Unarmed Grenadier build questions


Rules Questions


So I'm thinking of building a unarmed bomber, but got to thinking about how this exactly will work.

Second level Grenadier alchemists have Alchemical Weapon, does this allow you to infuse a bomb into a weapon, not just alchemical items?

Is a bomb an alchemical item?

Assuming you can infuse a bomb into a melee weapon, bombs are considered range weapons, while infused would you get an bonus from Point Blank Shot?

Weapon Focus Bomb wont help my attack, but would weapon specialization bomb increase my damage still?


Quote:
At 2nd level, a grenadier can infuse a weapon or piece of ammunition with a single harmful alchemical liquid or powder, such as alchemist’s fire or sneezing powder, as a move action. This action consumes the alchemical item, but transfers its effect to the weapon in question.

What this means is that you are using the weapon in question, and the effect of the alchemical liquid is added to it. You are no longer throwing the alchemical liquid so You wouldn't get Point Blank Shot unless it is a ranged weapon. Nor would you get Weapon Specialization Bomb, though you could apply Weapon Specialization in whatever Weapon it is infused with (n.b. Weapon specialization is only available to fighters normally, so you will have to multiclass to get it.)

And yes, Bombs count as alchemical items.


Just a note.. depending on your GM.

Some might not allow you to infuse your bomb onto say.. your fist or onto another bomb.. Because the bombs are not "items" nor are they "weapons" until they are created. Which generally takes a standard action in of itself to do. Might be able to convence them later with the multi throw thing later.. but might not.

The only reliable way to have it in existence first is that delay bomb thingy.


The idea right now is a Brawler/Alchemist build right now, using either fist, or another close weapon like Cestus, or Gauntlet to be the weapon delivery device.

Now onto a slightly off topic, yet still sort of on, is it possible for a Grenadier to infuse an arrow with a bomb, and hand that infused arrow to an ally to fire? Or to infuse an already drawn arrow an archer has readied?


Nothing about the ability says the grenadier has to be the one wielding the weapon. Go for it.


The question is not whether the bomb is an alchemical item. The question is can a bomb be stored in an item without become inert.

Bombs are unstable, and if not used in the round they are created, they degrade and become inert -their method of creation prevents large volumes of explosive material from being created and stored.


So if we delay our turn to act at the same time, then i can provide an explosive arrow to an archer. Because it would be used on the same round it was created. Or I can ready an action to infuse an arrow before the archer fires.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't believe bombs are alchemical items. Nothing in their description says that they are, and they function quite differently.

In any event, it is certain that you can't give your bomb to anyone else, since "An alchemist’s bomb, like an extract, becomes inert if used or carried by anyone else."


I guess it is up to your GM whether a bomb is an alchemical item. If it is, then you would have to be the one shooting the arrows.

Assuming a favorable ruling, if you are a grenadier archer with the Fast Bomb feat at 15th level, I think you should be able to shoot a full attack with all bomb arrows. Before 15th level, one arrow per full attack could be a bomb.


Ooch! Those are some hard questions to some rather complex abilities. I will try to answer them to the best of my ability :)

1) Can a Grenadier infuse a bomb onto a weapon?
I do not know of any Paizo ruling on the matter, so if someone can link one of those that would be the most helpful.
In lieu of that, my understanding has always been that you cannot.
To start with, the Bomb ability is a Supernatural power, and not really an item itself. I does use a vial of catalyst but that is treated like an item from a spell component pouch, but to make a bomb go boom you need to infuse it with your own magic.
Also, to reiterate the requirements of the Grenadier;

Grenadier wrote:

"...with a single harmful alchemical liquid or powder, such as alchemist’s fire or sneezing powder, as a move action.

This action consumes the alchemical item, but transfers its effect to the weapon in question..."

Alchemical Items is a pretty clearly defined category of physical items.

These are also very distinct from an Alchemists bomb in very clear ways.

Next problem is what actions does it take? The Bomb ability states that it takes a Standard action to 1: Draw, 2: mix, 3: throw, a bomb.
If you only intend to do 1 or 2 of these actions, does it reduce the total action required? Ex: you want to draw the bomb now, but mix and throw it later, does it "reduce" the action required to throw it because I have already done the "draw" part of the action now?
The general answer is no. Baring an exception written somewhere else (such as the Explosive Missile allowing multiple actions to be combined into 1), it takes the full action to do even a part of this process.
IF you could combine a bomb with the Alchemical Weapon ability, you would still need to create the bomb, and the Grenadier has no rules written for reducing or combining the action to do so like the Explosive Missile discovery has.
So you would still need to spend a standard action to create the bomb (but not throw it), then a move action to infuse it to your weapon. IF you still somehow had a standard action after that (Mythic?), then you could?

TL,DR
Anyways, my best answer is you cannot :( Bombs are Supernatural abilities, not specific, physical items created using the Craft: Alchemy skill. There is also no specific wording within the Grenadier ability that would create an exception allowing you to combine the different actions like the ones written in the Explosive Missile or Siege Bomb discoveries. IF it works, we need to infer and create the wording required to reconcile how many and which actions are required.
Generally, if I have to "fill in the gaps" and create rules to make it work, it is probably not Rules as Written :/

2) If I infuse a bomb into a melee weapon, does it gain bonuses as a ranged weapon or a melee weapon?
Well, to answer this, I am first going to use its opposite: Thrown weapons. A Light Hammer has a range increment of 10ft. You can use it in melee, using your Str to hit and damage, and applying Power Attack. Or you can throw it, using your Dex to hit, your Str for damage, and you are unable to apply Power Attack, but you could apply Point Blank Shot to it, if you had it.
As a general, if you had a way to use the bomb ITSELF as a melee weapon, then it would be treated as a melee weapon and use feats/abilities as a melee weapon.
Most likely, it will be used as a "rider", attached onto another attack, so that other attack has to first hit and then deal damage, THEN the bomb takes effect without requiring a second attack roll. In these cases, it is possible that you could apply feats like Deadly Aim to both the main attack and the rider bomb attack, despite only taking the penalty to hit on the main attack. If you could somehow make a bomb a melee attack, you could similarly do it with Power Attack as well. Note that any bonus To Hit modifiers would be wasted on the rider bomb.
#Side note: The Throw Anything Alchemist ability states that it adds your Int to Splash Weapons specifically, not Ranged attacks. Bombs are splash weapons regardless of if they actually splash, so you would get that bonus to them :)

Here are all the abilities that I know of that do something like this;
Grendadier Alchemical Weapon: You make a normal attack, if that attack hits, it deals damage and any infused alchemical item automatically hits as well.
Explosive Missile Discovery: loads a firearm, creates a bomb, and fires it all as one standard action. If the firearm hits, it deals damage, then the rider bomb automatically hits.
Siege Bomb Discovery: infuses a pre-loaded siege weapon with a bomb. If that siege weapon is fired within the next turn, and if it hits, it deals normal damage and the rider bomb automatically hits.
Breath Bomb Discovery: draw and expel a bomb as a breath weapon. It does not ride another attack, but it doesn't provoke and can be used in melee.
Conductive Weapon Enchantment: when you make a successful attack with the enchanted weapon, you can expend 2 bomb uses to also affect the target with your bomb damage. However, it only works melee for melee or ranged for ranged.
Delayed Bomb Discovery: this miiiight allow you to count your bombs as melee for a Conductive weapon if you have a lenient GM as you can now set them down. They can also realistically break (and then explode) if you smashed them against someones face :/

3) Would weapon specialization bomb increase my damage?
Yes. Yes it would (only once, mind you. not +2 for EACH bomb die). It would, however, be a really weird build path as you would need 4 levels of fighter :/

4) Is it possible for a Grenadier to infuse an arrow with a bomb, and hand that infused arrow to an ally to fire?
Yes, but no.
You COULD do it, but there is this line in the Bomb ability;

Bomb, Alchemist wrote:
Alchemists can learn new types of bombs as discoveries (see the Discovery ability) as they level up. An alchemist’s bomb, like an extract, becomes inert if used or carried by anyone else.

So you could give it to him, but the moment you let go, it goes inert.


As for helping you with your idea, well heres the best I can come up with :)
Are you ok with eating lots of AoOs? There is one convoluted path you could take :p

To start with, build for an unarmed alchemist. Get an AoMF, give it the Throwing and Conductive properties.
Now, you can "throw" a punch at someone (ranged attack) and have your fist explode with the force of a bomb (Conductive).
If you really wanted to, you could simply only punch people in melee range using your "ranged" attack (eating an AoO) to keep the thematics up.
This costs 2 bomb uses each time and you can only do it once per round, but it would be cool :)
Then take the Breath Weapon discovery to give yourself a melee usable bomb that doesn't provoke (however you cannot punch at the same time).

If you are really lucky, you GM might be lenient and simply let you use a bomb through a conductive melee weapon. Then you can have all the explosive fists that you want :)

Edit: hmmm. Note that the Conductive ability does not limit the bomb damage to JUST the target like Grenadier does. If you are standing next to the target and your fist goes BOOM, you get caught up in the blast too ^_^


How do you get your fists back after you throw them? How do you use your hands to throw your hands?


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Could get a Clockwork Prosthetic arm, and AOMF.
one of them having "Sharding" the other having the normal buffs you'd need.

That way would workw ith a rocket exploding conductive punch.
and if your GM is feeling froggy. Could possibly allow Exploding Missle tow ork with it despite not being a bolt or arrow.


I know this is beyond reaching, but who knows, maybe its not.

Is vial of catalyst an alchemical item? If so, i could infuse a weapon with the catalyst making the weapon take on its properties, and then use my magic to "infused" the weapon with the other half of the requirement to make a bomb, then slap someone with it? maybe?


I'm having a hard time dropping the idea a bomb is not an alchemical item. Under alchemical items list there are many items with the words bomb in the name and others that behave the same was bombs do, with different names.

Alchemist’s Fire, Stink Oil, Sneezing Powder, Tar Bomb to name a few. All can be made using an Alchemist Lab/Portable Lab. Liquid Catalyst used to make the Bomb class feature is also made using the Lab/Portable Lab. Would that mean a Catalyst is also a Alchemical item, much like the listed items before it?


I don't know what Vial of Catalyst is. Unless you meant the thing they make the class bombs out of? I am going to assume so. (its a weird item cause it has no listed stats and techicnaly isn't really targetable)

Purely speaking.. it is not an alchemical item because the class itself never states they are an alchemical item.
Logically yeah.. I'd call a bomb an alchemical item myself. but purely by the game's defintions it is not. Because it is not listed as such.
The main reason is, allowing that class feature to count would open a can of worms as to if Extracts would count as alchemcial items.. becaues they're also made in similar way. Which is likely why they never defined its classification. Its just simplier to prevent issues with future additions to leave it vague. (Otherwise nonlethal arrows infused with cure light wounds. Or arrows infused with pancea and such would be a highly used item)

Additionally even if you could infuse the catalyst into the weapon, you couldn't use taht to mix the rest of the reagents and your own personal magic bits to make it into a bomb.. because it no longer exists persay to mix into it.

I would note, as I did above.
That even if bombs were an alchemical item.. you couldn't use your skill to put it into anything else anyway.
because bombs are made as a standard action (or a full round action if you have that multi bomb discovery). Which precludes the ability to infuse it into anything that you can attack with before the end of the round (where it becomes inert). Additionally even if you infused it into your friends weapon.. I am pretty sure that would qualify for no longer being in your hands and it becoming inert.

IF the Alchemist's Bombs were classified as alchemical items.. you would need the Delay bombs discovery that allows the bombs to persist longer than the end of your turn and persist when out of your hands. Then you would be able to.

If you're in a non-PFS game, you could ask your GM if he'd agree to open the classification of Alchemical Item to include bombs.
but as it stands. I don't think it fits the current categorical meaning of the term Alchemical Items. There was more ofa n argument to be made before Ultimate Equipment came out.. but as of Ult Equipment "Alchemical Items" is a category of items with sub categories as well.


First Ill apologize, Vial of Catalyst is Liquid Catalyst which is an item you make using an alchemist lab at the start of a day, or any other day as part of the requirement to make bombs. I realize now that last night I didn't make that link between my two posts.

The game wouldn't list Alchemist Bomb as a Alchemical item on the list of items in Ult Equip as they are worthless. Once they leave a Alchemist possession they are inert, and as such worthless. You cant sell worthless, so why list a gold value? Holly and Mistletoe being the only non-gold valued items on the list are still not worthless.

As for your argument people would be applying cure light wounds, and the such to weapons. Alchemical Weapon class feature of Grenadier states only harmful effects can be infused, and cure light wounds is listed as Harmless in the spell description. Assuming your referring to panacea from 3.5 as i cant find it in the Pathfinder lists that spell is also listed as a harmless one or if your referring to Polypurpose Panacea the target is you, so it would be out as well. Unless you had infusion Discovery I suppose.

Working on the idea bombs are Alchemical items (which I assume they are, but have yet to be proven Right, but have people agreeing with) you would be able to load a bomb into a weapon and use it a round later. Rules in the game have always been specific over general, and Alchemical Weapon states the item infused goes off on the next strike, or wears off after a minute. Now if all this takes is Delay Bomb then Ill be taking it anyway for random tricks,

The argument against infused friends weapons makes complete sense as the bomb does leave your possession in this case.

I've since sent a message off to my DM about it, and we'll see what he says, but I typically come here to have my ducks in a row before I attempt a build, and this being my first Alchemist to go live is new :D

Also I hope that none of this has come off as rude, as it is not meant to be so.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This has been brought up before with no official clarification but RAW it calls out a specific list of items that the bomb is not on. It is Su class feature that isn't specifically called out by the archetype so I would say that no it does not work.


Rylden wrote:


The game wouldn't list Alchemist Bomb as a Alchemical item on the list of items in Ult Equip as they are worthless. Once they leave a Alchemist possession they are inert, and as such worthless. You cant sell worthless, so why list a gold value? Holly and Mistletoe being the only non-gold valued items on the list are still not worthless.

Yeah, no sale thingies.. but this game loves its lists and cross references. and that causes issues later on sometimes. Such as this case, and a few cases with the Fighter's Weapon Lists and some feats/class skills of later things. Unintended side effect of normalizing a list for metadata reference.

So. the catalysts are "alchemist's items" but not "alchemical items." Weird and minor detailed, but in the game's formalization thats the case. (Which is of course, easily modified by a non PFS game. But it isn't a standard assumption)

Rylden wrote:


As for your argument people would be applying cure light wounds, and the such to weapons. Alchemical Weapon class feature of Grenadier states only harmful effects can be infused, and cure light wounds is listed as Harmless in the spell description. Assuming your referring to panacea from 3.5 as i cant find it in the Pathfinder lists that spell is also listed as a harmless one or if your referring to Polypurpose Panacea the target is you, so it would be out as well. Unless you had infusion Discovery I suppose.

Oh yeah good catch, forgot non harmful. I would posit though, that harmful is a matter of usage and perspective

I would still totally infuse cure light wounds into something vs undead. (and one could make a broader argument using that.. but that is neither here nor there). I did mean Polypurpose Pancea I think. The infusion that allows for sleep and does target self. Normally that isn't harmful.. but if you were to ask me if being forced to drink it in the middle of a life and death fight is harmful. I would qualify it as harmful. This is one of the cases where the pertinant terminology isn't system defined. "harmful" is just harmful. (UNLESS of course I missed somewhere its been defined in system) Where as Alchemical Item is currently system defined (as of Ultimate Equipment. Prior to that it was not system defined so was common reading. Back then I'd have called The class feature's end product bomb an alchemical item. )
For all potential extract tricks it would indeed require infusion.

Rylden wrote:


I've since sent a message off to my DM about it, and we'll see what he says, but I typically come here to have my ducks in a row before I attempt a build, and this being my first Alchemist to go live is new :D

Also I hope that none of this has come off as rude, as it is not meant to be so.

No worries. Personally, I assume no intended rudeness in text based mediums. Its quite difficult to express emotive sentiment in writing after all.

I love Alchemists (and ocultists) so I hope you have fun!

...Oh.. if you want a fun trick, look up that Waters of Lamashu? (I forget if that is the real name or not.. but googling will get you there). That one is fun to use with Alchemical Weapon trick (because the end product is treated as UnHoly water. which is treated as holy water. which is defined as an alchemical item). That stuf is also fun to use with Injection Spears or Syringe Spears.


I can see your point on Cure light wounds and using it offensively vs Undead, but Alchemist already has a "holy" bomb, so either way they can make use of the holy natured attacks.


Rylden wrote:

I can see your point on Cure light wounds and using it offensively vs Undead, but Alchemist already has a "holy" bomb, so either way they can make use of the holy natured attacks.

yup yup. Though unless I was in a undead centric game i'd rarely if ever use a discovery on Holy Bomb. I'd be far more apt to take the curing bomb over holy bomb. A lot less likely with both if I was able to Alch Weapon CLW extracts as well. (Though that has more to do with my love of Explossive Missle discovery)

in general I would rarely take either though, but that is related to my preferences in my bomb modularity


Rylden wrote:

Working on the idea bombs are Alchemical items (which I assume they are, but have yet to be proven Right, but have people agreeing with) you would be able to load a bomb into a weapon and use it a round later. Rules in the game have always been specific over general, and Alchemical Weapon states the item infused goes off on the next strike, or wears off after a minute...

...but I typically come here to have my ducks in a row before I attempt a build...

But you also have some people dissagreeing with you :(

You do not really have a conclusive answer thats clear.

Personally, I would not put bombs on a list of items that you can either buy or craft with Craft: Alchemy, as that is what the Alchemical Items list in the Equipment section is for, especially considering you do not use the Craft: Alchemy skill to craft bombs, they cannot be sold or even given away, they become useless if they leave your posession, they are powered by magic and they are a Supernatural effect (even if the vial component is an object). Heck, they are more similar to spells then they are to an Alchemists Fire.

The two are physical objects, yes. But the whole point of the Alchemical Items list is to quantify and codify things you can craft or buy, and you can do neither with a bomb.

Be careful with the Specific trumps General. While that is true, it also does not specifically state that you can use the Gernadier ability with an Alchemists bomb, which might preemptively negate that possibility.


Oooh, thats a good point on the fact it doesnt specifically state i CAN do this, I hadn't considered that point.

So assuming i can't do my Bomb class feature, could you infuse a Fuse Grenade? The item's description says it a black powder grenade, which sounds like a powder, and if so would fall on the list of liquids and powders that can be infused.


Kind of depends

I read "harmful alchemical liquid or powder" as "harmful" the general term. Alchemical , referencing the (current) system term. Then liquid or powders. The follow up list as examples; because they use the term "such as" which is a term for example lists and not a complete list.

So for me, I view Fuse Grenades.. and really almost all the offensive Alchemcial items as valid.

but if someone read it in a more precise method.. I wouldn't have much I could say against it really.
Though, at that point... one could literally "infuse" an arrow with a Powder Keg of gunpowder... so it isn't like a Fuse Grenade is alll that much more dangerous.

It does get confusing with a few of the items though.. because they have timer effects. Are you transfering the timer effect as well? or is it purely the fully mixed effect?
I've always had it played as the full mixed end effect.. because its magically infusing the effect which only goes off on impact. So most of the time i've had gm's just "magic handwavium" that detail away for the sake of book keeping


Whether you can or not, awesome concept for a character! Exploding first to the face for the win!!!


I think clockwork arm (or gauntlet) with sharding and conductive is still the best bet in the end.
for the Punchsplosion Ala Rave Master

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