Remastered Alchemist


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 160 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

Since we know alchemist is going to be one of the few classes that are going to get an overhaul in Player Core 2 similar to what witches got in Player Core 1, what do you expect to see with the alchemist?

I would want something like this...
* Caster scaling for alchemist class DC (expert at 7, master at 15, and legendary at 19)
* Master proficiency with alchemist weapons at 15th level
* Powerful Alchemy at 3rd level

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

It's going to be an even greater upheaval than pretty much any other Class I think, owing mainly to the fact that Crafting as a whole has been significantly changed and heavily buffed.

The whole concept of the Alchemist needing, constantly building upon/refining, and using a Formula book is almost entirely pointless now since all Common items very simply do not NEED a Formula to be made at all, the only thing having it does is cut the already halved Crafting time of 2 days (from 4) down to 1. As it stands, there is practially no reason to retain ANY of the Formula Book Class feature or functionality except as a kind of "legacy/tradition" thing and to give a convenient place to store the Uncommon/Rare/Unique Formulas that will in the vast majority of circumstances never actually even come up in the lifespan of most PC Alchemists since, well, they're not Common.

I'm hoping that they DO keep the Formula Book but it takes on a new life, no longer is it a thick folio full of scrap paper that could easily be broken down and used by anyone or sold but instead is a special recipe book like it was in PF1 in which it only served to help the creator as each Alchemist would have their OWN personal formulas, way of creating things, ingredient list, and in some cases what amounts to a whole language all their own for their Alchemical items. They could return to being actual Alchemical Discoveries as they were available before and should be provided on level up from a specific list of options like they were in PF1 and should apply universally to everything they make where applicable or to the Alchemist themselves such as ways to make all of their Bombs increase their Splash Range, increase (or convert damage dice entirely) Splash Damage and/or Persistent Damage, create Alchemcial Tumorous Familiars or Animal Compaions, grow new limbs, freeze the effects of aging, make them completely odorless, or give them unique Alchemcial bodily defenses such as excreting slime (or glue) when grappled.

There is SOOO much from PF1 that was left on the table for the Alchemist and IIRC none of what I mentioned above even relied on an Archetype either, that was just... base Alchemist but yet, all of those options are just gone now. Since Class Saves and DCs are being all unified and darn near half of the Alchemist Class budget is being made redundant via the Crafting Formula and time investment changes I am expecting big changes and with so much room in the Chassis being freed I am hopeful we see a return to style for it, the MOST boring thing they could do is simply give them a Focus Pool and one Spell per discipline that gives them bonus Reagents and some minor rider effect that goes along with their studies... I'm hoping the do more than that though, they certainly have plenty to work from even if all they do is gather the scaps from the cutting room floor when they designed it for PF2.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

master attack in alchemist wepons is a MUST!!!
& I'm hoping we see some mad scientist stuff like Frankenstein etc


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Needed, IMO non-optional issues:

* Scaling DC on all Infused items, both daily and Quick-made. As is, all the unique tools/ect are *maybe* useful for their unlock level, then fall behind into being completely non-viable.

* Some way to better use items over other classes. Something like being able to Draw, hold, & use multiple L bulk items in each hand as an action saver. If another class can carry and use the Alch's items with the exact same or better efficacy (like martials throwing Alch's bombs), that's a fail.

* More reasons to use Quick Alch, or a complete deletion/replacing of the mechanic. With Quick Bomber(/Draw), Alch bombs are 1-action. Creating bombs on the spot is 2x action cost, and with Feat investment, the bomb can be enhanced w/ a single, measly Additive. No where close to justifying the action cost. Numerically speaking, that L1 Feat is literally the strongest thing in the Alch's entire kit. It is suffocatingly good, and pigeonholes / noob-traps Alchs into using bombs for damage.

* Rework/replacement of class Features, especially Double Brew and the infamously non-functional Alchemical Alacrity.

* Feats are the worst in the game, basically need a complete redo. A Class Feat to Identify alch items faster. All the single self-consumption mutagen enhancing Feats are a sick joke. Literally, spend a Class Feat to add one extra effect to one kind of mutagen, only when the Alch drinks it. L-f%~&ing-18 Feat to enable Serene Mutagen to add protection from scrying effects.


I really hope they get auto scaling Crafting like the Inventor.

And they open up the Key Attribute for the subclasses. So INT is available for everyone as key attribute. But Bombers can take DEX if they want to for instance.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I really wish this revamp does the 1E Alchemist justice, honestly. It was one of my favourite classes back then and now it leaves a lot to be desired (it is functional past level 7, but it is way too bad before that and the payoff is not really there either).

I also wanted to add that I have no firsthand experience with the class, but I've played from level 3 to level 17 with a Bomber Alchemist PC, so I've seen what it is like. Will only talk about bomber cause I don't care much for the others besides Mutagenist and I don't know much either, being honest.

As for specific fixes, guess the big elephant in the room are the proficiencies. While I don't think they will get full martial proficiencies (unless they completely redesign the class role from scratch), I hope it lies somewhere between a martial and the remastered Warpriest. Maybe 7/15?

As Mythraine said, autoscaling on crafting would be nice, all classes hard-locked into a skill should have that IMO.

I also want the class to have access in some way to its "cantrips" way earlier, even if they are on a very limited form or limited to once per combat.

Finally, they still need to bake in a few more feats into the chassis of the class. Passive and unconditional damage boosters like Calculated Splash should not be feats in my opinion.

Well, and improve the feats I guess, but looking at witch or cleric I think that's a given at this point.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think a Quick Draw-like feat is a must for alchemists.

If bombers don't have something like Quick Alchemy to create a bomb + make an Strike with that bomb I'll scream.


exequiel759 wrote:

I think a Quick Draw-like feat is a must for alchemists.

If bombers don't have something like Quick Alchemy to create a bomb + make an Strike with that bomb I'll scream.

I've posted some homebrew about that before, but I'm actually OK with the spontaneous creation of any item requiring an action.

It's kind of absurdly OP to be able to create any alch item like that, and IMO why the entire class of alchemical consumables tends to be, frankly, bad.

So much so that I cannot get party members, who **have a spare hand** to hold an elixir to use turn 1. The effect is just so paltry in their eyes, it's not worth the single action.

Meanwhile for my Alchemist themself, feeding for 1 action and skipping the Draw is considered to be a great, efficient play. (Because that's how badly the Alch needs dev help right now)

You are completely correct that 1 extra action doesn't work for Strikes, even with the current Additives, but that cost is appropriate for everything else, IMO. TBH, it would be an easy sell for me to loose all 1-action Quick Alchemy in exchange for buffs elsewhere.

--------------------------------

Any new Alchemist action-savers really, really must not be overly-specific, like Quick Bomber and most Alch Feats/Features are at the moment.

Going the simplest route, "Fine Motor Flourish" would be a Feat to let the Alch Draw any L bulk item as a free action flourish, not just a bomb. Things like that would enable an Alchemist to be a real item monkey class, and help to encourage things like Wand or Scroll usage.

I personally prefer the concept of "Knuckle Pinch" that would let the Alch hold 2-->3-->4 L items in each hand.

Action skippers like Quick Draw remove decision making, and leave their use as automatic and flowcharty. Powerful, but they do not add much fun.

If you still need to do a Draw action a la Knuckle Pinch, but can pick 3 items to load up, there's still a need to think it through, plan ahead, ect. Still allows for interesting decision making.


playstyle of many alchemist support and encourage are bad as long as alchemist are multiple attribute dependent

either alchemist get dex as key attribute or change all bomb to class dc instead of attack roll

base on the degree of change other class have in core 1

this level of change are unlikely


All bombs now use Alchemist Class DC -10 like Kineticist. They get master or even legendary Class DC, it would not be that broken because it should ONLY be used for Bombs which would incredibly buff Alchemists but do to their low hit points and armor, legendary bomb tossing wouldn't even be that broken. In my honest opinion.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

For me, the main issue is tht the class can be replaced by spending gold.

I would love if alchemists did unique/better things with their Alchemical creations rather than being (mostly) the same as store bought.

Additives are in that vein, but I can't see, either from a balance standpoint and especially from a narrative standpoint why they are locked into Quick alchemy and not in their Advanced alchemy. I mean, If i can make a sticky bomb on the fly, why can't I make a sticky bomb when I have the time to prepare it?

So, more additives for all kind of alchemical creations (not just bombs) and more unique actions with their alchemical creations, would be the main thing I would wish for the remaster.

Apart from that, either give master with attacks or use spellcaster scalling for DCs, one or the other, because currently they have the worst of the two worlds: lower DCs than casters, lower attacks than martials.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

My personal preference would be the alchemist becoming much more limited in playstyle, maybe more solely revolving around their research fields. The less moment to moment flexibility they have, the more martial capability they'll be afforded. It's direct point of comparison for a party buffer lacking any topped out attack proficiencies is the warpriest (master at 19 doesn't count to me but I'm happy it's a non issue bc I personally consider the remastered warpriest an absolute unit with all its class/feat changes, being a full martial would have been too much). Alchemist party buffing is limited by the item action economy; spending the time/money to make your party shifting spider collars can alleviate this on the mutagen side of things, but the playstyle still seems clunky compared to a warpriest. It all comes together to make the alchemist feel kind of bereft of a strong role in the party. If being the most versatile class in the game means dealing with a painful action economy, using mutagens with oversized drawbacks, and falling short of all offensive proficiency benchmarks......I'd just kinda rather be nowhere near as versatile. The toolbox class has its admirers, though, so if they just make the party buffing playstyle less tedious I'll be happy for all the alchemist fans.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Part of the problem is that alchemist support abilities are pretty effin' weak. For example, look at the salamander elixir. It's a level 4 item that protects you from severe heat for 24 hours. This can be compared to a rank 2 spell like endure elements that protects you from either severe heat or cold for 24 hours. As a 12th level item it can protect from extreme heat, something endure elements does as a 5th rank spell.

I do think the alchemist was hampered by the decision to make alchemy stuff something that can be relatively easily bought, and then just give them some free stuff and some boosts in how to use them. It means their abilities will never be on par with those of spellcasters. And since they can use their reagents to make any level of item, they [b]can't[b] be, because if a 10th level alchemist's items were on par with 5th rank spells, they'd effectively have 15 5th-rank spells per day and that would be fairly wack.


shroudb wrote:

For me, the main issue is tht the class can be replaced by spending gold.

I would love if alchemists did unique/better things with their Alchemical creations rather than being (mostly) the same as store bought.

Additives are in that vein, but I can't see, either from a balance standpoint and especially from a narrative standpoint why they are locked into Quick alchemy and not in their Advanced alchemy. I mean, If i can make a sticky bomb on the fly, why can't I make a sticky bomb when I have the time to prepare it?

So, more additives for all kind of alchemical creations (not just bombs) and more unique actions with their alchemical creations, would be the main thing I would wish for the remaster.

Apart from that, either give master with attacks or use spellcaster scalling for DCs, one or the other, because currently they have the worst of the two worlds: lower DCs than casters, lower attacks than martials.

Hard agree. Alchs need something to make using the item better in their hands, like some action economy helper, and they need some reason to use Quick/Advanced Alch, via a reworked Additive system.

My Abm Vlts Chirurgeon is L8, and has reached the point where I don't think I'll prepare bombs again. The L3 items are cheap enough that I'll craft a batch, and use the L8 Perpetual Skunks for debuffing.

That enables me to make more Numbing Tonics, and to leave more Reagents unused.

IMO, all Infused alch items should have viable Additives, even the daily prep items. Without some benefit over the store-bought alternatives, Alch PC items are very hard to convince party members to use.

Even with the Collar, I cannot get a single party member to use mutagens. I cannot convince a single party member to use any of my items at all. Maybe the L9 Numbing Tonic will be good enough.

-----------------------------------------

I would really caution against using the Class DC for bombs. Some other new alchemical attack may be appropriate, but I can't see the idea of using DC for weapon attacks being a good one.

Moreover, right now many Alchs can look at the value of INT, and choose to leave it low. As all alch items have a DC baked in, it is viable* to forgo anything that keys off Class DC and just do daily prep. Bombs aside, you'll generally be limited to the latest poisons for offense, but that's fine. Of course, if all Infused items can get the Powerful Alchemy DC scaling, that changes the equation.

What you can get in exchange when you leave INT behind is usually more than worth it, such as the Grapple Alchemist. It opens up so many options for Dedications and Archetypes to have those core attributes available to spend elsewhere.

The Dr. Wrassle build just needs a bit of Athletics & Feral Mutagens thanks to the Wrestler Dedication's grapple on-hit, but that one's a bit of an outlier.

If you make everything start using Class DC, that means being forced to pump INT. Which means trying to pick another main-stat Dedication is that much harder.

--------------------------------------------

I also readily agree that the Alchemist could benefit from putting more strength into the specializations, and less in the main class. That both helps take potential power risk away from a Dedication dip, and lets players pick what they want to excel at.

**However** I don't really trust this to be done well. The class is full of stuff like Healing Bomb. A Feat that lets you make + throw exactly 1 kind of elixir. This still takes 2 Actions to Make + Throw, involves MAP, and costs a full Reagent. It's baaaaad.

Overly-specific has been the name of Paizo's balancing game for a while. A blanket "Elixir Bomb" Feat, that just works w/ half the Alch's shopping list is the kind of thing that IMO, this Paizo would never do, but is needed if they want to "specialize" the class further.

I do think the "make more of things you specialize in" is honestly a pretty great mechanic which could be further tweaked to taste.

Something like, 1 Reagent --> 1 Infused item baseline
--Make in 1 min w/ Alch tools (new Quick Alch): +0
--Make in 10 min w/ Alch Lab : +1
--Make item with a trait your sub-Alch specializes in: +2

Letting Chirugeons make bombs and such is important, but.
Bombers needs to have unarguably better bombs.

My pitch for something doable for Paizo in a small overhaul like this is for every specialization to come with (at least) one genuinely useful additive, and for the daily prep items to work with additives.
As sub-class features, this forever locks a bit of power away from Alchemist Dedication, and gives a nice floor for the Alch's combat contribution. Ideally, getting more Additives would be a big draw of the classes progression, these would just be L1 starters.

* Mutagenicist:
-----Morpho-Stabilier: Additive that causes the debuff side of the items to expire at start of 2nd turn after consumption, leaving only the positive benefits. (need to have the -AC, ect for at least 1 enemy turn)

* Toxicologist: lots of options,
-----Debilitating Infusion: 1-turn debuff **on exposure** to poison, like how bombs get debuffs on-hit.

* Chiurgeon: lots of options,
-----Stalwart Infusion: Elixir Additive +1 to all saves for 2 turns.

* Bomber:
-----Shower Bomb: Subtract 1 damage die, on-hit debuff is now on-splash & +Agile trait into bomb

----

The additive mechanic has *so* much room for more creative ideas, and if Alchs get to use it for all Infused items, those small tweaks massively increase the available design space for the Alch to get the help it needs.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

So, as I often do around these parts, I'm going to take a moment and present the other side of things.

I have played Alchemists for a total of 27 levels now, across two Research Fields. I have a Bomber and a Mutagenist active in PFS (Levels 11 and 9 respectively.) I have a second Bomber in Outlaws of Alkenstar that just finished Book Two and is now 7th level.

While I believe there are a number of things that could be tweaked to improve the Class, the last thing I would want would be the wholesale changes being proposed here.

A lot of my fun over the past two and a half years or so has been the ability to stretch outside of my guys' Research Field. Mind you, a lot of the time that's not easy, due to a lack of Resources. Still, even one or two Batches leftover from daily preparations can be a lifesaver. Usually it's been for an unexpected healing elixir or tool.

These days it's a lot easier. My lowest guy just hit 7th level. I will admit, one of the things I hope they tweak is Perpetual Infusions. Moving it to 3rd level would ease a lot of the stress.

But you know, 7th level, I've got infinite Bombs as a backup. So for one more level I'll be making about 18 Bombs a day, with 4 Quicksilvers, a couple of Moderate Elixirs of Life (we're a little light on in-combat healing), and now two free Batches. In my experience, that'll work quite well. Might even decide to go with 4 Elixirs of Life... I'll have to chat with my party on that point.

Eighth level, Sticky Bomb comes in, and with it even more flexibility. From experience I could probably cut back to 3 Batches/9 Moderate Bombs once I have Sticky. That's three more Batches for other things.

I expect that Alchemist accuracy will get boosted somehow. Fine by me. I've been doing quite well with the current limitations; I won't complain if they make it even better.

shroudb wrote:
For me, the main issue is tht the class can be replaced by spending gold.
Trip.H wrote:
Hard agree. Alchs need something to make using the item better in their hands, like some action economy helper, and they need some reason to use Quick/Advanced Alch, via a reworked Additive system.

Ok. So, first off, the notion that you can replace an Alchemist by spending gold is completely spurious. Yes, you can purchase Alchemical Items on the open market. Yes, they will work the same as infused items made by an Alchemist... at least, they will until certain feats become available.

However, how are you going to afford all the items that the Alchemist takes for granted?

Let's take a look at my L11 Bomber: He makes 8 Greater Quicksilver Mutagens per day. Seven for use during the day, one in case he gets ambushed overnight (it happens sometimes.) That's 300 gp a pop. So, 2,400 gp a day on Mutagens alone.

Then there's the Bombs. In general, 250 gp per Bomb. So, 2,250 gp there (as I said, I usually make 9 Advanced Alchemy Bombs per day.) You know, you can pick up a +2 Striking Flaming Weapon for 1,500 gp, and I hear people complaining about that financial burden all the time.

Should the Spellcaster in the party want some Drakehearts? Another 1,200 gp per day (always plan for at least four encounters.) Numbing tonics for the frontliners? 150 gp a pop. Soothing Tonics? 185 gp. Chromatic Jellyfish Oil?

Are there players out there with access to Scrooge McDuck's legendary vault?

I will admit, I wish Extend Elixir came earlier in the Feat progression. And I wish that my Bombers had room to take it. (As is, my L11 Bomber won't be grabbing it until L16.)

However, my Mutagenist will absolutely be grabbing it at L12, and that will be nice indeed. Two hour buffs per Elixir, and 15 Batches of Reagents to play with per day (my Mutagenist is a Str/Cha/Int Build, so he's a little bit behind on Reagents.) Spend the whole day on Cheetah's Elixirs, Bravo's Brews & Eagle-Eye Elixirs, why not? Only cost six batches. Still got 9, and I only need 1 for Bestial. So eight for other things. Throw in one for a Greater Darkvision and a Spare and I still can make so much other stuff, and leave a couple leftover for Quick Alchemy.

Anyways, I'm rambling. I'll conclude with this: I hope that the Class I have had so much fun playing for the past two & a half years makes it out of this exercise relatively intact.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The ideal scenario to me would be where a better version of the current Alchemist is some kind of generalist subclass, while the other subclasses are better at their own niche but worse at doing other stuff. A bit similar to the wizard schools, with one universalist school. I wouldn't even mind if the general subclass would be the best one mechanically, as long as bombers are good at throwing bombs all the time and mutagens can fulfill the Hulk or Jekyll and Hide fantasy. Make them more noob-friendly, not punish bombers for throwing bombs and doing what the Fumbus image suggests you should be doing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ottdmk wrote:

So, as I often do around these parts, I'm going to take a moment and present the other side of things.

I have played Alchemists for a total of 27 levels now, across two Research Fields. I have a Bomber and a Mutagenist active in PFS (Levels 11 and 9 respectively.) I have a second Bomber in Outlaws of Alkenstar that just finished Book Two and is now 7th level.

While I believe there are a number of things that could be tweaked to improve the Class, the last thing I would want would be the wholesale changes being proposed here.

A lot of my fun over the past two and a half years or so has been the ability to stretch outside of my guys' Research Field. Mind you, a lot of the time that's not easy, due to a lack of Resources. Still, even one or two Batches leftover from daily preparations can be a lifesaver. Usually it's been for an unexpected healing elixir or tool.

These days it's a lot easier. My lowest guy just hit 7th level. I will admit, one of the things I hope they tweak is Perpetual Infusions. Moving it to 3rd level would ease a lot of the stress.

But you know, 7th level, I've got infinite Bombs as a backup. So for one more level I'll be making about 18 Bombs a day, with 4 Quicksilvers, a couple of Moderate Elixirs of Life (we're a little light on in-combat healing), and now two free Batches. In my experience, that'll work quite well. Might even decide to go with 4 Elixirs of Life... I'll have to chat with my party on that point.

Eighth level, Sticky Bomb comes in, and with it even more flexibility. From experience I could probably cut back to 3 Batches/9 Moderate Bombs once I have Sticky. That's three more Batches for other things.

I expect that Alchemist accuracy will get boosted somehow. Fine by me. I've been doing quite well with the current limitations; I won't complain if they make it even better.

shroudb wrote:
For me, the main issue is tht the class can be replaced by spending gold.
Trip.H wrote:
Hard agree. Alchs need something to make using the
...

Warpriest and witch give me a lot of confidence that they can drastically help a class without touching the chassis too much. Even if they don't turn the alchemist into a true martial, I'm sure the end result will still play better


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope they'll keep current design where you are not pigeon-holed into your Research Field. For example, if you get Master proficiency, I hope it'll be some generic Master proficiency (with simple weapons, Bombs and Unarmed attacks) and not some Research Field specific Master proficiency that would basically prevent you from using efficiently some types of attacks unless you have the only Research Field able to use them.

I also hope they'll give something to the Chirurgeon as there are Chirurgeon builds than are not into Strikes at all.

Anyway, they won't read my post and I have absolutely no clue what they will do nor what they should do. So, overall, I'll wait and hope I won't have to drop my Alchemists.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
ottdmk wrote:
[snip]

Due to how big the level gap is btwn the L3 and L11 bombs, yes, it is quite easy to afford. I can rush the finish w/ the variant rule, crit the crafting check, and get 2 * (L + 1) discount per day.

This is not a small, niche occurrence. Every 1-10 campaign is going to reach the Moderate bombs & mutagens at L3, and that's it. The two core-most items are never getting more expensive, nor better until that character retires.

While my party members steadily get more damage and better numbers, my Alch has stayed relevant by layering on more utility, more debuffing, more optimizing. Tossing out "bad" (fun) items from my prep. With how outdated the L5 Elixir of Life is, I mostly heal via Medic shenanigans, and I'm still only doing the DC 20 version.

---------------

Spending a whole bunch of time going over the on-level gold cost does not do all that much to help the Alchemists struggling to stay relevant. Any spell caster can be compared to their scroll cost. But they have additional barriers to use that alch items lack, and combat actions.

This is one reason why I ask for more Additives, as part of their function is to increase the effective iLvl of items. That system is capable of stopping >Lvl excess, and of keeping older items up to par. I'd love for each specialty to each have flexible X Lvl Additive to always boost the numbers to the exact match, like a flat +dmg / +healing, ect.

---------------

As I said, one big issue is what an OP Feat like Quick Bomber does to the Alchemist.

Yes, you have additives like Sticky, or Debilitating Bomb. Do you truly think that at your level, your additive enhancements when made via QAlch honestly make up for a 2x action cost in comparison to a QBomb?

Do you accept the comparison to a Fighter, Gunslinger, Ranger, ect throwing your bombs better than you, to the point of not even needing to consume Quicksilver Mutagen?

For Perpetual Bombs, the math of what the Alch is doing in comparison to other classes is even worse.

For those Moderate bomb levels, it's half the damage, at 2x the action cost. Quick Bomber means that using "Alch Cantrips" is 1/4 the dmg, and half as effective as the L3 store-bought.

The only reason I took the Perpetual Feat is because of how honestly OP Skunk Bombs are. Not only is a lasting slow on fail amazing, they are still sickened on a save, plush splashing the effect around. And being a Fort save with a horribly low DC, it makes the bomb the most dependent upon Powerful Alchemy to scale the DC, therefore Perpetual Skunks 100%, prep Skunks 0%.

Even in Abm Vlts with so many poison immune enemies, those Skunks are absurd compared to my usual combat options. I essentially don't shoot my bow/throw a dmg bomb until they are at least sick.

-------------

Yes, a thought out Bomber Alch is functional most of the time, in most campaigns. Once you leave the Reagent-starved early game.

Your post is effectively saying, "my Alch has been OK, therefore..."

It's not convincing, and aside from your gold math section, there's very little actual substance to agree/refute.

Side note on the gp argument. We were able to carry out one PC body, and paying for that (75 x L8) resurrection would have been a whole lot of alchemical items. Also, now that Alchemists don't have to buy common formulas, that's another 1,000 ish gp my Alch would have to spend.

---------------

What you seem to be missing/ignoring is that all options are comparative. You must compare the Alchemists equivalent costs in terms of Class choice, Feat slots, ect, to that of other classes.

Aside from the Perpetual Skunks, Quick Bomber, and Familiar, I am in the process of retraining away ALL of my Alchemist Feats (just Smoke left). They are worse than taking Archetypes, even the flavor ones.

Even just the Dedication Feat for a Wiz granting 2 at will, scaling Cantrips is better than a whole lot of what I can do. Electric Arc is OP, but even something like Scatter Scree with the terrain rider would be genuinely better than much of what I can do. And with one more Feat, that's 3 R1, 2, & R3 spells every day. Haste & Slow, Extract Poison & Aqueous Orb. Wands, Scrolls, Staves. So many good options.

I have thrown a Smoke Bomb **once** in the entire campaign, and it may have been more of a hindrance than a help.

---------------

I genuinely enjoy playing that Alchemist character, and my GM has done a whole lot with the Living Vessel blank check.

That said, I have to be realistic with how I compare to my peers.

My party literally does not spend the actions to drink my alch items. They WANT to, and there's def a bit of pity in there. But we have already experienced character deaths, so I can't ask them to hinder themselves like that.

---------------

Alchemist is so bad, that taking multiple Additive Feats is not like a trap, it is an outright build trap. The class is so overly specific and restrictive, you can only use *one* Additive. Meaning even the paltry Feats that are already QAlch only, are ALSO mutually exclusive with each other.

If you think the Sticky is better than the Debilitating, you should retrain away that prior Feat. I don't know of any other class that has the "dead Feat" problem worse than Alchemists, on top of having such small, specific bonuses.

---------------

Look, I *hate* being negative. But words are very influential and consequential.

Tossing out a reasonable-sounding argument and citing a bunch of gp numbers is erecting a barrier that could genuinely result in some Paizo decision to allocate less of their limited time to make real improvements to the Alchemist class.

Every person, especially veteran PFS players, who say something that in glancing appears like "Alchemist is mostly fine" does make a real difference.

Changes like giving all sub-Alchemists math-fixer Additives at L1 could genuinely happen. They could replace Quick Bomber with a more generic action helper.

But rambling about "think about how much money the Alchemist gets for free!" does nothing but make some dev tug nervously at their shirt collar.

That same dev who's got to rush something out to the literal printers without much, if any, playtesting.
And the one thing Paizo will avoid at all costs is to have to put out an errata to nerf a class. All I am asking is that you be real with the class, please don't take a contrarian position and defend the class to "balance" the discussion or whatever.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

They need Master to hit proficiency at the very least.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ottdmk wrote:

So, as I often do around these parts, I'm going to take a moment and present the other side of things.

I have played Alchemists for a total of 27 levels now, across two Research Fields. I have a Bomber and a Mutagenist active in PFS (Levels 11 and 9 respectively.) I have a second Bomber in Outlaws of Alkenstar that just finished Book Two and is now 7th level.

While I believe there are a number of things that could be tweaked to improve the Class, the last thing I would want would be the wholesale changes being proposed here.

A lot of my fun over the past two and a half years or so has been the ability to stretch outside of my guys' Research Field. Mind you, a lot of the time that's not easy, due to a lack of Resources. Still, even one or two Batches leftover from daily preparations can be a lifesaver. Usually it's been for an unexpected healing elixir or tool.

These days it's a lot easier. My lowest guy just hit 7th level. I will admit, one of the things I hope they tweak is Perpetual Infusions. Moving it to 3rd level would ease a lot of the stress.

But you know, 7th level, I've got infinite Bombs as a backup. So for one more level I'll be making about 18 Bombs a day, with 4 Quicksilvers, a couple of Moderate Elixirs of Life (we're a little light on in-combat healing), and now two free Batches. In my experience, that'll work quite well. Might even decide to go with 4 Elixirs of Life... I'll have to chat with my party on that point.

Eighth level, Sticky Bomb comes in, and with it even more flexibility. From experience I could probably cut back to 3 Batches/9 Moderate Bombs once I have Sticky. That's three more Batches for other things.

I expect that Alchemist accuracy will get boosted somehow. Fine by me. I've been doing quite well with the current limitations; I won't complain if they make it even better.

shroudb wrote:
For me, the main issue is tht the class can be replaced by spending gold.
Trip.H wrote:
Hard agree. Alchs need something to make using the
...

The issue is more 'do I even have the chance to use Elixirs/Mutagens?'.

Like as a caster, pulling out a consumable and using it takes two action which means it locks me out of casting most things--sure I can have them start at my hand during combat, but that can also apply with scrolls or wands and now we're back at them locking me out of casting.

Hell, I had to make my table have a free once per turn draw for them to even start using consumables.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm sure someone's going to bring up the gloves of storing though so I'll go ahead and point out those are uncommon and can be assumed to be unavailable by default. Personally I find useful consumables in the system to be a very, very short list and the alchemist isn't really required to obtain piles of them since they're either non-alchemical or simply low level items.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gobhaggo wrote:
The issue is more 'do I even have the chance to use Elixirs/Mutagens?'.

Which is followed up by 'do i even want that Elixir/Mutagen.' Most have a drawback on top of needing actions and a free hand to use. Often, I've seen alchemists that couldn't give away free items: free 2xlevel damage, minus saves and ac, attack rolls, damage, ect and you have to get into double digit levels before the duration hit an hour so you'll have to chug one every fight unless you're speed running encounters.

Now there are some like Bravo's Brew, Eagle-Eye Elixir, Antidote, Antiplague that start with enough of a duration to pre-buff yourself or have uses outside combat like Leaper's Elixir, Comprehension Elixir or Infiltrator's Elixir. They just aren't ones you're jumping for joy over or likely to see them make a difference on a regular basis.

Those two points are why I'll see alchemists focus on what they can do for themselves and leave party items for situations when it's likely to come up: like 'we're going into a sewer tomorrow better make Antidote and Antiplague' not 'time to make the daily Antidote and Antiplague'.


I will say the few classes that start w/ a free hand can carry 1 consumable into combat for a 1-action Activate, but most will have them occupied.

As odd as it sounds, any Alchemist L5 and up can now spend a Reagent to daily prep 2 Collars into existence each day. This can be temporary until they buy / craft a hard Collar, or they can keep doing it. Hard to beat 0 Action use of mutagens. Due to the ability to end it early at will, the Drakeheart mutagen is the only one you may convince someone to
regularly use, typically casters who don't start with Light Armor Training.
------------------

It's also worth mentioning that the Injection trait appears to allow friendly delivery of elixirs, but that's only really useful if you carry a weapon and are able to apply the weapon mod, and even then it still hurts MAP, and will be one delivery per fight.

The largest Action save for my Alch is still the Independant + Manual Dex Familiar to Draw --> Handoff. Enabling 1-action item deliveries/activations each 2nd turn.

------------------

But yeah, a Draw + Activate has to compete with Spells, Impulses, ect. The Alch is the only one who has combat actions bad enough for the items to be worth it.

Any amount of Mutagen downsides, especially the idea of hurting saves, just results in auto-refusal.

The only one I've gotten a "oh cool" kind of reaction from was the all-day Darkvision elixirs at L8. Being able to get a whole party of 4 onto the same Darkvision level like that, and enable us to not shed light before combat, is unambiguously great.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I thought that it would be pertinent to add in here that bombs no longer deal their splash damage on a failure, or at least they may not. In Player Core bombs are describe with the following.

Player Core pg 292 wrote:
Alchemical bombs are consumable weapons that deal damage or produce special effects, and they sometimes deal splash damage. You throw a bomb as a ranged Strike. It’s a martial ranged weapon with a range increment of 20 feet and can’t benefit from runes since it’s a consumable. A bomb deals any listed splash damage to the target on a failure, success, or critical success, and to all other creatures within 5 feet of the target on a success or critical success. Add the damage together before applying resistance or weakness, and don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.

Notably this isn't the same case in GM core.

GM Core pg 244 wrote:
Most bombs also have the splash trait. When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don’t add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage. On a critical failure, the bomb misses entirely, dealing no damage. Add splash damage together with the initial damage against the target before applying the target’s resistance or weakness. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.

Just thought it may be worth considering as GM core contains other text that wasn't updated and personally this vastly changes the balance/power budget of the bomber alchemist. Especially for triggering weaknesses.


StarlingSweeter wrote:

I thought that it would be pertinent to add in here that bombs no longer deal their splash damage on a failure, or at least they may not. In Player Core bombs are describe with the following.

Player Core pg 292 wrote:
Alchemical bombs are consumable weapons that deal damage or produce special effects, and they sometimes deal splash damage. You throw a bomb as a ranged Strike. It’s a martial ranged weapon with a range increment of 20 feet and can’t benefit from runes since it’s a consumable. A bomb deals any listed splash damage to the target on a failure, success, or critical success, and to all other creatures within 5 feet of the target on a success or critical success. Add the damage together before applying resistance or weakness, and don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.

Notably this isn't the same case in GM core.

GM Core pg 244 wrote:
Most bombs also have the splash trait. When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don’t add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage. On a critical failure, the bomb misses entirely, dealing no damage. Add splash damage together with the initial damage against the target before applying the target’s resistance or weakness. You don’t multiply splash damage on a critical hit.
Just thought it may be worth considering as GM core contains other text that wasn't updated and personally this vastly changes the balance/power budget of the bomber alchemist. Especially for triggering weaknesses.

I agree that this seems to be an intentional change to bombs going forward.

It looks like the new text that was altered into that change, while the conflicting text was from the old Trait and copy/pasted without being updated to match.

-----------------------

Bombers with two splash Feats could do (bomb[2 or 3ish] + INT) friend-safe damage to those within 10 ft of the target on a missed Strike.

And with Quick Bomber, it did kind of break the idea of missed Strikes being misses. 14, or 21 damage for 3 targets on a miss is pretty silly, not going to lie. Quick Bombing 3 times as a turn to brute force with splash is a real thing.

If getting that toned down is a price to pay to get other areas of the Alch buffed, I'm all for it.

Edit: This does also nerf the Skunk Bomb (which it needs). No splash on miss means no Save-or-Sick for the whole crowd even when the main Strike whiffs.

Hunh... actually the item technically says "hit by the bomb or in its splash area" so now I'm wondering if the Skunk was written when they knew this change was coming and the Skunk was deliberately future-proofed. It would have been a lot easier to write "hit by the bomb or its splash"


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Trip.H wrote:
Due to how big the level gap is btwn the L3 and L11 bombs, yes, it is quite easy to afford. I can rush the finish w/ the variant rule, crit the crafting check, and get 2 * (L + 1) discount per day.

Oh, ok, your entire point is that you have unlimited Downtime to fulfill this notion of yours? To Craft a single Batch of anything takes a minimum of two days if you want to save cash.

So, 3rd level: My guy is creating 15 Moderate Bombs and 4 Moderate Quicksilvers. So, that's the equivalent of five Batches for the Craft Downtime activity. That's 10 days of Downtime. Now, you're not going to be Crit'ing the Craft roll with any regularity at that level. Best you've got is a +13 Modifier, with a DC of 18.

Plus, unless you've got a really generous GM, you're going to be starting off 3rd level with roughly 125 gp, if they give it to you all in cash.

Say everything goes exactly right. You get your Critical Successes, you don't fail the flat check for rushing the finish (which is still a thing at this level): if you take the minimum downtime of ten days to come up with what my Alchemist gets every morning... it's gonna cost you 192 gp. Which is considerably more than what you're starting with.

And that's for one day.

I suspect though, that you're thinking a little further down the line. Probably 8th level. Lots of stuff fall into place at 8th level for this notion. Impeccable Crafting turns Success into Critical Successes, and you're high enough level that with Assurance you can auto-succeed on anything up to 8th level... which I will admit, is pretty sweet.

So, what hasn't changed is your Downtime problem. By this point, my guy is making 3 Batches of Bombs, 2 Batches of Quicksilver, 1 Batch of Moderate Elixir of Life (L5, 30 gp each) and I have six more Batches of Infused Reagents to do whatever I want with.

Your person, however, doesn't have Perpetual Infusions with Sticky Bomb. So, you'd probably be better off sticking with four Batches of Bombs.

So, bare minimum: still ten days Downtime.Still going to cost you 168 gp per day. Average party will have earned 725gp each (cash value) over the course of L7, which will allow you to afford four days of supplies.

And that's letting you off easy. Getting you to keep up by making a Batch of Elixirs of life would add another two days of Downtime and 116 gp to the total... although, to be fair, that would last two days as my Batches only create two per.

So yeah, in conclusion: playing like an Alchemist using cash is a fantasy. Doesn't exist.

Trip.H wrote:
Spending a whole bunch of time going over the on-level gold cost does not do all that much to help the Alchemists struggling to stay relevant. Any spell caster can be compared to their scroll cost. But they have additional barriers to use that alch items lack, and combat actions.

Hey, you're the one who brought up a completely spurious argument. I don't mind having discussions of why Alchemists could use a little help. But if you think I'm going to sit back and watch someone make an argument of "they suck because this" when that's blatantly false, well, that's not me.


ottdmk wrote:
[snip]

It's not a spurious argument, and I'm fine to "double down" with it.

In addition to self-crafting, I have also bought low L alch items from town in Otari. The point was about the gp cost lagging behind with the item level, meaning the items most core to the Alch's kit are also the most buyable.

I doubled-up with Inventor and Quick Setup in order to be able to get formulas after L4, which RaW Otari does not have. The campaign has very little downtime.

My GM allowed for travel days to/from Absalom to permit crafting, and I made some batches that I'm still using atm.

Once a party has access to a BoH, they can assess the regularity of access to a town and plan ahead with a set of 10 or so L3 bombs for 100ish gp. The L2 +1 Rune is 80 gp. It's a lot to ask at L3, but is very doable by 5 or 6.

At L8, the +2 Rune is 800gp. And the bombs/mutagens are still L3.

-------------

I'm pretty sure crafting L3 items, and rushing them, is literally auto-crit for me at L8. Even at L6 the cost and check would not have been very burdensome.

While crafters can suffer greatly in campaigns that lack downtime, town access and downtime tend to be inversely correlated.

When you can't get to a town to buy, that long distance also typically means everything is in a longer time frame. Meaning, that's the time to craft your own. When things are moving fast, you usually are within reach of a L3 town.

-------------

And again, like 3/4 Alch types, I'm a not a Bomber; I'm a Chiurgeon.

I try to Strike exactly once each round. I've got a 1-H bow for 2d6 base, and now at L8, Perpetual Skunks. The cases in which I've wanted to throw reg bombs has been getting rarer over time.

Like many other Alchemists, I'm not throwing all that many bombs.

--------------

I absolutely stand by the argument that as a quirk of bombs and mutagens jumping from L3 --> L11, for a long time Alchemists can and should be supplementing those stocks with hard versions, bought or self-made, and using their Reagents for the higher level stuff that unlocks as they go.

I disagree that this is economically non-viable. Especially after the formula change just handed the class a huge gold tax back to character.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Trip.H wrote:
It's not a spurious argument, and I'm fine to "double down" with it.

So, let's recap, shall we?

shroudb wrote:
For me, the main issue is tht the class can be replaced by spending gold.
Trip.H wrote:
Hard agree. Alchs need something to make using the item better in their hands, like some action economy helper, and they need some reason to use Quick/Advanced Alch, via a reworked Additive system.

So, you agreed that the class can be replaced by spending gold. And you then proceeded to claim that due to the cost difference between L3 items and where you get to before L11, you can easily just buy Bombs and Mutagens.

Which you can.

You can buy some. You can definitely buy enough to supplement what you do normally. But you cannot buy enough to use them day in and day out as your main schtick. That can't be done.

Plus, now you're not even talking about that. You're talking about supplementing your Alchemist by using Craft. Which is a completely different matter altogether. That isn't replacing an Alchemist using gold... it's adding capability using gold. Yet you seem to believe that it makes the argument that the Class can be replaced using gold.

Make up your mind what you're discussing.

Trip.H wrote:
I absolutely stand by the argument that as a quirk of bombs and mutagens jumping from L3 --> L11, for a long time Alchemists can and should be supplementing those stocks with hard versions, bought or self-made, and using their Reagents for the higher level stuff that unlocks as they go.

Here I can agree with you. You absolutely should supplement your Alchemists using Craft. I'm fond of Crafting items that I want on hand but don't want to spend Reagents on every day. Cat's Eye Elixers, Antidote, Antiplague, Revealing Mists, Mistform Elixers, that sort of thing.

However, that is a long way from "the class can be replaced by spending gold." Which is the argument you originally agreed with.

Trip.H wrote:
I disagree that this is economically non-viable. Especially after the formula change just handed the class a huge gold tax back to character.

I wouldn't count my chickens on that front. Spellcasters like Wizards and Witches are still paying gold to learn new Spells. Wouldn't surprise me if Paizo says that Alchemists still have to have the formulae to use Advanced & Quick Alchemy.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ottdmk wrote:
However, how are you going to afford all the items that the Alchemist takes for granted?

That's what I was responding to. You are the one that claimed I was being disingenuous with "unlimited downtime," then immediately spluttered some misleading numbers to inflate the gp value of Advanced Alchemy. If you were attempting to be honest, you would have discussed the number of infused items that you actually *use* each day, not prepare. You know that all the unused infused items expire without added value, and that it's misleading to tally that as used gp.

ottdmk wrote:
You can buy some. You can definitely buy enough to supplement what you do normally. But you cannot buy enough to use them day in and day out as your main schtick. That can't be done.

I've got no idea why you're so hellbent on being absolute like that.

A character with Quick Draw access is thinking about what they want to take for their free Archetype. They look at their options, and give Alchemist a gander. They like the idea of having a variety of bombs for different scenarios, and they very much like the idea of using Quicksilver/Feral mutagen in combat.

But, the perks of the Dedication itself grant no benefit to the actual combat use of those items. Literally none. It's only a gp save. With 2 Feats, they can get a daily supply of the L3 items, and must still spend another Class Feat to escape the Dedication lockout.

They do some napkin math based on their gp and expected use, and they instead pick Alchemical Crafting as a Skill Feat to make sure even a one-way trip to the Darklands wont starve them of Alch items. They picked something actually fun and interactive instead, like Wrestler to combo with their feral mutagens.

---------------------

If you build your character to lack a runed weapon, and *need* bombs to make Strikes, then yeah, it is absolutely going to be tough to buy/craft enough L3 bombs.

As that's absurd for anyone not building their entire character around bombs, it's not the baseline. Most characters, including Alchemists, are going to have some other way to Strike/ dmg cantrip/ ect. Even a single Feral Mutagen will last the whole combat while bombs are per Strike.

---------------------

With one class Feat to take the Medic Dedication, in addition to almost never throwing dmg bombs, my L8 Chirugeon has accidentally ended up nearly never feeding Elixirs of Life.

The boosted Battle Medicine, and the 1 p hour cooldown override, need to be exhausted first. And that just doesn't normally happen.

I still do feed a fair number of Numbing Tonics, but the Skunk is so OP it's absolutely the #1 choice.

---------------------

Moreover, now that I'm not prepping as much, I've actually gotten to feel like an Alchemist. I finally had the Reagents to spare, and used Sovereign Glue to seal a door, and some Solvent later to undo it.

When I was being stingy on my gp and prepping infused bombs, I could never have afforded to spend 2 Reagents on something superfluous like that.


isn't power of magus and eldritch archer can be mostly bought with spellstrike ammunition and scroll

problem is alchemical item rarely worth their price and have power reflect their level

if alchemist can make 60 to 80 same level potion per day their powerlevel would greatly increase

or even just add elixir patch that does the same thing as potion patch would greatly improve alchemist


3 people marked this as a favorite.
25speedforseaweedleshy wrote:

isn't power of magus and eldritch archer can be mostly bought with spellstrike ammunition and scroll

problem is alchemical item rarely worth their price and have power reflect their level

if alchemist can make 60 to 80 same level potion per day their powerlevel would greatly increase

or even just add elixir patch that does the same thing as potion patch would greatly improve alchemist

This is actually super important to the discussion, thank you for bringing it up.

Alchemists are stuck in the place where using all your reagents and hitting 0 is SUPER bad, like, "can't make Strikes until tomorrow" bad for some.

At Lvl 1, it's a universal experience to hit 0 items due to starting with few Reagents, but so is the steady growth of their number.

It's also completely normal that the Alchemist will reach the point where they make more bombs/elixirs than they will use in a day.

--------------------------------

For balance, this is a huuuuuge problem. It means that no, my Alchemist could make 100x the infused items per Reagent and it would not change what I do in combat all that much.

Quick Bomber makes a much bigger difference on the Alch's combat numbers/choices than having inf Reagents would, even with the Sticky Bomb Additive for a bit more persistent dmg.

It's still usually 2 actions per consumable item, and the actual *effects* of the items, their numbers, are always lower than what other characters can do with spells, impulses, ect. This makes them subpar for their action cost, nearly always.

So the current Alchemist is a class both restrained by limited resources, like spells, but who's "top rank spells" are below par even right when they are unlocked, because they could spam one item all day.

---------------------------------

At L9, I could prep 26 Crackling Bubble Gum for the day. I could theoretically Stride and Activate for 26 turns, and it's safe to say my party experiences less total combat turns per day.

It's 6d4 sonic dmg in a 15 ft cone with a basic DC 25 fort save. But it always needs 2-actions to activate. Ideally, it's already in the mouth (but only lasts 10 minutes so GL with that). To try to use a 2nd gum, or to get the DC to be on-level w/ my Alch's 27 DC, that would mean 1-action Quick Alch, 1-action mouth, 2-actions blow bubble/activate.

In other words, this is an item super carefully designed to only be usable once per fight (per person).

And in that most restrictive case, you get a -2 DC fort save cone for 6d4 damage, and a -10ft spd rider on fail. And it's not friend-safe. After trying and giving up on the Sun Dazzler, I can say that cones are super hard to hit 2 enemies and 0 friends with. [At L9, Electric arc is 6d4 single, 12d4 2-target]

That's one of the "best" tools Alch's get to attack with. As a reload impractical Lozenge, it's set up to have the most room possible for being combat viable.

Putting Quick Bomber and all the bomb Feats aside, even the Alchemist's best items are worse than Electric Arc, even with the Reagent + lozenge limitations.

Knowing that is super important to this discussion. That's how "bad" the Alchemist needs to be right now, because everyone can pop Alch items.

Even the very moment you unlock the L9 version, you are MUCH better off throwing a Perpetual Skunk for an on-class combat option.

2 higher fort DC. Sick on save, slow+sick on fail. One tier of success better for all in the splash zone. Infinite, 2-action cost every time.

------------------------

Even with infinite gum, the numbers just don't work. The devs rightly know that the item-starved Alchemist is a low-level thing that they grow out of, so they invented the Lozenge trait to make room for "good" items usable once per combat.

Even then, they just can't allow alch items to be generally worth using in fights. Because not only can the Alch use them, but if it was actually worth the 2-actions, the whole party would be blowing gum bubbles. The tiny target they are tying to aim for is: "worse than normal classes most of the time, better than what the Alch can do sometimes" so that only the Alch's using it. Especially with Quick Bomber, that's basically an impossible goal.

The Alchemist class as it is, is fundamentally unbalancable and broken.

It needs real, fundamental core changes.

--------------------------

I had a bit of a talk w/ my table after last session, and we hit upon something that stuck with me.

As a class w/ a big formula book full of items & Quick Alchemy, the Alchemist "needs to know" everything they could potentially make. The item statistics are so low, you really need to know that specific problem solver to enable the item to be worth making.

On paper, that's okay. It's what I signed up for when I picked Alch. I genuinely enjoy the "ahhhh, if only I had made ___ instead of ___!" type of review and continuous improvement.

But, it's a team game.

The Alchemist puts a unique onus onto *the entire party* that no other class does. An Alchemist *needs* to be using buffs and handing items to their allies to make it worth it to play the class.

Either I'm pestering my party with suggestions, or they feel obligated to ask me for items to prep / pass. For someone mindfully choosing to play a martial or Kineticist to keep things simple, that's a nightmare.

The Alchemist is designed around party play, with items being usable by anyone in ways that Scrolls, ect are not. They bring the biggest list of junk and options to dump into the brains of the whole table, with only the consent of the one Alchemist.

Without conscious planning, we had already worked out some limited strategies to mitigate the some headaches / backseat gaming. My party does NOT like getting sickened by Skunks, and there was some talk about stopping the friendly fire.

After a not so fun while of trying to walk the line of pushing my sick-restorative items onto the party just the right amount, I said f-it and made a pattern/rule. Each daily prep, I'd remind and tell them directly what Ginger Chews do, how they help, and put some into the party stash. I would also make one more reminder after the fighting stopped, and the ally was presently retching out the sickened. Once I made a personal rule to formalize how much to push the reminders, I no longer worried / reduced my Skunk usage. For more than three sessions, not a single Chew was ever taken from the stash or used.

That mental burden / table slowing complication of the Ginger Chews was by itself as minor and context sensitive (easy to remember) as it could have been.

Yet, general player psychology makes even that small of a thing too difficult for the other players include into their planning. People just do not easily integrate or consider things off their character sheet, which is exactly what having an Alchemist ally really demands.

Even when the Alchemist player has the specific tool to solve a known problem (Skunk friendly fire --> Ginger Chew), the recipient player has to be involved in that usage. And that small extra off-sheet mental load is too much to keep in mind.

When characters die, and they do, the "if only I/they used a ____" thoughts completely change in character, mutating into "I/you failed to use ____, they could have survived" and when the whole party can use the items, that blame issue isn't just affecting the Alchemist.

After a PC-killing fight, even something like an ally realizing they forgot to cleanse the Sickened via biting the Chew means that every close roll could have gone different, and that bad taste sets in, a fun-leeching hindsight of self-blame.

---------------------------

After that session last night + post game talk, and a bit more reflection this morning, I don't think this party-wide mental burden issue is completely fixable.

As much as I, the Alchemist, would enjoy exploring the possibilities of some item like an elixir patch, the rest of the table would not.
Items like that become "mandatory" hassles, and if someone dies when we were "too lazy" to use the patches, that would become a fun-killing disaster of an item. Any dose-shooter item helper really ought to be Alch-only, as again, there's got to be a reason the Alchemist isn't handing these out to the whole party to use each morning. And that narrows down what bit of the Alch's core has got to change.

---------------------------

To be honest, I think the earlier mention in this thread to make Alchemist a unique Dedication/Archetype only sub-class, and completely remove the concept of making Alchemist a core class chassis, would no joke be the best idea for the game's overall health.

Especially at a table when PC death is a real thing that happens, the compulsion/burden for the allies to know/ask/use potentially life saving items is just too disruptive to the game. And when using the right item at the right moment is the entire core of a class, that's just a bad recipe. One primary goal/feature of pf2e is to simplify and smooth out the combat experience, and the Alchemist's "but we always could make+use this weird option at any time" breaks that boon of the game.

While the degree to which this happens varies with the campaign's investment/intimacy(?), it's def still there in more casual / impersonal groups.

Alchemist uniquely burdens (damages) the entire table's play experience in a way that no other class does by dumping a huge pile of combat options onto everyone.

--------------------------

My best design idea as an iterative change that'll "trick" a fix into the system is to have daily prep items work with additives, and have those additives add a "can now only be used by the Alchemist" clause as a trade all Alchs will want to make.

If the devs can get players to naturally and automatically trade the ally-usable problem of consumables in order to slightly improve said items into viable usage, that's about the best Paizo can do with all the existing baggage, IMO.

If Paizo has the balls for more "nerfs" to fix Alchemist, all items w/ the infused trait should be creator-only by default. (and the 1-action Quick Alchemy ought to be completely removed)

Sorry for the rant, thanks for reading.

Considering that the fresh and new remaster books managed to release completely contradictory instructions on how bomb splash works, I've been a little pessimistic. However, working through to the problem / solution of disabling the ability for allies to use the Alch's items for the sake of the table's fun has been a good distraction/exercise.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

In summation, Alchemists need to be as self-contained as all the other classes. Doing support things for your friends is fine, if you don't make them burn actions for the reward.

I wonder if atomizers need to be a built-in class feature in order to eliminate the action-overhead of gift-then-use that elixirs, mutagens, food items, and poisons all have.

Conceptually, the alchemist was one of the two things that led me to PF2 (the other being treatment of monsters and encounter mechanics). It's sad we have to wait until July to see where the dev team is going to go. But these discussions are useful to me, if I decide to rewrite it to my personal tastes for my campaign setting. (I just finished doing this with the cleric--wholesale replacement by a very similar but radically different class. I'm committed to doing the same for Fighters, Rangers, Monks, and probably Champions).

So seeing what pain points folks feel this class has is very illuminating. It's sort of like Gunslinger, where having expert weapon proficiency out of the gate seems to have failed to overcome the action tax of reloading.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My only hope is they do not get Master strikes without a heavy cost to their versatility


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
My personal preference would be the alchemist becoming much more limited in playstyle, maybe more solely revolving around their research fields.

Man that sounds so awful.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think that is out of scope even when the class is slated for a major upgrade because one of the premises of the remaster was that all the characters that existed previously would be mostly playable as they were or as a better version of themselves after conversion. Forcing Alchemists into a specialized role would go against that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
WWHsmackdown wrote:
My personal preference would be the alchemist becoming much more limited in playstyle, maybe more solely revolving around their research fields.
Man that sounds so awful.

Just making concessions up front, sacrificing what I assume the alchemist would need to to not feel so wet noodle in play. If the highest versatility and vending machine status of the alchemist means it can't punch at the weight class of warrior bards, battle oracles, druids, and war priests as far as AOE, healing, buff/debuff magnitude I'd rather it lose some things so it could pick a martial or caster lane. It's the only class in the game that feels PURE support (to me)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WWHsmackdown wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
WWHsmackdown wrote:
My personal preference would be the alchemist becoming much more limited in playstyle, maybe more solely revolving around their research fields.
Man that sounds so awful.
Just making concessions up front, sacrificing what I assume the alchemist would need to to not feel so wet noodle in play. If the highest versatility and vending machine status of the alchemist means it can't punch at the weight class of warrior bards, battle oracles, druids, and war priests as far as AOE, healing, buff/debuff magnitude I'd rather it lose some things so it could pick a martial or caster lane. It's the only class in the game that feels PURE support (to me)

The issue is that no one else at the table agreed to play Alchemist.

Even with a familiar, the action economy of one Alch using items upon the party members is really bad, you will not be a properly contributing party member if you can only administer 3-4 items before the fight is over.

-------------

Because alch items can be used by anyone,
+
The alch can prepare items that last all day
+
Combat failure --> PC death
=
everyone (GM included) now have to think about using alch items, every day.

------------

After talking with the whole group after a session, it is clear that this single effect was hurting their fun more than I had guessed, likely getting worse after our 2nd PC death.

That foe had crazy bleeds on hit. We got super lucky that we looted Ichthyosis Mutagens higher up, which likely saved at least 1 PC life due to the free bleed recovery, and that's if the fight wouldn't have spiraled into a TPK.

---------------

It's not really about the Alchemist being good from a numbers perspective, it's about the class design making the whole table, at best, groan when the Alch tries to sell the Rogue on the idea of using Camoflauge Dye for the third time.

IMO, the normal Craft-made items, especially after the all common + 1/2 prep time changes, are fine if the party wants the Alch to hand off their items. Actually, the Alchemist class really ought to have some benefit over randos w/ the alch crafting Feat. The remaster could add a 2 (or more) x multiplier to the craft discount rate baked into the Alchemist class for their item specialty.

---------------

It's no secret that in many other games, devs talk about character / hero kits that are identified as "toxic" to the fun get intentionally nerfed in power to be below the baseline. They can't / wont delete or completely overhaul said character, and instead nerf them so that players pick them much less often.

Conscious Paizo decision or otherwise, IMO that's where the Alchemist is right now. That's how you get once-per-fight items in the Treasure Vault that still can't compete against Electric Arc.

---------------

I think the best of the "bad ingredients" to attack is to prevent ally use of the Alch's items.

The item list already exists, so buffing them is out as too much work. Instead, using the Additive mechanic to both limit infused items to the Alchemist and enhance their combat efficacy at the same time, is the smallest, least disruptive change that could greatly help ameliorate that table-poisoning effect of giving everyone access to the whole alch item list.

----------

Fun fact, the Additive mechanic actually already works RaW with the daily prep Infused items, it's just that most have "made via Quick Alchemy" as a condition.

The only thing to work with daily infused is Mega Bomb, the L20 capstone for Bombers.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I expect them to have the same proficiencies a a warpriest, post remaster, given that they were the only ones with those specific proficiencies pre remaster.

I could be wrong though. Perhaps the bound caster chassis would suit the alchemist better. In that case, I would expect a class ability that removes splash on bombs but adds Fatal or Deadly to those items, so that the math works closer to other weapons.

Actually, that might be an interesting addition if you could choose on the fly which way to go. Would let you gain the extra damage of Fatal or Deadly when fighting enemies around your level or lower, but give you splash damage as a fallback option to let you deal chip damage to bosses.

I would also like to see level 0 alchemy items, items that can be made using Quick Alchemy but consumes no reagents, so that they can have “cantrips” right from the start.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I would also like to see level 0 alchemy items, items that can be made using Quick Alchemy but consumes no reagents, so that they can have “cantrips” right from the start.

That could double up with the idea of the Alch specializations getting X Lvl Additives as math fixers.

--------------

Example:

New L0 item "Prophylactic Projectile: Throwable goo glob that gives +1 to saves for a turn"

+

Chirugeons get:
Quintessence of Mending: an Additive X. For every Alch Level you have above the base item, add that difference as a flat healing effect to the resultant mixed item.

--------------

At L1, that would be a +1 saves and +1 HP throwable goo glob as a back up "cantrip".

Any infused item with a level that's behind the curve would have a small +hp heal added to it.

AND tying that healing additive into the Chirugeon would be a huge boost to the thematic identity of the character's chosen type of Alchemist, letting them heal a bit with any ally-assisting item.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Trip.H wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I would also like to see level 0 alchemy items, items that can be made using Quick Alchemy but consumes no reagents, so that they can have “cantrips” right from the start.
That could double up with the idea of the Alch specializations getting X Lvl Additives as math fixers.

Actually, yes. The couple of bombs like this that I homebrewed were “1 damage, 0 splash, and on crit 0 bleed damage” with the idea that feats or anything else that added to bleed or splash would do so normally, just starting at 0. So your idea would work well with that.


The more I read the more I don't think there is an easy solution. One of the biggest issues is bombs need to be more powerful or rather items need to get item buffs when used by the Alchemist but that would ruin the idea of passing out alchemical items but maybe that is 100% what the Alchemist needs? Make it more like a spell caster where the party isn't given items at the start of the day or if they do they are weaker (Standard) effects but if an Alchemist uses them they get a moderate buff. Like longer duration, more damage, less negatives, so forth.

But Master weapons is a must for any damage support Alchemist.


ElementalofCuteness wrote:

The more I read the more I don't think there is an easy solution. One of the biggest issues is bombs need to be more powerful or rather items need to get item buffs when used by the Alchemist but that would ruin the idea of passing out alchemical items but maybe that is 100% what the Alchemist needs? Make it more like a spell caster where the party isn't given items at the start of the day or if they do they are weaker (Standard) effects but if an Alchemist uses them they get a moderate buff. Like longer duration, more damage, less negatives, so forth.

But Master weapons is a must for any damage support Alchemist.

alchemist are so weak level 20 feat like mega bomb and perfect mutagen need to be subclass feature at level 1 to make the class work even remotely

with the damage cap of energy mutagen they run out any decent chance of dps within the class

it is difficult to imagine fix for alchemist

but good news is the new version of witch cauldron feat combine with new potion of treasure vault offer new option for similar type of role play


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I gotta ask: have you ever played an Alchemist? Because I gotta say, your view of the class is distorted beyond belief.

It's possible that there will be problems once my lead guy hits 13th. Maybe. I find I doubt it.

But from Level 1? I've played three Alchemists so far. While levels 1 & 2 are kinda painful for Bombers, L3+ is fine. Mutagenists are great from L1 because they don't have the same resource problems.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Personally, I think the alchemist would benefit from a design that was more like Focus points for Quick Alchemy, with Advanced Alchemy being a separate resource. This would also make room to have unique actions usable with Quick Alchemy instead of only replicating existing items.

But such a design would need someone much smarter than me to create and balance.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I played with bombers before and after 4th print and the things improved a lot but they still bad.

At lower levels play with alchemist was bit painful. The number of alchemical itens was from terrible before the improvements in Research Fields to allow to create 3 alchemical items since level 1 yet it still pretty common to runout of alchemical itens before level 7 so I always have to use a backup weapon for my second Strike usually a shortbow take using some weapon proficiency feat usually try to hide in some cover with my 3rd action and even using this boring save resources strategy.

After the Treasure Vault and 4th print the gameplay experience improved a lot after level 7 due the Skunk Bomb effectiveness. Making the bomber one of the best debuffers of the game (specially if you also take Debilitating Bomb) and a very good 2nd Strike option.

So IMO L3 still isn't fine. The alchemist only begins to become less painful from L7+.

I honestly don't know what to do to low level alchemist becomes good. I always thing that Paizo designers had a terrible idea when they choose to create the Splash mechanic instead of make bombs just do Saves vs Class DC and moved Quick Bomber to level 8.
But for high levels alchemist I think that if they just improve the weapons proficiency to master at level 15|-|17 just some the main problem of the class in higher levels thats the pretty lower hit rate.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The tough issue with the Alchemist is that the 4 Research Fields embody very different styles. A lot of players want to fully commit to their Research Fields, especially Bomber players who don't really care about most of the class but Bomb options.

So there are 4 specialized Alchemists and then 4 non-specialized Alchemists that all need to be properly balanced. That's a conundrum without a simple solution, in my opinion.


Nightwhisper wrote:

Personally, I think the alchemist would benefit from a design that was more like Focus points for Quick Alchemy, with Advanced Alchemy being a separate resource. This would also make room to have unique actions usable with Quick Alchemy instead of only replicating existing items.

But such a design would need someone much smarter than me to create and balance.

Hard agree. The idea of a recharging resource is already a big part of pf2e's design, and would be a big design help to get the Alch a better foundation.

Funny enough, the Focus Points being intrinsically magic does put the "It's not magic!" class in a bit of a thematic hard spot, but enterprising Alchemists surely could invent their own equivalent.

I've been thinking of Alchemists starting with 1 "Well of Quintessence" that is an incomplete, auto-refilling item. The starting Well would be aligned around the aspect of the Alch's subclass via a mandatory trait (Morph or Polymorph for Mutagenicist), but would otherwise work like a Focus Point / QAlchemy, not deciding which specific bomb/ect the item is until use.

Importantly, this would not be a hugely minus level "cantrip" like the Breadth options currently there for Alchs, they would be on-level or better*

There would also be the ability to daily prep more Wells at the cost of Reagents, letting Alchs decide how many per-fight items they think they need, which is a kinda mandatory consideration when you've got Mutas only needing 1 per fight, while Bombers need 1 item per Strike.

The one freebie that's awarded in addition to Reagents is also a key buff to the Alch L1 through 5ish "I'm out of bombs!" pain point.

Combine those Wells with X lvl Additive options for each subclass, and perhaps some 0 Reagent L0 "cantrip" items, and you're about halfway there, IMO.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Trip.H wrote:
Funny enough, the Focus Points being intrinsically magic does put the "It's not magic!" class in a bit of a thematic hard spot, but enterprising Alchemists surely could invent their own equivalent.

Simple answer: Focus points aren't intrinsically magic. Focus spells are magic, and thus far the only use for focus points has been focus spells, but there's nothing that says that it necessarily must continue to be so.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
Trip.H wrote:
Funny enough, the Focus Points being intrinsically magic does put the "It's not magic!" class in a bit of a thematic hard spot, but enterprising Alchemists surely could invent their own equivalent.
Simple answer: Focus points aren't intrinsically magic. Focus spells are magic, and thus far the only use for focus points has been focus spells, but there's nothing that says that it necessarily must continue to be so.

I think that reusing focus points for anything other than focus spells would miss the lessons learned from D&D4's failures. It's okay to use a different term even if the under-the-hood mechanic amounts to the same thing.

I'm strongly investigating/thinking about this non-focus-point focus point for my homebrew replacement for fighters (a class, and really a concept, that I've come to hate). But importantly, you want to maintain the separation between martials and spellcasters so that folks can feel that their characters have enough unique-making aspects. (Arguably though, the game could really leverage FP-by-another-name mechanics to motivate a third family of classes, call them utility, that don't fit nicely as a martial or as a spellcaster. Alchemist and Kineticist obviously live in this space. And I think Rogue, Investigator, Inventor, and Thaumaturgist might be better there too. The martial|spellcaster dichotomy bores me.)

1 to 50 of 160 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Remastered Alchemist All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.