A thought about alchemists and the Mutagenist


Rules Discussion

1 to 50 of 126 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

3 people marked this as a favorite.

So it was pretty illuminating for me to watch the 3 action adventure night. The 4 players were incredibly entertaining at it was a lot of fun, as well as informative to see how all the pieces of the game got put together. Overall, the event was a smashing success.

However,
the Mutagenist Alchemist class was abysmal in play. There are many reasons for this that are beyond the confines of the class itself: bad rolls, a rough build from the chat, and an adventure set up almost tailor made to show the weaknesses of the class (mostly higher level encounters, never getting the opportunity to rest and demonstrate the classes versatility over time.)

However,
there were also 2 specific things that became pretty apparent to me about a class I was not especially excited about in the first place.

1. The class cannot defend itself, and yet has a tradition of being a focused Melee build.

2. The class does not have the accuracy to focus on making lots of attacks each round.

Because the mutagenist in particular gives no benefit at first level, I have seen a lot of threads talking about giving the class medium armor, which might help with one a fair bit, but the class is still going to end up maxed out at Expert. This might be fine and even enough, but another cool thing I'd like to see the mutagenist get is the opportunity to really exploit things like juggernaut mutagen by getting smoke bombs and gas cloud bombs with the assumption of setting them off around them and gaining concealment/cover type bonuses to defense as well as having an interesting battlefield control mechanic of making it difficult to stay close to.

This would be far more interesting and thematically unique of a class niche than just trying to get them up to snuff in melee combat, and would be accomplishable just by adding more material to the alchemist list.
Something to make up for the complete lack of useful 1st level class features also is still necessary, but something that enabled this focus of surviving in hostile environments while under the effects of a mutagen, would be a really cool take on it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

well, considering that if you want to go melee with a mutagenist, you have to suffer an additional -1 or even -2 to ac and still be "max expert" in your armor, yes, it's suicidical as written to try to do so.

it's not even a "glass cannon" thing since you're doing equivalent damage to a normal weapon strike with said attacks.

That -2 to AC HAS to bring them to lowest AC in the game i think.

one of the reasons i find that the "increase item bonuses of mutagens by +1" as their first level ability is exactly that, it allows one to build his mutagenist, whatever way they want, and still get some benefit from it.

Medium armor is cool and all, but you'll still be made out of glass in it if you go bestial, but at least you'll effectively have martial (excluding fighter ofc) attack rolls if you had the additional +1.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Basically the bestial rage mutagen is effectively a minor form of the barbarian rage in a bottle. Its downsides are harsher and its benefits weaker.

It has the same AC penalty as barbarian rage and then also hits your reflex save. It also lacks the temporary HP that help offset the AC penalty barbarians suffer.

Take the were shark its basically doing something very similar it is morphing to do better in hand to hand. It however starts with medium armor/12 base HP/temporary HP/ and does 1d10 damage on a bite.

Then you have the mutagenists with d8 hp/ light armor/8 base HP/no temporary hp and bite does d6 damage. The stat array they had in the video may not be ideal but in a lot of ways it is indicative of people understanding a mutagenist basically needs almost everything but wis and charisma con got pumped because people wanted it to have some suitability. Dex got pumped so it could at least use some bombs. When they had a chance they bumped Str. But overall the sort of traditional dr jeckyl type build is asking the mutagenist to do something they are not setup to survive doing.

The level one mutagenist discipline training really needs to give them some of the boosts of the barbarian. Give them some temp hp up the damage dice 1 level maybe negate the AC penalty but keep the reflex penalty. That way there is still a strong downside but lets somebody who has trained their body to use this stuff to be better at doing so. AND give them enough survivability to actually use it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Yep the mutagenists was hurting all the way. It really highlights how badly alchemist is compared to other classes. They built to be martial but act more like weak caster.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
kaid wrote:

Basically the bestial rage mutagen is effectively a minor form of the barbarian rage in a bottle. Its downsides are harsher and its benefits weaker.

It has the same AC penalty as barbarian rage and then also hits your reflex save. It also lacks the temporary HP that help offset the AC penalty barbarians suffer.

Take the were shark its basically doing something very similar it is morphing to do better in hand to hand. It however starts with medium armor/12 base HP/temporary HP/ and does 1d10 damage on a bite.

Then you have the mutagenists with d8 hp/ light armor/8 base HP/no temporary hp and bite does d6 damage. The stat array they had in the video may not be ideal but in a lot of ways it is indicative of people understanding a mutagenist basically needs almost everything but wis and charisma con got pumped because people wanted it to have some suitability. Dex got pumped so it could at least use some bombs. When they had a chance they bumped Str. But overall the sort of traditional dr jeckyl type build is asking the mutagenist to do something they are not setup to survive doing.

The level one mutagenist discipline training really needs to give them some of the boosts of the barbarian. Give them some temp hp up the damage dice 1 level maybe negate the AC penalty but keep the reflex penalty. That way there is still a strong downside but lets somebody who has trained their body to use this stuff to be better at doing so. AND give them enough survivability to actually use it.

just to add, that when later on the barbarian upgrades their die, so can the mutagenist BUT that comes at an additional -1 to AC, for a total to -2.

i mean, those completely arbitrary negatives are what's hosing the class imo.

Mutagens, as weak as they are at the moment, really have no reason to have such strong negatives.

At the very least, they should have been "status" penalties, so that you cannot get conditions ON TOP the untyped penalties you get from them.

Liberty's Edge

8 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't disagree that Mutagenist needs help (at low levels especially). I'm not sure that particular game is super good evidence given the utterly terrible rolling by the Mutagenist among others, though.

Coincidentally, the 1st level Mutagenist Field currently gives nothing, so Paizo is almost certain to add something to it. Two suggestions I had to fix that were it granting Medium Armor like the Ruffian Rogue Racket, or it increasing all Mutagen bonuses by one on mutagens consumed by the Mutagenist himself.

Both would solve at least one of the Mutagenist's current issues, and I very much hope they go with either one of those or something equally useful.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Another avenue I'd be interested in exploring to help boost the mutagenist is similar to the cloistered cleric/warpriest, separate their proficiency progression. Given the medium armor, and slightly accelerated weapon proficiencies, maybe even letting it had master simple/unarmed 1-2 levels after pure martials, ~15ish.

Might not be enough at low levels, but should support the mid/high levels appropriately. However its a pure combat fix, unlike the boost the mutagen's power if drunk by self which helps with out of combat issues.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I don't disagree that Mutagenist needs help (at low levels especially). I'm not sure that particular game is super good evidence given the utterly terrible rolling by the Mutagenist among others, though.

I concur with DMW on both points here.

I think, if the OP is going to use that 3-action twitch situation as an example of the Mutagenist, you should at least give the details (e.g. slapped together in a purposefully sub optimal way, terrible roles, etc). Again, as DMW mentioned, I am not saying the Mutagenist may or may not need to some attention, but that the example being used should be transparent.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The whole class needs repair, but the mutagenist is really suffering. I’m glad I’m not the only person that noticed that the research field basically gives you nothing.

The chirurgeon is pretty bad too IMHO. Your research is basically Int to Medicine at the price of two skills for one and with limitations.

It’s like the common theme of the class is that you get less than everybody else, and if you get an ability or feat that puts you on par (or just close to it) there’s a penalty.

It’s the only class (other than Warpriest Cleric) that gets nothing at Legendary.

It can’t even use the normal function of craft alchemy better than anyone else, except by a feat that just doubles your potential batch size (at no price discount).

I think there’s some merit to the bomber, but even at its optimal it feels like a poor version of a blast focused caster


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Reziburno25 wrote:
Yep the mutagenists was hurting all the way. It really highlights how badly alchemist is compared to other classes. They built to be martial but act more like weak caster.

Yep, this: They are built like a caster but then don't get to use their casting stat to attack with: other than cha, every other stat is something they need in some way... Every build needs str because of the way off bulk of base equipment, dex is needed with light armor, con to live, wis for perception and saves, int for 'casting'... It doesn't get nearly enough to require such MADness.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah everyone keeps saying that the chat built an awful stat array for the alchemist, but all they did that was so terrible was prioritize CON 16 over STR 12. Honestly, I don't think switching those two attributes would have done very much except probably get Dr. Heckle knocked out faster in both encounters (yes he got knocked out in every encounter). A STR of 16 feels like an absolute trap for an alchemist, at least at level 1. I guess you could go Champion at level 2, but requiring a 14 in CHA is pretty much impossible for them. (or at least will require surviving somehow to level 6.

Medium armor (eventually) to expert does not feel like it would meaningfully increase the mutagenist's survivability if they were trying to go a beastial melee rout. your only hope of survivability and accuracy is to build towards dex and use the claws as an agile finesse weapon, which will not do much for damage (which also gives you the best defense you are going to get). However, your defense is not actually going to be that great and trying to attack as much as possible is going to leave you stranded next to your enemies for full retaliation. And actually it looks like your fists lose the finesse trait when you gain agile claws so you are still dependent on STR for accuracy. Beastial mutagen looks like a complete trap for the Alchemist in PF 2.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I didn't have a chance to watch the Twitch stream, but that matches my experience with the Alchemist in general and the Mutagenist in particular. Mutagenists really feel like Jacks-of-no-trades; they're just kind of mediocre at everything, with no real combat role. I don't think the class is fundamentally misconceived or anything like that, it's just a tiny bit undercooked - especially the stuff that's not centered around bombing. Strategic mutagen use has interesting out-of-combat benefits, but it's hard to feel like it compensates for a chassis that doesn't have any clear strengths. (Chirugeons may be in the same boat, but I have no direct experience with them.)

There might be some hidden configuration of options that really makes them sing, or I might be underrating the versatility, but it's hard not to see Mutagenists as strikingly underwhelming in play. I think that legitimately the most capable Mutagenist might be one that only sprinkles in Mutagen use and primarily relies on bombs, but then you're pretty much just a worse bomber, which is already not a particularly impressive class.


shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liegence wrote:

The whole class needs repair, but the mutagenist is really suffering. I’m glad I’m not the only person that noticed that the research field basically gives you nothing.

The chirurgeon is pretty bad too IMHO. Your research is basically Int to Medicine at the price of two skills for one and with limitations.

It’s like the common theme of the class is that you get less than everybody else, and if you get an ability or feat that puts you on par (or just close to it) there’s a penalty.

It’s the only class (other than Warpriest Cleric) that gets nothing at Legendary.

It can’t even use the normal function of craft alchemy better than anyone else, except by a feat that just doubles your potential batch size (at no price discount).

I think there’s some merit to the bomber, but even at its optimal it feels like a poor version of a blast focused caster

Chirugeon is weird and maybe not super exciting but is very capable of doing its job at least. Between medicine and their skills at it and their healing elixers even at level 1 they can at least do their job. Mutagenists are an open question if you can actually use them like a mutagenist at low levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Joyd wrote:

(Chirugeons may be in the same boat, but I have no direct experience with them.)

The one in my game has done pretty well so far. He's the primary healer for the group and uses a hand crossbow/tosses a bomb in combat when needed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The weird thing to me about Chirugeon is that a Champion with lay on hands is just a flat better downtime healer - over the course of an hour, a Champion can heal 36, which would be a significant number of infusion uses to match. And those lesser healing elixirs don’t really heal enough to be super useful in combat outside of the guaranteed stabilize. What are you really getting?

And comparing healing elixirs to a cleric - like not even close. Heal, especially at higher levels, is really strong for Clerics


Liegence wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items

I think he is talking about at low levels each poison is basically 1/10th of your daily resources. Given most target fort saves and don't do anything on a save for the most part there is a big chance they just fizzle and wast a half of a reagent for no effect. Bombs at least you are guaranteed to do at least something. That said against targets that are not focused on fort saves poisons can be pretty strong if they land.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Liegence wrote:

The weird thing to me about Chirugeon is that a Champion with lay on hands is just a flat better downtime healer - over the course of an hour, a Champion can heal 36, which would be a significant number of infusion uses to match. And those lesser healing elixirs don’t really heal enough to be super useful in combat outside of the guaranteed stabilize. What are you really getting?

And comparing healing elixirs to a cleric - like not even close. Heal, especially at higher levels, is really strong for Clerics

Sure if you're just comparing numbers. But not everyone wants to play a champion as a character. Our Chirgueon is a hysterical little goblin with an alchemical pet that he refers to as his "son". He adds way more to the session than just raw healing numbers, makes game nights fun.


Liegence wrote:

The weird thing to me about Chirugeon is that a Champion with lay on hands is just a flat better downtime healer - over the course of an hour, a Champion can heal 36, which would be a significant number of infusion uses to match. And those lesser healing elixirs don’t really heal enough to be super useful in combat outside of the guaranteed stabilize. What are you really getting?

And comparing healing elixirs to a cleric - like not even close. Heal, especially at higher levels, is really strong for Clerics

Downtime healing churigons are using medcine. Given the skills involves if you are going this route you are maxing them out. Your downtime healing then is super strong but its mostly application of medicine and saving your elixirs for battle.

In fights at low levels if you went all in on healing potion that gives you effectively 10 or 12 combat heals a day. They are not as big as the cleric but less likely to over heal and waste anything. As they go when they start getting three per reagent during downtime they can very much handle the job of party healer. They also start getting pretty long lasting buff options and overall function fine as a party healer. Once you get your perpetual infusions your entire group basically has a constant massively buffed save to all diseases and poisons. If they never get sick or poisoned you never need to cleanse it. Against some of the later critters that is a god send as some of the diseases can be really debilitating.

It is an odd style of healing and I question how fun it is as a lot of your stuff is stocking people up during downtime so I am not 100% how that feels during fights but the effectiveness is there.


I think one thing I forgot to mention that a cloistered cleric is hands down the best combat healer for output. But after them churigons I am pretty sure are in second place. Even if you don't count medicine a chuirgeon is going to have a TON more heals per day than bards/druids/champions in combat. At low level its by a crazy amount. At low levels a bard/druid is only going to be doing at most a couple heals a spell level because it is highly doubtful those are going pure healing mode.

It is pretty easy for a chirugeon at level 1 to have 8 heals and a couple bombs and a couple of buffs each day. Once you get your create 3 per reagent option if you use even half of your reagent supply you are making a LOT of healing potions.


kaid wrote:
Liegence wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items

I think he is talking about at low levels each poison is basically 1/10th of your daily resources. Given most target fort saves and don't do anything on a save for the most part there is a big chance they just fizzle and wast a half of a reagent for no effect. Bombs at least you are guaranteed to do at least something. That said against targets that are not focused on fort saves poisons can be pretty strong if they land.

Well, the advantage is you can apply them on someone else during exploration/downtime, and rely on them to deliver. The downside is an initial fail ignores, but the upside is massive damage plus conditions. All for none of your encounter actions. I’m not saying go ham on poisons - 1 infusion and now the fighter and rogue have poison blades thats enough, and you still got bombs.

Yeah high forts happen, but low forts happen, too. And sure a bomb does something, but that something is 1 splash damage at level 1


kaid wrote:
Chirugeon is weird and maybe not super exciting but is very capable of doing its job at least.

Well, at least if they figure out a way to move with their bulk and/or how to use 4 hands worth of tools to use their medicine ability... :P


kaid wrote:

I think one thing I forgot to mention that a cloistered cleric is hands down the best combat healer for output. But after them churigons I am pretty sure are in second place. Even if you don't count medicine a chuirgeon is going to have a TON more heals per day than bards/druids/champions in combat. At low level its by a crazy amount. At low levels a bard/druid is only going to be doing at most a couple heals a spell level because it is highly doubtful those are going pure healing mode.

It is pretty easy for a chirugeon at level 1 to have 8 heals and a couple bombs and a couple of buffs each day. Once you get your create 3 per reagent option if you use even half of your reagent supply you are making a LOT of healing potions.

Out of combat, a Champion or any MC with lay on hands can do that every 10 minutes. At first level that’s 36 an hour, multiplied for hours per rest I think he’ll outpace the Chir. No roll necessary.

In combat, when you get 5th the lesser potion is pretty good to pass around. Unfortunately you can’t get perpetual elixirs that would be fun. But keep in mind using those is a free hand + manipulate action so it’s not always easy to use. It’s definitely good heals, because outside of Cleric the heal spell really falls flat without auto heighten and bonus heals/day


Liegence wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items

reagents (i think you mean reagents, because i have no clue what you're talking if not) has nothing to do with anything i said?

what i meant is that if you're spending your reagents for poisons for the whole group. then during combat, the only thing you are is a peasant with a crossbow.

0 combat feats/abilities, 0 martial expertise, nothing to actually do WHILE in combat.

you are basically a walking npc at this point.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wasn’t this thread about the mutagenist?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liegence wrote:
kaid wrote:
Liegence wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items

I think he is talking about at low levels each poison is basically 1/10th of your daily resources. Given most target fort saves and don't do anything on a save for the most part there is a big chance they just fizzle and wast a half of a reagent for no effect. Bombs at least you are guaranteed to do at least something. That said against targets that are not focused on fort saves poisons can be pretty strong if they land.
Well, the advantage is you can apply them on someone else during exploration/downtime, and rely on them to deliver. The downside is an initial fail ignores, but the upside is massive damage plus conditions. All for none of your encounter actions....

not sure you've checked the bestiary, but Fort is by FAR the best monster save.

there are only a handful of target's that your poisons don't fail 60-70% of the time.

and even if they fail their save once, they need to actually fail 2 times in a row to do "good" damage.

Spending, on average, 2-3 reagents (4-6 poisons) just to do damage with them 1 time is seriously not that great.

Reagents are not that plenty as people think. They are usually on par, or even less than the average spells that a caster.

Unicore wrote:
Wasn’t this thread about the mutagenist?

yes, that doesn't mean that he as well can't "use" poisons. They are equally bad for him as well.

but yeah, let's return to the main topic.

There have been other threads, each depicting the overarching problems with the whole chassis of the class. Mutagenists have it a bit worse due to actually no 1st level feature.


Unicore wrote:
Wasn’t this thread about the mutagenist?

"A thought about alchemists and the Mutagenist"... It seems like alchemist in general and mutagenists in specifics are the theme of the thread. Which posts haven't been about either alchemists or mutagenists? *shrug* if you wanted a mutagenists only thread, you didn't reflect that in the title.

EDIT: also, as alchemists can make items from other specialties, most problems are alchemist problems as opposed to a specialist problem.


shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

If there’s one saving grace to Alchemists, it’s that you can make poisons and apply them to the melee weapons of PCs that can actually function in melee. As far as I can tell, there is nothing that can undo applied infused poisons outside of 24 hours, daily prep, or getting a crit fail on an attack - otherwise it should go off. It’s an advance on the action economy, and poisons can be quite nasty.

The irony is not lost to me that there is no poison research field, even though passing out the poison may be your best utility

even that is not that great as it is atm.

due to how monster saving throws are, and due to poisons being like one of the very few fort saves in the game that does absolutely nothing on a pass, it's around 60%-70% of actually spending a very valuable resource to do nothing.

yes, it costs nothing action economy wise, but it costs everything resource wise.

(let alone being relegated to be a peasant with a crossbow in all combats due to spending all your resources in poisons is probably the most unfun concept ever)

You can use infusions to make poisons with Advanced Alchemy - not sure what you mean about being a peasant with a crossbow. You make them two for one infusion.

Poisons are Alchemical Items

reagents (i think you mean reagents, because i have no clue what you're talking if not) has nothing to do with anything i said?

what i meant is that if you're spending your reagents for poisons for the whole group. then during combat, the only thing you are is a peasant with a crossbow.

0 combat feats/abilities, 0 martial expertise, nothing to actually do WHILE in combat.

you are basically a walking npc at this point.

I mean ... I’m talking about literally prepping for combat with 1 reagent. How does that make you a peasant again?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liegence wrote:
I mean ... I’m talking about literally prepping for combat with 1 reagent. How does that make you a peasant again?

What he's saying is that your prep is likely to fail and your attack if left to that of a peasant [pick your simple weapon to attack with]. What else is he attacking with and how is he splitting up mutagens, healing, bombs and poisons?


Liegence wrote:


I mean ... I’m talking about literally prepping for combat with 1 reagent. How does that make you a peasant again?

on average, if you only use 1 reagent for poison, it's more likely to do 0 damage than do any kind of damage at all.

that's what i'm saying.

when on average you need 2 reagents to do damage once, then you need to spent that many reagents to be an actual contribution that you do actually have 0 reagents for battle.

reagents are really tight on any alchemist, and that is true for the mutagenist as well, since he needs way more elixirs of life compared to a bomber as an example (who needs more bombs though, and etc)

So really, spending 2 reagents to do 1 instance of poison damage, isn't really a good use of them. It's pretty bad.

Again, Reagents are about equal (or less depending on what caster type you compare) in quantity as spells*. They are supposed to be of equal impact as a spell.

p.s. let's not derail the conversation further into poisons. Even if they are marginaly useful, they don't even get near to be a "strong" option, certainly not nearly enough to counteract all the problems plaguing the class and the mutagenist.


graystone wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Wasn’t this thread about the mutagenist?

"A thought about alchemists and the Mutagenist"... It seems like alchemist in general and mutagenists in specifics are the theme of the thread. Which posts haven't been about either alchemists or mutagenists? *shrug* if you wanted a mutagenists only thread, you didn't reflect that in the title.

EDIT: also, as alchemists can make items from other specialties, most problems are alchemist problems as opposed to a specialist problem.

I was mostly trying to redirect the thread away from a comparison between the Chirurgeon and a cleric as "functional healer," which probably is a different thread somewhere. Stuff about different alchemist items feels perfectly on topic.


And poisons probably do require a dedicated field of study to make them worthy of dedicating a build around. Although it is going to have to have more to offer the poisoner than the mutagen field has to offer the mutagenist.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:

And poisons probably do require a dedicated field of study to make them worthy of dedicating a build around. Although it is going to have to have more to offer the poisoner than the mutagen field has to offer the mutagenist.

imo, a simple early level feat (like 4-6) that read "the poisons you craft do minimum damage, but no additional effects, even on a successful save (but not a crit success)" is enough to make them viable.

their main issue is that they didn't get the treatment of the whole "4 stages of success" and were left doing absolutely nothing on a save.


Well - you do have to compare that with your chance of hitting with a bomb, which in the same encounter will be equally low.

If your GM is going to constantly throw level+ enemies at you and chance to hit or saves are in the 30s it just going to suck to be an alchemist in general. You can add a few points of splash here and there. If the GM only throws +Fort monsters at least the Bard will be happy about his abilities.

Also, you have to consider that poisons actually advance in formula regularly, while bombs stay the same for 8 levels, except for feats you purchase. There’s a poison for every item level. When you’re 10th level you’re still throwing item level 3 bombs (and ofc, you can still do this if you made poison)

You are welcome to ignore poison if you like, but I suggest you actually try it before being critical. You will end many an adventuring day with unused alchemy items and reagents. It’s high risk high reward, it sucks when they save but when they don’t or they crit fail they will fall very rapidly.


Liegence wrote:

Well - you do have to compare that with your chance of hitting with a bomb, which in the same encounter will be equally low.

If your GM is going to constantly throw level+ enemies at you and chance to hit or saves are in the 30s it just going to suck to be an alchemist in general. You can add a few points of splash here and there. If the GM only throws +Fort monsters at least the Bard will be happy about his abilities.

Also, you have to consider that poisons actually advance in formula regularly, while bombs stay the same for 8 levels, except for feats you purchase. There’s a poison for every item level. When you’re 10th level you’re still throwing item level 3 bombs (and ofc, you can still do this if you made poison)

You are welcome to ignore poison if you like, but I suggest you actually try it before being critical. You will end many an adventuring day with unused alchemy items and reagents. It’s high risk high reward, it sucks when they save but when they don’t or they crit fail they will fall very rapidly.

actually no, that's the isse:

you have higher chances hitting with a bomb than a monster failing a Fort save,

AND bombs do minimum damage even on a miss, your poisons do nothing on a save.

exactly that's what i'm talking about.

Also, again, poisons aren't "free" each and every one you make means 1 less other item/"ability" you could have made instead.

Reagents are REALLY tight.


graystone wrote:
kaid wrote:
Chirugeon is weird and maybe not super exciting but is very capable of doing its job at least.
Well, at least if they figure out a way to move with their bulk and/or how to use 4 hands worth of tools to use their medicine ability... :P

Yes bulk is one of the weird issues of alchemists but overall they are going to be off loading a lot of their elixers to team mates so their daily potion load gets distributed pretty well. The hands stuff is weird as hell but rule wise the abilities seem to just ignore it more often than not. Like quick alchemy you can use one hand to make three items with the right level/feats. Also you can load a kit into bandolier so I think most alchemists will be running two bandoliers one for alchemy kit + flasks and one for healing kit if they have medicine.


Hang on here - the mutagenist is the melee alchemist, where poison offers the most benefit to the alchemist (because it doesn’t exhaust on a miss). And using jaws and a disposable sidearm for delivery is viable.

And if you are just drinking 1 mutagen and then going into melee, you’re expending less resources than a bomber and thus having a reagent sink may make more sense


shroudb wrote:
Liegence wrote:

Well - you do have to compare that with your chance of hitting with a bomb, which in the same encounter will be equally low.

If your GM is going to constantly throw level+ enemies at you and chance to hit or saves are in the 30s it just going to suck to be an alchemist in general. You can add a few points of splash here and there. If the GM only throws +Fort monsters at least the Bard will be happy about his abilities.

Also, you have to consider that poisons actually advance in formula regularly, while bombs stay the same for 8 levels, except for feats you purchase. There’s a poison for every item level. When you’re 10th level you’re still throwing item level 3 bombs (and ofc, you can still do this if you made poison)

You are welcome to ignore poison if you like, but I suggest you actually try it before being critical. You will end many an adventuring day with unused alchemy items and reagents. It’s high risk high reward, it sucks when they save but when they don’t or they crit fail they will fall very rapidly.

actually no, that's the isse:

you have higher chances hitting with a bomb than a monster failing a Fort save,

AND bombs do minimum damage even on a miss, your poisons do nothing on a save.

exactly that's what i'm talking about.

Also, again, poisons aren't "free" each and every one you make means 1 less other item/"ability" you could have made instead.

Reagents are REALLY tight.

Cool. Don’t ever use them then. Option closed. That’s fine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liegence wrote:

Hang on here - the mutagenist is the melee alchemist, where poison offers the most benefit to the alchemist (because it doesn’t exhaust on a miss). And using jaws and a disposable sidearm for delivery is viable.

And if you are just drinking 1 mutagen and then going into melee, you’re expending less resources than a bomber and thus having a reagent sink may make more sense

you cannot actually apply poisons to either claw or bite.

just saying, only on manufactured weapons.

also, if you're wadeing into melee with a mutagenist you need WAYYYYY more elixirs of life, seeing as you are the lowest AC in the game and going in melee. So no, you are not needing less reagents than a bomber.

but suit yourself, you can try them in action and see how terrible they are.


Unicore wrote:
I was mostly trying to redirect the thread away from a comparison between the Chirurgeon and a cleric as "functional healer," which probably is a different thread somewhere.

I can understand but healing is something every alchemist can do, it just depends on how much resources you put into it. As such, IMO, it's really hard to call out healing comparisons as out of place for any alchemist debate: how much an alchemist can heal is pretty important mutagenist as melee + mutagenist = a beat up mutagenist. :P

kaid wrote:
Yes bulk is one of the weird issues of alchemists but overall they are going to be off loading a lot of their elixers to team mates so their daily potion load gets distributed pretty well.

Well, the current bulk totals have the alchemist encumbered at start without keeping a single elixir. We'll see if the fixes actually fix the poor, poor alchemist.

On hands... Yeah, it's a mess.

kaid wrote:
Also you can load a kit into bandolier so I think most alchemists will be running two bandoliers one for alchemy kit + flasks and one for healing kit if they have medicine.

I don't think bandoliers change the number of hands needed for kits, just the action needed to use: making an alchemy roll requires alchemist tools the the actual medicine actions require the healer tools. So your 4 hands can grab the tools without needed an extra action. :P


shroudb wrote:

you cannot actually apply poisons to either claw or bite.

just saying, only on manufactured weapons.

Yep, unarmed trait says "An unarmed attack uses your body rather than a manufactured weapon. An unarmed attack isn’t a weapon". Nothing that says 'weapon' works with an unarmed attack.


For the record, I said Jaw and disposable sidearm, meaning like a dagger preloaded for delivery that you drop (thus disposable) unless you mean you can’t wield while you have claws


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A mutagenist is better off with a finesse weapon than the claws and bite anyway because they can have a 16 attack and defend attribute and try to utilize poisons to boost damage. Smoke bomb/foul cloud bombs are a missing element right now anyway, so i’d Be happy to see an alternate mutagenist appear who can be immune to their own gas bombs while under the effect of a mutagen, or have an increased resistance when using the juggernaut mutagen.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liegence wrote:
For the record, I said Jaw and disposable sidearm, meaning like a dagger preloaded for delivery that you drop (thus disposable) unless you mean you can’t wield while you have claws

ah no, i didn't see that. But that makes them even worse, so you really shouldn't be doing that, just give them to someone with a magical weapon...

because if you're making an attack with a dagger, that means you're sacrificing all of your attack damage for the poison damage (since you can't usually afford 2 equally good weapons, and you already need handwraps for the mutagenist)

if you're losing attack damage to apply the poison, it becomes even worse.

in the end, as poisons work, for all kind of alchemists, mutagenists or not, the ideal is giving the poisons to allies and not yourself.

the "method" of application never entered my comparison, i already assumed the very best application which would have been from a fully upgraded weapon attack.

the issue comes from the damage being extremely subpar on average (so counting the saves) for their cost.


Liegence wrote:

The weird thing to me about Chirugeon is that a Champion with lay on hands is just a flat better downtime healer - over the course of an hour, a Champion can heal 36, which would be a significant number of infusion uses to match. And those lesser healing elixirs don’t really heal enough to be super useful in combat outside of the guaranteed stabilize. What are you really getting?

And comparing healing elixirs to a cleric - like not even close. Heal, especially at higher levels, is really strong for Clerics

FYI (at max levels at least, I think it starts spiking hard around level 4) a chirurgeon fully dedicated to healing will blow out (by around a 30-40% margin) a cleric doing the same. Do not underestimate the sheer amount of healing they can put out.

And with Merciful Elixir, they can also combat remove conditions, and that's worth a lot.

Returning to the main topic, it's hard to judge the mutagenist right now given their primary class feature apparently does nothing. The later discoveries don't really help them *that* much, though Double Mutagen at 9th might do some decent work.

If that's fixed, we'll have to see then.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:
Liegence wrote:

The weird thing to me about Chirugeon is that a Champion with lay on hands is just a flat better downtime healer - over the course of an hour, a Champion can heal 36, which would be a significant number of infusion uses to match. And those lesser healing elixirs don’t really heal enough to be super useful in combat outside of the guaranteed stabilize. What are you really getting?

And comparing healing elixirs to a cleric - like not even close. Heal, especially at higher levels, is really strong for Clerics

FYI (at max levels at least, I think it starts spiking hard around level 4) a chirurgeon fully dedicated to healing will blow out (by around a 30-40% margin) a cleric doing the same. Do not underestimate the sheer amount of healing they can put out.

And with Merciful Elixir, they can also combat remove conditions, and that's worth a lot.

Returning to the main topic, it's hard to judge the mutagenist right now given their primary class feature apparently does nothing. The later discoveries don't really help them *that* much, though Double Mutagen at 9th might do some decent work.

If that's fixed, we'll have to see then.

I have a hard time seeing that.

A healer focused cleric that also uses his spellslots (akin to how chirurgeon has to use his reagents) and feats for healing will easily outheal the chirurgeon.

Plus, they are quite better than removing conditions (channel succor>>>merciful elixirs).

The main boon of a cleric is that it's extremely action economy efficient in said healing as opposed to chirurgeon who feels much more like an ooc healer (made kinda redundant with medicine and lay on hands spam)


I've made a calculation on another thread. For me, the tipping point was 9th level. At that stage, the Alchemist was, without a single feat investment besides Combine Elixirs, doing quite well. Not as well as a Cleric, but well enough to be main healer, and even sole healer, in a party.

The issues the Alchemist is having only happen at low level. Everything's fine with it as soon as you have enough reagents to:
- Not care about the reagent cost from poisons
- Have enough Elixirs of Life to sustain heal better than a Cleric
- Have enough Mutagens lasting long enough for an adventuring day
- Have enough Bombs (the hardest issue, by far)

And the Alchemists specialization are just small advantages. Mutagenists no more exists. You are an Alchemist, with a small specialization in mutagens. A Mutagenist is expected to heal, toss bombs and use poison as much as a Chirurgeon or a Bomber.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:

I've made a calculation on another thread. For me, the tipping point was 9th level. At that stage, the Alchemist was, without a single feat investment besides Combine Elixirs, doing quite well. Not as well as a Cleric, but well enough to be main healer, and even sole healer, in a party.

The issues the Alchemist is having only happen at low level. Everything's fine with it as soon as you have enough reagents to:
- Not care about the reagent cost from poisons
- Have enough Elixirs of Life to sustain heal better than a Cleric
- Have enough Mutagens lasting long enough for an adventuring day
- Have enough Bombs (the hardest issue, by far)

And the Alchemists specialization are just small advantages. Mutagenists no more exists. You are an Alchemist, with a small specialization in mutagens. A Mutagenist is expected to heal, toss bombs and use poison as much as a Chirurgeon or a Bomber.

In all of my playtest runs, I never had enough reagents, even at high levels.

I made a breakdown of the average expenditure of reagents for a mutagenist trying to play the "support role" (assuming 4 battles per day) and it wasn't pretty much barebones in what he actually had.

It all comes down to Perpetual being almost completely useless for all except bomber. Meaning that everything you want to do costs reagents.

Thing is reagents don't scale good compared to spell slots (1 per level as opposed to average 2 spells per level)

And yes, a chirurgeon around 9th can main heal if that's where almost all of his reagents go, while a healing cleric as an example can main heal, be better and more efficient, and still has plenty of spell slots to use for other stuff even after that.

The second issue is exactly the "feat" issue.

Apart from bomber alchemist feats are pretty terrible before level 12 or so.

As a chirurgeon, it's not that you don't pick feats that help healing, it's that they don't even exist to begin with.

I would love a level 1 feat switching the d6s to d8s like the cleric, I would love if all condition removal was in 1 feat instead of 2,i would love my elixirs giving buffs alongside healing. But thing is, nothing like this exists...

1 to 50 of 126 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / A thought about alchemists and the Mutagenist All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.