Precise bombs


Advice

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Is this an essential discovery for alchemists to take? Do they have to take it at level 2? I know it's one that party members would like you to tale, but what if it doesn't fit into your build?

Scarab Sages

Just like any build, it depends on if it fits or not. I have an alchemist who does a lot of damage, just with splash, so I took precise bombs as soon as I was able to.


Build it like you want to. I have an alchemist whos attitude is "if you dont want to get hit, then don't be in the way"

I try my best not to hit any one, but hey, s*** happens when you play with bombs.


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Precise Bombs is a tax you must suffer if you have party members who refuse to use basic tactics. Harsh, but true. I never had a problem skipping it, in PFS even, but at the cost of some people getting annoyed for being "forced" to position themselves practically to avoid splash damage. That is to say, any martial character wielding a reach weapon will be essentially immune to your splash; as will any character who takes a moment to 5-foot step back from the monster before your initiative count.

I was fortunate enough to play with a glut of Tieflings and Aasimar who were functionally immune to my splash damage as well some percentage of the time, as I took Cold Bombs instead of Precise Bombs in order to be able to affect more creature types ASAP.

Amusingly, I've seen a lot of deaths or near-deaths from people going 'Trust me, I have Precise Bombs' and then failing to ensure their character can actually manage to hit the enemy's touch AC, causing the bomb to miss and explode their ally's face.


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Exguardi wrote:
Precise Bombs is a tax you must suffer if you have party members who refuse to use basic tactics.

Or who need to charge that round to get a hit in

Or need to move up and hit
Or want to make a full attack on anything, ever.

Z...D... wrote:

Build it like you want to. I have an alchemist whos attitude is "if you dont want to get hit, then don't be in the way"

I try my best not to hit any one, but hey, s*** happens when you play with bombs.

Like PVP apparently...

Take the feat. If you're tossing bombs there no reason not to go grenadier archetype.


If the monster doesn't step after the Fighter who is 5-foot stepping then said monster is sure to have a short life expectancy regardless on account of the bombs being liberally applied to their faces, BigNorseWolf.


But Grenadier is very strong regardless, and removes the tax by giving it to you for "free," so yeah. Good archetype.

Sovereign Court

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Telling everyone else to adapt their strategy so that you can skip out on a discovery is kinda selfish. It's also not very realistic; often enough enemies will close in on other PCs anyway, or there just won't be room to maintain a 5ft gap between melee PCs and monsters.

And having at least one melee PC does a lot for the party's effectiveness. They do a lot of damage, and importantly, they stop enemies from attacking any PC they like. Because the melee PCs block the path of monsters, the other PCs can afford not to spend multiple feats and lots of gold on being just as well-armored as the front-line PCs.

So if it's a choice between having effective melee PCs and the alchemist having an additional discovery, please let the alchemist just pay up. Or just play a Grenadier, since that's an ideal archetype for ranged alchemists anyway. I play one, and it's just perfect.

Grand Lodge

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You take precise bomb, people complain that you do not pass out infused extracts.

You take Infusion, people complain that you hit them with their bombs.

Either way, you can not appease everyone. Personally, I understand not having room in a build for the discovery, there are lots of good ones to choose from and this is one that can be made unnecessary with not stupid positioning.

One exception, if you have explosive bombs, then yes, you need precise bomb too. When you are blowing up that big a space, it is polite to not blow up team mates who literally can not escape the AoE.


Exguardi wrote:
If the monster doesn't step after the Fighter who is 5-foot stepping then said monster is sure to have a short life expectancy regardless on account of the bombs being liberally applied to their faces, BigNorseWolf.

Fighter doesn't charge ogre because he would stop there, and then get blown up

Fighter doesn't 5 foot step up to ogre to avoid aoo because that would leave him right next to the ogre for bombs.

Fighter 5 foot steps away from ogre. Ogre whacks him, 5 foot steps back. Fighter now needs to take an aoo to get up to him and can't full attack.

There is a vast difference between what you paint as a "Refusal to use basic tactics" and what you're asking for. You're asking the players to effectively stand back and watch you go to town, probably having multiple characters give up 2d6+6 damage for a mere 2d6 and a status effect.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It's a plague bringer ratfolk in pfs. I'm pretty sure I can mix the two. How would grenadier work in pfs, do I lose the extra bombs or the martial weapon prof?


The two archetypes are incompatible. Both alter the Poison Resistance and Immunity class features.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Crap. Need to read those things further. So I guess that's out. What about carrying around a wand of CLW to heal people I hit with splash damage?

Grand Lodge

Hitokiriweasel wrote:
Crap. Need to read those things further. So I guess that's out. What about carrying around a wand of CLW to heal people I hit with splash damage?

You should be carrying a wand of CLW to heal people between battles anyway.

Sovereign Court

Suppose there's another PC in combat with an enemy. You want to bomb that enemy, but you'd cause collateral damage to the PC. I think quite a few GMs would rule taking that shot verges on PVP, because you're knowingly causing collateral damage to another PC. Many would allow it if the PC's player gave you permission, but not even all GMs will accept that. And not all players will give you permission to bomb them.

When I GM I certainly wouldn't allow you to bomb-collateral another player's PC without the player's permission. If it's because you miss with a Precise Bomb that's different, that's usually just bad luck. (Although taking shots that you know are likely to miss because the enemy has demonstrated a high Touch AC, that's not acting in good faith. If it's not PVP, it certainly comes close to the Not Being A Jerk rule.)


Hitokiriweasel wrote:
Crap. Need to read those things further. So I guess that's out. What about carrying around a wand of CLW to heal people I hit with splash damage?

PVP is always subject to a fair bit of table variation, but you should be allowed to toast willing comdrades, and they should be more willing to be toasted if they know you're footing the bill for it.

Grand Lodge

Ascalaphus wrote:

Suppose there's another PC in combat with an enemy. You want to bomb that enemy, but you'd cause collateral damage to the PC. I think quite a few GMs would rule taking that shot verges on PVP, because you're knowingly causing collateral damage to another PC. Many would allow it if the PC's player gave you permission, but not even all GMs will accept that. And not all players will give you permission to bomb them.

When I GM I certainly wouldn't allow you to bomb-collateral another player's PC without the player's permission. If it's because you miss with a Precise Bomb that's different, that's usually just bad luck. (Although taking shots that you know are likely to miss because the enemy has demonstrated a high Touch AC, that's not acting in good faith. If it's not PVP, it certainly comes close to the Not Being A Jerk rule.)

Fighter: I charge the white dragon with my sword.

Alchemist: I throw a bomb at the dragon.

GM: Fighter, do you wanna be hit with the 6 points of splash you can attempt a Ref save to cut in half?

Fighter: No.

Alchemist: But my bombs are fire, it is 1.5 damage to the dragon.

GM: Fighter said no, dragons turn. It attacks the fighter, hits 3 times, deals 35 damage to the fighter.

Fighter: Ouch, I retreat.

Alchemist: I throw a bomb now, dealing 31 points of damage.

GM: Dragon dead.

So by forcing the alchemist to not attack, the fighter took 4 or 8 times as much damage. Why? because doing such a minimal amount would be "PVP" in your terms.

You are telling someone they can not use a main class feature because of the use will do some MINOR damage. Lets make it fair, spellcasters may not cast spells, fighters may not wield weapons. Who is being the jerk?

Silver Crusade

Precise bombs is a necessary evil, just like Infusion.

Non PFS solution: JUST GIVE BOTH TO ALCHEMIST. It's in my homerules, because it makes sense and causes less problems.


The splash damage from bombs is only a big deal to your party at the lower levels. Once you hit level 5-6 it's going to be more manageable to the frontliners. You can also give them a Resist Energy extract once you get second level extracts to prevent them from taking damage in the first place.


Dafydd

The opposite would be the mad bomb chucking alchemist dealing splash damage to full plate armored characters standing in front of a goblin, just because they can.

If the figher dies from white dragon because they didn't want the splash damage, its their fault. Its their call to make.

Grand Lodge

You are right, I am expecting an alchemist to use their limited resources for things they need to be used on, not just because they feel like it.

However, my point in my last point was you can not just call a main class feature's use PVP because it does a little bit of damage. If that is true, Archers can not really exist in low level PFS as you would need precise shot or it is PVP. Nor can spellcaster's use their area spells because the front liners are being front liners.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ms. Pleiades wrote:
Hitokiriweasel wrote:
Crap. Need to read those things further. So I guess that's out. What about carrying around a wand of CLW to heal people I hit with splash damage?
You should be carrying a wand of CLW to heal people between battles anyway.

People around here tend to have their own CLW wands that they give to those who can use them for healing, so difference is that I'd be using my own to heal them.

I may not want to take it (more for the flavor of the character than anything else), but I'll see if I can work it into my build.


Dafydd wrote:
You are right, I am expecting an alchemist to use their limited resources for things they need to be used on, not just because they feel like it.

Many (most?) Of PFS's rules are in place because you have to deal with the worst case situation.

Quote:
However, my point in my last point was you can not just call a main class feature's use PVP because it does a little bit of damage.

Yes actually I can. and 5 points to a 1st level character is more than a little.

Quote:
If that is true, Archers can not really exist in low level PFS as you would need precise shot or it is PVP.

Incorrect. There is no friendly fire rule in pathfinder. Errant shots hitting party members is a house rule. Archers can miss all they want, they don't hit the front liners.

Quote:
Nor can spellcaster's use their area spells because the front liners are being front liners.

If they can't aim it correctly its pvp. They can either move up to the front ranks to cast the color spray or scooch that glitterdust back a bit. They might miss an extra goblin or two but you can't decide that the fighter is being a baby by wanting to be able to see for the combat.


Dafydd wrote:
If that is true, Archers can not really exist in low level PFS as you would need precise shot or it is PVP. Nor can spellcaster's use their area spells because the front liners are being front liners.

Archery is never PVP. There are no rules that cover hitting your allies instead of your target. PFS follows RAW with a few modifications regarding PVP and loot access to permit and foster a global game. Realizing that this is the internet and hyperbole is the only way to get your point across, I understand the rationalization that you are operating with and it is the same way I run my tables (splash/AoE damage is not PVP). As noted, however, that is not a universally acknowledged ruling and in the interest of preventing some bad apples the means to ruin fun for some of the people at the table (for example, the wizard who slings a fireball at a lone orc and catches the whole party), the ruling is flexible to prevent such activity. Most of the people I have sat down with are perfectly respectful and fun to be around, but it only takes one jerk to ruin a table.


Drogos wrote:
Dafydd wrote:
If that is true, Archers can not really exist in low level PFS as you would need precise shot or it is PVP. Nor can spellcaster's use their area spells because the front liners are being front liners.
Archery is never PVP.

Reckless Aim disagrees. ;)


I will never understand the double standard for this.

I can not even tell you how many times a wizard/sorcerer blasts a party member and it is always, "Well, you should not charge until the casters throws a spell."

If someone does it with a bomb, however it just becomes, "why are you targeting teammates, just stand back."

Double standard as always.

However, to fix the issue.

1. If you want to charge the enemy just hold your action to do it just after the bomb, or go ahead and charge and take the damage.

2. If you are already in melee with the creature, I would hope that the alchemist memorized Targeted Bomb Admixture, it is great and level 1. I always keep at least one one hand simply because against a single target it is a nice damage boost.

or,

3. Just throw the bomb behind the target and hurt it some with the splash damage alone.

Sovereign Court

Whisperknives wrote:

I will never understand the double standard for this.

I can not even tell you how many times a wizard/sorcerer blasts a party member and it is always, "Well, you should not charge until the casters throws a spell."

If someone does it with a bomb, however it just becomes, "why are you targeting teammates, just stand back."

Double standard as always.

No, that'd be just as close to (into) the PVP zone. No double standard here, but maybe you're used to wizards being jerks? If so, maybe you should do something about that.

It's fair tactics for a fighter to hang back an initiative count so your alchemist can throw a bomb. But hanging back long enough that the monster goes first and closes in on another PC isn't good tactics. Sometimes you can't wait for an alchemist. And you certainly can't expect other PCs to try to stay out of melee indefinitely.

Sczarni

Alchemist class has multiple stuff to do in combat, from melee (drinking a mutagen) to the ranged bomb attacks. I have personally bad experience with bombs in general. Several alchemists that I played with at table (PFS) caused friendly fire with the splash damage from bombs which once nearly killed my character and yes, this is most dangerous and happens on low levels (1-2).

Bombs are a liability in general. Yes they do solid damage and hit on touch AC, but friendly fire is a big issue on lower levels even with tactics included. At higher levels, it can be mitigated or ignored as long as it doesn't happen every round.

Several people in the topic forget that this is a team game. Misses happen and nobody can blame alchemist who prepared himself to work in team. To that degree, besides discoveries, nobody mentioned Extracts that adjust your Bomb ability, such as Targeted Bomb Admixture. Although I am not alchemist player, I am pretty sure that most of the trouble can be avoided with right use of Extracts, Tactics and Discoveries pretty early.

Adam


graystone wrote:
Drogos wrote:
Dafydd wrote:
If that is true, Archers can not really exist in low level PFS as you would need precise shot or it is PVP. Nor can spellcaster's use their area spells because the front liners are being front liners.
Archery is never PVP.
Reckless Aim disagrees. ;)

My apologies for not knowing every feat out of every splat book paizo prints.


Drogos wrote:
graystone wrote:
Drogos wrote:
Dafydd wrote:
If that is true, Archers can not really exist in low level PFS as you would need precise shot or it is PVP. Nor can spellcaster's use their area spells because the front liners are being front liners.
Archery is never PVP.
Reckless Aim disagrees. ;)
My apologies for not knowing every feat out of every splat book paizo prints.

That's cool, but this kind of thing happens whenever someone speaks in absolutes. ;)

That feat is one that it's possible to get with several human classes at first AND is PFS accepted, so archery can be PVP right from 1st level.


graystone wrote:


That feat is one that it's possible to get with several human classes at first AND is PFS accepted, so archery can be PVP right from 1st level.

Its pretty clear from the conversation that thats NOT what the other person was talking about.

If you have wreckless aim you need other players permission to turn it on.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
graystone wrote:


That feat is one that it's possible to get with several human classes at first AND is PFS accepted, so archery can be PVP right from 1st level.

Its pretty clear from the conversation that thats NOT what the other person was talking about.

If you have wreckless aim you need other players permission to turn it on.

I don't see the difference. Archery CAN be PVP like bombs can so his statement that it can't was wrong. As to what you have to do for PVP in PFS, I don't have a clue as I don't play in it. I assume you have to get the same permission to turn on your feat as you would to bomb someone. I'd be pretty lame if it's cool to bomb someone several times but hitting someone on a 1 works differently.


graystone wrote:
I don't see the difference.

The difference is that one statement is 99.9% correct and the other is 100% wrong.

One statement was correct except for some obscure feat... kind of. Because using that feat would then fall into the same PVP rules as the bombs.

The other was a total misunderstanding about how shooting into melee worked, a misunderstanding that someone was basing their argument on.


Really, it boils down to "it depends on your party members." If your allies don't mind the occasional splash damage in exchange for increased effectiveness in your build, then you're golden to avoid the discovery tax.

If you're playing PFS, then it probably depends on if you're playing with a menagerie of random strangers, or with a semi-consistent group of friends; the menagerie of random strangers will probably, on average, cause difficulties with a lack of Precise Bombs.

Retraining actually solves a lot of this argument-- the main issue with bomb splash damage is the potential to lead to allies' deaths at very low levels. At higher levels, even the most optimized bomb user probably does not need Precise Bombs, either because they have ways of their own to avoid splash (such as a familiar with Poisoner's Gloves to inject Targeted Bomb Admixtures, or a Communal Resist Energy infusion) or their allies have long since picked up abilities of their own that render it a moot point. That being the case, you can always take it at low levels and retrain it to something more needed at high levels.


*shrug* Take it as you will. It's totally, 100% incorrect to say that archery is NEVER* PVP. I'm not sure what the big deal was in pointing out that error. You shouldn't correct someone's misunderstanding with incorrect information.

As to the original topic, Thuvian Grenadier feat is a viable option to avoid hitting people with your bombs.

*[Never makes it a binary statement. yes/no, pass/fail. right OR wrong. 99.9% in this situation is no different than .9%. Neither is 100%(NEVER)]


Malag wrote:
To that degree, besides discoveries, nobody mentioned Extracts that adjust your Bomb ability, such as Targeted Bomb Admixture. Although I am not alchemist player, I am pretty sure that most of the trouble can be avoided with right use of Extracts, Tactics and Discoveries pretty early.

I should note that TBA takes planning and trait investment for it to work as a way to avoid blowing up your teammates. It lasts 1 round/level so without Meticulous Concoction and the like you won't get that much mileage out of it at level 1-2 unless you make every extract TBA.

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