Friday, December 11, 2015

Mortar (Alchemist Build)

The Mortar
Hobgoblin Alchemist (Grenadier)

Bombs, bombs, and more bombs. Bombs to kill enemies, bombs to stun enemies, bombs to glue enemies in place. The Mortar focuses on throwing as many bombs as effectively as possible, and will take the hobgoblin favored class bonus of ½ more bombs per level.

The Mortar has a distant secondary role as an archer or tank.  When he runs out of bombs, he either uses his longbow in conjunction with his alchemical weapons ability, or he runs in to take some hits.  Or both.


1: Point Blank Shot, Longbow Proficiency from Grenadier Archetype
2: Precise Bombs from Grenadier Archetype, Frost Bomb
3: Precise Shot
4: Tanglefoot Bomb
5: Improved Initiative
6: Tumor Familiar (Greensting Scorpion for +4 Initiative)
7: Rapid Shot
8: Fast Bombs
9:  Two-weapon fighting
10: Confusion Bomb
11: Extra Discovery: Blinding Bomb
12: Cursed Bomb
13: Extra Discovery: Preserve Organs
14: Mummification
15: Extra Discovery: Sunlight Bomb
16: Infusion
17: Die for Your Master
18: Force Bomb
19: Iron Will
20: Spontaneous Healing, Healing Touch, Awakened Intelligence


Intelligence is important for bombs and alchemist goodies, Dex is important for throwing.  Con is important for staying alive, while Strength and Charisma are two clear dump stats. Int>Dex>Con>Wis>Str>Cha

15 Point Buy
STR: 8
DEX: 14 (12+2)
CON: 14 (12+2)
INT: 18
WIS: 8
CHA: 8

20 Point Buy
STR: 8
DEX: 16 (14+2)
CON: 14 (12+2)
INT: 18
WIS: 10
CHA: 8

25 Point Buy
STR: 10
DEX: 16 (14+2)
CON: 16 (14+2)
INT: 18
WIS: 10
CHA: 8

Attribute increases:  Boost Int, all the way.

Firebug: +1 attack bonus with splash weapons and bombs
Focused Burn: +1 damage per 2d6 with bombs

At every level our alternate favored class bonus should be +1/2 to the number of bombs per day you can create.

Suggested Gear

Obviously we want items that will boost intelligence and dexterity.  We can save money by not spending too much money on weapons.

Importantly, we also want to improve our will save as much as possible.  Anything that boosts our save against mind-effecting, or sleep, or fear will also be helpful.  Spend all that extra money on will-boosting items.


Refer to this guide for suggested extracts - We don't have infusion, so anything that buffs our tanking ability or will save helps.


Get in there and bomb! Use a variety of different kinds of bomb to drop different status ailments on dudes.  Try not to blow your load all at once, and feel free to stick with your highest iterative.

What the Build Looks Like at... 

This assumes a 20 point buy and no magic items. I’m going to assume point blank shot and dexterity mutagen.

Level 1: Attacks at +7 for 1d6+5 damage, so we are already hitting almost everything. 2 level 1 extracts. 5 bombs a day at DC 14.  8 skill points. 10hp, AC 20/14/16.  Saves +4/+6/-2

Level 4: Attacks at +10 for 2d6+6 damage, with the option to go cold damage and staggered or tanglefoot. 10 bombs a day at DC 16, so you'll struggle to use them all. 2 level 1 extracts.  32 skill points. 31hp, AC 20/14/16.  Saves +6/+8/-1.

Level 8: With fast bombs the mortar is now almost fully online.  Attacks at +11/+11/+6 for 4d6+7 damage. 2 level 1 extracts. Bombs can either do cold damage and stagger or tanglefoot. 17 bombs a day at DC 19.  You are going to struggle to use all your bombs. Initiative is suddenly at +12, so we can start (and end), many encounters. 72 skill points. 59hp, AC 20/14/16.  Saves +8/+10/+0.  Will save is still our weak point, but hopefully we can get some magic items to help with that.

Level 12: With TWF and a raft of options, we are fully online.  Attacks at +12/+12/+12/+7 for 6d6+8 damage, but you only need feel compelled to use the +12 options (which are going to hit nearly everything at this level.  Bombs can do cold damage and stagger, tanglefoot, confuse for 12 rounds, blind, or curse. Plenty of options across all saves.  Criticals automatically stagger enemies.  We have 23 bombs a day, with a DC 21 save.  7 level 1 extracts, 6 level 2, 5 level 3, and 4 level 4. 108 skill points.  87 hp, 20/14/16 AC.  +10/+12/+2 saves. (Average DPR is 82, with a nearly 20% chance of an auto stagger)

Level 16: We have just become a lot harder to kill, and we've gained infusion.  Attacks at +15/+15/+15/+10/+5 for 8d6+8 damage (8d6+24 against undead, oozes, and others).  Bombs can do cold damage and stagger, tanglefoot, confuse, blind, or curse.  Criticals automatically stagger enemies. We are immune to cold, nonlethal, paralysis, and sleep, and we have the fortification ability. 7 level 1 extracts, 7 level 2, 6 level 3, 5 level 4, 4 level 5, 2 level 6.  160 skill points. 30 bombs a day with a DC 24.  Throw them with abandon. 115 hp, 20/14/16 AC.  saves +12/+14/+3.

Level 20: And now we are really incredibly difficult to kill.  Attacks at +18/+18/+18/+13/+8 for 10d6+8 damage (10d6+27 against undead, oozes, and others). Bombs can do everything they could before, and we can also do force damage and knock enemies prone.  We can save ourselves from death by sacrificing our familiar, and we can heal 100 hp per day as if we have fast healing 5. 37 bombs a day with DC 27. 7 level 1 extracts, 7 level 2, 7 level 3, 6 level 4, 6 level 5, 6 level 6. 220 skill points.  143 hp.  20/14/16 AC.  Saves +14/+16/+6.