Alchemist doesn't feel fun at 1st level


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So finally got to play 2e at Gencon. A friend and I played one of the PFS 1st level scenarios and I was excited to see how alchemists felt, since I'm fond of that class. The whole group used the iconic pregens and I got Fumbus.

I'm honestly really disappointed. For the most part I felt useless as a party member. My friend gave me their char's sling after I almost died after 1 round of melee and otherwise I had no ranged weapon besides my bombs. I spent most of the adventure shooting zombies with sling bullets for a 1d6 once a round, sometimes twice if I didn't have to move and had reloaded the previous round.

During the exploration phase I made a skill check here or there but nothing the rest of the party couldn't do. I failed a crafting check to fix something so the wizard did it instead.

I would have handed out my elixirs of life but everyone already had some. The GM made a point to space out the monsters so I couldn't splash damage them or they were in contact with my teammates, and it didn't seem like much sense to burn one of my bombs to do almost the same damage as the sling did. The one time I did have a chance to do splash damage was 1 extra point to one monster, which was underwhelming at best. The highlight of the evening was when I managed to land an acid bomb on the Big Bad the first round of combat while we whittled down the minions. It did 2d6 damage over 2 turns, at which point the barbarian ran up and did more damage in 1 non-crit attack than that bomb had up to that point.

So, a letdown for sure. Was I playing it wrong? I'm curious about other people's experiences with low level alchemists.

As it is I'm not entirely sure how the class made it into the rule book in its current state and I'm really hoping that it can be salvaged and be fun to play in the future.


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If you were a bomber, you could choose to only deal splash damage to your primary target. You shouldn't feel you have to conserve your infused reagents - use your class features. I recommend bringing along a crossbow to help out your ranged damage, but you should be able to start combat throwing a bomb.

With Fumbus, Burn It, and the Bomber research path you'd probably be best off crafting 10 Alchemist's Fires to start the day. These deal 1d8+1, 1 splash, and 2 persistent fire damage. This won't set the world on fire, but it is substantially better than other ranged options at this time (a longbow would deal a max of 1d8+1 for 5.5 average, a cantrip 1d6+4 for 7.5, this deals at least 10.5).


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If the pregen didn't have a ranged weapon besides your bombs, then that sounds like a s%~$ty pregen. Even the basic alchemist kit comes with both a dagger and sling.

There is a lot of new stuff to learn, so it's easy to overlook something, and that could affect a persons enjoyment. But from what I've read in the book, the alchemist does look underwhelming. Though they could work as a support/debuffer at higher levels.


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I would note that I won't use alchemists as a Damage dealer.
I use their bombs to target weaknesses if I know it for damage though.
But my main option for bombs is debuffs. Giving flat foot for my rogue or other attackers to increase their liklihood of crit hits or sneak damage. or I'll slow down the big bag's movement speed so we can keep dynamic combat and avoid getting close while we kit it down. Acid flask's persistant is probably my most often go to for actual damage though--its constant damage. Set it and forget it. It'll either keep damaging them or they'll have to spend action(s) to remove it.
One of my favorite combos durin the playtest was Acid Flask and Tanglefoot. It slowed down the enemy, put two debuffs on them. That took many actions for them to fix. While they were doing that my allies would blast em (and I woul throw darts).
Having a hand crossbow isn't a terrible idea as you have 1 hand open for drawing items-bombs, mutagen, elixers, etc. Not super great range, but not terrible.

but yeah. Alchemist really don't have direct tools for straight up melee builds. Reach is pretty alright probably. Mutagens can go pretty far-but has overlapping item bonuses with magic. But popping a mutagen isn't horrible if you plan on it.


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manbearscientist wrote:
With Fumbus, Burn It, and the Bomber research path you'd probably be best off crafting 10 Alchemist's Fires to start the day.

The Fumbus pregen has the Bomber research path, but took Goblin Weapon Familiarity instead of Burn It. He doesn't appear to have any ranged weapons that aren't bombs, but I suppose that gives him melee options...

You can download the pregen iconics here, including Fumbus.


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manbearscientist wrote:

If you were a bomber, you could choose to only deal splash damage to your primary target. You shouldn't feel you have to conserve your infused reagents - use your class features. I recommend bringing along a crossbow to help out your ranged damage, but you should be able to start combat throwing a bomb.

With Fumbus, Burn It, and the Bomber research path you'd probably be best off crafting 10 Alchemist's Fires to start the day. These deal 1d8+1, 1 splash, and 2 persistent fire damage. This won't set the world on fire, but it is substantially better than other ranged options at this time (a longbow would deal a max of 1d8+1 for 5.5 average, a cantrip 1d6+4 for 7.5, this deals at least 10.5).

it's 8.5, not 10.5

and you basically are useful for 5 rounds of combat each day if you go that route, since after the first 5 rounds you're relegated to be equal to a wizard with a sling...

Zwordsman wrote:

Acid flask's persistant is probably my most often go to for actual damage though--its constant damage. Set it and forget it. It'll either keep damaging them or they'll have to spend action(s) to remove it.

One of my favorite combos durin the playtest was Acid Flask and Tanglefoot. It slowed down the enemy, put two debuffs on them. That took many actions for them to fix. While they were doing that my allies would blast em (and I woul throw darts).

worth noting that persistent damage, any kind of it, gives a free 30% chance each turn to be removed without requiring an action.

so on average it should be on for like 3 rounds even if the target does nothing to remove it.

Liberty's Edge

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shroudb wrote:
it's 8.5, not 10.5

It's 10.5 if they take persistent damage twice, and many things will. The actual average will vary a bit, but it's more than 8.5.

shroudb wrote:
and you basically are useful for 5 rounds of combat each day if you go that route, since after the first 5 rounds you're relegated to be equal to a wizard with a sling...

This assumes you're attacking twice a round with bombs. That's stupid and terrible. Assuming you do this once per turn, it's 10 rounds and miles better in every way.

shroudb wrote:
worth noting that persistent damage, any kind of it, gives a free 30% chance each turn to be removed without requiring an action.

Sure. But 70% of the time it won't, and it will often cost actions as NPCs don't want to play those odds.

shroudb wrote:
so on average it should be on for like 3 rounds even if the target does nothing to remove it.

Sure. 3 rounds makes the damage average 12.5.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
shroudb wrote:
it's 8.5, not 10.5

It's 10.5 if they take persistent damage twice, and many things will. The actual average will vary a bit, but it's more than 8.5.

shroudb wrote:
and you basically are useful for 5 rounds of combat each day if you go that route, since after the first 5 rounds you're relegated to be equal to a wizard with a sling...

This assumes you're attacking twice a round with bombs. That's stupid and terrible. Assuming you do this once per turn, it's 10 rounds and miles better in every way.

shroudb wrote:
worth noting that persistent damage, any kind of it, gives a free 30% chance each turn to be removed without requiring an action.

Sure. But 70% of the time it won't, and it will often cost actions as NPCs don't want to play those odds.

shroudb wrote:
so on average it should be on for like 3 rounds even if the target does nothing to remove it.
Sure. 3 rounds makes the damage average 12.5.

i know the average is higher

i was just pointing out that the minimum, as stated by the one i quoted is not 10.5 it's 8.5

as for the rest, attacking with 1 "such" bomb per round isn't doing you any favors in the comparison the poster i quoted wanted to draw about it being "the best ranged damage on level 1" because as an example, the bow reference of his should have 2-3 attacks per round and etc.

i do agree that it's terrible to even rely on bombs on 1st level for damage, maybe 1 or 2 acid vials or something, but wasting your precious few reagents on upping your crossbow damage by like 2-3 points for just "10 shots" is not worth it imo.

there are better things to do with them on level 1 than alchemist fires.

Liberty's Edge

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1 Bomb + 1 Sling attack (assuming Dex 16) has a DPR of 6.825 vs. AC 17 (assuming the one extra round of ongoing...which is rounding down).

This assumes the splash damage doesn't hit anyone but the main target, as well as sort of rounding down on the ongoing. It obviously also

3 bow attacks from a Ranger with a Composite Longbow (with Str 14, Dex 18) have a DPR of 6.6 assuming they'd already done Hunt Target and picked the lowered MAP.

So...on a burst, you're better than the optimal ranged character in terms of damage. That sounds fine given it's a pretty common burst.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

1 Bomb + 1 Sling attack (assuming Dex 16) has a DPR of 6.825 vs. AC 17 (assuming the one extra round of ongoing...which is rounding down).

This assumes the splash damage doesn't hit anyone but the main target, as well as sort of rounding down on the ongoing. It obviously also

3 bow attacks from a Ranger with a Composite Longbow (with Str 14, Dex 18) have a DPR of 6.6 assuming they'd already done Hunt Target and picked the lowered MAP.

So...on a burst, you're better than the optimal ranged character in terms of damage. That sounds fine given it's a pretty common burst.

it'll still depend on how long early game battles will be.

in the playtest they last more rounds on average than pf1 battles lasted by a sizable margin

in this light, using your reagents to have on par/slightly better damage on 1 battle and then doing nothing for the rest combats is a very feelsbadman scenario for the alchemist.

that's why i never advocate in favor of getting "burst bombs" in early levels. Acid flask can be spread apart and last multiple combats and that gives the feeling of contributing and playing an alchemist much more than throwing a few alchemist fires on 1st combat and just sling/crossbow the next 3-4 combats.

haven't played the live version yet, will start next sunday, and since i'll be dm'ing for a long period of time before being a player, seeing it on live will depend on one of my players picking it up. although it is to note that our most hardcore alchemist fan already bailed from the edition and the only other one is disillusioned to say the least.

main issue is the sustainability (persistent alchemy comes WAY too late and it's garbage for 2/3 archetypes).

casters got extremely potent cantrips to go with their spells, and this keeps the caster feeling going, while alchemists need to rely on simple weapons while themselves having spellcaster weapon capabilities


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

1 Bomb + 1 Sling attack (assuming Dex 16) has a DPR of 6.825 vs. AC 17 (assuming the one extra round of ongoing...which is rounding down).

This assumes the splash damage doesn't hit anyone but the main target, as well as sort of rounding down on the ongoing. It obviously also

3 bow attacks from a Ranger with a Composite Longbow (with Str 14, Dex 18) have a DPR of 6.6 assuming they'd already done Hunt Target and picked the lowered MAP.

So...on a burst, you're better than the optimal ranged character in terms of damage. That sounds fine given it's a pretty common burst.

Kinda comparing one apple to two apples imo, the ranger can do attack 6 times in two rounds, so it's more like 1 bomb 2 sling attacks, assuming you have quick bomber, versus 6 bow attacks.

And I agree with the above posters, throwing a bomb to maybe do two more points than a sling seems like a waste. Assuming you can hit the target anyway, because you can't hit with your bombs any more accurately than you can with your sling/bow/crossbow. I didn't bother using my limited bombs on the harder targets because the folks with swords were only hitting like every other attacks.

Eventually, at level 8 or so, you can do bombs two every round to de-buff stuff, but that sounds like 7 levels of hell to get there. The only other utility it seems you have is the items that you can make during downtime, which is the same items that anyone else can make. I don't want to come across as just b$&#*ing, but I'm concerned that if the class isn't fun at 1st level people aren't going to play it.


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I am not sure "alchemist isn't fun to play at level 1" is the first thing I would take from this. More that playing the iconic wasn't fun for the person because it wasn't built for the way they wanted to play it.

And Alchemist may never be what everyone thinks is fun at level 1, but it doesn't seem like it was all the class's fault here. A mix of location, it being a pregen and the GM's style.

Liberty's Edge

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The thing is, the ability to target your burst damage when you want it is so much better than it looks on paper. That's why the Magus was so scary in PF1...it's not that their average over two or three turns, only one a burst, was better than the Fighter's, it's that they could decide when to burst.

The Alchemist isn't as good at burst damage as the PF1 Magus, but burst damage you decide on remains valuable.

Additionally, many Alchemist bombs have other effects. Bottled Lightning 'does less damage', sure, but it inficts flat-footed. Inflicting that is a huge DPR enhancer on the whole party...better than a Bard can do in one action. And then there's hitting Weaknesses, something Alchemists are very good at.

Now, it may well still not be your cup of tea at 1st level, but it ramps up way quicker than 8th. We had an Alchemist in the 4th level playtest game I ran and he had more than enough bombs to do everything he wanted and some very good enhancements on damage. Things have changed since the playtest, certainly, but not a lot in terms of the fundamentals of how 4th level Alchemists work (that's still when Calculated Splash kicks in, for instance).

And then at 5th, you multiply your number of bombs even more. A potential 27 Bombs a day at 5th level provides a lot more options than the max of 10 at 1st level.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I am not sure "alchemist isn't fun to play at level 1" is the first thing I would take from this. More that playing the iconic wasn't fun for the person because it wasn't built for the way they wanted to play it.

And Alchemist may never be what everyone thinks is fun at level 1, but it doesn't seem like it was all the class's fault here. A mix of location, it being a pregen and the GM's style.

This is a fair point, but Fumbus is a bomber type alchemist which probably would be my preferred research type. The issue is I don't see how an elf with a bow bomber alchemist or a human with a crossbow bomber alchemist is going to have much of a different experience than playing Fumbus. You can only do so much with skill and feat choices till 4 or 5. If I roll an alchemist for PFS it would be 48 to 60 hours of play time. I'd rather not feel useless for most of that.

As it is now, it doesn't feel worth it to spend one of my limited bombs to hit a target less than 50% of the time to do maybe a bit more than bow damage and 1 point of splash.

Calculated splash at level 1 or 2 would help a lot I think. I mean, a wizard can do 1d4 + 4 (plus 1d4 every other level) to two targets forever, and they don't have to be adjacent or worry about friendly fire. Heck, from 1 to 3 you can't do much more than a henchman with a crossbow and a bandolier of store bought alchemical items.


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Also, I hope bombers like making 2 dice bombs at level 3 because you'll be using them for 8 more levels. 8th level bombers are also out of luck if you happen to be going after creatures that are immune to your two persistent use bombs because you can't change them without spending time and money on retraining.

Again, am I doing something wrong? Is the bomber actually suppose to use the bombs they make or hand them to the ranger or archer fighter? Maybe make a mix of bombs and buff elixirs to hand out and then spend the rest of the adventure in the back row shooting things? At least until level 4 and a specific feat choice.


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lv 1-3 really do kind of drag painful like. I think I usually would make either 2 bottled lightning or 2 acid flask. AFter that I usually would supply the team with tools of some sort. Elixers, Mutagens, sunrods, smoke sticks.
My main form of attack would be Darts, Xbow, or Sling (or reach for melee folks). Basically at low level you're kind of a bit weak sauce depending on how your game runs. So. I default at "skills+tools" and support folks.

My low level alchemist does the above, and also uses the Aid Action, and Intimidate skills (And Goblin Song ancestry feat) to debuff enemies, or help allies hit hard. (He would also trip but I can't use Alkys yet, need 2 general feats for it).

But I am biased. I love debuffing. I love being the side character who makes the MC's powerful. Being the sidekick to someone else's WhamBam. And I perseonally can't see a way to make a strong damage Alchemist.

I think it also helps to not think of P1's Alch when considering this class. P1 alchemist was a damage dealer bursrt class, while this one is basically the Anti Bard (bards buff. Alch debuff)

I really don't think persistant bombs should ever be used for their damage output.:

The're easy debuffs.
perpetual alchemy bomb (lv7) + debilitating bomb (can be taken at lv6) combo lets you throw a free bomb with 1 or 2 debuffs on it.
1 debuff from the bomb choice itself (lv 1 item dc) and 1 from debiltating (Class DC). (Total item lv would be 3 due to debil bomb additive)
Then at lv 8 you can also add Power Alchemy feat. Which will make the lv 1 bomb's DC to your class DC.
Resulting in two debuff rolls vs Class DC (which may or may not be good) and some side damage.

Off hand for Perp Alchemy. I tend to default with Tanglefoot bag as one of them. This bomb does not have an initial save. you hit. They lose 10ft movement--they can escape at a (fairly easy) DC or spend actions to remove. But. You at least take away some of their mobilty. Its a fun opener. Plus the debil bomb extra too.

My other default choice is Bottled Lightning. The flatfoot does not have a save. This will help your allies (and any follow ups you do) to hit more reliably and possibly crit. And then you have the debil bomb too.


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Fallyna wrote:
manbearscientist wrote:
With Fumbus, Burn It, and the Bomber research path you'd probably be best off crafting 10 Alchemist's Fires to start the day.

The Fumbus pregen has the Bomber research path, but took Goblin Weapon Familiarity instead of Burn It. He doesn't appear to have any ranged weapons that aren't bombs, but I suppose that gives him melee options...

You can download the pregen iconics here, including Fumbus.

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

backpack
leather armor 1 bulk
dogslicer 1 L
alchemist’s tools 2 bulk
bedroll 1 L
flint and steel
formula book 1 bulk
hooded lantern 1 L
lesser acid flask (2) 2 L
lesser alchemist’s fire (4) 4 L
minor elixir of life (2) 2 L
oil (5 pints)
rations (3 weeks 3 L
repair kit 1 bulk
sheath 1 L
waterskin 1 L empty. 1 Bulk full

So 5 bulk + 16L for 6 bulk 6 L, or 6 bulk + 15 L for 7 bulk 5 L...

Nothing says awesome like having a 15' speed and -1 to Dexterity-based checks and DCs, including AC, Reflex saves, ranged attack rolls, and skill checks using Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery. :P


I'm right there with you that perpetual alchemy bombs should be for de-buffs only. That and debilitating bombs would be great fun.

The problem will be wanting to grenade your own face while you grind your way up there for 6 levels (aka 72 hours for PFS) of game play.

Until then you'll be throwing bottled lightning once a round (because you can't afford to waste a bomb at -5 to hit) and hitting with one of them every third round (because you miss 65% of the time) for 1d6 + 1 or 2d6 + 2 after level 3, plus a one round flatfooted. Assuming you make nothing but bombs I guess you could do that for 14 rounds at level 3. But that means no quick alchemy, no buff mutagens, no elixirs of life, no utility alchemy or anything else.

I'm not saying I want alchemists to be the end all be all damage or de-buffing or whatever class, I just want to be able to play it under level 4 and still be able to do cool useful stuff, and most other classes seem like they can do cool useful stuff. It could being tanking damage with a shield or doing awesome damage or slinging off great useful abilities like buffs or heals or debuffs.

I'm ok with "throw bomb, use sling, reload, throw bomb, use sling, reload" until level 7 if the bombs did anything besides miss over half the time for mediocre damage or possibly a one round -2 ac debuff. A debuff that any melee class does if they flank the bad guy. I guess you could throw thunderstones at casters and hope they don't beat the 17 or 20 fort save.

Sticky bombs might be fun, even though it would either eat into your bomb count by three each or you'd have to use perpetual bombs, but you can't do that until level 8.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Fallyna wrote:
manbearscientist wrote:
With Fumbus, Burn It, and the Bomber research path you'd probably be best off crafting 10 Alchemist's Fires to start the day.

The Fumbus pregen has the Bomber research path, but took Goblin Weapon Familiarity instead of Burn It. He doesn't appear to have any ranged weapons that aren't bombs, but I suppose that gives him melee options...

You can download the pregen iconics here, including Fumbus.

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

backpack
leather armor 1 bulk
dogslicer 1 L
alchemist’s tools 2 bulk
bedroll 1 L
flint and steel
formula book 1 bulk
hooded lantern 1 L
lesser acid flask (2) 2 L
lesser alchemist’s fire (4) 4 L
minor elixir of life (2) 2 L
oil (5 pints)
rations (3 weeks 3 L
repair kit 1 bulk
sheath 1 L
waterskin 1 L empty. 1 Bulk full

So 5 bulk + 16L for 6 bulk 6 L, or 6 bulk + 15 L for 7 bulk 5 L...

Nothing says awesome like having a 15' speed and -1 to Dexterity-based checks and DCs, including AC, Reflex saves, ranged attack rolls, and skill checks using Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery. :P

This was an issue in the playtest that I'm disappointed didn't get addressed. The Alchemist needs a minimum of 3 bulk of items just to use their class features. For a class that doesn't need Strength, that feels like a design oversight.

Liberty's Edge

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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.


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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.

Have a look at the class packs, they are worse. The coin, weight and remaining coin rarely make any sense.


Aricks wrote:

saving space:

I'm not saying I want alchemists to be the end all be all damage or de-buffing or whatever class, I just want to be able to play it under level 4 and still be able to do cool useful stuff, and most other classes seem like they can do cool useful stuff. It could being tanking damage with a shield or doing awesome damage or slinging off great useful abilities like buffs or heals or debuffs.

I'm ok with "throw bomb, use sling, reload, throw bomb, use sling, reload" until level 7 if the bombs did anything besides miss over half the time for mediocre damage or possibly a one round -2 ac debuff. A debuff that any melee class does if they flank the bad guy. I guess you could throw thunderstones at casters and hope they don't beat the 17 or 20 fort save.

Alchemist gets enough skill, if you have a free skill or general feat, to power up Intimidate. Which grants Frightnend 1+. That effectively lowers their attack and their defenses. (Last I checked AC is in fact a DC in p2). So you can certainly still be a debuff + Ranged attack. My common go to was Initmidate (I picked up Glare for non verbal ease of use), then I'll either throw my bomb for another debuff. or attack with my weapon.

Post level 3 you could pick up the general feat for martial weapon profieincy (or figher dedication at 2). Then net yourself a Whip, and then you can Intimidate. Trip attack. then either bomb/normal attack with MAP -5 if you actually intimidated and tripped them. Or move to saftey. Or try indimidate twice or trip twice.
Then let your allies haul off on the poor debuffed creature. Said creature, will also have to get up (probably) using one of their actions, and then possibly have to move to catch up (depending on how tactical your party is).

This is more or less my Alchemist's plan actually. But gong for Aklys and Ranger dedication I think. Maybe. Dependso n how perpetual plays out.

-----------
As a personal note. I'm rather annoyed that Quick Bomb doesn't allow you to make a bomb + throw it with Perpetual as a single action. I wish they'd stuck the "1/rd" trait on Perpetual and then allowed Quick Bomb to work with it.

frightned condition:

You take a status penalty equal to this value to all your checks and DCs. Unless specified otherwise, at the end of each of your turns, the value of your frightened condition decreases by 1.


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Personally I like they backed off the Quick/ Rapid Fire Bomb stuff, which felt like too videogamey to me. I know normal weapons did the same in 1E, but for me Alchemy Explosives just doesn't need that casual blur, it comes off better when it's more deliberate IMHO.


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Zwordsman wrote:
Aricks wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Alchemist gets enough skill, if you have a free skill or general feat, to power up Intimidate. Which grants Frightnend 1+. That effectively lowers their attack and their defenses. (Last I checked AC is in fact a DC in p2). So you can certainly still be a debuff + Ranged attack. My common go to was Initmidate (I picked up Glare for non verbal ease of use), then I'll either throw my bomb for another debuff. or attack with my weapon.

Post level 3 you could pick up the general feat for martial weapon profieincy (or figher dedication at 2). Then net yourself a Whip, and then you can Intimidate. Trip attack. then either bomb/normal attack with MAP -5 if you actually intimidated and tripped them. Or move to saftey. Or try indimidate twice or trip twice.
Then let your allies haul off on the poor debuffed creature. Said creature, will also have to get up (probably) using one of their actions, and then possibly have to move to catch up (depending on how tactical your party is).

This is more or less my Alchemist's plan actually. But gong for Aklys and Ranger dedication I think. Maybe. Dependso n how perpetual plays out.

-----------
As a personal note. I'm rather annoyed that Quick Bomb...

How do you propose to ALSO raise Cha when you need:

Int for your bombs
Dex to hit
Str to actually carry your bombs
Con to not die

And that's disregarding Wis which is the defacto king of stats in pf2?


Ultimately I pick up Heavy Hauler. Its a general/skill feat, pretty easy to snag. (Does compete with stuff sadly) I go INT DEX CHA then Wis/Con (in the 3 times I"ve built this anyway). But lv 1-4 or so, I didn't make that many bombs. I mostly made tools to hand out. So the weight wasn't that difficult. I only kept a few on me usually for specific purposes.

it isn't ideal, nope. But I was building expressly to be a mobile debuffer, and I like having weaknesses to work around. Worked for my group but we built together. Was giving an example of what I did and enjoyed below lv 1-4.
But I super enjoy the Librarian who isn't strong nor that wise. I rarely RP the charisma either (even if I have it). Since Im usually building iterations of a character I've played off and on (in a few systems) since I was a kid.


shroudb wrote:

How do you propose to ALSO raise Cha when you need:
Int for your bombs
Dex to hit
Str to actually carry your bombs
Con to not die

And that's disregarding Wis which is the defacto king of stats in pf2?

Int, Dex, Cha, Str, Wis, Con

then boost wis later because str doesn't need to be particularly high past a certain point and you are getting 4 ability score increases when you do get them.

Con is nice to have, but not as good as it was in the past. The HP bonus is so/so and not as necessary in PF2e and while fort is lovely being more useful to the party is better imo.

Personally I would probably get hefty hauler as a quick boost to 7 bulk instead of upping strength but people have been vocally against that. -shrugs-


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
shroudb wrote:

How do you propose to ALSO raise Cha when you need:
Int for your bombs
Dex to hit
Str to actually carry your bombs
Con to not die

And that's disregarding Wis which is the defacto king of stats in pf2?

Int, Dex, Cha, Str, Wis, Con

then boost wis later because str doesn't need to be particularly high past a certain point and you are getting 4 ability score increases when you do get them.

Con is nice to have, but not as good as it was in the past. The HP bonus is so/so and not as necessary in PF2e and while fort is lovely being more useful to the party is better imo.

Personally I would probably get hefty hauler as a quick boost to 7 bulk instead of upping strength but people have been vocally against that. -shrugs-

it's not that people are against hefty hauler, it's that for non-human alchemists it means being encumbered for the first 3 levels and that's extremely not fun.

it does compete with some other really useful general feats as well.

Con i find even more important than in PF1 to be honest.

there's simply not an easy access to +con gear, and now there exist critical fails on the fort saves that makes +Con much more important than it was in pf1.

and yes, i don't advocate on a non mutagenist more than 12-14 str, but even that makes your intimidation really lackluster, especially without access to easy +1/2 to intimidate from intimidating prowess

that plus the absolute absence of intimidation/fear class feat support makes the Alchemist a really bad intimidator compared to a lot of other classes like rogue, barbarian, bard, sorcerer, paladin, fighter and etc who are simply all better at it.

i get that Intimidation is a "cheap" debuff and it might sound appealing to a debuffer character, it's just that alchemist is really at the bottom of the barrel for doing that particular debuff

plus, due to the action cost of quick alchemy for perpetual after level 7, you're really scrapping for actions, while there are a lot of times where other martials/casters try to find a good 3rd action and intimidation can easily fill that spot.


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That's my concern as well. There don't seem to be any decent non-strike actions that are dex or int weighted. I'm really hoping I missed them somehow. I guess knowledge checks maybe? At the very least they should add on to the iconics with suggested actions for the characters for first time players.

Going back to the bombs, it feels like since they're a limited resource they should do something moderately cool while you have them and reward you for using them properly. At 1st level they feel very limited but not rewarding. I'm not talking buring hands to a pack of zombies rewarding but more than "I did a point more than a sling" rewarding.

Maybe allow bomber alchemists to add some of their int bonus to hit and/or damage? Calculated splash seems like a feat tax now tha I think about it. How about half int modifier to strike, half or full to splash damage, and calculated splash let's you pick splash squares like precision bombs used to.


Maybe errata in an odd level feature that gives Alchemists extra Bulk capacity exclusive for their tools of the trade? For multiclass dedications this might come online a bit later (like AoO for other martials).

This actually can happen since PF1's Core Monk also received cold iron/silver Unarmed Attacks during a later printing, and that was more like a horizontal growth, unlike this vertically stunted situation.

Dark Archive

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Sorry that you didn't have a good experience with Fumbus, Aricks. I ran demos and quests all weekend at Gen Con, and I think he was generally pretty well-received. (One group referred to themselves as Team Fumbus because he kept rocking all the skill checks.)

I think people enjoyed that he was great against creatures when you knew they had a specific weakness, and he often had an action available to Recall Knowledge in combat. The rogue also appreciated his ability to make things flat-footed with his electricity bombs.

The scenarios that I was running did give him several places to shine, so it might also be a matter of the enemies you faced.


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M Morris wrote:
Sorry that you didn't have a good experience with Fumbus, Aricks. I ran demos and quests all weekend at Gen Con, and I think he was generally pretty well-received. (One group referred to themselves as Team Fumbus because he kept rocking all the skill checks.)

Did you enforce his encumbered status? His bulk gives him 15' speed and -1 to Dexterity-based checks and DCs, including AC, Reflex saves, ranged attack rolls, and skill checks using Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery.

Dark Archive

graystone wrote:
M Morris wrote:
Sorry that you didn't have a good experience with Fumbus, Aricks. I ran demos and quests all weekend at Gen Con, and I think he was generally pretty well-received. (One group referred to themselves as Team Fumbus because he kept rocking all the skill checks.)
Did you enforce his encumbered status? His bulk gives him 15' speed and -1 to Dexterity-based checks and DCs, including AC, Reflex saves, ranged attack rolls, and skill checks using Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery.

No, I went off the Bulk value listed on his sheet. (4, 7L)


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Weird since all his gear should make him encumbered.


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M Morris wrote:
graystone wrote:
M Morris wrote:
Sorry that you didn't have a good experience with Fumbus, Aricks. I ran demos and quests all weekend at Gen Con, and I think he was generally pretty well-received. (One group referred to themselves as Team Fumbus because he kept rocking all the skill checks.)
Did you enforce his encumbered status? His bulk gives him 15' speed and -1 to Dexterity-based checks and DCs, including AC, Reflex saves, ranged attack rolls, and skill checks using Acrobatics, Stealth, and Thievery.
No, I went off the Bulk value listed on his sheet. (4, 7L)

AH... That might have impacted the experience if the actual bulk numbers were used, 7 bulk 5 L. The sheet numbers for bulk are hilariously wrong.


I wonder if that's true, physics says no.

His gear, disregarding his bombs, weights 4 bulk 7 L. Granted they omitted the infused bombs, however the infused daily reagents have light bulk, now I wish for some errata here, but applying physics as a base rule the bombs should have light bulk as well considering the weight of infused reagents is true. He would then have 4 bulk 8 L.

p 72. Together, these infused reagents have light Bulk.


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vestris wrote:

I wonder if that's true, physics says no.

His gear, disregarding his bombs, weights 4 bulk 7 L. Granted they omitted the infused bombs, however the infused daily reagents have light bulk, now I wish for some errata here, but applying physics as a base rule the bombs should have light bulk as well considering the weight of infused reagents is true. He would then have 4 bulk 8 L.

p 72. Together, these infused reagents have light Bulk.

graystone wrote:

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

backpack
leather armor 1 bulk
dogslicer 1 L
alchemist’s tools 2 bulk
bedroll 1 L
flint and steel
formula book 1 bulk
hooded lantern 1 L
lesser acid flask (2) 2 L
lesser alchemist’s fire (4) 4 L
minor elixir of life (2) 2 L
oil (5 pints)
rations (3 weeks 3 L
repair kit 1 bulk
sheath 1 L
waterskin 1 L empty. 1 Bulk full

So 5 bulk + 16L for 6 bulk 6 L, or 6 bulk + 15 L for 7 bulk 5 L...

So, yeah he's REALLY encumbered. He's 6 bulk 7 L WITHOUT bombs...


shroudb wrote:


it's not that people are against hefty hauler, it's that for non-human alchemists it means being encumbered for the first 3 levels and that's extremely not fun.

it does compete with some other really useful general feats as well.

Con i find even more important than in PF1 to be honest.

there's simply not an easy access to +con gear, and now there exist critical fails on the fort saves that makes +Con much more important than it was in pf1.

and yes, i don't advocate on a non mutagenist more than 12-14 str, but even that makes your intimidation really lackluster, especially without access to easy +1/2 to intimidate from intimidating prowess

that plus the absolute absence of intimidation/fear class feat support makes the Alchemist a really bad intimidator compared to a lot of other classes like rogue, barbarian, bard, sorcerer, paladin, fighter and etc who are simply all better at it.

i get that Intimidation is a "cheap" debuff and it might sound appealing to a debuffer character, it's just that alchemist is really at the bottom of the barrel for doing that particular debuff

plus, due to the action cost of quick alchemy for perpetual after level 7, you're really scrapping for actions, while there are a lot of times where other martials/casters try to find a good 3rd action and intimidation can easily fill that spot.

Hefty Hauler is an Athletics skill feat, so you can get it at level 2 as a non-human.

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
AH... That might have impacted the experience if the actual bulk numbers were used, 7 bulk 5 L. The sheet numbers for bulk are hilariously wrong.

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


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
graystone wrote:
AH... That might have impacted the experience if the actual bulk numbers were used, 7 bulk 5 L. The sheet numbers for bulk are hilariously wrong.
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 doubt it.

they went and said that the adventurer's pack is the wrong bulk.

i'm assuming that if the rest of the gear was also wrong bulk, and a number of them need to be in order for numbers to align, they would have said adventurer's pack, x, y, and z are the wrong bulk.


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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.


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Lucas Yew wrote:

Maybe errata in an odd level feature that gives Alchemists extra Bulk capacity exclusive for their tools of the trade? For multiclass dedications this might come online a bit later (like AoO for other martials).

This actually can happen since PF1's Core Monk also received cold iron/silver Unarmed Attacks during a later printing, and that was more like a horizontal growth, unlike this vertically stunted situation.

I, and others made several threads about Alchemist bulk, and suggested that they get "tools of the trade" heavy hauler 1 that applied only to their crafted items. Or variations of that idea. Last I knew they thought to look into it, but considering its printed now and hasn't been. I feel like its fairly unlikely. They may make a class feat + another benefit of some sort later.

I think there is a background now for it? but I don't remember off hand.
There are a lot of percieved and likely true, feat taxes in Alchemist (probably other classes too). but I still really enjoy em at least~

Liberty's Edge

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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.


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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?


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.

That sounds very fun and thematic. Maybe a class feat could help their other allies pack and organize their items. I mean nobody would take it, but I like the idea of an alchemist being the fantasy equivalent of a parent trying to help their young children pack for a vacation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

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.


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?

Ah, inspired by the Scholar from SoM, am I correct? That might work quite well...


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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...


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.


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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


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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

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

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