Alchemical Sciences Subclass. Why?


Investigator Playtest


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This will likely be an unpopular opinion but I really dislike the Alchemical Sciences subclass. It seems to me that a very similar conceptual and mechanical niche is met with just the Alchemist Dedication.

I heard the PF1 Investigator was associated with Alchemy in some way. So, I get the idea of putting in that subclass to help fans of the PF1 version. But, I would rather have some other subclass that fills a totally different niche than have something I can kinda accomplish with the Alchemist Dedication.


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Hm. I rather like it because the alchemical items are inherently restricted to elixirs. So it only works with various "booster cocktails"

Which, admitidly relates heavily to the classics of Investigators/Detectives. Its been a historic stereotype/trend/partial truth that the investigator fellows were always drinking coffee, alcohol, in some of the older stuff, things like Opium (from back when it was c onsidered more medicinal). In modern day using things like adderal. Or they're a recovering one, etc.
This concept is even a standard all over the world, several movies produced in Asia feature that trope--whether they're set in modern day (hardboiled) or set in classical era (Several characters from Zatoichi series. Also from many Wuxia era stuff--like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon feature that trope)

(kids don't do drugs please~)

Its pretty strongly a trope for the concept of investigators--even past the 1st edition stuff.

So for me it feels exactly like a subclass thatl ets me build famous investigators. and mechanically speaking, many of those elixirs are quite useful for the class itself. Eagle Eye is inherently very useful for instance.

As for why it isn't an alch dedication only.. Well while that would work, its also enough of the concept itself that its useful to have. Its a good design space, useful, and flavorful. It provides for a solid choice. Dedication doesn't scale well, and makin' it dedication only for that concept would also lock that concept out of any other reasonable multiclass.

To me, its just a good flavorful and popular aspect of "investigators"


Math wise, dedication alchemical potions are only useful for some supportive effects like speed, dark vision, jump, concealment, etc.

The actual bonuses to skills/attacks are bad as a dedication, since your permanent items already provide higher bonuses.

But as Tinctures, although limited in amounts, they are good in quality, meaning they are always at least (and usually) +1 bonuses over what you can have.


Personally I like it. You can make an excellent Witcher type character with the methology.


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- It gives you it at first level.
- It advances at full level.
- It focuses on the most Investigator-y alchemical options, rather than potentially handing you a bunch of bombs, which would really feel like Alchemist.

Wayfinders

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It also serves to showcase that alchemy need not be a thing purely in the realm of the capital-A Alchemist class - one of the benefits that baking the alchemy into the core rules allowed for in the transition to 2e.

In general I've seen a lot of sentiment of "Why is this new thing its own thing and not just a subclass/archetype of a CRB class, or why not just use multiclass into an old class instead".

And the issue with that mindset is that the CRB classes and their associated multiclass archetypes come with a lot more baggage that these new classes ask for (the aforementioned example of alchemist giving access to stuff like bombs), and being bogged down by the limitations of multiclassing, like being available at level 2+ and the overall worse scaling, and lack of more thematic, unique options.

Evidently, the designers at Paizo looked at those classes and deemed them conceptually rich and apart enough from the core stuff to bring them over as full classes instead of merely as archetypes or feat packages for the existing classes.
Still though, we already have things like the Warpriest doctrine for Cleric (which makes it somewhat unlikely that we'll see Warpriest as a full 2e class), and there's a very strong likelihood that things like the Cavalier and Vigilante will also return as archetypes (Cavalier already was in the 2e playtest, and I strongly suspect it to be one of the APG archetypes), so there's precedent for them approaching the porting of 1e classes into 2e in vastly different ways.

YMMV on whether you agree with the devs on that, but this appears to be the direction they want to take these in, so I feel like best we can do is help them realize that goal now.


The elixer thing is interesting and reasonably in keeping with a lot of the investigators in various settings. It also would indicate they probably would need to /intend to flesh out more utility elixers. It is a bit odd how little ties into their int score but with war priests and alchemists that is not something unique to them. It would be nice if they had an int for perception type option though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The alchemical investigator also is the most functional investigator as is, in utilizing INT and having access to all the elixirs that boost necessary rolls to make up for move average stats.


I think if both classes didn't share the same stat (INT), they would feel different. But I worry that an Alchemy Investigator and an Alchemist that multi-classes into Investigator would feel very similar.


EberronHoward wrote:
I think if both classes didn't share the same stat (INT), they would feel different. But I worry that an Alchemy Investigator and an Alchemist that multi-classes into Investigator would feel very similar.

I don’t know, going empiricist investigator and then getting MCD alchemist is pretty value and about the only way to pull of a true Sherlock Holmes type (since he’d realistically have empiricism and alchemy).

Honestly it sounds really good on paper... might have to try building one.


Midnightoker wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
I think if both classes didn't share the same stat (INT), they would feel different. But I worry that an Alchemy Investigator and an Alchemist that multi-classes into Investigator would feel very similar.

I don’t know, going empiricist investigator and then getting MCD alchemist is pretty value and about the only way to pull of a true Sherlock Holmes type (since he’d realistically have empiricism and alchemy).

Honestly it sounds really good on paper... might have to try building one.

Where does the alchemy come into Sherlock? Is it how good he is at smelling poisons and substances ? Been a while since I read them


Lanathar wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:
I think if both classes didn't share the same stat (INT), they would feel different. But I worry that an Alchemy Investigator and an Alchemist that multi-classes into Investigator would feel very similar.

I don’t know, going empiricist investigator and then getting MCD alchemist is pretty value and about the only way to pull of a true Sherlock Holmes type (since he’d realistically have empiricism and alchemy).

Honestly it sounds really good on paper... might have to try building one.

Where does the alchemy come into Sherlock? Is it how good he is at smelling poisons and substances ? Been a while since I read them

He had a lab where he would test substances, particularly different types of dirt, for certain markers (though he often could recognize them by sight as well).

Theoretically, it wasn't so integrated into his investigatory work that he couldn't just concoct things with Crafting though.

But then he also had a certain vice that could easily be tied to alchemical applications (specifically his delivery and use of it was thorough).

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