Alchemist build


Hi gang,

I have a player that is starting to really gravitate more towards the alchemist side of her characters back story and away from being a magic user. Consider her a multi-class pc basically with Alchemy being priority. I’m looking for ways to help her play that character.

How to create potions, costs, capabilities, factoring leveling up into the concept just like a magic user does with levels 1-4 plus master level would be good I think. Milestones, loot.

Lay it on me, what ya got?

Thanks in advance


there is a great build for an alchemist in the new Magic book. I highly recommend it.


Yup, what @Lakins said. Magic is the way to go.


triple agree with @Lakins … get the MAGIC book… alchemy is easy


You guys talking about that one single page… 25? So little there to work with that I just forgot about it basically. I’m looking at it now… still don’t really know what to do with it. I’m missing something on this clearly.

Player says I want to make a potion. Me: Okay… what kind? Them: Something that can maybe… I don’t know… something helpful in the game. Me: I know as much as you do right now. <- I wish to avoid that answer so basically looking for a list as asked. Suggestions. Idea’s, anything to work from as a reference. Pretend that in all my years as a DM… I have never read about or dealt with anything remotely connected to making stuff from plants and liquids and metals and body parts etc. lol. I’m brand new on this particular topic.



I see… 12 examples of ingredients and things they do. I’m to understand that the Alchemist uses magic to “charge” the item so it does the required effect basically? They roll vs the TN… lets say 14. They meet and beat the TN on their roll so have successfully created a potion using Portal Fungus. The potion is drunk by a pc and it opens a portal to a dimension lasting 1d4 turns. Suggestions on how leveling up can be implemented in that scenario? They are MASTER of Alchemy (level 5) and want to make this potion and they ask me… what can it do at level 4 if I try it?

What else besides those 12 exist?

What kind of milestones can an Alchemist look forward to reaching?

Basically looking for a full description to have and give to the player saying this is what you can do and how to do it and what you can look fwd to doing in the future as you get better at it.


As I’m diggin online… I see exhaustingly huge lists showing things an alchemist can make which is helpful for sure but they also have massive lists of ingredients. I wonder if the pc goes into a shop selling rare and bizarre ingredients and we roll to see if they have what the pc needs. How would that play out? What would you be rolling against and what would you get if you succeeded? Suggestions on that concept?

I see with 5e that you can apply a GP value to creating a potion for example. 25000gp needed to make potion X. You don’t actually spend that much… just have to own it. Nobody carries around 25000 gold coins so this is odd but the idea of having X amount of points before you can make it… not bad. Falls in line with having to maybe be level 2 alchemist (using same magic concept with the circles) before you can make it? I think something like that works. Or is it simply… you can make anything you want as long as you make the TN roll? That seems too loose. I want a potion that is essentially nerve gas and kills all in a 30 foot space. To me, something like that would be made as master level, not just any level.


Just found this… very much along the lines of what I’m seeking. Need to tweak it to ICRPG now. “Developing recipes” would be your levels 1 through to Master I figure. “Skill Checks” would be milestones I think.


Well out of the book simply eating a rare ingredient raw gives a certain effect.

Treat the class like any of the mage options with the 3 starter spells but not let them cast the spell like a mage would if they dont want to be magic. Those are the potions they can make using the rare ingredients AND they can also just consume the rare ingredients for their natural effects.

For a custom starter loot give them #30 on the magic loot table the Potioner’s Kit.


also the alchemy system from Zelda Breath of the Wild is pretty simple to adopt. Monster part + Bug.

Monster parts are kinda like POWER in spells multiplying the effect

Bugs decide the buff/debuff

Another Edit**

Or could do it like Rare ingredient + Monster part = potion related to the monster harvested from.

Kinda like Blue mages from Final fantasy. Get a temp buff for 1d4 ROUNDS or maybe even a monster ability for the duration.

A Poisonous monster part lets you inflict poison for 1d4 Rounds or maybe be immune to poison for 1d4 Rounds or maybe straight up heal a poison condition from someone


i guess we need to know what you want to be able to do as an alchemist. then we can better guild you and your build.
do you want to be a potion brewer?
or more full metal?


You may have just solved your own problem. Use a class quest to acquire the components for Greek Fire (or something similar) that is necessary to take down the next Big Bad. Once the ingredients are collected, assign hearts to the task of creating it. Also, use timers and checks because something is bound to go sideways. Once the concoction is successfully created, then they have to engineer a delivery method (or use their NPC contacts to acquire such a thing). If all this floats their boat, especially after taking down Big Bad, I don’t think you’ll have to do much. They can pretty much tell you what they are shooting to do, you assign hearts, timers, etc. and let the forces of nature work. I would grab a d20 table of this is what happens when the alchemy goes sideways.


Seems she wishes to be a potion brewer. The idea of charging a potion with a spell is limited basically to what spells you know. Pretty limiting. Her characters back story is that of her and her mom, full elf (pc is half elf) travelling for a decade and paying their way by making and selling potions and jewelry so I’m thinking soaps, shampoos, tinctures, minor healing all that kind of stuff but in order for the PC to be more special than the average jane… she should probably have learned in that time how to make much grander stuff. I’m on a path though based on that link I shared above with might sort this out yet. Will be back with how that comes together.


Well, she can just create spells - which would be her recipes. Get her a philosophers stone style piece of LOOT so she can do that on the fly when needed and BOOM, cool character with flexibility and fun.


I have some experience with this. My son wanted to play an alchemist, so we just homebrewed it. In essence, he started with several potions: heal, feral mutagen, and bomb potions. And, he also started with his starter reward, a potions kit. The kit came prestocked and allowed him to create potions on the fly. Some required one heart of Effort, others could just be created in the moment (that’s all I had to really adjudicate and helped give him some things to look forward to at level up time). I dispensed with all of that needing ingredients nonsense. If not having ingredients becomes too powerful, you could always rule on a natural 1 or a blunder that an ingredient for a particular type of potion is used up. Otherwise, just press and don’t bog you or your players down. Milestones become new types of potions the player can create. Simple. Fast. Effective. I also let him take a milestone that improved his throwing (+Dex gloves or something or maybe easy throws) to throw potions like bomb, acid, etc., in the right spot. His character also picked up a penchant for throwing knives as well. It was a cool build that fit right in with the other ICRPG classes at the table.


Yes MAGIC is hot. But.
Can also be super simple like this.