Mutagenists


Advice


Are mutagenists even viable? They seem so weak compared to other classes, even with the errata, and even compared to other alchemists. The downsides from the mutagens seem to outweigh their benefits by a long shot.

Or is there something I'm completely missing?


PrimalWyld wrote:

Are mutagenists even viable? They seem so weak compared to other classes, even with the errata, and even compared to other alchemists. The downsides from the mutagens seem to outweigh their benefits by a long shot.

Or is there something I'm completely missing?

I think the elemental mutagens are pretty good but they are mostly pretty bad. Elemental mutagens are uncommon though so it is questionable if you can even use them in a build.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
PrimalWyld wrote:

Are mutagenists even viable? They seem so weak compared to other classes, even with the errata, and even compared to other alchemists. The downsides from the mutagens seem to outweigh their benefits by a long shot.

Or is there something I'm completely missing?

I think the elemental mutagens are pretty good but they are mostly pretty bad. Elemental mutagens are uncommon though so it is questionable if you can even use them in a build.

Where are you seeing elemental mutagens? I only see mutagens without the elemental tag like juggernaut and quicksilver mutagens.


I think they are referring to Energy Mutagens.


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One thing worth considering is playing a Mutagenist alchemist that's actually a Bomber.

I'm not saying focus on bombs, but prior to double mutagens at level 13 the specialization doesn't really make you better at using mutagens and perpetual low level mutagens are probably less useful than bomb-cantrips.


I think a meta-issue separate from the mechanical concerns around Mutagenist is the idea that it is intended to match up to the Hyde builds from PF1. I think that mutagens are filling a different niche and that, rather than Hyde, we are playing Jekyll.


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I don't see a problem with them myself.. They are not going to be the "rawr i'm a monster" style though. But I think theycan work if you give them higher prof. Whip works pretty nicely for me anyway. I've not tried a spear though or other reach weapons.
you can make a mutagenist with some fair ranged combat abilities as well. Throwing weapons or hand xbows.

but I t hink this comes down to, "view of what the Alchemist class is about" I view the Alchemist class-in its entirety as a Support-Off Martial. Others view it as P1's version was-large DPS or Melee monster with off buffing. and I'm sure there are many more viewpoints as well. I think they make amazing off position gap filler class.

So when I build an alchemist, any of the research fields , they're mainly built as "make others better, and be self sustaining" for which Mutagenist works rather nicely.

Mutagens give Item Bonuses to just about anything which isn't always easy to come by. Ranging from Speech style checks, info checks, combat checks(combat is easier to get usually of course). Mutagenists can basically use mutagens to help them fill any gap.

I think a whip based one probably works best though, as you can target elemental weakness if you get Energy body, and it lets you play how close you get while still doing damage/trips/helping main martials or casters hit.

Its probably the easiest source I can think of of intimidation item bonuses (I'm sure there are items though I just don't know them).

If you choose the right one for your character's roll, pepetual mutagen can be a constant companion on skill checks-and then take abig one for the big moments.

And of course being able to hand them out is nice.
the lv 2 mutagen ending feat lets you pretty much dose up for a skill check and end it if you need to transition to combat.
The main benefit of a mutagenist over the other research fields, is the same benefit a bomber has over a mutagenist. Lets you tailor what you carry in a day and get more out of using less.


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I agree, and it's probably what has changed the most with the alchemist. And likely the class that's had its focus shifted the most overall, as well.
It's also been talked about quite a bit around here.

The mutagen using alchemist is not the melee combatant it may have once been, not anymore, and I have to assume it's by design : it's just not there to do what its 1E predecessor did.
Its role and niche are different.
And that's fine.


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Others have given a more measured answer than I offered. Mutagens can indeed be pretty good if you consider them as being primarily a utility tool rather than a combat tool. You can find uses for all of them given the chance. Like: using combine elixir with juggernaut mutagen and an elixir of life can get you out of a lot of scrapes. Cycling that along with revivifying mutagen lets you hold out almost indefinitely.

Still, you are going to want to set aside some resources for bombs if you actually want to contribute to ending fights.


I think you can make something resembling the old Mutagenist Monster but you'll probably be doing it via a Fighter or more aptly Barbarian. Dipping Alchemist for the choice mutagens you want. You do lose stacking mutagens that mutagenists get later... but I think if you're aiming for mutant monster it kind of needs the physical basher chasis.

Barba nd Figher occur to me off hand but I really do build mostly Alchemists so there might be a better choice for it and I just don't know it well.

but yeah. If you want a weapon mutagenists. Whip or Aklys seem like the best choices. I think the fact that alchemists are such bad weapon choices innately is a sign that they're not really mean to be. (though I think its a problem that they have such poor weapon choices as I think they are an off martial of buffer gap filler). They rather require some method of gaining nicer weapons in the end. (Thoug hand Xbow goes a long ways. A javelin thrower might do rather well as well)


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Saedar wrote:
I think a meta-issue separate from the mechanical concerns around Mutagenist is the idea that it is intended to match up to the Hyde builds from PF1. I think that mutagens are filling a different niche and that, rather than Hyde, we are playing Jekyll.

The problem is that there's really no point to Mutagen. All it does is gimp your character. Bestial Mutagen in particular is horribly crippling. I guess you can get some good rp from being a crippled, deformed mutant, but that's about the only benefit I can see.

PF1 Mutagen on the other hand, was glorious. I miss my Beastmorph Alchemist *sigh*.


Squiggit wrote:
One thing worth considering is playing a Mutagenist alchemist that's actually a Bomber.

Pretty much this: as long as the mutagens last, the free bombs are much, much, much more useful.


Its true. Being a bomber who dips into some choice mutagens are nifty. And a lot more widlely applicable to situations on hand.

Pure mutagenist really do feel more like Toolbox skill monkey style characters.

The downsides of most of the mutagens make them a bit harder to sell for in battle when the harder RNG of dice can result in crits.

When you can have a few mutagen going it gets a bit better sorta but still hard.

I'd probably default on Alch Goggles over quick silver mutagen for pepetual bomb enhancment. Though Mutagen item bonus is occasionally higher than what you could get normally if I remember right.
-----

Mutagenists melee folks just feel like a drinking Indiana Jones to me


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HeHateMe wrote:
Saedar wrote:
I think a meta-issue separate from the mechanical concerns around Mutagenist is the idea that it is intended to match up to the Hyde builds from PF1. I think that mutagens are filling a different niche and that, rather than Hyde, we are playing Jekyll.

The problem is that there's really no point to Mutagen. All it does is gimp your character. Bestial Mutagen in particular is horribly crippling. I guess you can get some good rp from being a crippled, deformed mutant, but that's about the only benefit I can see.

PF1 Mutagen on the other hand, was glorious. I miss my Beastmorph Alchemist *sigh*.

I will point out Bestial Mutagen gives you a higher item bonus to unarmed attacks than literally anything else in the game. If you're taking it MC, Greater Bestial comes at 16th - coincidentally exactly when +3 weapons come into play - and gives you a d10 main attack with agile d8. That's basically the strongest set of unarmed attacks in the game if you're not going for a specific stance on a monk, and even that doesn't get you both of those benefits at the same time.


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Is there any way to get an enemy to drink a mutagen?

If you could feed them a cognitive mutagen...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

There is that alchemical crossbow from Fall of Plaguestone...


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Rysky wrote:
There is that alchemical crossbow from Fall of Plaguestone...

That one actually doesn't scale.

If you want to use it, you're much better off picking literally any other class and dipping 1 multiclass feat into alchemist for minor bombs.


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Cyouni wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Saedar wrote:
I think a meta-issue separate from the mechanical concerns around Mutagenist is the idea that it is intended to match up to the Hyde builds from PF1. I think that mutagens are filling a different niche and that, rather than Hyde, we are playing Jekyll.

The problem is that there's really no point to Mutagen. All it does is gimp your character. Bestial Mutagen in particular is horribly crippling. I guess you can get some good rp from being a crippled, deformed mutant, but that's about the only benefit I can see.

PF1 Mutagen on the other hand, was glorious. I miss my Beastmorph Alchemist *sigh*.

I will point out Bestial Mutagen gives you a higher item bonus to unarmed attacks than literally anything else in the game. If you're taking it MC, Greater Bestial comes at 16th - coincidentally exactly when +3 weapons come into play - and gives you a d10 main attack with agile d8. That's basically the strongest set of unarmed attacks in the game if you're not going for a specific stance on a monk, and even that doesn't get you both of those benefits at the same time.

That is true, but you take -1 AC and -2 Reflex for that benefit. On a lightly armored d8 hit die character. In the immortal words of Admiral Akbar, "It's a trap!!". You're better off with a manufactured weapon, especially if you have some decent ancestry weapon options.

The "Mr. Hyde" build isn't possible in 2e, unfortunately.


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PrimalWyld wrote:

Are mutagenists even viable? They seem so weak compared to other classes, even with the errata, and even compared to other alchemists. The downsides from the mutagens seem to outweigh their benefits by a long shot.

Or is there something I'm completely missing?

You're not missing anything.


HeHateMe wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Saedar wrote:
I think a meta-issue separate from the mechanical concerns around Mutagenist is the idea that it is intended to match up to the Hyde builds from PF1. I think that mutagens are filling a different niche and that, rather than Hyde, we are playing Jekyll.

The problem is that there's really no point to Mutagen. All it does is gimp your character. Bestial Mutagen in particular is horribly crippling. I guess you can get some good rp from being a crippled, deformed mutant, but that's about the only benefit I can see.

PF1 Mutagen on the other hand, was glorious. I miss my Beastmorph Alchemist *sigh*.

I will point out Bestial Mutagen gives you a higher item bonus to unarmed attacks than literally anything else in the game. If you're taking it MC, Greater Bestial comes at 16th - coincidentally exactly when +3 weapons come into play - and gives you a d10 main attack with agile d8. That's basically the strongest set of unarmed attacks in the game if you're not going for a specific stance on a monk, and even that doesn't get you both of those benefits at the same time.

That is true, but you take -1 AC and -2 Reflex for that benefit. On a lightly armored d8 hit die character. In the immortal words of Admiral Akbar, "It's a trap!!". You're better off with a manufactured weapon, especially if you have some decent ancestry weapon options.

The "Mr. Hyde" build isn't possible in 2e, unfortunately.

Sorry, what manufactured weapons do alchemists have that are remotely close to that, again? The best you can get is a longspear at d8, and that takes up both hands, or a d4 agile weapon. You're basically trading -1 AC and -2 Ref for +1 to attack rolls and significantly better damage dice.


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There's also an asterisks you need to put next to "higher item bonus than anything else in the game", because that +1 still leaves them behind the curve compared to other non-casters.... Plus the Alchemist can always just hand the monk a bestial mutagen too.


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Squiggit wrote:
There's also an asterisks you need to put next to "higher item bonus than anything else in the game", because that +1 still leaves them behind the curve compared to other non-casters.... Plus the Alchemist can always just hand the monk a bestial mutagen too.

I think that sums up the problems best.

1. The Alchemist should balance with a generic martial when juiced up. This would be similar to a polymorph battle form, competitive but lacking the Rage, Hunter's Edge, etc. for a dedicated martial.
2. And their mutagens shouldn't push a dedicated martial over the curve by more than +1 w/ a price elsewhere, or then mutagens become a must-have buff. MCD Alchemist FTW? No, please.

So any fixes need to be directly to the Alchemist (or just Mutagenist) itself, not the mutagen which can be passed along. IMO these fixes should cover where the Alchemist lapses, so they can be brought up to norms (again, much like the polymorph battle forms). And like those forms, maybe there could be several feats to gain different options w/ mutagens as you level PLUS a small perk that carries over when you use a different feat or mutagen. (This is like how Elemental Shape gives you Fire Resistance 5 even when not in an Elemental form.)
So somebody w/ the feat that makes them use Quicksilver mutagens better (or maybe just longer or w/ fewer penalties), might get a +1 to Reflex & Dex proficiencies when using a different mutagen.

Also, what if Paizo has already run these numbers and found that a maxed out Alchemist can reach the desired numbers? (PF2 numbers, not PF1 monstrosities.) It may be hard to finesse any boosts without going over the curve. Or what if aptitude requires modest Int if you want to go full Beast Mutagen build?
Hmm...


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Cyouni wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Saedar wrote:
I think a meta-issue separate from the mechanical concerns around Mutagenist is the idea that it is intended to match up to the Hyde builds from PF1. I think that mutagens are filling a different niche and that, rather than Hyde, we are playing Jekyll.

The problem is that there's really no point to Mutagen. All it does is gimp your character. Bestial Mutagen in particular is horribly crippling. I guess you can get some good rp from being a crippled, deformed mutant, but that's about the only benefit I can see.

PF1 Mutagen on the other hand, was glorious. I miss my Beastmorph Alchemist *sigh*.

I will point out Bestial Mutagen gives you a higher item bonus to unarmed attacks than literally anything else in the game. If you're taking it MC, Greater Bestial comes at 16th - coincidentally exactly when +3 weapons come into play - and gives you a d10 main attack with agile d8. That's basically the strongest set of unarmed attacks in the game if you're not going for a specific stance on a monk, and even that doesn't get you both of those benefits at the same time.

That is true, but you take -1 AC and -2 Reflex for that benefit. On a lightly armored d8 hit die character. In the immortal words of Admiral Akbar, "It's a trap!!". You're better off with a manufactured weapon, especially if you have some decent ancestry weapon options.

The "Mr. Hyde" build isn't possible in 2e, unfortunately.

Sorry, what manufactured weapons do alchemists have that are remotely close to that, again? The best you can get is a longspear at d8, and that takes up both hands, or a d4 agile weapon. You're basically trading -1 AC and -2 Ref for +1 to attack rolls and significantly better damage dice.

First of all, my advice to another player would be "Play literally any other class". If that player was dead set on playing an Alchemist and going into melee, my advice would be to play a Dwarf, Gnome, Half-Elf, Hobgoblin, or any other ancestry with good weapon proficiency. Use that weapon, use a shield, armor up.

Avoid mutagen like the deathtrap it is.


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Not to derail or anything, but I've had a similar experience with my bomber alchemist.

For the most part the mutagens aren't worth using, with the whole "2e tight math" paradigm nobody wants to take a big hit on a save for a minor buff. Some of the elixirs are neat (Eagle Eye, Cat's Eye, Comprehension, Bravo's Brew) but are pretty situational, and the rest are either too short duration or even more situational, or aren't worth the reagent cost (Cheetah). Antidotes and Anti-plagues are nice, if you took them before you were diseased or poisoned, but limited reagents at low level means you can't just have them lying around.

I've heard the argument that Alchemists are a buffer class first and shouldn't be trying to do damage, but what do you do when no-one wants your buffs because the penalty is too high and the rest of your buffs are situational at best?

I guess I hand two Eagle Eyes to the rogue, two Elixirs of life each to the fighter and barbarian, 4 bombs on the off chance I run into a swarm or 3 mooks happen to be in just the right spot where I won't hit my teammates (for a whopping 1 extra splash damage,woo!), and one quick alchemy for emergencies.

And spend every combat round shooting a crossbow shot or two. Maybe toss in a distraction or intimidate check to shake things up. I mean, useful, maybe, but not really fun.

One thing I can think of that might help is modify how infused reagents work. You get twice what you have now but each is only good for one elixir/bomb/mutagen, and it takes 2 to do quick alchemy. That way you could have a wider selection of pre-prepped elixirs on hand, especially for ones that you only really need one per day of. Also, you could get a small number of free reagents that only apply for your research field. So, for example, a bomber could hand out goodies to the team without reducing themselves to a crossbow peasant.


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Zwordsman wrote:
I don't see a problem with them myself.. They are not going to be the "rawr i'm a monster" style though.

Then that's a pretty big problem, because going "rawr i'm a monster" is exactly what the character fantasy is supposed to be.


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Strill wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:
I don't see a problem with them myself.. They are not going to be the "rawr i'm a monster" style though.
Then that's a pretty big problem, because going "rawr i'm a monster" is exactly what the character fantasy is supposed to be.

Yep, "Rawr I'm a monster" was one of the big reasons the class was so popular in 1e. The lack of "Rawr" is one of the main reasons the Alchemist class seems to be widely hated in 2e.


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Even if you were to give Mutigenists the stats needed to melee, there's another problem. There's nothing interesting or special to do when you're in Beast mode. There should be special combat actions for mutigenists; stuff similar to the Barbarian's Thrash, No Escape, or Terrifying Howl.

Right now, the way to build a Mutigen alchemist is to play a Barbarian with a couple of class feats in Alchemist.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Strill wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:
I don't see a problem with them myself.. They are not going to be the "rawr i'm a monster" style though.
Then that's a pretty big problem, because going "rawr i'm a monster" is exactly what the character fantasy is supposed to be.

Yes. The mutagen class feature and Master Chymist prestige class are what made the Alchemist my favorite PF1 class (they're actually what got me so excited about Pathfinder when I first started playing).

For me (and many others), part of the core identity of the class is the ability to drink potions that turn you into a monstrous brute. The Alchemist being unable to do that feels as wrong as it would if the Paladin couldn't wear heavy armor, or if the Barbarian was better with a crossbow than with a giant sword.


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i like to point out the shift in paradigm, that while pf1 mutagen actually made you more sturdy by giving NAC, here is makes you much more squishy by tanking your AC.

i see no reason why this change happenned.


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I think i will just go with "mutageneist don't take drawbacks from mutagenes", and medium armor.

It's not like they will outclass any other melee combatant.


Mellored wrote:

I think i will just go with "mutageneist don't take drawbacks from mutagenes", and medium armor.

It's not like they will outclass any other melee combatant.

Personally I would construct a feature that gives the mutagenist a more comprehensive set of bonuses, when in their monstrous form.

Stuff like:

* If your Intelligence is greater than your strength, swap the two scores when in your mutagenic form.
* Gain a new AC formula in your mutagenic form
* Some way to gain some extra HP


Does a Barbarian or Fighter w/ MCD Alchemist give you what you need (or want) to be Mr. Hyde?
It seems they'd cover all the base stats, but do they get enough Mutagen?
Do their unarmed attacks match up w/ weapons?

Heck, how about a Monk? Or are stats too thin?

Just wondering out loud.


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Castilliano wrote:

Does a Barbarian or Fighter w/ MCD Alchemist give you what you need (or want) to be Mr. Hyde?

It seems they'd cover all the base stats, but do they get enough Mutagen?
Do their unarmed attacks match up w/ weapons?

Heck, how about a Monk? Or are stats too thin?

Just wondering out loud.

There's not a real reason for an Animal barbarian to MC alchemist for a Hyde build.

His own attack bonus will be higher, his unarmed damage die higher, etc

The only effect would be a penalty to AC and saves.

Juggernaut Mutagen as a side path will also conflict with the natural temporary hp of rage.

The only reason a barbarian wants to mc into alchemist would have been miscellaneous utility potions like dark vision.

The whole "hyde" aspect is perfectly served by animal barbarian alone, alchemist mc is just a terrible version of it that doesn't stack at all.


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On the reverse side ther ewere folks like me who Didn't like the "Rawr" version. I loved the other mutagens/toxicgens that gave you tools over brute power.
But. I do thinnk that the majority of folks liked the other way. So the shift was startling and should be addressed.

Hmm.. I think it might be a good idea for a future thing to release a research field devoted to being Mr Hyde? "transformative research" maybe. Could net you better weapons early on, reduced mutagen debuffs or something. At this point it seems like it would be easier to make a new Research Field to accomidate rather than retconning this one.

as a sidenote: I do wish that was an Alchemist feat, I don't like most feats but I think a "take less penalties from mutagens as your body adapts to the use over time/you brew purer strains of mutagen that take less of a toll on the body" would be a good feat.
Preferably something that scales as you level up maybe. Or just straight half penalties fort the first one, then the other half at a higher level.

They already have semi required (for damage /range) Bomber feats. And if you're trying to build for poison at later levels powerful alch/powerful poisons are semi needed (and a rogue dip). So I guess it would fit in.
This would make all research fields more inclined to use Mutagens, and it would open up Multiclassing for mutagens.

Then in the future a Research Field on Mr Hyde could give those innately and other benefits or something. It would semi replace Mutagenist.. but kind of seems it would be easier/cleaner at this point

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