The featured illustration in this article is a creation of Kerem Beyit for the Pathfinder Player Companion: Alchemy Manual.
March is coming with so many new things for Dungeons & Dragons that is hard to keep the pace. No matter the burden, though, the RPG Blog Carnival is something I always try to keep up with, not only by actively being part of it, but also reading the articles posted every month. There are true gems among them if what you’re looking for is some inspiration. Anyway, this month the blog is hosted by D.R.E.A.D. with a clear emphasis in alchemy. It’s not only the topic they selected, but also the acronym behind its name! And since we are a blog in which Eberron is worshiped, alchemy is one thing we know how to do as it’s one of the Artificer’s subclasses. In this occasion, though, we’ll introduce a twist on it.
New Artificer Specialist: the Master Mixer
Unlike regular alchemists, Master Mixers are not only masters of creating mundane alchemical substances and elixirs, but also powerful concoctions with spectacular effects. When Master Mixers create one of these, they infuse the concoction with a tiny fraction of his own magical power, enabling the creation of powerful effects, but also binding its effects to them.
When you adopt this specialization at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with alchemist’s supplies and glassblower’s tools. If you already have any of these proficiencies, you gain proficiency with one other type of artisan’s tools of your choice.
Master Mixer Spells
Starting at 3rd level, you always have certain spells prepared after you reach particular levels in this class, as shown in the following text. These spells count as artificer spells for you, but they don’t count against the number of artificer spells you prepare.
- burning hands, witch bolt
- barkskin, knock
- fireball, sleet storm
- polymorph*, confusion*
- cone of cold, hold monster*
The spells marked with an asterisk have their saving throw changed to Constitution.
Beginning at 3rd level, whenever you finish a long rest, you can magically produce a spellbomb: a single-use magic item. You can choose any Evocation or Transmutation spell to store in it. At any time, you can use an action to activate the spellbomb and throw it away with a range of 30/60ft. If the spell stored in it is a single-target spell, you need to succeed on an attack roll which you’re considered proficient with. On a hit, the target rolls its saving throw with disadvantage. On a failure, the target rolls with advantage.
Creating a spellbomb requires you to have alchemist and glassblower supplies on your person, and any spellbomb you create with this feature lasts until it is used or until you create a new one. When you reach certain levels in this class, you can make and have more spellbombs at the end of a long rest: two at 6th level and three at 15th level. You can select a different spell to store in each one.
You can create additional spellbombs by expending the corresponding spell slot for each one. When you do so, you use your action to create it.
At 5th level, you are mastering how to mix different chemicals, enhancing and changing their nature. Whenever you create a spellbomb that deals damage, you can select a different type of damage for it to deal from the list of pairs below (for example, you can have acid arrow to deal poison damage instead of acid). If you do so, the spellbomb deals additional damage equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1).
- Acid for Poison, and viceversa
- Cold for Fire, and viceversa
- Lightning for Thunder, and viceversa
- Necrotic for Radiant, and viceversa
When you reach 9th level, you can exchange any of the types among them (for example, you can have acid arrow to deal necrotic damage instead of acid). From 15th, you can also include Force and Psychic.
Starting at 9th level, you learn how to incorporate secondary effects to the mixtures on your spellbombs. Whenever you hit with a spellbomb attack hits, the target gets a condition depending on the original damage that the spell stored in the spellbomb deals. The condition lasts until the end of the target’s next turn.
- Acid or Poison damage: Poisoned
- Cold damage: Restrained
- Fire damage: two dice of fire damage (same as the spell stored)
- Lightning damage: Paralyzed
- Thunder damage: Deafened
- Necrotic damage: Frightened
- Radiant damage: Blinded
- Psychic damage: Charmed
- Force damage: Prone
By 15th level, you have worked so many times and with so many different materials and components that you know how to mix them with masterful expertise. When creating a spellbomb, you gain resistance to the damage it originally dealt, and you are immune to the condition it would impart (fire resistance doesn’t give any condition immunity). This benefit last until the end of your next long rest or until you change it by creating an additional spellbomb.
This twist on the Alchemist specialization for the Artificer gives a more offensive approach to the class. What do you think? Is it too powerful? Too weak?