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View Full Version : Alchemy and you, an overhaul for the malcontent



ShiningStarling
2011-08-19, 06:32 AM
Alchemy, love the idea, hate the Craft skill.

Who really wants to sit around making Alchemistís Fire all day when you could make a wand of Fireball and do something more effective 50 times? Sure, it costs more, but 50 Alchemistís Fires take 50 weeks to make under normal rules, or you can mince it up into days and die rolling dice. I donít know about other spellcasters, but mine certainly doesnít have a year of down time. And thatís another thing, why is it only spellcasters? Why my rogue canít put 2 and 2 together and get BOOM is beyond me. Heís likely more Intelligent than any sorcerer, but the sorcerer gets to do it. With all this in mind, I have devised a solution.

The items in the Playerís Handbook are what non spellcasters can do. In addition, they may add 10 to the DC to double many numeric characteristics, including cost, number of dice, range, and area of effect. You may apply this increase multiple times, +20 for triple, +30 for quadruple, etc. In addition, the daily checks make silver pieces, rather than copper. Weekly checks are GP, rather than silver. If any check wins by a multiple of the cost, then how many multiples there are yields that many of that item in that check period. Excess of a check yields the excess in credit for the next check period.

Ex: Little Timmy is saving up to buy an Alchemistís Lab. He is a 7th level Expert, with 10 ranks in Craft (Alchemy). He is a Gnome, and receives a +2 as a result. He is the town Alchemist, and mixes the best Antitoxins in town. One day, Little Timmy rolled a 20 on his roll to make Antitoxin. His result being 32, he multiplies it by 25, the DC, and gets 800 SP of progress. That yields 1 Antitoxin today, and 300 SP credit for the next day. On the next day, Timmy rolls a 16 to make Antitoxin, yielding 700 SP progress. With the 300 credit from the previous day, that makes 1000 SP total. That makes 2 Antitoxins for this day, making 3 Antitoxins over two days! Thatís pretty good, for daily checks. Little Timmy had to make daily checks because he was going to travel later that week. When he returns, he knows he will have several weeks, so he sets in to business as usual. For his first weekly check, he rolls a 14, making his check result 26, just enough! Multiplied by 25 that makes 650 GP progress. His batch was good enough to make 13 Antitoxins, with no excess. A paranoid rich man buys out his stock, so now Little Timmy finally has enough saved up from the last few months to get an Alchemistís lab! YAY! After all that, Little Timmy became a 9th level Expert. He put 2 more ranks in Craft (Alchemy) and took Skill Focus in it. Now that rich paranoid person has put him on contract to supply him with Antitoxin. But this noble has heard that another noble had died of poisoning even though he had had another Alchemistís Antitoxin, so he wants Little Timmy to make a better one. So Timmy adds 10 to the DC and rolls an 18 for a weekly check. He has 12 ranks, is a Gnome, has a lab, and has Skill Focus, so he gets a 37 for his result. Multiplied by the new DC of 35 yields 1295 GP of progress. The new price of 100 gold means he makes 12 doses of +10 Antitoxin that lasts 2 hours, with a good reserve left for next weekís checks. Now Little Timmy has a stable job, good going Timmy!

Note: This system is only for Alchemy, other Craft checks still use daily copper and weekly silver progress, with no overlap applicable. It works for Alchemy because you can make it in batches containing multiple doses, save leftovers, and continue building up doses, whereas if you were making a bow, it takes longer and you canít make them all at once. Also note that the raw material cost you pay is one-third of your resultant progress.

Now that still doesnít solve the issue. It is better, but now the spellcasters are feeliní the blues. Theyíre all saying, ďAw man, I became a Wizard for the express purpose of performing alchemy, but now everyone can do it.Ē Well, now that isnít true anymore. Why is that? Well...

Brew Potion doesnít exist anymore. Now Brew Potion is the new spellcasterís branch of the skill. Now any spellcaster can make potions. Now any spell a spellcaster knows that is applicable to be made into a potion he automatically knows the recipe and incantations necessary for. He may also buy, borrow, or learn recipes from others. So, now for the mechanics.

The Craft (Alchemy) DC for brewing a potion is 20+the spellís level +the caster level. To make a potion that the subject has a recipe for, but is not high enough level to cast, must add twice the indicated amounts to 20. A spellcaster gets an extra bonus on his Craft (Alchemy) check equal to Ĺ his caster level (rounded down) + his casting modifier as an untyped bonus to Craft (Alchemy) checks to make potions from his spell list, thus why it is harder to make Cleric spell potions when you are a Wizard, though not impossible since you can buy the recipe off a Cleric or ask the party Cleric for the recipe. Multiple potions may be made with one check, as before, but excess is lost, none leftover for the next week, since magical efforts are wasted if left unattended and not stored properly, and the recipe requirements are absolute. You do not pay for raw materials that would have been consumed by the extra, as you made it in batches. Also, the level cap for making potions is 9th, but all after 3rd level double the DC, and all after 6th level triple the DC instead. Metamagic may be added to potions, but only if you know the feat. Treat a metamagic spell as a spell of the adjusted level. Caster level must be high enough to cast the adjusted level. There is no metamagic recipe, you just have to know the feat. Quicken spell is useless in this application, as is Rapid spell.

Ex: Little Timmy has done well for himself. After an adventure or two, he has gained 3 levels of Cleric, and as a character has gotten significant stats, now sporting a 16 Wis and a 14 Int. That noble is up to his paranoia again, so he calls Timmy back in. Timmy makes some more of his specialty Antitoxin, and starts making some Delay Poison and Cure Light Wounds potions. As both of these spells are on his list, he gains a +4 bonus to the making of these potions, 1 from CL and 3 from Wis, being his casting stat. The first week back in regular employ he rolls a 2 to make a CLW batch. This gives a result of 30 with a DC of 24, so he makes 720 GP worth of CLW potions, or 14, with none leftover for reasons explained above. The following week he rolls an 11 to make some Delay Poison potions. With a result of 39 and a DC of 25, he makes 975 GP worth, or 3 potions of Delay Poison. The next day the noble is stabbed by an assassinís poisoned dagger. After the guards captured him, Little Timmy feeds him a CLW potion, which revives him enough to take the Delay Poison potion. After about 2 hours Timmy tells him to take an antitoxin, one of his special reserves, which helped the noble save against the second effect. Thanks Little Timmy!

Now spellcasters seem to be getting a lot... hmmm, I know! A feat!
How about...
Brew Potion
Req: Craft (Alchemy) 8 ranks, Use Magic Device 8 ranks, Cannot cast spells
Benefit: You may craft potions as a spellcaster would, only you have no caster level or spells known, so you must always craft potions as if you are not able to cast the spell, and thus add CL and Spell level twice to 20 for his DC.
Special: If you become a spellcaster after taking this feat, you gain a +2 on Craft Alchemy checks, +4 if you are not high enough level to cast it or it is not on your spell list.

nonsi
2011-08-19, 09:18 AM
Could you please explain how a result of 32 results in "multiplies it by 25" ?
Maybe it's your English or maybe it's mine, but I didn't quite get your formula.

Mulletmanalive
2011-08-19, 10:59 AM
Could you please explain how a result of 32 results in "multiplies it by 25" ?
Maybe it's your English or maybe it's mine, but I didn't quite get your formula.

Progress in Craft checks = Score rolled x DC of check.

32 being the roll and 25 being the DC that he blew out of the water.

Domriso
2011-08-19, 11:20 AM
This is interesting. I have a vested interest in the Alchemy skill and overhauling it to be more interesting, and I've been coming up with ideas much like what you are and posting them in my compendium. I like the idea of turning Brew Potion into an Alchemy thing (I've never quite understood it myself).

On another interesting note, the Blacksmith (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211704) NPC prestige class made by Welknair has a few abilities which could also be marvelous for Alchemy. You might want to take a look.

Amechra
2011-08-19, 11:47 AM
Would it be valid to create a feat that would allow a non-spellcaster to create potions of up to, say, 3rd level?

They would have that large penalty, but a DC 30 Craft Check to grab myself a potion of a second level spell...

Priceless.

Of course, a Potion of Haste made by a non-caster would have a DC of 36 to create, but that is manageable...

Tell me, does adding 10 to the DC also work for potions?

Hmmm, maybe a system that allows metamagic feats to be added to potions by raising the DC? Like adding Maximise would increase the DC by 6, or whatever.

EdroGrimshell
2011-08-19, 05:04 PM
I like this, quite a bit. One of my favorite characters was a pure alchemist so this is a godsend for reworking him into something more playable.

Mulletmanalive
2011-08-19, 06:00 PM
Your example states that it takes a DC 36 Craft check to make a level 3 potion.

The text states that "potions after 3rd level have their DCs doubled." I would read this as a potion of Haste would be DC 28 because it's not after 3rd level, it IS 3rd level; the other possibility would be a whopping DC 56...

Nice to see epic being catered for, but a DC 138 for the moderately useful Foresight spell [lets be honest, fairly pants but it's one of very few spells that aren't ridiculous for an example...i think the DC is far too low for Shapechange on the other hand...]

Amechra
2011-08-19, 07:56 PM
DC 36 would be for if you can't actually cast Haste.

ShiningStarling
2011-08-20, 08:36 AM
Progress in Craft checks = Score rolled x DC of check.

32 being the roll and 25 being the DC that he blew out of the water.
Yes, this is correct.


DC 36 would be for if you can't actually cast Haste.
This is also correct, and also if you only used the minimum caster level.


Would it be valid to create a feat that would allow a non-spellcaster to create potions of up to, say, 3rd level?

They would have that large penalty, but a DC 30 Craft Check to grab myself a potion of a second level spell...

Priceless.

Of course, a Potion of Haste made by a non-caster would have a DC of 36 to create, but that is manageable...

That sounds pretty good, I'll mull that over for a while.


Tell me, does adding 10 to the DC also work for potions?

While that would be cool, the answer would be no, as you could then make potions more powerful that the spells themselves. You make them more powerful the same way you would spells, increase your caster level and add metamagic feats.


Hmmm, maybe a system that allows metamagic feats to be added to potions by raising the DC? Like adding Maximise would increase the DC by 6, or whatever.

Yes, I'll add that, though this is already covered.
Ex: potion of Haste= DC 28, Potion of Extended Haste is DC 42. Increase 1 for spell level, 2 for caster level, and double for being higher than 3rd level.

ShiningStarling
2011-08-21, 07:10 AM
There, added the Metamagic clause and a nifty new feat! :smallcool:
Please continue to critique/suggest!

EdroGrimshell
2011-09-01, 09:08 AM
The items in the Playerís Handbook are what non spellcasters can do. In addition, they may add 10 to the DC to double all its numeric characteristics, including cost.

I just realized exactly what this does to alchemist's fires and other damage dealers. If it doubles all numerical aspects then you'd double not only the number of die (from 1 to 2) but the size of the die (from 6 to 12). Is that the case RAI? Just clarifying since i intend to use these rules eventually.

ShiningStarling
2011-09-25, 07:45 AM
I just realized exactly what this does to alchemist's fires and other damage dealers. If it doubles all numerical aspects then you'd double not only the number of die (from 1 to 2) but the size of the die (from 6 to 12). Is that the case RAI? Just clarifying since i intend to use these rules eventually.

No, sorry I did not mean die size, or weight for that matter. Also remember taht in DnD 2 doubles makes a triple.