So, I kinda want to discuss alchemists for a bit. I know I'm new to posting on these boards but I haven't seen this really touched on, to my knowledge.
So, alchemists as crafters.... I mean, I know that is what they are, their main mechanic is to craft alchemical items. But why is it then that they get little to no support in downtime crafting of alchemical items? They get two feats that support the crafting skill, Alchemical Savant at first level and Efficient Alchemy at fourth level. The only one of those two that effects downtime crafting is Efficient Alchemy. Now, while I don't really want the craziness that was 1st edition alchemist, where they could craft alchemical items so fast your head would spin, I would have liked to see maybe a feat or two that helped support the alchemists crafting a little.
An example I came across is that goblins get an ancestry feat that among other things allows them basically a free day to reduce the cost of the crafting, and yes I am aware of the junky property and the unreliability to sell the item, but for personal use it's fine and can be used on anything basically. That sounds like a good feat an alchemist could get just for alchemical crafting, being able to get maybe a free day of cost reduction for alchemical items, or maybe a feat that allows the alchemist to reduce the prep time below the four-day minimum prep time required to craft.
I feel like the alchemist's feat pool is restricted to either alchemist as a combatant with bomber, and kinda mutagenist? Or as a healer with chirurgeon. Neither of which the alchemist does particularly better than a class meant for such a role, though from my testing they don't do particularly poorly as battlefield medics, at least not as poorly as they do in combat compared to fighting classes (from my own experience) and overall it would be nice to see more feats that supported alchemist as a crafter for party.
This all kinda stemmed from me playing in a campaign as one, and I don't think I have ever felt like I've contributed less in a game of pathfinder. But I want to hear the community's thoughts on the matter if you all are willing to share them.
And I wasn't sure where to put this as I kinda see this as just a thought, So I thought it best in general.
Alchemists get a pretty big buff to crafting just by their main stat being Int. Then they get starting formulas and alchemical crafting. However, I suspect that at least some alchemist builds are underpowered in general.
This may be true, but they can be basically outdone by a rogue who focused on skills and int? In addition, the only thing that alchemists seem to use int for in their class (not counting craft) is stuff like calculated splash and calculating their infused reagents for the day. Nothing is stopping a wizard from out crafting an alchemist in alchemy. Sure they are a skill feat behind at level 1 but that is remedied by level two and since formulas can be bought and such, it isn't hard to catch up to what the alchemist starts with.
Edit: Sorry I don't really mean outdo, I mean compete with. Alchemists only really pulls ahead with efficient alchemy and it really isn't by a lot.
I sort of wish Double Brew+the one that makes 3 later, that is meant for quick alchemy? I honestly have never thought of a situation I would want double brew, much less the 3 brew. The cost is heavy for infused reagents. (more so when you can do 1for 3 items in your field). But past that, how often does one have two open hands? how about somehow 3? Even if you're one to believe that the specific nature lets you carry 3 in one hand. Rarely can you use all of those on your turn.
Also it techcnically can't work with perpetual infusion.
Instead, I would prefer that it be built to help the whole class, not a feature that isn't used that often. Double Brew should let you make 2 Quick Alchemy items as it currently dose. But also let you work on two separate batches of Alch Items during downtime (instead of only one)
Then instead of making 3 items later. . it lets you use Quick Alchemy at the "morning crafting" cost (i.e. 1 reagent for 2 items. Or 2 reagents for 4 items) OR You instead can work on 3 batches at once in downtime. (Or both. Idk)
And you can downtime craft faster in some way. Either lessening the initial "4 days of crafting" or by providing "free" days off at the end kind of like that Goblin one.
Maybe INT modifier free days because you're so efficient. Who knows. I don't know balance. but providing extra free days, to more rapidly craft seems approriate. So if you've got enough skills you could just get it down to the 4 base days for 3 whole batches or 12 items.
But the class features themselves should really work better with other features. And should probably support the mechincal flavor they want with the crafting alch items.
It shouldn't cost "class feats" becausue that directly competes with combat ability. Which this is a game with plenty of combat--of which the Alchemist already has a multitude of issues with.