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Scientists of Magic

Like all magic-users, alchemists seek a deeper understanding of the secrets of the universe, but approach that understanding through studies of the material world, rather than research into magic itself, pacts with strange beings, or contemplation of one’s bloodline. Some might call their researches almost scientific in nature, yet they involve as much of the arcane and the occult as the mundane. They also frequently involve obsession and even what some might call madness.

Note: Make an alchemist out of any class by choosing the Alchemist’s Apprentice background!

Creating an Alchemist

You can make an alchemist quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score. Make Dexterity your next highest if you plan on specializing in ranged combat.

Select the cantrips light, produce flame, and resistance.

Finally, choose the sage background.


To qualify for new class levels as an alchemist, you must have Intelligence 13 or better. You gain proficiency with alchemist’s supplies only.

Class Features

All alchemists share the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per alchemist level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per alchemist level after 1st


Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, alchemical items, alchemical bombs
Tools: Alchemist’s supplies
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Choose three from Arcana, Deception, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, or Stealth


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) a dagger, (b) a mace, or (c) a quarterstaff
  • (a) studded leather armor or (b) leather armor
  • (a) a scholar’s pack or (b) a diplomat’s pack
  • Alchemist’s supplies and 20 gp
The Alchemist
LevelProficiency BonusClass FeaturesSpells
1st+2Alchemy, Basic Bomb, Spellcasting
2nd+2Advanced Studies, Prepare Stable Compound2
3rd+2Discovery, Swift Alchemy3
4th+2Ability Score Improvement3
5th+3Extra Alchemical Attack42
6th+3Advanced Studies feature43
8th+3Ability Score Improvement43
9th+4Basic Bomb Improvement432
10th+4Advanced Studies feature432
11th+4Greater Discovery433
12th+4Ability Score Improvement433
13th+5Basic Bomb Improvement4331
14th+5Advanced Studies feature4331
15th+5Greater Discovery4332
16th+5Ability Score Improvement4332
17th+6Basic Bomb Improvement43331
18th+6Ultimate Discovery43331
19th+6Ability Score Improvement43332
20th+6Alchemical Genius43332


Not only are you proficient with the ordinary uses of alchemist’s supplies, you have trained in extraordinary ones as well. Whenever a task would require proficiency with an herbalist’s kit, you may use your proficiency with alchemist’s supplies instead.

Basic Bomb

You know how to craft compact, volatile collections of chemicals in a fragile container—a bomb. As part of the Attack action, you can craft and throw a bomb up to 20 feet (or up to 60 feet with disadvantage) as a ranged weapon that does 1d10 damage. When you throw a bomb, you choose if the damage it does is acid, fire, or cold damage. You must have your alchemist’s supplies in order to create a bomb.

Starting at 9th level, the blast radius of your basic bomb increases: all creatures within 10 feet of the bomb’s target must make a Dexterity saving throw or take damage as if they had been also been hit by a basic bomb. The DC of this saving throw equals your spell save DC (see below). At 13th level, the damage of your basic bomb increases to 2d10. At 17th level, the bomb’s blast radius increases to 30 feet.


Your alchemical studies have allowed you to discover methods to effectively cast spells, in ways similar to yet subtly different from other magic-using classes. See below for the alchemist spell list.

Preparing and Casting Spells

The Alchemist table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level or higher. To cast one of these alchemist spells, you must expend a spell slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

You prepare a list of alchemist spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the alchemist spell list. When you do so, choose a number of alchemist spells equal to your Intelligence modifier plus half your alchemist’s level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you are a 5th-level alchemist, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots.

With an Intelligence of 14, your list of prepared spells can include four spells of 1st or 2nd-level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell cure wounds, you can cast it using a 1st-level or 2nd-level slot.

You can change your list of prepared spells whenever you finish a long rest. Preparing a new list of alchemist spells requires time spent reviewing notes and mixing components: at least 1 minute per spell level for each spell on your list.

Spellcasting Ability

Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your alchemist spells, since you learn your spells through patient study and copious note-taking. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for an alchemist spell and when making an attack roll for one.

Ritual Casting

You can cast an alchemist spell as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag and you have the spell prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use alchemist’s supplies as your spellcasting focus.

Advanced Studies

Starting at 2nd level, you choose to focus your attention and research on one branch of advanced studies on which from that point forward. Choose one of:

  • Science of Creation
  • Science of Destruction
  • Science of Illumination
  • Science of Regeneration

Your studies grant you additional class features at 2nd level, and again at 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

Prepare Stable Compound

At 2nd level, choose one spell you are able to cast.

You treat this spell as though it had the ritual tag, and can cast it as a ritual even if you haven’t prepared that spell. When you cast a spell as an alchemical ritual, you can delay selecting a target for the spell by up to one minute after the spell is complete, after which time you must select a target and cast the spell, or its power is lost. Every time you gain an alchemist level, select one additional spell that you can cast this way.


Through your research, you achieve mastery of certain processes which have immediate value to you. At 3rd level, and again at 7th level, you can select one of the following discoveries.

Smart Alchemy. The volatile compounds of your bombs always explode exactly how you want them to. Whenever a spell or bomb would deal damage to a creature that is not hostile to you, it takes no damage instead. When a spell or bomb requires that a creature that is not hostile to you make a saving throw, it automatically succeeds.

Extend Potion. You can cause any potion that you drink, other than one with an instantaneous duration, to last twice its normal duration. Once you use this discovery, you cannot use it again until after you take a short rest.

Potion of Rejuvenation. During a short rest, you may use your alchemist’s kit to concoct a potion that restores one expended spell slot to the creature who drinks it. A spell slot recovered in this way cannot be of a higher level than your highest-level spell slot. This potion holds its potency for 1 hour, after which it becomes inert. A creature may only benefit from this potion once per day.

Spontaneous Recovery. You have learned to amplify your body’s own natural healing processes through careful dietary choices. You can now expend up to half your Hit Dice without rest as an action.

Swift Alchemy

Also at 3rd level, you can achieve the effect of 5 downtime days of work using your alchemist’s supplies in 1 downtime day, making it much simpler to craft acids, alchemist’s fire, and so forth.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Alchemical Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you use the Attack action on your turn. Additionally, you can craft and attack with two basic bombs on your turn.

Greater Discoveries

Your continuing research unveils mysteries of alchemy beyond those you achieved earlier. At 11th and 15th level, you can select one of the following discoveries.

Eternal Potion. You can cause the effect of any potion that you drink, other than one with an instantaneous duration, to last until you next take a long rest. Once you use this discovery, you cannot use it again until after you take a long rest.

Nauseating Flesh. Because of all the chemicals you have consumed, you have become unappetizing to monsters. Any creature that makes a successful bite attack against you or swallows you whole must make a Constitution save against your spell save DC or become poisoned for one hour.

Poison Immunity. You are now immune to poison damage and the poisoned condition.

Reanimation. You can use alchemy to duplicate some of the effects of necromancy. Add animate dead to your alchemist spell list.

Ultimate Discovery

At 18th level, your research allows you to achieve a discovery only imagined by your peers. Select one of the following discoveries.

Elixir of Life. You can spend one downtime day per year of your actual age to brew a special elixir that affects only you. Once you drink it, you do not age that year.

Perfect Health. Whenever you expend Hit Dice to heal, you recover double the usual hit points and can make an additional save against any one ongoing disease or poison.

Philosopher’s Stone. You can spend 10 downtime days to create a stone which you, or anyone else using it, can crush to grant a single wish (as the spell wish). You can only make one stone like this at a time. This ability is unaffected by Swift Alchemy. The creature that wishes upon the stone has a 33% chance to lose the ability to make an unrestricted wish, as per the wish spell.

Unbound Intellect. Your Intelligence score increases by 2, and your maximum Intelligence score is now 22.

Alchemical Genius

At 20th level, your understanding of the ways and means of alchemy is now so profound that simple procedures which once confounded you are now second nature. Select any two 1st-level alchemist spells. You may now cast them as though they were cantrips, without using a spell slot but with level dependent effects as though they were cast as 5th-level spells.

Advanced Studies

The alchemical sciences are the portals to many different kinds of secrets; too many for anyone to master them all in a single lifetime.

Science of Creation

This science trespasses in domains normally reserved for the gods—the creation of life, or at least pseudo-life. Alchemists who study this science gain servants who can be of great assistance in their other endeavors, but they also run the risk of their servants’ potential treachery or failure.

Create Homunculus

At 2nd level, on choosing this science, you construct a homunculus. Choose a beast or monstrosity that has a challenge rating of ½ or less to inspire your servant. Modify the inspiring creature in the following ways. The creature is crafted from clay and is a construct. Add your proficiency bonus to its AC, attack rolls, and damage rolls. Its hit point maximum equals half your own, and it possesses Hit Dice equal to half your own. Its alignment is the same as yours, and it has Intelligence and Wisdom scores of 10 (+0). The homunculus also gains the ability to speak any languages you do.

The construct obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative, but it doesn’t take an action unless you command it to. As a bonus action on your turn, you can mentally (or verbally) command the construct to move, and direct it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action.

As an action, you can command your construct to take a more complex action such as “defend this room” or “keep attacking that creature,” which it will continue to do until the task appears to be complete or it receives a new command.

If your construct is destroyed, you may create another one by spending 10 downtime days working with your alchemical supplies. If you die, your homunculus becomes inert clay and must be recreated if you are raised or resurrected.

Starting at 4th level and every level thereafter, you can reshape your homunculus. Choose a beast or monstrosity with a challenge rating no greater than one-half your alchemist level to inspire your servant.

Modify the creature as described above to craft your new homunculus. This reshaped homunculus possesses the same memories and personality as your old one—unless the GM decides otherwise.

Reshaping your homunculus takes the same time as constructing a new one.

Discoveries of Creation

At 6th and 10th levels, your studies of the Science of Creation allow you to discover a new secret that can enhance and augment your creations. You can also select one of these discoveries instead of a regular discovery at any appropriate alchemist level.

Repair Unliving Flesh. You learn how to cast cure wounds in a way that affects constructs and the undead.

Disguised Homunculus. As an action, you can mentally command your homunculus to change its size to Small, becoming a small but otherwise unremarkable member of your race, as the alter self spell. This effect ends if the homunculus makes an attack roll or casts a spell. You must complete a short or long rest before you can use this discovery again.

Independent Construct. Your homunculus gains the ability to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help action on your turn without your mental prompting.

Spellbound Construct. Whenever you cast an alchemist spell that would normally affect you as the target, you can choose to have it affect your construct instead (as long as the spell can affect your construct) regardless of the distance between the two of you, as long as you are on the same plane.

Supreme Homunculus

At 14th level, your homunculus can be based on a creature of the construct, dragon, or humanoid types. Your homunculus can be based off of a specific creature you have seen before. As long as you can spend the required time, you can reshape your homunculus at will, instead of when you gain a level.

Science of Destruction

While the techniques of destruction are most useful for doing injury to one’s opponents, they can nonetheless be used in ways that don’t involve hurting anyone, probably. Explosions can really solve far more problems than they will ever create.

Empowered Bombs

Starting at 2nd level when you choose this science, you learn how to craft bombs that tap into your repertoire of magical power. When you are creating a basic bomb, you can expend an alchemist spell slot as a bonus action to instead create an empowered bomb. A 1st-level spell slot increases the damage your bomb does to 3d8, and the bomb does your choice of acid, fire, lightning, or poison damage.

This damage increases by 2d8 for each spell slot level above 1st.

Discoveries of Destruction

At 6th and 10th levels, your studies of the Science of Destruction allow you to discover secrets which can enhance and augment your bombs. You can also select one of these discoveries instead of a regular discovery at any appropriate alchemist level. You cannot apply multiple discoveries to a single bomb.

Destructive Arcana. Choose two evocation spells from any class’s spell list. They now count as alchemist spells for you. This discovery can be chosen twice.

Delay Bomb. Instead of immediately affecting the target, you can cause the bomb to explode on your turn in a later round, up to 10 rounds later.

Mind Bomb. You can choose to have your bombs inflict psychic damage instead of the standard types of damage your bombs can inflict.

Snare Bomb. In addition to doing damage, you can cause your bomb to force the target to make a Strength saving throw or be restrained until it is freed by another character using their action to free it, or until it succeeds in a Strength check. A snare bomb does not affect formless creatures, or those capable of incorporeal movement. You can use this feature three times, regaining all spent uses after a short or long rest.

Emperor Bomb

In the end, your studies lead to the perfection of destruction. Starting at 14th level, you gain the ability to create the ultimate explosive. As an action, you can expend a spell slot to craft and throw an emperor bomb. When thrown, this bomb has a short range of 40 feet and a long range of 120 feet.

All creatures within a 60-foot radius of the bomb must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the target is stunned until the end of its next turn and takes 4d6 damage per level of the spell slot expended to craft this bomb. On a successful save, the target takes half damage and is not stunned.

You can choose for the emperor bomb to deal acid, fire, lightning, or poison damage. Finally, you can use any number of bomb-related discoveries you possess on the Emperor Bomb, unless one discovery contradicts another.

Science of Illumination

The study of knowledge itself, the nature of what is known and knowable, is an important part of the alchemical tradition. Some hold that the concept of transforming lead to gold is a metaphor for the development of mind. While alchemists do literally transform lead to gold so as to make money, many also pursue loftier goals through meditation and self-awareness.

Elementary Enlightenment

At 2nd level, your mindfulness allows you focus all your attention on a certain subject, for good or ill. You can, as a bonus action, enter an enlightened state in which you gain advantage on all checks and saving throws made with one of your mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma), as well as resistance to psychic damage. However, this hyperfocus comes at a cost, as you suffer from disadvantage on all checks and saving throws made with a different mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma). You choose the ability scores which are affected by this ability each time you enter the state.

You remain in this enlightened state for 1 minute, unless you choose to end it early as an action.

Discoveries of Illumination

At 6th and 10th levels, your studies of the science of illumination allow you to discover secrets of the mind. You can also select one of these discoveries instead of a regular discovery at any appropriate alchemist level.

Additional Perceptions. When in your enlightened state, you gain advantage with all checks and saving throws made with two of your mental ability scores. You can use this to cancel out the drawback of your enlightened state.

Master of Minds. You can add dominate person to your alchemist spell list.

Psychic Gifts. You can add detect thoughts to your alchemist spell list.

Quick Study. When in your enlightened state, you may take an action to temporarily gain proficiency with any tool, lasting until the enlightened state ends.

Dawning Omniscience

Your long climb towards universal knowledge is not over, but you have achieved such a height that the true summit is now visible to you. At 14th level, while in your enlightened state you gain temporary proficiency in all skills associated with your enlightened ability score, as well as proficiency with all saving throws (including those in which you have disadvantage) and immunity to being charmed.

Science of Mutation

Anyone who has ever witnessed a barbarian’s rage or a monk’s flurry of blows is aware that the body possesses hidden strengths that can be accessed through specialized training or awakened by magic.

Alchemists can enhance their own, often less-than robust physiques so as to rival their more muscular colleagues. Of course, nothing comes without a cost…

Basic Concoction

At 2nd level, on choosing this science, you learn how to brew a special, personalized potion, called a concoction, which enhances your physical abilities at the cost of slightly diminished mental capacities while it is active. You can create a dose of your concoction at the end of a long rest, or as part of any downtime day activity. The dose will remain viable for up to 10 days before it ceases to have any effect.

If any other character drinks your concoction, they must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or become poisoned for 1 minute.

When you take an action to drink your concoction, you gain the following abilities and hindrances:

  • You become mighty. You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
  • When you make a melee weapon attack using Strength or unarmed strike, you gain a bonus to your damage roll equal to half your alchemist level, rounded down.
  • You can endure great pain. You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • Your thoughts lack clarity. You have disadvantage on Intelligence checks and Intelligence saving throws, and cannot cast any spells that you know from any source.

The effects of your concoction last for 1 minute.

They end early if you are knocked unconscious. You otherwise cannot end the effects of the concoction before the duration’s end.

Once you have drunk your concoction, you must take a long rest before you can use it again. Should you drink a second dose of your concoction before you take a long rest, you gain its effects but must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC or become poisoned for the duration.

Discoveries of Mutation

At 6th and 10th levels, your studies of the science of mutation allow you to discover secrets which can enhance and augment your concoctions. You making a ranged weapon attack.

All other details of the concoction remain the same.

You cannot use a standard concoction after using a grand concoction, or vice versa, without taking a long rest in between the uses, unless you have made a discovery which indicates otherwise.

Science of Regeneration

It’s believed by some that alchemy has its origins in the study of medicine, and that its original purpose was to ensure longevity and eternal youth for its practitioners. While many of the discoveries in that field have passed into the general knowledge of modern alchemists, others are still kept secret and sacred by those alchemists who focus on the healing arts.

Basic Regeneration

Starting at 2nd level, your abilities to use medicine improve dramatically. Whenever you use an alchemist’s spell to restore hit points to a creature, the creature regains additional hit points equal to 2 + the spell’s level.

Discoveries of Regeneration

At 6th and 10th levels, your studies of the science of regeneration discover secrets that improve your ability to heal. You can also select one of these discoveries instead of a regular discovery at any appropriate alchemist level.

Fortify Patient. You can spend 10 minutes advising another creature on better habits for healthy living. Afterwards, the creature can use a bonus action to regain 1d6 hit points. The creature cannot benefit from this discovery again before taking a short or a long rest.

Additional Concoction. You can now drink a second dose of your concoction before you take a long rest without risking becoming poisoned.

Clarity Concoction. You no longer suffer disadvantage on Intelligence checks or Intelligence saving throws while using your concoction, but you still cannot cast any spells while it is active.

Tooth and Claw. Your concoction-altered form is especially feral. While using your concoction, your unarmed strikes do 1d6 slashing damage.

Troll Concoction. The effects of your concoction do not end early if you are knocked unconscious. While affected by your concoction, you regain hit points equal to your proficiency bonus at the start of your turn. If you take acid, fire or psychic damage, this discovery doesn’t function at the start of your next turn. You must start making death saving throws only if you start your turn with 0 hit points and don’t regenerate.

Grand Concoction

At 14th level, you realize the secret of a superior type of concoction, and can choose to create it instead of the regular kind whenever you create a concoction.

The grand concoction can sometimes be used by others. Anyone other than you who drinks it must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell save DC, as usual. On a failure, they become poisoned for 1 minute, but on a success, they gain the abilities and hindrances of a standard concoction.

They cannot make use of any concoction-related discoveries you may possess. While this might allow your allies to use your concoction, an enemy could also steal a dose and use it against you.

When you drink a dose of your grand concoction, however, the effects are greater. You gain these effects in addition to those of your basic concoction:

  • Your skin thickens. You add your Constitution bonus to your AC while wearing no armor or light armor.
  • Your senses are razor-sharp. You gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks, and add your Wisdom bonus to your damage rolls when Medical Miracle. You add raise dead to your alchemist spell list.

Preservation. You add gentle repose to your alchemist spell list.

Panacea. You add greater restoration to your alchemist spell list.

True Regeneration

At 14th level, you have truly mastered and internalized the secrets of life and death. When you die, 1 minute later your corpse is immediately the target of a resurrection spell that requires no material component. You must complete a long rest before you can use this feature again.

You can also extend this ability to others, temporarily forsaking your ability to resurrect yourself for the ability to cast raise dead without a material component or using a spell slot. Again, you can only use this feature this once before taking a long rest, and you remain dead if you die before doing so.

Alchemist Spells

1st Level

2nd Level

3rd Level

4th Level

5th Level

Variant: Alchemy Is Different

While this class assumes alchemy is simply a different means to access magical effects, to give alchemy a unique feel you can change how things work when it comes to preparing and casting “spells.” Using this option, alchemical spell preparations are actually entirely nonmagical, yet more unstable than the traditional spells of other classes, and the formulas for those preparations grow more complicated as the alchemist gains experience.

Whenever you would cast an alchemist spell, you must make an Intelligence check against a DC of 10 + level of the spell slot you are using. This check is made as part of the casting of a spell. A failure on this check means that your preparation for this spell was flawed in some way, and you not only waste the spell slot used in the casting, you must also remove the spell from your list of prepared spells. To compensate for this, you can change your list of prepared spells whenever you finish a short or a long rest.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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