Friday, October 10, 2008

Blogging the Dragon: The Alchemist PC Class

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm going through all back issues of the Dragon, one by one, and logging information that can be updated and recycled in newer RPG campaigns. Here's a line that I added to my database, entitled "Hooks, Encounters, and Brainstorms:"

* Character Class: Alchemist (issue no. 2, p. 28).

That doesn't tell you guys much, does it? So here's a brief summary of the class, adjusted for Castles & Crusades. D&D 3.0 or 3.5 players shouldn't have too difficult of a time adapting:


Description: Alchemists are not only trained chemists, but they have tapped into the same magical resources as Wizards, only less so. This slight magical aptitude gives them a natural insight into what makes an effective potion; it also, combined with the fact that they tend to sample their own work, even allows them a slight natural immunity to the effects of potions and poisons.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence

Base to Hit, XP per level: as Cleric
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6 until level 10, then 1hp per level
Weapons: short sword, dagger, rapier, scimitar, mace, club, sickle, knife
Armor: any leather, brigandine, cuir bouille
Saves: +2 vs. posion and non-magical paralyzation

Special Abilities:
Detect Poison: Can tell by explanation (must be told or have a clear definition of symptoms) whether an item or creature is poisonous, or whether a character has been poisoned.
Neutralize Poison: Once per week (allowing for the passage of poison through his system), an alchemist may neutralize the effects of poison whose challenge rating is the alchemist's level or lower. The effect of neutralization is equal to the best possible save; if there are negative side effects of a poison even after a successful save, the side effects apply.
Neutralize Paralysis: Creatures whose hit dice are half the alchemist's level or lower cannot induce paralysis by non-magical means, like venom or fear. This ability does not work against paralysis caused by devices (wands, staves, swords, spells).
Identify Potion: The alchemist applies a +1 per level bonus to Intelligence checks to identify potions. If a Potion of Delusion is not identified, check again to see if it is identified incorrectly. This may also be used to test for acids or similar compounds.
Read Languages: The alchemist receives a +4 bonus when performing an Intelligence check to read unfamiliar languages. If successful, he can get the gist of a simple text, especially when the content is related to spellcraft, alchemy, science, or the planes.
Prepare Potions: At level 4, the alchemist can prepare potions and acids.
Read Magic: At level 7, the alchemist can Read Magic as a Wizard of equal level.
Replicate Potion: At level 10, the alchemist may replicate a potion from a sample.

C&C alchemists follow the potion creation guidelines in Monsters & Treasure, p. 87. For other systems, consult the appropriate manual.
There are some additional ideas regarding special potions on pages 29 -30 of The Dragon, issue #2.

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