The new level 5+ best healer in the game?


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With the coming up release (and considering that no change will happen now), I see the Chirurgeon becoming maybe the best high level healer in the game. Here's how it competes with... well, the competition (mostly the Cleric).

Out of combat healing.
This one is easy. With Medicine going up as fast as Crafting and Perpetual Infusions giving you extra hit points per ten minutes at high level, the Chirurgeon is now the master of out of combat healing (past the very first levels where Rogues and Investigators can grab Continual Recovery earlier).

In combat healing.
2 Elixirs of Life have nearly the same healing output than a 2-action Heal of the highest spell level or second highest spell level (because of the weird progression of Elixirs of Life). But the Alchemist can produce so many Elixirs of Life that it outlives the Cleric easily. The issue with this form of healing has always been Action economy. With a Valet Familiar and a Mature Mount, you could move, draw 2 Elixirs of Life and administer them. But it was a bit clunky as you had to get very close to enemies (and risk Attacks of Opportunity) and because you had to move every time you wanted to heal a new PC.
Now, with the Choker-Arm Mutagen, you can get a bigger reach (10ft. early, 15+ at level 11+). You should have much more freedom in your positioning thanks to it. Still, because of the very weird mount rules, it's better to use a Medium Mount (and a Small Alchemist) than a Large one.
At very high level (13+) or if you decide to Combine Elixirs, the Alchemist has a bigger emergency healing output than the Cleric. But it greatly affects its sustainability so you can't use it too often.
Also, with Soothing Tonic and Numbing Tonic, you can give a nice regeneration to your allies. Unlike the Cleric you are not forced to wait for damage to happen to start healing.
Unfortunately, the Alchemist doesn't have neither the range of the Cleric (even if it gets close at level 17) nor its AoE healing.
Overall, I feel that the Alchemist is able to maintain a higher healing output for longer but with a few situations where it isn't ideal.

Status Removal.
Contagion Metabolizers allow you to easily get rid of Poison and Diseases (especially when you get them through Perpetual Infusions (11+) as you'll be able to do it for free every hour then).
Merciful Elixirs at 10 can counteract Fear and Paralyzed (once again, you can combine it with Perpetual Infusions for at will tries, even if you aim for a nat 20 on the counteract check). Greater Merciful Elixir add Blinded, Deafened, Sickened and Slowed.
The Alchemist can remove the Fatigued Condition for 30 minutes per day.
And Elixirs like Focus Cathartic and Sinew-Shock Serum can help also, even if their lack of efficiency limits greatly how much you can get out of them.
The Cleric can remove a broad range of effects, but for most of them you'll need to prepare it beforehand or wait for a long rest. Channeled Succor (8+) helps with 4 Conditions but costs your Font slots, so you are still quite limited in its use.
Overall, even if the Cleric can remove as many Conditions as the Alchemist, the need to prepare the spells beforehand strongly limits its efficiency when the Alchemist can use Quick Alchemy a few times per day to help with unexpected Conditions. Still, the Cleric can Remove Curse and Stone to Flesh, 2 very important conditions.

Pre buff.
When it comes to healing, there are a few prebuff options. The Cleric can cast Vital Beacon but it's far from awesome, the level 11+ Alchemist can put everyone under Soothing Tonic every 10 minutes which is very nice to use before opening a door.

Disclaimer: I certainly have missed a few things here and there, especially because I base this post on Nonat1s video. Don't hesitate to tell me then.

Conclusion: With the new items coming soon, it's now hard to dismiss the Chirurgeon as a healer. The very first levels are a bit hard (unfortunately as they are the ones asking for the most healing) but once at level 5 the Chirurgeon can be a strong primary healer, I even find it slightly better than the Cleric in pure healing.


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I'm of the opinion that there should be a Final Fantasy Tactics style feat that lets you administer potions/elixirs by hucking them at your friends' heads. Item action economy is just kinda janky.


Thebazilly wrote:
I'm of the opinion that there should be a Final Fantasy Tactics style feat that lets you administer potions/elixirs by hucking them at your friends' heads. Item action economy is just kinda janky.

There is already one such feat: Healing Bombs.

And the Treasure Vault will bring some healing ammunitions for your guns.


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I like the Healing Bombs but it requires Quick Alchemy and limits the Elixir level to 2 levels bellow and only works with elixir of life.

This is what's make's me way from alchemists as primary healers. Compared to spellcasters that can cast from a safe distance, alchemists turn back one thing I always hated when I played with healer in PF1/3.5, the touch distance.

Close quarter heals consumes too much action with movement, when more than one char needs heal (usually due AoE effects) you not only need to risk yourself in frontline, you use basically all your actions to move closer to each damaged ally risking to trigger a reaction like AoO but also risking to be a target with a char that isn't have that good defensive power (by default, 8 HP, no heavy armor, no shield block, specialist armor proficiency progression (expert at level 13, master at level 19 only))

And in the end the alchemist continues to be better as portable grocery. Produce many elixirs as you can, distribute them between party members, stay way and sometimes uses perpetual infusion to give free extra healing/remove condition.

As primary healer I still prefer cleric due it's font and healing improvement feats or sorcerer due it's large number of spellslot and spontaneous spellcasting that allows to remove conditions without need to prepare the spells or even life oracle with it's "curses" that bonuses healing spells.


As shown above, with the brand new Choker-Arm Mutagen, the Alchemist doesn't have to be adjacent to its targets. Especially once level 11 when you start having a very big reach.
Being able to touch anyone at 15ft. seems very easy if you position yourself properly. I'm not even sure you need the mount at high level.


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I guess the big question is, what are you doing when not healing? Divine casters also have pretty nice offensive spells and at worst cantrips. It seems you would be somewhat limited since you need to spend resources on bombs that also go to healing.


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It's a good question. Choker-Arm has a very real anti-Combat Drawback: -1 to Attack Rolls, Athletics Checks, Stealth Checks, Thievery Checks and to all weapon and unarmed attack damage dice.

Your best bet might be to pick up a Spellcasting dedication, as Spells are not as affected by the Drawback (and Saving Throw spells are not affected at all.)


I wouldn't recommend trying to be the party's main in-combat healer with nothing but a spellcasting archetype. Psychic and Summoner have trouble having enough high level spell slots to be the main healer. Archetype spell slots are lower by a couple levels, and even fewer in quantity.

I suppose you could cast from scrolls. But now you are using non-renewable resources for healing.


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SuperBidi wrote:

As shown above, with the brand new Choker-Arm Mutagen, the Alchemist doesn't have to be adjacent to its targets. Especially once level 11 when you start having a very big reach.

Being able to touch anyone at 15ft. seems very easy if you position yourself properly. I'm not even sure you need the mount at high level.

Unfortunately the creature sizes also "increases" with levels too. While em low levels the number o medium creatures is pretty high in higher levels this invert and becomes more common to face a larger creatures than a medium or smaller. Usually only NPCs antagonists that keeping being 5ft range in higher levels. So even with effects of a reach improvement mutagen still very dangerous to keep touch healing abilities with a low defensive class like alchemist. I don't deny that this will help a lot but still far from the effectiveness and safety of a healing spell.

Onkonk wrote:
I guess the big question is, what are you doing when not healing? Divine casters also have pretty nice offensive spells and at worst cantrips. It seems you would be somewhat limited since you need to spend resources on bombs that also go to healing.

I just disagree about "Divine casters also have pretty nice offensive spells". Divine tradition is so focused in healing and supportive spells and lack from many offensive ones specially in lower levels. But usually the primal tradition solves this, you lose some remove condition spells but if the party also have an occult spellcaster too this is completely solved (the both can easily share the jobs of damage dealing and heal/support).

Also Alchemists, even chirurgeons, still can reserve some bombs to help damage specially against opponents weakness it's not like the PF2 heal demand is that high to completely focus in heal. (yet isn't comparable to spellcasters specially the primal ones)

ottdmk wrote:

It's a good question. Choker-Arm has a very real anti-Combat Drawback: -1 to Attack Rolls, Athletics Checks, Stealth Checks, Thievery Checks and to all weapon and unarmed attack damage dice.

Your best bet might be to pick up a Spellcasting dedication, as Spells are not as affected by the Drawback (and Saving Throw spells are not affected at all.)

The proposed used is to be focused in heal/supportive abilities so to do this this mutagens isn't a big problem. But yet you are right specially if we think in a class not fully focused in heal/support.

breithauptclan wrote:

I wouldn't recommend trying to be the party's main in-combat healer with nothing but a spellcasting archetype. Psychic and Summoner have trouble having enough high level spell slots to be the main healer. Archetype spell slots are lower by a couple levels, and even fewer in quantity.

I suppose you could cast from scrolls. But now you are using non-renewable resources for healing.

I Agree. The archetype aren't made to turn you in a main healer. In the best cases you can be a off-healer. Yet when used by a full or wave spellcasters MC spells can improve your healing capacity a lot. So a Psychic with occult sorcerer spellcaster could be a good healer (you can almost double your spellslots in top levels) and even the summoners can be good healers with sorcerer/oracles MC too.


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Just to save on confusion and encourage consistent language.

PF2e/Paizo defines low level as 1-7, mid level as 8-14 and high level as 15-20.

(Not having a dig, just sharing information incase you or others didn't already know)

As for the post itself. I am just so happy to see the Chirurgeon to not be a dead subclass, and given how strong the alchemist is at supporting (even more so with TV) it is likely to actually have people who choose Chirurgeon be happy with their choice and it is harder to build it wrong than the other options.

Going from the worst alchemist to the most beginner friendly :)


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Onkonk wrote:
I guess the big question is, what are you doing when not healing? Divine casters also have pretty nice offensive spells and at worst cantrips. It seems you would be somewhat limited since you need to spend resources on bombs that also go to healing.

Definitely the biggest question (and why I won't respect my PFS Chirurgeon to adopt this strategy).

You can use Numbing and Soothing Tonics before the party takes damage. It's "preventive" healing. You also have Mistform Elixir and some other nice Elixirs for specific situations (like Cat's Eye Elixir).
You can also turn into a bomber if needed (after all, you don't have to take the Mutagen if you feel that the fight will be one needing offensive abilities more than healing), but you'll have hard time getting many of their tax feats if you follow the "full healing" build I've given above.
You can attack with your mount, too.
You can grab Psychic Dedication for Amp Message, too (so others attack instead of you).

The last solution, and a little bit of an exploit, is to feed your AC or Familiar with an Energy Mutagen and command them to use the breath action. The rules allow it but I expect some GM to disagree.

YuriP wrote:
Unfortunately the creature sizes also "increases" with levels too.

Before level 11 you have 10ft. of reach. As you need to reach your companion it means that enemies need 15-20ft. of reach (depending on your positioning) to attack you. That's a lot.

At level 11, it gets to 15ft. Monsters need 20-25ft. That's still a lot.
At level 17, monsters need 25-30ft. of reach. As a side note, with such a reach, the Cleric is not in a better position.
And of course, monsters with such reach use their AoO against your companions, too. So I'm not sure you'll eat one that often.

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Going from the worst alchemist to the most beginner friendly :)

Even if I share your point of view, I'd still not call the Chirurgeon "beginner friendly". Someone still has to explain you how to use the Choker-Arm Mutagen. And if you want to get the most out of an Alchemist, you need to be able to use all the various tools at its disposal. So, it's still one of the hardest class to play in my opinion.


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Given how hard tracking allies & resources can be, I wouldn't say it's the most simple compared to a Bomber who just bombs (however well), especially if requiring a combo to function at range. And IMO no Alchemists are beginner-friendly. All of them require more system mastery than casters, and have baggage from other systems that warp expectations.

Dark Archive

You can get around the -1 to hit by using the new expandable alchemical items. Quick alchemy up a ghost ampoule and throw for 2 actions. Its all save DC so its not impacted by any rolls to hit.


I must admit I don't find the Bottled Monstrosities to be really strong. The Ghost Ampoule, for example, is affecting everyone (allies included) in a very small area. It's worse than Fear 3. Still nice to have it when useful, but I don't find it can replace Bombs.


It's a good healer, but I think the life Oracle still outperforms. The big thing the Chirurgeon is missing is damage redistribution. Shield other can change a deadly attack to a minor inconvenience. Life Link can pile the damage all into one place to be more efficiently healed from medium range.

The oracle has 2 powerful archetypes to make this even more extreme. You can use sprit guide to get 2 sets of channel and life link. Or you can use pei zin practitioner to get lay on hands with easy status removal. Note that lay on hands is way better when combined with life link, because you can slowly heal other people from medium range, while only needing to use lay on hands on themselves as a free action.


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Castilliano wrote:
Given how hard tracking allies & resources can be, I wouldn't say it's the most simple compared to a Bomber who just bombs (however well), especially if requiring a combo to function at range. And IMO no Alchemists are beginner-friendly. All of them require more system mastery than casters, and have baggage from other systems that warp expectations.

Not sure if I am agreeing or disagreeing. But the problem that I have heard of with new players and Bomber Alchemist is that they want to explode all the things - and so take Quick Bomber and throw bombs at high MAP and burn through their daily allotment before the first battle of the day is over.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
Given how hard tracking allies & resources can be, I wouldn't say it's the most simple compared to a Bomber who just bombs (however well), especially if requiring a combo to function at range. And IMO no Alchemists are beginner-friendly. All of them require more system mastery than casters, and have baggage from other systems that warp expectations.
Not sure if I am agreeing or disagreeing. But the problem that I have heard of with new players and Bomber Alchemist is that they want to explode all the things - and so take Quick Bomber and throw bombs at high MAP and burn through their daily allotment before the first battle of the day is over.

The fact that you pretty much have to find something non-alchemist to do for combat effectiveness at low levels is part of the problem, but it's not all of the problem. The other side is that a big chunk of the effectiveness budget for the class is tied up in the idea that you're using mutagens, alchemical tools, and things of like nature in a fairly effective way... and to do that, you need to have a fairly deep knowledge of what the various alchemical items are, when and how to use them effectively, which ones are most useful for your party configuration, and so forth. If you don't have that, then there won't necessarily be any specific thing that you look at and think "I'm failing as an alchemist because X", but you'll still be underpowered, because a noticeable chunk of what's supposed to make you awesome just won't be there.


The choker arm mutagen could be fun with psychics and amped imaginary weapon.


aobst128 wrote:
The choker arm mutagen could be fun with psychics and amped imaginary weapon.

The thing with Choker-Arm is that its Drawback affects all Attack Rolls... and a Spell Attack Roll is still an Attack Roll.

breithauptclan wrote:
Not sure if I am agreeing or disagreeing. But the problem that I have heard of with new players and Bomber Alchemist is that they want to explode all the things - and so take Quick Bomber and throw bombs at high MAP and burn through their daily allotment before the first battle of the day is over.

Yeah, early days you're much better off with one Bomb Strike a round. By around third level you won't even need your backup weapon if you focus on that... 4 Quicksilvers and 15 Bombs makes for a decent adventuring day.

Sainityfaerie wrote:
The other side is that a big chunk of the effectiveness budget for the class is tied up in the idea that you're using mutagens, alchemical tools, and things of like nature in a fairly effective way... and to do that, you need to have a fairly deep knowledge of what the various alchemical items are, when and how to use them effectively, which ones are most useful for your party configuration, and so forth. If you don't have that, then there won't necessarily be any specific thing that you look at and think "I'm failing as an alchemist because X", but you'll still be underpowered, because a noticeable chunk of what's supposed to make you awesome just won't be there.

In depth knowledge of Alchemical Items is a real necessity, agreed. It's why I continue to toil away at the Guide I'm writing on the topic. I need to get back to that... I'm on Injury Poisons at the moment, but I've fallen off on output lately. Too busy talking about Nonat1s Alchemy Unleashed preview video.


Dang. Well, blessed one is pretty handy on a chirurgeon with reach then.


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I think Medic Archetype is more obvious. I actually realize I forgot to speak about it. Besides the weak Dedication as you don't use Medicine at all, Doctor's Visitation allows you to move and Battle Medicine. Then you can administer your Elixirs with your remaining actions.


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SuperBidi wrote:

Status Removal.

Contagion Metabolizers allow you to easily get rid of Poison and Diseases (especially when you get them through Perpetual Infusions (11+) as you'll be able to do it for free every hour then).
Merciful Elixirs at 10 can counteract Fear and Paralyzed (once again, you can combine it with Perpetual Infusions for at will tries, even if you aim for a nat 20 on the counteract check). Greater Merciful Elixir add Blinded, Deafened, Sickened and Slowed.
The Alchemist can remove the Fatigued Condition for 30 minutes per day.
And Elixirs like Focus Cathartic and Sinew-Shock Serum can help also, even if their lack of efficiency limits greatly how much you can get out of them.
The Cleric can remove a broad range of effects, but for most of them you'll need to prepare it beforehand or wait for a long rest. Channeled Succor (8+) helps with 4 Conditions but costs your Font slots, so you are still quite limited in its use.
Overall, even if the Cleric can remove as many Conditions as the Alchemist, the need to prepare the spells beforehand strongly limits its efficiency when the Alchemist can use Quick Alchemy a few times per day to help with unexpected Conditions. Still, the Cleric can Remove Curse and Stone to Flesh, 2 very important conditions.

nah, i think they still lag quite a bit behind a divine caster/blessed one for condition removal.

The only condition they are actually good to battle is poison/disease with the new item.

Merciful is still quite horrible since it uses the item level of the produced Elixir so it will usually have quite the hard time counteracting level appropriate threats (because those still level every 4 levels instead of 2...).

and spending your few Quick Alchemy reagents on that seems very expensive, those are your only ways to burst heal.
So it directly compares to using Heals out of font to do the same thing, only that Heals have a higher chance of success due to them always bein on-level.
Restoration is also very cheap as a second level slot to reduce conditions instantly without a check.

The alchemist seems to have quite a lot of circumstantial elixirs to combat specific ailments with a check and counteract and such, and that means that you will have to spend full reasgents on a chance.

There's still also no way to combat really crippling conditions like slow, curses, petrify, and etc.

Don't get me wrong:
Vault adds quite a lot to the table, but i don't think you can call them "the best healer", at least not yet.
Chirurgeon seems to have been given enough tools to actually stand on its own two feet and be competitive, but i'd say at most he is elevated to the power level of the rest of the healers, each one with his own strengths and weaknesses.


shroudb wrote:
at most he is elevated to the power level of the rest of the healers, each one with his own strengths and weaknesses.

Yeah, I quite agree. I need to see it in action to really know if it's worse, equivalent or better.

Still, about status removal, I'm not sure the Cleric is that better. If I make a list of each Conditions comparing Cleric and Chirurgeon:

Curse:
- Chirurgeon: Nothing.
- Cleric: Remove Curse and Channeled Succor.
Petrification:
- Chirurgeon: Nothing.
- Cleric: Stone to Flesh.
Disease:
- Chirurgeon: Quick Alchemy for a check every hour. Perpetuals at level 11.
- Cleric: Remove Disease after a long rest, Channeled Succor at level 8+.
Poison:
- Chirurgeon: Quick Alchemy for a check every hour. Perpetuals at level 11.
- Cleric: Remove Poison.
Persistent damage:
- Chirurgeon: Depending on the persistent damage type, there are a few Elixirs and Mutagens you can use.
- Cleric: Resist Energy is your best bet.
Frightened:
- Chirurgeon: Merciful Elixir at level 10 with Quick Alchemy.
- Cleric: Remove Fear.
Paralyzed:
- Chirurgeon: Merciful Elixir at level 10 with Quick Alchemy.
- Cleric: Remove Paralysis then Channeled Succor at level 8.
Clumsy/Enfeebled:
- Chirurgeon: Sinew-Shock Serum with Quick Alchemy. As it's a Healing Elixir, I very much await for an errata allowing the Chirurgeon to use its level and DC to the check, but it's not there.
- Cleric: Restoration.
Stupefied:
- Chirurgeon: Focus Cathartic with Quick Alchemy. As it's a Healing Elixir, I very much await for an errata allowing the Chirurgeon to use its level and DC to the check, but it's not there.
- Cleric: Restoration.
Drained and Doomed:
- Chirurgeon: Nothing.
- Cleric: Restoration.
Blinded/Deafened:
- Chirurgeon: Greater Merciful Elixir at 14.
- Cleric: Restore Senses.
Sickened:
- Chirurgeon: Greater Merciful Elixir at 14.
- Cleric: Nothing.
Slowed:
- Chirurgeon: Greater Merciful Elixir at 14.
- Cleric: Nothing (but you say you found something so I may have missed it).
Grabbed/Restrained:
- Chirurgeon: Nothing.
- Cleric: Freedom of Movement.
Transmutation (Baleful Polymorph):
- Chirurgeon: There's an Elixir, but I don't remember its name.
- Cleric: Nothing.
Fatigued:
- Chirurgeon: There's an Elixir, but I don't remember its name.
- Cleric: Soothing Spring and one hour to wait.

To all of that, Miracle has to be added, but as a level 10 spell I don't think it's really important. And of course Dispel Magic that may remove Conditions indirectly. And the Cleric can get a few spells outside Divine spell list (Haste fights Slowed for example).

Overall, it's very close. The main issue of the Cleric is that it needs a spell prepared for most situations (outside Channeled Succor, which is still eating its Font, and Restoration which is on every Staves of Healing). The Alchemist just needs to use Quick Alchemy. So it will really depend on external factors: The party and the campaign. In my opinion, the Alchemist is still ahead as it can immediately handle nearly all situations when the Cleric needs to know beforehand what it will face to react to it.


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SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:
at most he is elevated to the power level of the rest of the healers, each one with his own strengths and weaknesses.

Yeah, I quite agree. I need to see it in action to really know if it's worse, equivalent or better.

Still, about status removal, I'm not sure the Cleric is that better. If I make a list of each Conditions comparing Cleric and Chirurgeon:

Curse:
- Chirurgeon: Nothing.
- Cleric: Remove Curse and Channeled Succor.
Petrification:
- Chirurgeon: Nothing.
- Cleric: Stone to Flesh.
Disease:
- Chirurgeon: Quick Alchemy for a check every hour. Perpetuals at level 11.
- Cleric: Remove Disease after a long rest, Channeled Succor at level 8+.
Poison:
- Chirurgeon: Quick Alchemy for a check every hour. Perpetuals at level 11.
- Cleric: Remove Poison.
Persistent damage:
- Chirurgeon: Depending on the persistent damage type, there are a few Elixirs and Mutagens you can use.
- Cleric: Resist Energy is your best bet.
Frightened:
- Chirurgeon: Merciful Elixir at level 10 with Quick Alchemy.
- Cleric: Remove Fear.
Paralyzed:
- Chirurgeon: Merciful Elixir at level 10 with Quick Alchemy.
- Cleric: Remove Paralysis then Channeled Succor at level 8.
Clumsy/Enfeebled:
- Chirurgeon: Sinew-Shock Serum with Quick Alchemy. As it's a Healing Elixir, I very much await for an errata allowing the Chirurgeon to use its level and DC to the check, but it's not there.
- Cleric: Restoration.
Stupefied:
- Chirurgeon: Focus Cathartic with Quick Alchemy. As it's a Healing Elixir, I very much await for an errata allowing the Chirurgeon to use its level and DC to the check, but it's not there.
- Cleric: Restoration.
Drained and Doomed:
- Chirurgeon: Nothing.
- Cleric: Restoration.
Blinded/Deafened:
- Chirurgeon: Greater Merciful Elixir at 14.
- Cleric: Restore Senses.
Sickened:
- Chirurgeon: Greater Merciful Elixir at 14.
- Cleric: Nothing.
Slowed:
- Chirurgeon: Greater Merciful Elixir at 14.
- Cleric: Nothing (but you say you found something so I may have...

I mean... Most of your list is based on an "errata pending" that we don't know if we'll ever get.

Using perpetuals to remove conditions doesn't actually work as it is currently since even a nat20 on the roll fails to remove level appropriate stuff.

So, for each and everyone of your "Perpetual" in the list you should replace with "1 full reagent".

And then you see how forbiddingly expensive that becomes.

Assuming that at high enough level you have like 6-7 open reagents, if you calculate that those are simultaneously your burst healing and your condition removals, you are no much different than the 5ish font Heals that cleric has.
Going even deeper, into feat expenditure, his 1 vs your 2 for the same thing, and since he can use a lowly 2nd level spell to deal with any status penalty, he can more easily grab stuff like Blessed one and its continuation to assist him in that front.


shroudb wrote:
I mean... Most of your list is based on an "errata pending" that we don't know if we'll ever get.

No, only 2 items. Overall, my list is accurate.

shroudb wrote:
Using perpetuals to remove conditions doesn't actually work as it is currently since even a nat20 on the roll fails to remove level appropriate stuff.

Not for Disease and Poison where the item uses your DC and level whatever the level of the item. Its just for Sinew-Shock Serum and Focus Cathartic that I hope there'll be an errata.

shroudb wrote:
Assuming that at high enough level you have like 6-7 open reagents, if you calculate that those are simultaneously your burst healing and your condition removals, you are no much different than the 5ish font Heals that cleric has.

Not really. The Cleric Font is its base healing (the Cleric doesn't have burst healing). The Alchemist base healing is based on Advanced Alchemy. So the Cleric is sharing its base healing and its condition removal when the Alchemist is sharing its burst healing and its condition removal. The Alchemist is in a way better situation.

shroudb wrote:
Going even deeper, into feat expenditure, his 1 vs your 2 for the same thing, and since he can use a lowly 2nd level spell to deal with any status penalty, he can more easily grab stuff like Blessed one and its continuation to assist him in that front.

It starts to be complicated if you add Archetypes into the mix. I mean, the Chirurgeon is a good candidate to take the Medic Archetype due to its heavy focus on Medicine and extreme reach with Choker-Arm Mutagen. So I'm not sure Blessed One will give you much more than what the Alchemist can get. But more importantly, it's not really part of the class itself.


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SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:
I mean... Most of your list is based on an "errata pending" that we don't know if we'll ever get.

No, only 2 items. Overall, my list is accurate.

shroudb wrote:
Using perpetuals to remove conditions doesn't actually work as it is currently since even a nat20 on the roll fails to remove level appropriate stuff.

Not for Disease and Poison where the item uses your DC and level whatever the level of the item. Its just for Sinew-Shock Serum and Focus Cathartic that I hope there'll be an errata.

shroudb wrote:
Assuming that at high enough level you have like 6-7 open reagents, if you calculate that those are simultaneously your burst healing and your condition removals, you are no much different than the 5ish font Heals that cleric has.

Not really. The Cleric Font is its base healing (the Cleric doesn't have burst healing). The Alchemist base healing is based on Advanced Alchemy. So the Cleric is sharing its base healing and its condition removal when the Alchemist is sharing its burst healing and its condition removal. The Alchemist is in a way better situation.

shroudb wrote:
Going even deeper, into feat expenditure, his 1 vs your 2 for the same thing, and since he can use a lowly 2nd level spell to deal with any status penalty, he can more easily grab stuff like Blessed one and its continuation to assist him in that front.
It starts to be complicated if you add Archetypes into the mix. I mean, the Chirurgeon is a good candidate to take the Medic Archetype due to its heavy focus on Medicine and extreme reach with Choker-Arm Mutagen. So I'm not sure Blessed One will give you much more than what the Alchemist can get. But more importantly, it's not really part of the class itself.

But those 2 (actually 3) items are what covers everything except disease and poison (which I already said that indeed is its strong point).

Without merciful, shock sinew and focus cathartic on the list, you are down to using full reagents for anything non-poison related.

And if you are using your full allotment to cover healing, I'm also using the clerics full allotment to keep things fair.

So, your prepared healing and utility using Advanced is counterbalanced by Clerics spell slot healing and utility.

Your ability to extend this healing/removal using Quick is then comparable to Clerics ability to extend his healing/removal using Font.


Ok, I see your point, but I still disagree, especially because of that:

shroudb wrote:
So, your prepared healing and utility using Advanced is counterbalanced by Clerics spell slot healing and utility.

But Cleric's spell slots don't cover healing and utility much.

First, outside your highest spell levels, you'll get disappointing healing out of your spell slots. So most of your healing will come from your Font. The Alchemist can just use 5 reagents for 15 Elixirs of Life (which is roughly equivalent to 6 maxed out Heals once you're in the 2-digit levels) to get the same amount of healing than whatever the Cleric can expect from both its Font and its spell slots.
For Condition Removal (I assume it's what you meant by "utility"), the Cleric is in the same boat. Because a lot of Condition Removal spells ask for a Counteract check, you need to use your highest level spell slots to cover them.

So I don't see the Cleric spell list helping a lot in the healing/condition removal department.
On the other hand, Advanced Alchemy will cover all non burst healing for the Alchemist and can cover condition removal as well (even if, like the Cleric, it's better to use Quick Alchemy for these). Then you have Quick Alchemy for mostly Condition Removal and the rare cases you need burst healing (even if with Merciful Elixir you can do both simultaneously sometimes).

I also would like to add, even if it's a bit outside the debate, that if the Cleric uses its highest level spell slots for healing, it is left with nearly nothing if it doesn't want to heal. The Alchemist, on the other hand, just needs a bit of Advanced Alchemy left on the side for Bombs (for examples).


SuperBidi wrote:

Ok, I see your point, but I still disagree, especially because of that:

shroudb wrote:
So, your prepared healing and utility using Advanced is counterbalanced by Clerics spell slot healing and utility.

But Cleric's spell slots don't cover healing and utility much.

First, outside your highest spell levels, you'll get disappointing healing out of your spell slots. So most of your healing will come from your Font. The Alchemist can just use 5 reagents for 15 Elixirs of Life (which is roughly equivalent to 6 maxed out Heals once you're in the 2-digit levels) to get the same amount of healing than whatever the Cleric can expect from both its Font and its spell slots.
For Condition Removal (I assume it's what you meant by "utility"), the Cleric is in the same boat. Because a lot of Condition Removal spells ask for a Counteract check, you need to use your highest level spell slots to cover them.

So I don't see the Cleric spell list helping a lot in the healing/condition removal department.
On the other hand, Advanced Alchemy will cover all non burst healing for the Alchemist and can cover condition removal as well (even if, like the Cleric, it's better to use Quick Alchemy for these). Then you have Quick Alchemy for mostly Condition Removal and the rare cases you need burst healing (even if with Merciful Elixir you can do both simultaneously sometimes).

I also would like to add, even if it's a bit outside the debate, that if the Cleric uses its highest level spell slots for healing, it is left with nearly nothing if it doesn't want to heal. The Alchemist, on the other hand, just needs a bit of Advanced Alchemy left on the side for Bombs (for examples).

A theoretical reagent allocation for a 15th level alchemist would look (imo) something like:

12 elixirs (4 reagents)
3 of the new fast healing (1 reagent)
4 of the temp hp new one (2 reagent)
4 mutagens for reach (2 reagents)
7 open reagents for condition/burst (7 reagents)
That leaves only 4 for party buffing /utility (like a Mutagen or a buff for an ally) which is kinda weak, but we are focusing on healing here.

For the cleric, he can allocate his 8th and 7th to healing, which is more or less equal throughput as the Advanced Alchemy stuff.
His 2nd level and 4th slots would be Restorations. So those are some extra sources of status removal, comparable imo to the free anti poison stuff of alchemist.

And then he still has his 6/5/3 slots for buffs like heroism and etc which should far outstrip what the alchemist can provide with only 4 reagents. (but the alchemist can tap into his healing reserves open slots for something needed in a pinch).

And then you have 5 Font Heals vs 7 open reagents. Font is stronger healing wise even vs the maximised elixir, so I'd say those are about equal.


SuperBidi wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Going from the worst alchemist to the most beginner friendly :)
Even if I share your point of view, I'd still not call the Chirurgeon "beginner friendly". Someone still has to explain...

The worst alchemist to the most beginner friendly... for an alchemist. I am not claiming it is the most beginner friendly class.

Also optimization doesn't have to be consideres as baseline. It can do what it says on the tin with relatively less chance of screwing it up as a build compared to the other alchemical paths is my point. That is what makes it beginner friendly.


My advice to beginners wanting to play an alchemist is don't it's a uniquely over complicated mess of a class.


shroudb wrote:

A theoretical reagent allocation for a 15th level alchemist would look (imo) something like:

12 elixirs (4 reagents)
3 of the new fast healing (1 reagent)
4 of the temp hp new one (2 reagent)
4 mutagens for reach (2 reagents)
7 open reagents for condition/burst (7 reagents)
That leaves only 4 for party...

I'd change a few things.

First, as you have a Familiar with Valet, you can take Extra Reagents for one more reagent.
Then, I'd take Battle Medicine into account. First, because the Chirurgeon has free Medicine proficiency. Second because you can benefit from your extended reach for Battle Medicine. Third because you heal at touch range so you won't need to move to use Battle Medicine. So even if the Cleric can also take it, at these levels it should nearly never do it when the Chirurgeon will use it always.
And finally, I'd really cut on the 7 open reagents. You only need them for emergency healing and condition removal. 4 should be enough.
As you give a lot of healing to your Cleric, I'd use 6 reagents for Elixirs of Life.
It leaves the Alchemist with 12 Alchemical Items for combat purposes.

Also, I don't see the point of that many Restorations. You can't use it in combat and your Staff of Healing should provide a few for you. In my opinion you can forget about them.
It leaves the Cleric with a level 12 spell list.

The Cleric can remove:
In combat: Paralyzed.
Outside combat: Clumsy, Enfeebled, Stupefied, Disease, Curse, Drained, Doomed.
After resting: Petrified.
The Alchemist can remove:
In combat: Fear, Paralyzed, Blinded, Deafened, Sickened, Slowed, Poison, Disease.

In terms of emergency healing:
Cleric: Healer's Blessing + Heal 8 + Staff of Healing = 127 healing.
Alchemist: Quick Alchemy + Double Elixir of Life = 138 healing.

In terms of normal healing:
Cleric: Heal 8 + Staff of Healing = 108 healing.
Alchemist: Valet + Double Elixir of Life = 98 healing.

The temp hp and fast healing elixirs can help for normal healing. Healer's Blessing will also happen. AoE healing is clearly the Cleric shtick.

Total healing (roughly):
Cleric: 7 Heal 8 + 3 Heal 7 for the Cleric = 1157.5 healing.
Alchemist: 4 Battle Medicine + 18 Elixirs of Life + 2 Quick Alchemy Elixirs of Life + 4 temp hp (3 rounds) and 3 fast healing (3 rounds) = 1401 healing.
It's also interesting to note that you can start some fights under Fast Healing 3 as it's the second Perpetual Item I'd take alongside the Disease/Poison remover.

Well, honestly, I have hard time deciding which one is in a better position. The Cleric spell list is more attractive than the 12 Alchemical Items. The Alchemist is better at removing conditions, mostly because the Cleric can only remove them outside combat. In terms of healing it's... complicated as it will depends on fights. Maybe a slight advantage to the Cleric due to AoE healing.

To really give a final point of view, I'd need to see if the extra reach really solves the Elixir of Life issue and if the Numbing and Soothing Tonics are easy to deliver.


siegfriedliner wrote:
My advice to beginners wanting to play an alchemist is don't it's a uniquely over complicated mess of a class.

The beginner friendly strongly depends of what you call beginner. For an TRPG newbie yes they aren't and basically almost all spellcasters too.

For players experienced in TRPG but for some reason not with D20 systems it's depends.

For players experienced in D20 systems maybe the class is different but it's no more than a spellcaster with different spellslots with limited uses per day that with some of them with incapacitant rules + focus spells and cantrips. I simply don't think that alchemists are harder than spellcasters (with exception of Oracles and Psychics, specially the The Oscillating Wave that are clearly more complicated than a "normal" spellcaster).

That said it's something that everyone can learn if want even with it's first char. My first D20 system character was a sorcerer in D&D 3.0 and I learned as to use it on the fly.


SuperBidi wrote:
shroudb wrote:

A theoretical reagent allocation for a 15th level alchemist would look (imo) something like:

12 elixirs (4 reagents)
3 of the new fast healing (1 reagent)
4 of the temp hp new one (2 reagent)
4 mutagens for reach (2 reagents)
7 open reagents for condition/burst (7 reagents)
That leaves only 4 for party...

I'd change a few things.

First, as you have a Familiar with Valet, you can take Extra Reagents for one more reagent.
Then, I'd take Battle Medicine into account. First, because the Chirurgeon has free Medicine proficiency. Second because you can benefit from your extended reach for Battle Medicine. Third because you heal at touch range so you won't need to move to use Battle Medicine. So even if the Cleric can also take it, at these levels it should nearly never do it when the Chirurgeon will use it always.
And finally, I'd really cut on the 7 open reagents. You only need them for emergency healing and condition removal. 4 should be enough.
As you give a lot of healing to your Cleric, I'd use 6 reagents for Elixirs of Life.
It leaves the Alchemist with 12 Alchemical Items for combat purposes.

Also, I don't see the point of that many Restorations. You can't use it in combat and your Staff of Healing should provide a few for you. In my opinion you can forget about them.
It leaves the Cleric with a level 12 spell list.

The Cleric can remove:
In combat: Paralyzed.
Outside combat: Clumsy, Enfeebled, Stupefied, Disease, Curse, Drained, Doomed.
After resting: Petrified.
The Alchemist can remove:
In combat: Fear, Paralyzed, Blinded, Deafened, Sickened, Slowed, Poison, Disease.

In terms of emergency healing:
Cleric: Healer's Blessing + Heal 8 + Staff of Healing = 127 healing.
Alchemist: Quick Alchemy + Double Elixir of Life = 138 healing.

In terms of normal healing:
Cleric: Heal 8 + Staff of Healing = 108 healing.
Alchemist: Valet + Double Elixir of Life = 98 healing.

The temp hp and fast healing elixirs can help for normal healing. Healer's Blessing...

The reason for the amount of Resto was just me being lazy. I was simply dismissing the rest of the 2/4 spell slots since in the grand scheme of things they are irrelevant.

I didn't factor battle medicine because frankly both have the same access and both will probably reach the same numbers using it, since both use their primary ability score for it.

The same goes for Blessed one. Both have access to it.

I also dislike having only 4 open ingredients because that drastically diminishes what I think is the only thing alchemist has above cleric, and that is spontaneous access to utility.

That said, I think you say that most of your experience is with pfs, which is in actuality far different than my experience which is either homebrew or paths. The two have vastly different adventure day lengths. So that might be the reason for the difference in our perspectives.


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So, I'm going to note that if you've got a chirurgeon with an all-in healing reagent distribution... that's all they've got. In particular, you're not spending any on bombs or combat mutagens, which means that you're not getting any combat effectiveness at all out of your class. By comparison, the cleric is going to have *some* kind of attack cantrip, at bare minimum, and will be situationaly quite powerful against undead foes.

So... keeping it at level 15, since that's the one people are comparing...

- You're throwing around Greater Elixirs of Life (7d6+18 - 42.5). Your perpetual version is Lessers (3d6+6, but the dice are maximized by your Greater field discovery, so 24). That's... pretty much it. There are no feats that make this better. Merciful Elixir exists, but the levels thing makes it feeble enough that it doesnt' actually matter. You can invest in a mount to give you more movement, or a familiar to help you action economy slightly, but in general, those numebrs are goign to define your output.

Your cleric buddy is throwing around level 8 heals with their font. A two-action heal is 8d8+64 (avg 100) to a single target in range 30. A three-action heal is 8d8 (avg 36) to everyone in range 30 (except for undead, who instead take that much damage). Then you've got the feats.

- Healing Hands (lvl 1) takes it up to d10s
- Communal Healing (lvl 2) means that if you take the 2-action version, you get an extra 8 HP for yourself. Improved Communal Healing (level 4) lets you hand that little packet out to anyone within the 30-foot range.
- Fast Channel (lvl 14) lets you fire off the three-action version for two actions.
...and there are a number that are, admittedly, somewhat marginal generally metamagics that take an extra action to make the two-action version better in some way.

So, with just Healing Hands and Communal Healing, the two-action heal is handing your target an average of 108 HP while it hands 8 back to you, while the three-action heal is healing 44 HP to everyone within range... as two actions.

As a heal-focus, they're going to have cha be pretty important to them. They'll have 6 level 8 heals coming out of the font, and another 2 from their spellcasting feature (if they choose to memorize their top two as heals). So... 8 of the things, based on a heavy but not unreasonable investment (and not counting staves/wands/etc). You're comparing this to 6 reagents spent, for a total of 18 elixirs of life. Each two-action heal is worth about 2.5 elixirs. Each 3-action heal (down to two actions) is worth... as many greater elixirs as there are friendly targets within range who need the help. At that point, they're beating you on both action-efficiency and effective battle endurance for heals... before pulling out staves/wands/scrolls, or any spell below their top level.

Now, I'm not saying this to say that the chirurgeon is bad. I think it's still a bit undertuned, but not by all that much, and anyway, that's beside the point. I'm saying that it's really not a dedicated healer. The alchemist is a general support class. It heals, it buffs, it throws bombs (or poisons, or goes beastmode), it pulls answers out of its back pocket whenever you really need someone to pull an answer out of their back pocket. If it tries to go head-to-head against any focused class in their area of specialty, it's not going to look all that good, because it has build budget in all of those places.

Admittedly, the Chirurgeon does now have a pretty strong showing for costless healing per 10 minutes - Heal plus Perpetuals is going to give faster healing over time than heal plus whatever any other class can pull, and often at less hassle. I don't expect that to be that big a deal in practice in most cases, but that doesn't make it not true. If you're somehow spending significant amounts of time between fights but for whtever reason can't stop to heal (perhaps you're pursuing someone? Or fleeing from someone else?) then a chirurgeon with perpetuals is suddenly your very best friend. Again, pretty niche... but still true.

Aside from that, though... it's like I said. They're more of a (high-skill) generalist.

Grand Archive

I like the chirurgeon. But I personally don't see it winning out against the best healing build I've seen (Cleric w/ witch dedication for Life Boost). The heal-over-time options (Life Boost, Spirit Link) allow the cleric to heal while doing plenty of other things during combat. With a staff of healing and some scrolls they are able to deal with almost anything that is necessary to deal with. Also, Life Boost plus medicine checks work fine for ooc healing.

At level 15, SL+LB heals 32 HP per round without any follow up actions from the cleric.


worth to note, that with the new fast healing elixir, Chirurgeons are the best healers to get the party on their feet without the need for the party to stay immobile.

while they will have to wait the 10mins in between the healing, they dont have to wait to get a resource back, but they can continue doing what they would normally (moving, exploring, skill checks, etc) and just reapply every 10minutes.

even if they are in a dangerous territory and exploration is not feasible, the +10hp and at 11 +30hp extra per 10minutes means that they are much faster getting the group up.


Thinking more about it, I think I'll agree that the Cleric is still ahead, mostly because it's easier to use and obviously because it kicks in earlier. But I don't think the difference is that big that you make it look, SanityFaerie. First because level 15 Elixirs of Life heal 8d6+21 (but still the Elixir of Life progression is buggy so there are moments where it's behind anyway). Also because, from my experience, 3-action Heals are not really interesting in terms of healing output. You need at least 3 allies to be hurt for it to outheal 2-action Heal, and even when you take AoE damaging effects you have some characters who will critically succeed to the save and take nothing (especially once Evasion and such kick in).
2 Elixirs heal 98, the 2-action Heal 111. So they are not far behind. And the feats like Communal Healing are very far from outstanding. The amount is small and not on the same target.
Another asset of the Alchemist is that it can start healing earlier (with the Tonics) and can heal just what is needed as Elixirs heal twice less. I don't know how it goes in actual combat situation, as it's a type of healing I haven't tested. But my high level experience showed me that combats get longer and that characters take a few rounds to get downed. So it may be a very valid way of healing an entire party at high level, it may...

Also, I just looked at how much damage Electric Arc does at that level compared to a basic 1d8 attack (Goblin jaws, for example) with Choker-Arm Elixir penalties and the Jaws deal more damage. I'd personally try to grab Attack of Opportunity or Stand Still, as it's just a few feats, for the Alchemist to end up with an ok damaging ability, an ok Reaction and something to do when not healing. Also, Strength as secondary ability is quite nice as you start with Medium Armor and can easily grab Heavy one through a General feat and then Sentinel at some point.

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

I like the chirurgeon. But I personally don't see it winning out against the best healing build I've seen (Cleric w/ witch dedication for Life Boost). The heal-over-time options (Life Boost, Spirit Link) allow the cleric to heal while doing plenty of other things during combat. With a staff of healing and some scrolls they are able to deal with almost anything that is necessary to deal with. Also, Life Boost plus medicine checks work fine for ooc healing.

At level 15, SL+LB heals 32 HP per round without any follow up actions from the cleric.

I'm sorry Leo, but that's just wrong. First, Witch Dedication asks for Intelligence, so it's actually an asset for the Alchemist who can easily grab it. Second, Spirit Link is just plain bad and there's no way I'll put that on my higher level spell slots.

It's a nice combo on paper, but it doesn't leave the paper.

shroudb wrote:
That said, I think you say that most of your experience is with pfs, which is in actuality far different than my experience which is either homebrew or paths. The two have vastly different adventure day lengths. So that might be the reason for the difference in our perspectives.

It's definitely true that the Alchemist efficiency differs greatly depending on the length of adventuring days. But at level 15, it's no more supposed to be an issue. As shown by the calculation above, the Alchemist has the same daily healing output than the Cleric, so its ability to last should be fine.

About the number of Quick Alchemy per day, I think it's a matter of trial and error. My experience is that you need very few of them to cover the "exceptional cases", because, well, they are exceptional. I also tend to have a few Alchemical Items on my Alchemist, for common situations (like Cat's Eye Elixir, Bloodhound Mask, etc...) so I use Quick Alchemy for extremely unlikely situations where I need something I was not expecting to use, ever. That may also explain our difference of experience.


SuperBidi wrote:
stuff

my comment about pfs vs homebrew/ap was less about the length but more about the variety of stuff you usually need. Healing wise, from the point you can reliably spend 2 per heal and still have left some, you are usually good. (which i think the minimum is like 12 of them as i put in my allocation).

pfs being random groups basically means that you are less effective as a support that you can customize both your group and your allotment to cover things (i.e. if your ally knows you can give him X, he can skip getting that on his own).

ultimately, i find from my experience that stable groups that know that they will have an alchemist learn how to more effectively rely upon him, and while that is actually great for the alchemist, it also strains his reagent allocation by actually having to use them for their intended purpose (i.e. provide buffs and support to the party).

similarly, the things that happen during the adventuring day, especially in homebrews, are far more varied than what happens in pfs (at least in all the pfs modules that i've played, which are not a lot, like 10 or so), meaning that it is beneficial for the alchemist to have more slots open to give those circumstantial utility buffs to the party, hence why when i am able, i liketo have more slots open to actually be able to provide those.

i think 3-4 is a safe number if you just want to use them on elixirs of life, but then you dont have anything left for utility, which is why i like to have at least like 6 or so of them.

---

for the new tonics, i think that both the temp hp one (even though it's not healing) and the fast healing one should be great as a padding for a longer fight. Now, not all fights are long, but usually there is at least 1 per day that somehow ends up being longer, which is why i put enough of those in to cover like 1-2 fights, and they should be quite a boon.

---

for offence, i think that grabbing the feat that lets you pilfer perpetuals from others, and grabbing the new skunk bomb is actually quite strong. Especially with how the errata now allows you to pick up the skunk bomb with the 1st pick and then pick another bomb for the 2nd pick (since skunk bomb doesnt actually scale all that well, you can pick up either a 2nd debuff like lightning bomb or pick up acid bomb for a bit of persistent damage).

if you are going strength, and are relying on the reach mutagen, then i think it's a must to invest in Athletics since it can allow reach trips and grabs to try to be more of a controller when you dont need to heal.

having an extra -1 to attacks, on top of the lower ttack of the alchemist, i dont think it's worth it to go for the AoO route. At least with athletics you have proper proficiency advancement.


SuperBidi wrote:
First, as you have a Familiar with Valet, you can take Extra Reagents for one more reagent.

I've haven't found Valet [1 action] overly useful as you need to use both interact actions [to draw into your hand] from the familiar to get an action benefit: with Quick Bomber for bombs, I don't find I need to draw and use 2 non-bomb items most rounds.


graystone wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
First, as you have a Familiar with Valet, you can take Extra Reagents for one more reagent.
I've haven't found Valet [1 action] overly useful as you need to use both interact actions [to draw into your hand] from the familiar to get an action benefit: with Quick Bomber for bombs, I don't find I need to draw and use 2 non-bomb items most rounds.

it's good at high levels when a single elixir of life is not enough healing.

it allows you to draw 2 of them with 1 action and then spend 2 actions using them on the target.


shroudb wrote:
graystone wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
First, as you have a Familiar with Valet, you can take Extra Reagents for one more reagent.
I've haven't found Valet [1 action] overly useful as you need to use both interact actions [to draw into your hand] from the familiar to get an action benefit: with Quick Bomber for bombs, I don't find I need to draw and use 2 non-bomb items most rounds.

it's good at high levels when a single elixir of life is not enough healing.

it allows you to draw 2 of them with 1 action and then spend 2 actions using them on the target.

Oh, I understand that there might be times when it could come in handy, I'm just says I haven't found myself in such situation often enough to make it worth while IMO: it requires a target needing enough hp heal to need 2 elixirs AND requires me to start next to that person to feed them AND needing to put my familiar in danger to do so [it's Interacting and since you have to be next to the target, it can be in reach of reaction triggered by Manipulate]...

Now if you go full on healer and start every fight with a choker-arm mutagen high enough to give you enough reach to multiple people and/or keep your familiar out of danger, I could see it become a solid option but that's a higher level combo IMO.


graystone wrote:
shroudb wrote:
graystone wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
First, as you have a Familiar with Valet, you can take Extra Reagents for one more reagent.
I've haven't found Valet [1 action] overly useful as you need to use both interact actions [to draw into your hand] from the familiar to get an action benefit: with Quick Bomber for bombs, I don't find I need to draw and use 2 non-bomb items most rounds.

it's good at high levels when a single elixir of life is not enough healing.

it allows you to draw 2 of them with 1 action and then spend 2 actions using them on the target.

Oh, I understand that there might be times when it could come in handy, I'm just says I haven't found myself in such situation often enough to make it worth while IMO: it requires a target needing enough hp heal to need 2 elixirs AND requires me to start next to that person to feed them AND needing to put my familiar in danger to do so [it's Interacting and since you have to be next to the target, it can be in reach of reaction triggered by Manipulate]...

Now if you go full on healer and start every fight with a choker-arm mutagen high enough to give you enough reach to multiple people and/or keep your familiar out of danger, I could see it become a solid option but that's a higher level combo IMO.

the other way to capitalize on it, and usable way before choking was having amount. You could interact from away, so no aoo to grab them, and then move for free with the mount and apply them.

it's generally only useful if you go full on healer though, which in reality, as a chirurgeon, before all those updates, it was kinda necessary to do to keep up.


shroudb wrote:
pfs vs homebrew/ap

Honestly, I've seen everything in both PFS, AP and homebrew. That's why I avoid broad conclusions on how the game plays at different tables.

Still, there are differences in challenges and length of adventuring days. But overall I've found Alchemist to be a good class for PFS (mostly because of the small adventuring days).

shroudb wrote:
for the new tonics, i think that both the temp hp one (even though it's not healing) and the fast healing one should be great as a padding for a longer fight. Now, not all fights are long, but usually there is at least 1 per day that somehow ends up being longer, which is why i put enough of those in to cover like 1-2 fights, and they should be quite a boon.

At low level, I agree. But at level 15+, I've found fights to be more often long than short. Anyway, I need to test it (or see it) to know.

shroudb wrote:
grabbing the new skunk bomb is actually quite strong

I agree, it's another idea. I'd add Directed Splash, too, to avoid hitting my allies.

shroudb wrote:
if you are going strength, and are relying on the reach mutagen, then i think it's a must to invest in Athletics since it can allow reach trips and grabs to try to be more of a controller when you dont need to heal.

Good idea, I hadn't thought about it. Reach Grapple is always funny.

shroudb wrote:
having an extra -1 to attacks, on top of the lower ttack of the alchemist, i dont think it's worth it to go for the AoO route.

Without bonuses, you'll deal 40% (30% at high level) of the damage of a Greatsword Fighter attack. It's definitely low, but considering your massive reach, you should trigger it far more often than the Fighter (easily twice more in my opinion, especially because you deal low damage and as such enemies will quickly ignore it). And because you lack competing reactions, I think it's still quite a good feat.


graystone wrote:
it requires a target needing enough hp heal to need 2 elixirs

With the Tonics, you have more freedom on what you can deliver.

graystone wrote:
Now if you go full on healer and start every fight with a choker-arm mutagen high enough to give you enough reach to multiple people and/or keep your familiar out of danger, I could see it become a solid option but that's a higher level combo IMO.

It's definitely the idea.

Even at low level, 10ft. reach is quite interesting, though. It puts you away from danger (as you need to reach your allies, so you are 15-20ft. away from enemies) and it should be easy to have multiple allies under your reach.


shroudb wrote:
the other way to capitalize on it, and usable way before choking was having amount. You could interact from away, so no aoo to grab them, and then move for free with the mount and apply them.

That's spending feats on the familiar then spending enough to get a mount that has it's own action and can stay alive... Doable, but it's sucking up the feats.

shroudb wrote:
it's generally only useful if you go full on healer though, which in reality, as a chirurgeon, before all those updates, it was kinda necessary to do to keep up.

Well, I never tried to be the main healer as a chirurgeon but more of a item dispenser that passed out elixirs after making them at preparation then toss spells, bombs and/or Aiding. It wasn't very fun, but I don't think juggling the mount/familiar would be either. With the new changes and items, I'll have to give it another look.

SuperBidi wrote:
With the Tonics, you have more freedom on what you can deliver.

I saw them as more a way to pass out pre-buffs before the fight than in combat items: this is especially true if you they are Perpetual Infusions.

SuperBidi wrote:

It's definitely the idea.

Even at low level, 10ft. reach is quite interesting, though. It puts you away from danger (as you need to reach your allies, so you are 15-20ft. away from enemies) and it should be easy to have multiple allies under your reach.

15'-20' is 11th and 17th, which is a bit high for me to plan a strategy around. 10' isn't bad but huge creatures can reach 15' so if you go in to heal someone in melee [without a reach weapon] you can get an attack. I've felt the pain with Battle Medicine... Hmmm. Now I'm wondering if I can fit an multiclass alchemist into the character for some free mutagens.

PS: I also noticed that the tonic give the herbalist archetype a boost: who says no to poultices that give fast heal/temp hp and get a roll to stop persistent damage?


graystone wrote:


PS: I also noticed that the tonic give the herbalist archetype a boost: who says no to poultices that give fast heal/temp hp and get a roll to stop persistent damage?

Notable that the temp hp lack the healing trait, so herbalist doesn't have access to them.

He does get the fast healing one though.


Whats the duration of Choker-arm mutagen? 1 minute?

Depending from it duration it also can be an action economy tax during encounters.


graystone wrote:
That's spending feats on the familiar then spending enough to get a mount that has it's own action and can stay alive... Doable, but it's sucking up the feats.

The Familiar is a no brainer as, unless you go Bomber, it's the only interesting first level feat.

And then, before level 10, there's no interesting feat to take. So the Mount can be raised quite well. Also, ACs are interesting at low level for the Alchemist as it gives you an at-will ability that deals quite some damage.

graystone wrote:
I saw them as more a way to pass out pre-buffs before the fight than in combat items: this is especially true if you they are Perpetual Infusions.

As they last 1 minute, I won't count too much on prebuff, but if it happens it's just awesome.

You unfortunately can't take the Numbing Tonic as a Perpetual Infusion. And the Soothing one is not really strong, especially as a Perpetual Infusion. And it's only available at level 11+.
The Numbing Tonic is quite awesome and in my opinion is worth giving during combat. It gives one third of the hit points of an equivalent leveled Elixir of Life. And as it gives hit points immediately and at the beginning of the ally turn, it means that with a bit of initiative luck you can get the equivalent of an Elixir of Life in 2 rounds. So you don't even need a long fight to get the most out of it.

graystone wrote:
10' isn't bad but huge creatures can reach 15' so if you go in to heal someone in melee [without a reach weapon] you can get an attack.

If the enemy has 15ft. reach, you can use the diagonals to get at 20ft. from it (as in diagonal 10ft. reach is equivalent to 15ft.).

Also, before level 11, a 15ft. monster with AoO is pretty rare. And you also have to remember that with such reach, your allies are triggering AoOs for you. In my opinion, you should not be bothered by AoOs before very high level.

YuriP wrote:

Whats the duration of Choker-arm mutagen? 1 minute?

Depending from it duration it also can be an action economy tax during encounters.

You have the Spiderthing Collar to get it for free at the beginning of an encounter. And at level 11, it lasts 1 hour.


shroudb wrote:

Notable that the temp hp lack the healing trait, so herbalist doesn't have access to them.

He does get the fast healing one though.

Oh. Must have misremembered that one then. Still a plus for fast healing.

SuperBidi wrote:

The Familiar is a no brainer as, unless you go Bomber, it's the only interesting first level feat.

And then, before level 10, there's no interesting feat to take. So the Mount can be raised quite well. Also, ACs are interesting at low level for the Alchemist as it gives you an at-will ability that deals quite some damage.

I tend to archetype in a different way, like a caster: Psychic can give you access to a nice cantrip you can boost with focus for an a will and some burst damage: the fact that you can poach the feat that allows innate cantrips to work off of int is just frosting on the cake IMO.

SuperBidi wrote:
You unfortunately can't take the Numbing Tonic as a Perpetual Infusion. And the Soothing one is not really strong, especially as a Perpetual Infusion. And it's only available at level 11+.

Yeah, got that one wrong, which is unfortunate.

SuperBidi wrote:
The Numbing Tonic is quite awesome and in my opinion is worth giving during combat.

I'm iffy on the combat force drinking so I'd most likely pass them out and people could drink them before moving into combat when possible. I'd lean into battle medicine for in combat healing myself.

graystone wrote:
10' isn't bad but huge creatures can reach 15' so if you go in to heal someone in melee [without a reach weapon] you can get an attack.
SuperBidi wrote:
In my opinion, you should not be bothered by AoOs before very high level.

Really depends on the DM and the module/game you're playing.


SuperBidi wrote:
You have the Spiderthing Collar to get it for free at the beginning of an encounter. And at level 11, it lasts 1 hour.

1/2 an hour with the collar [cuts the duration in 1/2].

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