general design philosophy: courageous milieu should set the tone of the class and have most of the major features of the class within it. Each milieu after courageous should add one additional major feature, and otherwise just be improvements on previous features.
therefore, for alchemist:
- Courageous (1-7)
- 1 Grand Discovery (?)
- Alchemist's Fire
- Heroic (8-14)
- Mana Burning (?)
- 1 Grand Discovery (?)
- Valorous (15-21)
- 1 Grand Discovery
- Poison Use
- Poison Resistance (to immunity)
- Poison Efficacy (higher DC saves)
- Poison Creation (basic poison at-will)
- Mythic (22-28)
- Eureka Bombs - scale quantity available, and scale number of additional discoveries that can be added
- 1 Grand Discovery
- Paragon of Science
- Legendary (29-35)
- Primal bombs
- 1 Grand Discovery
a few features should probably just go away: swift alchemy, swift poisoning, instant alchemy, venom sac
(RD) so, in general, does this approach seem to make sense to you? Are you okay with, for example, moving mutagen all the way up to 8th level? I ask because this same philosophy (several major features in courageous, then 1 per milieu after that) will likely get used in all the other classes, to some degree or another.
Bombs and Extracts
ok, third swag at a bomb model. bomb damage starts at 1d6+0 (plus Int Mod only added once per bomb, not per die) scales up to 1d6+4 per die (plus int mod once per bomb). this boosts the first level damage and nerfs a bit starting at 2? thoughts?
(RD) after a lot of thought, it looks okay. Might be a smidge weak, but I can live with that. I would suggest we hard-code the damage numbers into the table, like we have them now, rather than putting in all these formulas for the players to figure out. We can describe the formula in the text of the bomb ability, if you really want. Also, it should go up by +1 base damage per milieu. It's almost there now, but level 28 should still be 1d6+3, and therefore level 35 is just 1d6+4. Alternatively, it should go up by +1 at the last level of each milieu, in which case, you need to change levels 7, 14, and 21.
(RD) It's going to be hard to fine tune numbers like this before we do our character balance pass and all the deep number crunching that will entail. I don't think we have a good idea of what stat progression really looks like under the current rules. Between magic items, feats, class features, racial traits, and level bonuses (+1 every 4 levels), there's a lot of moving parts on stats. This is further complicated by the fact that there's a wide variety between classes that mostly only care about one stat (alchemists, sorcerers) and classes that need a lot of stats to be decent (monks, bards, clerics, rangers). I.e. the classes that only need one stat can specialize that stat fairly cheaply, while the multi-stat classes will need to spend a LOT to keep their mandatory stats up at useful numbers.
Bomb Damage Draft
Alch Level Dmg/Lvl Int mod/bomb Bomb Damage Avg/Bomb 2/round avg 3/round avg 1 1d6+0 +5 Int 1d6+0 8.5 17 25.5 2 1d6+0 +5 Int 2d6+0 12 24 36 3 1d6+0 +5 Int 3d6+0 15.5 33 48.5 4 1d6+0 +5 Int 4d6+0 19 38 57 5 1d6+0 +5 Int 5d6+0 22.5 45 67.5 6 1d6+0 +5 Int 6d6+0 26 52 78 7 1d6+0 +5 Int 7d6+0 29.5 59 88.5 8 1d6+1 +5 Int 8d6+8 41 81 122 9 1d6+1 +6 Int 9d6+9 46.5 93 139.5 10 1d6+1 +6 Int 10d6+10 51 102 153 11 1d6+1 +6 Int 11d6+11 55.5 111 166.5 12 1d6+1 +7 Int 12d6+12 61 122 183 13 1d6+1 +7 Int 13d6+52 97.5 195 292.5 14 1d6+1 +7 Int 14d6+56 105 210 315 15 1d6+2 +7 Int 15d6+60 112.5 225 337.5 16 1d6+2 +8 Int 16d6+64 120 240 360 17 1d6+2 +8 Int 17d6+68 127.5 255 382.5 18 1d6+2 +8 Int 18d6+72 135 270 405 19 1d6+2 +8 Int 19d6+76 142.5 285 427.5 20 1d6+2 +10 Int 20d6+80 150 300 450 21 1d6+2 +10 Int 21d6+84 157.5 315 472.5 22 1d6+3 +10 Int 22d6+88 165 330 495 23 1d6+3 +10 Int 23d6+92 172.5 345 517.5 24 1d6+3 +11 Int 24d6+96 180 360 540 25 1d6+3 +11 Int 25d6+100 187.5 375 562.5 26 1d6+3 +11 Int 26d6+104 195 390 585 27 1d6+3 +12 Int 27d6+108 202.5 405 607.5 28 1d6+4 +12 Int 28d6+112 210 420 630 29 1d6+4 +13 Int 29d6+116 217.5 435 652.5 30 1d6+4 +13 Int 30d6+120 225 450 675 31 1d6+4 +14 Int 31d6+124 232.5 465 697.5 32 1d6+4 +14 Int 32d6+128 240 480 720 33 1d6+4 +15 Int 33d6+132 247.5 495 742.5 34 1d6+4 +16 Int 34d6+136 255 510 765 35 1d6+5 +17 Int 35d6+140 262.5 525 787.5
quantity of bombs
I suggest 8 bombs per day plus 1 additional bomb per milieu above courageous (i.e. 9 bombs at heroic (level 8), 10 at valorous (level 15), 11 at mythic (level 22), and 12 at legendary (level 29)).
if we go to 3 bombs per round (I assume that's for haste?), we might want to bump these up to +2 per milieu above courageous...
Discoveries and Grand Discoveries
- possibly rebuild discoveries to reduce quantity available, or even map it into the 4 choices at 4 levels (16 discoveries).
- alchemists get 1 grand discovery per milieu (in the middle levels of the milieu -- 4, 11, 18, 25, and 32. -- Need to review grand discoveries for appropriateness at all levels.
- update the infusion discovery to be just 1st and 2nd level extracts, and make more discoveries for sharing out higher level extracts.
- replace all the damage type bomb discoveries with "element bomb" "rudiment bomb" and "fundament bomb" discoveries, instead, where a single damage type of common/uncommon/rare energy is selected at time discovery is taken. Each can be taken more than once to select another damage type of the same commonality.
- grand discoveries could be a combination of several 'normal' discoveries -- e.g. 1 grand discovery = all 3 infusion discoveries; 1 grand discovery = greater and grand mutagen; 1 grand discovery = alchemical claws, prehensile organs, explosive halitosis, hyperextended joints. This would be in addition to the discoveries being available separately.
- are alchemists spontaneous casters (create extracts on the fly) or preparation casters (create extracts at the start of the day)? Currently, they are both, though they must have grand mutagen discovery to use (pre-prepared only) extracts in mutagen form.
does mana burning make sense for alchemists? From a game mechanics point of view, do alchemists get enough extracts to make mana burning even a little tempting? (they get 56 total per day at level 35) And from a lore point of view, does it make sense that they 'burn' multiple extracts to make one of them super-strong? (I'll have the same question about the ranger, by the way)
Alchemist Example Builds
(not a legal build; needs reviewed)
Human, base stats: Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, int 18, Wis 10, Chr 8.
1st Level: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot. Lets you put your bombs exactly where you want them
3rd Level: Weapon Focus:Bombs. Still making the bombs better.
5th Level: Extra Discovery: Acid Bombs*. Now that the bombs go where you want them, you start to make them nassssty.
7th Level: Dodge. A point of armor class and unlocks good stuff.
9th Level: Close Quarters Thrower. Throw bombs in melee!
11th Level: Charging Hurler. Lets you keep up with the first round rush and still attack.
13th Level: Far Shot. Throw bombs waaaay further and still hit.
15th Level: Mobility. Avoid those attacks of opportunity.
17th Level: Shot on the Run. Pop around a corner, throw a bomb, hide. So awesome.
19th Level: Clustered Shots. This lets you punch through DR like crazy.
2nd Level: Precise Bombs
4th Level: Explosive Bombs*
6th Level: Breath Weapon Bomb
8th Level: Fast Bombs
10th Level: Force Bomb*
12th Level: Demolition Bomb*
14th Level: Dispelling Bomb*
16th Level: Frost Bomb*
18th Level: Elixir of Life
20th Level: Fast Healing 5, Smoke Bomb*, Inferno Bomb*.
Human, base stats: Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, int 18, Wis 10, Chr 8
1st Level: Dodge, Mobility. Move around in melee, get hit less, and melee sucks, you want the armor class bad.
3rd Level: Weapon Focus: Natural Attacks. Yeah, you wreck'em in melee, you betcha!
5th Level: Power Attack. Yeah, you wreck'em in melee, you betcha!
7th Level: Point Blank Shot. Still gotta work the bombs!
9th level: Toughness. Hit points, baby!
11th Level: Precise Shot. Workin' the bombs
13th level: Shot on the Run. The corner thing, so awesome.
15th Level: Rending Claws. Oh, yeah, even more melee damage
17th Level: Defensive Combat Training. Stops the bad guys from tackling you all the time
19th Level: Advanced Def Combat Training. No, seriously. Getting grappled sucks.
2nd Level: Alchemical Claw
4th Level: Spontaneous Healing
6th Level: Greater Mutagen
8th Level: Vestigial Arm
10th Level: Vestigial Arm
12th Level: Grand Mutagen
14th Level: Tentacle
16th Level: True Mutagen
18th Level: Nauseating Flesh
20th Level: Alchemical Abomination, Improved Alchemical Claw, Preserve Organs.