Alchemist (D&D class)

From Action
Jump to navigation Jump to search
D&DD&D Logo
Unofficial rules compendium

Alchemists take a practical approach to magic; by working with and refining base materials, they can concentrate the magical elements enough to cast spells. They do this without actually channeling the power through themselves, through a process akin to science.

Adventures: Most alchemists want to earn their keep by keeping shop in cities, creating and identifying magical items. Their lore is found through research and experimentation rather than dug up in old tombs. But many find themselves displaced by disgruntled masters, war, monsters, public outrage from failed experiments or simply because there is an over-establishment of alchemists in the area. Others choose the adventuring life for a cause, or to strike it rich. And once set on the path of adventure, most find it rewarding.

Characteristics: Alchemists work their magic through powders, potions and sleight-of-hand. They take mundane substances and refine magical elements out of them. Starting out with normal materials like spring water, ash, a breeze, or fermented dung and refining them through processes like dissolution, distillation, fermentation, and condensation. This is a part of the everyday spell preparation of the alchemist.

Every alchemist must be able to survive the rigors and fumes of the lab and convince a skeptical customer on occasion, so they become an unusually practical breed of arcane spellcasters. But all alchemists dream of one day working with gold and precious metals, and alchemical spell research and item creation involves exotic experiments with expensive materials. The ultimate goal of many alchemists is still the permanent transmutation of base metals into gold.

An alchemist masters all forms of elemental magic, and the magic of change and substance. They can create, transform, and manipulate the elements and their manifestations in physical objects and creatures. They can boost or stymie the abilities of other creatures. They are masters of potions, and very talented in the use and creation of all sorts of magical items. They can heal almost as well as clerics, and even create life. But they lack affinity for pure energies, such as those manifested in force, extra-dimensional, or teleport spells. Most enhancements and necromancy is also beyond their ken, as are illusions that do more than change the appearance of a single target. They are masters at locating and analyzing objects and magic, but otherwise poor at divination.

Any new spells developed for other classes that deal with the alchemist’s areas of competence would most likely be useable by alchemists as well. The DM will have to decide this on a case-by-case basis, comparing the new spell to those already on the alchemist spell list.

Alignment: Alchemy is akin to science, and the rigorous discipline needed promotes lawfulness. An alchemist that turns to chaos will find it difficult to be accepted in the ordered guild structure, and the guild may try to censure or even persecute her, but she can still progress in the class and continue to use her class abilities. In fact, the most powerful alchemists are often chaotic eccentrics.

Religion: Alchemists rarely follow any gods, in their belief any intelligent creature can manipulate reality just as well as a god. Those that do worship gods tend to choose gods of magic and learning. Others devote themselves to inhuman elemental gods. Gnomes consider Garl Glittergold the greatest alchemist of all, and many alchemists of other races also turn to him in their quest to turn base metals to shining gold.

Background: Alchemy is a learned science, and most alchemists are trained at guilds and universities. Some grow up under the tutelage of a mentor. A few were sponsored by ambitious guardians, but many alchemists are unable to get such privileged students, and pick up some intelligent stray they encounter to be their handyman and later their apprentice. Almost all alchemists are members of guilds that tightly regulate the craft, teach spells, set the price of magic items and services, and regulate the number of practicing alchemists in each area. A common reason for young alchemists to adventure is that there is no opening for them to set up shop in their home town.

Races: Elves dislike alchemy, seeing it as a base and simplified. Dwarfs like it; it fits their mentality much better than regular arcane magic. Gnomes make particularly fine alchemists because of their keen sense of smell and inquisitive minds. Many humans and halflings find alchemy a practical tool, more worldly and less demanding than wizardry. Half-orcs rarely have the intelligence to become alchemists, and alchemists are completely unknown among the savage humanoids, but ancient and intelligent races like the Yuan-Ti and Mind Flayers sometimes master the alchemical arts.

Other Classes: Alchemists rarely work alone. Their magic works best in support of other classes, whether sneaky rogues or mighty barbarians. They can work with other spellcasters, but many prefer not to; the alchemist considers her versatile collection of spells superior to that of other spellcasters, both divine and arcane. This can also be called jealousy; an alchemist is rarely as respected as a wizard or cleric, or as feared as a sorcerer.

Abilities: Intelligence determines how many spells an alchemist can cast, how powerful spells she can cast, and how hard those spells are to resist. To cast a spell, an alchemist must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell's level. In addition, an alchemist receives bonus spells based on Intelligence. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against an alchemist's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the alchemists Intelligence modifier. A good constitution helps an alchemist cast her spells under adverse conditions and give extra hit points, while a high Dexterity makes her guns and touch attack spells more accurate, and provide a better armor class.

Game Statistics

Table: The Alchemist

Base Attack
Special Spells per Day
0 1 2 3 4 5 6
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Brew potion 2
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Identify potion 3 0
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Produce chemicals 3 1
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 3 2 0
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 Item creation feat 3 3 1
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 Analyze potion 3 3 2
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 Potion batch 3 3 2 0
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +2 3 3 3 1
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +3 Seed potion 3 3 3 2
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +3 Greater potion (4th level), Item creation feat 3 3 3 2 0
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +3 3 3 3 3 1
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 3 3 3 3 2
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Greater potion (5th level) 3 3 3 3 2 0
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +4 4 3 3 3 3 1
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +5 Item creation feat 4 4 3 3 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Greater potion (6th level), 4 4 4 3 3 2 0
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 4 4 4 4 3 3 1
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Item creation feat 4 4 4 4 4 4 4


Class Skills

The Alchemist’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher script (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points at First Level': (4 + Int modifier) x4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the alchemist.

Hit Dice


Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Alchemists are proficient with all simple weapons, and with light and medium armor but not with shields. In a world with gunpowder weapons, the alchemist is proficient in these as well. Note that the standard armor check penalties to skills apply. An alchemist can cast alchemist spells while wearing light or medium armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, an alchemist in heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do). A multiclass alchemist still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.


An alchemist casts arcane spells. She is limited to a certain number of spells of each spell level per day, according to her class level. An alchemist must prepare spells ahead of time by getting a good nights sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook and using an alchemist's kit. While studying, the alchemist decides which spells to prepare. To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, an alchemist must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the spell's level. An alchemist's bonus spells are based on Intelligence. The Difficulty Class for saving throws against alchemist spells is 10 + the spell's level + the alchemist's Intelligence modifier.

When the number of spells for a given level is zero, the alchemist can only cast spells of this level if she has sufficient Intelligence to have bonus spells of this level. All alchemist spells always require material components. There is no way for an alchemist to get around the material component requirement, feats, magics or other special abilities notwithstanding. These extra materials are made out of base elements by the alchemist herself, and does not cost any money, but an alchemist cannot prepare her spells unless she has access to an alchemist's kit. The alchemist must use any normal material components in addition to the extra alchemical materials. Each spell is stored in an alchemical concoction, and losing the concoction means losing the spell. Only the alchemist who prepared such a concoction can use it to cast the spell.

Spellbooks: Alchemists must study their spellbooks each day to prepare their spells. An alchemist cannot prepare any spell not recorded in her spellbook (except for read magic, which all alchemists can prepare from memory). Alchemists can learn the Spell Mastery feat and use it just like wizards do. If a spell is on both the wizard and alchemist list, they can learn spells from each others’ spellbooks.

An alchemist starts out knowing all level 0 spells but no spells of level 1 or higher. Each level after the first, she gains two free spells that she learns as a part of her ongoing studies. These spells must be picked from the alchemist list of spells and be of a level she can cast at her new level. An alchemist can learn further spells from research, scrolls, captured spell books and by trading with other spellcasters.

Brew potion (Ex)

At 1st level, an alchemist learns the Brew Potion feat. Ignore the normal level requirements for this feat.

Identify Potion (Ex)

As a full-round action the alchemist can use Craft (alchemy) to identify a potion. The DC is 10 + spell level. On a failure, the alchemist cannot try to identify that potion in this manner until he has increased his rank in the Craft (alchemy) skill.

Produce Chemicals (Ex)

The alchemist learns to produce alchemical concoctions at a much greater rate than normal. Production rate is in gold pieces, rather than silver pieces. See the craft and alchemy skill descriptions for more on this.

Analyze Potion (Ex)

An alchemist can learn a new spell from a potion, just like he can learn a spell from a scroll.

Item Creation Feat

At level 5, 10, and 15, and 20 the alchemist learns one item creation feat that she otherwise qualifies for.

Potion Batch (Su)

The alchemist can create simple potions with great facility. Each time she creates a potion with a caster level less than half her own caster level, she will actually create a batch of potions. Make an Alchemy roll and divide the result by five (rounding all fractions down, as usual), the result is the number of potions created. Cost in money and experience points is the same as for a single potion.

Seed Potion (Su)

An alchemist can duplicate any potion found, even one for a spell he doesn’t know and couldn’t know because it is not on his spell list, as long as the caster level of the potion is less than half the alchemist’s own caster level. The alchemist sets up the potion creation process just as he normally would, adding the potion to be duplicated as an extra ingredient. This is the seed potion, and it is consumed in the process. The Potion Batch ability insures that the alchemist produces more potions than are consumed.

Greater Potion (Ex)

As she advances in level, the alchemist learns to make potions out of higher-level spells, starting with fourth-level spells and gaining the ability to create potions of spells up to sixth level.

Alchemist Spells

Alchemists choose their spells from the following list. Spells in boldface are from the Spell Compendium. Spells from other sources have not been considered for inclusion, decide what should be added using this list as a model.


Amanuensis, Arcane mark, Create water, Cure minor wounds, Dancing lights, Detect magic, Detect poison, Electric jolt, Flare, Horrible taste, Ignite, Light, Magic stone, Mending, Message, Purify food and drink, Quick potion, Raging flame, Ray of frost, Read magic, Repair minor damage, Resistance, Slick, Slow burn.

1st level

Accelerated movement, Animate fire, Animate water, Appraising Touch, Barkskin, Blades of Fire, Burning hands, Cause fear, Change self, Charm Person, Cold fire, Comprehend languages, Corrosive grasp, Cure light wounds, Deep breath, Detect secret doors, Ebon eyes, Endure elements, Enlarge, Expeditious retreat, Feather fall, Fist of stone, Flame dagger, Foundation of stone, Frost breath, Golem Strike, Grease, Guided shot, Hail of stone, Ice dagger, Identify, Inky cloud, Instant locksmith, Instant search, Ironguts, Jump, Locate object, Low-light vision, Magic weapon, Master’s touch, Nerveskitter, Nystrul's magic aura, Nystrul's undetectable aura, Obscure object, Obscuring mist, Lesser Orb of acid, Lesser Orb of cold, Lesser Orb of electricity, Lesser Orb of fire, Produce flame, Ray of enfeeblement, Ray of flame, Reduce, Remove scent, Repar light damage, Saltray, Shocking grasp, Sleep, Spider climb, Spontaneous search, Wall of Smoke, Weapon Shift, Whispering Wind, Wings of the sea.

2nd level

Alter self, Arcane lock, Blindness/ deafness, Body of the sun, Bottle of smoke, Bull's strength, Burning Sword, Burrow, Cat's grace, Cloud of bewilderment, Combust, Crumble, Cure moderate wounds, Darkvision, Daylight, Delay poison, Detect thoughts, Discern shapechanger, Earth lock, Earthbind, Earthen grasp, Earthfast, Electric Loop, Endurance, Fins to feet, Fireburst, Flaming sphere, Swift Fly, Fog cloud, Glitterdust, Gust of wind, Ice knife, Invisibility, Keen edge, Knock, Lesser restoration, Levitiate, Malevolent Miasma, Master air, Mechanus mind, Melf's acid arrow, Metal melt, Misdirection, Mountain stance, Pyrotechnics, Ray of ice, Resist elements, Greater resistance, Scale weakening, Scare, Scorch, See invisibility, Wings of air, Snowball swarm, Spawn screen, Treasure scent, Weapon of impact, Web.

3rd level

Acid breath, Air breatjing, Amorphpus form, Antidragon aura, Assay spell resistance, Attune form, Bands of steel, Mass Burrow, Capricious zephyr, Cure serious wounds, Deeper darkvision, Diamondsteel, Dispel magic, Dolorous blow, Dragonskin, Earthen grace, Eradicate earth, Fabricate, Fire trap, Fireball, Flame arrow, Flashlight, Fly, Gaseous form, Gentle repose, Ghost touch armor, Giant’s wrath, Girallon’s blessing, Great thunderclap, Greater magic weapon, Hailstones, Hamatula barbs, Haste, Hold person, Ice axe, Icelance, Junglerazer, Lightning bolt, Magic vestment, Meld into stone, Mind poison, Minor creation, Nauseating breath, Neutralize poison, Nondetection, Poison, Primal form, Protection from elements, Remove blindness/ deafness, Remove disease, Remove paralysis, Repair serious damage, Mass resist energy, Rust ray, Sheltered vitality, Shrink item, Sign of sealing, Sleet storm, Slow, Steeldance, Stinking cloud, Stony grasp, Suppress breath weapon, Tremorsense, Vipergout, Water breathing.

4th level

Analyze dweomer, Arcane eye, Bestow curse, Blast of flame, Charm monster, Contagion, Control water, Corporeal instability, Cure critical wounds, Dance of the unicorn, Dragon breath, Greater enlarge person, Explosive cascade, Fantastic machine, Fire shield, Mass Fire shield, Fire stride, Flame whips, Mass Fly, Hardening, Ice storm, Improved invisibility, Iron bones, Ironguard, lesser, Know vulnerabilities, Major creation, Orb of acid, Orb of cold, Orb of electricity, Orb of fire, Panacea, Polymorph other, Polymorph self, Raise from deep, Greater reduce person, Remove curse, Repair critical damage, Solid fog, Stone sphere, Vulnerability, Wall of dispel magic, Wall of fire, Wall of ice, Wall of sand, Wallof water, Wingbind, 'Greater wings of air.

5th level

Animal growth, Acid sheath, Anticold sphere, Arc of lightning, Aura of evasion, Ball lightning, Cludkill, Cone of cold, Contingent energy resistance, Cyclonic blast, Death throes, Dimensional anchor, Disintegrate, Draconic might, Earth reaver, Firebrand, Greater fireburst, Fires of purity, Flesh to stone, Gutsnake, Mass haste, Miasma of entropy, Nightstalker’s transformation, Passwall, Permanency, SuperiroResistance, Revivify, Shroud of flames, Stone shape, Stone to flesh, Stoneskin, Tenser's transformation, Transmute mud to rock, Transmute rock to mud, Tunnel swallow, Viscid glob, Vitriolic sphere, Wall of iron, Wall of stone.

6th level

Acid fog, Acid storm, Antimagic field, Chain lightning, Clone, Control weather, Delayed blast fireball, Elemental body, Energy immunity, Greater fantastic machine, Fire spiders, Fire Storm, Freezing fog, Gemjump, Glass strike, Greater dispelling, Heal, Heroe's Feast, Incendiary cloud, Iron body, Ironguard, Move earth, Otiluke's freezing sphere, Polymorph any object, Statue, Greater stone shape, Submerge ship, True creation, True seeing, Undermaster, Wall of gears, Wind walk.


If using the Recharge Magic option, alchemists still prepare and use spells as normal, but need not rest in order to prepare new spells. In other words, an alchemist can prepare a new set of spells in one hour, several times each day.