Originally Posted by Gnorman
While you bring up some very valid points, it seems that alchemical items are more problematic than the engineer himself. Throwing out the quick-crafting times and the 25% reduction in costs might go a ways towards reining that in.
And, just for the record, I would absolutely love to play that cannoneer. That sounds awesome.
Thanks a lot! =) If you or anyone does want to play it, I'd recommend Quick Draw and Rapid Shot in short order - He can throw two Alchemist's Fires and the next turn shoot two targets with his Crossbow for "you're both on fire" shenanigans, which is 1D6+1 touch + 1D6 "on fire" + 1D10+1D6 ranged fire at -2 + another 1D6 of being on fire for 3D6 + 1D10 +1 each (and if they're near one another, they both take an extra +2 damage from splash).
So 3D6 + 1D10 +3 fire damage on two separate targets, 2D6 can be prevented if your targets lose their next two turns to do so.
Switching this to a single target this would be 2D6+2 +2D6 +2D10 +2D6 + 1D6 damage.
It takes Quick Draw, Point Blank Shot, Grenadier, Rapid Shot, and Mad Alchemist, so it's a bit of an investment, but an average 19 damage to two targets or 34 damage to a single target over three rounds (3-4 D6 of which doesn't involve actions on your part) with a non-magical Heavy Crossbow shooting what I assume to be laser beams or something is, frankly, awesome cool, even if it's not "Hit three times for 2D6+Str x 1.5".
The Master Alchemist feat from Pathfinder is another very valid choice for a would-be Engineer specialising in contact poisons.
I honestly don't believe this to be problematic at all. He's got 88 skill points - He should be using them, and quick, great crafting is their most interesting feature. As D-Naras says, if crafting anything becomes a problem (not that I believe DMs should ever arbitrarily mess with people playing intelligently with intelligent characters), then you can keep downtime to a minimum and force the Engineer into resource conservation, spending their downtime whenever they can.
The Engineer should be crafting things, he should be doing cool tricks with alchemical items (and has invested three feats into getting some neat tactical options from it), disabling gizmos and making poisons for his ranged touch attacks. This isn't separate
from the Engineer - he makes them, they're as fundamentally "his" as his other inventions are and they're really (ranged touch attack Con-damage contact/injury poisons aside) very reasonable - 1D6s and 1D4s and entangle spells in a bag are all you get, and that's fine.
It's not his job to be the one dealing the damage, he's the skillful one, disrupting the enemy spellcaster with a Thunderstone to the face, setting up a lethal trap out of ten bottles of Acid set to drop on someone's head when they enter a room, gearing up his party against poison or water hazards, or giving them
the chance for a +3D6 to damage for one round per battle, or being the guy that saves the day by Ghost Touching all their weapons when the Wraiths come by.