D&D 5E [+] The Alchemist, An Alternative To The Thirteenth Class

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I am losing what confidence I had that wotc will put the base class and one subclass of the Artificer into the OGL and CC SRDs with the rules update.

I am also more and more frustrated by what I see as shortcomings of the class, and with all the alternatives I've seen out there.

Lastly, it annoys me that the Alchemist is a subclass of the Artificer. That's backwards. An Alchemist isn't just an esoteric chemist, they're a scientist from a time before people used that term. Optics was developed by Alchemists. Isaac Newton was an Alchemist. Toxicology in Europe started with the Alchemist Paracelsus. An artificer in a dnd context is a battle-alchemist.

Anyway, for these reasons and others, I am working on a full Alchemist class, and I'm running into a few minor issues with nomenclature.

The Alchemist is a semi-half-caster that gets spellcasting at level 1, gets cantrips, and also at level 1 chooses a Hermetic Focus, which is like the new Cleric's Holy Order but with a few more choices. The Warfare Focus gives more armor and weapon proficiencies, and let's you use Int for attack and damage. The Esoterica Focus gives more potent ritual spellcasting, expanded spellcasting focus options, and the ability to use Int for concentration saving throws. Etc.

level 2 Clever Inventor lets you learn how to make devices, which come in 3 types. the types aren't named yet, but basically type 1 is big complex stuff that you can only have a few of running at a time, type 2 is consumables mostly on par with cantrips in power, and type 3 replicate or directly cast leveled spells, and are unique (ie you can only have one of each) and limited (you can only know so many spell devices)
Some spell devices let you cast spells that you'd otherwise have to wait longer to cast, or would never be able to cast. ie, at level 3 you can learn to make a device that will let you cast a spell of 2nd level or lower relating to abjurant protection, and at level 5 you can learn the secret to a device that will let you cast a spell related to improved or modified movement of 3rd level or lower.

Level 3 you get your subclass.

Level 5 you get an upgrade to your focus, like getting extra attack for Warfare Focus. Basically, Focus determines what type of class you're actually playing, in a lot of ways. Like imagine if Holy Orders where what determined whether you're a priest or a paladin.

Level 6 is Alchemical Spellcraft, which lets you store spells in devices you create and allow others to cast them

level 7 is your second subclass level
level 9 undecided
level 10 is third subclass level
level 11 is your final focus level
level 13 is improves alchemical spellcraft in terms of how many spell levels worth of spells you can have imbued into items
level 14 undecided
level 15 is final subclass level
from there it's all undecided right now

I want subclass nomenclature to allow for names like Warsmith and Aeronaut, to contrast with Focus nomenclature, but I don't like Specialty or Specialization. They sound dry, and they feel like that same thing as Focus. Very "I'm an Aeronautical Engineering major with a focus in Wondercrafting".
But stuff like school, college, tradition, circle, are all taken. And my swordmage class, the Aethernaut, has Mysterious Orders.

Any ideas?

Also, what did you want from the artificer that you didn't get?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Zardnaar

Legend
Artificervis weak as a class and the alchemist was even worse.

What I wanted not sure only version I've liked is the 2E one. It was a wizard subclass.

Alchemist has potential can't remember the Pathfinder version.

Some ideas.
1. Explosive build duplicating things lime fireball. Grenades, upgraded alchemist fire, bottled lightning etc.

2. Some sort of transforming type. Jekyll and Hyde, Tensers transformation.
 

The alchemist is not only a class in Pathfinder, but also in Iron Kingdoms: Requiem.

My suggestion is to get ideas as source of inspiration from Prometheus: the Created and Mummy: the Resurrection.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I would strongly suggest you look at the apothecary class (In Sebastian Crowe's Guide to Drakkenheim), a follow up book to Dungeons of Drakkenheim.

Key features:
-Int caster
-"warlock style" casting with a few high level slots that come back on a short rest. They have a little bit more slots than warlocks but they don't have as strong a cantrip to fall back on
  • Esoteric theories - a lot like infusions or invocations
  • Each subclass leads to a different playing style. The alienist is a "mind mage", the chemist blows things up, the exorcists is a good healer and strong vs undead, the mutagenist turns into a hulk and fights (very "Jekyll and Hyde"), the pathogenist wields diseases and poisons, and the reanimator builds a flesh golem buddy.
 

I want subclass nomenclature to allow for names like Warsmith and Aeronaut, to contrast with Focus nomenclature, but I don't like Specialty or Specialization. They sound dry, and they feel like that same thing as Focus. Very "I'm an Aeronautical Engineering major with a focus in Wondercrafting".
But stuff like school, college, tradition, circle, are all taken. And my swordmage class, the Aethernaut, has Mysterious Orders.

Any ideas?
If you're going with the "Secretive orders" vibe, you could use "Lodges" or "Fraternities".
Or give each a flowery and unique title so the unenlightened masses know how special you are:
"The Illuminated Order of Advocates for Victory through Natural Philosophy"
 

Greg K

Legend
Artificervis weak as a class and the alchemist was even worse.

What I wanted not sure only version I've liked is the 2E one. It was a wizard subclass.

Alchemist has potential can't remember the Pathfinder version.

Some ideas.
1. Explosive build duplicating things lime fireball. Grenades, upgraded alchemist fire, bottled lightning etc.

2. Some sort of transforming type. Jekyll and Hyde, Tensers transformation.
Have you seen the Alchemist written by Rich Howard and published Tribality Press? It is not what I was looking for in an alchemist class as I did not want a spellcaster, but it is a spell casting class similar to what you you describe wanting. The subclasses are Artificer, Herbwarden, Irezumi (temporary tattoos), Metamorph, Poisoner, Pyromancer, and Reanimator. It is available on Drivethrurpg for $1.99 (edit: $1.95) and has 4.9 stars on 30 ratings if you are interested in checking out
 
Last edited:

Zardnaar

Legend
Have you seen the Alchemist written by Rich Howard and published Tribality Press? It is not what I was looking for in an alchemist class as I did not want a spellcaster, but it is a spell casting class similar to what you you describe. The subclasses are Artificer, Herbwarden, Irezumi (temporary tattoos), Metamorph, Poisoner, Pyromancer, and Reanimator. It is available on Drivethrurpg for $1.99 and has 4.9 stars on 30 ratings if you are interested in checking out

Nope haven't seen it.
 



Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top