Grenadier Proposal

I started writing a long-ass thing but realized I was really overdoing it. Let's go with the venerable bulleted list to get the main talking points out there and then, if it's actually necessary, we can discuss further.

  • Grenadier is one of the most basic, vanilla ATs available for Alchemists. It does two main things:
  • It gives you a martial weapon proficiency
    • This helps you make use of your decent BAB and self-buffs for reliable combat
    • Otherwise, you're reliant on your expendable bombs, limited ability to "hulk out" for 1 hour with natural weapons, or crummy simple weapons
  • It replaces your poisony things with bomby things
    • In a regular campaign, poison is something the DM can support by slipping you a little bit of extra cash or opportunities to harvest poisons. In LPF, due to a need for fairness your cash is very strictly regulated. You don't want to waste that on poisons!
    • The bomb-related things are for the most part similar to existing bomb-related discoveries. These help you more rapidly improve your bombs to a level where they're somewhat on-par with offensive spellcasting
Very vanilla, very sane archetype. If dramatic class revamps like Vivisectionist are approved, I see no reason Grenadier shouldn't also be allowed. It fills a hole not filled by other archetypes in that it improves your attacks, whereas other archetypes trend towards Weird Science, Morbid Surgery, or Magicallyness.


(Amusingly, I had previously been assuming that all archetypes were simply a part of the base classes - optional builds that serve as a more dramatic version of a ranger's choice between TWF or archery. I didn't actually realize they were from further splatbooks until someone pointed out the Seeker being from a non-approved source in my Sorcerer version of Bipper.)
 
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mfloyd3

Visitor
A point to be aware of in evaluating the Grenadier is that it has excellent synergy with some Feats and Discoveries. For instance, the Explosive Missile Discovery (available at level 4) allows an alchemist to infuse a bomb in a piece of ammunition -- This essentially adds bomb damage to weapon damage and dramatically increases the range increment. A Grenadier who takes a longbow proficiency gets an excellent boost. Likewise, the Focused Shot feat allows the addition of INT bonus at short range. This is the alchemist's long suit, so this is a hefty boost.

That said, I don't think the class is at all unbalancing. A well-optimized Grenadier focusing on archery feats is going to be one of the most powerful ranged characters in the game, with a strong combination of single target and area effect damage and the ability to throw out some cool debuffs attached to those bombs. That comes at the cost of limiting melee ability, and of course the perennial bad Will save will come back to bite the Grenadier (and probably the rest of the party).

Just my 2 cp.
 

HolyMan

Thy wounds are healed!
I don't think those abilities should stack. Explosive Missile and Alchemical Weapon.

From what I read the Explosive Missile is poorly written and gives to much, even for it's lvl 4 pre req.

Now for this combo I think they aren't overly powerful. You have limited bombs, limited ammunition, can carry a limited amount of alchemical items(and are throwing money at the monsters when you use them, so don't see this being used every attack).

But back to Explosive Missile.

It allows you to load a crossbow as a free action and doesn't provoke an AoO? I wouldn't get into firearms as they aren't relevant here.

If/when this comes up in a game of mine I would houserule that Explosive Missile be a full round action and not standard.

Don't know what to do here in the LPF as we shouldn't micro manage. I think that we have a great group and won't see to many people opting for or using things like this to abuse. But every once in a while seeing a 1d8+4 + [2d6+4 fire/splash(6 fire)] + [1d6 acid] attack would be way cool.

HM
 

mfloyd3

Visitor
Urk. Missed the part about Alchemical Weapon and Explosive Missile possibly stacking; I would favor a house rule that says they should not. Likewise, having Explosive Missile should not grant a free reload on a crossbow, that's just silly. I would favor house rules on both.
 
I don't know why you would use a crossbow - you can use the first feature of the AT to get a longbow. Unless you're one of those longsword / greatsword types, then I guess you might only be toting the crossbow as backup weapon.

But if you're using a backup weapon that you're not focusing on in order to turn a nice easy touch attack into an attack against AC, you might be an idiot. So yeah, I only see dedicated archers doing this - other people will need buffs to not whiff, so they're not gonna waste a discovery on it.

Mutagen into Dex, whether because you're an archer or you're pretending to be one, pushes your Wis down by 2 points on a class with a poor will save and no incentives aside from "survival" to push Wis any higher than 12 or 14.
 

Qik

Visitor
YES. I love this archetype, and have long thought of making a proposal for it.

My one question is this: it takes a move action to "infuse a weapon or piece of ammunition with a single harmful alchemical liquid or powder." Does this include the drawing of the item (like bombs), or do you have to spend an additional action to draw the item as well? There are ways around that, but in general, requiring you to spend one action to draw the item and another to infuse it into a weapon seems to me to unnecessarily (and unintentionally?) hinder the ability. Especially since it scales to a swift and then a free action with level.
 

Qik

Visitor
As far as Explosive Missile: I don't have much of a problem with it and Alchemical Weapon stacking, although I do see the potential for layering a lot of debuffs at lower levels (say, Frost Bombs + a tanglefoot bag). If anything, LPF's ban on crafting lessens the potential for abuse, given the increased (though not prohibitive) cost of alchemical items for an alchemist. If nothing else, any potential problems reflect more on Explosive Missile than Alchemical Weapon.

I think one could rule that using Explosive Missile with a crossbow still provokes an AoO. There's certainly nothing in the text that says it doesn't. I don't see the free loading as a problem, given its limited number of uses. There's also the balancing factor that when using Explosive Missile, you're no longer targeting touch AC. That makes a big difference.
 

Systole

Community Supporter
I can't imagine it's an extra action to draw the bomb as well. If it were, the description would point out that the stuff to be infused would have to be in hand.

I like the archetype, and I don't see anything too unbalancing with allowing stacking with Alchemical Weapon. It's a neat trick which requires some feat expenditures, but it's not nearly as broken as some of the other archetypes out there. Even if it were borderline, I'd allow it simply for the coolness factor.
 

Qik

Visitor
I can't imagine it's an extra action to draw the bomb as well. If it were, the description would point out that the stuff to be infused would have to be in hand.

I like the archetype, and I don't see anything too unbalancing with allowing stacking with Alchemical Weapon. It's a neat trick which requires some feat expenditures, but it's not nearly as broken as some of the other archetypes out there. Even if it were borderline, I'd allow it simply for the coolness factor.
I agree, both about the infusion's required actions and about the coolness factor of potentially stacking Alchemical Weapon and other abilities/items/etc. It's very "alchemist."
 

HolyMan

Thy wounds are healed!
I'm all in with the cool factor. A great axe wielder using items to add extras to his weapon has great fluff and RP potential.

The archtype made it a move action and thus that is well.

The discovery makes the infusing of the bomb a standard action, really listing this action as part of the attack, and gives you what use to be a move action for free.

So in a round you would...

A) draw your ammunition (free) - No AoO

B) take the standard action to use the Explosive Missile discovery an SU ability - No AoO
-1b) get to load the ammunition - (free, use to be a move action) - use to draw an AoO crossbows only
-2b) aim and fire (free, use to be a standard action) - use to draw an AoO

C) Still be able to take a move action this round.

The above is why I would make it a full round action. Gives you the extras in a round, applying something shouldn't be a free action till you are like level 10 or more..

I didn't see that you needed to hit the regular AC, that makes a little difference in it's power but still not liking all it gives.

As to Grenadier I like that there is a archtype that "good" characters can play without having abilities they won't use much. That whole poison use should have been like channel energy...

An evil PC makes and uses poisons while

A good PC makes and uses curatives. ;)

HM
 

IronWolf

blank
I like the archetype, and I don't see anything too unbalancing with allowing stacking with Alchemical Weapon. It's a neat trick which requires some feat expenditures, but it's not nearly as broken as some of the other archetypes out there. Even if it were borderline, I'd allow it simply for the coolness factor.
I agree with Systole, I really don't have any issue with them stacking. In my opinion LPF needs to stay away from too many house rules. It makes it very confusing for new players (or even some of us that have been around for awhile and have to look through thread after thread to find what variation we make).

We have in the past stuck with RAW even in cases a lot of us agree it could be done better, simply to make sure people only have to turn to the rulebooks to get answers to their questions. It sets the foundation for organized play in my opinion. For home games, house rule away. For organized play house rules start to become overwhelming.


The discovery makes the infusing of the bomb a standard action, really listing this action as part of the attack, and gives you what use to be a move action for free.

So in a round you would...

A) draw your ammunition (free) - No AoO

B) take the standard action to use the Explosive Missile discovery an SU ability - No AoO
-1b) get to load the ammunition - (free, use to be a move action) - use to draw an AoO crossbows only
-2b) aim and fire (free, use to be a standard action) - use to draw an AoO
Eh, I think this is stretching a bit. As it is written those appear to all be under the guise of letting you do things under the standard action. I don't see anywhere that it is changing action types to free, just letting you do more with your single standard action.

So ultimately, firing a ranged weapon from a threatened square as a standard action (which is what the discovery says, all of those things are done as a standard action) still draws an AoO.
 

HolyMan

Thy wounds are healed!
So ultimately, firing a ranged weapon from a threatened square as a standard action (which is what the discovery says, all of those things are done as a standard action) still draws an AoO.
Firing a range weapon does, but using a supernatural ability does not.

I'm thinking the action you take in the round is the standard action to use your supernatural ability, not a standard action to fire (or even a move action to load). Thus you get to load and shot without drawing the AoO you normally would.

HM
 
If I'm drawing and shooting a ranged weapon in melee, I'm fine with provoking. The ability doesn't seem to imply that the loading or firing is done "supernaturally", just that I can supernaturally infuse my bomb into an arrow without making the arrow be wildly off-balance. I'd be pretty happy with infusing a bomb into an arrow without making it wildly off-balance, IC or OOC, if I were a Grenadier.
 

IronWolf

blank
Firing a range weapon does, but using a supernatural ability does not.
I readily admit I am not super familiar alchemists, but are discoveries considered supernatural abilities?

HolyMan said:
I'm thinking the action you take in the round is the standard action to use your supernatural ability, not a standard action to fire (or even a move action to load). Thus you get to load and shot without drawing the AoO you normally would.
I still think we are over thinking the intent of this rule and reading things into it that were not intended.
 

Qik

Visitor
Where on the wiki should we list that this archetype is available - the "Approved Sources" section of "Creating a Character"?
 

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