Distiller of Identities (Vigilante)

May 24th, 2016

Alex Riggs

Best in Class Archive

                It’s Potion Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, and when I think of potions, I think of alchemists. But what would an alchemist archetype to give them more potion abilities even look like? They’re pretty well set up for potions, as it is. The vigilante, on the other hand, with all its Batman-esque splendor and numerous spellcasting archetypes, seems to be curiously missing an alchemical variant. Until today, that is.


New Vigilante Archetype
Distiller of Identities

For some vigilantes, simply putting on a mask is not enough to unlock their secret identities. They must instead use alchemical means to unlock their hidden potential, transforming themselves into someone else entirely.

Alchemy: A distiller of identities is highly trained in the creation of mundane alchemical substances and magical potion-like extracts. When using Craft (alchemy) to create an alchemical item, a distiller of identities gains a competence bonus equal to his class level on the skill check. In addition, he can use Craft (alchemy) to identify potions as if using detect magic. He must hold the potion for 1 round to attempt such a check.

Like an alchemist, a distiller of identities prepares his spells by mixing ingredients and a tiny fraction of his own magical power into a number of extracts, and then effectively casts the spell by drinking the extract. These extracts have powerful effects, but they are also bound to their creator. Extracts behave like spells in potion form, and as such their effects can be dispelled by dispel magic and similar effects, using the vigilante’s level as the caster level.

A distiller of identities can create only a certain number of extracts of each level per day. His base daily allotment of extracts per day is identical to an alchemist of his class level. Like an alchemist, he receives bonus extracts per day if he has a high Intelligence score.

When a distiller of identities mixes an extract, he infuses the chemicals and reagents in the extract with magic siphoned from his own magical aura. An extract immediately become inert if it leaves the distiller of identities' possession, reactivating as soon as it returns to his keeping—a distiller of identities cannot normally pass out his extracts for allies to use. An extract, once created, remains potent for 1 day before losing its magic, so a distiller of identities must reprepare his extracts every day. Mixing an extract takes 1 minute of work.

Creating extracts consumes raw material, but the cost of those materials is insignificant—comparable to the valueless material components of most spells. If a spell normally has a costly material component, that component is expended during the consumption of that particular extract. Extracts cannot be made from spells that have focus requirements; extracts that duplicate divine spells never have a divine focus requirement.

A distiller of identities uses the alchemist formula list to determine the extracts he can know. He can prepare an extract of any formula he knows. To learn or use an extract, a distiller of identities must have at least an Intelligence score equal to 10 + the extract's level. The saving throw DC for a distiller of identities’ extract is equal to 10 + the extract's level + the distiller of identities' Intelligence modifier.

A distiller of identities may know any number of formulae. He stores his formulae in a special tome called a formula book. He must refer to this book whenever he prepares an extract. At 1st level, a distiller of identities starts with two 1st-level formulae of his choice, plus a number of additional formulae equal to his Intelligence modifier. At each new vigilante level, he gains one new formula for any level that he can create. He can also add formulae to his book just like a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, using the same costs, pages, and time requirements. A formula book costs as much as a spellbook. A distiller of identities can study a wizard's spellbook to learn any formula that is equivalent to a spell the spellbook contains. A wizard, however, cannot learn spells from a formula book. A distiller of identities can also learn formulae from an investigator's or an alchemist's formula book (and vice versa). A distiller of identities does not need to decipher arcane writing before copying that formulae.

This replaces the 4th–, 8th–, 10th–, 14th–, and 16th–level vigilante talents.

Alchemical Transformation (Su): A distiller of identities is capable of brewing a special elixir that unlocks a hidden aspect of his personality, transforming him both physically and mentally into a separate identity. Similar to a standard vigilante, the distiller of identities has two identities: a polite member of society, and a wild and ruthless maniac. Each identity has its own name and physical appearance, and those that are familiar with one cannot necessarily recognize the other, even if he does not strictly disguise himself. Knowledge checks about one identity also do not reveal information about the other, unless the distiller of identities’ true identity is revealed to the world at large. These identities are referred to in short as social and maniac.

The distiller of identities’ maniac identity must be either chaotic or evil, and cannot be lawful. Unlike a standard vigilante, the distiller of identities’ alignments do not need to be within one step of each other on either alignment axis, and for the purposes of meeting qualifications for feats, classes, or any other abilities, he is eligible if either of his alignments meet the requirements, but if one of his alignments is not eligible, he loses any benefits of things he no longer qualifies for while in that identity, exactly as though his alignment had changed to no longer be eligible. Also unlike a standard vigilante, if he is the target of an effect that would change his alignment, it changes only the alignment of his current identity.

The distiller of identities begins each day in his social identity. In order to transform to his maniac identity, he must drink a special elixir (a standard action). Once the elixir is consumed, he undergoes a painful and debilitating transformation process, which leaves him nauseated on his next turn. At the beginning of his next turn after that, he finishes his transformation, shifting into his maniac identity, and is able to act normally. While in his maniac identity, the distiller of identities gains a +4 alchemical bonus to a single physical ability score of his choice (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution), and suffers a –4 penalty to two mental ability scores of his choice (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma). He must choose which three ability scores are affected when he first gains this ability, and it cannot later be changed. His natural armor bonus to AC also increases by +1 while in his maniac identity, and this bonus increases by an additional 1 at 6th level and every 6 levels thereafter (to a maximum of +4 at 18th level). Finally, while in his maniac identity, the distiller of identities gains the sneak attack class feature of the rogue. He deals 1d6 points of sneak attack damage at 1st level, and this damage increases by 1d6 at 4th level and every three levels thereafter (to a maximum of 7d6 at 19th level).

The distiller of identities remains in maniac form for 1 hour after drinking his elixir. He can create a number of these elixirs each day equal to 1/2 his class level + his Intelligence modifier (minimum of 1 per day). No matter how many he creates, they take 10 minutes to create, and become inert after 24 hours. A distiller of identities’ elixir is attuned specially to his mental and physical particulars, and has no effect on other creatures (but see the shared transformation social talent).

A distiller of identities’ maniac identity is treated as a standard vigilante’s vigilante identity for the purposes of using vigilante talents, and the seamless guise class feature applies to his maniac identity instead of his vigilante identity. A distiller of identities cannot take the quick change or immediate change social talents.

This ability modifies the dual identity class feature, and replaces the vigilante specialization class feature.

Social Talents: A distiller of identities can select from the following social talents, in addition to general social talents.

Shared Transformation (Su): The distiller of identities can create versions of his transformative elixir that function for other characters. Each elixir created in this way counts against his daily number of elixirs he can create, and only works for a single creature, which the distiller of identities must declare at the time the elixir is created, and cannot later be changed. The distiller of identities must either have intimate knowledge of the creature’s physical and mental specifics (which he can gain by interacting with the individual for at least 10 minutes), or he must have a physical piece of the creature (such as a lock of hair, a fingernail, etc.).

If the creature consumes the elixir, he undergoes a transformation into a maniac identity, similar to the one the distiller of identities can change into. The creature can make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the distiller of identities’ class level + the distiller of identities’ Intelligence modifier) to negate this effect. The transformation process is the same, but the creature does not gain the ability score adjustments, natural armor bonus, or sneak attack that the distiller of identities gains. The creature’s maniac identity has an alignment that is the opposite of the creature’s normal alignment. If the creature already has a maniac identity (whether because he is a distiller of identities himself, or because he has been the target of this ability before), he transforms into that maniac identity, instead (if he is a distiller of identities, he gains his normal ability score adjustments, natural armor, and sneak attack). The distiller of identities must be at least 5th level to select this talent.

Targeted Transformation (Su): The distiller of identities can incorporate a piece of an individual (such as a lock of hair, a fingernail, or a few drops of blood) into one of his elixirs, allowing him to transform into that person, rather than his maniac identity. Other than requiring that he have a physical piece of the person whose identity he wants to adopt, this functions identically to the any guise vigilante talent, although it does not have that talent’s prerequisites. The distiller of identities must be at least 9th level to select this talent.

Versatile Brewmaster (Ex): The distiller of identities gains Brew Potion as a bonus feat. Additionally, he can brew potions without meeting the prerequisites for their creation, but the DC increases by 10 for each prerequisite he does not meet, rather than the normal +5.

Vigilante Talents: A distiller of identities can select from the following vigilante talents, in addition to general vigilante talents.

Alchemist Discovery (Ex): The distiller of identities can select one of the following alchemist discoveries as a vigilante talent: alchemical simulacrum (UM), alchemical zombie (UM), combine extracts, concentrate poison, dilution, doppelganger simulacrum (UM), enhance potion, extend potion, greater alchemical simulacrum (UM), infusion, poison conversion (UC), tentacle (UM), or vestigial arm (UM). In the case of the tentacle and vestigial arm discoveries, these function only when the distiller of identities is in his maniac identity. The distiller of identities can use alchemical simulacrum (and other discoveries that require it) and alchemical zombie in his social identity, but doing so risks revealing his secret identity, like a normal vigilante talent. All other alchemist discoveries gained in this way can be used safely in either identity.

Investigator Talent (Ex): The distiller of identities can select either of the following investigator talents as a vigilante talent: item lore or perceptive tracking. Either of these talents can be used safely in either identity without risk of revealing his secret identity.

Versatile Elixir (Su): Whenever the distiller of identities changes into his maniac identity, he can choose which physical ability score he gains a bonus to, and which two mental ability scores he suffers penalties to. He can choose different ability scores each time.

Poison Lore (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a distiller of identities gains a deep understanding and appreciation for poisons. He cannot accidentally poison himself when applying poison to a weapon. If he spends 1 minute physically examining the poison, he can attempt a Knowledge (nature) check to identify any natural poison or Knowledge (arcana) check to identify any magical poison (DC = the poison's saving throw DC). Lastly, once a poison is identified, he can spend 1 minute and attempt a Craft (alchemy) check (DC = the poison's saving throw DC) to neutralize 1 dose of the poison. Success renders the dose harmless. The distiller of identities has no chance of accidentally poisoning himself when examining or attempting to neutralize a poison.

This ability replaces the unshakable class feature.