View Full Version : [3.5] Splash Weapons?

2010-08-16, 11:53 PM
I'm helping a friend with a character, and she says she wants to specialize in splash weapons (a grenade-thrower was a the base concept, and I assume this is the closest equivalent).

Having never really worked with them before, I have no clue where to start. I know there's a cantrip in SC that can fix the issue of range, but she doesn't want to play a full caster. Most likely she'll UMD a wand of it or something (stealth is a secondary objective, and Rogue levels are likely, so UMD is far from out of the question).

Honestly though, I'm at a loss as to what good splash weapons are out there and what the best way to obtain/use them is. And so I turn to you, the playground, to ask of your collective knowledge.

1. What/where are the most effective splash weapons?

2. Are there any prestige classes and such that specialize in them?

3. Any other pointers?

2010-08-17, 12:50 AM
There are no effective splash weapons: they cost hideously (at low levels), do minimal damage (at anything other than level 1), and are not reusable.

If you are committed to the theme, Artificer + Alchemist Savant (an Eberron PrC) can get you some functional stuff by emulating spells as grenades, speeding grenade creation, and using artificer stuff to boost your abilities.

If this is too caster-y, all I can suggest is rogue with maxed crafted, focusing more on the sneak attack and using the grenade more as a mechanism. Master Thrower could get you some perks as a PrC, as could a dip in whisperknife (if she's playing a halfling).

2010-08-17, 12:54 AM
And then you die to a pathetic swarm slowly nibbling away at your HP with its minimal damage. B/c you also thought torches, lanterns and/or oil were stupid. Or a troll, or something with DR, or etc. Splash weapons are a great thing to have on hand at low levels but there isn't a good way to focus a build on them unless you count sneak attack cheese or thousand-flask stacking cheese. They are affordable by level 2-4, especially when saved for emergencies like my examples.

2010-08-17, 01:06 AM


I'm the crazy prepared guy in my group. I've got a mundane item solution for everything. Always bring a torch, and lots of oil. Rope and wax and wooden poles are great, and maybe a flask of acid (for quick tests of materials with a drop or two). But don't bring grenadelikes as a weapon if you're planning on being a major player: it's not cost effective.

2010-08-17, 01:08 AM
Thanks for the input. After some talking I think she's just going to go with a Sneak-Attack Fighter with some Master Thrower. Use some obscure feats for the stealth, and have a "back-up weapon." I suspect the back-up weapon will see just as much if not more play than the thrown weapons, but we'll see.

2010-08-17, 02:46 AM
This is actually one of the easiest ways to make a reliably high damage output Rogue.

Get a couple of those belts/bandoleer from... I want to say PGtF... that let you draw flasks as a free action, take two weapon fighting, become invisible/blinking or have your wizard use things like black tentacles, glitterdust or grease. Make a bunch of ranged touch attacks, tuned to enemy vulnerabilities. I think there are some alternate grenade weapons in the Arms&Equipment guide, to customize attack methods further.

This relies on some mechanism of producing/acquiring industrial quantities of acid/alchemical items. It's not particularly expensive by even early-mid levels, but the logistics of it can be a bit silly.

Alternatively, you could use pathfinder's Alchemist (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/extras/advanced-player-s-guide-playtest/alchemist) class. It follows the hyper-limited use/day design mentality that you can see in most of PF, but it does the job. Kind of.

Or you could go to homebrew. Djinn in Tonic had some alchemy rules that were much more powerful than those presented in the PHB, which would make grenade weapons genuinely frightening without relying on bonus damage sources or absurd numbers of attacks/round.

The Rabbler
2010-08-17, 04:33 AM
there are also the blast globes from MIC. 1/day do 8d6(?) damage in a 10ft area around a target square, though they're pretty expensive.

you also might want to introduce your friend to the blast discs and blast spikes (also from MIC).

EDIT: and there are enhanced alchemical splash items. IIRC the damage goes up 1d6 for every +100 gp you spend.

2010-08-17, 07:29 AM
If you make the pathfinder alchemist's bombs at-will, I think it could do just fine, so I'll second that. Other than that, yeah sneak attack is pretty much your best bet. Naturally you'll want to find a way to sneak attack constantly against every type there is, but there are other threads for that.

If you just want to soup up alchemical items, I have a rambling note pile I'll spoiler here for you:
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. Maybe 10+5*spell level?

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.

Other ideas:

Borrow Djin_in_Tonic's alchemy rank based items idea, and create a feat that improves your use of alchemical items based on your ranks. This way, the items still have a standard baseline, and a character can have an alchemy sub-theme remain effective. This should probably not be combined with other custom item systems, instead replacing those means of increased effect.
Following up on that last idea, cribbed from Djinn and my now comparing everything to Craven, you could easily add a simple feat:

Combat Alchemist/Bomber Man/SCIENCE!
Prerequisites: Craft: Alchemy 8 ranks, no ranks in Knowledge: Nature or abilities related to fey creatures.
Benefit: You add your ranks in Craft: Alchemy to your damage with alchemical grenadelike weapons, but you also take a -2 penalty on saves against effects generated by creatures of the Fey type because you do not believe in fairy tales.

Edit: the rules you're looking for are in the Epic Level Handbook. It requires an epic feat, and "lets" you double the damage while multiplying the price by 5. Remember: two doublings equals a tripling, so no exponential damage for you.