Mutagenists: A Tragedy


Advice


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More than any other class, I was looking forward to making a Mutagenist. But it's plagued with too many issues and I can't help but feel that it was just sort of slapped together as an afterthought. Instead of taking care to give it the traits that everyone loved about Vivisectionist, Master Chymist, and the kooky and weird discoveries like tentacles and tumors, they just gave it abilities that do nothing (a lot has changed since the play test). Is the Mutagenist still worth it? Are the developers aware of the issues that plague the Mutagenist? Will there be errata fixing it? Do the developers even care? Please! I WANT ANSWERS, DAMMIT!

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There have been a number of posts lately addressing the shortcomings in detail. The short of it is: you're right. The Mutagenist research field provides no actual benefit, containing features that all characters already have access to. Hopefully it receives some attention.


The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Liberty's Edge

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Mutagens themselves are actually quite nice, IMO, and the 13th level Mutagenist ability to combine two is very good, as are many of the high level Mutagen Feats.

However, the 1st level ability currently does literally nothing, there are basically no good low level Feats for the Mutagenist, and being restricted to light armor makes Str characters tricky.

So there needs to be something done.

On the bright side, since it's so obvious that the 1st level Mutagenist ability does nothing, they'll probably FAQ/Errata it pretty quickly, hopefully fixing the problem as far as that's concerned, and new Feats are always gonna be a thing.


Mid to Late mutagenist looks a l ot of fun.
early one looks rough..

but honestly thats true for both churi and muti alchemists, and to a lesser extent, bomber. CHuri has a hard time IMO until lv 13. Muti has some dead effects.
bomber gets extra bombs and the splash restriction, which is t he best off at low l evel. but the perpetual has weird interactions with later stuff (but thats true of the other lines too).

I probably wouldn't start a muta from lv 1 .

I rather expect a few Alchemist eratta ideas probably around Oct or so, shortly after the next playtest opens.


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Zwordsman wrote:

Mid to Late mutagenist looks a l ot of fun.

early one looks rough..

but honestly thats true for both churi and muti alchemists, and to a lesser extent, bomber. CHuri has a hard time IMO until lv 13. Muti has some dead effects.
bomber gets extra bombs and the splash restriction, which is t he best off at low l evel. but the perpetual has weird interactions with later stuff (but thats true of the other lines too).

I probably wouldn't start a muta from lv 1 .

I rather expect a few Alchemist eratta ideas probably around Oct or so, shortly after the next playtest opens.

Man, I really hope so. The issue with getting zero abilities at 1st level is just sad, but I also can't help but feel that mutagens themselves could be a bit better. I want my natural armor, dammit!


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Increasing the item bonus on mutagens by 1 if imbibed by a Mutagenist will fix a lot of that spec's issues. The biggest issue with the Mutagenist is that he's the worst non-spellcaster to give your combat mutagens to.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
Increasing the item bonus on mutagens by 1 if imbibed by a Mutagenist will fix a lot of that spec's issues. The biggest issue with the Mutagenist is that he's the worst non-spellcaster to give your combat mutagens to.

he's actually worse than a lot of spellcasters in martial combat as well.

afterall they do have the same weapon proficiencies and at least some spellcasters have "combat feats/abilities/powers" to rely upon for some extra oumph.

Not sure what went wrong with Alchemist development really that made them so terrible as they are atm.

They have caster martial proficiencies, but martial ability dc scaling (i.e. worse than casters), and (apart from bomber) the class feats feel more like patching design holes than actually adding features like they do in the rest of the classes (instead of new features/abilities they get stuff like "your stuff now uses class DC", and "your quick alchemy lasts long enough to use your core feature of dual/triple alchemy", and etc)

Plus, it's like they have an identity crisis.

Someone should have stepped up and clarified what the vision was:
a non-caster with debuffs (hence he would actually need Master proficiencies)?
a Caster with plenty but very low impact "spells" (hence he would actually require Legendary Class DC)?

atm he has the worst of the 2 worlds. Caster martial prowess with Martial Ability prowess.


shroudb wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Increasing the item bonus on mutagens by 1 if imbibed by a Mutagenist will fix a lot of that spec's issues. The biggest issue with the Mutagenist is that he's the worst non-spellcaster to give your combat mutagens to.

he's actually worse than a lot of spellcasters in martial combat as well.

afterall they do have the same weapon proficiencies and at least some spellcasters have "combat feats/abilities/powers" to rely upon for some extra oumph.

Not sure what went wrong with Alchemist development really that made them so terrible as they are atm.

They have caster martial proficiencies, but martial ability dc scaling (i.e. worse than casters), and (apart from bomber) the class feats feel more like patching design holes than actually adding features like they do in the rest of the classes (instead of new features/abilities they get stuff like "your stuff now uses class DC", and "your quick alchemy lasts long enough to use your core feature of dual/triple alchemy", and etc)

Plus, it's like they have an identity crisis.

Someone should have stepped up and clarified what the vision was:
a non-caster with debuffs (hence he would actually need Master proficiencies)?
a Caster with plenty but very low impact "spells" (hence he would actually require Legendary Class DC)?

atm he has the worst of the 2 worlds. Caster martial prowess with Martial Ability prowess.

Ya hit the nail on the head.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It isn't a "mutagens uber alles," but I was playing around with this concept:

Dwarf (Strong-blooded) alchemist (mutagenist)
Background/ability scores as desired, but 16+ Str, 14 Dex, and 14 Con recommended
1st- Dwarven Weapon Familiarity, Quick Bomber
2nd- Fighter Dedication, Quick Jump
3rd- Expert Athletics, Armor Proficiency (Medium)*
4th- Revivifying Mutagen, Powerful Leap
5th- Dwarven Weapon Cunning, Expert Crafting
6th- Basic Maneuver (Power Attack), Battle Medicine (or Specialty Crafting/Alchemy; or whatever)
7th- Master Crafting, Fleet
8th- Feral Mutagen, Inventor
9th- Mountain's Stoutness, Master Athletics
10th- Advanced Maneuver (Dual-Hand Assault), Wall Jump
11th- Expert Medicine, Toughness
12th- Invincible Mutagen, Continual Recovery
13th- Dwarven Weapon Expertise, Expert Intimidation
14th- Opportunist (or whatever), Intimidating Prowess
15th- Legendary Athletics, Cloud Jump

*- retrain to Incredible Initiative at 13th


Dragonchess Player wrote:

It isn't a "mutagens uber alles," but I was playing around with this concept:

Dwarf (Strong-blooded) alchemist (mutagenist)
Background/ability scores as desired, but 16+ Str, 14 Dex, and 14 Con recommended
1st- Dwarven Weapon Familiarity, Quick Bomber
2nd- Fighter Dedication, Quick Jump
3rd- Expert Athletics, Armor Proficiency (Medium)*
4th- Revivifying Mutagen, Powerful Leap
5th- Dwarven Weapon Cunning, Expert Crafting
6th- Basic Maneuver (Power Attack), Battle Medicine (or Specialty Crafting/Alchemy; or whatever)
7th- Master Crafting, Fleet
8th- Feral Mutagen, Inventor
9th- Mountain's Stoutness, Master Athletics
10th- Advanced Maneuver (Dual-Hand Assault), Wall Jump
11th- Expert Medicine, Toughness
12th- Invincible Mutagen, Continual Recovery
13th- Dwarven Weapon Expertise, Expert Intimidation
14th- Opportunist (or whatever), Intimidating Prowess
15th- Legendary Athletics, Cloud Jump

*- retrain to Incredible Initiative at 13th

just keep in mind, that for most of your career, "revivifying mutagen" is just a 1d6 healing.

you need to reach 11th level to actually metabolise your MAIN mutagens for more, or 17 level to metabolise the free mutagens for more than 1d6.


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shroudb wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Increasing the item bonus on mutagens by 1 if imbibed by a Mutagenist will fix a lot of that spec's issues. The biggest issue with the Mutagenist is that he's the worst non-spellcaster to give your combat mutagens to.

he's actually worse than a lot of spellcasters in martial combat as well.

afterall they do have the same weapon proficiencies and at least some spellcasters have "combat feats/abilities/powers" to rely upon for some extra oumph.

Not sure what went wrong with Alchemist development really that made them so terrible as they are atm.

They have caster martial proficiencies, but martial ability dc scaling (i.e. worse than casters), and (apart from bomber) the class feats feel more like patching design holes than actually adding features like they do in the rest of the classes (instead of new features/abilities they get stuff like "your stuff now uses class DC", and "your quick alchemy lasts long enough to use your core feature of dual/triple alchemy", and etc)

Plus, it's like they have an identity crisis.

Someone should have stepped up and clarified what the vision was:
a non-caster with debuffs (hence he would actually need Master proficiencies)?
a Caster with plenty but very low impact "spells" (hence he would actually require Legendary Class DC)?

atm he has the worst of the 2 worlds. Caster martial prowess with Martial Ability prowess.

Alchemist in this edition should really be treated as a pure martial, rather than a spellcaster as they were before. Give them Alchemical Weapon Mastery at level 15 would put them on par with other martials, although I haven't played an alchemist that far yet so I wouldn't be able to tell if that would make them too powerful or not.

This coupled with giving the mutagenist +1 on all item bonus from mutagen should actually make the mutagenist good rather than okay in martial, which is where the mutagenist is expected to be.

And yeah, I was surprised to learn that alchemical items DON'T use the Alchemist's class DC by default. That shouldn't be a feat...


shroudb wrote:
Not sure what went wrong with Alchemist development really that made them so terrible as they are atm.

"What went wrong" is the scrapping of the resonance mechanic, basically. The playtest Alchemist was so heavily tied to that mechanic that it would have required a complete ground up rework to make the Alchemist work without it... which I guess they didn't have time for.


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Yeah I do want Alchemist to get Master profiency in simple
and maybe Legendary in bombs only.

Alternatively would be expert in martial and simple and master in bombs.

The resounance bit was weird to me. Since they got rid of it for everyone else. They probably could've kept it more or less for the alchemist. and it more or less is exactly infusions no?

So ultimately their removal of resounance didn't alter Alchs much did it?


J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
More than any other class, I was looking forward to making a Mutagenist.

It no more exists. In PF1, Alchemists were having a strong specialization, with Mutagenists and Bombers being built in a very different way. In PF2, all Alchemists are very similar. The specializations are just a little advantage, but nothing to specialize on. So, a Mutagenist is built with a bit of strength, but still a lot of Dexterity and Intelligence as he will also have to toss bombs, brew poisons and give elixirs.


Arachnofiend wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Not sure what went wrong with Alchemist development really that made them so terrible as they are atm.
"What went wrong" is the scrapping of the resonance mechanic, basically. The playtest Alchemist was so heavily tied to that mechanic that it would have required a complete ground up rework to make the Alchemist work without it... which I guess they didn't have time for.

That'd be a pretty lame excuse tbh, maybe more not enough review and testing.


SuperBidi wrote:
J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
More than any other class, I was looking forward to making a Mutagenist.
It no more exists. In PF1, Alchemists were having a strong specialization, with Mutagenists and Bombers being built in a very different way. In PF2, all Alchemists are very similar. The specializations are just a little advantage, but nothing to specialize on. So, a Mutagenist is built with a bit of strength, but still a lot of Dexterity and Intelligence as he will also have to toss bombs, brew poisons and give elixirs.

To be fair, that mostly sounds like it calls for class archetypes like the old vivisectionist and what not. But we will get those eventually too.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
More than any other class, I was looking forward to making a Mutagenist.
It no more exists. In PF1, Alchemists were having a strong specialization, with Mutagenists and Bombers being built in a very different way. In PF2, all Alchemists are very similar. The specializations are just a little advantage, but nothing to specialize on. So, a Mutagenist is built with a bit of strength, but still a lot of Dexterity and Intelligence as he will also have to toss bombs, brew poisons and give elixirs.
To be fair, that mostly sounds like it calls for class archetypes like the old vivisectionist and what not. But we will get those eventually too.

I disagree. Look at the Druid or thief specializations. They were well done. Each takes the character down a different path. The alchemist specializations seems like an afterthought. Its the PF1 monk or the 5e animal companion ranger. For a class that is unique to PF, it is shocking that the ball was dropped so badly.


I see no problem with Vivisectionist be the next alchemist research field, focused on stitching enhancements on himself and others so we'll also see the return of tumors and tentacles.


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Kerobelis wrote:
I disagree. Look at the Druid or thief specializations. They were well done. Each takes the character down a different path. The alchemist specializations seems like an afterthought. Its the PF1 monk or the 5e animal companion ranger. For a class that is unique to PF, it is shocking that the ball was dropped so badly.

I'd like to echo that sentiment that Class Paths should and already do mean more than what the current Mutagenist does for the Alchemist.

The Ruffian Rogue and the Thief Rogue play WORLDS different. I have made one of each and they literally don't play or build even remotely the same because of how much the Class Path affects their choices.

I would also argue Warpriest vs. Cloistered is another example.

If your initial Class Path does not affect your build, then it's failing to provide incentive to do so. Why call give it a path at all if they amount to lanes on a single road?

Scarab Sages

Faenor wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Not sure what went wrong with Alchemist development really that made them so terrible as they are atm.
"What went wrong" is the scrapping of the resonance mechanic, basically. The playtest Alchemist was so heavily tied to that mechanic that it would have required a complete ground up rework to make the Alchemist work without it... which I guess they didn't have time for.
That'd be a pretty lame excuse tbh, maybe more not enough review and testing.

You said the same thing a different way. It's just more indication that they needed a second wave of the playtest and committed to a printing date too early.


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I think a lot of the issue is that Alchemists have a great deal of flexibility on the fly, and this will only expand as the list of alchemy grows. It's really hard to factor for this utility, and futureproof it, and have these items available for others too.

Any alchemical item an alchemist can make can be used by any of the superior classes. Which, as others have pointed out, is why Alchemists need special abilities so they use them better as that won't bleed into the other classes.

An Alchemist focusing on bombs can do better than a Fighter that focuses on bombs, not only due to free bombs, but class abilities that make their bombs act differently, not ones that actually help them throw as well as a Fighter.
A Mutagenist needs similar feats to support it. As noted above, the one for healing is horrible. Feral Mutagen at 8th is a bit late. That might be to gate it for non-Alchemists via MCD, but maybe a Mutagenist could start with that (or maybe have a choice, since that's only one of many mutagens).
I think being able to lessen the drawbacks (even if only for one variety of mutagen) or perhaps get a +1 proficiency bonus across the board when under a mutagen or well, there are actually lots of options. And if any are packaged under Mutagenist, they're protected from abuse by pure martials despite being available early.
Case in point, Flurry of Blows by Monks which can get you Stunning Fist at 2nd level. Non-Monks can't get them until 10th then 12th. Bake something similar into a Mutagenist, perhaps even with low level feats that rely on it. (Though that might be too much to errata at this point.)

My 2 c.p.
Cheers


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Castilliano wrote:

I think a lot of the issue is that Alchemists have a great deal of flexibility on the fly, and this will only expand as the list of alchemy grows. It's really hard to factor for this utility, and futureproof it, and have these items available for others too.

Any alchemical item an alchemist can make can be used by any of the superior classes. Which, as others have pointed out, is why Alchemists need special abilities so they use them better as that won't bleed into the other classes.

An Alchemist focusing on bombs can do better than a Fighter that focuses on bombs, not only due to free bombs, but class abilities that make their bombs act differently, not ones that actually help them throw as well as a Fighter.
A Mutagenist needs similar feats to support it. As noted above, the one for healing is horrible. Feral Mutagen at 8th is a bit late. That might be to gate it for non-Alchemists via MCD, but maybe a Mutagenist could start with that (or maybe have a choice, since that's only one of many mutagens).
I think being able to lessen the drawbacks (even if only for one variety of mutagen) or perhaps get a +1 proficiency bonus across the board when under a mutagen or well, there are actually lots of options. And if any are packaged under Mutagenist, they're protected from abuse by pure martials despite being available early.
Case in point, Flurry of Blows by Monks which can get you Stunning Fist at 2nd level. Non-Monks can't get them until 10th then 12th. Bake something similar into a Mutagenist, perhaps even with low level feats that rely on it. (Though that might be too much to errata at this point.)

My 2 c.p.
Cheers

What CAN fit into errata is +1 item bonus on mutagens when consumed by mutagenists, and master proficiency on alchemical weapons at high levels (around 15 or so). A few feats could also take some tweaking. 1d6 per item level for Revivifying Mutagen would not break anything, and the duration doesn't need to end immediately either. Just specify it's a once per mutagen thing.

Everything else relies on future alchemical items and class feats. I know it still doesn't stop better martials from picking these abilities up, but at least they would be level-gated so they'll never catch up.


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As a sidenote. I think all versions of the alchemist should get Master (at least) in Alchemical Weapons at some point.

Which should count, Bombs, weapons gained via mutagen (claws etc). and if they make them, Liquid Blades, and Shard Gels (which I assume will be a bomb, with caltrops+splash).

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