Alchemist doesn't feel fun at 1st level


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Alyran wrote:
Azurespark wrote:
I wonder how well alchemist would work as a dedication. For 1 feat you can make a number of alchemical items each day for free. This would be great to get the debuffs from bottled lightning, frost vial, and tanglefoot bag since you only need to hit the target. But in the later levels, say lv10+, will (level + 2 + dex) be enough to hit things? You could take the next dedication feat at lv6+ to raise your alchemy level, make the next tier of bomb, and gain a +1 item bonus to hit.
Alchemical bombs are listed as martial ranged weapons, so a fighter with the alchemist dedication would throw them like a boss. :P

Ha ha ha yeah. Barbarians, champions, and rangers wouldn't be far behind either. But the rest of the classes wouldn't go beyond trained.

graystone wrote:
Yep, and even if you can't hit, you can still brew up some healing or utility buffs.

True, I'm sure some other use could be found. But would that utility be worth 2 feats?


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Or the book is. Given that we already know of at least one error on the Bulk listings, I consider the latter more likely.

I'm not so sure. He's almost 3 bulk too high. Dropping him from 7.5 to 4.7 would require something like the Alchemist's Kit going from 2 to L and the repair kit going from 1 to L.

Though I wouldn't really be opposed to those changes, I guess.

Not counting the Alchemical Items he's 6.6 Bulk. Dropping the Alchemist's Tools from 2 to 1 Bulk and the Formula Book from 1 to L results in exactly 4.7 from that number. That'd make him 5.6 with bombs...which is still not encumbered, and an easy mistake to make.

I have a question though... Why would someone carry an empty waterskin they could never fill because they'd be encumbered?

Azurespark wrote:
True, I'm sure some other use could be found. But would that utility be worth 2 feats?

2 feats? You only need one to make the items. And there really isn't a reason to go to the next level of feat for a bonus to hit when there are Alchemist Goggles.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
I have a question though... Why would someone carry an empty waterskin they could never fill because they'd be encumbered?

That would be an error, fairly obviously. It's also possible that a full waterskin is only intended to be L.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
graystone wrote:
I have a question though... Why would someone carry an empty waterskin they could never fill because they'd be encumbered?
That would be an error, fairly obviously. It's also possible that a full waterskin is only intended to be L.

LOL We're really piling up those bulk errors... Though that would mean I could fit 4 full waterskins in my belt pouch.


graystone wrote:
Azurespark wrote:
True, I'm sure some other use could be found. But would that utility be worth 2 feats?
2 feats? You only need one to make the items. And there really isn't a reason to go to the next level of feat for a bonus to hit when there are Alchemist Goggles.

I didn't know about the goggles. But the reason for the 2nd feat, is to raise your alchemy level. With the first feat, your alchemy level will forever be 1, which does limit the types of utility items you can make. With the 2nd feat, your alchemy level is equal to half your character level (max 5), which greatly improves the variety of utility items you can make. And the 3rd feat raises your alchemy to (chara lv - 5).

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
LOL We're really piling up those bulk errors... Though that would mean I could fit 4 full waterskins in my belt pouch.

Well, either there are several Bulk errors or the Alchemist starts out encumbered almost no matter what. The Fumbus pregen argues that the first is more likely, as does basic logic about Class functionality.

Even if these didn't start out as errors, I suspect they may become so in retrospect simply because having all Alchemists encumbered sucks and fixing it is as simple as changing a few Bulk numbers.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Well, either there are several Bulk errors or the Alchemist starts out encumbered almost no matter what.

Well it doesn't have to be either/or. It can be both. ;)

Deadmanwalking wrote:
The Fumbus pregen argues that the first is more likely, as does basic logic about Class functionality.

Or the person made a math error, or they used a wrong/old chart, or any other number of errors. I'm sure the person that made the pregen intended for the character to be functional but that doesn't mean the core book numbers are then off automatically.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Even if these didn't start out as errors, I suspect they may become so in retrospect simply because having all Alchemists encumbered sucks and fixing it is as simple as changing a few Bulk numbers.

Now this i can agree with you on. I HOPE that they'll take a good hard look at the various classes and their default stat expectation vs the bulk of expected default equipment and change number to make that work. Since we're already into errata territory, they could also fix it by adjusting the amount of bulk an alchemist can carry: free hefty hauler, int for bulk, ect. Also, fixing abilities, like Chirurgeon, that allow alternate skills to treat wounds check to use the tools from that skill instead of needing both them AND healers tools would help too.


Azurespark wrote:

I didn't know about the goggles. But the reason for the 2nd feat, is to raise your alchemy level. With the first feat, your alchemy level will forever be 1, which does limit the types of utility items you can make. With the 2nd feat, your alchemy level is equal to half your character level (max 5), which greatly improves the variety of utility items you can make. And the 3rd feat raises your alchemy to (chara lv - 5).

Most of the debuffs have little relation to the lv of the item interestingly. so even just the first dedication can net some thrown debuffs. Though not always worth the action for someone who speicalizeds in damages.

But yeah there are a ton of nicer utility at higher than lv 1. quite a lot


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Zwordsman wrote:
Azurespark wrote:

I didn't know about the goggles. But the reason for the 2nd feat, is to raise your alchemy level. With the first feat, your alchemy level will forever be 1, which does limit the types of utility items you can make. With the 2nd feat, your alchemy level is equal to half your character level (max 5), which greatly improves the variety of utility items you can make. And the 3rd feat raises your alchemy to (chara lv - 5).

Most of the debuffs have little relation to the lv of the item interestingly. so even just the first dedication can net some thrown debuffs. Though not always worth the action for someone who speicalizeds in damages.

It might not for people that damage with weapons but for non-MAP attacks it can work fine: a wizard could toss out a bomb and then cast a 2 action save spell with no worries.


Zwordsman wrote:
Azurespark wrote:

I didn't know about the goggles. But the reason for the 2nd feat, is to raise your alchemy level. With the first feat, your alchemy level will forever be 1, which does limit the types of utility items you can make. With the 2nd feat, your alchemy level is equal to half your character level (max 5), which greatly improves the variety of utility items you can make. And the 3rd feat raises your alchemy to (chara lv - 5).

Most of the debuffs have little relation to the lv of the item interestingly. so even just the first dedication can net some thrown debuffs. Though not always worth the action for someone who speicalizeds in damages.

But yeah there are a ton of nicer utility at higher than lv 1. quite a lot

Yes, I mentioned the 2nd feat because most of the utility elixirs are above lv 1.


I haven’t looked at the pregens or starting packs, but is it possible that Bulk stored in worn containers (such as backpacks) is not meant to be counted against encumbrance? Would that be able to account for the apparent miscalculations?

Liberty's Edge

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Charlaquin wrote:
I haven’t looked at the pregens or starting packs, but is it possible that Bulk stored in worn containers (such as backpacks) is not meant to be counted against encumbrance? Would that be able to account for the apparent miscalculations?

If they meant that it's not stated anywhere, and no, it doesn't make the math work out.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
graystone wrote:
Fumbus starts off encumbered. They might want to add that under conditions on the sheet..

This may also be indicative that some of the Bulk numbers in the corebook are in error. For example, if the Alchemist's Tools are supposed to be 1 Bulk and the Formula Book is supposed to be L, then his Bulk works out to exactly the 4.7 he's listed with. We already know that the Adventurer's Pack got through with an error, so other errors are very plausible.

I certainly hope that's the case.

Also, I'm linking your post in the product thread, so hopefully that'll get us a response on this issue.

This was already an issue during the playtest: alchemists weren't able to carry their stuff, and the bulk transported by Fumbus was miscalculated (and as a consequence, Fumbus was encumbered). It was signaled during the playtest, then they had 1 year to change the bulks and recompute Fumbus' bulk and they didn't do anything. But hey, maybe it's the very next priority ?

...lol, no.

Spoiler:
If i remember correctly, in the playtest, Fumbus was already carrying 4.7 bulk (according to his sheet - this wasn't equal to the sum of the bulk of each of his item); and he didn't have a formula book.

I guess the actual bulk formula is "copy the equipment from the playtest, add a formula book, copy the bulk value from the playtest". using this formula, none of the pregen is encumbered.


graystone wrote:
Shisumo wrote:

Technically, since Hefty Hauler can be acquired via a Background, it's available to any character at 1st level.

Before anyone misconstrues me, though, I am in no way arguing that all alchemists should be forced to select their Background solely so they can get Hefty Hauler.

Actually the way that PF2 has set up bulk and alchemist equipment, it'd actually make sense that every single alchemist has a background in laborer: training in carrying things seems as required as a knowledge of alchemy for them...

Lol I never noticed that they got the skill feat for hauling stuff as part of that background as I was not paying much attention to being a laborer but really for alchemist it really does seem like a good choice especially if you are doing churigeon spec.


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rainzax wrote:

Suggested Errata.

Alchemists have a new 1st level ability called "Smart Packing" allowing them to sub in INT for ST to Bulk.

Thus an INT 16 Alchemist can carry around 8 Bulk no sweat.

Edit: Maybe this only affects the first tier of Bulk, ie. 5+INT before Encumbered but 10+ST maximum?

I would love this.

It could actually just give the Skill Feat Hefty Hauler for free, and then also add the INT as a replacement mechanic.

That would also be in line with how other Class Features/Ancestry Feats operate.

Thematically I like this better than fudging numbers tbh, the Alchemist specifically carries lots of stuff, they should be good at carrying lots of stuff.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I really want to like the alchemist but there are so many medium and small problems it's really frustrating.

We've already talked about encumbrance to death but even beyond that.

Like... why do I need to take a level 4 feat (Enduring Alchemy) to make a level 15 class feature (alchemical alacrity) work properly? My potions literally don't last long enough if I don't have that feat for me to drink them all. The only other way around it is to have a party member stand next to me and pick up my own potion on their turn and that's... really clunky.

Feats in general are frustrating. As a bomber, perpetual alchemy acid flasks are comparable to the acid splash cantrip, except I need to pay for my +int to damage and scaling DC with feats and wizards don't. That feels kind of bogus.

Speaking of perpetual alchemy... free antiplagues and antidotes feel a little bit lame too. I mean sure, free poison and disease resistance is great, but the manually crafted versions of these last hours, so it's a fairly minor save over time.

Perpetual mutagens also have issues, since you're probably going to be 'behind' on the bonuses and not get a lot of mileage out of them. They essentially are juts on the fly minor skill boosters, which are okay but not great.

The chirurgeon has to choose between healing more per potion (via quick alchemy) or crafting more healing potions(via regular alchemy) and that feels kind of bad. The action economy on elixirs of life is really rough compared to other forms of in combat healing.

Mutagens in general feel rough in terms of cost and reward:
There's no way to buff your or your allies' melee attack rolls unless you or they are unarmed. Even given that, Bestial Mutagen is +1 attack and athletics at the cost of -1 AC and -2 Reflex. That compares really badly with stuff like Inspire Courage.

I guess energy mutagen buffs melee allies, but it's uncommon so... good luck with that.

Also, why can't I upgrade my familiar? This is really minor compared to everything else but alchemical familiars are really flavorful and it feels kinda bad that you can't take the enhanced familiar feat with them. Druids, Sorcerers and Wizard... but not you.

It just feels like for everything the alchemist wants to do there's a catch involved right now and while they can do a lot of things sort of passably, they never get to feel really awesome because everything they do is limited or held back in some way.

The class isn't terrible or completely nonfunctional, but if someone asked me what the coolest thing an Alchemist could do would be I'm not sure I could find a good answer. Even their capstone feats aren't that cool.


I finally got around to downloading the iconics. Man I really don't understand the match on fumbus's bulk at all. But there is other weirdness that is going to throw people off. Like the formula book where it says he has 6 formula known but if you look at the list of what he knows he has the correct 8 options listed.

I think bomber alchemists are at least reasonably functional currently reasonable damage bombs, nice utility tricks and condition application. A bit of a feat tax to do your main tricks but not terribly so. Acid flasks I think are going to be their main damage source as they can throw one bomb on a target and probably get a few rounds worth of it banging away reliably.

Chirugeons seem okay I will have to try some of the medicine stuff in practice just to see how it actually works when playing a game. Between medicine and their elixirs of life they can likely keep the party topped off or mostly topped off. The action economy gets weird but I think some of that is offset by simply giving everybody in your party some of your healing stuff whenever you are at a rest stop and let them deal with their own health.

In any area that diseases or poison is common they are pretty amazing especially once you get perpetual infusions basically everybody in your group should basically permanently have fortified resistances to poisons and diseases for their entire adventuring day. Given how nasty some of the alchemical poisons look this go round thats probably not a trivial thing. Their downside though is ye gods they have too much stuff to carry. They are meme levels of baggage to do their jobs with alchemy kits and healing kits and gallons of elixirs and other stuff just to function.

Mutagenicists seem okay. I would have to try one in practice but it looks like if you have handwraps they seem like a viable melee combatant. They also have some decent options for buffs to social or skill options as well and with one talent can turn them off at will and get some healing from it. These guys at least seem like they would have much less bulk issues than other alchemists most of their abilities last longer even at low levels 1 minute probably duration on these should last most of an encounter. This gives them more flexibility of what they make during prep because 4 or 5 mutagens is probably more than enough for a day of combat which leaves you a good chunk of your daily allotment for either quick alchemy or bombs or utility elixirs.

There is the issue where they feel a bit like they have to jump through some extra hurdles to do their thing but I really need to get mine into play to see how a lot of this actually plays out.


Some things I forgot to mention is I am super curious how chirugeons FEEL in play. They seem on paper fine if not spectacular for healing and should be more than capable of keeping their party healed up and functional.

But in combat I am not really sure how much actual interesting stuff they would be doing. The bulk of it seems to be passing out potions during downtime and then running around doing battlefield medicine and doing base attacks with weapons. At higher levels they can start branching out and throwing at least a few bombs around but I am a bit worried that in combat you just are going to feel a bit boring even if your contributions are still really solid.

I think one issue also is how much stuff people want to and are expected to make during actual downtime in the way of permanent items. Once you get a few levels in the low level stuff should be pretty reasonable to crank out sizable batches of and things like doing a round or two of non infused healing or buffing elixirs may help ease the pressure and allow chirugeons to use more bombs and fun stuff in fights.

I think this also applies to the other flavors of alchemist as well how much actual for money alchemy items are the designers expecting people will crank out to round out their daily infused stuff.


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Squiggit wrote:

I really want to like the alchemist but there are so many medium and small problems it's really frustrating.

...

The class isn't terrible or completely nonfunctional, but if someone asked me what the coolest thing an Alchemist could do would be I'm not sure I could find a good answer. Even their capstone feats aren't that cool.

These are my thoughts exacttly. The PF1 Alchemist was actually the very first class I ever looked at when I got into Pathfinder, and it (along with the Master Chymist) are what got me excited to play the game. The PF2 version of the class looks decent, if a little flawed, but unlike every other PF2 class there's no ability I can personally look at and say "Wow, that's awesome!"

I'm still going to play an Alchemist as my first character, and maybe in practice Alchemists are cool after all, but it's still disappointing to see the class that sold me on Pathfinder 1 now make me hesitant about Pathfinder 2.


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I did a one shot with a churri.
I am biased in that I feel like Alchs are a debuff/buff class. I ended up handing out buffs and elixers to the whole team (and myself).
After that? I ended up doing Goblin Song (race feat) to lower will. Then Intimidate to lower and trip with a whip. Had the occasonal poison to hand out to an ally as well.

I didn't really feel like an Alchemist in battle--I never used buffs on myself in battle or bombs (I think once with quick alchemy to throw an acid flask on a big bad guy as we retreated so magical beast would have to deal with it). But not having Alchemical items to focus building for, I had enough design space to pick up other abilities (that I mentioend above).
I myself rarely actually hit for damage, I usually missed on that. Might've been luck, might've been my build. I very much found myself wishing I could throw an elixer onto someone (LIke Final Fantasy Chemists') It might've been interesting to build a Crossbow attacker via Ranger Dedication. I feel like Churri's have far morer spare class feats. Or maybe I just didn't read the feats enough. I liked the poison resistance.

I feel like at lv 13+ it'll sort itself out a bit more even because of the Max Heal on Elixers but I doubt I'll ever play that high.


Brew Bird wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

I really want to like the alchemist but there are so many medium and small problems it's really frustrating.

...

The class isn't terrible or completely nonfunctional, but if someone asked me what the coolest thing an Alchemist could do would be I'm not sure I could find a good answer. Even their capstone feats aren't that cool.

These are my thoughts exacttly. The PF1 Alchemist was actually the very first class I ever looked at when I got into Pathfinder, and it (along with the Master Chymist) are what got me excited to play the game. The PF2 version of the class looks decent, if a little flawed, but unlike every other PF2 class there's no ability I can personally look at and say "Wow, that's awesome!"

I'm still going to play an Alchemist as my first character, and maybe in practice Alchemists are cool after all, but it's still disappointing to see the class that sold me on Pathfinder 1 now make me hesitant about Pathfinder 2.

I feel the same way. The 1e alchemist is my favorite class in the entire game, with all the cool things they could do. But the 2e alchemist just seems...unimpressive. I'm sure things will improve once they release more books, but that won't fix any of the core issues with the class.


kaid wrote:
Some things I forgot to mention is I am super curious how chirugeons FEEL in play.

Well, I start the day by making every single elixir of health possible [with the x2 or x3 made] so I can max out healing and then pass them out since you can't carry them all. After that I was a peasant with a crossbow at 1st level: at second level I took wizard dedication and I actually felt like I was doing something: shield and electric arc let me hit 2 foes AND have a defensive cantrip. IMO, chirugeon is BEGGING for that wizard dedication and if they took familiar at 1st level, you can get extra reagents and extra cantrips.


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I have been studying the alchemist class for a fair bit, and I cannot see how they are supposed to be particularly useful at any level altogether. Bombs, elixirs, and mutagens alike are all underwhelming compared to spells. The Bulk problem is a minor annoyance, but when alchemical creations are simply not that good, and cumbersome to use (especially on fellow party members), it calls to question how alchemists are supposed to pull their weight. Bombers > mutagenists > chirurgeons, as far as I can tell, but even bombers leave much to be desired.

As insult to injury, bombs and mutagen-enhanced attacks cannot even handle enemies resistant to non-magical attacks.

My gut assessment is that the alchemist is the weakest class in 2e so far. Atelier Paizo dropped the cauldron on this one.

That said, the only thing I can see the alchemist being noteworthily useful as, I will concede, is a 5th-level or above chirurgeon (and only 5th-level or above) doing nothing but stocking up on Elixirs of Life and handing them out to the entire party for healing swigs on demand. By 5th level and above, this genuinely seems like the biggest contribution any alchemist build can make towards a party.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
My gut assessment is that the alchemist is the weakest class in 2e so far. Atelier Paizo dropped the cauldron on this one.

Yea, just like the rogue and monk were in 1e.

Quote:
As insult to injury, bombs and mutagen-enhanced attacks cannot even handle enemies resistant to non-magical attacks.

Mutagen I can understand. But how does that affect bombs, when they deal elemental damage?


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Azurespark wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
My gut assessment is that the alchemist is the weakest class in 2e so far. Atelier Paizo dropped the cauldron on this one.

Yea, just like the rogue and monk were in 1e.

Quote:
As insult to injury, bombs and mutagen-enhanced attacks cannot even handle enemies resistant to non-magical attacks.
Mutagen I can understand. But how does that affect bombs, when they deal elemental damage?

Actually, I believe that, as polymorph effects, the strikes granted by mutagens count as magical. See the definition of the polymorph trait on page 301.


Colette Brunel wrote:
Bombs, elixirs, and mutagens alike are all underwhelming compared to spells.

The alchemist claim to fame is being able to trigger elemental vulnerabilities: even splash damage will do. After that, flatfooted and speed reductions are fine debuffs. So not exactly exciting but in the right situations it's ok.

Mutagens are bad IMO: being item bonuses and really bad drawbacks make these unexciting to me.

Chirugeons are ok as long as you can find a non-alchemist way to contribute after you make your elixirs for the day and can find a way to handle the excessive bulk.

Sadly, the general elixirs are, IMO, the best thing they can make and there is no Research Field for them: given the pitiful duration of most buff spells, the hour a lot of elixirs last actually looks pretty good. Add to that the ability to make any on the fly, they are actually pretty good.

Brew Bird wrote:
Actually, I believe that, as polymorph effects, the strikes granted by mutagens count as magical. See the definition of the polymorph trait on page 301.

Ah, good catch. "Any Strikes specifically granted by a polymorph effect are magical."


That is interesting. Mutagen-enhanced attacks do count as magical.

The only thing I can see the alchemist being noteworthily useful as, I will concede, is a 5th-level or above chirurgeon (and only 5th-level or above) doing nothing but stocking up on elixirs of life and handing them out to the entire party for healing swigs on demand. By 5th level and above, this genuinely seems like the biggest contribution any alchemist build can make towards a party. Though even then, this runs into issues with hands and the like; a champion is likely going to need those elixirs most of all, and their hands are tied.

Though, I will hand it to darkvision elixirs: they can be quite useful.

Liberty's Edge

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I strongly disagree, as I believe I've mentioned before. Mutagens are a great buff. Yes, they're Item bonuses, but they're a point higher than any other item bonus in the game almost universally. So even on people with maxed out items (which is in no way everyone) they provide a meaningful buff. Sure, there are downsides, but they're still very useful under the right circumstances.

Bombs, I'd need to do some more DPR math on, but I believe people here are somewhat underselling them as well.


graystone wrote:
The alchemist claim to fame is being able to trigger elemental vulnerabilities: even splash damage will do. After that, flatfooted and speed reductions are fine debuffs.

So the best thing about the alchemist can be done by any other class with a spare feat? Sounds fun.

graystone wrote:
So not exactly exciting but in the right situations it's ok.

Please excuse my cynicism, but it's awfully pathetic if thats the best we can say about the class.

Brew Bird wrote:
Actually, I believe that, as polymorph effects, the strikes granted by mutagens count as magical. See the definition of the polymorph trait on page 301.

Nice. I should give the CRB a thorough reading some time.


I am highly skeptical on the merits of, say, a mutagenist alchemist over any other attacker. What does a mutagenist bring to the table?


Colette Brunel wrote:
I am highly skeptical on the merits of, say, a mutagenist alchemist over any other attacker. What does a mutagenist bring to the table?

+1 to hit. But that comes with a penalty of -1 to ac and -2 to reflex saves.

And they can also offer a variety of utility buffs via elixirs/mutagens.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
I am highly skeptical on the merits of, say, a mutagenist alchemist over any other attacker. What does a mutagenist bring to the table?

The PF2 alchemist seems to very much be a utility class first, so it will always seem lackluster if you're just looking at how it stacks up against other martials. It's a frustrating paradigm shift, for sure. I was a big fan of melee alchemists in first edition, and am still hoping we get something like the Master Chymist so we can actually play Jekyl/Hyde or Banner/Hulk characters again, but in the mean time I've resigned to viewing the Alchemist as an interesting combat buff/debuff class rather than a damage dealer.

That's not to say the Alchemist doesn't have other problems (I've brought attention to quite a few elsewhere), but I think the class is mechanically sound and there are a number of builds capable of meaningfully contributing. You just can't play them like you did in PF1, which, again, is a shame.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mutagens are a great buff.

They're okay buffs. +1s are always nice, but +1 to attack -1 to AC and -2 to reflex isn't what I'd call great when other classes can hand out their +1 attack buffs with no real strings attached. That's not even getting into their inability to buff weapon wielding melee characters without GM approval to access the uncommon Energy infusion.

They're not terrible abilities, but I also think it's hard to call something a great buff when depending on the encounter taking it might actually make you worse... and it has action economy issues, particularly at low levels... and even if you get past those problems it's not really any stronger than the buffs other support characters can hand out.


Azurespark wrote:
graystone wrote:
The alchemist claim to fame is being able to trigger elemental vulnerabilities: even splash damage will do. After that, flatfooted and speed reductions are fine debuffs.

So the best thing about the alchemist can be done by any other class with a spare feat? Sounds fun.

graystone wrote:
So not exactly exciting but in the right situations it's ok.

Please excuse my cynicism, but it's awfully pathetic if thats the best we can say about the class.

Brew Bird wrote:
Actually, I believe that, as polymorph effects, the strikes granted by mutagens count as magical. See the definition of the polymorph trait on page 301.
Nice. I should give the CRB a thorough reading some time.

To be fair, I'm not defending the alchemist per se, I'm just pointing out that they aren't 100% awful. I've said elsewhere it seems better to be some other class and multiclass into alchemist than actually be one: snag the healing or utility elixirs for free x times per day isn't bad, though you have to take some extra feats to get access to the good stuff. In the end, if you try REALLY hard, you can come in second or third best at whatever thing you try to focus in [melee, ranged or healing]. They aren't unplayable but you go in knowing you're pretty much always going to be second fiddle unless the DM goes WAY out of their way to tilt things their way [like every monster has an elemental vulnerability]. Or you can be mediocre at multiple aspects... At least you can multiclass into something else at 2nd.

Liberty's Edge

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Colette Brunel wrote:
I am highly skeptical on the merits of, say, a mutagenist alchemist over any other attacker. What does a mutagenist bring to the table?

As an attacker? Not much. In terms of out of combat utility? A lot. They're adequate combatants, with some ridiculous utility advantages if done properly.

Squiggit wrote:
They're okay buffs. +1s are always nice, but +1 to attack -1 to AC and -2 to reflex isn't what I'd call great when other classes can hand out their +1 attack buffs with no real strings attached. That's not even getting into their inability to buff weapon wielding melee characters without GM approval to access the uncommon Energy infusion.

As a combat buff they're okay. But that really wasn't what I was talking about. As a skill/utility buff they're fantastic.

Squiggit wrote:
They're not terrible abilities, but I also think it's hard to call something a great buff when depending on the encounter taking it might actually make you worse... and it has action economy issues, particularly at low levels... and even if you get past those problems it's not really any stronger than the buffs other support characters can hand out.

Again, really not what I was talking about with them being a great buff. Not everything is about combat.


graystone wrote:
To be fair, I'm not defending the alchemist per se, I'm just pointing out that they aren't 100% awful. I've said elsewhere it seems better to be some other class and multiclass into alchemist than actually be one: snag the healing or utility elixirs for free x times per day isn't bad, though you have to take some extra feats to get access to the good stuff. In the end, if you try REALLY hard, you can come in second or third best at whatever thing you try to focus in [melee, ranged or healing]. They aren't unplayable but you go in knowing you're pretty much always going to be second fiddle unless the DM goes WAY out of their way to tilt things their way [like every monster has an elemental vulnerability]. Or you can be mediocre at multiple aspects... At least you can multiclass into something else at 2nd.

True, they aren't terrible, just...very underwhelming.

And yea, another class with the alchemist dedication feats could make a better alchemist than the alchemist itself.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
I am highly skeptical on the merits of, say, a mutagenist alchemist over any other attacker. What does a mutagenist bring to the table?

As an attacker? Not much. In terms of out of combat utility? A lot. They're adequate combatants, with some ridiculous utility advantages if done properly.

Squiggit wrote:
They're okay buffs. +1s are always nice, but +1 to attack -1 to AC and -2 to reflex isn't what I'd call great when other classes can hand out their +1 attack buffs with no real strings attached. That's not even getting into their inability to buff weapon wielding melee characters without GM approval to access the uncommon Energy infusion.

As a combat buff they're okay. But that really wasn't what I was talking about. As a skill/utility buff they're fantastic.

Squiggit wrote:
They're not terrible abilities, but I also think it's hard to call something a great buff when depending on the encounter taking it might actually make you worse... and it has action economy issues, particularly at low levels... and even if you get past those problems it's not really any stronger than the buffs other support characters can hand out.
Again, really not what I was talking about with them being a great buff. Not everything is about combat.

You keep saying that, but giving someone +2 or so on an out of combat skill check isn't really impressive at all.

I mean bard can pick up inspire competence at 1 and then he'll be able to give everyone +1 to all of their skills (+2/3 later on) and still give everyone +1/+1 on all their combat checks at will, all day long.

And that's on top of full 10th level spellcasting riddled with much better utility than an alchemist would ever think.

So, is Alchemist supposed to be just a straight up worse Bard?


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You can also drop Fumbus's bulk by 1 through switching from Leather to Padded armor. There's no AC difference unless he bumps his DEX to 18. His alchemical items can also be doled out to his party members, rather than carrying them himself.

Looks like Paizo realized Alchemists were a bit off, and they released some great stuff for them in Fall of Plaguestone; the Alchemical Crossbow lets you turn a bomb into +1d6 energy damage to three attacks. Energy Mutagen gives energy resistances and adds energy damage to melee attacks. Stone Body Mutagen gives DR 5 against physical damage and reduces speed.

Alchemist seems tailor-made to multiclass though. Much like spellcasters, Alchemists will get much stronger with splat bloat.


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frolic wrote:
Alchemist seems tailor-made to multiclass though.

I can't agree more. Alchemist is not much reliant on stats (Int is only nice for number of reagents). You can use poison out of combat. You give Elixirs of life to your companion, and don't have to care much about them (maybe with a familiar you have one action per round that you can use to efficiently heal). Bombs are situational. And you have a nice list of buffs you can give thanks to Elixir and sometimes Mutagens. And Alchemists feats are not that important, you can easily take a few of them and be perfectly viable. It gives a lot of room for multiclassing.


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The Advantage I se is that Alchimists Hand out item Bonuses, which are much rarer than circumstance or Status bonuses. Again, not awesome, but something. So if you are already have aid, you cannot be inspired as well, but you can take the relevant buff elixir.

Silver Crusade

shroudb wrote:
You keep saying that, but giving someone +2 or so on an out of combat skill check isn't really impressive at all.
We gonna disagree.
Quote:
I mean bard can pick up inspire competence at 1 and then he'll be able to give everyone +1 to all of their skills (+2/3 later on) and still give everyone +1/+1 on all their combat checks at will, all day long.

And the Alchemist's buff stack with that.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I strongly disagree, as I believe I've mentioned before. Mutagens are a great buff. Yes, they're Item bonuses, but they're a point higher than any other item bonus in the game almost universally. So even on people with maxed out items (which is in no way everyone) they provide a meaningful buff. Sure, there are downsides, but they're still very useful under the right circumstances.

Bombs, I'd need to do some more DPR math on, but I believe people here are somewhat underselling them as well.

Being a point higher than the item bonus just means that they're the same bonus as the various status bonuses. Quicksilver Mutagen is giving as much of an attack bonus to the Ranger as Inspire Courage, except that it deals damage to the Ranger and eats one of the Ranger's actions.

The only benefit being an item bonus has for the Alchemist is that it stacks with bard/cleric stuff, which is basically the same as saying the Alchemist is only good if you're also running a Bard. Do you run two dedicated buff bots in a four-man party in PF2? I'm not sure yet.


Brew Bird wrote:
Azurespark wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
My gut assessment is that the alchemist is the weakest class in 2e so far. Atelier Paizo dropped the cauldron on this one.

Yea, just like the rogue and monk were in 1e.

Quote:
As insult to injury, bombs and mutagen-enhanced attacks cannot even handle enemies resistant to non-magical attacks.
Mutagen I can understand. But how does that affect bombs, when they deal elemental damage?
Actually, I believe that, as polymorph effects, the strikes granted by mutagens count as magical. See the definition of the polymorph trait on page 301.

Worst case, we can use Handwraps of Mighty Blows for 35gp?

Liberty's Edge

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shroudb wrote:
You keep saying that, but giving someone +2 or so on an out of combat skill check isn't really impressive at all.

It is in a system with math this tight. And it's all checks for a period of time...an escalating period of time as you level.

shroudb wrote:
I mean bard can pick up inspire competence at 1 and then he'll be able to give everyone +1 to all of their skills (+2/3 later on) and still give everyone +1/+1 on all their combat checks at will, all day long.

Inspire Competence isn't a real skill buff spell on others, it's a self buff on Aid. Which is cool, but any time someone can Aid you, there's probably already someone in the party with that Skill at least Trained. It's a good effect, but not a real Skill buff. An Alchemist (due to high Int) is very likely to be able to Aid you and give you a Mutagen as well.

shroudb wrote:
And that's on top of full 10th level spellcasting riddled with much better utility than an alchemist would ever think.

This is true. On the other hand, no Bard can have all the utility spells in question, while an Alchemist can theoretically have every formula in the game, and pull whatever one is needed out right when you need it. That's a big advantage in its own right even if the individual effects of a lot of utility formula are weaker.

shroudb wrote:
So, is Alchemist supposed to be just a straight up worse Bard?

Alchemists can do things Bards can't (like use Bombs to trigger weaknesses, or the aforementioned having every formula and using Quick Alchemy to pull out the one you need). I think it's too early to say which Classes are most powerful, but they do somewhat different things despite both being kinda buff focused.

Arachnofiend wrote:
Being a point higher than the item bonus just means that they're the same bonus as the various status bonuses. Quicksilver Mutagen is giving as much of an attack bonus to the Ranger as Inspire Courage, except that it deals damage to the Ranger and eats one of the Ranger's actions.

Sure. But that's as opposed to eating one of the Bard's actions every turn. I'm not actually saying they're as good a buffer as a Bard, though...I'm saying they're probably better than anyone but a Bard, and have some other stuff going for them as well.

Arachnofiend wrote:
The only benefit being an item bonus has for the Alchemist is that it stacks with bard/cleric stuff, which is basically the same as saying the Alchemist is only good if you're also running a Bard. Do you run two dedicated buff bots in a four-man party in PF2? I'm not sure yet.

I'm not saying it's a big benefit that it's an Item bonus, I'm noting that it being higher than all other Item bonuses makes it still a valid buff even for those with maxed out items.

But stacking is also a factor. I believe stacking a Mutagen with Heroism (which is not Bard or even Occult exclusive, it's also on the Divine list) results in the highest possible bonus in the game.


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Rysky wrote:
shroudb wrote:
You keep saying that, but giving someone +2 or so on an out of combat skill check isn't really impressive at all.
We gonna disagree.
Quote:
I mean bard can pick up inspire competence at 1 and then he'll be able to give everyone +1 to all of their skills (+2/3 later on) and still give everyone +1/+1 on all their combat checks at will, all day long.
And the Alchemist's buff stack with that.

Again, having way worse stuff "that stack" with the better stuff others have is the poorest execution of a class ever.

It means every other class is better and you only do "something" AFTER your party already has the "better class".

Silver Crusade

shroudb wrote:
Rysky wrote:
shroudb wrote:
You keep saying that, but giving someone +2 or so on an out of combat skill check isn't really impressive at all.
We gonna disagree.
Quote:
I mean bard can pick up inspire competence at 1 and then he'll be able to give everyone +1 to all of their skills (+2/3 later on) and still give everyone +1/+1 on all their combat checks at will, all day long.
And the Alchemist's buff stack with that.

Again, having way worse stuff "that stack" with the better stuff others have is the poorest execution of a class ever.

It means every other class is better and you only do "something" AFTER your party already has the "better class".

... no?

That's a very odd way to look at it. Not everyone wants to play Bards, so saying you can only do something as an Alchemist only if the party has a Bard is rather bizarre. If the bonuses didn't stack then that would hurt the classes. The Alchemist's boost is lower presumably because they're stackable. If it was higher they probably wouldn't have let it be stackable.


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Rysky wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Rysky wrote:
shroudb wrote:
You keep saying that, but giving someone +2 or so on an out of combat skill check isn't really impressive at all.
We gonna disagree.
Quote:
I mean bard can pick up inspire competence at 1 and then he'll be able to give everyone +1 to all of their skills (+2/3 later on) and still give everyone +1/+1 on all their combat checks at will, all day long.
And the Alchemist's buff stack with that.

Again, having way worse stuff "that stack" with the better stuff others have is the poorest execution of a class ever.

It means every other class is better and you only do "something" AFTER your party already has the "better class".

... no?

That's a very odd way to look at it. Not everyone wants to play Bards, so saying you can only do something as an Alchemist only if the party has a Bard is rather bizarre. If the bonuses didn't stack then that would hurt the classes. The Alchemist's boost is lower presumably because they're stackable. If it was higher they probably wouldn't have let it be stackable.

It's not odd at all:

If a class role is to be a support, then he NEEDS to be equivalent to other supports.

NOT

Be worse but in the occasion that both are together they work.

To put it simply:

If the issue is "stacking" the supports, you don't make a good one and a bad one. You make 2 equivalent "moderate ones".

Also:

Flavor (bard vs alchemist) shouldn't affect performance (good vs bad)

Silver Crusade

I don't see them as worse, they have different areas and utilities.

"You make 2 equivalent "moderate ones"." That's not really possible since the bonus goes from 1 to maybe 2 and maybe 3.

If the bonuses weren't stackable then all groups would be worse off if some players wanted to play a Bard and an Alchemist.

An Alchemist does not require a Bard to contribute or to function.


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Rysky wrote:

I don't see them as worse, they have different areas and utilities.

"You make 2 equivalent "moderate ones"." That's not really possible since the bonus goes from 1 to maybe 2 and maybe 3.

If the bonuses weren't stackable then all groups would be worse off if some players wanted to play a Bard and an Alchemist.

An Alchemist does not require a Bard to contribute or to function.

but if you compare what an alchemist alone offers and what the bard alone offers, support wise, the bard offers way more. And if you compare what a bard alongside an alchemist offers, again, the bard offers more.

that's why it's absurd to go "this one is good and stacks with this one that's bad" situation we have now.

as for stacking, again, you don't penalize the ONE class, that's just absurd.

i mean, why aren't we looking it the opposite way:

"wow bard's so good, not only he gives better bonuses than the alchemist, they also stack with alchemists'!"

after all, the alchemist bonuses are the "common" ones (every piece of equipment has it as opposed to a few spells).

so, if we were to "penalize" one class for "stacking" that should have been the bard.

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