't continue to update my guides, but I am willing to give them to someone who would like to update them if at all possible. I'd rather people keep adding to something that others use, and anyone who wishes to do so can feel free to PM me or email me about it.

You do sleep sometimes, right?


N. Jolly wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:

The guide author has commented that he's basically needing to abandon his guides. He had like 10 guides, and was planning on keeping most up to date, but he's said his life changed to lower the time he can spend on guides.

In other words, unless someone asks and is granted permission to take over the guide, it's not going to be updated.
This is true; due to the freelance projects I've taken on (check them all out in my profile :D), I can't continue to update my guides, but I am willing to give them to someone who would like to update them if at all possible. I'd rather people keep adding to something that others use, and anyone who wishes to do so can feel free to PM me or email me about it.

Yeah. I'd offer to help if I didn't have a thing goin on with another guide. A shame, too, since I kind of wanted to chip in on that Lord of Rage Barbarian guide. Something about it just.... speaks to me.

Spoiler:
hOnK HoNk
:o)


I have the time and desire (my biggest problem is just knowing when new stuff comes out, so I'd rely on this thread and the Giant in the Playground x-post to supply those requests), if N. Jolly has the trust. What's the best way to handle it? I PM you an email address to give edit permissions to, or I make a copy and you link to it from your guide? The latter requires less trust and is easier to revert, but might be a more confusing experience for newcomers.


Poison Dusk wrote:


A good read. Pointed out things I had not thought of, including some very strong forms to take I somehow missed while putting in reaserch time. And I put in a lot of time. I guess I will be updating my spreadsheet.

Gegenees was in Bestiary 5 (2015), so hasn't made an appearance yet in the seminal polymorphamory guide. Monstrous humanoid (giant) is kind of a weird subtype, too, so it might be easy to miss for people scanning giant lists.


Archmage Joda wrote:
Working on a character for a game that starts at level 1 and has the houserule of only being able to take 1 archetype for a class, no matter how stackable it is, and I could use a bit of help. I want to make a Hyde type alchemist, centered around shapeshifting, and since the metamorph archetype apparently sucks before level 9 and is too strong after that point, I was thinking Beastmorph. Would Beastmorph without vivisectionist be just fine for an alchemical shapeshifter, or should I look for a different archetype to use?

The group I'm running in has two Hyde alchemists--one is Beastmorph with a two-level barbarian dip for a gore attack and rage (with plans for Master Chymist later), the other is a straight Chirurgeon (a very "suboptimal" archetype, but with a slight payoff offset at level 10 due to an extreme lack of resurrection in the world's canon) with a little bit of bomb versatility. The chirurgeon was mostly a hitpoint sponge until level seven but has started getting some scary momentum that will probably continue (with polymorph spells), and the beastmorph has been a consistently terrifying damage dealer who has nevertheless suffered a little bit by being two levels behind on extracts. In your position, I'd personally go straight Beastmorph without worrying too much about the lost sneak attack damage, having access to some area effect damage is not a terrible thing and will give you some versatility even though you lose some dpr.


Absent any yea or nay from N. Jolly, here's a document with minor corrections and additional thoughts on Metamorph, Blood Alchemist, Alchemical Sapper and Lycanthropist. I don't want to really dive in without getting some blessing from N. Jolly first, but three of those were specifically requested in the thread and the fourth was really easy, so there it is.

Summary of thoughts: Metamorph has an interaction with a couple of monstrous humanoid (giant) forms that makes it an absurd lockdown bruiser with free universal UMD after spending eight full levels being completely lackluster. Alchemical Sapper takes a major sacrifice to get an ability that can be quite good, but requires setup and doesn't have much to do after blowing its wad in the first round. Blood Alchemist has an ability that straight-up doesn't work unless your GM allows evil PCs, and is overall pretty lackluster in that it requires you to be stationary and have battlefields in a particular configuration to do anything, and then eliminates your main way of doing ranged damage on top of that, so again, probably better as an NPC, although I can see combining it with Preservationist. Lycanthropist is basically a beastmorph that doesn't allow arbitrary mix/matching (which hurts a lot, and makes darkvision completely inaccessible through the ability) that makes up for that some amount by having an option for DR/silver.


With Alchemical Sapper, I'm currently running a Clever Kitsune with it (+2 Int +2 Dex -2 str)

With the fox form ability, I'm Tiny, +4 to dex +8 to stealth, and have 40 foot movement speed. Nothing stops me from being able to swig down potions in fox form either (Other than my gear melding with me)

But I can get into all the little nooks and crannies that people try to stop me from getting into, plant a bomb (That I could prepare ahead of time with delayed bomb) And then get back out.

Of course the stupid archetype basically has to have you take a feat tax of the Remote Bomb feat so you get minutes per level rather than rounds per level.

Speaking of Remote Bomb, there is also a discovery version of it that.. frankly, kinda sucks, since you can't detonate your bombs unless you're practically standing up against it. (Within 60 Feet) and you have to throw a second item to blow it.

I really hope to see more support for Delay bomb in future books. Perhaps something that allows you to set up more of them and have longer time lines.


slitherrr wrote:
It occurs to me that Mummification might not stack with any polymorph spells, since it's an ex ability that arguably depends on form ("making yourself into a living mummy" and whatnot). That severely cuts down on its use for a natural attacking hyde that depends on polymorph spells. Has anyone played with this at a table to have any input how GMs would typically swing with that? It seems to make beastmorph even more of a no-brainer for that build, if mummification was something the alchemist wanted to pick up.

I see what you are getting at, but I've also never seen anybody rule it that way, and it's one of my favorite discoveries so I've seen it a lot.


Darche Schneider wrote:


With the fox form ability, I'm Tiny, +4 to dex +8 to stealth, and have 40 foot movement speed. Nothing stops me from being able to swig down potions in fox form either (Other than my gear melding with me)

But you don't have hands in fox form so you can't drink the potions or make and plant bombs.


Woodoodoo wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:


With the fox form ability, I'm Tiny, +4 to dex +8 to stealth, and have 40 foot movement speed. Nothing stops me from being able to swig down potions in fox form either (Other than my gear melding with me)
But you don't have hands in fox form so you can't drink the potions or make and plant bombs.

Animals don't need hands to drink. There are also items designed to not need to to use your hands to drink.

Now I wouldn't be able to brew the pot, that much is for certain, but other than my gear melding in with them, there is nothing that could stop me from designing the potion in such a way that I could open it a fox form.

Planting a bomb is even easier. Just look at most any video of a dog carrying a bottle, and its the same concept. I create the bomb as a delayed bomb, take it where it needs to go and place it.


Delayed Bomb and Healing Bomb have a pretty fun interaction.

1) Implanted Bomb - One thing you could do is implant a healing bomb into your allies. So when they die, BLAM! all your allies near them get healed. Precise bomb removes the targets you don't want healed.

2) Remote Bomb - You could prepare a remote bomb before you go into combat, carrying it with you as you go about getting ready for the big battle.

Looking to see if there is anyway to be able to use Breath of Life with an implanted Bomb.


The unfortunate thing about (1) is that the ally has to die, first. Since breath of life isn't a cure spell (the Chirurgeon ability has special language to make curative infusion apply to it, but it's almost certainly not a cure spell any more than restoration is), it means you'll need some expendable ally to use the trick with.

Which I guess is kind of the whole point of implant bomb anyway. What I guess I mean to say is that this clever trick is unfortunately not subverting that requirement at all, even though it is clever.


slitherrr wrote:

The unfortunate thing about (1) is that the ally has to die, first. Since breath of life isn't a cure spell (the Chirurgeon ability has special language to make curative infusion apply to it, but it's almost certainly not a cure spell any more than restoration is), it means you'll need some expendable ally to use the trick with.

Which I guess is kind of the whole point of implant bomb anyway. What I guess I mean to say is that this clever trick is unfortunately not subverting that requirement at all, even though it is clever.

True they have to die first. But I kinda think that an ally dieing is a big sign that things are going poorly, and you could /really/ use a sudden blast of healing.

Its not like the implanted bomb actually makes the person any less capable of getting ressed either.

I also do not see any limitations on the number of implanted bombs one could have in any ally.

the other way I'd use implant bombs is with Skeletons and the Boneshard Bombs. Specifically, I'd have the skeletons attempt to grapple and squeeze into the same spaces as enemies are so that if they do die the target takes the boom damages as through they were in the same square. (Cause they would be.)


Skele's aren't amazing grapplers, they'll take an AoO and probably fail to grapple so will be adjacent rather than in the same square. Still, killing their target and then having a bomb go off in front of them would distress many enemies.


Some of that depends really on what you get to be your skeletons. A constrictor Snake for example would make an excellent grapple skeleton due to their natural grappling abilities, which If I'm not mistaken stick through the transformation.

And depending on the campaign, a cool trick with this is to put those bone shard bombs into people and not pay for the cost. 24 hours later.. Suddenly people are exploding from the inside out and becoming skeletons.


A constrictor snake would keep grab. For your basic constrictor snake that means they make an attack at +5 vs. AC and if that hits they try to grapple at +9 vs. CMB. Unlikely to succeed on average (29% on a not very optimised 1st level character I made yesterday) but better than a human skeleton. OTOH 2 charisma, no con score and losing Toughness means their HP drops to 3d8 -12 which gives 1 HP by default.

A giant anaconda has a much better chance of connecting with +18 attack, +30 grapple and a 20' reach. The drop from 12d8+72 to 12d8-48 is even more painful though.


Yes, they lose toughness, but no they don't take that Cha penalty, as the skeleton template sets their Wis/Cha to 10. Besides, these are shock troopers, you're not entirely worried about them living through battles as much as you're more worried that they get to their target first. And Luckily they do get +2 to dex and Improved Init.


I know necroing threads might annoy people, but does anyone have any thoughts on Haagenti’s fiendish obedience from Book of the Damned? Specifically, his second evangelist boon which removes the stat penalties from mutagens and increases the stat bonuses by 2. His third evangelist boon also grants a watered down version of the Philosopher’s Stone that you regain once per day. Sure, it’s two feats, but it seems pretty darn strong for alchemists.

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