Does Alchemist need a change?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ediwir wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Time to repeat myself.

Ever heard of ad absurdum? Try this out:
Give your Alchemist Legendary proficiency in bombs at lv1. See if your playstyle works.
If the answer is no, proficiency is not your issue.

Legendary Proficiency at level 1 with quick alchemy would indeed make the alchemist able to not only hit, but more often CRIT, every single attack they rolled, and would absolutely make bombs devastating.

Are you sure you know what point you're trying to make? Adding LEGENDARY PROFICIENCY to your weapon at LEVEL 1 is absolutely going to make a huge numerical difference, which will allow you to hit with your titular subclass-focus ability, I.E.: Bombs.

You'd be the damn Morshu of the dungeon. Bombs? Bombs? Bombs? You want em? They're yours, my foe, as long as I don't roll a one!

Edit: QuickMath:

Trained- You roll a 10, with +3 Dex, and +3 proficiency. You roll a 16 total, may hit, may not. Some low level enemies have 17 or more ac.

LEGENDARY - You roll a 10, with +3 Dex and +9 proficiency. You roll a 22 total, which is ABSOLUTELY going to hit anything at level one.

Like, yes, this does solve a problem of making bombs reliably able to hit. It's also overpowered and stupid, frankly.


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Ediwir wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Time to repeat myself.

Ever heard of ad absurdum? Try this out:
Give your Alchemist Legendary proficiency in bombs at lv1. See if your playstyle works.
If the answer is no, proficiency is not your issue.

But what does that have to do with the cost of sliced bread?


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Virellius wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Time to repeat myself.

Ever heard of ad absurdum? Try this out:
Give your Alchemist Legendary proficiency in bombs at lv1. See if your playstyle works.
If the answer is no, proficiency is not your issue.

Legendary Proficiency at level 1 with quick alchemy would indeed make the alchemist able to not only hit, but more often CRIT, every single attack they rolled, and would absolutely make bombs devastating.

Are you sure you know what point you're trying to make? Adding LEGENDARY PROFICIENCY to your weapon at LEVEL 1 is absolutely going to make a huge numerical difference, which will allow you to hit with your titular subclass-focus ability, I.E.: Bombs.

You'd be the damn Morshu of the dungeon. Bombs? Bombs? Bombs? You want em? They're yours, my foe, as long as I don't roll a one!

Edit: QuickMath:

Trained- You roll a 10, with +3 Dex, and +3 proficiency. You roll a 16 total, may hit, may not. Some low level enemies have 17 or more ac.

LEGENDARY - You roll a 10, with +3 Dex and +9 proficiency. You roll a 22 total, which is ABSOLUTELY going to hit anything at level one.

Like, yes, this does solve a problem of making bombs reliably able to hit. It's also overpowered and stupid, frankly.

And you'll still run out of reagents after the first (or second) fight, as well as feeling lackluster anytime you don't crit.

Once again: flexible damage type area of effect limited use consumables that deal damage on a failure do not feel good as standard single target attacks. Why?
"Because the attack bonus isn't high enough" is not the answer, because "I don't hit" is not the problem.

I'm making the right point. Try.

It's absolutely meant to be stupidly overpowered, in order to show that even bringing it to stupid overpowered level doesn't work. Ad absurdum is basically the idea of proving something by showing that different solutions make no sense (works better on math / physics, admittedly).

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Without the Ad Absurdium argument, ed is making the right point. Giving the alchemist master proficiency at level 13-15 won’t help with any of their issues. All of the alchemist’s issues are early game, not mid-late game.


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Exocist wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.
Without the Ad Absurdium argument, ed is making the right point. Giving the alchemist master proficiency at level 13-15 won’t help with any of their issues. All of the alchemist’s issues are early game, not mid-late game.

Oh, even with.

There's no amount of on-target bombs that can support the "I throw two or three bombs each round" playstyle at level 1, there's no amount of reliability that can make "I hit for 1d6+1 instead of 1d10+6" competitive, and there's no amount of hit bonus that can turn bombs into swords.

flexible damage type area of effect limited use consumables.
Use them on multiple targets, use them when they're most effective, use them to carry your debuffs. That works. Waste them to deal 4-5 damage on a single goblin, you only have yourself to blame.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Did anyone claim that giving Alchemists a better proficiency track would make the issues of reagents at low levels better? I can't see anyone making that claim.

Non sequiturs are usually used as a comedic device, not as rhetorical techniques Ediwir.


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Ediwir wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Time to repeat myself.

Ever heard of ad absurdum? Try this out:
Give your Alchemist Legendary proficiency in bombs at lv1. See if your playstyle works.
If the answer is no, proficiency is not your issue.

Criting on a 15 vs a 20 and needing a 5 to hit rather than an 11?

That solves ALL my problems with the Alchemist! Heck since it's generalised proficiency I can even have the same accuracy with my sling staff or crossbow for sustainability!

No one said anything about your point because it's kind of dumb. Of course being legendary at level 1 solves all problems. That's not an argument agaisnt or for what we're discussing here.


AlastarOG wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Time to repeat myself.

Ever heard of ad absurdum? Try this out:
Give your Alchemist Legendary proficiency in bombs at lv1. See if your playstyle works.
If the answer is no, proficiency is not your issue.

Criting on a 15 vs a 20 and needing a 5 to hit rather than an 11?

That solves ALL my problems with the Alchemist! Heck since it's generalised proficiency I can even have the same accuracy with my sling staff or crossbow for sustainability!

No one said anything about your point because it's kind of dumb. Of course being legendary at level 1 solves all problems. That's not an argument agaisnt or for what we're discussing here.

A) That says "legendary in bombs".

B) Would it really? Is hitting really the problem? Because an alchemist focusing on bombs is -1 versus an equivalent min-maxed ranged character, and yet you hear no end of complaints about their "bad" hit rate.


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Cyouni wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Time to repeat myself.

Ever heard of ad absurdum? Try this out:
Give your Alchemist Legendary proficiency in bombs at lv1. See if your playstyle works.
If the answer is no, proficiency is not your issue.

Criting on a 15 vs a 20 and needing a 5 to hit rather than an 11?

That solves ALL my problems with the Alchemist! Heck since it's generalised proficiency I can even have the same accuracy with my sling staff or crossbow for sustainability!

No one said anything about your point because it's kind of dumb. Of course being legendary at level 1 solves all problems. That's not an argument agaisnt or for what we're discussing here.

A) That says "legendary in bombs".

B) Would it really? Is hitting really the problem? Because an alchemist focusing on bombs is -1 versus an equivalent min-maxed ranged character, and yet you hear no end of complaints about their "bad" hit rate.

I find that most alchemists benefit from not always throwing bombs. You can get a lot of mileage out of a crossbow or a sling staff.

That, to me, is one of the main reasons to give them master proficiency, it's not all about the bombs.

It's about scaling with:
Bestial mutagen
Ranged weapons
Melee weapons

Melee and ranged weapons are important too to the toxicologist because they deliver their poisons.

The chirurgeon doesn't have good efficiency on poisons or bombs, so decent weapon proficiency is incredibly useful to them.

And of course the mutagenist would benefit greatly in power scaling.

Most proposed fixed wasn't master in bombs, it was master proficiency. Ediwir assumed bombs.


Cyouni wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

Time to repeat myself.

Ever heard of ad absurdum? Try this out:
Give your Alchemist Legendary proficiency in bombs at lv1. See if your playstyle works.
If the answer is no, proficiency is not your issue.

Criting on a 15 vs a 20 and needing a 5 to hit rather than an 11?

That solves ALL my problems with the Alchemist! Heck since it's generalised proficiency I can even have the same accuracy with my sling staff or crossbow for sustainability!

No one said anything about your point because it's kind of dumb. Of course being legendary at level 1 solves all problems. That's not an argument agaisnt or for what we're discussing here.

A) That says "legendary in bombs".

B) Would it really? Is hitting really the problem? Because an alchemist focusing on bombs is -1 versus an equivalent min-maxed ranged character, and yet you hear no end of complaints about their "bad" hit rate.

Hitting is certainly a problem... But only after level 13.

I never focus too much on the Alchemist's math exactly because it's very weak, should've been at martial-level and it's the toughest thing to change and will never be, so I just disregard this aspect of the class entirely because it's a lost battle.

So, I much rather have lots and lots of egregiously overpowered feats to shore up the class' weak chassis, clunky design and the sheer bore that are alchemy items.

I really love support classes. I love the support playstyle. I would never, ever, not in a billion years choose an Alchemist in its current form to play this role.


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Mutagenist Alchemist with martial weapon proficiency performs at a similar level to Animal Barbarian but with significantly higher versatility.

That is a good reason to not have that happen.


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Cyouni wrote:

Mutagenist Alchemist with martial weapon proficiency performs at a similar level to Animal Barbarian but with significantly higher versatility.

That is a good reason to not have that happen.

I think if you truly believe that then you don't understand how the animal barbarian works....

They would have higher AC, much higher damage (rage+d12) much higher HP, much higher reflex saves, and incredibly potent class abilities that would massively outclass anything the mutagenist could potentially dish out.

At equal stats the mutagenist would have maybe +1 to hit if it went ham on strength vs int.


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Cyouni wrote:

Mutagenist Alchemist with martial weapon proficiency performs at a similar level to Animal Barbarian but with significantly higher versatility.

That is a good reason to not have that happen.

So... Is the Alchemist having free access to some combat feats that I'm not seeing... Or you're just claiming this based on the fact that they both hit somewhat equally?

I'm not even still convinced that a melee alchemist would survive long against certain battles, let alone perform like a Barbarian.

Also. Even that were true, I would still trade away the Strike, Strike, Strike from level 1 to 20 from the Alchemist for any kind of Barbarian any day.

In this edition, what makes a martial character a martial character are their feats enhancing their combat prowess. Everyone has somewhat decent hit chance. Only a martial class has interesting feats that make the unique. When Mutagenists start getting their interesting feats as well I would consider them as interesting to play as a Barbarian, otherwise, I wouldn't go nowhere near comparing alchemists of any kind with Barbarians.


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AlastarOG wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Mutagenist Alchemist with martial weapon proficiency performs at a similar level to Animal Barbarian but with significantly higher versatility.

That is a good reason to not have that happen.

I think if you truly believe that then you don't understand how the animal barbarian works....

They would have higher AC, much higher damage (rage+d12) much higher HP, much higher reflex saves, and incredibly potent class abilities that would massively outclass anything the mutagenist could potentially dish out.

At equal stats the mutagenist would have maybe +1 to hit if it went ham on strength vs int.

Here's your numbers.

Quote:

Vs AC 34 (36 + flat-footed), sns fighter/dragon barbarian/bear animal barbarian/bestial alchemist:

Fighter, 21 Str, legendary; +2 greater striking flaming frost longsword for +30 (3d8+2d6+13, avg 33.5) - averaging 40.2/23.45 damage
Dragon Barbarian, 21 Str, master; +2 greater striking flaming frost greatsword for +28 (3d12+2d6+27, avg 53.5) - averaging 48.15/29.425
Bear Barbarian, 21 Str, master; +2 greater striking flaming frost claw/jaws for +28 (3d10+2d6+23, avg 46.5) - averaging 46.5/26.1
Bestial Alchemist, 20 Str, master; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +29, claw for followups in d8s (3d10+2d6+11, deadly 2d10, avg 34.5) - averaging 42.75/23.15 damage
Drakeheart Bestial Alchemist taking Feral bonus penalty, 20 Str, master; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +29, claw for followups in d10s (3d12+2d6+11, deadly 2d10, avg 37.5) - averaging 46.05/26.75

Currently:
Bestial Alchemist, 20 Str, expert; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +27, claw for followups in d8s (3d10+2d6+7, deadly 2d10, avg 30.5) - averaging 29.65/15.575 damage
Drakeheart Bestial Alchemist taking Feral bonus penalty, 20 Str, expert; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +27, claw for followups in d10s (3d12+2d6+11, deadly 2d10, avg 33.5) - averaging 32.35/17.325

Oh, and the alchemist can still output heavy ranged damage through bombs, because the one class feat they take for this doesn't stop them from taking all the bomb upgrade feats, or anything else like Monk archetype for Flurry.

So they can output damage like an animal barbarian and still have incredibly high ranged damage because of splash. And then they also can pull out other elixirs on top of that.

And they're only -1 AC and -1 Reflex from the Animal Skin barbarian, thanks to the higher base proficiency.


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Cyouni wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Mutagenist Alchemist with martial weapon proficiency performs at a similar level to Animal Barbarian but with significantly higher versatility.

That is a good reason to not have that happen.

I think if you truly believe that then you don't understand how the animal barbarian works....

They would have higher AC, much higher damage (rage+d12) much higher HP, much higher reflex saves, and incredibly potent class abilities that would massively outclass anything the mutagenist could potentially dish out.

At equal stats the mutagenist would have maybe +1 to hit if it went ham on strength vs int.

Here's your numbers.

Quote:

Vs AC 34 (36 + flat-footed), sns fighter/dragon barbarian/bear animal barbarian/bestial alchemist:

Fighter, 21 Str, legendary; +2 greater striking flaming frost longsword for +30 (3d8+2d6+13, avg 33.5) - averaging 40.2/23.45 damage
Dragon Barbarian, 21 Str, master; +2 greater striking flaming frost greatsword for +28 (3d12+2d6+27, avg 53.5) - averaging 48.15/29.425
Bear Barbarian, 21 Str, master; +2 greater striking flaming frost claw/jaws for +28 (3d10+2d6+23, avg 46.5) - averaging 46.5/26.1
Bestial Alchemist, 20 Str, master; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +29, claw for followups in d8s (3d10+2d6+11, deadly 2d10, avg 34.5) - averaging 42.75/23.15 damage
Drakeheart Bestial Alchemist taking Feral bonus penalty, 20 Str, master; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +29, claw for followups in d10s (3d12+2d6+11, deadly 2d10, avg 37.5) - averaging 46.05/26.75

Currently:
Bestial Alchemist, 20 Str, expert; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +27, claw for followups in d8s (3d10+2d6+7, deadly 2d10, avg 30.5) - averaging 29.65/15.575 damage
Drakeheart Bestial Alchemist taking Feral bonus penalty, 20 Str, expert; +3 greater striking flaming frost jaws for +27, claw for followups in d10s (3d12+2d6+11, deadly 2d10, avg 33.5) - averaging 32.35/17.325

Oh, and the alchemist can still output...

Your math is off.

Bear barb has d12 not d10, not to mention better action economy with predators pounce. Also I'd have to look at calc but a discrepancy of 12 base damage between attacks between bear and bestial should t translate into only 6 average damage, deadly d10 isn't that strong agaisnt those AC and shouldn't bridge the gap that much, cause the +12 is higher than their average and gets doubled on CRITS too.

Also the opportunity cost: if you're a bestial mutagenist, you can't use bombs as well (if at all) because dex is at this point your 4th off stat ? 5th? Behind Str, int, cons and probly some Wis too. With medium armor proficiency you don't really need dex that much.

Animal barbarian, with animal skin, has much higher AC than comparable barbarians, at this level with 16 dex it'd be 38 vs mutagenist's 35. This would also translate in higher ref saves (24 vs 22) despite the highgher proficiency alchemists get.

And that's not even counting class feats that get more potent in the higher levels vs archetype feats that cap out at effective level 10 when you multiclass.

Or eventually devastator.


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Redid the math.

On 3 attacks with MAP bear barb sits tight at 100, bestial mutagenist lags behind at 82.6

On the 1 greatest attack damage that you were using the jaws of the bear deal 49.5 vs 40.55 for the bestial mutagenist.

Now I'll admit that's a nice spot to be at, in the vicinity of a barbarian on damage with your mutagen. And it gives you an option to participate in combat as well as support.

Basically master prof at level 15 makes the mutagenist have the option.

Without it, as is, his damage falls to 74.95, which is just at this point... Meh...

I could run the calc on the bombs but at this point it'd just be sad...


Just for fun I did it.

27.825 with master proficiency.

25.125 with expert.

Third attack requires a nat 20 to hit.


Squiggit wrote:

Did anyone claim that giving Alchemists a better proficiency track would make the issues of reagents at low levels better? I can't see anyone making that claim.

Non sequiturs are usually used as a comedic device, not as rhetorical techniques Ediwir.

AlastarOG wrote:

That solves ALL my problems with the Alchemist!

Of course being legendary at level 1 solves all problems. That's not an argument agaisnt or for what we're discussing here.

Sometimes, my profile pic says it all.


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AlastarOG wrote:

Your math is off.

Bear barb has d12 not d10, not to mention better action economy with predators pounce. Also I'd have to look at calc but a discrepancy of 12 base damage between attacks between bear and bestial should t translate into only 6 average damage, deadly d10 isn't that strong agaisnt those AC and shouldn't bridge the gap that much, cause the +12 is higher than their average and gets doubled on CRITS too.

Also the opportunity cost: if you're a bestial mutagenist, you can't use bombs as well (if at all) because dex is at this point your 4th off stat ? 5th? Behind Str, int, cons and probly some Wis too. With medium armor proficiency you don't really need dex that much.

Animal barbarian, with animal skin, has much higher AC than comparable barbarians, at this level with 16 dex it'd be 38 vs mutagenist's 35. This would also translate in higher ref saves (24 vs 22) despite the highgher proficiency alchemists get.

And that's not even counting class feats that get more potent in the higher levels vs archetype feats that cap out at effective level 10 when you multiclass.

Or eventually devastator.

Let me actually give you a quick example. With something like Quick Bomber, Monk Dedication, Calculated Splash, Flurry of Blows, and Expanded Splash, you get barbarian-tier offense, the ability to attack twice, and high bomb damage. (Also remember that they can use Drakeheart at the same time to get their AC back up - Ref goes from +26 down to +23 as a result of the two mutagens. I'm also not sure where you're getting 38 on the barbarian - 10 + 15 level + 4 expert + 6 animal skin + 2 potency - 1 rage = 36 AC.)

How high is the ranged damage, you might ask? Well, assuming you're tanking your Int a little to have better overall stats, you could expect 16 Dex, 20 Int, master; greater alchemist's fire for +26 (3d8+6 fire, 3 persistent, 7 splash), coming out to average 19.35/13.075, approximately 80% that of the dedicated bomber.

So you're about 80% of a barbarian's damage, and 80% of a dedicated bomber's. That bomb damage, as a side note, also is approximately that of a champion archer with one property rune, which though it isn't particularly amazing, should give you an idea as to what you can expect.

And you only need ~6 of your 20 reagents to have the barbarian damage up the entire day. Assuming you spend one of your signatures to have 15 bombs, you still have 9 reagents and one signature left to play with. Meanwhile, you can do high melee damage, high ranged damage with a decent splash, and can, I dunno, hand out 27 greater elixirs of life for 7d6+18 each.


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Isn't it a bit disingenuous to compare with the Barbarian that decided to do less damage on purpose for the durability benefits of Animal to argue that such an Alchemist would be doing too much damage


I would like mutagen feats to get a bit of an overhaul. Looking at quite a few mutagen feats be "when you use a specific mutagen get a bonus" kind of sucks. Granted I also can't play clerics because using only 1 type of weapon scares me far more than it should so its probably more of a personal problem.


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Energy mutagen alchemist with a longspear does about half of a giant barb's damage and maybe 60% of a dragon barbarian's or rogue's.

Giving them master in weapons makes those numbers slightly more competitive but still noticeably behind.

Truly it would be the end of the world.


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MEATSHED wrote:
I would like mutagen feats to get a bit of an overhaul. Looking at quite a few mutagen feats be "when you use a specific mutagen get a bonus" kind of sucks. Granted I also can't play clerics because using only 1 type of weapon scares me far more than it should so its probably more of a personal problem.

Oh hey I agree with this one! Mostly as a sort of case by case basis issue. For example, the Quicksilver feat lets you Step 10ft and Squeeze better when under Quicksilver, or the Silvertongue feat which lets you be understood (but not understand) regardless of language. Compare these with Feral Mutagen (you deal more damage, and also deal EVEN MORE damage with a drawback) or the insanity that is MindBlank Mutagen (you just don't register to magic, zip), and you're just left wondering what is the deal with these?

A feat that empowers a mutagen should at least apply to something widely applicable to that mutagen's main situation, not niche cases within niche uses. I take Serene when I fear mental effects - good, magic won't touch my head. I take Bestial when I want to attack, and good, I am better at it. I take Silvertongue when I want to talk to someone... and... I guess if they don't speak Common, I'm good anyway?


Ediwir wrote:
MEATSHED wrote:
I would like mutagen feats to get a bit of an overhaul. Looking at quite a few mutagen feats be "when you use a specific mutagen get a bonus" kind of sucks. Granted I also can't play clerics because using only 1 type of weapon scares me far more than it should so its probably more of a personal problem.

Oh hey I agree with this one! Mostly as a sort of case by case basis issue. For example, the Quicksilver feat lets you Step 10ft and Squeeze better when under Quicksilver, or the Silvertongue feat which lets you be understood (but not understand) regardless of language. Compare these with Feral Mutagen (you deal more damage, and also deal EVEN MORE damage with a drawback) or the insanity that is MindBlank Mutagen (you just don't register to magic, zip), and you're just left wondering what is the deal with these?

A feat that empowers a mutagen should at least apply to something widely applicable to that mutagen's main situation, not niche cases within niche uses. I take Serene when I fear mental effects - good, magic won't touch my head. I take Bestial when I want to attack, and good, I am better at it. I take Silvertongue when I want to talk to someone... and... I guess if they don't speak Common, I'm good anyway?

Silvertongue does actually have a use case, in that you become bard-tier (possibly better, depending on if your GM allows access to Tongues) in things like Bon Mot, Demoralize, and Scare to Death. The problems with it, of course, are that a) you have to wait until level 14, and b) there's no real defined circumstance penalties for those skills, except any ad hoc penalties the GM might apply.


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Ediwir wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

Did anyone claim that giving Alchemists a better proficiency track would make the issues of reagents at low levels better? I can't see anyone making that claim.

Non sequiturs are usually used as a comedic device, not as rhetorical techniques Ediwir.

AlastarOG wrote:

That solves ALL my problems with the Alchemist!

Of course being legendary at level 1 solves all problems. That's not an argument agaisnt or for what we're discussing here.

Sometimes, my profile pic says it all.

Yes it does! On that we agree. I just don't think it says what you think it says.


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Cyouni wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:

Your math is off.

Bear barb has d12 not d10, not to mention better action economy with predators pounce. Also I'd have to look at calc but a discrepancy of 12 base damage between attacks between bear and bestial should t translate into only 6 average damage, deadly d10 isn't that strong agaisnt those AC and shouldn't bridge the gap that much, cause the +12 is higher than their average and gets doubled on CRITS too.

Also the opportunity cost: if you're a bestial mutagenist, you can't use bombs as well (if at all) because dex is at this point your 4th off stat ? 5th? Behind Str, int, cons and probly some Wis too. With medium armor proficiency you don't really need dex that much.

Animal barbarian, with animal skin, has much higher AC than comparable barbarians, at this level with 16 dex it'd be 38 vs mutagenist's 35. This would also translate in higher ref saves (24 vs 22) despite the highgher proficiency alchemists get.

And that's not even counting class feats that get more potent in the higher levels vs archetype feats that cap out at effective level 10 when you multiclass.

Or eventually devastator.

Let me actually give you a quick example. With something like Quick Bomber, Monk Dedication, Calculated Splash, Flurry of Blows, and Expanded Splash, you get barbarian-tier offense, the ability to attack twice, and high bomb damage. (Also remember that they can use Drakeheart at the same time to get their AC back up - Ref goes from +26 down to +23 as a result of the two mutagens. I'm also not sure where you're getting 38 on the barbarian - 10 + 15 level + 4 expert + 6 animal skin + 2 potency - 1 rage = 36 AC.)

How high is the ranged damage, you might ask? Well, assuming you're tanking your Int a little to have better overall stats, you could expect 16 Dex, 20 Int, master; greater alchemist's fire for +26 (3d8+6 fire, 3 persistent, 7 splash), coming out to average 19.35/13.075, approximately 80% that of the dedicated bomber.

So you're about 80% of a barbarian's...

I will return the dpr with flurry of blows but because it's a fourth attack at -10 it won't add much. Meanwhile animal barbarian could ALSO do that, and scale better.

The bomb damage is 20% of that of a barbarian, the dedicated bomber would have much higher damage because of higher to hit as well as expanded splash. Not to mention debilitating bomb fits the bomber more into a controller niche.

Drakeheart mutagen gives +6 item bonus at this level. A +2 breastplate gives +6 item bonus at this level. You could technically remove your breastplate to get the +1 max dex cap the drakeheart mutagen afforda you, but you'd lose benefits of your property runes and resilient rune, so I really don't understand the point of it.

Energy mutagen would be a better damage booster. As for champions why use bows when you're more reliable with cantrips for ranged attacks? Dex is a dump stat for champions, charisma isn't.

Now putting that aside . Does the bestial mutagenist do damage? Yes! It does! And with master proficiency at 15 that damage is, as you said, 80% that of the barb.

That's good for a class so versatile. I'd WANT to play that vs right now where I don't know why I'd do that rather than play a barb that multiclasses into Alchemist.

That little fix in proficiency makes the class effective rather than subpar, which is the whole point.


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Alchemist is a weird class, its by far the most unique class. It's the only class that has a unique resource pool that isn't spells it's the only class that isn't either a marital or a caster.

Its the only class that can assess its resource pool in both a prepared and spontaneous manner.

Its a exception to a lot of rules. But the main problem I have with it is the resources that it uses aren't very exciting or fun to use.


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HumbleGamer wrote:

That's probably ( enduring alchemy ) the main tax feat.

Thats the issue, even with enduring alchemy, without another action enhancer, it's still a (mostly) dead feature.

Creating 3 items without haste and the like looks like:

Turn 1) Quick alchemy (make 3) + use 2 items

Turn 2) Draw third item + use it + open

This is completely indistinguishable from on tge first turn simply double brewing followed by using quick alchemy on the second turn and then using the item

Alacrity is only helpful if you are quickened and can use all three items in one turn or, if you have enduring alchemy, you can use the item without spending an action to draw it (and even then, if you wanted to double brew again, it's still a wash)


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So here's an idea:
1. Get rid of Quick Bomber. All alchemists get a "pull and use an alchemical item as a single action" baked in. That way alchemists actually can use alchemical items better than other classes, which helps to get rid of the "hand my items off to the other classes and become a crossbowman" issue.

2. Replace Quick Bomber with "Shaped Charge". If you throw a bomb, it only affects a single target instead of an area of effect (handy for a mutie or chirg as a back up), if you are a bomber focus, you gain a bonus to accuracy (+1? +2?) when throwing a bomb that only affects a single target. Maybe even make it +intmod but you no longer do splash on a miss. Can't do the math because working but I think it could be balanced.

It would help with accuracy, not buff their damage to crazy amounts, and it would really help the alchemist in the buffer/debuffer role.

Now all we need is for mutagens to come with a complementary "detox" vial that would dismiss the mutagen so that people could use the buffs without hurting their ability in combat that so often comes after the talky bits and we'd be all set.


I agree with your baking in of quick bomber to just being part of an alchemists class, but I question the second point.

Aricks wrote:
2. Replace Quick Bomber with "Shaped Charge". If you throw a bomb, it only affects a single target instead of an area of effect (handy for a mutie or chirg as a back up), if you are a bomber focus, you gain a bonus to accuracy (+1? +2?) when throwing a bomb that only affects a single target. Maybe even make it +intmod but you no longer do splash on a miss. Can't do the math because working but I think it could be balanced.

This really undervalues splash damage on a miss. If you hit on an 12 or higher, not an atypical roll for your followup strikes, you have 10 “misses” on the d20 roll. Which adds up to a fairly significant amount of damage for your 2nd and 3rd attacks.

Alchemist bombs are the only weapon that natively interacts with the 4 degrees of success. This change would take that away. If you’re talking about a pure damage build, your balance point is where 1 additional success and 1 additional crit equals the damage of 6-7 misses added together. And, really, if we’re talking about 2nd or 3rd strikes, you don’t get the extra crit, so it’s 1 additional hit equal to all those misses.

Further, switching to Int instead of Dex would mostly only just let you dump Dex, as Bombers probably have Int and Dex either near equal or effectively equal, depending on what level they are. So this trade would basically give you +1, maybe +2 (but probably not, this is build dependent) higher chance to hit, but you’d lose 1/4 to 1/3 of your total damage in trade.

There’s builds where that would be fair, such as sticky bomb or debilitating, but not a damaging bomb build.


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There are a few feat taxes and class features that should be baseline or come online earlier just to smooth things out. Without touching proficiency, just plugging in more user-friendly design goes a long way towards making Alchemist better.

- Pull and throw and 30 foot throw range are both feats, when they should be baked-in advantages for Alchemists. They're the most efficient at throwing alchemical bombs of any variety.

- The default effects of Enduring Alchemy also shouldn't be a thing you need to waste a feat on. Taking it should be a legitimate change, like up to a minute duration.

- Powerful Alchemy should start at level 1 rather than at 5. I honestly don't see any reason for Alchemists to not use their class DC on everything they make.

- Perpetual Infusions should probably start at level 3, maybe level 5 at the latest, because at a certain point even "free" level 1 items are a total waste of actions.

- Mutagenists and Bombers should be able to pick Strength and Dexterity, respectively, as key ability scores. I can see some argument for Mutagenists getting Dex too, but I imagine most people are wanting to hulk out.

- Chirurgeon should have their interaction between Crafting and Medicine spelled out as explicitly as possible.

Then you can address things like interesting feats, decent alchemical items, etc. The errata are on the whole pretty good but there's still some fundamental jank that doesn't fit in with the rest of the classes.


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Puna'chong wrote:

There are a few feat taxes and class features that should be baseline or come online earlier just to smooth things out. Without touching proficiency, just plugging in more user-friendly design goes a long way towards making Alchemist better.

I wholeheartedly agree here.

My biggest problem with the alchemist class as it is currently is that there’s way too many mandatory feats that do too little. The bomber build that I favor uses basically all of your feats, which is just nuts.

The low level resource issue can be solved by new perpetual items that can be crafted by Quick Alchemy but don’t use reagents to be crafted. The feats will take an Unchained.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:

There are a few feat taxes and class features that should be baseline or come online earlier just to smooth things out. Without touching proficiency, just plugging in more user-friendly design goes a long way towards making Alchemist better.

I wholeheartedly agree here.

My biggest problem with the alchemist class as it is currently is that there’s way too many mandatory feats that do too little. The bomber build that I favor uses basically all of your feats, which is just nuts.

The low level resource issue can be solved by new perpetual items that can be crafted by Quick Alchemy but don’t use reagents to be crafted. The feats will take an Unchained.

Yeah, these are the basic changes I made in my games and they're a significant improvement from what I've seen. I went a little further in my own homebrew, but that's mostly adding more interesting feats. The fundamentals are really just this. I think anyone could plug these changes in and Alchemist would be a far more enjoyable class, and I don't think these changes are all that controversial either.

I did also add focus spells for Alchemists ("concoctions") and a default concoction that gives you two infused reagents if you sit down for 10 minutes to make them. In play it seems to sort of balance the intended resource management with a bit of padding for those long days.

Edit: Oh, and another thing I think is necessary is automatically upgrading the level for the Research Field's preferred items. So Mutagenists don't have to spend all of their upgrades on keeping their mutagens up to snuff, Bombers' bombs are always the highest level they can be, etc. The whole upgrading your formula book every level thing is another literal tax that the Alchemist has to deal with which is just wild to me.


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I have notes for a class archetype that trades alchemy out for scrolls, potions, oils, talismans, and haunts (snares). I may borrow your focus spell for that; it seems pretty interesting.

Well, right now it’s an archetype. I may in the end just let it be it’s own thing. Not that much extra work, I suppose.


Lucerious wrote:
Yes, but only in their attack proficiency. They should get to master rank.

I don't think it would break much to give them master rank with bombs. It seems like it would make sense that the people who work on them and with them all the time are pretty good at tossing them.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

I have notes for a class archetype that trades alchemy out for scrolls, potions, oils, talismans, and haunts (snares). I may borrow your focus spell for that; it seems pretty interesting.

Well, right now it’s an archetype. I may in the end just let it be it’s own thing. Not that much extra work, I suppose.

At risk of derailing, it's mostly been used to solve puzzles if the Alchemist has a relevant elixir or tool, or as padding when the character is out of juice. Seems to make Bombers feel better about having to fall back on their crossbow or whatever, because they know that they can get a couple more bombs ready once the combat ends.

The limitation being that they can only have two reagents made by the ability at any time, and if they use it again the items and reagents they made before dissipate. So really just emergency padding or slower problem-solving.


AlastarOG wrote:

Redid the math.

On 3 attacks with MAP bear barb sits tight at 100, bestial mutagenist lags behind at 82.6

On the 1 greatest attack damage that you were using the jaws of the bear deal 49.5 vs 40.55 for the bestial mutagenist.

Now I'll admit that's a nice spot to be at, in the vicinity of a barbarian on damage with your mutagen. And it gives you an option to participate in combat as well as support.

Basically master prof at level 15 makes the mutagenist have the option.

Without it, as is, his damage falls to 74.95, which is just at this point... Meh...

I could run the calc on the bombs but at this point it'd just be sad...

That seems pretty reasonable damage wise given the trade off is a fair bit of fragility for the alchemist compared to the barbarian.


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as we know the alchemist has 2 basic problems -resource and hitting an opponent here I see the following solution without much class change: to choose int / dex bomber or int / str mutagenist / you can give a similar choice to other reserch. - additionally, you should give exploration activity - once per hour - quick craft (lasts 10 minutes - make batches of alchemical items that remain potent until you make the next preparation. Craft DC equals item level. fail - 1 batches succes 2 batches criticall sucess 3 batches +2 circumstance for a proper reaserch field - thus craft is very important and it gives the alchemist considerable choice and usefulness.


The alchemist should be able to perform a few alchemy items during exploration mode (after passing the skill check - similar to medicine.

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