Alchemists, archetypes & familiars


Advice

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello, I am going to start a War for the Crown campaign and I'm playing a tiefling alchemist.

I am a bit uncertain regarding alchemist archetypes. I really like the gun chemist, and my GM approved it. He also suggested that I could mix it with the inspired chemist archetype, so that my character somehow feels like a sort of investigator.

So far so good, but then I stumbled into the tinkerer archetype and I thought wow, it would be great to have an alchemist that can shoot with guns and create clockwork companions. However, those two archetypes (gun chemist and tinkerer) cannot be mixed, as they alter the same class features.

The reason why I was impressed with the tinkerer is that I'd love to get a clockwork familiar eventually. I thought that, instead of the tinkerer archetype, I could just take the Improved Familiar feat at level 7 and get a clockwork raven, but apparently alchemists do not qualify for the Improved Familiar feat.

Then I figured I could get a tumor familiar and give it the sage archetype, so it could be useful for my knowledge checks. However, I don't like the idea of having a familiar stuck into my own body: aesthetically, I would rather have a clockwork familiar. Maybe my GM could allow me to reskin the tumor familiar into a mechanical raven or something like that, by keeping all the stats and abilities of a raver and just adding some clockwork fluff to that recipe... but I have the idea that I'm getting stuck into my own tinkering with archetypes and familiars :-P

So, my question is: what kind of combination would you see fit for an alchemist who has a knack for creating and fixing things and would gladly accept the company of a familiar?

Thanks for the advice!


You can get there without an archetype by taking the right feats.

Iron Will
Familiar Bond
Improved Familiar


Yeah, its one of the more annoying things with some class features and abilities where it pretty much randomly doesn't work for some reason. Like a class that gets Stabby Attack: This class gets the sneak attack class feature like a rogue

and then you find you can't take feats that increase sneak attack because its not actually sneak attack.

But Pretty much what Foeclan said.. There is also

Skill focus Knowledge and Eldritch heritage: Arcane


As an alternative, you could skip Gun Chemist and take the other two archetypes (assuming they stack, haven't checked). Then take 1 level of Gunslinger and the "Explosive missile" discovery to be able to shoot explosives. Probably not quite as good mechanically (and it doesn't come online till level 5) but it has a similar flavour.

Sovereign Court

marcopico wrote:
I thought that, instead of the tinkerer archetype, I could just take the Improved Familiar feat at level 7 and get a clockwork raven, but apparently alchemists do not qualify for the Improved Familiar feat.

Because caster level right?

Take the Spell Knowledge discovery. You now prepare and cast (a single, unless you take it multiple times) spells. Not a spell-like ability, actual arcane casting. Arcane spell failure and everything.
You can first pick this up at level 4 if you choose a cantrip prepared in a 1st level extract slot (it is not unlimited use). You can wait until 7th to get a 1st level spell (in a 2nd level extract slot), or retrain at 7th if retraining is available and you want a useful spell not already on your list (like Alchemical Tinkering or Liberating Command).


You don't need a spellcaster level to get improved familiar, it's your level in the class that gives you the familiar. OTOH tumor familiars - only - are prevented from becoming improved familiars, FAQ.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Alright, thanks everybody for your suggestions.

So far, here's what I think:

- Iron Will + Familiar Bond + Improved Familiar would work well. It takes 3 feats to have this, though, and Familiar Bond does not grant many of the special abilities a normal familiar grants. Mechanically, it doesn't seem particularly great, but this looks indeed like the most official way to get to my idea.

- Skill focus (knowledge) + Eldritch Heritage (arcane) is something I wouldn't take because of my low Charisma and because it seems quite far from the idea I've made up, thematically speaking.

- Inspired chemist and Tinkerer cannot stack, as they alter or remove the same features. In any case, I wouldn't skip Gun Chemist as I really like it.

- It looks to me there is no point in taking the Spell Knowledge discovery, as avr said. Too bad tumor familiars cannot become improved familiars.


You don't need high Charisma to qualify for Eldritch Heritage if you play a Human.

You could get the Draconic Heritage alternate racial trait, get Eldritch Heritage (Draconic), and then replace the 1st level power with a Bloodline Familiar.

https://aonprd.com/ArchetypeDisplay.aspx?FixedName=Familiar%20Bloodline%20F amiliars

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:
You don't need high Charisma to qualify for Eldritch Heritage if you play a Human.

Yes, but as I stated in my first post my character is a tiefling :-)


If you take the trait House of Green Mothers Pupil it counts as iron will for purposes of Familiar bond and Imp. Familiar bond. So that it only costs a trait and 2 feats instead of 3 feats.

If your DM is willing to let you reskin it as mechanical there is the feat wasp familiar. It gives you a familiar for only 1 feat but it has alignment and religion restrictions which may or may not affect your character concept.


Any reason you can't / don't want to buy a Homunculus? It's not a Familiar, but it does come close.


marcopico wrote:

Alright, thanks everybody for your suggestions.

So far, here's what I think:

- Iron Will + Familiar Bond + Improved Familiar would work well. It takes 3 feats to have this, though, and Familiar Bond does not grant many of the special abilities a normal familiar grants. Mechanically, it doesn't seem particularly great, but this looks indeed like the most official way to get to my idea.

There's an 'Improved Familiar Bond' feat as well, which gets you more of the benefits of having a normal familiar.

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