User:Jota/State Alchemist (3.5e Class)
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- 1 Alchemist
- 2 State Alchemist
|“||If there's no door, then I'll make one!||”|
|—Edward Elric, human alchemist/State Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist, Chapter 2: The Price of a Life|
Alchemy is like wizardry: given the right intelligence and amount of studying, anyone with a certain level of natural aptitude can do it. That said, like their more mystical counterparts, alchemists are selective about who they pass their art on to, so it is not just anyone who can become an alchemist.
Once an alchemist acquires a certain level of skill, he may apply to become a State Alchemist. Only a select few pass, and those that do trade their freedom for career advancement.
Making an Alchemist
In the world of Amestris, alchemists rule supreme. They have the potential to be the best at whatever it is they do, homunculi aside.
- In other campaign settings, alchemists are capable ranged damage dealers with a good degree of versatility and miscellaneous (out-of-combat) usefulness, but they aren’t quite on the same level as a wizard when it comes to deconstructing enemies, nor do they have the full versatility offered by a cleric’s spellcasting. In an optimized 3.5e party, the alchemist works best as a battlefield controller. An alchemist most directly replaces the sorcerer (or warmageCA, warlockCA, or wu-jenCA), and as such combines well with classes who are different from him, such as rogues and clerics.
Abilities: Intelligence is the measure of how well an alchemist can understand the world around him, and thus manipulate that world to his own ends. It is his most important ability. After Intelligence, whatever will help the alchemist survive best is most important. Typically this means Dexterity or Constitution, although it may be something else.
Races: The study of alchemy is particularly strong in Amestris. Ishbalan religion forbids its members from practicing alchemy, or the Great Art, as it is traditionally known members of the Ishbalan faith. Despite cultural expectations, there is nothing about being one race or another that will bar an individual from becoming an alchemist. The lone exception to this rule are homunculi.
- In a different campaign setting, humans are most likely to pursue alchemy for the secrets of eternal life, but gnomes and dwarves are also strong candidates to become alchemists. Other races are less likely to becomes alchemists, although that hardly bars them from taking the class.
Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150 gp).
Starting Age: Complex.
|Saving Throws||Special||Transmutations Known|
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+0||Fundamentals, Specialization, Scribe Circle (standard action)||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+1||+3||3||+1||Scribe Circle (move-equivalent action)||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+4||+6||+6||+2||Scribe Circle (swift action)||3||3||2||—||—||—|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
*Spellcraft may apply specifically to alchemy in a campaign without magic, or to all (or select) forms of magic in a campaign with alchemy, arcane magic, and divine magic.
All of the following are class features of the alchemist.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Alchemists are proficient with three simple weapons of their choice.
|“||Alchemy; the science of understanding the structure of matter, breaking it down, then reconstructing it as something else. It can even make gold from lead. But alchemy is a science, so it must follow the natural laws: To create, something of equal value must be lost. This is the principle of Equivalent Exchange.||”|
|—Edward Elric, human alchemist/State Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist, To Challenge the Sun|
Alchemy: Alchemy is a three-step process involving understanding, deconstruction, and reconstruction. After acquiring an understanding of his target on a molecular level, an alchemist may disassemble and reassemble its molecules as he sees fit, provided he abides by the law of conservation, also known as the law of equivalent exchange, which prevents changes in mass. Because alchemy transmutes instead of creating, some degree of pre-existing matter must exist in order to use alchemy. An alchemist may use any transmutation he knows at will as standard action, provided he has a transmutation circle and enough pre-existing matter. Alchemy is different from all other types of spellcasting in that it does not require concentration to maintain, cannot be dispelled or counter-spelled, and is not subject to spell resistance or anti-magic fields. Like other forms of spellcasting, using alchemy provokes an attack of opportunity.
To perform alchemy, an alchemist must have a transmutation circle. How quickly an alchemist can transcribe a transmutation circle is dependent on his level. An alchemist reduces the time required to scribe a generic circle as he grows more powerful. Once a transmutation circle is scribed, it may be used repeatedly unless it is somehow disturbed. Depending on the nature of the circle, this could be as a simple as someone walking over it (drawn in sand, or with chalk) or something considerably more difficult (for a circle carved into stone, perhaps). Circles do not necessarily have to be drawn. A pattern of objects or etchings may comprise a circle, provided that the basic design is maintained. A transmutation circle does not discriminate. That is to say, once a circle has been drawn, any alchemist may use it, although a certain level of knowledge is required to properly draw a circle (two ranks in Knowledge: Alchemy per level of the transmutation to be used, where amateur equals one, simple equals two, and so on; a more advanced circle can be used to produce lower level transmutations, but not vice versa. Alchemists often carry around pre-scribed circles, usually located on articles of clothing or small, portable items and the like, which allow the alchemist to use alchemy without needing to scribe a circle.
Metamagic feats, once an alchemist knows one or more, can be freely added to alchemy, but doing so requires a larger than normal transmutation circle. This oversized circle takes one full round to draw for each level of metamagic feats to be applied (e.g. a circle that would maximize alchemy requires three full rounds to draw, one that would empower alchemy requires two full rounds to draw; one that did both would require five rounds). Consult the table Alchemy and Metamagic for more details on the space required to draw a particular level of circle. A metamagically-altered transmutation’s level cannot exceed nine. An alchemist must be able to use a transmutation of equivalent level to the altered transmutation's new level. Unlike other classes that have spontaneous magic, an alchemist may quicken his transmutations, although he may only quicken one transmutation per round.
|Metamagic Levels||Space Required|
|1||5' x 5'|
|2-4||10' x 10'|
|5-8||15' x 15'|
Transmutation saving throws are based on the alchemist's Intelligence modifier (DC 10 + replicated spell level + alchemist’s Intelligence modifier). An alchemist must have an Intelligence score equal to 10 + replicated spell level in order to use a transmutation. Amateur transmutations consist of first level spells, simple transmutations are of second level, basic covers third and fourth level spells, moderate: fifth and sixth, advanced: seventh and eighth, and lastly complex transmutations are the equivalent of ninth level spells. If a particular transmutation could be one of two levels, take the lowest when determining the DC.
Alchemists gain bonus transmutations of a particular level once they become capable of using that level of transmutation. Unlike bonus spells for a wizard or cleric, which are extra spells per day, a high ability score grants an alchemist extra transmutations known. An alchemist's bonus transmutations are granted by having a high Intelligence score. When an alchemist gains a level in a class (or prestige class) capable of using alchemy, he may exchange one transmutation he knows for any other transmutation he may learn, provided the new transmutation is at least one level below the highest degree of transmutation he can use.
Alchemists choose their transmutations from the following list:
Simple— acid arrow, calm emotions*, chill metal*, fog cloud, heat metal*, heroism*, inflict moderate wounds*, make whole*, pyrotechnics, rage*, scorching ray, soften earth and stone*, spike growth*, warp wood*, wood shape*
Basic— call lightning, darkvision*, daylight, fireball**, inflict serious wounds*, lightning bolt, meld into stone, quench, searing light, shatter*, sleet storm, stinking cloud, stone shape*, wind wall || blight, crushing despair, greater heroism, ice storm, inflict critical wounds*, neutralize poison*, poison*, ray of exhaustion*, rusting grasp*, solid fog, spike stones*, stoneskin*, wall of fire**, wall of ice
Moderate— call lightning storm, cloudkill, cone of cold, control winds, fabricate, flame strike**, passwall*, slay living*, transmute mud to rock*, transmute rock to mud*, wall of stone, wall of thorns || acid fog, chain lightning, disintegrate, fire seeds, flesh to ice***, freezing sphere, hardening*, ironwood, move earth, wall of iron
Advanced— control weather, delayed blast fireball**, destruction*, fire storm**, sunbeam, transmute metal to wood*, waves of exhaustion || earthquake, horrid wilting, incendiary cloud**, mind blank*, sunburst, whirlwind
*Spells denoted with an asterisk require a melee touch attack (even if their description dictates otherwise), not necessarily to the area that is to be transmuted, but to a contiguous (connecting) surface or member. The alchemist also needs to be touching his transmutation circle, which means the circle must be on the subject or the two must be in close enough proximity that the alchemist can touch both at the same time. The "casting time" for such spells is reduced to a move-equivalent action, thus allow the alchemist to use the alchemy and deliver the transmutations in the same round. The Reach Spell metamagic feat cannot be applied to these spells.
**Fire spells are recreated by manipulating air flow into creating pockets and channels of pure oxygen (or similar combustible elements, such as hydrogen), thus requiring either a pre-existing flame or ignition, which can be achieved with any mundane spark. A character can strike a tindertwig and use it as a base for fire alchemy as a move-equivalent action, or they can use spark gloves as a free action. Depending on your DM, a different option may be available, such as flint and steel or steel wool. The time required for either of these actions or any other new actions is up to your DM.
***Transmutations noted with three asterisks follow different rules.
Fundamentals: Regardless of his specialization, an alchemist may use any and all of the listed cantrips.
Scribe Circle: The action indicated in parentheses on the class table dictates how long it takes an alchemist to scribe a transmutation circle from scratch.
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Alchemy: An alchemist may continue to swap out his transmutations with each level he gains.
Bonus Feats: The epic alchemist gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic alchemist bonus feats) every two levels after 20th.
Epic Alchemist Bonus Feat List: Additional Magic Item Space, Augmented Alchemy, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reputation, Epic Reflexes, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Spellcasting, Epic Toughness, Epic Will, Extended Life Span, Fast Healing, Great Charisma, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Intelligence, Great Strength, Great Wisdom, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Darkvision, Improved Low-Light Vision, Improved Metamagic, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Polyglot, Spell Knowledge, Spell Opportunity, Superior Initiative.
Human Alchemist Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
|Use Magic Device||4||Cha||—|
Feat: Improved Initiative.
Bonus Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike.
Gear: Backpack, bedroll, traveler's outfits (3), caltrops (4), candles (3), scroll case, chalk (10), flint and steel, small steel mirror, oil, pints (4), pitons (6), belt pouch, hemp rope (50'), tindertwigs (8), trail rations (7), sacks (2), signal whistles (2), torches (3), vials (3), waterskins (2), whetstone.
Gold: 70 gp, 4 sp, and 94 cp.
Playing an Alchemist
|“||Alchemists are scientists. We don't believe in unprovable concepts like 'God.'||”|
|—Edward Elric, human alchemist/State Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist, The Two Alchemists|
Religion: Being an alchemist has little to no bearing on how a character approaches religion, although the scientific aspects of being an alchemist may clash with blind faith often professed by worshippers, as shown in the quote above professed by the Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric.
- There are no clerics in Amestris, although in a different campaign setting likely domains for an alchemist might include air, artifice, creation, earth, fire, knowledge, rune, sun, and water.
Other Classes: Alchemists are naturally rivalrous, so while they are willing to work together on occasion, conflict (although not necessarily bloodshed) is to be expected when two or more are kept in close proximity for an extended duration. Although the alchemist is a practitioner of alchemy, that in and of itself does not govern how he interacts with other classes, so the alchemist is free to treat other classes in any manner he so chooses.
- In other campaign settings the similarities of their crafts tends to breed respect between wizards and alchemists. For most other classes, treat the alchemist as a wizard and act accordingly.
Combat: Alchemists are usually strikers as archers or blasters. Depending on which transmutations they take, they may have some ability in arcanist roles, sometimes in removal or summoning, but more often in battlefield control.
Advancement: The advanced research materials available to State Alchemists as well as the superior training they undergo make it (State Alchemist) an obvious choice regardless of campaign setting. Because alchemy is not restricted by armor, characters not playing in the Amestris campaign setting might find it worth their while to take a level or two in fighter or another martial class with armor proficiencies. Picking up a few levels of rogue or monk for evasion is always nice.
When used as a support class, alchemy can offer a character a small set of limitless-use options, which can be a nice (if not power-building) option for many characters. For example, a rogue with a level in alchemist could cast alter self, grease, and obscuring mist at will, in addition to all of the fundamentals. A character with two levels in alchemist could have free usage of acid arrow or scorching ray to enhance his ranged options, or such a character could artificially stimulate adrenaline synthesis to give himself a bit of a boost in combat.
Alchemists in the World
|“||Carbon. It makes a third of every person... It can mean the difference between a diamond and pencil lead.||”|
|—Edward Elric, human alchemist/State Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist, Theory of Avarice|
Daily Life: An alchemist's typical day depends on what they use their alchemy for. Both regular and certified alchemists often spend time researching and honing their craft. State Alchemists' daily lives will likely include military duties and routines as well. An adventuring alchemist, certified or not, may find himself in any number of situations.
Notables: Edward Elric, Roy Mustang, Van Hohenheim.
Organizations: Alchemists have no particular reason to engage in gregarious behavior unless they are State Alchemists mobilized by the military (and in that case such close proximity is hardly gregarious).
NPC Reactions: Alchemists inspire awe in most normal people, although those of particular backgrounds (Ishbalans, for one) treat alchemists as abominations and State Alchemists with utter contempt, if not outright hostility. State Alchemists are more likely to be met with negative reactions than their unaffiliated counterparts due to their association with the military (from Ishbalans or otherwise). Other characters, namely military personnel, are likely to be more receptive of a State Alchemist, since such certification carries with it some degree of military rank.
- Outside of Amestris, alchemists tend to provoke curiosity and wonder, as what they do is different from wizardry or divine magic. An ignorant NPC incapable of determining the difference between alchemy and wizardry is likely to treat the alchemist as a wizard. Those well-versed in one or more of the disciplines in question are more likely to treat the alchemist like a sorcerer, because despite his great knowledge, the alchemist's capabilities are certainly more limited that those of a true wizard.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge: Alchemy can research alchemists to learn more about them (Knowedge: Local (Amestris) for State Alchemists). When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Alchemists are rare individuals capable of transmuting matter.|
|10||The principle of the Law of Equivalent Exchange/Conservation.|
|15||Human transmutation* is not strictly forbidden, but is considered taboo.|
|20||Alchemists who have seen 'the Truth' on the other side of the doorway between worlds no longer require scribed transmutation circles.|
*Human transmutation insinuates an attempt to restore life to the dead.
|5||State Alchemists, whatever they may have been before, are colloquially referred to as 'dogs of the military,' signifying the ramifications of their conscription.|
|10||Upon becoming a State Alchemist, the alchemist is given a unique name, which is personalized to the individual.|
|15||The entry test to become a State Alchemist is difficult, and the successful are subject to annual research evaluations to ensure they are not slack in their duties.|
|20||High-ranking State Alchemists are said to be given Philosopher's Stones to amplify their power in times of war.|
Alchemists in the Game
Adaptation: If you have additional sourcebooks, other potential, suitable spells from those books are listed, although you are free to determine what is appropriate on your own. What spells can be replicated through an alchemist's understanding of the elements and what spells are considered advanced knowledge only available to State Alchemist's can also be tweaked if necessary or desirable.
Role-playing changes not specific to spells or combat, such as turning water into wine, changing bronze into iron, and the like, can be done at the DM's discretion.
Furthermore, when a State Alchemist, or even a regular alchemist, might gain access to a Philosopher's Stone is also something that can be changed. Just be conscious of the power you are giving your player should you decide to make a Philosopher's Stone available at earlier levels.
- Outside Amestris, any similar organization could offer the benefits of becoming a State Alchemist, albeit with a different name.
Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.
EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.
|“||To be frank, we national alchemists are the human weapons of the military. Should something happen, we will be mobilized, and should the order be given, we must be ready to dirty our own hands.||”|
|—Roy Mustang, human alchemist/State Alchemist, Full Metal Alchemist|
Becoming a State Alchemist
Ambition drives characters to become State Alchemists. What that ambition is varies from character to character. Some want stronger alchemy, others want political power and prestige. It matters little. These characters must have levels as alchemists, and, as with the alchemist, Intelligence is the most important ability for a State Alchemist. Temperament and character is sometimes considered when evaluating a candidate, although the military has a place for everyone, from psychopaths to pacifists.
|Skills:||Knowledge: Alchemy 8 ranks|
|Spellcasting:||Ability to use alchemy|
|Special:||Must succeed on a Knowledge: Alchemy check (DC 20), a Craft: Alchemy check (DC 20), and an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma check (alchemist's choice) against DC 13. These represent tests of the the alchemist's practical knowledge, applied ability, and character.|
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+2||Annual Assessment, Funding, Unique Name||+1 alchemist level|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Research Materials +1,||+1 alchemist level|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||+1 alchemist level|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Research Materials +2||+1 alchemist level|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+4||+1 alchemist level|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Research Materials +3||+1 alchemist level|
|7th||+5||+5||+5||+5||+1 alchemist level|
|8th||+6||+6||+6||+6||Research Materials +4||+1 alchemist level|
|9th||+6||+6||+6||+6||+1 alchemist level|
|10th||+7||+7||+7||+7||Research Materials +5||+1 alchemist level|
|11th||+8||+7||+7||+7||+1 alchemist level|
|12th||+9||+8||+8||+8||Research Materials +6||+1 alchemist level|
|13th||+9||+8||+8||+8||+1 alchemist level|
|14th||+10||+9||+9||+9||Research Materials +7||+1 alchemist level|
|15th||+11||+9||+9||+9||+1 alchemist level|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
*Spellcraft may apply specifically to alchemy in a campaign without magic or all forms of magic in a campaign with alchemy, arcane magic, and divine magic.
|“||You wanna pass the title of Sewing-Life Alchemist to that boy and go back to your old life? Drifting the streets of some backward town with ideas and an empty stomach? Your assessment's in two days; it's time to show or roll over.||”|
|—Brigadier General Basque Grand, human alchemist/State Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist|
Annual Assessment: Each year the State Alchemist must pass a Knowledge: Alchemy check (DC 20 + State Alchemist level) or be placed on probation. Two back-to-back failures results in an inability to advance as a State Alchemist until the character has attained one level in a different class (other than as a State Alchemist). Another possibility includes requiring this test each time the State Alchemist gains a new level. More details on this option can be found below (Ex-State Alchemists).
Funding: A State Alchemist receives a disposable income each year for the services he renders to the state. The State Alchemist's annual wages are equal to his level × 1,000. Players are encouraged to work with their DM's concerning the passage of time and the allocation of these funds.
Unique Name: Upon becoming a State Alchemist a character is given a unique, second name based on their abilities and personality. This name is cosmetic for the most part, although interested DM's may use the optional reputation rules to add mechanics to this feature. If these rules are in use the character gains a bonus the reputation checks equal to half his State Alchemist class level, rounded down.
|“||Brother, it turns out the Philosopher's Stone may very well be real. But all the clues we need to find it are off limits to everyone except State Alchemists.||”|
|—Alphonse Elric, soul-bound armor alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist|
Research Materials: The State Alchemist gains the listed bonus to Knowledge checks when he has access to the National Central Library.
Furthermore, State Alchemists have access to all of the transmutations available to a normal alchemist, plus as follows:
(could be five), waves of fatigue?
State Alchemists who fail their annual assessments are placed on probation, during which they still receive only half of the benefits of being a registered State Alchemist (research check bonuses and extra funding). Failing a second assessment while on probation results in an inability to advance as a state alchemist until reinstatement can be re-attained. Reinstatement requires a one level hiatus (so a sixth level alchemist on probation who fails his evaluation upon reaching seventh level may not attempt to become a state alchemist again until ninth level).
State Alchemists who fail to adhere to the requirements of military personnel and are discharged similarly lose all of the benefits of being a State Alchemist except for the alchemical knowledge (transmutations) they have already obtained. At the DM's discretion a character expelled from the military may find a way to re-enter the service, although it would likely be a difficult proposition.