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Pathfinder Alchemist 2e class guide

Meet the Pathfinder 2e Alchemist, a varied TTRPG class from Paizo that loves crafting bombs, mutagens, and powerful alchemical mixes

Elf Pathfinder Alchemist brewing potions (art by Paizo)

The Pathfinder Alchemist loves nothing more than creating powerful concoctions. They love mixing up infusions and potions, so it makes sense that the class offers plenty of ways to mix up play. Drop bombs, patch up friends, or buff them with elaborate mutagens. However you build your 2e Alchemist, be sure to cackle like Dr Frankenstein as you go.

Below you’ll find all the key info for creating a Pathfinder Alchemist. If you’re still deciding what to write on your next Pathfinder character sheet, be sure to stop by our Pathfinder classes and Pathfinder races guides while you’re here.

Here’s all you need to know about the Pathfinder Alchemist class:

Goblin Pathfinder Alchemist juggling hoops that are on fire (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Alchemist stats and proficiencies

The Alchemist’s main ability (and the one that gets a first-level buff) is Intelligence. Your starting hit point maximum is eight plus your Constitution modifier, and your max will increase by this number after each level up.

Here are the starting proficiencies for a 2e Alchemist:

Type Name Rank
Skill Perception Trained
Skill Crafting Trained
Saving throw Fortitude Expert
Saving throw Reflex Expert
Saving throw Will Trained
Attacks Simple weapons Trained
Attacks Alchemical bombs Trained
Attacks Unarmed attacks Trained
Defences Light armour Trained
Defences Medium armour Trained
Defences Unarmoured defence Trained
Class DC Alchemist class DC Trained

Additionally, your Alchemist is trained in a number of skills equal to your Intelligence modifier. What these skills are is up to you. 

Elf Pathfinder Alchemist (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Alchemist class features

Here are the class-specific features for a Pathfinder Alchemist:

Level Class features
1 Alchemy, Formula Book, Research Field, Alchemist feat
2 Alchemist feat
4 Alchemist feat
5 Field Discovery, Powerful Alchemy
6 Alchemist feat
7 Alchemical weapons expertise, Iron Will, Perpetual Infusions
8 Alchemist feat
9 Alchemical expertise, Alertness, Double Brew
10 Alchemist feat
11 Juggernaut, Perpetual Potency
12 Alchemist feat
13 Greater Field Discovery, Medium Armour Expertise, Weapon Specialisation
14 Alchemist feat
15 Alchemical Alacrity, Evasion
16 Alchemist feat
17 Alchemical Mastery, Perpetual Perfection
18 Alchemist feat
19 Medium Armour Mastery
20 Alchemist feat


Level: One

What would an Alchemist be without their alchemy? This feature gives you the Alchemical Crafting feat, regardless of whether you meet its prerequisites. With this feat, you can use the Craft activity to create alchemical items. You also add the formulas for four common, first-level alchemical items to your formula book.

Here are the first-level formulas you can choose from in the Core Rulebook:

  • Acid flask, lesser
  • Alchemist’s fire, lesser
  • Bottled lightning, lesser
  • Frost vial, lesser
  • Tanglefoot bag, lesser
  • Thunderstone, lesser
  • Antidote, lesser
  • Antiplague, lesser
  • Bestial mutagen, lesser
  • Cheetah’s elixir, lesser
  • Cognitive mutagen, lesser
  • Eagle-eye elixir, lesser
  • Elixir of life, lesser
  • Juggernaut mutagen, lesser
  • Leaper’s elixir, lesser
  • Quicksilver mutagen, lesser
  • Arsenic
  • Giant centipede venom
  • Smokestick, lesser
  • Snake oil
  • Sunrod
  • Tindertwig

Goblin Pathfinder Alchemist about to throw a bomb (art by Paizo)

Infused Reagents

As an Alchemist, you can also create alchemical items for no cost by infusing reagents with your own alchemical essence. You gain infused reagents equal to your level and Intelligence modifier at the start of daily preparations. These will be destroyed when you begin your next daily preparations, and the nonpermanent effects of infused items will end. They also can’t be duplicated or created any other way than during daily preparations.

Infused reagents can be used for advanced alchemy or quick alchemy.

Advanced Alchemy

Advanced alchemy lets you create alchemical items using infused reagents created during your daily preparations. This can be done without a Crafting check, and you can ignore the number of days and reagent requirements usually needed to create the item.

For every batch of infused reagents used, you can choose an alchemical item of your advanced alchemy level (which is the same as your character level) or lower. You then make two batches of that item instead of one. These are potent for 24 hours or until your next daily preparations.

Quick Alchemy

Quick alchemy lets you spend an action to create a single, consumable alchemical item of your advanced alchemy level or lower. It needs to be from your formula book, but you don’t have to spend the normal cost or attempt a Crafting check. The item you create is infused, but its potency only lasts until the start of your next turn.

Elderly Pathfinder Alchemist (art by Paizo)

Formula Book

Level: One

As an Alchemist, you start out with a free formula book worth ten silver pieces or less. It includes two common first-level alchemical items of your choice, plus any you gain from Alchemical Crafting and your Research Field (more on this in a bit). It’s possible to buy and find formulas to learn as your campaign progresses.

When you level up, you can add two new formulas for alchemical items to your book. You can choose any level of item you can currently create. For example, at level three, you could learn any two item formulas from levels one, two, or three.

Research Field

Level: One

When you become an Alchemist, you must choose one particular field of research to pursue. Your chosen field decides what extra formulas to add to your formula book as your signature items. Additionally, when creating signature items using advanced alchemy, you can create three items instead of two. You can switch your signature items with another formula in your book any time you level up, as long as it’s on your research field’s list of possible signature items.

Here are the research field options from the Core Rulebook:


As the name implies, this is for Alchemists who like to see things go boom. Your starting formulas are alchemical bombs. Additionally, when throwing an alchemical bomb with the splash trait, you can hit a single target with splash damage instead of the general splash area.


Every party loves a healer, and the Chirurgeon is happy to help. You choose your two starting formulas from the following list:

  • Lesser antidote
  • Lesser antiplague
  • Minor elixir of life

When at trained rank or higher for your Medicine proficiency, you can make a Crafting check instead of a Medicine check for Medicine’s untrained or trained uses.


Your alchemy changes people, physically or psychologically. There’s usually a sacrifice to be made, but the payoffs can be astounding. Your two starting formulas from this field are mutagens.

You also gain Mutagenic Flashback as a free action. Once per day, choose one mutagen you’ve consumed since your last daily preparations. You gain the effects of that mutagen for one minute.

Human Pathfinder Alchemist (art by Paizo)

Field Discovery

Level: Five

You learn one of the following, depending on your research field. When using advanced alchemy during daily preparations, you can:

  • Bomber – Create any three bombs instead of two of the same bomb
  • Chirurgeon – Create three elixirs of life with each per batch of reagents instead of two
  • Mutagenist – Use a batch of reagents to create any three mutagens instead of two of the same type

Powerful Alchemy

Level: Five

When using quick alchemy to create items that allow a saving throw, you can change its difficulty class to your Alchemist class DC.

Alchemical Weapon Expertise

Level: Seven

Your proficiency for simple weapons, alchemical bombs, and unarmed attacks increases to expert rank.

Iron Will

Level: Seven

Your proficiency rank for Will saving throws reaches expert rank.

Perpetual Infusions

Level: Seven

You learn to create two first-level alchemical items using quick alchemy, and you don’t need to spend a batch of infused reagents. Depending on your research field and what’s in your formula book, these are your options to choose from:

Research field Alchemical items
Bomber Lesser acid flask, lesser alchemist’s fire, lesser bottled lightning, lesser frost vial, lesser tanglefoot bag, lesser thunderstone
Chirurgeon Lesser antidote, lesser antiplague
Mutagenist Lesser bestial mutagen, lesser cognitive mutagen, lesser juggernaut mutagen, lesser quicksilver mutagen, lesser serene mutagen, lesser silvertongue mutagen

Paizo art of a goblin, one of the Pathfinder races

Alchemical Expertise

Level: Nine

Your proficiency rank for your Alchemist class DC reaches expert rank.


Level: Nine

Your Perception proficiency rank reaches expert rank.

Double Brew

Level: Nine

When using quick alchemy, you can spend two batches of infused reagents instead of one to create two different alchemical items.


Level: 11

Your proficiency for Fortitude saving throws increases to master rank, and all successful Fortitude saves now count as critical successes.

Perpetual Potency

Level: 11

You can now use quick alchemy to create more powerful perpetual infusions at no extra cost. Depending on your research field and formula book, you can now create moderate versions of the perpetual infusions you chose.

Greater Field Discovery

Level: 13

Depending on your research field, you discover the following:

  • Bomber – The splash on your bombs can now damage creatures within ten feet, or 15 feet with the Expanded Splash feat
  • Chirurgeon – Elixirs of life you created with quick alchemy now give the creature who drinks it the maximum hit points possible for the elixir
  • Mutagenist – You can imbibe a second mutagen and gain its effects while still experiencing the effects of the first. Another mutagen will force you to lose one of the two mutagen benefits while retaining all the drawbacks, and a non-mutagen polymorph effect cancels out both benefits while the drawbacks remain

Medium Armour Expertise

Level: 13

Your proficiency for light armour, medium armour, and unarmoured defence reaches expert rank.

Weapon Specialisation

Level: 13

You now deal two extra damage with any weapon or unarmed attack if you’re at expert proficiency for it. This increases to three at master level, and then four at legendary.

Alchemical Alacrity

Level: 15

When using quick alchemy, you can spend three batches of infused reagents to create three alchemical items in one action. They don’t need to be the same item, and one is automatically stowed.


Level: 15

Your proficiency for Reflex saving throws reaches master rank, and all successful Reflex saves are now critical successes.

Alchemical Mastery

Level: 17

You’ve now reached master rank for your Alchemist class DC proficiency.

Perpetual Perfection

Level: 17

When using quick alchemy, you can now create the greater versions of your chosen perpetual infusions.

Medium Armour Mastery

Level: 19

Your proficiency rank for light armour, medium armour, and unarmed defence reaches master rank. 

Goblin Pathfinder Alchemist and Dwarf Fighter fleeing monsters (art by Paizo)

Pathfinder Alchemist feats

Here are the Alchemist feats from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook:

Character level Feats available
1 Alchemical Familiar, Alchemical Savant, Far Lobber, Quick Bomber
2 Poison Resistance, Revivifying Mutagen, Smoke Bomb
4 Calculated Splash, Efficient Alchemy, Enduring Alchemy
6 Combine Elixirs, Debilitating Bomb, Directional Bombs
8 Feral Mutagen, Sticky Bomb
10 Elastic Mutagen, Expanded Splash, Greater Debilitating Bomb, Merciful Elixir, Potent Poisoner
12 Extend Elixir, Invincible Mutagen, Uncanny Bombs
14 Glib Mutagen, Greater Merciful Elixir, True Debilitating Bomb
16 Eternal Elixir, Exploitive Bomb, Genius Mutagen, Persistent Mutagen
18 Improbable Elixirs, Mindblank Mutagen, Miracle Worker, Perfect Debilitation
20 Craft Philosopher’s Stone, Mega Bomb, Perfect Mutagen