View Full Version : Alchemist Balance fix [PF]

2011-08-12, 10:17 PM
In the game I am to be running in the near future, the world has evolved from a standard medieval setting to a quasi-technological Renascence reminiscent of the Steampunk genre. While I do not intend to employ anything too extreme (trains of any kind are completely out of the question), airships, steam-and-pipe golems (Still fabricated with magic), and guns (As written in ultimate combat, both early and advanced firearms) do exist within the setting, at various degrees of frequency. Similarly, alchemy is becoming a more prominent profession as access to the materials and training needed are becoming more commonplace.

The Pathfinder Advanced Player's Guide offers an option for an Alchemist base class, and though I find it quite intriguing, balance issues plague the class: The mutagen ability, which allows an alchemist to consume a transformative catalyst elixir in order to gain enhanced physical abilities (In layman's terms, +4 to STR, DEX, or CON, -2 to INT [if STR], WIS, [if DEX] or CHA [if CON], and +4 natural armor for 10 min/ class level, with enhancement to these abilities at later levels through class features and alchemical discoveries) is incredibly unbalancing to the game; common sense and playtesting of this ability at various stages of leveling reinforce this point. Possible archetypes selected may provide alternative class features that are even more unbalancing, such as a Cognotagen- a mutagen that enhances mental ability scores.

There for, I am asking you, Playground, to come up with a suitable alternative for the Mutagen class feature, and possibly others if requisite to the design or if they might be remotely interesting.

I apologize for my verbosity as I am sure many of you are familiar with the class.

Now, go forth, put on your mad scientist goggles and lab coat, and Homebrew!

Shadow Lord
2011-08-13, 09:23 AM
First: You consider Airships less advanced than Trains? Wut?

Second: The Alchemist isn't overpowered. If you say that it is, you're doing it wrong. The Alchemist is a solid Tier 3 class; I don't see why you would consider it overpowering in the least.

Sir Homeslice
2011-08-13, 10:39 AM
There is absolutely nothing wrong with Mutagens whatsoever, and even less so for Cognatogens.

Also, it's only +2 Natural Armor, not 4.

2011-08-14, 06:00 AM
Yeah, why is mutagen a) unbalancing, and B) any more unbalancing than wild-shape, which allows even more abilities and bonuses for a druid with a similar duration, and yet has been NERFED for pathfinder? That, and an alchemist has to shell out on a lot of discoveries to get full use out of his mutagen, while a druid gets the bonuses for free.

let's not forget the ability score penalties that occur whenever a mutagen is in effect, which, while mild, are neverless a weakness?

Also, unless he's willing to shell out on money and a discovery, the alchemist can only get one mutagen a day, at every level, and it will be a while before it lasts a matter of hours.

The only questionably overpowered thing about the alchemist is the ability to pass on single-target transformations that only work on the caster(like, say, Form of the Dragon) and give them to others, and even then that's nothing the wizard couldn't achieve with different spells.

edit: The other thing it's comparable to is barbarian's rage, and while it's slightly better in terms of stats/abilitys lost vs stats gained and recovery times (pertiucally with the improved mutagen chain), it dosn't get all the nifty rage powers. Again, what is the issue?

...So , TL:DR, what they said, what is the problem?

@shadowlord: Well, balloons, at least, are less advanced than trains, so depending of technology they could get to zeppelins first.

edit: Between you and me youhasplotholes, I think your name is very ironic looking at this.

2011-08-14, 09:29 PM
Only spellcasters can do this with bull's strength,bear's endurance, cat's grace, eagle's splendor, fox's cunning, and owl's wisdom. Anyone else doing it is obviously unbalanced, even if there is a penalty associated with it and it's much less flexible :smalltongue:.

But seriously, why is an ability approximately equivalent to a second level spell that unbalanced?