Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dissector (Alchemist Build)

Human Alchemist (Beastmorph/Vivisectionist)
Slice and dice, rend and bend.  Who needs bombs?

The vivisectionist alchemist, all hulked out on mutagens and buffs, can make a frightening and terribly effective melee characters.  He can out utility the rogue, lay down a ton of hurt, trip and pounce, and still have plenty of tricks left up his sleeve.

Strength > Intelligence > Dexterity/Constitution > Wisdom > Charisma

Strength is our number one concern, followed closely by intelligence. Dexterity and Constitution help keep us alive.  Wisdom gives us a will save, but not much else. Charisma is a comfortable dump stat.

15 Point Buy
Str: 18 (16+2)
Dex: 12
Con: 12
Int: 15
Wis: 8
Cha: 7

20 Point Buy
Str: 18 (16+2)
Dex: 14
Con: 14
Int: 14
Wis: 9
Cha: 7

25 Point Buy
Str: 18 (16+2)
Dex: 14
Con: 14
Int: 16
Wis: 9
Cha: 7

Attribute bonuses go into Strength.  However, make sure that Intelligence keeps pace with your Extract level as well.


Good old Reactionary and Carefully Hidden give us +2 initiative and +1 Will respectively.


1: Dodge & Toughness
2: Feral Mutagen
3: Extra Discovery: Tumor Familiar (Turtle for +1 AC)
4: Spontaneous Healing
5: Iron Will
6: Lingering Spirit
7: Power Attack
8: Preserve Organs
9: Die for your Master
10: Mummification
11: Extra Discovery: Crippling Strike
12: Greater Mutagen
13: Improved Initiative
14: Preserve Organs
15: Improved Iron Will
16: Grand Mutagen
17: Combat Reflexes
18: Elixir of Life
19: Weapon Focus (Claw)
20: Preserve Organs, Dilution, True Mutagen

We shall be self buffing a lot.  Notable Extracts include: Shield, Enlarge Person, Long Arm, Blur, Displacement, Fly, Channel Vigor, Heroism, Ablative Barrier, Greater Invisibility, Greater False Life,  Freedom of Movement, Overland Flight, Heal, True Seeing, and Giant Form I.


Strength, AC, getting natural attacks, and increasing Will are your highest priorities.  To that end, a belt of strength, strong armor, and a cloak of resistance are great.  Helm of the Mammoth Lord is absolutely key, as it provides a gore attack to add to the natural attack nonsense.

What the Build looks like at...
Keep in mind that the below include mutagen, but do not include any extracts.  At higher levels, extracts such as Greater Invisibility,  Displacement, and Giant form will double the build's damage and survivability.

Level 1: At level 1, the dissector is more tank than anything else.  We attack with a spear at +5 for d8+6 (x3) damage.  1d6 sneak attack.  We wear a chain shirt for 19 AC, and has 14 hp.  Not too bad for a spell caster.  We've also got 7 skill points and saves of 4/4/0.
We can buff with Shield, Enlarge Person, and Long Arm.

Level 4:  With Feral Mutagen, we now attack with a bite at +8 for 1d8+5 (x2) and two claws at +8 for 1d6 + 5.  2d6 sneak attack.  Our AC is 20, and we have 39hp, though it is effectively 49 with spontaneous healing. While mutagened, we have dark vision or scent. We also have a tumor familiar. We have 28 skill points, and our saves are +6/+6/+1.
We can buff with blur.

Level 8:  With power attack, we now attack with bite at +10 for 1d8+10 and two claws at +10 for 1d6 +10.  4d6 sneak attack. 75 hp, though Spontaneous Healing essentially adds 20hp, lingering spirit means we can go down to -24, and preserve organs means we have a 25% chance of negating sneak attack or a crit.  We have 56 skill points, and saves of +8/+8/+4.
Our mutagen can give us swim, flight, and dark vision, among other things.
We can cast 5 level 1s, 5 level 2s, and 2 level 3s.  We have added Displacement, Fly, Channel Vigor, and Heroism to our repertoire.

Level 12:  A lot happened in the last four levels.  Die for your Master means we get yet another lease on life, and Mummification makes us immune to cold, nonlethal, paralysis and sleep.  Our initiative has also increased to +8.
We now attack at +13 for 1d8+13, and two claws at +13 for 1d6 + 13.  We have pounce and trip at +13 CMB.  Sneak attack is 6d6 and two Strength damage from crippling strike.
Our hp is 135, with Spontaneous Healing adding 30hp.  AC is 22. With Lingering Spirit, Mummification, Die for your master, and everything else, it's very, very hard to kill us.
We have 84 skill points and saves of +12/+10/+6
When mutagened, gain +6 Strength and +4 Constitution, and +4 AC. We also gain pounce and trip.  These to factors make us truly incredible.
We can case 6 level 1, 6 level 2, 4 level 3, and 3 level 4.  Greater invisibility is the really good 4th level extract for us, but Greater false life and Freedom of movement are also solid.
DPR with sneak attack against an average CR 12 monster is 40 with two strength damage.

Level 16: Our grand mutagen is now in play.  We attack at +16 for 1d8+16 and two claws at +16 for 1d6+16 each.  Trip, pounce, fly, stuff like that. 8d8 sneak attack and 2 Strength damage, and tripping on +16.
195 hp, 26 AC, and all the previous buffs, in addition to 50% chance to negate crits and sneak attack.
128 skill points, saves of 15/14/6, but once a day re-roll of will.
Extract levels 5 and 6 have opened up Overland Flight, Heal, and True Seeing, but also Giant Form I which should be on whenever we can afford it.  We can cast 6/6/6/4/3/1 extracts.

Level 20:  With true feral, we are attacking at +19 for 1d8+16, and two claws at +20 for 1d6+16.  10d6 sneak attack with 2 Strength damage, trip, pounce, grab, and anything else we want.
We are nigh unkillable.  28 AC, 263 hp (50 more from spontaneous healing), and all the bonuses from before.
160 skill points. Saves at +18/+18/+8, with that Will re-roll.
We can cast extracts at 6/6/6/5/5/5.  Giant Form is on all the time!

Zenith's Guide to the Alchemist
Part I: Introduction, Attributes & Races
Part II: Discoveries
Part III: Feats & Traits
Part IV: Extracts
Part V: Equipment, Multi-Classing & Builds


  1. Giving your tumor familiar the Protector archetype combines their natural fast healing 5 with the ability to optionally take half your damage (as though shield other), turning them into a little hit point generator while they also aid another your AC using Bodyguard.

    1. I know I come over a year late, but I'd like to point out that the Protector archetype can't be applied to Tumor familiars, rules say that explicitly, I'm sorry

    2. The Familiar Bond feat gives a familiar that can have the Bodyguard archetype. The familiar loses some things, but act as a normal familiar using your character level to determine it's stats/skills points.

  2. where do you get 19 ac at level 1? i've got AC [16] = 10 +4 [Chain Shirt] +1 [Dex] +1 from dodge, even with the 20 or 25 point buy that's still only 17, is it assuming 20 point buy with a dexterity based mutagen?

    1. Yeah, take a look at the italics below "What the Build Looks Like At..." All the levels include mutagen.

    2. Which mutagen are you using for the build Zenith? Con? Str?

    3. Strength for the damage and attack.

  3. I dont really understand the DPR of 40 at lvl 12.

    Wouldnt 1d8+13 + 1d6+13 + 1d6+13 + 6d6 + 6d6 + 6d6 be equal to a whole lot more?

    1. Ah - it takes into account the % chance you have to hit the enemy. If you attacked the enemy over 100 rounds, some rounds you would miss, and some you would hit. Overall, you would deal an average of 40 damage each round.

  4. Man this build is useful. I'm not using all of it, because I decided I liked being a lizardfolk more, but tons of great ideas. Thanks!

  5. Hey Zenith,
    What gives this effect? i cant seem to find what does?
    "While mutagened, we have dark vision or scent."

    1. The beastmorph archetype gives the dissector the effects of alter self:

  6. You can only use mutagen once/twice a day unless you slow down the party.
    What do you suggest for a weapon at higher levels?

    1. Any simple weapon will do. When you aren't mutagened, try to buff yourself with spells and be more of a utility/tank character.

  7. So am I missing something? Where does the pounce come from?

    1. The Beastmorph's level 10 ability gives him beast shape II, which in turn gives him pounce.

  8. Hey! last question i think Zenith,
    at level 8 you say "Our tumor now protects us, increasing our AC and taking hits for us."
    but we don't get die for your master until level 9? is there something im missing here?
    Again, thanks for everything!

    1. Good question! I think that's a leftover from when we could use the Bodyguard archetype with the tumor familiar. Since we can no longer use that archetype, I'll remove that sentence.

  9. i know i'm sort of dredging up an old thread, but i cannot for the life of me figure out where that +7 damage for the spear attack at level one comes from! I've added all of the mutagen bonuses and everything, only comes up to +6.

    this is absolutely me missing a key detail but i need help!

    1. Hmm - I have no idea! Sorry! I'll adjust it on the build (and think a bit more on it).

    2. Haha, no worries, I just thought I might be going crazy! If it turns out to have been an error, glad I could help, I suppose :D.