Alchemist

(from Players Options: Skills & Powers)

Minimum Ability Requirements: Intelligence 15; Dexterity 14
Races Allowed (level limit): Human (U), half-elf (15), gnome (12)

The puttering, scientifically-minded wizard who enjoys working with various material components is likely to find the School of Alchemy to be a welcome source of inspiration and magical might. Alchemists are inventors and experimenters, always striving for a way to create new and greater effects through the use of magical powders, reagents, and potions.

The exact nature of the alchemist’s materials is not very important for game play, although it is good role-playing for a player to note which substances and minerals are vital to his character’s spells. Unlike most wizards, who define the world by the four classic elements of earth, air, fire, and water, the alchemist believes that each subtle combination of these elements is a new element of its own. Gold may be nothing more than a rare type of earth with a small glimmer of fire in it, but the alchemist considers the properties of gold as a unique substance with no other components. In other words, alchemists describe their world in the modern terms of a Periodic Table of Elements, even though notions such as atoms, electrons, or atomic weight have no meaning in their universe.

As scientific characters, alchemists will always maintain a large and well-equipped laboratory to pursue their experiments. The laboratory must be well-stocked with all kinds of materials, including samples of every metal or alloy imaginable, equipment such as burners, beakers and bottles, and natural curiosities like magnets, incendiaries, and other such things. An alchemist is assumed to begin play with an appropriate laboratory in his home town or base of operations, but building and outfitting a new laboratory costs at least 1,000 gp per character level, and existing laboratories require at least 50 gp of materials a level per month to be functional. An alchemist without access to his laboratory loses the bonus alchemy spell he could normally memorize at each spell level, and can’t conduct research, make potions, or add new spells to his spell book.

Alchemists have no modifiers to their saving throws or their victims’ saving throws, but instead they have the special ability to create potions, starting at 6th level. The alchemist must first research the potion’s formula, as if conducting normal spell research; consider the potion’s level to be equal to its XP value divided by 100, so a potion of clairaudience (XP value 250) is considered a 3rd-level spell, and a potion of longevity (XP value 500) is a 5th-level spell. The research time is two weeks per effective level, and the cost is 500 gp per effective level. The alchemist must pass a learn spells check to successfully research the formula. Just like spells, the number of potion formulae the alchemist can ever understand is limited by his Intelligence score Maximum Number of Spells per Level, except that all potions are counted together for this purpose. A character with an Intelligence of 12 can never know how to make more than seven types of potions.

Once an alchemist knows the potion’s formula, he can produce one dose by investing in 300–1800 gp worth of materials and spending one uninterrupted week in his laboratory. Again, a learn spells roll applies to see if he followed the directions carefully, or if he ruined the batch instead. If the DM finds that a player is abusing this ability, he can insist on specific adventures to acquire rare and unusual materials such as a griffon’s heart, a beholder’s eye, and other such hard-to-get items.

The School of Alchemy: The school of alchemy is opposed by the Schools of Illusion/Phantasm (things that aren’t real are of no interest to alchemists) and Necromancy (similarly, life forces and spirits are too intangible for alchemy.) All the spells in the school of alchemy are considered to have no verbal component when employed by an alchemist, which means that an alchemist has little to fear from a silence spell or any other magic that prevents speaking.

The School of Alchemy consists of the following spells:
Affect normal fires (1st)
Fire burst (1st)
Grease (1st)
Metamorphose liquids (1st)
Protection from evil (1st)
Fool’s gold (2nd)
Glitterdust (2nd)
Melf’s acid arrow (2nd)
Pyrotechnics (2nd)
Sense shifting (2nd)
Stinking cloud (2nd)
Alamir’s fundamental breakdown (3rd)
Flame arrow (3rd)
Melf’s minute meteors (3rd)
Protection from evil, 10' radius (3rd)
Enchanted weapon (4th)
Fire charm (4th)
Fire trap (4th)
Cloudkill (5th)
Fabricate (5th)
Transmute rock to mud (5th)
Death fog (6th)
Glassee (6th)
Stone to flesh (6th)
Transmute water to dust (6th)
Acid storm (7th)
Hatch the Stone from the Egg (7th)
Statue (7th)
Glassteel (8th)
Incendiary cloud (8th)
Crystalbrittle (9th)
Glorious transmutation (9th)

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