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D&D 5E Help find a good alchemist base class not focused on bombs and/or influenced by Dr Jekyll or Frankenstein

Greg K

Hero
Does anyone know of a good third party Alchemist base class with a hit d6, proficient in no armor, proficient with wizards weapons, and built around dealing with elixirs, poisons potions, powders, ointments, tinctures? Explosives are ok, but should not be the class focus which rules out many Alchemist bases classes that I have seen including the one by Mage Hand Press (in addition,many of the bombs in the MHP class were also wrong for my tastes and campaign).
I have also ruled out Tribaliity's Alchemist as subclasses did not meet my requirements.
 

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Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Can't say I do. But I would be interested in your searches. I find that Alchemists are just defined as: "Potions, Poisons, and (lorewise magically distinct from, but mechanically just) Bombs I guess?" Which is a bit underwhelming to say the least.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's usually a good idea to start with what your class/subclass is inspired by, not what it is not.
This.

Do you want to base it on hermetic esoteric alchemical traditions, and include conjuring and binding spirits and elementals?

Do you want Thibaults Circle inspired alchemical sword fighters with a deep knowledge of anatomy, body mechanics, and geometry?

Do you want an advanced poisoner and item-based healer? Maybe with noxious gases, abilities to remove conditions fluffed as being via chemistry and stuff like smelling salts to end a stun?

Or something else entirely?
 


Minigiant

Legend
Haven't seen one.

Typically the fantasy alchemist in gaming in the adventure focuses on
  • Acid Bomb
  • Antitoxin Potion
  • Fire Bomb
  • Healing Potion
  • Mind Elixir
  • Philosopher's Stone
  • Poison Bomb
  • Speed Elixir
  • Strength Elixir
  • Transmutation Stone
  • Youth Potion
This usually boils down to bomber, healer, metal fraudster, jekyll, or frankenstien. Since D&D is fairly combat focused, most alchemist base classesI've seen boil down to throwing flasks, hulking out, ordering a monster, or straight up casting spells. It's rare to find pure healers. Since you are okay with poisons, many of the alchemist base class have poison options and just not make the fire bombs?
 

Greg K

Hero
I am fine with Apothecary, Poisoner, and even a subclass designed around greek fire/explosives, smoke bombs, flash powder, and even tanglefoot/adhesive bags/flasks (but not sunrods, electrical/lightning bombs, etc.). I just don't want a class built around bombs.
 

jgsugden

Legend
It sounds like you want a 5E wizard where the spells are reduced to a potion, tincture, powders, etc... I think you could do that with a custom wizard subclass with a 2nd level ability that allows you to cast a spell and place it in a device that allows for delayed delivery.

If you want to totally divorce them from spellcasting, I'd still use the wizard mechanics, but just refluff it.

Alteratively a sorcerer build might make more sense where they can only do a small number of potions that slowly grows. Instead of being the blood of a dragon, you could be infusing spirit into substances to create your magical concotions.
 
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Greg K

Hero
It sounds like you want a 5E wizard where the spells are reduced to a potion, tincture, powders, etc... I think you could do that with a custom wizard subclass with a 2nd level ability that allows you to cast a spell and place it in a device that allows for delayed delivery.

If you want to totally divorce them from spellcasting, I'd still use the wizard mechanics, but just refluff it.

Alteratively a sorcerer build might make more sense where they can only do a small number of potions that slowly grows. Instead of being the blood of a dragon, you could be infusing spirit into substances to create your magical concotions.
I think I want something with concoctions/discoveries that recover on long and/or short rests- closer to warlock invocations than wizard spell levels. Mage Hand Press would have fine if the base class was not built around bombs (and many of the bombs including nuclear bomb were not what I wanted)
 

I am fine with Apothecary,
5e artificer alchemist does that.
Assassin, with the Poisoner feat from Tasha's.
, and even a subclass designed around greek fire/explosives, smoke bombs, flash powder, and even tanglefoot/adhesive bags/flasks (but not sunrods, electrical/lightning bombs, etc.). I just don't want a class built around bombs.
Just because a class can do a thing, doesn't mean your character has to do that thing. I bet there are loads of beast barbarians who never sprout a tail. Classes are designed to cover a range of things, so many people can use them, not just one. If you don't think an ability is right for your character draw a line through it.
 

Greg K

Hero
5e artificer alchemist does that.
I did not ask for the artificer. In my initial post, I asked for a base class and laid out the basic of what i want for the class, because I don't want a subclass of the artificer.
Assassin, with the Poisoner feat from Tasha's.
No.This ignors that I laid out for wanted a base class with wizard hit die, the wizard's armor and weapon proficiency, and deals with elixirs, ointments, potions, powders, tinctures, etc in addition to poisons.
Just because a class can do a thing, doesn't mean your character has to do that thing. I bet there are loads of beast barbarians who never sprout a tail. Classes are designed to cover a range of things, so many people can use them, not just one. If you don't think an ability is right for your character draw a line through it.
I disagree. Mearls stated in multiple episodes of his Happy Hour that players should not have to ignore class features (including a class's medium/heavy armor and martial weapon proficiencies) to meet a concept and it is bad design to ask players to ignore class features without proviing something in return to compensate (e.g. alternate choices, a variant class feature/ability, a class variant). I happen to agree with him (I made comments to this in my open playtest feedback which predates his Happy Hour).
In the instance of an alchemist base class built around bombs, asking a player to ignore the bombs when have the level features revolve around learning new bombs with no alternatives is bad design. The only reason I cut Mage Press any slack on building an alchemist class around bombs is that it is a third party class.
For a company like WOTC, if they had made an alchemist as mad bomber class, I would have considered it just one of another example jof bad/lazy class design based upon what Mearls stated about WOTC not adjusting several PHB classes to meet the finalized class design guidelines before publishing the book and their continuing to release certain subclasses that break those guidelines while not offering any variants to address the introduced issues.
 
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I think I want something with concoctions/discoveries that recover on long and/or short rests- closer to warlock invocations than wizard spell levels. Mage Hand Press would have fine if the base class was not built around bombs (and many of the bombs including nuclear bomb were not what I wanted)
You know...

The real problem, in my personal opinion of course, with most attempts at making an alchemist class, is the recovery and uses of powers. I'm going to use the term "potion" but it could be any other soft of "manufactured" items (including a bomb).

It makes sense that a mage can only cast so many spells per day - it's a taxing mental exercise, and their mental/eldritch reserve are spent (cantrip mucks this up a bit, but let's ignore that for now). But how hard is it to throw a bomb? Drink a potion?

The alchemist is a consumable items class. They make something to be used later. It doesn't really work on a X times per day does it? But X times per day is how most spellcasters in D&D are balanced! So how do you balance the alchemist? Weight/encumbrance, time to create the item or cost are ... not really effective balancing tool.

If you care about this concept, I started a thread here a few years back: D&D 5E - Balancing "consumable" powers vs "per time" powers (Alchemists, Grenadiers etc) - the search for an alternative
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
I did a Google Search for 5e Alchemist -Artificer


Just don't take the Bombadier subclass. Sorry it has d8s instead of d6s, but it's got the rest of what you want.

If you don't like that one, try this one.


Also d8s, though. Weird how everyone thinks they're not equivalent to a Sorcerer/Wizard.

How about one that -can- make Bombs, but doesn't have to as a core class feature?


Still those d8s...

Here's Pathfinder's Alchemist adapted to 5e:


Honestly, you might have to just accept the higher hit die...

And another...


And another...


And another.


There's -loads- of light armor wearing alchemist classes that don't center around throwing bombs, Greg. Just take a look around.
 

I did not ask for the artificer. In my initial post, I asked for a base class and laid out the basic of what i want for the class, because I don't want a subclass of the artificer.
Because?
No.This ignors that I laid out for wanted a base class with wizard hit die, the wizard's armor and weapon proficiency, and deals with elixirs, ointments, potions, powders, tinctures, etc in addition to poisons.
It's a balance issue. You want a character with a bad AC, bad hp, and bad attacks. It doesn't add up.

As for elixirs, ointments, potions, powders and tinctures, all the WotC artificer abilities can be these.
I disagree. Mearls stated in multiple episodes of his Happy Hour that players should not have to ignore class features (including a class's medium/heavy armor and martial weapon proficiencies) to meet a concept and it is bad design to ask players to ignore class features without proviing something in return to compensate
You have ruled out all the alternative choices.

Play a commoner.
 

Lycurgon

Explorer
Because?

It's a balance issue. You want a character with a bad AC, bad hp, and bad attacks. It doesn't add up.

As for elixirs, ointments, potions, powders and tinctures, all the WotC artificer abilities can be these.

You have ruled out all the alternative choices.

Play a commoner.
The OP is obviously wanting a homebrew or 3rd Party class. Telling him he should accept the official WotC options or play a commoner is not helpful or correct. He has not ruled out all alternative choices just the WotC choices. Not everyone limits themselves to just official material.
An Alchemist is a pretty common homebrew class, as demonstrated by the previous post by Steampunkette. There are lots of options available, some will fit the criteria the OP is after.
 


The OP is obviously wanting a homebrew or 3rd Party class. Telling him he should accept the official WotC options or play a commoner is not helpful or correct. He has not ruled out all alternative choices just the WotC choices. Not everyone limits themselves to just official material.
An Alchemist is a pretty common homebrew class, as demonstrated by the previous post by Steampunkette. There are lots of options available, some will fit the criteria the OP is after.
They haven't just rejected the WotC options, they have rejected perfectly good 3PP as well. Because a good 3PP class, like a WotC class, is going to be balanced. Which means it's not going to have poor hp, poor AC and poor attacks. It's got to be good at something, and the OP has ruled out being good at anything.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
There's a few options. My favorite would be to use the Scholar class from Adventure in Middle-earth with the master healer archetype.

For easy of use, I'd go with an Inquisitive rogue, with expertise with Alchemist and Poisoner tools and Medicine. Add the Healer, Chef and Poisoner feats, maybe the Alchemist one from past UA.

You'd get good anatomical knowledge, the know how to craft salves, tinctures and poisons, how to cook ingredients to help your allies recovery and even a feature that helps you evade the blast should your recipe explores (evasion)! I'd probably as my DM to switch a few rogue features for one of the artificers (such as infusion or the alchemist's potion features).
 

Greg K

Hero
They haven't just rejected the WotC options, they have rejected perfectly good 3PP as well. Because a good 3PP class, like a WotC class, is going to be balanced. Which means it's not going to have poor hp, poor AC and poor attacks. It's got to be good at something, and the OP has ruled out being good at anything.
Poor hp, poor AC and limited weapons of proficiency does not mean something is unbalanced.
 
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