Sunday, November 22, 2015

Zenith's Guide to the Alchemist, Part I: Introduction, Attributes, Races & Archetypes

Zenith's Guide to the Alchemist
Part I: Introduction, Attributes, Races & Archetypes

What is the Alchemist?

The alchemist is a powerful damage dealer, crowd controller, and debuffer all in one (and often all at once), a versatile ranged combatant with plenty of trackable resources.

Your main gimmick is bombs, thrown explosives which attack touch and harm the enemy's ability to do combat at the same time.  However, you've also got a plethora of skills, access to up to 6th level self-buffing spells, a tank mode, a buff mode, and bonuses to poison and alchemy. If you want to be the ultimate pathfinder blaster (with a strong martial mode), forget about those full casters - the alchemist is where its at.

Part I: Introduction, Attributes & Races
Part II: Discoveries
Part III: Feats & Traits
Part IV: Extracts
Part V: Equipment, Multi-Classing & Builds

About the Guide

Within this guide, I will be addressing the best ways to make your Alchemist do what you want.  In general I will not be addressing terrible choices, so you should consider the feats, skills, and tricks within the guide before looking outside of it.  I will be using a ranking system that Treatmonk pioneered in his guides:

Red (*): Signifies a terrible choice.  Except in very specific circumstances, I'll be excluding these altogether.
Orange (**): Signifies a mediocre choice. Not recommended unless you are going for a specific build.
Green (***): Signifies a good choice. Most Alchemists should consider this.
Blue (****): Signifies an excellent choice.  Except in unusual circumstances, all Alchemists should have this.
Pink(*****): Signifies a no-brainer.  Regardless of who you are or what you do, you must take this.  There are only a few of these.

Note that this guide will not cover the Vivisectionist archetype.  A melee alchemist using the Vivisectionist archetype can be extremely effective, but it is such a change in pace that would requires a different guide entirely. To learn about the Vivisectionist, check out N. Jolly's Alchemist Guide here!


Your main role is going to be ranged damage dealing and debuffing with bombs.  You can hand out a ton of damage, accurately hit, and weaken enemies to basically-dead levels.

You have two main sub-roles to choose from in combat: Melee/Tank or Buffer.

Melee/Tank: As a tank, you have a high Dexterity, a mutagen, and self-buffing.  While devoting your resources on bombs, you can be reasonably distracting and a viable target.  You could try a reach weapon, or simply be a tactical distraction and flanking machine for your more melee focused buddies.  Go Beastmorph, extract up, and give them hell.  But if you focus is melee, you should really be a Vivisectionist.
Transforming from an effective tank to an awesome melee character is all about buffing with extracts.  Make sure to have plenty of hour/level extracts up at all times, and pop those 10 min/level or 1 min/level extracts when you get the chance.

Buffer: In general, you cannot use your extracts on your friends. This changes with the Infusion discovery.  Once you gain that discovery, your buddies can benefit from your buffs.  You're not going to be as effective as a wizard or cleric, who can multiple allies from a distance, but it's still a good use of your extract.

There are also plenty of places to dabble.  Poison and summons, are two big options, and you can make an excellent scout and trap finder.

Let's Talk About Bombs...

Bombs are your bread and butter, your damage dealers and your debuffers.  Here's a few things to keep in mind when making your build and chucking your bombs.

First, Bombs attack touch AC: Attacking touch AC is what brings bombs from "Hey these are pretty good" to "I'm not sure the developers thought this all the way through."  Attacking touch means you are probably going to hit with every single bomb you throw past 5th level or so.  Let me put it in perspective for you.  The median AC of an enemy climbs from 14 at level 1 to 37 at level 20.  The median touch AC of an enemy stays the same from 12 at level 1 to 12 at level 20 (falling a bit in between before hopping up at level 20).

In some ways, this is like gaining a +2 bonus to attack at level 1, a +12 bonus to attack at level 10, and a +25 bonus to attack at level 20. Throw in the fact that most boss fights are big creatures with lower than average touch AC, and you are golden.  You get a good bonus to hit early on, and are going to hit basically all the him past level 5 or so.

Second, Bombs are limited: You get a number of bombs equal to your class level + your Intelligence modifier, and once they are gone, they are gone.  I recommend you do whatever you can to get more - the Extra Bombs feat and alternate racial traits that give more bombs are both excellent.

How to ration your bombs then?  Well, from level 1 - 20, the average number of combat rounds in a day isn't going to change much.  You can expect to see 3-4 encounters of about three rounds each. That's 9 - 12 combat rounds a day. Up until 6th level or so, you'll need to ration.  From 9th level on, you'll be looking for ways to spend as many bombs as quickly as possibly (hint: it's Fast Bombs).

Third, Bombs impose status effects: Damage is only half of what a bomb can do.  The other half is debuffs, status effects like entangled, nauseated, or confused.  Try to spread these debuffs around.  Grab more than one, so that you are inflicting a different debut with each hit.  If an enemy already has all the debuffs you can inflict, move on to a new target.

Fourth, Bombs are considered weapons:  Since bombs are weapons, you can grab all feats that apply to weapons.  This includes Weapon focus (bomb) and Improved critical, but it also includes Rapid Fire, Point-Blank Shot, and even Two-Weapon Fighting.  They are also unaffected by Spell resistance.  You can also apply poison bombs, though your GM might call shenanigans.

Note that there is no such thing as "small bombs" so small creatures needn't worry about dealing less damage.

Fifth, You can only throw one a turn: This is going to slow you down until level 8, when you can pick up the Fast Bombs discovery.  Which brings me to...

Let's Talk about Fast Bombs...

When you start off as an alchemist, you are only able to throw one bomb a round, no matter how many attacks you have.  However, at level 8 you gain access to the Fast Bombs discovery, which allows you to prepare as many bombs as you have attacks each round.

This is awesome.

Consider a fight that would last three rounds.  Before Fast Bombs, you would throw one bomb a round each round, dealing some damage and imposing a status effect.

With Fast bombs (and TWF or Rapid Shot), you throw three bombs that first round.  Either the enemy is already dead (and unable to attack for the additional rounds), or he is so debuffed from the status effects that he's out of the combat.  You also now have two additional rounds to do whatever you like.  You've used your bombs more effectively and you've saved yourself actions.

"But what about resources?" I hear you say.  "Aren't I going to run out of bombs?" Maybe.  But if you would run out of bombs with Fast Bombs, you also would have run out of bombs without Fast Bombs.  You just do it more effectively each fight, leaving you to take several other combat changing actions.

If you plan on using three bombs in a fight, it's better to do it all in one turn - not only does it save actions, but damage and debuffs applied the first round of combat are far more effective than damage applied the last round.

You can also think about it this way.  From level 1 to 20, the average number of turns in combat per day is probably going to stay the same.  The rules of good game design don't change, and you can expect to see on average maybe 3-4 encounters a day with 3 rounds each.  So 9-12 combat rounds a day.  By 9th level, you are probably going to have about 13 bombs a day.  From this point on, you couldn't even use all your bombs each day if you tried.  So in addition to all the previous benefits I mentioned (action economy and more efficient use of damage), you are wasting bombs if you don't pick it up.

"But I want to save some bombs in reserve!" I hear you say.  Then save the bombs in reserve.  Fast bombs only gives you the option of going crazy nova against the boss.  Ration yourself to 3 bombs per combat, and you'll be good.

"But using rapid shot and TWF will lower my attack bonus!" I hear you say. True.  But you forgot that we are attacking touch. At 8th level, when you get Fast Bombs, you can use Rapid Shot and Two weapon fighting to have an attack routine that looks something like "+10/+10/+10/+5" Given that you are attacking a median touch AC of 11 you'll be attacking where only a critical miss can miss anyway.

"But I want to use my discovery and Feats for something else" I hear you say.  I can assure you, there's nothing better than pouring the damage/debuffs on early and gaining two extra standard actions of free time that you would have spent throwing the same number of bombs.

In short, grab Fast Bombs (and TWF and Rapid Shot) when you get the chance.  You won't regret it.


Intelligence (****): Intelligence increases your number of bombs, the damage a bomb deals, the DC of saves against bomb effects, and the number/strength of extracts.  It also gives more skill points.  It should be your highest attribute, though tying for Dexterity is a great idea. 18 is a good bet at level 1.

Dexterity (****): Dexterity adds to your bomb attacks, and opens up TWF.  It also raises AC, improves initiatives, and increases reflex.  It's not as important as it would be for a bow fighter, for example, as bombs already have a huge advantage due to attacking touch AC.  But, it's good for a lot of different areas.

Constitution (***): Constitution is useful for any character - it increases HP and Fortitude saves.  However, the Alchemist can play a decent tank if he likes when he's not throwing bombs.  With a combination of high Dexterity, a mutagen, and self-buffing extracts, the Alchemist can hop into the fray to take a few hits when needed.  It's a surprisingly good secondary role for a ranged smarty-pants.

Wisdom (**): A wide gulf separates Constitution from Wisdom. The only things Wisdom does is improve Will power and Perception.  Both important, but not worth any serious investment.  Don't dump it - a 10 should be fine.

Strength (**): How much do you plan on tanking? If that secondary role really appeals to you, then you can certainly grab a little bit of strength to deal some damage while you are in there.  However, you should never prioritize it at the expense of your bread and butter.

Charisma (*): Oh Charisma, the ever dump-able.  This does nothing for you except adding to a few skills.  Feel comfortable dumping it down to 7.


   Half-Orc (****): You can choose +2 Int, but the big bonus is the +1/2 bomb damage alternate favored class bonus.  Yum!
   Human (****): The Alchemist isn't feat starved, but it's still difficult to say no to an extra feat.  That and a +2 to Int makes this a worthy choice.
    Elf (****): Elf provides a fairly fantastic attribute layout. Bonuses to sleep and enchantment help with the poor will save, and a bonus to Perception helps with dumping Wisdom.  You can also grab a longbow with these guys, if you wish.

    Gnome (***): This attribute distribution is pretty lame, but small size is great for the alchemist. The big bonus here is the favored class bonus of +1/2 bombs per level.  With this, you won't have to worry about novaing too quick!  Despite everything, the Gnome is a worthy choice.
    Halfling (***): +2 Dex helps, and small size helps too. +1 to all saves and +2 to Perception are also good.
    Half-Elf (***): You can choose +2 Int here, which is nice.  You can also increase the radius of your bomb's splash with 5 favored class bonuses.  Is it worth it?  Sure, but not by much.

    Dwarf (*): Dwarf does absolutely nothing for you.  Skip it.

Featured Races
   Hobgoblin (****): Strange as it may sound, the Hobgoblin is an excellent alchemist. You get +2 to Dex and Con, and can pump up your natural armor with Scarred (or keep natural armor). Most importantly, your favored class bonus is +1/2 bombs per day.  There's no Int bonus, but this is still my top choice.
   Ratfolk (****): +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Strength?  Small Sized? Bonus to Perception? Darkvision? An Extra Discovery every 6 levels?  The Ratfolk is very tough to top.
   Teifling (****): Stat distribution is the ideal. +1/2 to bomb damage.  Fire resistance. Dark vision.  Absolutely awesome.

   Dhampir (****): Take a look at the Vetala-Born Dhampir: +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Wisdom, almost a perfect attribute distribution. As long as you don't have any positive energy healers, this is an excellent bet (though the favored class bonus isn't too exciting.
   Goblin (****): Yum. +4 Dex, a penalty to our two dump stats, small size, and a 30 foot base speed. You also get some special options as an alchemist, including the excellent Fire Bomber archetype, and can grab fire resistance as a favored class bonus. I'll take it.
   Kobold (****): This class has another +1/2 to bombs per day and +2 Dexterity, which is awesome.    It also has small size natural armor, and dark vision. The -4 Strength and -2 Con hurt, but not as much as they would another class.
   Slyph (****): +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Constitution is nearly ideal.  There's nothing much else here, but still a good choice.

   Ifrit (***): The attribute distribution is okay, but the only thing that saves the ifrit from orange is the +1/2 damage to bombs favored class bonus.  I just wish this one would work better (though the fire-starter trait could be fun).
  Undine (****): Passable ability scores, dark vision, and a few odds and ends net a solid green for the Undine.
   Aasimar (***): Peri-Blooded or Archon Blooded give you a bonus to Int or Dex, but that's about all to get out of this race.
   Catfolk (***): The Dex helps, but that's about it.

   Drow (**): Dex helps, but Charisma doesn't and a penalty to Constitution certainly doesn't.  There's nothing else too interesting, so I'd pass.
   Fetchling (**): Dex helps, but Charisma doesn't and a penalty to Wisdom certainly doesn't.  There's nothing else too interesting, so I'd pass.
   Oread (**): There's no point to being an Oread, but no real penalty either.
   Tengu (***): The Stat distribution is fine, and there's nothing much else.

   Orc (*): There's no synergy here, and thus no point.

Uncommon Races
    Aquatic Elf (****): Just like the Elf we are getting bonuses to Intelligence and Dexterity, already a good start.  They also get proficiency with a few melee weapons to help with tanking.  A solid choice.
    Strix (****): Whee!  +2 Dex and a fly speed. That's about all there is to say here.  True, you can give yourself a fly speed in a few levels, but this one is permanent, undispellable, and rad.  Drop bombs from the heavens!
   Svirfneblin (****): The attribute distribution gives us Dexterity and Wisdom, but cuts Strength (-2) and Charisma (-4).  Luckily, we don't care too much about the cuts.  Then, we get tons of little perks: +2 Natural armor.  +2 Saves. +2 Spell Resistance.  Small Size. +2 Stealth, Craft Alchemy, Perception. Dark vision.  I'd take this one in a heartbeat.
   Wayangs (****): Dex and Int bonuses, small size, dark vision, perception bonus.  Everything we want, nothing we don't.

    Grippli (***): Dexterity bonus, small size, and a climb speed are all bonuses.  There's also some nice synergy with the Grippli's ability to produce toxic materials from his skin. A nice niche with the poison, but nothing game altering.
    Merfolk (***): +2 to Dex, Con, and Cha is pretty good, and a +2 natural armor is also great. You can get a 15 foot move speed which is a problem, but not the worst thing in the world for an alchemist.
   Samsaran (***): +2 to Int is a helper, but -2 to Con hurts.  Shards of the Past is great, and Lifebound is also pretty good.
   Vanara (***): A dexterity bonus is the main perk, but a 30 foot climb speed and prehensile tail are also nice.
   Vishkanya (***): Another Dexterity bonus, the poison resistance is somewhat wasted.  You'll get a little buff from the poison you can generate, but that's about it.

    Duergar (**): There's not much synergy here, but not much of a penalty either.  No good reason to take it.
    Gillmen (**): Again, not much to recommend the race one way or another. 
    Kitsune (**): Dexterity bonus is good, and a natural weapon is nice for melee - but somewhat mitigated by a strength penalty.  Nothing overwhelming, but nothing to stop you.
    Kuru (**): Dexterity and Con bonuses, but a painful Intelligence penalty.  A natural attack and a few small bonuses help, but the Intelligence penalty is going to be too much to overcome.

   Nagaji (*): -2 Int and bonuses to our two dump stats means we really, really don't like these guys despite their other perks.
   Suli (*): A terrible attribute distribution dooms this one for us before it even begins.
   Changeling (*): Attribute distribution is not helpful.  We've got natural armor, but that's it.  However, the Witchborn alternate racial trait changes that to +2 Int, +2 Cha, -2 Con.  Still not great, but bumps us up to Orange (**).


This guide is just talking about bomb based alchemists, so we're only looking at archetypes that help us as a bomber.  That doesn't necessarily mean that we can't be good in melee, but we don't want to sacrifice our bread and butter to do so.

Any blue archetype is better than going vanilla, and worth taking.  Green archetypes are about equal, and anything lower should only be taken for good reason.

As an overview, we'll be happy with anything that replaces Brew Potion, Poison Resistance, Poison Use, Swift Alchemy, Swift Poisoning, and Instant Alchemy.  These are interesting, but ultimately not as useful as some other class features.  I'll be referring to them as LUCA (less useful class features)

Beastmorph (****): This will help you tank out when you are mutagened, and all it takes are some LUCA.  A worthy choice, and a fairly straightforward one besides.

Preservationist (****): Yummy summons! You now have an excellent offensive way to contribute with your extracts.  If you take infusion, you can give the spell to all your friends, such that the first round of combat everybody summons a summon! All it takes is a little LUCA (and a discovery at 18th level).

Grenadier (****): You give up some LUCA for a weapon proficiency, the ability to infuse an alchemical item in a weapon, precise bombs, and some bomb bonuses.  Infusing alchemical items into a weapon is particularly interesting and powerful. A worthy choice.

Internal Alchemist (***): Here's an interesting one. You become an awesome survivalist (holding breath, suspended animation, no food), your poison bonuses extend to disease, and you gain uncanny dodge. Not big bonuses, but all it takes is a little LUCA.

Trap Breaker (***): Trapfinding and trapsmithing for some LUCA.  If you are into that kind of thing, then go for it, but honestly LUCA might be a little more useful.

Mindchemist (**): We like our mutagens more than our cognatogens, but this archetype doesn't really do enough to justify a red.  Cognatogens deal us ability damage, which is brutal at lower levels and annoying at higher levels.  Also, the higher levels of cognatogens force us to choose between hurting our Dexterity or Constitution, and the highest level means both Dex and Con get hit. Orange it is!

Reanimator (**): Another damage lowering archetype for some create undead goodness.  Still, it's probably not worth it.

Visionary Resercher (**): You can now share a worse version of your mutagen.  If you love giving buffs to friends, then go for it.  Or you can pick a better archetype.

Chirurgeon (**): Your sacrifice is some minimal LUCA, and you gain a few curative abilities. Breath of life is useful at level 10, but before that you might forget you have this archetype.

Plague Bringer (**): It's extremely flavorful, but not exactly worth giving up mutagen for.  Without mutagen you aren't going to want to be in melee combat to give off the disease.  Infecting weapons with the disease is fine, but diseases aren't all the powerful to begin with (at least in the short term). Lastly, poisons are going to cause you more problems than diseases in a campaign, so that trade off is just worse.

Blazing Torchbearer (*): You become better at giving off light with a torch?  How is this an archetype?

Clone Master (*): Your bombs deal one step lower damage, but you get simulacrum and similar abilities.  Fun, but not optimal.

Crypt Breaker (*):  You deal less damage against most enemies, and more damage against constructs and undead.  More importantly, your mutagen just gets weaker.  No thanks.

Psychonaut (*): Lower bomb damage for scrying spells and the like? No thanks.

Rage Chemist (*): Rage chemist is interesting for melee guys, but pointless for us bombers.

Homonculist (*): You give up your mutagen for a familiar.  Given that your mutagen helps you throw bombs and tank, and a familiar does basically nothing, this is a poor choice.

Inspired Chemist (*): We like our mutagens. We don't like our cognatogens. We like our discoveries.  We don't like our other random options.

Vivisectionist ():  This is for the melee alchemist, not for us. Because we are focusing on bombing, we aren't going to bother with it. However, it can be very, very good at what it does.

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


  1. Great guide! I enjoyed it.

    I would rate the Splash Weapon Mastery feat one star higher as it is available at first level, whereas Precise Bombs discovery is not. Splash Weapon Mastery, in addition to what you've mentioned, allows you to adjust where misses land. It also adds one 5' square to your radius with bombs & splash weapons. Quite useful at lower levels and not a waste at higher levels.

    I would encourage Alchemist players to think in 3 dimensions. Using a basketball goal as an analogy, often hitting the backboard is the only option you have, to damage the enemy standing beneath the backboard, but not damage your allies.

    Your notations on traits should note what type of trait each one is, so as to avoid duplication.

    Comprehend Languages makes a fine scroll, and never need grace your formula as an extract known.

    Expeditious Retreat outranks Jump, IMO, because Expeditious Retreat has some of Jumps functionality built into it.

    I would highlight and encourage Alchemical Allocation as an Out of Combat application, otherwise, you're wasting not one, but two standard actions. One for the extract, another for the potion (barring shenanigans).

    The humble Erase spell can remove a spell tattoo.

    You rightly mentioned that bombs are weapons. You left out that, as a weapon, they can be poisoned in their own right, and that they benefit from an Allying magic item. My studded leather is spiked with +1 Allying spikes. I use them every round to enhance my bombs. And poisoning my own bombs allows poison to land on a touch attack.

    1. Wow, didn't see that Splash Weapon Mastery allowed you an extra space of Splash. That's great! Upgraded it.

      Good call, added the trait types.

      Huh! I guess you can poison bombs! Interesting! I'll make a note of that.

      Allying is certainly an interesting idea. You'd only be able to buff one bomb a turn, but still.

      Thanks for the notes, and glad you liked the guide!

    2. I don't think Allying would work actually.
      "As a free action, at the start of her turn before using her weapon, the wielder chooses how to allocate her weapon's enhancement bonus"
      the problem is "at the start of her turn" i.e. before doing anything. And the bombs aren't created (i.e. they are not a weapon until) they are in the proccess of being used. If this was a free action at any point in the turn it would work. But the enchantment specifies the beginning of the turn. So the weapon isn't in existance yet. Its in parts, but it isn't considered a weapon until the alchemist infuses some of his essence into it creating the weapon

  2. I don't see any notice of the plague Bringer (ratfolk) archetype. Is it a viable option?

    1. Added. Short answer, it's interesting from a flavor standpoint, but pretty much worse than vanilla.

  3. i miss the racial archtypes (msotly the goblin one with a bat)
    what u think of that one? i guess an animal companian that is a flying mount also is woth losing the mutagen thing (which if you really need have a discovery for)

  4. You should look at the Healing bomb, Breath bomb combo. A really good way to aoe heal with extracts at full potency

    1. Interesting! Still going to lag behind the cleric, and it requires some intense teamwork to get the people in the right place. But certainly effective when it works.

    2. Both Healing Bomb* and Breath Weapon Bomb* have asterisks...which mean they aren't stackable...right?

    3. Tainted Infusion is not listed with a star, so if you mix a healing bomb in with a duration infusion when the effect ends they get healed 150%. A heavy investment but an interesting combat heal effect.

  5. take a gander at Toxicant (i didn't see it on this page at least. maybe i missed it?)
    it makes a wonderful and greatly usuable poison.
    I've made a great long range debuffer thanks to it and the bombs.

  6. How viable is the Horticulturalist and the Herbalist?

    1. Horticulturist is pretty decedent. Summons are always good, but the damage penalty to bombs hurts a little. A familiar is also great. I'd say slightly weaker than standard, but overall not bad.

      Herbalist is almost strictly just an improvement. The ability to add blinded onto your bombs from the get go in addition to other effects is a bit op, even if you are just dealing non-lethal damage. Balm is also really good, allowing the alchemist to mutagen other people.

  7. I just have to mention the Bramble Brewer(Half Elf).
    First it forces upon you a tanglefoot bomb discovery, but makes the entanglement last for (Int mod) rounds. AND it makes the splash zones in to difficult terrain.
    The con here is that it does no damage, but thinking debilitation it's awesome!

    It also alters the mutagen so that instead of giving you +4 to a physical stat it gives you +2 and +2 natural AC. With an interesting boon of Fast healing 1 when in sunlight (or the daylight spell or Sunlight Bomb's, though they are a pain to get).

    This might be worse then what vanilla, since Nat armor can be easily bought or gained through other sources.

    But the true awesomeness of this archetype comes in two unseen forms:

    1. You are a half-elf, and as a half elf you can take the feat "Drow Paragon" which makes you count as a Drow. Now you can safely take Void bombs without dealing with the GM and/or without begging to be a Drow (begging to die...).

    2. This archetype is compatible with a few other archetypes, the one that will make you pee your pants is GRENADIER!!! Now you don't need to worry about bombing too much because you can just switch to throwing alchemical splash weapons instead when you run out :D So debilitate away!
    But there is also the Dimensional Excavator, Which makes the GM ask why you took DW at level 5... xD
    Or the Ragechemist, in case you want to go not only green but also angry... where did I hear that before... -.-

    My suggestion would be to take Smoke bomb at level 3, Stink bomb at 4 and Void bomb as 5, then you can start looking for the familiar, infusions, fast bombs (obviously the best ever!), a pair of wings etc. Once your debilitating is done just throw some amped up alchemical stuff in to the mix to save your bombs.
    Or rather get weapon familiarity (Elf), slap some stuff onto an arrow (With the Grenadier) and make some use of that bow, Rambo style! :D

    Oh and don't forget to take the Alt. FC, +5 ft. range/5 levels to splash sounds bad but with precise bomb you don't have to worry, just go ham and have fun! (I wanna see a Wizard that can compete with this ^^)

    1. Woops forgot Voidbomb is only for lvl 6+.
      Still this allows you to take frost bomb instead to get an elemental alternative <3

    2. And the mutagen of grants +4 natural armor +2 physical stat. Man I thought I had this in my head, ah well the more you know :P

    3. And the mutagen of grants +4 natural armor +2 physical stat. Man I thought I had this in my head, ah well the more you know :P

    4. Great suggestions! Thanks for those.

  8. You mentioned the Ring of Inner Fortitude...but it states that if the ability damage is tied to a beneficial effect, then the beneficial effect is also does this work with Mutagens and Cognatogens then?

  9. Do monkey goblins and hobgoblins qualify for Bomb Discoveries with the Goblin racial restriction?

    1. I believe the intention is for goblins only, but ask your GM!

  10. At the risk of sounding amazingly stupid ( I just started Pathfinder) what is LUCA?

    1. No worries! It's defined in the start of the doc:

      As an overview, we'll be happy with anything that replaces Brew Potion, Poison Resistance, Poison Use, Swift Alchemy, Swift Poisoning, and Instant Alchemy. These are interesting, but ultimately not as useful as some other class features. I'll be referring to them as LUCA (less useful class features)

    2. Thank you so much. Your website has been such a big help to me as I struggle to make sense of the rules. I have been playing 3.5 for 5 years and after just trying pathfinder, I loved the simplicity yet complexity of the system, especially the archetypes. Again, thank you so much for prompt reply and helpful guides.

  11. It's a minor downside, but it's important to keep in mind that native outsiders like tieflings cannot benefit from enlarge/reduce person. Since reduce person is a great buff for bombers, it might be worth keeping in mind. On the other hand, prehensile tail is one of the best alternative racial traits available, so tieflings still remain one of the best bomber choices.

  12. Hobgoblins as pink? I agree they're decent, but I can't see any situation where I would take them over a number of other races with Int bonuses for a bomber, or Str bonuses for a melee alchemist. Natural armor doesn't make up for that lack, especially when I can just use a potion of Barkskin with Alchemical Allocation. The extra bombs are nice, but plenty of other races get that too, and even without it, bombs are plentiful. I'd put them at green or blue, but putting them in the same league as tieflings, ratfolk, or even regular goblins seems odd.

    1. It's mostly the favored class bonus. +1/2 bombs per day is awesome, particularly with the fast bombs analysis.

    2. Which again, is good, but calling it pink, which is supposed to be the rating for above-all-else-no-brainer picks, is giving that too much credit. Why aren't gnomes pink then? They get bonuses to Craft: Alchemy, the small size almost makes up for the lack of a dex bonus (only missing the +1 initiative), among other things. Hobgoblins get one good stat, one okay stat, miss out on one extremely important stat, and have... not much else. They make good alchemists, I'm not questioning that, but I am questioning the pink rating, especially compared to how incredible tieflings and ratfolk are by comparison.

    3. Gnomes only boost one green and one red attribute with a penalty in a yellow attribute. Hobgoblins boost a blue and green attribute with no penalties. In my mind, the favored class bonus boosts them both up.

  13. You should relabel the guide to 'Best bomb throwing alchemist guide'

  14. Still dont understand how Alchemical Weapon works. Lets say i use longbow. I apply a arrow in to acid flask and take +dmg? Why not throw the flask with acid fow splash dmg? Need few examples (Sorry for my english new player)

    1. Alchemical Weapon essentially lets you add an alchemical item to damage with a weapon. So using an acid flask on an arrow would have the arrow hit and then add the acid flask damage.

      However, the important thing to remember about Alchemical Weapon is that bombs are considered weapons. Therefore, you can use items like Alchemist Fire or Acid Flasks to add free damage to your bombs. For even more fun, add things like Fungal Stun Vials to force the enemy to make multiple saves. Want to be even more nasty? Buy a Hybrid Funnel. This lets you combine multiple alchemical items into one, then add them onto your bombs with Alchemical Weapon. This adds a lot of possibilities with some creativity.

  15. No mention of the gun chemist. Yes, until higher levels your shots are going to be limited. But better range on bombs, add weapon damage, and definitely can be a flavor win.