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Alchemists

Bob
Here are some of the details under consideration for the Alchemist Feature Feats. First off, keywords:

  • Bomber: Creative, Student, Elegant, Chemical, Mechanical, Journeyman, Ruinous, Professional, Undetected, Cryptic, Master, Unnatural, Besieging
  • Chirurgeon: Elegant, Student, Complex, Chemical, Visceral, Journeyman, Undetected, Professional, Victorious, Ancient, Master, Cryptic, Vigorous
  • Mutagenist: Complex, Student, Creative, Chemical, Visceral, Journeyman, Victorious, Professional, Undetected, Unnatural, Master, Ancient, Guarded

There's enough crossover between the lists to allow for expendables that match perfectly with Alchemist expendables intended for that specialty, while still matching reasonably well with those intended for the other specialties. They also match up fairly well to Toolkit expendables, a little less well to Rogue Kit expendables, a bit with Trophy Charm and Holdout Weapon expendables (just the standard Student, Journeyman, Professional, Master progression), and not at all with Spellbook and Holy Symbol expendables.

Next up, the bonuses:

  • Bomber: Persistent bonus to alchemist and bonuses to precise, base damage and critical chance with all alchemical attacks. Similar to the various Fighter Specialization Feature Feats, just when wielding Alchemist's Tools, which is heavily focused on bombs, where the other Alchemist types focus more on expendables.
  • Chirurgeon: Persistent bonuses to alchemist, fortitude defense and most types of recovery (afflicted, bleeding, burning, drained, exhausted, razed and slowed). Reflects their focus on physical healing.
  • Mutagenist: Persistent bonuses to alchemist and all resistances, along with enduring that has a chance to trigger on any alchemical attack while untargeted. The resistances reflect a lifetime of self-experimentation constantly altering their physical nature, while the Enduring chance is inspired by the Revivifying Mutagen feat from Second Edition, which lets Mutagenists metabolize a mutagen's power to heal themselves.

Basically, all give a bonus to Alchemist crafting, then break off to reflect their research fields. We're also looking into ways to give each feat bonuses when using alchemical items related to their specialty. That looks like it will require new code, but could go a long way toward making the Alchemist combat role feel special. Also, one of our concerns is that the ability of the Alchemist to somewhat imitate the effects of alchemical items on-the-fly will undermine the value of the crafted items, but giving Alchemists a bonus when using them would in turn make them more valuable.

Finally, for advancement, all would have XP/Coin costs and prerequite numbers similar to those for the initial Feature Feats in the other Roles (like Evoker or individual weapon specializations), focusing on these specifics:
  • Category Points: Adventure or Crafting
  • Feats: Formula Book Implement Proficiency for all, Alchemical Weapon Proficiency and Ranged Attack Bonus for Bomber
  • Achievements: Alchemist role/level for all, Alchemical Expert (kills with Alchemist's Tools) for Bombers
  • Ability Score Requirements/Bonuses: Intelligence

Basically, they should advance pretty much the same as most other Feature Feats, just with Alchemist-specific requirements and bonuses.

Thoughts?
NightmareSr
You are a Troll
If you need more than 9 potions to cross the whole map you are making the wrong damn potions! smile
Having a 1yr old account I can only craft T1 items.
- Wandering gatherer (NightmareSr#2669 on discord)
NightmareSr
Bob, this looks mostly straight forward but your notes of "… for bombers" makes me curious are just bombs intended to have alchemist tools to damage targets or am I reading too much into that? (Mainly the weapon kill achievement but also the ranged).
Are the Chirugeon and Mutagenist intended to just be buffing, etc. and attack with different weapons?
- Wandering gatherer (NightmareSr#2669 on discord)
Edam
When you can carry 50 tokens or 9 potions its generally hard to justify slotting potions.

We also need a way of right clicking on random tokens or potions in our inventory to activate them. Un-slotting your regular consumables to slot a one off buff and then waiting for the combat timer to finish before you can re-slot your normal loadout means most of the time you do not bother. I can see where bombs may be potentially OP if they can be used in this way but normal buff/heal potions ought to work fine.
Bob
NightmareSr
Bob, this looks mostly straight forward but your notes of "… for bombers" makes me curious are just bombs intended to have alchemist tools to damage targets or am I reading too much into that? (Mainly the weapon kill achievement but also the ranged).
Are the Chirugeon and Mutagenist intended to just be buffing, etc. and attack with different weapons?

Good catch. This is something I've gone back and forth on a bit, and I'm not completely sold on the best answer. My current answer is that all Alchemists can use Alchemist's Tools as their primary weapon, but Bombers are particularly good at it. That's pretty similar to the way that all Fighters can use an Axe as their primary weapon, but those with Axe Specialization are pretty good at it.

The deeper question is what kind of combat actions should be available to each specialty, and in particular, which should be attack feats for the Alchemist's Tools and which should be Formulas for the Formula Books.

For Bombers, this is pretty easy: They're all about doing damage, explosively and violently. That means they want to throw bombs, all the time, constantly, and sometimes they want to throw really big bombs. So, the bombs balanced for constant attacks go on the Alchemist's Tools, and the bigger bombs go on the Formula Book.

Chirurgeons are all about making other characters healthier. They still need to be able to do damage somehow, but their primary goal is to heal others using elixirs. For expendables, that works well with making all their favored Formulas beneficial elixirs. If they want to use a damage-based expendable, they can still slot a Bomber Formula, just with slightly less keyword matches.

For attack feats, there's no huge problem with making beneficial attack feats that they could use more constantly (there are plenty of those on other weapons), but they do raise a few oddities. One is that the Chirurgeon Formulas I was exploring focus on buffs that provide recovery bonuses, to differentiate them from other healer-types. Those felt like they worked a bit better as expendables than as attack feats that you'd want to use up an attack slot for, but that's admittedly debatable. They also make the question of which attack bonus would apply to Alchemist's Tools a little less clear. Bombs fit well with Ranged Bonus Attack, but elixirs are more melee-range. Other weapons have some occasional issues where particular attack feats are ranged instead of melee, or vice versa, but the weapons that bounce back and forth the most have their own dedicated attack bonuses. We could certainly code up a new Alchemical Attack Bonus, but we'd need to make changes to the Character Sheet, and all in all it's something we should only do if it really feels necessary. Other alternatives would be to say these are ranged beneficial gas-bombs (a bit wierd, but no code involved), or we could allow individual attack feats to override the standard weapon attack bonus where another bonus feels more appropriate (would certainly be nice to have, but definitely requires code).

Mutagenists are particularly tricky because their buffs have major drawbacks, where I believe all other buffs are entirely beneficial. That makes it unclear whether or not Mutagenists should be able to apply mutagens to other characters at all without some kind of consent. Theoretically, we could do something like put up an alert when a mutagen is offered ("You've been offered a Cognitive Mutagen. Accept/Refuse"smile, and only apply the effect if accepted. There are probably other alternatives as well, but all probably require a fair amount of code. My current thinking is to say that Mutagenists only take their mutagens themselves. Though this conflicts with some brief text under the Mutagenist example in Second Edition ("You transform yourself and others with mutagens."smile, it's somewhat in the spirit of some text later in the Crafting and Treasure section ("Typically, only alchemists have the expertise to craft mutagens, and some say they are the only ones reckless enough to use them."smile If we say they only apply to self, and if they're pretty long-lasting, then only having them as Formulas makes a certain amount of sense. You're probably not going to be constantly switching around your current mutation. And again, mutagens are typically melee-range (if not purely self-range), so the attack bonus oddity comes up here as well.

On a larger note, there's also a possibility that having non-bomb attacks would make it difficult to give Bombers the attack bonuses I had in mind for them without also giving them bonuses on elixir/mutagen-based attack feats. I think that might actually already work fine, since I think those bonuses don't get applied to attacks labeled Beneficial, but that would require some testing to be sure. We could probably find a way around that if it doesn't already work, likely with additional code, but avoiding the issue completely has its temptations.

So, we could certainly do Chirurgeon/Mutagenist-style attack feats for the Alchemist's Tools, but there are some details that would need more thought than was required for Bomber-style attack feats. They're probably best avoided unless they're important enough (meaning the Alchemist role just doesn't feel right without them) to make it worth dedicating code-time to implementing them right, or if the oddities can be kept minimally noticeable.
Bob
Edam
We also need a way of right clicking on random tokens or potions in our inventory to activate them. Un-slotting your regular consumables to slot a one off buff and then waiting for the combat timer to finish before you can re-slot your normal loadout means most of the time you do not bother. I can see where bombs may be potentially OP if they can be used in this way but normal buff/heal potions ought to work fine.

This is one partial solution we're considering. You could then leave your Inventory open, filtered to Consumables, and always have pretty easy access to everything you're carrying. Downsides would be not being able to leave the Inventory on All to see everything getting added to it, and the the Inventory screen takes up a lot more screen real estate than it really should for this particular use. Still, it's probably pretty easy to implement, and would be reasonably useful even if just used occasionally to take a potion without having to first go through the trouble of slotting it. The OP issue might be a problem, but potions in inventory are prone to loss when getting killed, and are generally expensive, so the risks and rewards of using this heavily probably balance out pretty well. Mostly, we just need to see where this fits into the schedule best.
Schedim
Bob
For Bombers, this is pretty easy: They're all about doing damage, explosively and violently. That means they want to throw bombs, all the time, constantly, and sometimes they want to throw really big bombs. So, the bombs balanced for constant attacks go on the Alchemist's Tools, and the bigger bombs go on the Formula Book.

I sure you just was brief here, but when i played an alchemist bomber back in the the days, the damage was nice and so, but the real interesting stuff was the weird bombs you used for battlefield control; paralyzing gas, electric stun bombs, equipment destroying acid, gasses that robbed magicians of voice, stun bombs that blinded … minefield laying bombs, bombs that exploded into clockwork critter swarms. I don't remember what was third party and Pazio any longer, but that was what made the real difference from other classes.
It was important back then that making them differ from Wizards and such so it wasn't just a reskinned wizard.
… and the Blunderbus, the main deliver tool to your enenmies, shot for area attack, slug for the big monster killing and propelling bombs to distant, hard to reach places (not to forget the hook for the climb).
We used a hack where the blunderbus was a matchlock that fired after all other actions in the round, but the target had to be declared first, hillarious! (an it took forever to reload, so it was more a opening move.
And rockets … unpredictable and impressive …
Schedim: Peddler and dealer in stuff easily transported, restless wandering the land of the River. Trying to find out how to reawaken the cult of Hanspur. To realise this ambition I created the company named Rats of Hanspur.
You can reach me on: pfo.schedim@gmail.com
Schedim
Hey, here is an idea! Have the Alchemist use Tokens in some capacity, distilling them or transforming them or something, making Tokens a part of the economy instead of an annoying loot padding.
Schedim: Peddler and dealer in stuff easily transported, restless wandering the land of the River. Trying to find out how to reawaken the cult of Hanspur. To realise this ambition I created the company named Rats of Hanspur.
You can reach me on: pfo.schedim@gmail.com
Azure_Zero
Schedim
Hey, here is an idea! Have the Alchemist use Tokens in some capacity, distilling them or transforming them or something, making Tokens a part of the economy instead of an annoying loot padding.

A freaking "YES" to this.
Bob
Schedim
I sure you just was brief here, but when i played an alchemist bomber back in the the days, the damage was nice and so, but the real interesting stuff was the weird bombs you used for battlefield control; paralyzing gas, electric stun bombs, equipment destroying acid, gasses that robbed magicians of voice, stun bombs that blinded … minefield laying bombs, bombs that exploded into clockwork critter swarms. I don't remember what was third party and Pazio any longer, but that was what made the real difference from other classes.
It was important back then that making them differ from Wizards and such so it wasn't just a reskinned wizard.
… and the Blunderbus, the main deliver tool to your enenmies, shot for area attack, slug for the big monster killing and propelling bombs to distant, hard to reach places (not to forget the hook for the climb).
We used a hack where the blunderbus was a matchlock that fired after all other actions in the round, but the target had to be declared first, hillarious! (an it took forever to reload, so it was more a opening move.
And rockets … unpredictable and impressive …

We're not ready to implement guns or grenade launchers or anything like that, so we're starting with the core alchemist skill of throwing stuff accurately without it blowing up in their hands. However, don't think of bombs as just being restricted to explosive/fire damage. The initial bombs I've been working on are based on the Alchemical Bombs listed in Second Edition (Acid Flask, Alchemist's Fire, Bottled Lightning, Frost Vial, Tanglefoot Bag and Thunderstone), and then I've expanded on them a bit based on various Alchemist feats and discoveries. Basically, a bomb can have any combat effect that the game currently supports, though you're very right that it's important to keep the attacks from feeling too much like Wizards. That's mostly just a matter of combining the existing effects in new ways that feel more alchemical than magical.
 
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