Kobold Press

The Chemist

The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers Stone (Artist: Joseph Wright)Not all healers are tied to a church; in some places there are surgeons, hospitalers, and village elders. The most refined healer not associated with a deity is the chemist. Combining superior alchemical knowledge with medical research, the chemist can create compounds, tinctures, salves, and extracts of vast power. The adventuring chemist adds arcane lore to healing skills and his or her potions can harm enemies as well as heal friends.

The chemist is compatible with either Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord core rules.

Requirements: WIS 9

Prime Requisite: WIS

Hit Dice: 1d6

Maximum Level: 10

Attack and Save Rolls: As cleric

Level Progression: As cleric

Shield and Armor Restrictions: None

Weapon Restrictions: Any 1-handed weapon. No missile weapons other than elixirs.

CHEMIST CLASS ABILITIES

POTIONS A chemist can prepare a certain number of potions per day. When the chemist ingests these potions, he or she gains the power of the equivalent spell of the same name for one day. The chemist’s level acts as the equivalent caster level for the potion’s effects. If created but unused, the potion retains its effect indefinitely. The chemist cannot ingest more potions than he or she can create per day. It takes 1 hour to prepare the necessary compounds for each potion (to a maximum of 8 hours), and the chemist must be able to concentrate for this period of time with no distractions. He or she must also have access to a chemist’s kit to prepare any potions.

CHEMIST POTION PROGRESSION

CLASS LEVEL POTIONS PER DAY (BY POTION LEVEL)
1 2 3 4 5
1 1
2 2
3 2 1
4 3 2
5 3 2 1
6 3 3 2
7 4 3 2 1
8 4 3 3 2
9 4 4 3 2 1
10 5 4 3 3 2

The chemist is also adept at identifying potions and has a 50 percent + chemist class level chance of identifying a potion he or she did not create.

MAGIC ITEMS
A chemist can use any scroll, staff, or wand available to a cleric or magic-user with a success rate of 50 percent + chemist class level. If the chemist fails this roll, the item fails to work and its use/charge is lost forever.

ELIXIRS
In addition to potions, a chemist can manufacture a certain number of exploding elixirs each day. An elixir is thrown like a missile weapon with a range of 20 ft. and does 1d6 damage. At levels 1–3, the chemist can prepare 1+ his or her WIS modifier in elixirs per day. At levels 4–6, the chemist can prepare 2+ his or her WIS modifier in elixirs per day. At level 7 and above, the chemist can prepare 3+ his or her WIS modifier in elixirs per day and the elixir gains a radius of 10 ft. on impact. The chemist’s daily allotment of elixirs can be prepared in the same time that he or she prepares daily potions and under the same restrictions.

CHEMIST’S KIT
A chemist’s kit is a small, hardwood box that contains 50 empty potion and elixir vials and enough medical and alchemical components to make a total of 50 potions or elixirs. If the chemist attempts to create more potions or elixirs than is in his or her daily allotment, this represents a rush job. The chemist must make a save vs. spells at a –3 penalty for each additional potion or elixir, or the entire kit will explode, causing 6d6 damage within a 20-ft. radius. A chemist’s kit costs 2,000 gp. Fifty replacement vials costs 20 gp.

REACHING 9TH LEVEL
Upon reaching 9th level, a chemist can create new potions. The rules for potion creation are the same as creating magic items.

CHEMIST POTIONS (BY LEVEL) CL = CLERIC, MU = MAGIC-USER LEVEL 1

  1. Cure Light Wounds (CL)
  2. Detect Magic (CL)
  3. Hold Portal (MU)
  4. Light (CL)
  5. Protection from Evil (CL)
  6. Purify Food and Drink (CL)
  7. Read Languages (MU)
  8. Read Magic (MU)
  9. Shield (MU)
  10. Sleep (MU)

LEVEL 2

  1. Detect Evil (MU)
  2. Detect Invisibility (MU)
  3. Hold Person (CL)
  4. Invisibility (MU)
  5. Knock (MU)

LEVEL 3

  1. Continual Light (CL)
  2. Cure Disease (CL)
  3. Haste (MU)
  4. Hold Person (MU)
  5. Invisibility 10’ radius (MU)
  6. Protection from Evil 10’ radius (MU)
  7. Protection from Normal Missiles (MU)
  8. Remove Curse (CL)

LEVEL 4

  1. Confusion (MU)
  2. Create Food and Water (CL)
  3. Cure Serious Wounds (CL)
  4. Dimension Door (MU)
  5. Massmorph (MU)
  6. Neutralize Poison (CL)
  7. Polymorph Self (MU)
  8. Sticks to Snakes (CL)

LEVEL 5

  1. Conjure Elemental (MU)
  2. Dispel Evil (CL)
  3. Hold Monster (MU)
  4. Passwall (MU)
  5. Quest (CL)
  6. Raise Dead (CL)
  7. Teleport (MU)
  8. Transmute Rock to Mud (MU)

9 Replies to "The Chemist"

Pearce Shea

May 7, 2013 at 5:29am

I like this. The only thing I’d change if I used this class would be to allow the Chemist multiple ways of “casting” their spells: ingesting the potion, throwing it to the ground, sprinkling it on an area.

I’m assuming that the potion can only be ingested by the Chemist that made it? Like if she hands it to some other PC, can they use? What about Chemists sharing potions?

Raul

May 7, 2013 at 6:03am

Love it! My only critique is the use of the cleric’s tables for level progression, attacks and saves. This class seems more along the lines of the magic-user with respect to its turning to the natural sciences for the creation of its elixirs. Whereas the cleric looks to a deity for miraculous ability, the magic-user (and by extenstion, the chemist) looks more internally and to the natural world to harness the energies which provide the fuel, so to speak, for their abilities. Thanks!

Brynjar

May 7, 2013 at 7:41am

I agree with Raul for the most part, except I think the while the Magic-User harness power of arcane knowledge, the Chemist utilises only his brain and the knowledge of plants, extracts, fumes and other things. Where a Magic-User studies ancient tomes and deciphers variousglyphs and texts to create his spells, the Chemist seems more a “modern” (well, modern for the times of the game-setting, anyways ;) ) knowledge kind of character, studying the effects of various plants, fumes and extracts and such, in order to create his potions and elixirs.

I like the concept, I might actually introduce this character-type into my current 2nd Ed campaign… at least as an NPC-class…. obviously slightly modified for the 2nd ed game (and my DM-style)

Ben Asaro

May 7, 2013 at 8:49am

“I like this. The only thing I’d change if I used this class would be to allow the Chemist multiple ways of “casting” their spells: ingesting the potion, throwing it to the ground, sprinkling it on an area.”

Sure, why not?? If it fits your vision of the class, I don’t see why not; for me, personally, this would be more of a flavour-text thing to be added to each potion’s description.

“I’m assuming that the potion can only be ingested by the Chemist that made it? Like if she hands it to some other PC, can they use? What about Chemists sharing potions?””

That’s the beauty part of OSR gaming; it’s open to player and DM interpretation. If the Chemist wants to spend one of his precious potions on an ally … why not allow it? I would have the person using the potion make a saving throw of some sort, but would definitely allow it.

As for sharing or selling the potions? Once again, I love the idea, and if your DM allows it, I don’t see why it can’t be incorporated into your game.

Ben Asaro

May 7, 2013 at 8:53am

“Love it! ”

Thanks!

“My only critique is the use of the cleric’s tables for level progression, attacks and saves. This class seems more along the lines of the magic-user with respect to its turning to the natural sciences for the creation of its elixirs. Whereas the cleric looks to a deity for miraculous ability, the magic-user (and by extenstion, the chemist) looks more internally and to the natural world to harness the energies which provide the fuel, so to speak, for their abilities. ”

If it fits your game world better, then I say go for it. :)

The modularity of OSR gaming is one of the things that makes it so much fun! Personally, in playtesting, we found that using the MU progression seriously handicapped the Chemist, as he/she definitely starts out as more of a martial character and then evolves into a more ‘caster’ based class.

“Thanks!”

Thank YOU for reading and commenting!

Ben Asaro

May 7, 2013 at 8:57am

“I agree with Raul for the most part, except I think the while the Magic-User harness power of arcane knowledge, the Chemist utilises only his brain and the knowledge of plants, extracts, fumes and other things. Where a Magic-User studies ancient tomes and deciphers variousglyphs and texts to create his spells, the Chemist seems more a “modern” (well, modern for the times of the game-setting, anyways ;) ) knowledge kind of character, studying the effects of various plants, fumes and extracts and such, in order to create his potions and elixirs.”

This is my understanding, also. The Chemist is less of a scholar and more of a Natural Scientist.

“I like the concept, I might actually introduce this character-type into my current 2nd Ed campaign… at least as an NPC-class…. obviously slightly modified for the 2nd ed game (and my DM-style)”

That would be awesome; glad it give you some inspiration! Having a Chemist in the employ of your Big Bad could also be very irksome to the party, if you allow the Big Bad to ingest the potions the Chemist has been stockpiling … :)

DM_Wannabe

May 7, 2013 at 10:53pm

I love seeing content for S&W (my favorite retro-clone). I’m going to be trying this class out soon. I’m digging the article. Please keep this type of content coming.

Bobjester

May 9, 2013 at 2:03pm

Overall, I like this class, but I could see the application of the Chemist’s ability to create Dusts & Powders, and other uncommon Miscellaneous Magical Items that (Al)Chemists could create as well as potions. I also like the idea that not all potions must be imbibed; it’s hard to get a victim of a Flesh to Stone spell or effect to drink a Stone to Flesh potion, after all.

With a few tweaks, I’ll gladly give this S&W/LL class a whirl in my 0e game!

Ben Asaro

May 11, 2013 at 9:32am

“Overall, I like this class, but I could see the application of the Chemist’s ability to create Dusts & Powders, and other uncommon Miscellaneous Magical Items that (Al)Chemists could create as well as potions. I also like the idea that not all potions must be imbibed; it’s hard to get a victim of a Flesh to Stone spell or effect to drink a Stone to Flesh potion, after all.”

Interesting ideas. For something like Stone To Flesh (or the reverse), I would say that the imbiber has the ability to cast the spell of the same name, not that imbibing the potion would have that effect on person. But that does open up some great alternatives, too; kind of like manufacturing a poison, but one with magical effect … I like it!

“With a few tweaks, I’ll gladly give this S&W/LL class a whirl in my 0e game!”

I would love to see your tweaks! Please post them here.

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