Alchemist extracts and ability score Change


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I was having a discussion with another player and ability score changes affection spells came up. here is the sanario. a Alchemist with a intelligence score of say 14 makes a extract of cure light wounds. later that day due to a curse the alchemist now has a intelligence score of say 9, is the extract of cure light wounds still usable or is it inert? I say it is still useable because the extract is based on the Alchemist's score and level at the time of its creation, the other player stance is that it is unuseable. who is right?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

From the class: To learn or use an extract, an alchemist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the extract's level.

So, in defiance of conventional logic, your friend is correct. (I'd probably run it your way, for the record; ask your GM.)

Sorry. ^_^

Liberty's Edge

Thanks

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

No problem. ^_^


Basically, alchemist are spell casters for whenever it hinders them, but not for when it would help them (such as qualifying for magic item creation [ignoring brew potion]).

Normally, a spell caster with damage to their casting stat is actually fine because:

Quote:
For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score. The only exception to this is your Constitution score. If the damage to your Constitution is equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you die. Unless otherwise noted, damage to your ability scores is healed at the rate of 1 per day to each ability score that has been damaged. Ability damage can be healed through the use of spells, such as lesser restoration.

Ability damage just causes a penalty. It doesn't change your score.

Ability drain on the other hand does actually change your score:

Quote:
Ability Drain: Ability drain actually reduces the relevant ability score. Modify all skills and statistics related to that ability. This might cause you to lose skill points, hit points, and other bonuses. Ability drain can be healed through the use of spells such as restoration.

If you receive ability damage you're fine. If you receive drain then you might lose access to extract slots.

In the specific case of the spell Bestow Curse, it actually changes your ability score like ability drain. If the cause of the intelligence changing effect is not bestow curse, but some other curse you would need to read carefully whether its drain or damage.


i would like to point to the oposite.
from the alchemist class information

"Extracts are the most varied of the three. In many ways, they behave like spells in potion form...When an alchemist mixes an extract, he infuses the chemicals and reagents in the extract with magic siphoned from his own magical aura...An extract, once created, remains potent for 1 day before losing its magic, so an alchemist must re-prepare his extracts every day."

the alchemist's extracts are said to work like potions. a potions is like a spell that has been cast while it was made that picks the drinker as the target when consumed.
in that aspect if he made his extract in the morning and now he only need to drink it to use it. he doesn't need his int to make it work. hey if he has infusions he can give it to some1 else. like the half orc barbarian who has an int score of 6 and it will still work...

about the part of " to learn and use and extract" i think it's a missprint being done by copy pasting the same verse from other spellcasters and it should be to learn and MIX and extract. seeing as how infusions work like extracts but doesn't need any int score to be effective. and tht after mixing the extract the alchemist has potentuly "cast" his 'spell" for the day and has 1 fewer he can make.(id put 'use' under use to make an extract and it can't be now used to make an other. not used as drunk his extract and now make it work)


OTOH, if he'd made an infusion he should still be able to use it.


Hey I made you an infusion of cure moderate wounds!

Thanks man!

Later that day.

Oh. Don't drink that infusion I made 4 hours ago

Why not?

I'm dumber now. It won't work.

DO NOT LET THIS BE AN ACTUAL THING.


Or worse, my infusion of Lesser Restoration.


Cavall wrote:

Hey I made you an infusion of cure moderate wounds!

Thanks man!

Later that day.

Oh. Don't drink that infusion I made 4 hours ago

Why not?

I'm dumber now. It won't work.

DO NOT LET THIS BE AN ACTUAL THING.

This.

Don't let that scenario happen just because there's some very vague and generic wording stating that it can't be done. The entry there is almost certainly referring to generic preparation and consumption of extracts, not solely the ability to consume ones already made.


as i said above the terms "learn and use"are shaky .
and the fact that when the alchemist loose the "spell" he can prepere is when he makes the extract and not when he consume it is more to the point that it works like a potion .making it IS casting it. so if you were not dumb when you made it it is still working when your dumber and drinking it. finishing the casting of a potion can be done by anyone, finishing the casting of the extract is limited to the alchemist, or others if it is an infusion. but the main casting is done whne he prepare it (and used the slot for it for that day).
same reason potions you find in the dongeun don't stop working since the one who made them died 50 years ago.


Perhaps the alchemist also infusing the extract with magic as he drinks its? Like a chemical reaction. Part and and B are inert until fused together. Perhaps the alchemist needs to add a little magic while drinking it to finish the spell, similar to a wizard prepare his spell the casting it. Maybe that is why the learn and use portion is in there.

Just thoughts for RAW, with an interesting RAI?


"learn and use" are copy paste from any other caster (all have "to learn and use spells the X ned a score of ...") and by raw the extract are used as potions. when you use a potion the casting part of the spell. when some1 can counter spell you,when you use a spell slot for the day and when you decide on caster level etc is when you make the potion not when you drink it.

again you interupt the term "use" as in when he drink the extract, but it can just rightly be used as to when he uses the spell slot and make the extract.

and if he finishes the spell only when he drinks his extract. then an alchimist that learn infusions. that need not be drunk by the alchemist are actuyl "finished" extracts that any1 can drink, if that was the case then it would have been a hugh difrence in the two and should have been mantioned .something like "an infusion can be used even when the alchemist can no longer use his extract ability (sleeping,dead, drained etc)".

the fact that they made it clear that bombs and mutigen loose their power and become inert if not in the alchemist possesion but his extracts say nothing of it, shows that they are complete and done potions. the only difrence is the 'spells" taht can be made int othem and the user who can use them.


zza ni wrote:

"learn and use" are copy paste from any other caster (all have "to learn and use spells the X ned a score of ...") and by raw the extract are used as potions. when you use a potion the casting part of the spell. when some1 can counter spell you,when you use a spell slot for the day and when you decide on caster level etc is when you make the potion not when you drink it.

again you interupt the term "use" as in when he drink the extract, but it can just rightly be used as to when he uses the spell slot and make the extract.

and if he finishes the spell only when he drinks his extract. then an alchimist that learn infusions. that need not be drunk by the alchemist are actuyl "finished" extracts that any1 can drink, if that was the case then it would have been a hugh difrence in the two and should have been mantioned .something like "an infusion can be used even when the alchemist can no longer use his extract ability (sleeping,dead, drained etc)".

the fact that they made it clear that bombs and mutigen loose their power and become inert if not in the alchemist possesion but his extracts say nothing of it, shows that they are complete and done potions. the only difrence is the 'spells" taht can be made int othem and the user who can use them.

Alchemy wrote:
. An extract immediately becomes inert if it leaves the alchemist's possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping

I'm not sure it affects the original question, but extracts do go inert the same way mutagens do. Bombs differ - they go inert if not used in the round they are created.


yea. i think i missed taht part somehow. i sitll stand by my saying. you use a spell when you use the spell slot, even if it is only activated later. like a symbol or contigency spell.


zza ni wrote:
yea. i think i missed taht part somehow. i sitll stand by my saying. you use a spell when you use the spell slot, even if it is only activated later. like a symbol or contigency spell.

+1, now that I think of it that way.

Liberty's Edge

Ok so it looks like the consensus is that a extrat use is based on the alchemists stats at creation not at consumption, but there is not definitive ruling confirming that.


Swordjockey wrote:
Ok so it looks like the consensus is that a extrat use is based on the alchemists stats at creation not at consumption, but there is not definitive ruling confirming that.

I wouldn't say that. People don't want it to function the other way because it would decrease the alchemists strength as a class, not because it's not supported by the rules. The rules are vague on this, leaning towards extracts no working because of the line "to learn or use".

If we think of extracts as being analogous to spells, and we know spell casters can lose their spell if their casting stats is drained, then it stands to reason that an extract can lose it's potency if the alchemist's int is reduced. What you're seeing here is a bunch of people who don't want that to happen. But extracts function by siphoning off from the magical aura of the alchemist.

There is not clear support one way or the other. But I think the rules lean more towards not working. However, as a GM I would probably not run it that way.


I basically agree with what Claxon just said. And I would point to the FAQ ruling on extracts of spells that require a choice to make when casting as evidence that extracts being like potions language doesn't go too far.
Personally I prefer the "potion like" interpretation of extracts and infusions in general, but officially, rules wise, I don't think that's how it usually goes.


Reading the Extracts entry under the Alchemy Supernatural ability. It seems the argument comes down to when you "use" the extract or when you "use" extract slot.

d20pfsrd wrote:


Extracts are the most varied of the three. In many ways, they behave like spells in potion form, and as such their effects can be dispelled by effects like dispel magic using the alchemist's level as the caster level. Unlike potions, though, extracts can have powerful effects and duplicate spells that a potion normally could not.

An alchemist can create only a certain number of extracts of each level per day. His base daily allotment of extracts is given on Table: Alchemist. In addition, he receives bonus extracts per day if he has a high Intelligence score, in the same way a wizard receives bonus spells per day. When an alchemist mixes an extract, he infuses the chemicals and reagents in the extract with magic siphoned from his own magical aura. An extract immediately becomes inert if it leaves the alchemist's possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an alchemist cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use (but see the “infusion” discovery below). An extract, once created, remains potent for 1 day before becoming inert, so an alchemist must re-prepare his extracts every day. Mixing an extract takes 1 minute of work—most alchemists prepare many extracts at the start of the day or just before going on an adventure, but it's not uncommon for an alchemist to keep some (or even all) of his daily extract slots open so that he can prepare extracts in the field as needed.

Although the alchemist doesn't actually cast spells, he does have a formulae list that determines what extracts he can create. An alchemist can utilize spell-trigger items if the spell appears on his formulae list, but not spell-completion items (unless he uses Use Magic Device to do so). An extract is “cast” by drinking it, as if imbibing a potion—the effects of an extract exactly duplicate the spell upon which its formula is based, save that the spell always affects only the drinking alchemist. The alchemist uses his level as the caster level to determine any effect based on caster level. Creating extracts consumes raw materials, but the cost of these materials is insignificant—comparable to the valueless material components of most spells. If a spell normally has a costly material component, that component is expended during the consumption of that particular extract. Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements (alchemist extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement). An alchemist can prepare an extract of any formula he knows. To learn or use an extract, an alchemist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the extract's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an alchemist's extract is 10 + the extract level + the alchemist's Intelligence modifier. An alchemist may know any number of formulae. He stores his formulae in a special tome called a formula book. He must refer to this book whenever he prepares an extract but not when he consumes it. An alchemist begins play with two 1st level formulae of his choice, plus a number of additional forumlae equal to his Intelligence modifier. At each new alchemist level, he gains one new formula of any level that he can create. An alchemist can also add formulae to his book just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs and time requirements. An alchemist can study a wizard's spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a formula book. An alchemist does not need to decipher arcane writings before copying them.

I personally read that "use" in this context is referring to the slot you use to prepare the extract. Many Alchemist leave slots open to prepare extracts they may need in the field. If such Alchemist suffer Ability drain than any open slots he left open couldn't be prepare till his ability drain was fixed.


Claxon wrote:
People don't want it to function the other way because it would decrease the alchemists strength as a class, not because it's not supported by the rules.... What you're seeing here is a bunch of people who don't want that to happen.

Maybe so for some, but I generally disagree. I think many people are just ruling because of logic vs questionable RAW. It seems much more logical to me that something already created wouldn't lose it's power if somehow it's creator changed afterwards. The balance impact of this issue would be pretty minor in my opinion.

Re-thinking the logic of this issue again though, I was thinking "where does it say or imply that extracts are linked to the alchemist?" He does have a limit of uses per day, which implies a link, but that seems more like for balance purposes rather than an explicit magical link.

In addition, it would seem a bit odd if a link did exist considering that someone could carry an infusion to the other side of the world and it would still work. The reason I say it would be odd is that the link would have to transcend space—time.

Also a more relevant note that noone yet mentioned: if the alchemist loses extract potency when he loses intelligence, he would certainly lose it if he died too, right?

But presumably not if he was unconscious though I guess? what about in an anti-magic field?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Then he should choose variables such as energy resistance at creation too. ^_^

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Swordjockey wrote:
I was having a discussion with another player and ability score changes affection spells came up. here is the sanario. a Alchemist with a intelligence score of say 14 makes a extract of cure light wounds. later that day due to a curse the alchemist now has a intelligence score of say 9, is the extract of cure light wounds still usable or is it inert? I say it is still useable because the extract is based on the Alchemist's score and level at the time of its creation, the other player stance is that it is unuseable. who is right?

It's the same exact scenario with wizards and prepared spells.

In this case it's a 4th level wizard who's prepared invisibility and alter self., as well as several 1st level spells and cantrips.

If his intelligence gets knocked down to 9, he's not casting anything.


It's not the same because the alchemist can hand off an infused extract to a dumb fighter who gets to drink the resist energy extract and choose the effect as if the fighter were casting the spell.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:
It's not the same because the alchemist can hand off an infused extract to a dumb fighter who gets to drink the resist energy extract and choose the effect as if the fighter were casting the spell.

Stop moving the goalposts. The OP was about extracts, not infusions. And quite frankly I would require the alchemist to make those decisions when the extract is infused.


Those are your house rules, and therefore irrelevant here. Furthermore, an infusion is not a separate thing, it is an infused extract and follows the same rules as extracts except where otherwise specified.

Can you link to a specific rule that exempts infused extracts from the intelligence requirement?


LazarX wrote:
Swordjockey wrote:
I was having a discussion with another player and ability score changes affection spells came up. here is the sanario. a Alchemist with a intelligence score of say 14 makes a extract of cure light wounds. later that day due to a curse the alchemist now has a intelligence score of say 9, is the extract of cure light wounds still usable or is it inert? I say it is still useable because the extract is based on the Alchemist's score and level at the time of its creation, the other player stance is that it is unuseable. who is right?

It's the same exact scenario with wizards and prepared spells.

In this case it's a 4th level wizard who's prepared invisibility and alter self., as well as several 1st level spells and cantrips.

If his intelligence gets knocked down to 9, he's not casting anything.

A wizard's prepared spells are roughly equivalent to "spell completion" items.

Extracts, the way they are described, once prepared, are much closer to potions.

RAW has enough wiggle room to rule that extracts cease to function, but RAI is much less clear that it agrees.

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