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

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
When I imagined my idea of 30 simple classes, I imagined splitting the alchemist and artificer.

The alchemist would be the master of potions, knowing how to make magic out of brewing the mundane.

As for magic they'd only get cantrips and a ritual book. Via a ritual, they can summon a lab and materials to create "quick crafts" during long rests, crafting fast dissolving potions (water), poisons (air), grenades (fire), sticks (wood) and stones (earth).

They'd be "full casters" but prepare into slots like 1e-3e casters. More crafts per day than a normal caster but you have to choose ahead of time during long rests and very limited spell list.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Field, dominion, demesne, study, sphere, or philosophy are my ideas for the subclass name replacement. I prefer field or philosophy personally. But I guess that all depends on how much you want to draw from real life alchemical practices vs modern-ish media interpretations.

What I didn't like about the 5e Alchemist was only ~1.5 of the 4 subclass features doing anything with potion style alchemy. Only the 3rd level feature does something interesting mechanically. Half of the 9th level feature makes your elixirs better by adding a THP rider. Otherwise it's just spell casting while you wave an alembic around. The fact that there's no scaling of elixirs by spell level is ridiculous. Using a level 1 spell slot on an elixir is an interesting tradeoff. A level 2+ spell slot for one of those elixirs? No way. There are so many better options.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
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.
How about "guild"? "Guilds" are strongly associated with craftsmen in a medieval/renaissance context. If your "Alchemist" is meant to be absorbing things that had little to do with decoction/distillation/etc., then it would seem reasonable for there to be a Guild of Battlesmiths, Guild of Glaziers, Guild of Chymists, Guild of Chirurgeons, etc.

Otherwise, "society" would seem the right fit. Newton was a Fellow of the Royal Society, after all. One of the first (since it was only founded like twelve years before his election.) The Society of Freemasons is likewise a secretive fraternal order.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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"
I don't even know why I dislike lodge, I just find the name silly in a bad way. Fraternities doesn't work in modern dnd where gender identity doesn't determine your place in society and what interests you can pursue.

The silly overwrought names do have an appeal, though.
I feel like there's some space for the Physician (someone who augments others for brief times), the Mathematician (I think this would be like a true naming magic), Talismans (the essences of minerals and plants -- see Jabari)
Yeah absolutely.
When I imagined my idea of 30 simple classes, I imagined splitting the alchemist and artificer.

The alchemist would be the master of potions, knowing how to make magic out of brewing the mundane.

As for magic they'd only get cantrips and a ritual book. Via a ritual, they can summon a lab and materials to create "quick crafts" during long rests, crafting fast dissolving potions (water), poisons (air), grenades (fire), sticks (wood) and stones (earth).

They'd be "full casters" but prepare into slots like 1e-3e casters. More crafts per day than a normal caster but you have to choose ahead of time during long rests and very limited spell list.
In a different paradigm I'd be down for something like that, but tbh it would just be annoying in a 5e dnd game, where every other caster gets to choose what spell to use in the moment.
Field, dominion, demesne, study, sphere, or philosophy are my ideas for the subclass name replacement. I prefer field or philosophy personally. But I guess that all depends on how much you want to draw from real life alchemical practices vs modern-ish media interpretations.

What I didn't like about the 5e Alchemist was only ~1.5 of the 4 subclass features doing anything with potion style alchemy. Only the 3rd level feature does something interesting mechanically. Half of the 9th level feature makes your elixirs better by adding a THP rider. Otherwise it's just spell casting while you wave an alembic around. The fact that there's no scaling of elixirs by spell level is ridiculous. Using a level 1 spell slot on an elixir is an interesting tradeoff. A level 2+ spell slot for one of those elixirs? No way. There are so many better options.
Philosophy ain't bad. And yeah the 5e Alchemist subclass seemed to not know what it wanted to be, in the context of the limited scope of what dnd wants to call an alchemist. Luckily I don't have to care that the transmutation wizard exists, and I can include stuff like chrysopoeia.
How about "guild"? "Guilds" are strongly associated with craftsmen in a medieval/renaissance context. If your "Alchemist" is meant to be absorbing things that had little to do with decoction/distillation/etc., then it would seem reasonable for there to be a Guild of Battlesmiths, Guild of Glaziers, Guild of Chymists, Guild of Chirurgeons, etc.

Otherwise, "society" would seem the right fit. Newton was a Fellow of the Royal Society, after all. One of the first (since it was only founded like twelve years before his election.) The Society of Freemasons is likewise a secretive fraternal order.
proto-chemistry is only one type of alchemy. Newton wasn't especially into making elixirs, he was into numerology, maths, and physics, which at the time were...alchemy. Alchemy is just science, before science was called that. Optics was invented by an alchemist. Toxicology was invented by an alchemist.
Alchemy included esoteric mysticism, metallurgy, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, pretty much anything you could call proto laboratory science, and other stuff I'm too tired to think of.

So it isn't "absorbing" anything, it's an alchemist.

As for medieval nomenclature, I really dislike using olde tyme spelling, but archaic terms are nice when they don't feel forced or dorkey.

Society isn't bad, for instance. My Assassin uses guilds, bugt tbh that could change.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
I don't even know why I dislike lodge, I just find the name silly in a bad way. Fraternities doesn't work in modern dnd where gender identity doesn't determine your place in society and what interests you can pursue.
Then don't have them limited by gender identity. Have them limited by acceptance of the secret sciences of the universe
 


Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top