My feedback on Update 1.6 changes


General Discussion


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Update 1.6 dropped today, and it's a big one, including changes to all classes, big to small. Here are my feedback on all the changes in today's update, along with my rationale for them.

1. Somatic Casting change:

A relatively small change, but it's a very welcome action economy boost to various classes and builds. This change obsoletes Warded Touch and Emblazon Symbol, and allows for spellcasters wielding 2-handed weapons to be a thing without the song and dance of changing grips. The image of a Sorcerer waving his greatsword around before touching a foe with his hand still holding it is quite amusing, though.

Also makes it so spellcasters can actually contemplate using crossbows as a fallback weapon now, since they can still cast spells while holding it. Overall an excellent change, bravo!

2. Alchemist and Alchemical items:

Acid Flask and Alchemist's Fire got buffed (Acid Flask damage from d4s->d6s, and Alchemist Fire is no longer an auto-recover without outside assistance).

Mutagens now have level 1 versions and can be crafted from the start. If you're a mutagenist, Bestial Mutagen grants the equivalent of Magic Fang for yourself as early as level 1, which is very welcome. I'm still not a big fan of mutagens because of the drawbacks, but I must admit this is largely due to me not having played an Alchemist yet. Mutagens may actually be pretty decent now, if you're a Mutagenist.

Research Fields:

I'll give my initial impressions of each Field, and how I effective I think they will be, theoretically speaking only, of course. I'll look at the initial bonus from Research Field, and the bonuses from Field Discovery and Greater Field Discovery as well. Henceforth, they'll be referred to as FD and GFD

Bomber: The basic, straightforward field for bomb-loving alchemists. The bonus it grants is not completely crucial to an Alchemist, but Bombers can throw their stuff with reckless abandon, which is a very nice quality of life trait, especially when you factor in Calculated Splash.
FD and GFD increases the Alchemist's proficiency with bombs to Expert, then Master. This is an incredibly welcome change, and one that I've requested in the past. However, Bombs still do not benefit from an item bonus to hit, which means Alchemists are STILL less accurate than their spellcaster counterparts who also target TAC and can benefit from Spell Duelist items.

Suggestion: Alchemists can reach up to +27 (22 proficiency + 5 Dex) to hit with bombs, while spellcasters can get to +32 with touch attacks (23 prof + 5 Dex + 4 item). My suggestion is to give Alchemists an item (gloves of throwing or something) that grants them a +1-5 item bonus to attack rolls with bombs. That way, they at least can keep up with monster TAC and can contribute meaningfully in combat. Please do not tie this bonus in with bomb levels, because it would mean perpetual bombs would be less accurate, which defeats the point of them being the Alchemist's damaging cantrip equivalent.

Chirurgeon: For the healers out there. I love the ability to use Crafting instead of Medicine. This allows the Alchemist to Treat Wounds effectively without having to invest in Wisdom. It's a strong ability, and a good incentive for picking this Field. I love it.
FD lets you prepare more elixirs, which brings your healing potential up even more (it also lets you prepare more mutagens). GFD lets your on the fly Elixirs of Life heal for full value, which is great in the heat of battle (also, it's basically Perfect Medicine, which is quite strong 3 to obtain 3 levels earlier).

Suggestion: I don't know if you guys played Final Fantasy Tactics, but the Chemist class there has a unique ability called Throw Potion, which lets them deploy healing items at range. I think it would be very neat if the Chirurgeon can throw elixirs at allies from afar, kind of like a reverse bomber.

Mutagenist: The only way to obtain mutagen formulas at level 1 (normal Alchemists need to wait till level 2 to grab them), being a mutagenist also reduces the onset time of your mutagens on yourself, which is great for the Alchemist who likes to brawl it out with bestial mutagens.
FD lets you ignore the onset times altogether, and GFD gives Expert proficiency in unarmed attacks. A mutagenist that multiclasses Monk can be a pretty effective melee fighter, especially since you effectively have access to a better melee weapon sooner than everyone else in the party (Your weapon scales at levels 1-5-9-13-17 instead of 4-8-12-16-20).

Suggestion: I don't know enough about Mutagens to make any suggestions here. I don't like the drawbacks and the long onset times, but they're a minor annoyance at worst.

Poisoner: Without this ability, it's not worth it to try to specialize in poisons. Applying poison quickly is very welcome, but it's still not enough to cover the action economy of trying to poison your foes mid-combat.
You need an Interact action to take out the poison, an action to apply it, then an action to attack. If you're in melee, this takes up your entire turn and provokes an attack of opportunity. If you're using a crossbow, you will need to reload next turn and won't be able to constantly fire off poisoned bolts.
FD and GFD for the poisoner are a little bit uninspired. It's basically the feats Poison Resistance (with a +2 conditional bonus instead of +1) and Poison Touch) for free.

Suggestion: The Alchemist is still pretty lacking in terms of effective action economy. This applies to all Fields, not just the poisoner. I'll cover this suggestion at the end of the Alchemist section.

Perpetual Infusions:

I absolutely LOVE this feature. I believe I've suggested letting the Alchemist perform free Quick Alchemy once or twice an encounter, but this is just as good (and doesn't require tracking). I disliked the original Alchemist's reliance on Quick Alchemy for his feats (like the excellent Debilitating Bomb line) because QA won't last for the entire adventuring day, but now the Alchemist truly has a fallback for when he runs out of Reagent Batches. This is my favourite change in the new Alchemist. Kudos to Paizo devs for going this route.

Bomber: Lesser bombs are still good for applying status effects via Debilitating Bomb and exploiting weaknesses via splash damage. This is probably the strongest option for Perpetual Infusions, since the actual damage you're losing is not too big. Needs Calculated Splash for maximum effect.

Chirurgeon: The weakest option, but still nice if your party encounters Poison and Disease often. I would suggest creating an Elixir that grants temporary HP that can be created with the Chirurgeon's Perpetual Infusion. This at least lets the Alchemist spend his turns to pre-emptively prevent damage, and doesn't compete with Elixir of Life for actual healing. The amount of temp hp could be the same as Elixir of Life's healing.

Mutagenist: Lower level Mutagens are... incredibly underwhelming due to how item bonuses scale in PF2. If you're making items that grant a bonus 2 lower than expected for your character level, they're pretty much useless.

Suggestion: Mutagens should probably grant a one-shot effect in addition to their static bonuses. That way, even lower level Mutagens can be useful to some degree. As is, Mutagenists benefit the least from Perpetual Infusions.

Poisoner: The low DC of low level poisons can be counteracted by Powerful Alchemy, making even low level poisons kind of effective. However, considering this point brought up 2 more issues with the Alchemist for me:

1. Potent Poisoner (lvl 10 feat) is redundant. Powerful Alchemy (lvl 8 feat) already increases the DC of poisons to your class DC, and Potent Poisoner basically only applies to poisons crafted with Advanced Alchemy. It doesn't even work with lower level poisons. Potent Poisoner is just a very blah feat that should be buffed or removed altogether.

2. The Alchemist's DCs are pretty poor. Class DCs in general do not keep up with monster saves. Even Spell DCs can't keep up, and Class DCs are up to 3 points behind. This is not just a problem with the underlying math, but with the discrepancy between spellcasters and other classes that use DCs for their powers/features. If spellcasters can get up to +3 to their DC, the other classes need a way to compete with that somehow.

Double Brew moved being moved from Level 13 to Level 9 is very nice. Though it does beg the question: when you craft 2-3 items with Double Brew/Alchemical Alacrity, what are you holding them with? Is it possible to hold multiple alchemical items in 1 hand?

OVERALL ALCHEMIST FEEDBACK::

Research Fields are a very nice way for Alchemists to specialize and I LOVE Perpetual Infusions (though Mutagens do need some love here). Overall, these Alchemist changes are very good, and extremely welcome. It shows you guys listened to feedback and responded in kind.

Alchemists still have a few remaining issues:

- Bombs are still inaccurate compared to spells. Before, Empower Bombs added +2 item bonus to bomb attacks, but Alchemists are only Trained in bombs. Now, they are Master with Bombs but lose the +2 item bonus to attack. They need at least a +4, if not +5 item bonus to bomb attacks to make them comparable with spell touch attack accuracy.
SUGGESTION: Grant them the bonus somehow, either baked into the class progression (but not with Research Field, so that other alchemists can also use bombs regularly), or by introducing a new magic item that grants this bonus (some kind of magic Gloves, for example)

- Mutagen bonuses are still lacking some... oomph, resulting in Perpetual Infusion-made mutagens quite useless.
SUGGESTION: Give mutagens a one-shot effect that corresponds to the type and that's useful regardless of the item's level, and that is activated by a free action triggering at the start of your turn. For example, Quicksilver Mutagen could grant the imbiber an extra action for 1 turn at early levels, and the Quick condition for 1 minute at higher levels.

- The Alchemist's action economy is lacking. Using Interact to draw an item, then another action to use it is clunky and requires a free hand. Same with using Quick Alchemy to create the item. This is especially true for Poisons.
SUGGESTION: Field Research or Greater Field Research could grant you basically Quick Draw for Alchemical Items. You can either Interact to draw an Alchemical item and use it, or use Quick Alchemy to create an item and use it in 1 action. This should apply regardless of your Research Field and would help tremendously with action economy.

3. Barbarians:

The Rage change is... okay? I think flavourfully, it fits very well. I'm just afraid that mechanically it adds needless complexity and doesn't fix the main issues with the Barbarian.

The proficiency boost from Expert to Master is a good step in the right direction, but the Barbarian is still lacking something. The damage gap between the Barb and Fighter is now much lower. However, the Fighter still has a slight edge, not accounting for feats.

For me, the Barbarian's remaining issues are:
- Damage, not accuracy. Barbs should be doing more burst damage than other classes, but they should be a little bit feast or famine. This is represented in their lower accuracy compared to a Fighter, but the tradeoff is more damage. Currently, the damage bonus the Barb gets is not enough of a tradeoff, even with the 1.6 buff.
SUGGESTION: Either slightly buff the conditional bonus damage from Rage, or implement another way for Barbs to get their fantasy of big numbers without affecting their overall accuracy. It could be as simple as increasing their critical range (a la the Fighter's Savage Critical) while raging, but lock it so that Multiclass characters can't abuse it.

- Resilience. I maintain the the temp hp gained from Raging is too little, and the Barb's damage resistance class feature is too restrictive and minor. In our playtest group's recent foray into Heroes of Undarin, I noticed that our Barbarian player did not get to apply their damage resistance very often, and their temp hp always vanished in a single hit. That's not living up to the fantasy of a berserker ignoring flesh wounds to rampage across the battlefield, slaying foes along the way.

4. Cantrip increase:
A minor buff, but still a nice boost for spellcasters, increasing their versatility.

5. Bard:
At first, I thought locking muse feats to be a weird choice that made no sense, but upon reading more carefully, nothing has changed compared to before, just... the prereqs for feats are more clear, and Multifarious Muse is the same functionally as taking another level 1 feat for a different Muse.

6. Cleric:
Not much to say here. The Channel Energy nerf is warranted, since Clerics used to overshadow other healers in the party.

7. Druid:
Many nice changes here, especially for the Wild Order Druid. Removing prerequisites from higher level Wild Shape feats lets Wild Order Druids be more flexible with their feat choices, which is great. The little bonuses corresponding to each Wild Shape feat (like resistance for Elemental and Dragon Shape) also add a bit of flair to the ability.

Goodberry healing buff brings it in line with other healing spells and relieves some of the burden that Clerics have as the main healer class.

I love Wild Morph. So much more flavourful than Wild Claws. The persistent damage at higher levels is great, basically a souped up version of the Wounding Rune.

The Druid's remaining issues for me are:

- Wild Shape still has low attack modifiers and DCs (for Dragon Form especially). I hope to see this addressed in the final rulebook.

- Animal Companions still have low attack modifiers, even if their AC is now fixed (huzzah for that!)

- Wild Order Druid should have the option of getting Strength as a key ability, since it ties into their order perfectly.

8. Fighter:
Fighters are near-perfect. The stance change is neat, but I think this update missed a few nitpicks I still have with the class:

- Power Attack didn't get buffed. I thought Mark said it needed one?

- Two-handed weapon Fighters don't have a stance.

- Combat Reflexes either has a typo or is out of line compared to similar feats. The feat says "At the start of each turn, you gain an additional reaction that can only be used for Attacks of Opportunity". If it's truly at the start of each turn, then you're gaining 1 reaction for each of your allies' turns, and each of your enemies' turns, basically letting you perform an attack of opportunity multiple times in a round. I think the intention was to let you have only 2 attacks of opportunities a round, and the wording should be "at the start of each of your turns". Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

9. Monk:
The Ki changes are AWESOME. Ki Strike is now actually worth taking, and Ki Rush is an alternative that boosts the Monk's mobility even further. The Concealment that Ki Rush grants also allows you to Stealth without cover, which can be quite strong. Very good for Monks that MC Rogue.

10. Paladin:
The other big class change other than Alchemist. I don't have any comments on the flavour or the alignment restrictions for each Paladin type, but I will talk about the mechanic changes.

Lay on Hands change is sweet, so is the Somatic Casting change. My level 7 Paladin at Sombrefell Hall had to take both Hospice Knight and Warded Touch, and he appreciates being able to select other feats thanks to these changes.

PALADIN'S REACTION::

Shared mechanics: The resistance to damage plays to the Paladin's role as protector very well, and provides additional incentive for enemies to target them over their allies. I like it. Shield of Reckoning working with all 3 variants is also great. Combined with Shield Block, and you could potentially use your Paladin's Reaction twice per round. Finally, the reaction triggering on an attack and not just a hit is my preference for how the ability works. I'm extremely satisfied with these changes!

Quick Block adds reactions to the Paladin, providing them tools that their Fighter counterpart has. It's a most welcome addition, since one of the problems with the Paladin is their lack of available reactions.

Divine Reflexes is similar to Combat Reflexes, but comes a bit late. Plus, it competes with Aura of Vengeance. I think it's similar enough to the Fighter's Combat Reflexes for it to arrive at level 10.

Retributive Strike change is great! Combined with Ranged Reprisal, a Paladin can be more flexible when protecting his allies. It's pretty amusing that the Lawful Good Paladin is the one that can do the most damage though.

Divine Smite is the same as before, but the wording is confusing. The phrase "evil target" in the first sentence seems to imply it works only on evil monsters, but the 2nd sentence shows that anyone you hit with Retributive Strike takes the persistent good damage.

The Mighty Aura ability for RS is quite nice, and a step up from the previous Aura of Justice. Monsters beware when the Paladin is coming at you with 2 other frontliners. Aura of Vengeance boosts this even more by reducing your allies' penalty by a whopping 3!

Smite Evil is... so-so. It's a Power Attack that's more restrictive and applies persistent good damage if it hits. It's only good for exploiting good damage weakness. Thankfully, at high levels, good weakness is more prevalent, but this feat choice really depends on here your adventure takes place. It's situational at best, and the 2 weapon damage dice increase is lackluster at this level.

Glimpse of Redemption is sweet. Both options are bad for the enemy, and no choices are good. It either loses the attack, or is debuffed for 1 round. Divine Smite makes the choice even less appealing, and though normally punisher effects like this are not good, when both options are terrible for the enemy, Glimpse of Redemption ends up being quite decent.

Mighty Aura's intention seems to be to allow the Paladin and his allies to rests aoe attacks like Fireball, but the requirement of the enemy being within 15 feet means this is not possible. Perhaps Mighty Aura can loosen this requirement to make it function as intended?

Weight of Guilt is so-so. Stupefied 2 is great vs. spellcasters, but those are the ones that aren't generally within 15 feet of you when they attack.

Lasting Doubt is pretty good. -1 to attack/damage or -1 to attack/DC are both good debuffs to apply.

Liberating Step is situationally, but it can potentially be the best reaction. Many monsters try to hinder the PCs by grabbing or otherwise immobilizing them.

Divine Smite for Liberators, however, is the worst option. It doesn't trigger often enough to be reliable.

Mighty Aura provides a powerful repositioning tool for you and your allies, and can shift a battlefield in your team's favour. Requires your party to be close-knit to be fully effective though.

Unimpeded Step is again quite situational, and is even less effective if your allies have the feat Nimble (by being Elves or having taken Adopted Ancestry).

Liberating Stride is quite strong. Striding 1/2 speed outside of an ally's turn can get them out of danger or in position to flank.

Overall, I really dig the Paladin changes. I don't really have any issues with the class now.

11. Ranger:

Hunter's Edge is a nice way to distance the Ranger from the singular pew-pew attack spam build. The text isn't clear on if you need to pick 1 Hunter's Edge and stick with it, or if you get the benefit of all 3 Edges. I think it's the former, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

How does Hunter's Edge work with Multiclassing? I assume characters who MC Ranger don't get a Hunter's Edge, like how they didn't get the MAP reduction before.

The Animal Companion changes in 1.6 and the previous one that granted the Ranger's companion a free action on turns where it's not commanded has finally made the class feature viable. Sure, the companions attack modifier could use a little bit of love, but DPR-wise, it's still competitive with someone not using an animal companion.

Rangers who have an Animal Companion will very much appreciate the Precision Hunter's Edge. A Crossbow Ranger with a Cat Companion can add up to +3d6 precision damage per round, and +4d6 at level 17. That's not too shabby, even if the Rogue can still do more precision damage. The Ranger gets higher accuracy and doesn't need their enemy to be flat-footed to apply his precision damage.

12. Animal Companion:

The AC change is much needed, and now brings the Animal Companion's AC to acceptable levels. Here are some AC benchmarks with the 1.6 update:

Level 1: Dex+2, Item bonus +1 (up to +3 from barding) => AC 14-16
Level 4/6: Dex+3, Item bonus +2 (up to +3 from barding) => AC 19-20 or AC 21-22 at lvl 6
Level 8/10:
Nimble Companion gets Dex+5, Item +3, Expert prof => AC 27/29
Savage Companion gets Dex+4, Item +3 => AC 25/27

Level 14/16:
Dex-based Specialization gets Dex+7, Item +3, Master Prof => AC 36/38
Str-based Specialization gets Dex+5, Item +3 => AC 32/34

Level 20:
Dex-based companions get AC 42
Str-based companions get AC 38

In terms of accuracy, Str-based companions get Str +6, Expert prof, for a total of +27 attack at level 20.
Dex-based ones get Dex+7, Expert prof, for +28 at level 20.

These attack modifiers are still too low compared to a PCs (they get 35 max, 32 normally), and with the AC change, suddenly Dex-based companions can hit more often than their Str-based counterparts, while having more AC.

My remaining issue with Animal Companions:

- Companion attack modifiers are still too low

- Str-based companions are even worse off than before, with both their AC and attack modifier being lower than their Dex-based counterparts. It's a pity, because having a bear cavalry is a great image.

13. Rogue:

Brutes get a nice buff in medium armor proficiency and the ability to use Str instead of Dex as a key ability score. This opens them up to MCing Fighter and using Heavy armor, making them less reliant on Dex. A Grey Maiden Brute Rogue is also possible as a fun thought exercise.

Scoundrels getting Cha instead of Dex as a key ability score opens them up to multiclass into Bard or Sorcerer, further emphasizing their social trickery. Unfortunately, Feint is still a poor combat maneuver due to how high monster Perception DCs are (they're consistently higher than Will DCs, which determine the success rate of Demoralize. Demoralize remains the superior combat maneuver).

I'm not a big fan of locking Tactical and Vicious Debilitations behind the Rogue specializations, but I understand wanting to make each one unique. I'm gonna miss those 2 debiliations, though Precise Debilitation is quite good.

2 questions though: Does the enemy take the additional 2d6 precision damage when hit by the attack that applies that debilitation, or does it only apply to future attacks?

e.g. Rogue A hits a flat-footed monster and deals 2d6 sneak attack damage. He also chooses to apply the first option of Precise Debilitations. Does the enemy take a total of 4d6 sneak attack damage for this attack, or will only future attacks benefit from the extra 2d6 precision damage?

And how long does the flat-footed condition last on the enemy? Until the start of your next turn? End of your next turn? 1 minute?

14. Sorcerer:

Bloodline Heightening is an interesting ability that I think should just be included in bloodlines. That would go a long way towards alleviating this heightening restriction that's been put on spontaneous casters.

The Diabolic Bloodline seems fun. Hellfire Plume looks like an absolute blast of a power. There's a typo in the power though, the heightened entry should read "1d4 fire damage and 1d4 evil damage", not good damage.

My issues remaining with the Sorcerer:

- Still not as versatile as I would have liked. Perhaps Sorcerers can get a flexible spell(s) in their repertoire, which they can swap out during each daily preparation. Wizards can get Quick Preparation for free, why can't Sorcerers get a similar option that lets them prepare for the day's adventure?

- Some bloodline powers are still anemic (looking at you, Aberrant Bloodline). Dragon Claws could use a tune-up like the Druid's Wild Morph power.

- Doesn't feel distinct enough from the Wizard. Still feels like its inferior cousin.

15. Wizard:

Quick Preparation being automatic is good, it was pretty much a feat tax, and this increases Wizard versatility.

Spell slot trading can be preeetty powerful. You can get up to 4 more spell slots of your highest spell level, or use your lower level slots to cast higher level spells. I'd gladly trade two 1st-level slots to prepare and cast Haste 1 more time.

These two abilities push the Wizard's power even more, and makes them the definitive spellcaster, while the Sorcerer is still playing around with his 2 auto-heightened spells per day.

My issues with Wizard:

- I only have issues with this class in relation with Sorcerer. Namely, the Wizard puts the Sorcerer to shame in terms of versatility.

- The biggest problem with playing the Wizard and other prepared spellcasters is the fiddly aspect of Vancian spellcasting. I'm in the camp where getting rid of it altogether is preferred to keeping this old, dated system. I'll still play the game if the system remains, I just won't be as happy about it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Pramxnim wrote:
Update 1.6 dropped today

Just commenting about druid issues

Pramxnim wrote:
7. Druid:

Yep I agree with your comments but you missed a clear typo in 1.6 update

Page 240—In monstrosity form, add the following heightened
effect. “Heightened (9th) Your statistics are AC 29 (TAC 26);
attack modifier of +28; add 1 additional damage die on all
Strikes; 25 temporary HP; Athletics +29.”

That worse than the AC it currently has as a level 8 spell
I suspect it is supposed to be AC 39 (TAC 36) which is comparable to a level 18 PC with +4 armour.

The other issue I have is with Druid's Vestments. The item is too confusing as it doesn't tell you how to calculate your attack bonus and AC - Does it include your armour and weapon? It should otherwise the value is going to be pathetic. The vestments should go and it simply be a part of the various form spells.

Pramxnim wrote:
12. Animal Companion:

Helpful, but the strength based Animal Companions still fall 5 points of AC behind the dexterity based companions by level 20.

5 points of AC is death in this game.
(I put it the AC difference one higher than you as I don't think you are counting the companions base modifiers for bear/cat ..)

Note that from what I can tell animals can wear items like Belt of Giant Strength. They get the stat bonus but not the item bonus to skill. I haven't been using those items in my maths so far.

I find the attack bonuses Ok they will be around the same as the Druids and 2 lower than the Fighters. This seems fair.

Still lots to read...


Thanks for pointing out the typo in Monstrosity Form. I did notice it, but forgot to put it in the post.

STR Animal Companions still need some help in the survival department. You're right that I didn't count the companion base stat modifier. 43 AC is already scratching the minimum optimal AC for PCs to have at that level (minimum is 41 for an unarmored PC with 20 Dex and Bracers +6), so having 38 AC is pretty unacceptable, especially since they don't have more hp than their Dex counterparts.

The attack modifiers are much more egregious. A Fighter at level 20 gets +35 to attack, while a spellcaster gets +30 with their attacks vs. AC and +32 for their spell attacks (assuming 20 Dex and the best item bonus for each case).


About Alchemist :

1)Actually, 1.6 REMOVED mutagens from everybody except mutagenic.

Mutagens are uncommon, thus you need access. Previously, Alchemist had a level 5 class feature (mutagen discovery or something like that) that gave that access.

Now, that's gone.

2)chirurgeon perpetual

It's not "weaker", it's 100% redundant. It actually gives +0 bonus due to armor bonuses not stacking with it

3)poisoner

A) dc14 is useless at 7. Similarly for all other poisons he gets from perpetual.

B) 3 actions for a single attack that 50% (if you use powerful Alchemy feat as you suggest) deals +1d4 is useless. Just wack the enemy twice, for more damage and less actions.

C) Potent poisoner is way better than powerful Alchemy. Due to action limitations of powerful only working the round you make it. Potent can be used for Advanced, which means double doses and can be preapplied in arrows and weapons.


shroudb wrote:

About Alchemist :

1)Actually, 1.6 REMOVED mutagens from everybody except mutagenic.

Mutagens are uncommon, thus you need access. Previously, Alchemist had a level 5 class feature (mutagen discovery or something like that) that gave that access.

Now, that's gone.

2)chirurgeon perpetual

It's not "weaker", it's 100% redundant. It actually gives +0 bonus due to armor bonuses not stacking with it

3)poisoner

A) dc14 is useless at 7. Similarly for all other poisons he gets from perpetual.

B) 3 actions for a single attack that 50% (if you use powerful Alchemy feat as you suggest) deals +1d4 is useless. Just wack the enemy twice, for more damage and less actions.

C) Potent poisoner is way better than powerful Alchemy. Due to action limitations of powerful only working the round you make it. Potent can be used for Advanced, which means double doses and can be preapplied in arrows and weapons.

1. I hope this is an oversight. There's no reason to restrict mutagens to only mutagenists, right?

2. The alchemical items themselves are not great anyways, but at the levels you can Perpetually Infuse them, they're not entirely outclassed by magic armour.

At level 7, you should have +1 Magic Armor, an Antidote still gives you a net +1 bonus to Fort saves, and it's free.

At level 11, you should have +2 Magic Armor, a Greater Antidote still gives you a net +2 bonus to Fort saves, and it's free.

At level 15, you should have +3 Magic Armor, a True Antidote still gives you a net +1 bonus to Fort saves, and a free saving throw vs. a lower level poison, and it's free.

3. I've commented on the action economy involving poisons, and I agree that they take too many actions to apply. For point A, the DC is fixed by taking Powerful Alchemy, which is a prerequisite for Potent Poisoner anyways, so even if Potent Poisoner is better, it's a moot point because you'd have powerful Alchemy regardless.


Pramxnim wrote:
shroudb wrote:

About Alchemist :

1)Actually, 1.6 REMOVED mutagens from everybody except mutagenic.

Mutagens are uncommon, thus you need access. Previously, Alchemist had a level 5 class feature (mutagen discovery or something like that) that gave that access.

Now, that's gone.

2)chirurgeon perpetual

It's not "weaker", it's 100% redundant. It actually gives +0 bonus due to armor bonuses not stacking with it

3)poisoner

A) dc14 is useless at 7. Similarly for all other poisons he gets from perpetual.

B) 3 actions for a single attack that 50% (if you use powerful Alchemy feat as you suggest) deals +1d4 is useless. Just wack the enemy twice, for more damage and less actions.

C) Potent poisoner is way better than powerful Alchemy. Due to action limitations of powerful only working the round you make it. Potent can be used for Advanced, which means double doses and can be preapplied in arrows and weapons.

1. I hope this is an oversight. There's no reason to restrict mutagens to only mutagenists, right?

2. The alchemical items themselves are not great anyways, but at the levels you can Perpetually Infuse them, they're not entirely outclassed by magic armour.

At level 7, you should have +1 Magic Armor, an Antidote still gives you a net +1 bonus to Fort saves, and it's free.

At level 11, you should have +2 Magic Armor, a Greater Antidote still gives you a net +2 bonus to Fort saves, and it's free.

At level 15, you should have +3 Magic Armor, a True Antidote still gives you a net +1 bonus to Fort saves, and a free saving throw vs. a lower level poison, and it's free.

3. I've commented on the action economy involving poisons, and I agree that they take too many actions to apply. For point A, the DC is fixed by taking Powerful Alchemy, which is a prerequisite for Potent Poisoner anyways, so even if Potent Poisoner is better, it's a moot point because you'd have powerful Alchemy regardless.

About potent vs powerful:

The difference is NOT the DC.

It's on what you can apply that "class DC"

Powerful is ONLY on Quick.
Potent is on Quick, Advanced, and mundane crafting.

The issue why powerful Alchemy is terrible but potent poisoning is passable is exactly because using Poisons with Quick Alchemy is terrible due to action economy.

Using poisons with advanced, which does benefit from potent poisoning, not only doubles your shots, but also completely nullified the main problem of Action economy (you apply before battle)

For chirurgeon:

+2 armor is level 7 item. If you level normally you'll have it at level 7 and thus it's a +0 bonus.

Even if you make a character from scratch at exactly level 7,that still is a +0 bonus from level 8 till 11 that changes back to +1 and back to +0 when you get a +4 armor.

It's beyond terrible. Not even a steady always on +1...


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Pramxnim wrote:

1. Somatic Casting change:

A relatively small change, but it's a very welcome action economy boost to various classes and builds. This change obsoletes Warded Touch and Emblazon Symbol, and allows for spellcasters wielding 2-handed weapons to be a thing without the song and dance of changing grips.

Except when material components are involved, which Emblazon Symbol used to resolve but now doesn't. For those, you need a hand free. That's a problem with something like three action Heal.

Now it's "you can have your hands full and cast, unless you want to cast this one specific thing, in which case you need to free up a hand, cast it, and spend part of next turn getting the thing back into your hand."


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Pramxnim wrote:
The attack modifiers are much more egregious. A Fighter at level 20 gets +35 to attack, while a spellcaster gets +30 with their attacks vs. AC and +32 for their spell attacks (assuming 20 Dex and the best item bonus for each case).

AFAICT the STR companions will have +8 STR bonus and the DEX companion will have a +9 DEX bonus at level 20, along with expert rank in unarmed attack. That is around about +30 at level 20 which is about what a caster will be doing. I think that is fair. It has to be less than the fighter or why would you play a fighter.

OK maybe they could go another +1

The big problem is the AC for the STR companion, and the lack of options to do things with your companion, as they are immune to almost everything you can do to enhance them.


Gortle wrote:
Pramxnim wrote:
The attack modifiers are much more egregious. A Fighter at level 20 gets +35 to attack, while a spellcaster gets +30 with their attacks vs. AC and +32 for their spell attacks (assuming 20 Dex and the best item bonus for each case).

AFAICT the STR companions will have +8 STR bonus and the DEX companion will have a +9 DEX bonus at level 20, along with expert rank in unarmed attack. That is around about +30 at level 20 which is about what a caster will be doing. I think that is fair. It has to be less than the fighter or why would you play a fighter.

OK maybe they could go another +1

The big problem is the AC for the STR companion, and the lack of options to do things with your companion, as they are immune to almost everything you can do to enhance them.

If we take into account the ability modifier bonus from animal type, we have the following stats for STR and DEX type companions:

Possible STR bonuses:
1 from animal type (Bear, Horse, Snake)
2 from young companion
1 from full-grown companion
2 from savage companion
1 from specialization

Total : 7 STR

Possible DEX bonuses:
1 from animal type (Bird, Cat, Dromaeosaur, Snake, Wolf)
2 from young companion
1 from full-grown companion
2 from nimble companion
2 from specialized companion
1 from specialization

Total: 9 DEX

For a STR-companion, the total AC is:
10 + 20 + 3 (heavy barding) + 6 (DEX) = 39 AC (40 if Snake)

And total attack modifier is:
20 + 1 (expert) + 7 (STR) = +28

Both of these are pretty low. The AC has gone up by 2 (Barding now gives +3 instead of +2, and the young companion DEX bump), but the attack modifier stayed the same. +28 is 2 lower than a spellcaster's attack bonus vs. AC, and a full 7 points behind the Fighter.

For a DEX-companion, the total AC is:
10 + 20 + 2 (master) + 3 (item bonus when not wearing barding) + 9 (DEX) = 44 AC

And total attack modifier is:
20 + 1 (expert) + 9 (DEX) = +30

The DEX-companions AC went up by a whopping 4 (they gain the 3 item bonus to AC when not wearing barding, and the young companion DEX bump), making their AC quite good.

For reference, 42 AC is the baseline for PCs wearing non-heavy armour (10+20+7+5). Rogues and Rangers can get up to 43 by ditching armour and wearing Bracers of Armour. Fighters get up to 44, Paladins up to 45, and Monks get up to 46.

+30 to attack is also respectable. That's the bonus that a spellcaster gets with 20 DEX and a +5 weapon.

All in all, update 1.6 made DEX-companions a viable option, but still leaves STR-companions wanting. Animal companions that have no boost to either STR nor DEX still remain trap options, since their other abilities don't make up for their shortcomings.

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