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My friends and I just started playing a game with a blend of pathfinder and 3.5, and I decided to play a vivisectionist alchemist, using feats such as able learner to double as a passable skill monkey. We have a gunslinger, swordsage, and wizard, and we all hit second level last night. After cruising the web for a while, the only alchemist guides I've been able to find focus heavily on bombs or mutagens. I understand this is very vague, but is there any general advice the playground can offer?
TL;DR: anything somebody who just started playing pathfinder should know about alchemists?
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise. Kubla Khan -- Samuel Coleridge Taylor
Get Feral Mutagen and go into Master Chymist. The reason for this is that with your natural attacks, you get 3 at full BAB for triggering SA. Pump Str and you can achieve a comparable to-hit to the Gunslinger. Take a level of Spirit Lion Barbarian to get Pounce and land your full attack on the charge.
I'll leave SA-specific optimization to the more experienced members, but the ___strike line of spells are a must for the dedicated sneak attacker.
I've both had an Alchemist in the party and played one and have seen 2 very different builds:
I personally played a Bomb-Focused Mindchemist who popped Cognatogens and threw bombs for higher DC & damage. Decent overall, and very good Battlefield Control.
The player ran a Vivisectionist Beastmorph Alchemist focused on Mutagens and simply became a hit-and-run melee expert, using Pounce on a flanked enemy. He was easier to kill than a gnat, but hit like a runaway freight train.
Now, since your player wants to be melee-focused, I suggest the latter over the former. The Beastmorph archetype gives your mutagens the Beast Shape spell line, which gives you pounce. Later on, you can get flying, but really, if you are going pure melee, pounce is a godsend for "nova fighters" like the melee alchemist builds.
My 2c on this subject, and I hope that the player can see the value of this.
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Originally Posted by Anecronwashere
Cleric: Right, I cast Infict Serious Wounds on that guy.
DM: Sorry, you kissed too many babies this week, you heal him instead
Cleric: Quick! Someone find me a dog to kick
Able Learner is completely pointless if you're playing with the Pathfinder skill system. All skills are bought at a 1/1 ratio, and you can have a number of ranks equal to HD whether or not its a class skill. If you want a skill feat, check out the Dreamscarred Press PF version of Open Minded instead.
I would try looking at Rogue guides instead of Alchemist guides if you're going Vivisectionist.
Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.
If you somehow have the charisma for it, Imperious Command will make foes you demoralize cower. If you can somehow do that and still have your turn before it wears off, the PF Dastardly Finish feat will let you coup de grace (and you can use Blade of Mercy trait and PF's Enforcer feat to not need to spend an action intimidating), but that's probably beyond your capabilities / feat budget.
Try to get very high CL potions of Greater Magic Fang and Stoneskin (must be from a Summoner) to use with Alchemical Allocation.
EDIT: Wait, 3E! Get a potion of Heroics (from spell compendium) to use w/ AA!
Last edited by StreamOfTheSky : 10-07-2012 at 02:22 PM.