View Full Version : Advanced Alchemy

2008-12-10, 07:48 AM

Sometime in the future I am planing a rog/wiz who specializes in alchemy
and the php doesnt realy explain it in lengh to base a character off it.

3 questions

Can you improve alchemist fire? Damage, blast area, types(alchemist frost),
ect, as well the DCs for all of these.

Does a anti magic field disable alchemable items?

What other alchemable items can you think of?

2008-12-10, 08:06 AM
Are you talking about 3.5 or 4e?

In 3.5, I know that the Eberron Campaign Setting book has some new alchemical items including alchemist's frost. In general, though, the skill is given little to no attention or support and it's not something you can really build a character around unless you do a good bit of homebrewing.

Can you improve alchemist fire? Damage, blast area, types(alchemist frost), ect, as well the DCs for all of these.

Not that I know of.

Does a anti magic field disable alchemable items?

Nope; they're not magical.

2008-12-10, 08:22 AM
Races of the dragon has some grenade-like things...

And in one of the Faerun books (i think) there was a bigger version of Alch fire. It was something like 3d6 on target 1d6 splash everything catches fire if failed save.

2008-12-10, 11:34 AM
There is a way to improve alchemy but its epic. Augmented alchemy is pretty weak though. I'd try to homebrew something.
Link to augmented alchemy here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/skills.htm#craftAlchemy)

Edit: Fixed Link

2008-12-10, 12:38 PM
Aren't there Bombardier feats?

Deth Muncher
2008-12-10, 12:51 PM
Dragon Magazine 321 has Gunpowder Weapons (above and beyond the ones included in the DMG). I think this would be perfect for an alch-specific character, especially as a guy with rogue levels: why yes, I'd like to do d12+Xd6 damage on a sneak attack with a rifle.

Seriously though, I'd think about going for levels of Artificer instead of Wizard. You can do most of the same things, plus you get better free Creation feats. Plus, you can not only make your guns AND your gunpowder. AND since you have levels in both of them, you have skill points off the charts.

Lord Tataraus
2008-12-10, 01:05 PM
There have also been a few homebrew alchemist classes though I have no experience with them. Basically, you're going to need to use some homebrew to make it work which might be difficult depending on your DM.

2008-12-10, 01:07 PM
Any sufficiently advanced alchemy is indestinguishable from magic!

Go artificer and brew potions, is my opinion.

2008-12-10, 02:14 PM
I'd do it like other forms of crafting, but would make some changes: Base DC of 10 with a +1 for every 5gp of cost.
For every five points that you beat the DC by, add one die to the damage of the substance. This applies only to splash alchemical weapons.
For every ten points that you beat the DC by, increase the Splash radius and damage by 1. This applies only to splash weapon alchemical weapons.
For every 20 points that you beat the DC by, any creature dealt damage by the alchemical weapon takes damage equal to the splash damage for one additional turn. This applies only to splash weapon alchemical weapons.
Non-weapon alchemical items: Sunstone, Smokestick, work for one round longer for every five points you beat the DC by.

For example, a 3rd level alchemist has a 7 skill ranks in Craft (alchemy), a +2 int mod, and a +2 equipment bonus for a masterwork Alchemist's Lab for a +11. To make Alchemist's Fire from the PHB he needs a 12. If he rolls a natural 20 (31) then his Alchemist's Fire deals 3d6 damage to the primary target, and deals 2 splash damage to everything in 10ft of the target.

2008-12-10, 10:19 PM
Alchemy isn't really a supported character idea. There are lots of 3rd party and homebrew classes, prestige classes, feats, items, and other stuff that all make it possible, but they usually all use their own new mechanics. The standard alchemy rules are just a set of consumable items you use in the early game before you can afford tons of magic, and the skill that makes them is just another craft skill.

Some people believe the rules support carrying larger quantities of alchemical items in the same container, allowing you to deal more damage at once. For example: an 8oz flask of acid deals 1d6 damage for 10gp, a 32oz bottle of acid deals 4d6 damage for 40gp. This could work for a time, but you need to establish a cap on how much can be used at once to avoid abuse. I'd suggest 5 dice, half the amount of total immersion in acid or boiling liquid.

This (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75871) thread has some improved alchemical items, and allows for improved use with additional ranks of Craft [Alchemy].

There was a another thread that had rules for custom alchemical items and poisons, called flasks, that one could use to create more powerful and expensive items for use at higher level play. I can't seem to find the link though.

The core books suggest when making up your own alchemical items to compare them to magic effects and price them a bit higher, using existing items as a guide. I was wondering just how they price these, and realized:

Acid, Flask: ranged touch attack, 1d6 acid, 10gp
Alchemist's Fire, Flask: ranged touch attack, 1d6 fire, DC15 and give up next action or take another 1d6, 20gp
1 charge of 1st level wand: ranged touch attack, 1d6 or 1d8, 15gp

Tanglefoot Bag: ranged touch attack, entangle, DC15 or stuck in place, 50gp
1 charge of Entangle: entangle, save or stuck in place, requires plants, 15gp
1 charge wand of Web: entangle, save or stuck in place, 90gp

Smokestick: 10' cube of smoke, 20gp
1 charge of Obscuring Mist: 20' radius mist, 15gp

It would be better to compare to some splatbook items, but that would take a while. The prices seem to roughly line up between alchemical items and a single charge of a similar magical effect. Lower durations don't mean much since fights don't last very long anyway. At the very least, I think we could up the damage of existing items by multiplying their price to get an equivalent "caster level" increase:

Acid; 1d6=10gp, 2d6=30gp, 3d6=50gp, 4d6=70gp, 5d6=90gp
Alchemist's Fire; 1d6=20gp, 2d6=60gp, 3d6=100gp, 4d6=140gp, 5d6=180gp. Deals the same damage in the round after hit if target does not put out fire.

Increase the craft DC by maybe +2 per die, the same as the "equivalent caster level" increase.

New direct damage/debuff items can be priced by starting with 1/50th the price of a wand, or 15gp*spell level*caster level. Alcemical items with range are almost always 10' grenadelikes, and rarely have durations measured in more than rounds, so no matter the base effect you'll have to restrict it, and you don't get a price break. Round the price up to a nice number based on existing items and assign a weight that makes sense. It's important to note that this method would not be compatible with the 32oz wind bottle idea above, since it's already putting extra dice into a single attack. Craft DCs should start at 15, 20, or 25 depending on base effect, and go up with equivalent caster level above the minimum.

It should go without saying that this would only work with low level effects, and lots of spells just shouldn't be possible with alchemy. I figure it should work out for such direct effects though, and if ends up a little cheaper, I'd say it's still fine cause I wouldn't want to penalize people much for not buying in bulk. Even with extradimensional storage, 50 alchemical items will take up a lot of space, so you can't just get a whole non-magical wand.