Whether secreted away in a smoky basement laboratory or gleefully experimenting in a well-respected school of magic, the alchemist is often regarded as being just as unstable, unpredictable, and dangerous as the concoctions he brews. While some creators of alchemical items content themselves with sedentary lives as merchants, providing tindertwigs and smokesticks, the true alchemist answers a deeper calling. Rather than cast magic like a spellcaster, the alchemist captures his own magic potential within liquids and extracts he creates, infusing his chemicals with virulent power to grant him impressive skill with poisons, explosives, and all manner of self-transformative magic.
Role: The alchemist’s reputation is not softened by his exuberance (some would say dangerous recklessness) in perfecting his magical extracts and potion-like creations, infusing these substances with magic siphoned from his aura and using his own body as experimental stock. Nor is it mollified by the alchemist’s almost gleeful passion for building explosive bombs and discovering strange new poisons and methods for their use. These traits, while making him a liability and risk for most civilized organizations and institutions of higher learning, seem to fit quite well with most adventuring groups.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
The alchemist’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Craft (any) (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
The following are class features of the alchemist.
Alchemists are not only masters of creating mundane alchemical substances such as alchemist’s fire and smokesticks, but also of fashioning magical potionlike extracts in which they can store spell effects. In effect, an alchemist prepares his spells by mixing ingredients into a number of extracts, and then “casts” his spells by drinking the extract. When an alchemist creates an extract or bomb, he infuses the concoction with a tiny fraction of his own magical power—this enables the creation of powerful effects, but also binds the effects to the creator. When using Craft (alchemy) to create an alchemical item, an alchemist gains a competence bonus equal to his class level on the Craft (alchemy) check. In addition, an alchemist can use Craft (alchemy) to identify potions as if using detect magic. He must hold the potion for 1 round to make such a check.
An alchemist can create three special types of magical items—extracts, bombs, and mutagens are transformative elixirs that the alchemist drinks to enhance his physical abilities—both of these are detailed in their own sections below.
Extracts are the most varied of the three. In many ways, they behave like spells in potion form, and as such their effects can be dispelled by effects like dispel magic using the alchemist’s level as the caster level. Unlike potions, though, extracts can have powerful effects and duplicate spells that a potion normally could not.
An alchemist can create only a certain number of extracts of each level per day. His base daily allotment of extracts is given on Table: Alchemist. In addition, he receives bonus extracts per day if he has a high Intelligence score, in the same way a wizard receives bonus spells per day. When an alchemist mixes an extract, he infuses the chemicals and reagents in the extract with magic siphoned from his own magical aura. An extract immediately becomes inert if it leaves the alchemist’s possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—an alchemist cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use (but see the “infusion” discovery below). An extract, once created, remains potent for 1 day before becoming inert, so an alchemist must re-prepare his extracts every day. Mixing an extract takes 1 minute of work—most alchemists prepare many extracts at the start of the day or just before going on an adventure, but it’s not uncommon for an alchemist to keep some (or even all) of his daily extract slots open so that he can prepare extracts in the field as needed.
Although the alchemist doesn’t actually cast spells, he does have a formulae list that determines what extracts he can create. An alchemist can utilize spell-trigger items if the spell appears on his formulae list, but not spell-completion items (unless he uses Use Magic Device to do so). An extract is “cast” by drinking it, as if imbibing a potion—the effects of an extract exactly duplicate the spell upon which its formula is based, save that the spell always affects only the drinking alchemist. The alchemist uses his level as the caster level to determine any effect based on caster level. Creating extracts consumes raw materials, but the cost of these materials is insignificant—comparable to the valueless material components of most spells. If a spell normally has a costly material component, that component is expended during the consumption of that particular extract. Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements (alchemist extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement). An alchemist can prepare an extract of any formula he knows. To learn or use an extract, an alchemist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the extract’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an alchemist’s extract is 10 + the extract level + the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier. An alchemist may know any number of formulae. He stores his formulae in a special tome called a formula book. He must refer to this book whenever he prepares an extract but not when he consumes it. An alchemist begins play with two 1st level formulae of his choice, plus a number of additional forumlae equal to his Intelligence modifier. At each new alchemist level, he gains one new formula of any level that he can create. An alchemist can also add formulae to his book just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs and time requirements. An alchemist can study a wizard’s spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a formula book. An alchemist does not need to decipher arcane writings before copying them.
In addition to magical extracts, alchemists are adept at swiftly mixing various volatile chemicals and infusing them with their magical reserves to create powerful bombs that they can hurl at their enemies. An alchemist can use a number of bombs each day equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier. Bombs are unstable, and if not used in the round they are created, they degrade and become inert—their method of creation prevents large volumes of explosive material from being created and stored. In order to create a bomb, the alchemist must use a small vial containing an ounce of liquid catalyst—the alchemist can create this liquid catalyst from small amounts of chemicals from an alchemy lab, and these supplies can be readily refilled in the same manner as a spellcaster’s component pouch. Most alchemists create a number of catalyst vials at the start of the day equal to the total number of bombs they can create in that day—once created, a catalyst vial remains usable by the alchemist for years.
Drawing the components of, creating, and throwing a bomb requires a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Thrown bombs have a range of 20 feet and use the Throw Splash Weapon special attack. Bombs are considered weapons and can be selected using feats such as Point-Blank Shot and Weapon Focus. On a direct hit, an alchemist’s bomb inflicts 1d6 points of fire damage + additional damage equal to the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier. The damage of an alchemist’s bomb increases by 1d6 points at every odd-numbered alchemist level (this bonus damage is not multiplied on a critical hit or by using feats such as Vital Strike). Splash damage from an alchemist bomb is always equal to the bomb’s minimum damage (so if the bomb would deal 2d6+4 points of fire damage on a direct hit, its splash damage would be 6 points of fire damage). Those caught in the splash damage can attempt a Reflex save for half damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the alchemist’s level + the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier.
Alchemists can learn new types of bombs as discoveries (see the Discovery ability) as they level up. An alchemist’s bomb, like an extract, becomes inert if used or carried by anyone else.
At 1st level, alchemists receive Brew Potion as a bonus feat. An alchemist can brew potions of any formulae he knows (up to 3rd level), using his alchemist level as his caster level. The spell must be one that can be made into a potion. The alchemist does not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat.
At 1st level, an alchemist discovers how to create a mutagen that he can imbibe in order to heighten his physical prowess at the cost of his personality. It takes 1 hour to brew a dose of mutagen, and once brewed, it remains potent until used. An alchemist can only maintain one dose of mutagen at a time—if he brews a second dose, any existing mutagen becomes inert. As with an extract or bomb, a mutagen that is not in an alchemist’s possession becomes inert until an alchemist picks it up again.
When an alchemist brews a mutagen, he selects one physical ability score—either Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution. It’s a standard action to drink a mutagen. Upon being imbibed, the mutagen causes the alchemist to grow bulkier and more bestial, granting him a +2 natural armor bonus and a +4 alchemical bonus to the selected ability score for 10 minutes per alchemist level. In addition, while the mutagen is in effect, the alchemist takes a –2 penalty to one of his mental ability scores. If the mutagen enhances his Strength, it applies a penalty to his Intelligence. If it enhances his Dexterity, it applies a penalty to his Wisdom. If it enhances his Constitution, it applies a penalty to his Charisma.
A non-alchemist who drinks a mutagen must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the alchemist’s level + the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier) or become nauseated for 1 hour—a non-alchemist can never gain the benefit of a mutagen, but an alchemist can gain the effects of another alchemist’s mutagen if he drinks it. (Although if the other alchemist creates a different mutagen, the effects of the “stolen” mutagen immediately cease.) The effects of a mutagen do not stack. Whenever an alchemist drinks a mutagen, the effects of any previous mutagen immediately end.
All alchemists gain the Throw Anything feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. An alchemist adds his Intelligence modifier to damage done with splash weapons, including the splash damage if any. This bonus damage is already included in the bomb class feature.
At 2nd level, and then again every 2 levels thereafter (up to 18th level), an alchemist makes an incredible alchemical discovery. Unless otherwise noted, an alchemist cannot select an individual discovery more than once. Some discoveries can only be made if the alchemist has met certain prerequisites first, such as uncovering other discoveries. Discoveries that modify bombs that are marked with an asterisk (*) do not stack. Only one such discovery can be applied to an individual bomb. The DC of any saving throw called for by a discovery is equal to 10 + 1/2 the alchemist’s level + the alchemist’s Intelligence modifier.
(Editor's Note: A complete list of alchemist discoveries can be found here: Discoveries)
At 2nd level, an alchemist gains a +2 bonus on all saving throws against poison. This bonus increases to +4 at 5th level, and then again to +6 at 8th level. At 10th level, an alchemist becomes completely immune to poison.
At 3rd level, an alchemist can create alchemical items with astounding speed. It takes an alchemist half the normal amount of time to create alchemical items, and he can apply poison to a weapon as a move action.
At 14th level, the effects of a mutagen last for 1 hour per level.
At 18th level, an alchemist can create alchemical items with almost supernatural speed. He can create any alchemical item as a full-round action if he succeeds at the Craft (alchemy) check and has the appropriate resources at hand to fund the creation. He can apply poison to a weapon as an immediate action.
At 20th level, the alchemist makes a grand discovery. He immediately learns two normal discoveries, but also learns a third discovery chosen from the linked list below, representing a truly astounding alchemical breakthrough of significant import. For many alchemists, the promise of one of these grand discoveries is the primary goal of their experiments and hard work.
(Editor's Note: A complete list of alchemist grand discoveries can be found here: Grand Discoveries)
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have alchemists as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.
When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.
Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.